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Mr Beaudouin in Beaudouin's Snake Eagle

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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 12:32   #1
Calalp
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Post Mr Beaudouin in Beaudouin's Snake Eagle

Here´s another tricky translation task ... this time its regarding the mysterious Mr. Beaudouin (M. Beaudouin = Monsieur Beaudouin) commemorated in Beaudouin's Snake Eagle Circaetus beaudouini VERREAUX & DES MURS 1862.

As I understand it almost nothing is known of this supposedly French man, unless that he was collecting extensively in "Bissao" (Guiné Portuguesa, today Guinea-Bissau) for the Feather- and Naturalia Trading brothers Edouard and Jules Verreaux in Paris. That seem to all that we know of him!? No First names, no dates or even years …

Does the type description itself maybe reveal anything else about this man?
Verreaux, J & O Des Murs. 1862. Observations sur le Genre Circaëtus; et Descriptions d’une nouvelle Espèce. The Ibis 4: 208-214. (attached)

Excerpt from p: 213:
Quote:
"Tous quatre provenaient de l´Afrique Occidentale, et de la partie connue sous le nom de Bissao, où ils avaient été recueillis par l´un des voyagers de la maison Ed. Verreaux.
D´après les notes envoyées par M. Beaudouin, cette espèce ne serait que de passage dans cette localité, et s´y nourrirait principalement de grenouilles, de lézards, et même de petits poissons; elle fréquenterait plus spécialement les marais; mais, à défaut de cette nourriture, elle chercherait, dans les plaines, les mammifières de petit taille, surtout les rongeurs; elle ne se rencontre que par paires, et se retire le soir dans le grands bois pour y passer la nuit. Jusqu´ici M. Beaudouin n´en a pas observé le nid: ce qui viendrait en qulque sorte confirmer ce que nous marquait, il y a quelque temps, M. Gurney, que la même espèce se retrouve en Abyssine, puisqu´il en possède un exemplaire identiquement le même, depuis déjà plusiers annés, et qui, comme ceux-ci, est également dans la même musée*. Il est donc probable que c´est là sa mère-patrie, et que c´est là que niche l´espèce.

* Mr. J. H. Gurney informs us that this specimen, which is marked as
from Nubia, was received from M. Verreaux several years ago. /Ed
". [Editor]
Excerpt from p: 214:
Quote:
"M. Beaudouin, de son côte, trouvera dans cet hommage la preuve que nous savons apprécier à leur valeur les sacrifices qu´il a déjà faits dans l´intérêt de la science. On sera même surpris de sa persévérance si nous apprenons à nos lecteurs que depuis son long séjour dans ces mortelles contrées, et pour la troisième fois, il est resté toujours seul des Européens qui l´y ont accompagné, et qui tous ont succombé à la peine: ce qui prouve combien il lui a fallu de courage et de force de caractère pour surmonter de semblables obstacles."
I would be very grateful if anyone feel like translating it from French to English, as accurate as possible, since I hope to quote those sentences in an entry for Beaudouin. And please don´t hesitate to remark on any typing errrors that I might have done transcribing it.

He is also mentioned, but only briefly, in: Hartlaub, G. 1861. Berichtigungen und Zusätze zu meinem „System der Ornithologie Westafrica’s“. Journal für Ornithologie 9 (2) Heft 50: 97-112.

Quote:
"Dank sei den Bemühungen des für das Haus Verreaux um Bissao thätigen Reisenden Beaudouin …"
I understand some of it, but what does the German word "thätigen" mean?
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Last edited by Calalp : Thursday 12th September 2013 at 12:39.
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 14:23   #2
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t(h)ätigen means working. That means Mr. Beaudouin was a traveller who has worked around Bissao
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 14:52   #3
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All four came from west Africa, namely from that part known as Bissao, where they were collected by one of the traveling collectors from the establishment of Ed. Verreaux.
According to the notes sent by Mr. Beaudouin, this species is said to be only a migrant at this locality, where it feeds chiefly on frogs, lizards, and even small fish; it is said to prefer the marshes; but, when such food is not available, it is said to seek small mammals, especially rodents, on the plains. It is met with only in pairs, and in the evening goes into the large woodlands to spend the night. As of now, Mr. Beaudouin has not seen a nest: which would tend to confirm what Mr. Gurney told us some time ago, namely that this same species is found in Abyssinia, since he has for several years possessed an entirely identical specimen that is from the same museum as these others. Thus it is likely that its breeding ground is there, and that it nests there.

Quote:
"Tous quatre provenaient de l´Afrique Occidentale, et de la partie connue sous le nom de Bissao, où ils avaient été recueillis par l´un des voyagers de la maison Ed. Verreaux.
D´après les notes envoyées par M. Beaudouin, cette espèce ne serait que de passage dans cette localité, et s´y nourrirait principalement de grenouilles, de lézards, et même de petits poissons; elle fréquenterait plus spécialement les marais; mais, à défaut de cette nourriture, elle chercherait, dans les plaines, les mammifières de petit taille, surtout les rongeurs; elle ne se rencontre que par paires, et se retire le soir dans le grands bois pour y passer la nuit. Jusqu´ici M. Beaudouin n´en a pas observé le nid: ce qui viendrait en qulque sorte confirmer ce que nous marquait, il y a quelque temps, M. Gurney, que la même espèce se retrouve en Abyssine, puisqu´il en possède un exemplaire identiquement le même, depuis déjà plusiers annés, et qui, comme ceux-ci, est également dans la même musée*. Il est donc probable que c´est là sa mère-patrie, et que c´est là que niche l´espèce.

* Mr. J. H. Gurney informs us that this specimen, which is marked as
from Nubia, was received from M. Verreaux several years ago. /Ed". [Editor]
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 14:57   #4
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Mr. Beaudouin for his part will find in this homage ample evidence that we fully appreciate the value of the sacrifices he has already made on behalf of science. One will be astonished at his perseverance if we inform our readers that ever since his long stay in those mortally dangerous countries, and for the third time, he has always been the only one to remain from among the Europeans who accompanied him, all of whom gave in to the strain: which shows how much bravery and strength of character he needed to overcome such obstacles.

"M. Beaudouin, de son côte, trouvera dans cet hommage la preuve que nous savons apprécier à leur valeur les sacrifices qu´il a déjà faits dans l´intérêt de la science. On sera même surpris de sa persévérance si nous apprenons à nos lecteurs que depuis son long séjour dans ces mortelles contrées, et pour la troisième fois, il est resté toujours seul des Européens qui l´y ont accompagné, et qui tous ont succombé à la peine: ce qui prouve combien il lui a fallu de courage et de force de caractère pour surmonter de semblables obstacles."
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 14:58   #5
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Thanks go to the efforts of Beaudouin, traveler for the Verraux establishment, active in the vicinity of Bissao....

"Dank sei den Bemühungen des für das Haus Verreaux um Bissao thätigen Reisenden Beaudouin …"
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 14:50   #6
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Thumbs up Rick, your generosity makes me smile!

The only other trace of the obscure Monsieur Beaudouin I´ve been able to find is a "Cerithium Beaudouini" D'ORBIGNY (a fossil shell I think?) and some other invalid Scientific Names on likewise obscure taxons.

But, at last, a rare piece from the man himself (in any case I guess it´s him?); Se attached pdf …
Beaudouin, ???. 1862. Revue et Magasin de Zoologique pure et Appliquée. (2e Série) 14: 306-309.

… but since I do not know any French I have´nt been able to tell if it´s irrelevant or not, if it´s of any use, if it contains any clues or anything, whatsoever, additional. It´s really hard searching for a person with nothing to go on, no name, no years, no occupation. So far I haven´t found anything substantial, not even when looking for him, for example, via one of the few actuall clues we do have: the Verreaux Brothers!? Nothing important at least. So I guess that´s it!?

Beaudouin, over and out!
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 15:41   #7
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Aha. I think you'll find this latest piece of great use. It describes the author's experiences over a period of 22 years with a herd of merino sheep brought to the Côte d'Or shortly before 1840. He mentions p. 309 a note he presented to the Académie in 1860 on the physiology of sheep fleece.
A quick google search for Beaudouin brebis turns up a number of references to his work on wool; in some of them his name is (mis?)spelled Baudouin.
I'm guessing that some reading around in contemporary works on animal husbandry, woolen manufacture, etc., will turn up the information you're after.
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 16:26   #8
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The sheepman was Jules Beaudouin. Lived in Châtillon-sur-Seine, Côte d'Or. Also appears to have written on geology, paleontology, and malocology.
In the Comptes rendus hebd. 56, he is called by A. Passy "both an intelligent agriculturalist and a distinguished scholar. He has studied every scientific aspect of the district of Châtillon-sur-Seine where he lives, and where his agricultural undertaking has been located for sixteen years."
In 1869 he was Justice of the Peace in Châtillon; he was elected in that year to corresponding associate membership in the Soc.Imp. des Antiquaires. He was elected national corresponding member in 1872 and died in 1894 or 1895.
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 20:26   #9
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The sheepman says he closely observed his sheep for twenty-two consecutive years, which would be 1840 to 1862. Doesn't this make it unlikely that he had three long stays in Guinea Bissau, long enough that all his white fellow-adventurers "succumbed", a little before 1861 or 1862?

The name "Beaudoin" [Baldwin == brave friend] isn't very rare, though the group of Beaudoins with an interest in biology alive ca 1860 must be small. I wonder if the African adventurer was a relative of the sheep-owner?
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 21:09   #10
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And interest in animals in general within the family; probably many field trips to edge of fields in childhood, seeing larks and raptors flying above, fueling the birdwatching interests.
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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 11:42   #11
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A long-shot gone astray ...

I think my "long-shot" has led us astray ...

Unfortunatelly I don´t think the sheep-farming Jules Beaudouin (of Côte d'Or) is the Beaudouin in Beaudouin's Snake Eagle. The chronology (like "nartreb" pointed out) isn´t very plausible and, in any case, I cannot find anything "rock solid" that links any "Jules Beaudouin" (or Baudouin) to either "Bissao" or the Verreaux brothers! And on top of that; there are quite a few Beaudouins or Baudouins, mentioned in different contexts, to bear in mind ...

But Rick, excellent work, tracing down the shepherd "Jules"! It was sure worth a try!

The only additional fact that I´ve found on the Beaudouin in question, that feels something close to reliable, is one lonely, paltry Initial: A. as in "A. Beaudouin", present at that certain time in Portugugese Guinea-bissau. Se link (page 352):http://books.google.se/books?id=y1IM...udouin&f=false

But that´s it! It doesn´t lead me any further. Beaudouin seems like a Dead End!?
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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 11:48   #12
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Not to be confused with "Dr. Lucien Beaudouin" commemorated in the beetle Taeniodera beaudouini PAVI'CEVI'C 1984. That Monsieur Beaudouin was still alive when the bug was described!

Last edited by Calalp : Saturday 14th September 2013 at 11:49. Reason: typing error
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