Alexander von Humboldt
(1769 - 1859)
German scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt was born during the second great age of discovery. Obtaining permission from the Spanish government to visit its colonies in the Americas, Humboldt and botanist Aimé Bonpland set sail in the summer of 1799, in order to “find out about the unity of nature.” They traversed over six thousand miles during the five-year expedition. Before returning to Europe, Humboldt spent time with Thomas Jefferson at the White House. He eventually settled in Paris, publishing thirty volumes between 1806 and 1834 on his experiences and findings.