Jacques Huber passed away one hundred years ago in Belém do Pará, where he had lived since 1895 and had become Director of the Goeldi Museum in 1907. At the age of 46, the world-famous botanist had succumbed to appendicitis.
|Jacques Huber, "the great friend of trees" (Magazine "Árvore", Belém, 1914).|
The same news were spread by other local newspapers such as the “Correio de Belém”, “A Província do Pará” and “Estado do Pará”, and were reproduced around the world, from Rio de Janeiro to New York, and then to London, Paris, Geneva, Basle, Berlin – and eventually reaching “The Straits Times”, in Singapore, which reported on April 11: “Dr. Jacques Huber: death of South American Rubber Pioneer.”
|Portrait published in the "Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen", Gotha (Germany), 1914.|
Locally and internationally, the disappearance of Huber was mourned because he had been at the height of his scientific production and political action. In the four years before his death, Huber had attended the Rubber Congress in Manaus (1910), the International Exhibition in Turin (1911), the Second International Rubber Exhibition in London (1911), the Third International Rubber Exhibition in New York (1912), and participated in the Akers Expedition to the Far East (1911-1912). To the government of Pará he presented two detailed reports on the need for the economic reorganization of the Amazon. He also left evidence that he was preparing a major work on taxonomy, biogeography and productivity of Amazonian rubber trees. Several months before his death, he complained in letters that he felt exhausted, but that his political activity was necessary to preserve his own scientific work.