Daguerreian Society

On this day (August 30) in the year 1841, the following article 
appeared in the "Salem Register" (Salem, Mass.):
- - - - - - - - -

  RUINS IN CENTRAL AMERICA.  For some time past the Chevalier 
Frederichsthal, attache of the Austrian Legation, has been exploring 
the ruins of Central America.  Perhaps no one better fitted for this 
labor than this gentleman, could have been induced to undertake it.  
Belonging to a noble family at home and of eminent attainments in 
science, his labor was undertaken merely for the advancement of science 
itself, and with the expectation of no reward but the reputation that 
should follow his success.
  This gentleman travelled by himself, lived like the Indians, and at 
night encamped on the ground as one of them.  He has spent the last 
nine months in that country, and during that time has been among the 
ruins of cities where the foot of a white man never was before, and 
which are unknown even to the most recent travellers.  He mentions the 
ruins of one colonnade where there are yet 10 rows of columns, in each 
of which are 48 columns,--in all 480 columns.  He had with him a 
complete Daguerreotype apparatus, and with it has taken a great number 
of excellent impressions.  This often required two Indians to hold his 
table against the force of the wind, two also to keep steady the 
apparatus, others to protect it from the sun, &c.  We had yesterday the 
pleasure of seeing these impression at his hotel, and they surpass any 
thing of the kind which we have seen, in distinctness and excellence.  
From the impressions when magnified, he has made drawings which show 
the original, by their richness, elegance and finish, to be the work of 
a highly cultivated people.  The work of Messrs. Stephens and 
Catherwood was on the table, and its sketches were compared with the 
Daguerreotype, when the sketches in every case were found defective, 
imperfect and different from the impressions.  No idea can be formed 
from them of the perfection of art with which these structures are 
finished, as revealed in the impressions and their magnified drawing.
  The impressions of Uxmul when compared with the sketches of Palenque, 
show a far more advanced state of cultivation by the inhabitants of the 
former place.  The ornaments on the temples signify that their religion 
was of a most sensual kind.
  In some future year it is expected that this invaluable collection, 
with the results of these labors, will be given to the public.  And 
when it is recollected that Austria has in her possession the original 
manuscripts and the drawing of Cortez who invaded Mexico, with which 
these may be compared, it may be hoped that some light will be thrown 
on the character of that wonderful people who preceded us on this 
continent.--N. Y. Jour. of Com.

Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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