Paul Belloni Du Chaillu

(630 words)

Paul Belloni du Chaillu was a French-American travel writer and natural historian who is most remembered for his part in the academic debate and popular sensation of 1861 that The Times described as the “great gorilla controversy”. Du Chaillu was born in 1831, probably in Paris, although some biographers have claimed New Orleans as the more likely birth-place. While very little is known about his mother (a fact that in later years was to provide fuel for his critics), his father was a successful French trader in West Africa in what is now Gabon. In 1848 the young du Chaillu joined his father from France, helping with the business and gaining an understanding of several African languages before leaving Africa in 1851 …

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Miller, John . "Paul Belloni Du Chaillu". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 March 2007
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

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  1. Exploration, Explorers, Pioneers
  2. Travel writing