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Forgotten shoebox in attic contains important diaries

Dutch explorer Schuver Ďrediscoveredí

Tags: Dutch Exploration

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - Curiosity by a British anthropologist has led to the discovery of diaries, letters and other notes written by 19th century Dutch adventurer and explorer J.M. Schuver. The documents were found by a distant relative of Schuver in a proverbial old shoe box in an attic of his home.

Johannes Maria Schuver who was born into an affluent Amsterdam family, was taken on trips throughout Europe when still a boy. His wanderlust led to his stint as a war correspondent in Spain during the Carlist War, and he subsequently covered the Russian-Turkish War. A huge inheritance allowed Schuver to take up his passion for exploration, and after taking courses at the Royal Geographic Society in London, the 29-year old in 1881 set off to explore unknown territory along the Blue Nile in Africa.

Schuverís diaries and articles sent to Dutch and German newspapers speak extensively of his travels and observations. A large part of the objects he collected in those years are now part of the collections of Artis and that of the Amsterdam Museum of the Tropics. A recently discovered letter written in July 1883 to an uncle turned out to be Schuverís last communication. A month later, Schuver, who was caught in the ongoing tribal wars in what is now Sudan, became a casualty in the conflict.