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Dodos, a long lost manuscript rediscovered (1 Viewer)

Fred Ruhe

Well-known member
Ria Winters, Julian P. Hume & M. Leenstra, 2017

A famine in Surat and dodos on Mauritius: a long lost manuscript rediscovered

Archives of Natural History 44(1): 134–150

Free pdf: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315767736/download


In 1887 Dutch archivist A. J. Servaas van Rooijen published a transcript of a hand-written copy of an anonymous missive or letter, dated 1631, about a horrific famine and epidemic in Surat, India, and also an important description of the fauna of Mauritius. The missive may have been written by a lawyer acting on behalf of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It not only gives details about the famine, but also provides a unique insight into the status of endemic and introduced Mauritius species, at a time when the island was mostly uninhabited and used only as a replenishment station by visiting ships. Reports from this period are very rare. Unfortunately, Servaas van Rooijen failed to mention the location of the missive, so its whereabouts remained unknown; as a result, it has only been available as a secondary source. Our recent rediscovery of the original hand-written copy provides details about the events that took place in Surat and Mauritius in 1631–1632. A full English translation of the missive is appended.




Emeritus Prof at University of the Bearded Clam
United Kingdom
The link worked for me, and I saved it in my favourites for later, however, when later came and I tried to open it from my favourites it didn't work. The page that opened had a message saying the document was downloading, but nothing happened. No idea what's going on there.

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