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Longinos Martínez, José (c. 1755–1803)

Longinos Martínez, José (c. 1755–1803)

José Longinos Martínez (b. ca. 1755; d. 1803), naturalist in New Spain (1787–1803). A native of Calahorra, Spain, Longinos studied botany at the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid before traveling to Mexico in 1787. Longinos preferred the study of animals and spent his time in Mexico studying birds, butterflies, fish, and mammals. He traveled through Lower and Upper California in 1791 and 1792, and kept a detailed journal on Indian life and customs, geography, and fauna and flora. Following his assignment in California, Longinos went to Guatemala, where he opened a small museum and gave lessons in botany. He died of tuberculosis on a trip to Campeche in Yucatán.


Lesley Byrd Simpson, ed. and trans, Journal of José Longinos Martínez: Notes and Observations of the Naturalist of the Botanical Expedition in Old and New California and the South Coast, 1791–1792 (1961).

Iris H. W. Engstrand, Spanish Scientists in the New World: The Eighteenth-Century Expeditions (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Bernabéu Albert, Salvador, editor. Diario de las expediciones a las Californias de José Longinos. Aranjuez: Doce Calles, 1994.

Maldonado Polo, J. Luis. De California a El Petén: El naturalista riojano José Longinos Martínez en Nueva España. Logroño: Gobierno de La Rioja, Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, 1997.

                              Iris H. W. Engstrand

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