From: Ishill, Joseph. (1927). Élisée and Élie Reclus: In Memoriam. Compiled, ed. and printed by Joseph Ishill. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press.


of the life and works of Elie Reclus

LASSIFICATION is rather difficult for more than one reason, but especially because he was very indifferent about seeing himself in print, as long as the daily bread he had been secured, which was not always an easy matter. His conscience was at rest, when the idea which had come to him had been put down on paper, explained and written out under a form which he thought might do.

He wrote many more articles than chose which have been found in his papers, besides they are often without date, and tides have been cut out, so that one - does not make out in which paper or review a certain article appeared. A great part of his activities was devoted to foreign correspondence (Russia, England, U. S. A., Argentine, etc.), and on Russia, at least, where censorship was constantly alert, it is probable that fragments only of his manuscripts were published.

Documents for work which had not yet been written out were left by him in perfect order, but in each special jacket, copied passages coming from his tremendous capacity for reading, reflections of his own, short or long, rough or worked out are mixed, in dear language or in a shorthand writing for his own use, and which only his wife could read fluently.

Matters which invited his attention are extremely diverse. He wrote on literature, biographies, art-criticism, on statistics and sciences, on politics and sociology, on ethnography and natural history, on mythology and religions; he collected an enormous quantity of portraits and engravings, each worthless in itself, but gaining value by their accumulation. Printed articles are anonymous or are signed by various names: Elie Reclus, Michel Trigant, Jacques Lefrene, Bonhomme Simplice, Croque-notes en voyage, and many more I missed.

So much said, I give here a short enumeration of his works, in the frame of the most important events of his life.

1827. On the 17th of June, born at Sainte-Foy-la-Grande JEAN-PIERRE-MICHEL RECLUS, called ELIE, second child, eldest son.
1831. Family settles in Orthez.
1840-42. Elie is in Nenwied-am-Rhein, at the Moravian Brothers.
1842-46. Secondary schools in Orthez and Sainte-Foy; holidays in Laroche-Chalais.
1846-48. University of Geneva, student in theology nominally, but especially eager for sciences and languages.
1848-49. University of Montauban with Elisee.
1849-51. University of Strasbourg. Thesis on "Le principe d'Autorite"; consecrated a minister of the Gospel, but has already decided not to be one.
1851. With Elisee, crosses France on foot; Coup d'etat.
1852-55. Lives in London and Dublin as teacher and preceptor.
1855. Returns to France and marries his cousin, Noemi Reclus; clerk in the Credit Mobilier.
1858. Refusing to become private secretary to the Director, he must leave the Bank. "Program of a paper which I was to direct in Chambery".
1858-67. Editor of the "Revue Germanique".
1860-64. Numerous articles in French papers.
1861-63. Correspondent for "Revue de l'Ouest", in St. Louis, Mo. and for "La Parole russe".
1863-68. "Societe du Credit au Travail" takes up a great part of his activity.
1864-66. Editor of "L'Association" and editor during the last year; paper suppressed by the Government.
1867. Correspondent for "La Pensee" (Russian).
1867-76. Correspondent for "Le Travail" (Russian).
1868-70. Numerous articles in French papers in "The Times", in "Putnam's Magazine", in "L'lnternational' of San Francisco. With Elisee: Introduction au Dictionaire des Communes de la France, Elie's part being statistics.
1870-71. War with Germany, siege of Paris; the Commune; Elie escapes and settles in Zurich, till 1877.
1872-74. Correspondent for "La Gironde": Letters of a Cosmopolitan.
1876. Ceases connection with the Russian review "Le Travail", probably on account of an article on Circumcision, perhaps also on account of divergent views on war against Turkey.
1877. Visits Eastern States of America; Shakers of Mount Lebanon, Perfectionists of Oneida; he fails to find regular correspondence-work; returning to Europe, settles in London, till 1880.
1877-79. Writes in "La Nouvelle Revue", in "Revue de la Societe d'Anthropologie", in "The Radical Review", in "Cornhill Magazine", in '-LA COMMUNE, Almanach Socialiste", and again in the Russian "Parole russe".
1880-94. At amnesty, reenters in Paris, becomes soon librarian to Maison Hachette; numerous articles.
1885. Publishes his first book: Les Primitifs.
1894. Publishes his second book: Le Primitif d'Australie; English, Spanish, Dutch translations of "Les Primitifs".
1894-04. Elie settles in Brussels, at the same time as Elisee. Elie dies there in 1904, his wife in 1905. For ten years, Elie lectures at Universite Nouvelle on Evolution of Religions; about one hundred lectures were given, among which a score were printed in "La Societe Nouvelle", then in "L'Humanite Nouvelle". Literary criticism in these reviews and in "Nacion" of Buenos Aires.
1904-10. After his death, two volumes were published from manuscripts found among his papers; La Commune au jour le jour; Les Croyances populaires. besides two booklets: Le Pain and La doctrine Luther, and articles on plant-lore: Les Physionomies vegetales, through the care of friend Van der Voo.

Summing up, six books or booklets may be mentioned, a hundred or more articles, and perhaps twenty manuscripts which seem to be complete and were probably never published, as The Hen, The Wandering Jew, Iron Smith and Sword, Tattooing, Confession of a fir on the Sea-side, etc. Eight lectures on the Evolution of Religions remain also, with the plans for twenty more which would have completed the cycle he had framed, as well as he could, the final lecture summing up his teaching. Besides, there are a good many manuscripts on tales from different countries: Dekkan, Norway, Roumania, Serbia Sweden; mostly translations I suppose.



of the life and works of Elisée Reclus

1830. JACQUES ELISEE RECLUS was born at Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde on the 15th March, 1830, the third child of a Protestant pastor, and one of a family of twelve children, several of whom have obtained prominence as authors, etc.
1831. The family removed to Orthez, Basses Pyrenees, where his father had been appointed pastor of a nonconformist church. From 1831 to 1840 Elisee lived at Orthez and Laroche-Chalais, Dordogne, the abode of his maternal grandmother.
1840-2 He was at Neuwied, Rhine Provinces, in a boarding-school kept by Moravian Brothers; and from 1842-48 at the Protestant College of Sainte-Foy.
1848. During the session of 1848-49 he studied at the Theological Faculty of Montauban.
1849-50. He was at the University of Berlin nominally to study theology, but mainly working at geography under Karl Ritter, earning his living meanwhile by giving poorly-paid lessons.
1851. He left Germany, crossing France on foot from Strasburg to Orthez in company with his elder brother Elie and their dog.
1851. On the Coup d'Etat of December, both brothers went to London and afterwards (1852) to Ireland, where Elisee earned his living by teaching, and had some experience of farming.
1853. This was the beginning of the six years of continuous travel which formed him as a geographer. The two years 1853-54 were spent in North America (New York, New Orleans, where he tried his hand at any kind of occupation that offered, writing, amongst other things, for a medical journal edited at New Orleans) and the two following. 1855-57 in South America, wherein Colombia; he again tried farming.
1857. He returned to France and published his Histoire du Sol de l'Europe in the "Revue Philosophique".
1858. After his marriage he lived in Paris from 1850-70, often with his brother-in-law, Alfred Dumesnil, at Vascoeuil.
1859. First articles in the "Revue des Deux Mondes": le Mississippi et ses Bords; la Nouvelle Grenade; and, in the "Bulletin de la Societe de Geographie de Paris, an article entitled les Fleuves; later a translation of Karl Ritter's Configuration des Continents.
1860. De l'Esclavage aux etats-Unis--four articles in the "Revue des Deux Mondes"; Guide en Savoie for the Joanne series of Guide Books; Excursions en Dauphine for the Journal "Tour du Monde".
1861. Articles in the "Revue des Deux Mondes" and the "Revue Germanique".
1862. Articles in the "Revue des Deux Mondes" and the "Bulletin de la Societe de Geographie de Paris; Joanne Guide Books.
1863. Joanne Guide Books.
1864. "Revue des Deux Mondes", "Annales des Vovages" translation by Elie and Elisee Reclus of a work by Sargent on les Etats Confederes et l'Esclavage.
1865. "Revue des Deux Mondes"; "Annales des Voyages, translation of a work by Walker on la Dette Americaine et les Moyens de l'acquitter.
1866-7. "Revue des Deux Mondes", article on John Brown in "la Co-operation"; translation of a work on le Bresil et la Fermettre des Fleuves.
1868. La Terre, 1st vol.: Les Continents- Hachette-; "Revue des Deux Mondes"; "Revue Politique"; Almanach de la Co-operation.
1869. La Terre, 2nd vol.: L'Ocean; Introduction au Dictionaire des Communes de France; Histoire d'un Ruisseau.
1870-1. Franco-Prussian War and Commune. Serves in the National Guard and in the Company of Aeronauts under M. Nadar. Plateau of Chatillon. Fortress prisons. Council of War condemns him to transportation.
1872. Commutation of sentence. Arrival in Switzerland. Lugano.
1873. Articles on general geography in the "Bulletin de la Societe Geographie de Paris"; in the "Republique Francaise, "La Gironde" and "La Reforme". Quelques Mots sur la Propriete in the Almanach du Peuple; A Mon Frere le Paysan.
1874. Goes to live at Tour de Pelz on the Lake of Geneva. Articles in the "Republique Francaise" and the "Tour du Monde".
1875. Stays at Vevay, but shortly after settles at Clarens. Lectures at Geneva on the History of the Mediterranean; articles in the "Globe de Geneve" and the "Republique Francaise" First volume of the GEOGRAPHIE UNIVERSELLE,-L'Europe Meridionale.
1876. La France, 2nd vol.; various short articles.
1877. L'Europe Centrale, 3rd vol.; article in "La Commune".
1878. L'Europe du Nord-ouest, articles in the "Revue Lyonnaise, "Le Travailleur" and "La Marseillaise".
1879. L'Europe du Nord.
1880. L'Asie Russe. Evolution et Revolution, and other articles. Histoire d'une Montagne; articles on Rivers in an American encyclopaedia.
1881. L'Asie Orientale.
1882. L'Inde et l'Indo-Chine, geographical and other articles.
1883. L'Asie Interieure.
1884. L'Afrique Septentrionale. Minor articles.
1885. L'Afrique Septentrionale. Minor articles.
1886. L'Afrique Occidentale.
1887. L'Afrique Meridionale. Articles in various journals.
1888. L'Oceanie.
1889. L'Amerique Boreale, articles in "La Societe Nouvelle". Preface to Metchnikoff's book: "La Civilisation et les grands Fleuves Historiques".
1890. Leaves Switzerland and goes to live at Sevres. Les Indes Occidentales.
1891. Les Etats-Unis.
1892. L'Amerique du Sud. Preface to Kropotkin's book: "La Conquete de Pain".
1893. Removes to Bourg-la-Reine in consequence of annoyances by the police. Edinburgh. Lectures at the Edinburgh Summer Meeting.
1894. Appointed Professor of Comparative Geography at the Universite Libre, Brussels. Elisee settles there and begins a course of lectures on les Milieux at the Loge des Amis des Sciences. Articles in the "Contemporary" and other reviews. Lectures on L'Anarchie in Brussels and other towns. Foundation of the Universite Nouvelle. He is awarded a medal by the London Geographical Society on the completion of his "Geographic Universelle".
1895-6. Projet de Construction d'un Globe Terrestre on the scale of 1:100,000; articles in various journals. Lectures at the Edinburgh Summer Meeting and elsewhere. Lectures during the session 1896-97 at the Universite Nouvelle: Iran, Touran et Mesopotamie. Lectures at the Temple de la Science at Charleroi.
1897. Articles in the "Magazine International", "La Societe Nouvelle", l'Almanach de la Question Sociale, etc Session 1897-98, lectures at the Universite Nouvelle on les Semites.
1898. Articles in "l'Humanite Nouvelle"; "Atlantic Monthly", etc. Lectures at the Maison du Peuple, Brussels, at the Societe de Geographie, d'Anvers, Royal Geographical Society. Session 1898-99,lectures at the Universite Nouvelle on L'Egypte et les Egyptiens.
1899. Articles in "I'Humanite Nouvelle"; "Les Temps Nouveaux"; etc.
1900. Numerous articles. Paris Exhibition.
1901. L'Afrique Australe (in conjunction with Onesime Reclus, articles in "Die Waage"; "la Reforme alimentaire"; etc Prefaces to various works l'Enseignement de la Geograplie
1902. L'Empire de Milieu' (in conjunction with Onesime Reclus) articles in. "I'Humanite Nouvelle"; 'I'Education Sociale de Lyon", 'Les Temps Nouveaux"; "La Revue". Lectures at Antwerp.
1903. Articles in various journals. Prefaces. Lectures at Royal Geographical Society and at the Societe d'Astronomie, Brussels.
1904. Articles in "l'Humanite Nouvelle"; "La Revue"; "Les Temps Nouveaux".
1905. Articles in "l'Insurge"; "Les Temps Nouveaux"; "La Revue"; etc L'HOMME ET LA TERRE, Part 1st, appears 15th of April. Essay on Elie Reclus, privately issued.
1905. July 4.-Death at Thourout, near Bruges, from heart disease.
1911. Correspondence, 2 volumes.
1925. Correspondence, 3rd and conclusive volume. A posthumous essay on "Developpment de la Liberte dans le monde", published in "Le Libertaire", Paris; commencing August 28th.
1927. ELISEE AND ELIE RECLUS-In Memoriam; compiled and edited by JOSEPH ISHILL; published at The Oriole Press, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, U.S.A.


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