Sunday, May 3, 2009

Louis François de Pourtalès

While traveling through the United States, Henri met his old friend from Neuchâtel, Louis François de Pourtalès in Washington D.C.

November, 1852
“From Baltimore I made my way to Washington, the capital of the United States, where I was reunited, not without some difficulty with my old school mate, François de Pourtalès. He is currently working for the United States coast survey there and received me with great warmth. While in Washington we took in a session of congress and visited the Capitol bu

Illustration of Washington D.C. & Capitol Building from 1852

de Pourtalès was not only a friend from Neuchâtel but a pupil of Louis Agassiz. He would work for the coast survey for many years and would later become the custodian of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoölogy.

The Sea Bottom off Florida and Cuba, drawn by Pourtalès, 1870

Le Château de Gorgier
Another interesting link between the de Buren family and the de Pourtalès family is that the de Pourtalès family were owners at the time of the Castle of Gorgier also in the Canton of Neuchâtel, while Henri’s father Albert was the owner of Vaumarcus. Both the castles of Vaumarcus and Gorgier are near to eachother along the lake of Neuchâtel and have been linked together historically.

It is also interesting to note that when Henri was in Mexico city he stayed with François de Palezieux-Falconnet who happened to be the brother-in-law of Count James Alexandre de Pourtalès-Gorgier.

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