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Darwin's Man in BrazilThe Evolving Science of Fritz Müller$
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David A. West

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062600

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062600.001.0001

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Leaving Germany for a New Life in Brazil, 1849–1867

Leaving Germany for a New Life in Brazil, 1849–1867

(p.29) 2 Leaving Germany for a New Life in Brazil, 1849–1867
Darwin's Man in Brazil

David A. West

University Press of Florida

While engaged as a children’s tutor between 1848 and 1852, Müller, joined by a younger brother August, prepared to emigrate. Both married in spring 1852, Fritz to Caroline Tollner who already had borne him two daughters. The families sailed in May 1852 and became pioneer farmers in Blumenau, a new German settlement in an isolated primeval forest in southern Brazil. This chapter provides details of Müller’s family life, his reasons for emigrating (including his philosophical views on personal autonomy and freedom of conscience) and for choosing Brazil, the dangers and hard labor they faced in Blumenau, the extraordinary biological richness of the tropical forest, and Müller’s initiation of international biological correspondence. The chapter also examines Müller’s early tropical studies in botany and then marine biology in the coastal city of Desterro, where he took a “temporary” teaching job in 1856 that, variously transformed, lasted eleven years.

Keywords:   emigration, pioneer, German settlement, Brazil, philosophical views, Blumenau, tropical studies, botany, marine biology, correspondence

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