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Handwritten letter from Gabriel Auguste Daubrée (1874)

Handwritten letter from Gabriel Auguste Daubrée (1874)

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The famous French mineralogist Auguste Daubrée, a great friend of Dom Pedro II, participated in the training of Prince Dom Pedro Augusto.

Handwritten letter from Auguste Daubrée to an unknown recipient. One page, front and back. In French. 11.8 cm x 18 cm. Paris, the 28th of July (~1874). Excellent condition. Single piece.

Prince Pedro, grandson of the Emperor of Brazil, who had registered last Monday for a reading, will only be able to participate next Monday. Since the Prince is traveling that same night and will not be able to see the report, however brief, on crystallographic notations, the Perpetual Secretary would be very kind to allow a printout [of the report] to be made and delivered in advance [to the Prince]. A. Daubrée.

On a trip to Europe between May 1871 and March 1872, the Emperor came into contact with his friend Gabriel Auguste Daubree (1814 - 1896), famous geologist and mineralogist, his colleague at the Paris Academy of Sciences and director of the School of Mines, also in the French capital. He asked him for a document on the best way to get to know and explore Brazil's mineral riches. Daubrée responded to the Emperor a few weeks later with a "note on the means of achieving a deeper knowledge of Brazilian soil and developing the exploitation of its mineral riches" and another "note regarding the teaching of mineralogy and geology in Rio of January" .

Back in the country, in a personal letter, the Emperor invited Daubrée to visit Brazil, highlighting the benefits of his coming to Brazil: "not only will the country gain from the greater use of its mines, the natural sciences, in general, will receive from it strong momentum." However, Daubrée, who had just been appointed director of the Paris School of Mines, indicated Claude-Henri Gorceix (1842 - 1919), whom Dom Pedro II hired to organize the teaching of mineralogy and geology in Rio de Janeiro, from 1874. Therefore, Daubrée collaborated heavily with Gorceix on the school project and taught regularly to Brazilians until the end of the century.

One of Daubrée's students was Dom Pedro Augusto (1866 - 1934), prince of Brazil, eldest son of Dona Leopoldina and grandson of Dom Pedro II. Having inherited his grandfather's taste for studies, he graduated in Civil Engineering, wrote papers on mineralogy and held a conference on minerals at the Academy of Sciences in France.

Anyone interested in the History of Brazil knows that Dom Pedro II was an intellectual, whose curiosity, initiatives and relationships with scientists or artists were very important for the scientific and cultural development of Brazil. Here we have a new example of this with this letter where Daubrée, a great friend of the Emperor (who was even present at his funeral), is concerned about the formation of Dom Pedro II's "favorite" grandson. Also interesting is the reference to "crystallographic notations", Daubrée's field of expertise. Finally, an unusual document for collectors specializing in the Brazilian royal family, science lovers or specialists in mineralogy.

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