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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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Dismissals, Civil War, and Last Years, 1884–1897

Dismissals, Civil War, and Last Years, 1884–1897

(p.209) 10 Dismissals, Civil War, and Last Years, 1884–1897
Darwin's Man in Brazil

David A. West

University Press of Florida

Many powerful politicians considered Müller persona non grata for supporting German immigration and for his political stances on issues that had led to civil war in 1893. This chapter examines these issues along with systemic institutional problems in Brazil. Ladislau Netto, director of the National Museum, tried to protect Müller from dismissal as traveling naturalist, but in June 1891 he informed Müller that the government required all traveling naturalists to register daily at the Museum in Rio. Müller refused and resigned his position. German mycologist and a second cousin, Alfred Möller, visited Müller between1890 and 1893. During this visit, Möller identified the fungi that feed on processed leaves in leaf-cutter ant nests and proved Fritz’s earlier conjecture that the ants feed on those fungi. Möller later became Fritz’s biographer, eventually publishing life and letters volumes that remain a major source of information about Müller. Caroline Müller died on 24 March 1894; Fritz’s death followed on 21 May, 1896.

Keywords:   civil war, politics, National Museum, Rio, dismissal, Ladislau Netto, Alfred Möller, leaf-cutter ants, fungi, biography

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