Notes and Documents
Journey to Mexico During the Years
1826 to 1834: A Review'
T. N. CAMPBELL*
JEAN LOUIS BERLANDIER, A YOUNG AND PROMISING FRENCH SCIENTIST,
wrote the manuscript of this book over 150 years ago. Although a
portion was published in Spanish in 1850, it has never before appeared
in English translation. The value of the journal cannot be fully ap-
preciated unless it is read in its entirety. Unlike many books of travel,
Berlandier's Journey was written to inform, not to entertain. For its
time, and especially for northeastern Mexico, which in Berlandier's
day included present Texas, it is one of the most informative books
now available. It is, however, more than just a series of carefully ob-
served and recorded facts. Berlandier had ideas about relationships be-
tween the things he observed. His objectivity and scientific integrity
are evident throughout the book; only here and there does it exhibit
what today may be taken as personal, religious, or nationalistic bias.
Berlandier's book will be of most interest to historians, geographers,
and various specialists in the natural and social sciences. The general
reader may at times grow weary of its excellent landscape descriptions
and repeated observations of the same plants and animals, but distrib-
uted throughout the book are lengthy passages that cover a remarkably
wide range of interesting topics. The book indicates that Berlandier
was a man of considerable intellectual power who has generally been
ignored because he worked in isolation and because few of his now
widely scattered manuscripts have been published.
1Journey to Mexico During the Years 1826 to 1834. By Jean Louis Berlandier. Trans-
lated by Sheila M. Ohlendorf, Josette M. Bigelow, and Mary M. Standifer. Introduction
by C. H. Muller. Botanical notes by C. H. Muller and Katherine K. Muller. (Austin:
Texas State Historical Association, 1980. Pp. xxxvi+672. Illustrations, maps, appendices,
bibliography, index. Two volumes. $150, limited edition; $75, regular edition.)
* T. N. Campbell is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Texas,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed April 28, 2015.