Henri Duveyrier

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Henri Duveyrier
Henri Duveyrier.jpg
Born 28 February 1840 (1840-02-28)
Paris, France
Died 25 April 1892(1892-04-25) (aged 52)
Sèvres, France
Nationality French
Occupation Explorer of the Sahara

Henri Duveyrier (28 February 1840 – 25 April 1892) was a French explorer of the Sahara.


Duveyrier was born in Paris, the eldest child of Charles Duveyrier (1803-1866), a well-known dramatist, and his English wife Ellen Claire née Denie. Charles Duveyrier was a follower of the utopian philosophical movement started by Henri de Saint-Simon.[1] In 1857 and 1858, Duveyrier spent some months in London, where he met Heinrich Barth, then preparing an account of his travels in the western Sudan.[2]

At the age of nineteen Duveyrier, who had learned Arabic, began a journey in the northern parts of the Sahara which lasted nearly three years. In 1864, two years after returning to France, he published Exploration du Sahara: les Touareg du nord (Exploration of the Sahara: Tuaregs of the North), for which he received the gold medal of the Paris Geographical Society.[2]

In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 he was taken prisoner by the Germans. After his release he made several further journeys in the Sahara, adding considerably to the knowledge of the regions immediately south of the Atlas Mountains, from the eastern confines of Morocco to Tunisia. He also examined the Algerian and Tunisian chotts and explored the interior of western Tripoli. Duveyrier devoted special attention to the customs and speech of the Tuareg people, with whom he lived for months at a time, and to the organization of the Senussi.[2]

In 1881 he published La Tunisie, and in 1884 La confrérie musulmane de Sîdî Mohammed ben Alî-Senoûsi et son domaine géographique en l'année 1300 de l'Hégire.[2] He committed suicide in Sèvres on 25 April 1892.[1]



  1. ^ a b Heffernan, Michael (1989). "The limits of utopia : Henri Duveyrier and the exploration of the Sahara in the nineteenth century". Geographical Journal 155 (3): 342–352. JSTOR 635209. 
  2. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Duveyrier, Henri". Encyclopædia Britannica 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 738. 

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