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Johann Reinhold Forster

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Johann Reinhold Forster
Johann Reinhold Forster
Born22 October 1729(1729-10-22)
Dirschau (Tczew), in Kinrick o Poland
Dee'd9 December 1798(1798-12-09) (aged 69)
Halle (Saale)
Scientific career
Fieldsnaitural history, ethnology
Author abbrev. (botany)J.R.Forst

Johann Reinhold Forster (22 October 1729 – 9 December 1798) wis a pairt Scottish Reformt (Calvinist) pastor[1][2] an naturalist wha made contreibutions tae the early ornithology o Europe an North America. He is best kent as the naturalist on James Cook's second Paceefic voyage, whar he wis accompanied bi his son Georg Forster. These expeditions promotit the career o Johann Reinhold Forster an the findins becam the bedrock o colonial professionalism an helped set the stage fur the future development o anthropology an ethnology. They laid the framework fur general concern aboot the impact that alteration o the physical environment fur European economic expansion wad hae on exotic societies an aa.[3]


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Johann Reinhold Forster an Georg Forster in Tahiti, bi John Francis Rigaud (1742–1810), 1780.

Forster's faimily originated in the Lords Forrester in Scotland frae whair his greet-grandfather haed emigrated efter losin maist o his property durin the rule o Oliver Cromwell alang wi mony ither Scots. Forster himsel wis born in the ceety o Tczew (Dirschau) in Poland.[4] He studied languages an naitural history at the Joachimsthal Gymnasium in Berlin, theology at the University o Halle, afterwards servin as a Protestant pastor in Mokry Dwór (Nassenhuben) Pomeranian Voivodship. He mairit his cousin Elisabeth Nikolai. They haed several bairns includin a son, Georg Forster.

In 1765 he acceptit an offer made tae him bi the Russian government tae inspect an report upon the noo colonies foundit on the banks o the Volga, in the province o Saratov.[5] His carnaptious temper soon involved him in difficulties wi the Russian governent, an in the follaein year he went wi Georg (the eldest o aicht bairns, seiven o which survived bairnheid) tae England an becam a dominie o natural history at Warrington, Lancashire.[6] He spent three years teachin at the Dissentin Warrington Academy, succeedin Joseph Priestley. Compelled bi his violent temper tae resign this appointment, Forster then muived wi his son tae London, whar thay earned a precarious livin bi daein transleetions. In 1771, he publeeshed A Catalogue of the Animals of North America,[7] which listed the region's mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, arachnids, an crustaceans.[8]

Whan Joseph Banks withdroo at the last moment as naturalist on Cook's second voyage, Forster an his son war appointed tae fill the vacant position. In Julie 1772 thay set sail on the Resolution, returnin tae England in Julie 1775. Durin a stop in Cape Town, Forster engaged Anders Sparrman tae act as his assistant.

Baith the Forsters kept detailed diaries o everythin thay spied on the voyage, an made extensive collections o baith naitural history specimens an artefacs. On his return Forster publeeshed Observations Made during a Voyage round the World (1778).[9] Houiver the income frae the beuk wis insufficient tae clear his debts, an the bulk o Georg's drawins frae the voyage haed tae be sauld tae Joseph Banks. Durin the next few years Forster undertook a variety o writin work, includin a German translation o Thomas Pennant's Arctic Zoology.

In November 1779 Forster wis appointit Professor o Naitural history an Mineralogy at the University o Halle, an diractor o the Botanische Garten der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, whar he remaint until his daith. His Descriptiones animalium, completit within a month o returnin tae England wi Cook, wis eventually eeditt bi Hinrich Lichtenstein an published in 1844.

Forster's contreibutions tae the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (1772–73) on zoology, ornithology, an ichthyology established him as ane o the arliest authorities on North American zoology.

See an aa

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  • European an American voyages o scientific exploration


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  1. (in German) Dove, Alfred. "Forster, Johann Reinhold" in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, v.7 (1878), pp. 166–172.
  2. (in German) Karl Ludwig Preuß: Dirschau's historische Denkwürdigkeiten. Für das 600jährige Jubelfest der Stadt (20. August 1860). Kafemann, Danzig 1860, pp. 39–44.
  3. Richard Grove, Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins o Environmentalism, 1600–1860 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp 309–375.
  4. Iłowiecki, Maciej (1981). Dzieje nauki polskiej (in Polls). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Interpress. p. 140. ISBN 83-223-1876-6.
  5.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Forster, Johann Georg Adam" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Cite has empty unkent parameters: |HIDE_PARAMETER15=, |HIDE_PARAMETER13=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14c=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14=, |HIDE_PARAMETER9=, |HIDE_PARAMETER3=, |HIDE_PARAMETER1=, |HIDE_PARAMETER4=, |HIDE_PARAMETER2=, |HIDE_PARAMETER8=, |HIDE_PARAMETER20=, |HIDE_PARAMETER5=, |HIDE_PARAMETER7=, |HIDE_PARAMETER10=, |separator=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14b=, |HIDE_PARAMETER6=, |HIDE_PARAMETER11=, and |HIDE_PARAMETER12= (help)
  6. This airticle incorporates text frae a publication nou in the public domainForster, Johann Reinhold. The New International Encyclopaedia. 1906 – via Wikisoorce.
  7. Forster, Johann R. 1771. A catalogue of the animals of North America. 'containing, an enumeration of the known quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, crustaceous and testaceous animals; many of which are new, and never described before, to which is added, short directions for collecting, preserving, and transporting, all kinds of natural history curiosities. B. White, London, England. 43 pp.
  8. Calhoun, John V. 2010. An overlooked 18th century list of North American Lepidoptera. News of the Lepidopterists' Society 52:3–5, 16–20, 25. http://images.peabody.yale.edu/lepsoc/nls/2010s/2010/2010_v52_n1.pdf
  9. J.R. Forster (1778)Observations made during a Voyage round the World at Google Books

Freemit airtins

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