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FREDERICK HORNEMANN (fl. 1796–1800)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 709 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FREDERICK HORNEMANN (fl. 1796–1800)  , German traveller in Africa, was born at
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Hildesheim . He was a young man when, early in 1796, he offered his services to the
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African Association of
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London as an explorer in Africa . By the association he was sent to
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Gottingen University to study Arabic and otherwise prepare for an expedition into the unknown regions of North Africa from the east . In September 1797 he arrived in
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Egypt, where he continued his studies . On the invasion of the country by the French he was confined in the citadel of Cairo, to preserve him from the fanaticism of the populace . Liberated by the French, he received the patronage of
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Bonaparte . On the 5th of September 1798 he joined a caravan returning to the Maghrib from Mecca, attaching himself to a party of Fezzan merchants who accompanied the pilgrims . As an avowed Christian would not have been permitted to join the caravan Hornemann assumed the character of a young mameluke trading to Fezzan . He then spoke, but indifferently, both Arabic and
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Turkish, and he was accompanied as servant and interpreter by Joseph Freudenburg, a German convert to
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Islam, who had thrice made the pilgrimage to Mecca . Travelling by way of the oases of
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Siwa and Aujila, a " black rocky
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desert " was traversed to Temissa in Fezzan . Murzuk was reached on the 17th of November 1798 . Here Hornemann lived till
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June 1799, going thence to the city of Tripoli, whence in August of the same
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year he despatched his
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journals to London .

He then returned to Murzuk . Nothing further is known with certainty concerning him or his

companion . In Murzuk Hornemann had collected a
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great
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deal of trustworthy information concerning the peoples and countries of the western
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Sahara and central Sudan, and when he
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left Tripoli it was his intention to go
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direct to the
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Hausa country, which region he was the first
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European definitely to locate . " If I do not perish in my undertaking," he wrote in his journal, " I hope in five years I shall be able to make the Society better acquainted with the
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people of whom I have given this short description." The
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British consul at Tripoli heard from a source believed to be trustworthy that about June 1803 Jusef (Hornemann's
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Mahommedan name) was at
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Cana, i.e .
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Katsena, in
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Northern
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Nigeria, " in good
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health and highly respected as a marabout." A report reached Murzuk in 1819 that the traveller had gone to " Noofy (
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Nupe), and had died there . Hornemann was the first European in
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modern times to
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traverse the north-eastern Sahara, and up to 1910 no other explorer had followed his route across the Jebel-es-Suda from Aujila to Temissa . The
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original text of Hornemann's journal, which was written in German, was printed at
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Weimar in 1801; an
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English
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translation, Travels from Cairo to Mourzouk, &c., with maps and
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dissertations by Major James Rennell, appeared in London in 1802 . A French translation of the English
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work, made by order of the First Consul, and augmented with notes and a memoir on the
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Egyptian oases by L . Langles, was published in Paris in the following year . The French version is the most valuable of the three . Consult also the Proceedings of the African Association (181o), and the Geog . Jnl .

Nov . 1906 .

End of Article: FREDERICK HORNEMANN (fl. 1796–1800)
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