S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Mace, Mr Jean (plant collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Jean MacÚ, army surgeon and plant collector, served in the Swiss regiment of Count C.D. De Meuron* and spent some months at the Cape in 1791 on his way to Ceylon. In a letter to Sir Joseph Banks* he promised to send plants, but complained that the commanding officer at the Cape (Colonel R.J. Gordon*) put obstacles in the way of his collecting. Gordon's opposition probably resulted from the fact that De Meuron's regiment was not placed under his command during its stay at the Cape from 1783 to 1789, and that an officer of the regiment was appointed from Europe in 1789, over Gordon's head, as commandant of the military recruits at the Cape; hence despite their shared interest in natural history, MacÚ and Gordon were not on friendly terms. In a subsequent letter to Banks dated 1 April 1792 MacÚ reported having just completed a long and difficult journey on the East African Coast (presumably the eastern coast of the Cape) and promised to send specimens.

List of sources:
Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Compiled by: C. Plug