S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Een, Mr Ture Johan Gustaf (plant collection)

Born: 9 April 1837, Herrestad, Sweden.
Died: 18 April 1883, Congo.
Mr Ture Johan Gustaf Een

Ture J.G. Een studied navigation in Stockholm and obtained his certificate as master mariner in 1861. After some years as captain in the Swedish merchant navy he abandoned this career to become a traveller, trader and collector. In 1866 he met C.J. Andersson* in Cape Town and in May that year he and Axel W. Eriksson* accompanied Andersson on his last journey to present Namibia. They went to Otjimbingwe, from where Andersson sent Een and Eriksson to Ovamboland to trade, joining them somewhat later. Andersson died there in July 1867. Een, whos duties had included collecting and preparing birds for Andersson, returned to Cape Town. After sailing for some time on a vessel supplying whaling bases he bought the schooner-brig Telegraph and traded for seal skins. This was followed by a trading expedition to Damaraland on behalf of the Cape Town firm Borgstrom & Ohleson. In 1871 he returned to Sweden and wrote an account of his life and travels during the past five years, Minnen fran en flerarig vistelse i sydvestra Afrika, which was published in Stockholm in 1872.

After marrying in 1873 and spending some years as an officer in the Stockholm fire-brigade he came to Namibia again in 1878 to trade and collect natural history specimens. He returned to Sweden in 1880 with a valuable collection, of which a catalogue was published the next year. It included ethnological material, animal skins, about 300 dried plants, and seeds or bulbs of at least 150 species collected in Damaraland. Much of the plant material was acquired by the British Museum, but was described only years later by S. Moore (1902, 1907), revealing many novelties.

Een left Sweden again in February 1883 as a member of the international Congo expedition led by H.M. Stanley*. He died in the Congo two months later. The plant genus Eenia and several species were named in his honour by Moore.

List of sources:

Brinck, P. Swedish exploration of South African animal life during 200 years. In B. Hanstrom, P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck (eds), South African animal life: Results of the Lund University Expediton in 1950-1951. Stockholm: Almqvist & Weksell, 1955.

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

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Tabler, E.C. Pioneers of South West Africa and Ngamiland, 1738-1880. Cape Town: Balkema, 1973.

Compiled by: C. Plug