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Pike (Nicholas) Flora and Fauna of Mauritius
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Nicholas Pike flora and fauna of Mauritius
    Creator: Pike, Nicholas, 1817-1905
    Identifier/Call Number: mssPike
    Physical Description: 4.16 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1868-1881
    Abstract: The second volume of Flora and Fauna of Mauritius by Nicholas Pike; it includes the manuscript of the volume, research notes, correspondence, and watercolor drawings of butterflies, fish, insects, spiders of Mauritius.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English and Latin.

    Conditions Governing Access

    RESTRICTED: Fragile, cannot be paged until conserved; available with curatorial approval.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Nicholas Pike flora and fauna of Mauritius, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Provenance unknown. In library as of approximately 1920.

    Biographical / Historical

    Nicholas Pike (1817-1905) was an American diplomat and naturalist. Nicholas (also spelled Nicolas) Pike was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and as a young man worked as an employee of a paper business in Brooklyn, New York. He was mainly self-taught as a naturalist and became involved with various Natural History societies and clubs by his 30s. In 1852, he accepted the post of United States General Counsel to Portugal and served for six years. During the American Civil War he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the Union army. In 1866, Pike was appointed as Consul to Mauritius and served in that post until 1873; while there he pursued his interest in natural history and collected many specimens of fish, spiders, insects, and butterflies, most of which he sent to various museums in the United States and Europe. After returning to the United States, he married his third wife, Maria Louisa Hadley in 1875, whom he met in Mauritius; they continued to collaborate in their natural history studies, collecting, writing, and drawing. Maria Louisa died in 1892 and Nicholas died in 1905 at the age of 87.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes the manuscript, with accompanying illustrations, of volume two of Nicholas Pike's Flora and Fauna of Mauritius. The watercolor drawings include butterflies, fish, insects, and spiders; the drawings also include leaves, spider webs, trees, and flowers. The drawings were made by Pike and his wife, Maria Louisa Pike. Also included are research notes, correspondence, and printed material.

    Processing Information

    Minimally processed by Bill Frank in 2005; in January 2024, Gayle M. Richardson created the finding aid. Some of the material was removed from a volume by Huntington Library staff.


    Arranged by subject and format.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Botanical illustration -- Mauritius
    Botany -- Pictorial works
    Butterflies -- Pictorial works
    Fish -- Pictorial works
    Insects -- Pictorial works
    Natural history -- Mauritius
    Spiders -- Pictorial works
    Mauritius -- Description and travel
    Botanical illustrations
    Letters (correspondence)
    Pictorial albums
    Research notes
    Scientific illustrations
    Watercolors (paintings)
    Pike, Maria Louisa, approximately 1824-1892