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A hard nut to crack: nutmeg cultivation and the application of natural history between the Maluku islands and Isle de France (1750s–1780s)

  • DORIT BRIXIUS (a1)
Abstract

One of France's colonial enterprises in the eighteenth century was to acclimatize nutmeg, native to the Maluku islands, in the French colony of Isle de France (today's Mauritius). Exploring the acclimatization of nutmeg as a practice, this paper reveals the practical challenges of transferring knowledge between Indo-Pacific islands in the second half of the eighteenth century. This essay will look at the process through which knowledge was created – including ruptures and fractures – as opposed to looking at the mere circulation of knowledge. I argue that nutmeg cultivation on Isle de France was a complex process of creolizing expertise originating from the local populations of the plants’ native islands with the horticultural knowledge of colonists, settlers, labourers and slaves living on Isle de France. In this respect, creolization describes a process of knowledge production rather than a form of knowledge. Once on Isle de France, nutmeg took root in climate and soil conditions which were different from those of its native South East Asian islands. It was cultivated by slaves and colonists who lacked prior experience with the cultivation of this particular spice. Experienced horticulturalists experimented with their own traditions. While they relied on old assumptions, they also came to question them. By examining cultivation as an applied practice, this paper argues that the creolization of knowledge was a critical aspect in French colonial botany.

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Copyright
Footnotes
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I am indebted to Šebestián Kroupa, Kit Heintzman, Catarina Madruga, António Carmo Gouveia and Pablo Gómez for their support and our stimulating conversations as I wrote this piece. The initial draft was quite different and shaped in a significant direction in which Christopher Parsons and Jim Endersby encouraged me. Nor should I neglect Dominik Hünniger, Emma Spary and the participants of the Academic Collecting and the Knowledge of Objects, 1700–1900 (5–10 September 2016) Göttingen Spirit Summer School, where I presented an earlier version of this article. I benefited greatly from discussions with them. Moreover, I thank Genie Yoo for providing full references and archival material of Het Amboinsch Kruid-Boek.

Footnotes
References
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1 Cf. Barnwell, Patrick Joseph and Toussaint, Auguste, A Short History of Mauritius, London: Longmans, Green & Co, 1949; Toussaint, Auguste, Histoire des îles mascareignes, Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1972. On Pamplemousses see Rouillard, Guy and Guého, Joseph, Le Jardin des pamplemousses: 1729–1979, Les Pailles (Mauritius): Henry, 1983.

2 On the global dimension of the Seven Years War see especially Baugh, Daniel Albert, The Global Seven Years War, 1754–1763, Harlow and New York: Longman, 2011; De Bruyn, Frans and Regan, Shaun (eds.), The Culture of the Seven Years’ War: Empire, Identity, and the Arts in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014; and also Gascoigne, John, Encountering the Pacific in the Age of Enlightenment, Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

3 Hodson, Christopher, The Acadian Diaspora: An Eighteenth-Century History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 79.

4 Ly-Tio-Fane, Madeleine, ‘Pierre Poivre et l'expansion française dans l'Indo-Pacifique’, Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'extrême-orient (1967) 53, pp. 453512.

5 On the administration's change see Reussner, A., ‘L'ile de France au moment de la rétrocession au roi (1767) d'après la correspondance du gouverneur Dumas et de l'intendant Poivre’, Revue d'histoire des colonies (1932) 20, pp. 217240.

6 Røge, Pernille, ‘A natural order of empire: the Physiocratic vision of colonial France after the Seven Years’ War’, in Reinert, Sophus A. and Røge, Pernille (eds.), The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 3252, 32.

7 Schiebinger, Londa and Swan, Claudia (eds.), Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005; Batsaki, Yotam, Cahalan, Sarah Burke and Tchikine, Anatole (eds.), The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century, Washington, DC: Trustees for Harvard University, 2016.

8 On creolization and slavery in Isle de France see Vaughan, Megan, Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Mauritius, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005. On the Seychelles see Scarr, Deryck, Seychelles since 1770: History of a Slave and Post-slavery Society, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1999.

9 On Poivre's tenure and his environmentalist efforts see Grove, Richard, Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600–1860, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

10 Vaughan, op. cit. (8). Though it does not focus on Isle de France, French colonial islands, creolization and race, see Mélanie Lamotte, French Colonial Encounters in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, c.1608–1767 (in press).

11 On the African diaspora, creolization and language see Larson, Pier, Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

12 Winterbottom, Anna, Hybrid Knowledge in the Early East India Company World, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

13 McClellan, James E. and Regourd, François, The Colonial Machine: French Science and Overseas Expansion in the Old Regime, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.

14 Charles, Loïc and Cheney, Paul, ‘The colonial machine dismantled: knowledge and empire in the French Atlantic’, Past & Present (2013) 219, pp. 127163.

15 Roberts, Lissa, ‘“Le centre de toutes choses”: constructing and managing centralization on the Isle de France’, History of Science (2014) 52, pp. 319342. See also Davids, Karel, ‘On machines, self-organization, and the global traveling of knowledge, circa 1500–1900’, Isis (2015) 106, pp. 866874.

16 Charles and Cheney, op. cit. (14).

17 Roberts, op. cit. (15); Charles and Cheney, op. cit. (14); Davids, op. cit. (15). On praxeological approaches seeking to reinterpret big narratives see Freist, Dagmar (ed.), Diskurse – Körper – Artefakte: Historische Praxeologie in der Frühneuzeitforschung, Bielefeld: Transcript-Verl., 2014; Freist, , ‘Historische Praxeologie als Mikro-Historie’, in Brendecke, Arndt (ed.), Praktiken der frühen Neuzeit: Akteure–Handlungen–Artefakte, Weimar, Cologne and Vienna: Böhlau, 2015, pp. 6277. Anthropologists have long suggested examining practices and consumption in both the colonies and the metropolis; see the classic Mintz, Sidney, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, New York: Viking Penguin, 1985.

18 To name some recent important contributions, Winterbottom, op. cit. (12); ‘Forum: entangled histories’, American Historical Review (2007), pp. 710–799. On methodological reflections on global science see Sivasundaram, Sujit, ‘Sciences and the global: on methods, questions, and theory’, Isis (2010) 101, pp. 146158; and Roberts, Lissa, ‘Situating science in global history: local exchanges and networks of circulation’, Itinerario (2009) 33, pp. 930.

19 On sex in plants see Taiz, Lincoln and Taiz, Lee, The Discovery & Denial of Sex in Plants, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. On plant traders, expertise and amateur botany in Britain and France around 1800 see Easterby-Smith, Sarah, Cultivating Commerce: Cultures of Botany in Britain and France, 1760–1815, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

20 Schiebinger and Swan, op. cit. (7), Batsaki, Burke Cahalan and Tchikine, op. cit. (7); Cook, Harold, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007; Schiebinger, Londa, Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. In the context of the Franco-Spanish mission to the Andes, Neil Safier illuminated that the indigenous knowledge and local voices of the Andes and the Amazon were radically modified, if not completely erased, when new findings entered the scientific discourse, as exemplified by Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie. Safier, Neil, Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008, p. 9.

21 Schiebinger, Londa, Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017; Murphy, Kathleen, ‘Translating the vernacular: indigenous and African knowledge in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic’, Atlantic Studies (2011) 8, pp. 2948; Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge, Nature, Empire, and Nation: Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006. On mediators in the history of science see Schaffer, Simon, Roberts, Lissa, Raj, Kapil and Delbourgo, James, The Brokered World: Go-Betweens and Global Intelligence, 1770–1820, Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications, 2009.

22 Spary, Emma C., Utopia's Garden: French Natural History from Old Regime to Revolution, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, p. 5. See also Margócsy, Dániel, ‘“Refer to folio and number”: encyclopedias, the exchange of curiosities, and practices of identification before Linnaeus’, Journal of the History of Ideas (2010) 71, pp. 6389. See also Margócsy, , Commercial Visions: Science, Trade, and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014, pp. 2973.

23 For an outstanding example of complex creolization and materials in colonial gardens see Alette A. Fleischer, ‘Rooted in fertile soil: seventeenth-century Dutch gardens and the hybrid history of material and knowledge production’, PhD thesis, University of Twente, 2010. See also Carney, Judith A., Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. See also Carney, Judith A. and Rosomoff, Richard N., In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

24 Carney, op. cit. (23). On embodied knowledge see Smith, Pamela, The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004.

25 See also Secord, Jim, ‘Knowledge in transit’, Isis (2004) 95, pp. 654672.

26 On creole knowledge traditions on Atlantic islands see Gómez, Pablo F., The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. For a case of knowledge production on an island with a long-established population and traditions see Sivasundaram, Sujit, Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

27 Therefore Isle de France cannot be regarded as a ‘middle ground’ proposed in the North American context, for instance. Cf. White, Richard, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

28 Anna Winterbottom, op. cit. (12), makes a similar argument for the case of St Helena, which was, like Isle de France, a creole island.

29 Arrow, Kenneth, ‘The economic implications of learning by doing’, Review of Economic Studies (1962) 29, pp. 155173. Cf. Berg, Maxine, ‘The genesis of “useful knowledge”’, History of Science (2007) 45, pp. 123133, 127.

30 Stockland, Etienne, ‘Policing the oeconomy of nature: the oiseau martin as an instrument of oeconomic management in the eighteenth-century French maritime world’, History and Technology (2014) 30, pp. 125; Grove, op. cit. (9); Roberts, Lissa, ‘Practicing oeconomy during the second half of the long eighteenth century: an introduction’, History and Technology (2014) 30, pp. 116; Reuss, M. and Cutliffe, S.H. (eds.), The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010; Carse, Ashley, ‘Nature as infrastructure: making and managing the Panama Canal watershed’, Social Studies of Science (2012) 42, pp. 540563, Goldman, Mara J., Nadasdy, Paul and Turner, Matthew D. (eds.), Knowing Nature: Conversations at the Intersection of Political Ecology and Science Studies, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011, Vaz, Estelita, de Melo, Cristina Joanaz and Pinto, Lígia M. Costa (eds.), Environmental History in the Making, 2 vols., Cham: Springer, 2016.

31 Ly-Tio-Fane, Madeleine, Mauritius and the Spice Trade: The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, Port Louis: Esclapon, 1958, Ly-Tio-Fane, , Mauritius and the Spice Trade: The Triumph of Jean Nicolas Céré and His Isle Bourbon Collaborators, Paris and The Hague: Mouton and Company, 1970. See also Gouic, Olivier Le, ‘Pierre Poivre et les épices: une transplantation réussie’, in Llinares, Sylviane and Hrodej, Philippe (eds.), Techniques et colonies (XVIe–XXe siècles), Paris: Publications de la Société française d'histoire d'outre mer et de l'Université de Bretagne Sud-SOLITO 2005, pp. 103126; Malleret, Louis, Pierre Poivre, Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1974; Piat, Denis, L’île Maurice: sur la routes des épices, 1598–1810, Paris: les Éd. du Pacifique, 2010.

32 Ricklefs, Merle C., A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1200, 4th edn, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 6971, Andaya, Leonard Y., ‘Local trade networks in Maluku in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries’, Cakalele: Maluku Research Journal (1991) 2, pp. 7196; and Andaya, , The World of the Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993.

33 Emma C. Spary, ‘Of nutmegs and botanists: the colonial cultivation of botanical identity’, in Schiebinger and Swan op. cit. (7), pp. 187–203. On the CIO see, for instance, Haudrère, Philippe, La compagnie française des Indes au XVIIIe siècle, 2nd edn, Paris: Indes savantes, 2004; and Haudrère, , Les français dans l'océan Indien, XVIIe–XIXe siècle, Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2014.

34 See Brixius, Dorit, ‘A pepper acquiring nutmeg: Pierre Poivre, the French spice quest and the role of mediators in Southeast Asia, 1740s to 1770s’, Journal of the Western Society for French History (2015) 43, pp. 6877.

35 Spary, op. cit. (33).

36 The search for imitation spices was common in the early modern world. For the Portuguese context see Cardoso, Alírio, ‘Especiarias na Amazônia Portuguesa: Circulação Vegetal e Comércio Atlântico no Final da Monarquia Hispânica’, Tempo (2015) 21, pp. 116133, 118. See also Romaniello, Matthew P., ‘True rhubarb? Trading Eurasian botanical and medical knowledge in the eighteenth century’, Journal of Global History (2016) 1, pp. 323. On Poivre's idea to introduce ravensara as a subsitute for nutmeg and clove see ‘Observations sur le muscadier’, Archives nationales d'outre-mer Aix-en-Provence (subsequently ANOM) Col C/2/285, fol. 158.

37 Ly-Tio-Fane, The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, op. cit. (31); Le Gouic, op. cit. (31); Brixius, op. cit. (34).

38 See also Margócsy, Commercial Visions, op. cit. (22); Cook, op. cit. (20).

39 On Poivre and his time as intendant see Grove, op. cit. (9); Stockland, op. cit. (30); Roberts, op. cit. (15); Ly-Tio-Fane, Madeleine, ‘Problèmes d'approvisionnement de l'Ile de France au temps de l'intendant Poivre’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences Mauritius (1968) 3, pp. 101115.

40 Easterby-Smith, Sarah, ‘Reputation in a box: objects, communication and trust in late 18th-century botanical networks’, History of Science (2015) 53, pp. 180208. See also Kroupa, Šebestián, ‘Ex epistulis Philippinensibus: Georg Joseph Kamel SJ (1661–1706) and his correspondence network’, Centaurus (2015) 57, pp. 229259; McAleer, John, ‘“A young slip of botany”: botanical networks, the South Atlantic, and Britain's maritime worlds’, Journal of Global History (2016) 11, pp. 2443.

41 See Brixius, op. cit. (34).

42 On this claim see also, for instance, Kroupa, op. cit. (40); Easterby-Smith, op. cit. (40).

43 For a few examples in relation to the collection of plant knowledge and material see Grove, Richard, ‘Indigenous knowledge and the significance of south-west India for Portuguese and Dutch constructions of tropical nature’, Modern Asian Studies (1996) 30, pp. 121143; Ines Zupanov, G. and Xavier, Ângela Barreto, ‘Quest for performance in the tropics: Portuguese bioprospecting in Asia (16th–18th centuries)’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (2014) 57, pp. 511548; Christopher M. Parsons, ‘Plants and peoples: French and indigenous botanical knowledges in colonial North America, 1600–1760’, PhD thesis, University of Toronto, 2011; Minakshi Menon, ‘Making useful knowledge: British naturalists in colonial India, 1784–1820’, PhD thesis, University of California, 2013.

44 Commerson's report, 8 June 1772, ANOM Col C/4/30, fol. 303r; and report by Adanson and Jussieu, 17 February 1773, les archives de l'Académie des sciences, Paris, Procès-verbaux 1773, fols. 32v–37r.

45 Parsons, Christopher M. and Murphy, Kathleen S., ‘Ecosystems under sail: specimen transport in the eighteenth-century French and British Atlantics’, Early American Studies (Fall 2012) 10, pp. 503539; Rigby, Nigel, ‘The politics and pragmatics of seaborne plant transportation, 1769–1805’, in Lincoln, Margarette (ed.), Science and Exploration in the Pacific: European Voyages to the Southern Oceans in the Eighteenth Century, Rochester: Boydell Press, 1998, pp. 81100; Klemun, Marianne, ‘Introduction: “moved” natural objects – “spaces in between”’, Journal of the History of Science and Technology (2012) 5, pp. 916; Endersby, Jim, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the Practices of Victorian Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008; Mariss, Anne, ‘A World of New Things’: Praktiken der Naturgeschichte bei Johann Reinhold Forster, Frankfurt am Main: Campus Frankfurt, 2015; Bleichmar, Daniela, ‘Atlantic competitions: botany in the eighteenth-century Spanish Empire’, in Delbourgo, James and Dew, Nicholas (eds.), Science and Empire in the Atlantic World, New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 225252; Marie-Noëlle Bourguet, ‘Measurable difference: botany, climate, and the gardener's thermometer in eighteenth-century France’, in Schiebinger and Swan, op. cit. (7), pp. 270–286.

46 Rigby, op. cit. (45), p. 84.

47 ‘Description abrégée du muscadier et du géroflier pour servir à mettre les Srs Trémigon et Provost dans le cas de n’être pas trompés dans le choix des plants de ces deux espèces d'arbres’, by Poivre, ANOM Col C/4/22, fol. 127r. All translations are made by the author unless otherwise indicated.

48 Funke, K.P., ‘Muskatnüsse’, Magazin Der Handels- und Gewerbskunde (1805) 7, 72. See also Rumphius, Georgius Everhardus, Herbarium Amboinense/Het Amboinsch Kruid-Boek, Amsterdam: Meinard Uytwerf, 1750, vol. 2, Chapter 4, p. 20.

49 Poivre to Praslin only, 22 August 1771, ANOM Col C/4/29, fols. 22v–23r.

50 Galloys to Praslin, 14 August 1769, ANOM Col E 197, unfol.

51 ‘Objections de Rama, jardinier noir esclave de l'habitation de Monplaisir, au mémoire de Pierre Poivre’ (pamphlet by Jacques Maillard-Dumesle), 12 August 1774, Archives départementales Eure et Loire, Fonds Grandet-Bailly 15 J 11; ‘Liste des noirs de l'habitation de Monplaisir’, n.d., possibly 1772, Mauritius Archives (subsequently MA) OA 127, no 42; ‘Registre pour servir à l'enregistrement des actes de liberté accordée à des esclaves’, 29 December 1768–5 February 1785, MA OA 75, entry on Rama, p. 135. Indeed, the latter document is very explicit that Rama was emancipated because of his skills and the great work he had done for the cultivation of spices.

52 Vaughan, op. cit. (8).

53 Poivre to Jacques-Marie-Jérôme Michau de Montaran (1701–1782), co-president of the CIO secret committee, 10 January 1754, ANOM Col C/4/8, Letter 20.

54 Poivre to Montaran, op. cit. (53).

55 For examples about confusion and misinterpretation in other contexts see Boumediene, Samir, La colonisation du savoir: Une histoire des plantes médicinales du Nouveau Monde (1492–1750), Vaulx-en-Velin: Des mondes à faire, 2016, pp. 185214, in particular 191–194, 207–213. Šebestián Kroupa has argued a European lack of effort of using the precise name of a plant in the context of the seventeenth-century Spanish Philippines: Šebestián Kroupa, ‘Georg Joseph Kamel (1661–1706): a Jesuit pharmacist in Manila at the borderlines of erudition and empiricism’, unpublished manuscript, pp. 11–12, by permission of the author. I thank Šebestián for providing a copy of his unpublished work. See also Lawrence, Natalie, ‘Assembling the dodo in early modern natural history’, BJHS (2015) 48, pp. 387408.

56 Poivre to Montaran, op. cit. (53).

57 Poivre to Montaran, op. cit. (53).

58 Poivre to Montaran, op. cit. (53).

59 ‘Instruction sur la manière de planter et de cultiver avec succès les plantes et les graines de géroflier et de muscadier’, 1772, Archives nationales Paris (subsequently AN), MAR G101, File 4, fols. 171v–175r.

60 ‘Observations sur le muscadier et principalement sur la culture de cet arbre’, Manila, 12 February 1752, ANOM Col C/2/285, fols. 158r–162v, ‘Instruction sur la manière …’, Bibliothèque centrale du Muséum d'histoire naturelle Paris (subsequently BCMNHN) Ms 280, vol. 1, unfol.,

61 This is what Poivre explains to Minister Praslin, 16 June 1768, ANOM Col C/4/22, Letter 66.

62 Rumphius, Georgius Everhardus, The Ambonese Herbal: Being a Description of the Most Noteworthy Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, Land- and Water-Plants Which Are Found in Amboina and the Surrounding Islands according to Their Shape, Various Names, Cultivation, and Use, Together with Several Insects and Animals (ed. Beekman, Eric), New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011. Rumphius actually came to Ambon as an employee of the VOC and relied on the crucial intermediation of his wife and a larger Maluku island network. On Rumphius's mediators see Genie Yoo's essay in this special issue. See also Sargent, Matthew, ‘Global trade and local knowledge: gathering natural knowledge in seventeenth-century Indonesia’, in Alberts, Tara and Irving, David (eds.), Intercultural Exchange in Southeast Asia: History and Society in the Early Modern World, London: I.B. Tauris, 2013, pp. 144160. On how Poivre uses Rumphius see ‘Observations sur le muscadier et principalement sur la culture de cet arbre’, Manila, 12 February, 1752, ANOM Col C/2/285, fols. 158r–162v.

63 For instance, see ongoing research by a group of scholars at the University of Cologne, Germany, at https://rumphius.hypotheses.org, accessed 29 April 2018.

64 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44).

65 On cyclones in the south-west Indian Ocean and Mauritius under British rule see Martin Mahony's essay in this special issue. See also Grove, op. cit. (9).

66 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44).

67 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44).

68 Instructions for the cultivation of the clove tree, by Céré, 7 April 1779, transcribed in Ly-Tio-Fane, The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, op. cit. (31), p. 128.

69 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

70 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

71 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

72 ‘Observations sur le muscadier’, ANOM Col C/2/285, fol. 159r.

73 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

74 ‘Observations’, op. cit. (72).

75 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

76 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

77 ‘Instruction’, op. cit. (60).

78 Céré’s report on the cultivation of spice plants, 4 November 1783, transcribed in Ly-Tio-Fane, The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, op. cit. (31), p. 109. On climate and colonial attempts see Zilberstein, Anya, A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

79 Céré’s report on the cultivation of spice plants, 4 November 1783, transcribed in Ly-Tio-Fane, The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, op. cit. (31), p. 109.

80 Spary, op. cit. (33).

81 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44), fol. 32v. Neither in the archives of the French Academy and the BCMNHN nor in AN was I able to find any surviving documents in relation to Ambonese taxonomy, or the distinction of nuts more generally, dated to 1772 when the specimens, together with Poivre's letter, must have been sent.

82 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44), fol. 32v–37r.

83 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44), fol. 32v–37r.

84 On this point see also Jonsson, Fredrik Albritton, Enlightenment's Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013, p. 125.

85 On voyages and scientific discourse see also Linon-Chipon, Sophie and Vaj, Daniela (eds.), Relations savantes: Voyages et discours scientifiques, Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2006.

86 Report by Adanson and de Jussieu, op. cit. (44), fol. 32v.

87 Compare their report to Rumphius, op. cit. (48), vol. 2, pp. 14–18, 24–29. For the English translation see Rumphius, op. cit. (62).

88 Bahasa Malay was widely spoken in the Maluku world and served, besides Portuguese and Dutch, as lingua franca in that part of the world. On Bahasa Malay see Leow, Rachel, Taming Babel: Language in the Making of Malaysia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. On language and negotiation in the early modern world see Couto, Dejanirah and Péquignot, Stéphane (eds.), Les langues de la négociation: Approches historiennes, Rennes: PUR, 2017.

89 Report by Adanson and Jussieu, op. cit. (44), fols. 35r–36r.

90 There are few studies on difficulties attending the use of native names, although primarily with respect to the gap between European and colonial situations: Endersby, op. cit. (45). See also Gledhill, David, The Names of Plants, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008; Atran, Scott, Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999; Geertz, Clifford, ‘Common sense as a cultural system’, Antioch Review (1975) 33, pp. 526. For exciting research on Victorian botany and Māori and Polynesian plant names see Bil, Geoff, ‘Between Māori and modern? The case of mānuka honey’, in Kapferer, Elisabeth, Koch, Andreas and Sedmak, Clemens (eds.), Appreciating Local Knowledge, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, pp. 6176; and Bil, , ‘Ambivalent ethnobotany: John Buchanan and Māori plant knowledge in imperial context’, in Tyler, Linda and Galloway, David (eds.), Art in the Service of Science: Dunedin's John Buchanan, 1819–1898, Dunedin: University of Otago Press (in press).

91 Rumphius, op. cit. (48), vol. 2, p. 24.

92 Rumphius, op. cit. (62), vol 2, p. 37, margins.

93 Rumphius, op. cit. (48), vol. 2, p. 20.

94 Gould, Stephen Jay, The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History, New York: Norton, 1980, p. 207.

95 Jacobsohn, Antoine, ‘Seed origins: new varieties of fruits and vegetables around Paris at the turn of the nineteenth century’, in Prince, Sue Ann (ed.), Of Elephants & Roses: French Natural History, 1790–1830, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, APS Museum, 2013, pp. 6577.

96 Jacobsohn, op. cit. (95), pp. 65–66; Hoquet, Thierry, Buffon-Linné: Eternels rivaux de la biologie?, Paris: Dunod, 2007, p. 55; Taiz and Taiz, op. cit. (19).

97 On a discussion of a plant's sex from Leibniz to Linnaeus and classification in the Systema Naturae see Drouin, Jean-Marc, L'herbier des philosophes, Paris: Seuil, 2008, pp. 110123.

98 Céré’s report on the cultivation of spice plants, 4 November 1783, trancribed in Ly-Tio-Fane, The Odyssey of Pierre Poivre, op. cit. (31), pp. 100–112, 107, 111.

99 Céré’s report, op. cit. (98).

100 Céré’s report, op. cit. (98), p. 112.

101 Céré to Hubert, 10 October 1778, transcribed in Ly-Tio-Fane, The Triumph of Jean Nicolas Céré, op. cit. (31), pp. 43, 145–146.

102 Céré to Hubert, op. cit. (101). For studies concerning slaves’ ethnobotanical knowledge see Susan Scott Parrish, ‘Diasporic African sources of Enlightenment knowledge’, in Delbourgo and Dew, op. cit. (45), pp. 281–310; Musselman, Elizabeth Green, ‘Plant knowledge at the Cape: a study in African and European collaboration’, International Journal of African Historical Studies (2003) 36, pp. 367392; Carney, op. cit. (23); Carney and Rosomoff, op. cit. (23). On slavery and science making see further Murphy, Kathleen S., ‘Collecting slave traders: James Petiver, natural history, and the British slave trade’, William and Mary Quarterly (2013) 70, pp. 637670, Delbourgo, James, Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane, London: Penguin, 2017; Winterbottom, op. cit. (12), pp. 163–195.

I am indebted to Šebestián Kroupa, Kit Heintzman, Catarina Madruga, António Carmo Gouveia and Pablo Gómez for their support and our stimulating conversations as I wrote this piece. The initial draft was quite different and shaped in a significant direction in which Christopher Parsons and Jim Endersby encouraged me. Nor should I neglect Dominik Hünniger, Emma Spary and the participants of the Academic Collecting and the Knowledge of Objects, 1700–1900 (5–10 September 2016) Göttingen Spirit Summer School, where I presented an earlier version of this article. I benefited greatly from discussions with them. Moreover, I thank Genie Yoo for providing full references and archival material of Het Amboinsch Kruid-Boek.

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The British Journal for the History of Science
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