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Encyclopedia > John Lloyd Stephens
John Lloyd Stephens in 1839
John Lloyd Stephens in 1839

John Lloyd Stephens (November 28, 1805October 13, 1852) was an American explorer, writer, and diplomat. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization and in the planning of the Panama railroad. Image File history File links JohnLloydStephens. ... Image File history File links JohnLloydStephens. ... November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 74. ... The Panama Railway or Panama Railroad was the worlds first transcontinental railroad. ...

Contents

Early life

John Lloyd Stephens was born November 28, 1805, in the township of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. He was the second son of Benjamin Stephens, a successful New Jersey merchant, and Clemence Lloyd, daughter of an eminent local judge.[1] The following year the family moved to New York City. There Stephens received an education in the Classics at two privately-tutored schools. At the early age of 13 he enrolled at Columbia College, graduating at the top of his class four years later in 1822.[2] November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Shrewsbury is a borough located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... Columbia College is the main undergraduate college at Columbia University, situated on the universitys main campus of Morningside Heights in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York. ...


After working as a student-at-law for a year, he joined the Law School at Litchfield, Connecticut. He entered practice after finishing, and returned to New York. Litchfield is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut. ... NY redirects here. ...


After 8 years, he embarked on a journey through Europe in 1834, and went on to Egypt and the Levant, returning home in 1836. Stephens wrote several popular books about his travels and explorations. Europe at its furthest extent, reaching to the Urals. ... The Levant The Levant is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ...


Politics

He was recommended for the post of Ambassador to Holland in 1839, but politics prevented him from securing the post.


In 1846 he would be chosen as delegate from New York city to the State Convention of New York to revise the Constitution. He was responsible for the introduction and the adoption of a Conciliation Court at the convention.


Contribution to Mesoamerican studies

Stephens read with interest early accounts of ruined cities of Mesoamerica by such writers and explorers as Alexander von Humboldt and Juan Galindo. The cultural areas of Mesoamerica The term Mesoamérica is used to refer to a geographical region that extends roughly from the Tropic of Cancer in central Mexico down through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to northwestern Costa Rica, and which is characterized by the particular cultural homogeneity... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ... Juan Galindo (1802-1839) was a Central American explorer and army officer. ...


In 1839, President Martin Van Buren commissioned Stephens as Special Ambassador to Central America. While there, the government of the Federal Republic of Central America fell apart in civil war. His Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan gives a vivid description of some of those events which Stephens witnessed. Stephens and his traveling companion, architect and draftsman Frederick Catherwood first came across Maya ruins at Copán, having landed in British Honduras (present-day Belize). They were astonished at their findings and spent a couple weeks mapping the site. The summised that this must be some long forgotten peoples as they couldn't imagine the native Mayans as having lived in the city. Stephens was actually able to buy the city of Copan for a sum of $50 and had dreams of floating it down the river and into museums in The United States. They went on to Palenque, Uxmal, and according to Stephens, visited a total of 44 sites. Stephens and Catherwood reached Palenque in April 1840 and left in early June. They documented the Temple of the Inscriptions, the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Foliated Cross.[3] Of even greater importance, their book provided descriptions of several ancient Maya sites, along with illustrations by Catherwood. These were greatly superior in both amount and accuracy of depiction to the small amount of information on ancient Mesoamerica previously published. Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862), nicknamed Old Kinderhook, was the eighth President of the United States. ... For other uses, see Ambassador (disambiguation). ... Map of Central America Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. ... Capital Guatemala City; in 1834 moved to San Salvador Created 1823 Dissolved 1840 Demonym Centroamerican Currency Central American Republic real States of the Federation The Federal Republic of Central America (also known as the United Provinces of Central America) was a short-lived Latin American state in Central America. ... Frederick Catherwood (February 27, 1799 - September 20, 1854) was an English artist and architect, best remembered for his explorations of ruins of the Maya civilization. ... Location of Copán The Pre-Columbian city now known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border. ... Flag of British Honduras British Honduras was the former name of a British colony on the east coast of Central America just to the south-east of Mexico, now the independent nation of Belize. ... The Palace, Ruins of Palenque Palenque is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located at about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). ... Panorama of Uxmal Uxmal (, ) is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... The cultural areas of Mesoamerica The term Mesoamérica is used to refer to a geographical region that extends roughly from the Tropic of Cancer in central Mexico down through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to northwestern Costa Rica, and which is characterized by the particular cultural homogeneity...


Stephens continued his investigations of Maya ruins with a return trip to Yucatán which produced a further book. Yucatán is the name of one of the 31 states of Mexico, located on the north of the Yucatán Peninsula. ...


His books served to inspire Edgar Allan Poe,[4] who also reviewed three of his travel books for the New York Review and Graham's Magazine. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, editor, critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ...


Contribution to the Panama railroad

At the time England enjoyed a monopoly over the ocean navigation to and from the United States. Stephens obtained a charter from the state of New York, and incorporated the Ocean Steam Navigation Company. The company acquired two steam ships, the Washington and the Hermann which made journeys to Europe.


When the Panama Railroad Company was founded in 1849, Stephens was chosen to be Vice President. He visited Panama and New Granada to make arrangements for the laying of the railroad. On his way to Bogotá, then capital of New Granada, he fell off his mule and was severely injured. He was never to recover from the effects of the accident. He returned to the United States, and was appointed President of the railroad company. He spent the next three years personally supervising the progress of the railroad. However, he suffered from a disease of the liver, and passed away after four months of illness at the age of forty-seven. He is buried in the New York Marble Cemetery. The Panama Railway or Panama Railroad was the worlds first transcontinental railroad. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... New Granada can mean: the English rendering of any Spanish geographical or administrative name Nueva Granada, always named after the deep southern Spanish port city Granada, as in: the Spanish American colonial Viceroyalty of New Granada the post-colonial Republic of New Granada (1831 to 1856), which included modern Colombia... Nickname: Athens of Latin America Motto: Bogotá, 2600 metros más cerca de las estrellas Bogotá, 2600 metres closer to the stars Municipalities of Bogotá Country Colombia Department Bogotá, D.C.* Foundation August 6, 1538 Mayor Luís Eduardo Garzón, PDA Area    - City 1,732 km² Elevation 2,640... The New York Marble Cemetery (0. ...


Stephens is the subject of a biography Maya Explorer by Victor Wolfgang Von Hagan, first published in 1947. Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ...


Bibliography

  • Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea, and the Holy Land (1837)
  • Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland (1838)
  • Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, Vols. 1 & 2 (1841)
  • Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Vols. 1 & 2 (1843)

Notes

  1. ^ Harris (2006, p.1); Hawks (1853, pp.64–65).
  2. ^ Harris, loc. cit.
  3. ^ McNally (n.d.)
  4. ^ Harris (2006), p.2.

Loc cit (Latin, short for loco citato, meaning in the place cited) is a footnote or endnote term used to repeat the title and page number for a given author. ...

References

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dr. Francis Lister Hawks (10 June 1798 – 26 September 1866) was an American priest of the Episcopal Church. ... Putnam’s Monthly Magazine of American Literature, Science and Art was a monthly periodical published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons featuring American literature and articles on science, art, and politics. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
John Lloyd Stephens - LoveToKnow 1911 (328 words)
JOHN LLOYD STEPHENS (1805-1852), American traveller, was born on the 28th of November 1805, at Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
In 1839 Stephens arranged with Frederick Catherwood of London, who had accompanied him on some of his travels, and illustrated the above-mentioned publications, to make an exploration in Central America, with a view to discovering and examining the antiquities said to exist there.
Stephens, meantime, was appointed to a mission to Central America.
Saudi Aramco World : Stephens and the Gentle Arabs (2382 words)
John Lloyd Stephens was born in 1805, grew up in New York, endured a "birched-in" education in Latin and Greek, became a lawyer and, as a young man, joined a prestigious law firm where he would spend the next six years.
Stephens' description is typical of the warm interest in people that showed up constantly in his books: "Such a mild, open and engaging expression, and such propriety of behavior." He felt, he said, ashamed to be riding her donkey while she walked.
Stephens described the temple as "one of the most beautiful pictures I ever saw." He carved his name on the temple, but it was removed later by a French archeologist who was incensed that Stephens should have placed his name under that of the illustrious General Desaix of France.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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