Daguerreian Society

On this day (July 10) in the year 1847, the following article appeared 
in "Littell's Living Age" (Boston) Vol. 14, No. 165 (10 July 1847) pg. 
82.  I will mention that the quoted source, the "Courier des Etats 
Unis," was a French-language newspaper published in New York City.
- - - - - - - - -

                                   From the Courier des Etats Unis.


  IT is with profound regret that we announce the death of our 
countryman Fauvel Gouraud, and this regret will be shared by all who 
knew him.  The number of these mourners is great, for rarely has a 
foreigner gained in America a reputation and popularity equal to those 
enjoyed by Professor Gouraud.  He arrived in the United States in 
December, 1839, bringing with him, as its introducer to this country, 
the magnificent discovery of Daguerre, whose pupil he had been.  This 
discovery, which has since proved a mine of wealth to thousands of 
American operators, was unproductive to Mr. Gouraud, who was indeed 
familiar rather with its theory than its practice.  At that time, 
moreover, the Daguerreotype was but in its infancy, and had not been 
developed in the practical sense which could only make it lucrative in 
the United States, its application to portraiture.  Professor Gouraud 
was to win his fame in another career.
  After studying the English language, which he enabled himself to read 
and write, in a few years, with the facility and elegance of one to 
whom it is native, he published his work on phreno-mnemotechny, some 
chapters of which have been compared, by the American press, to the 
most brilliant pages in English literature.  He also developed his 
ingenious theory of artificial memory in oral lectures, which had a 
prodigious success.  More than 15,000 pupils attended these lectures in 
New York and other cities, and the professor, become an American orator 
in a manner so facile and remarkable, gained $20,000 in a single 
winter.  But unsuccessful speculations and a long illness, which, 
moreover, deprived him of the power to continue his labors, entirely 
exhausted this little fortune, and our unfortunate countryman has died 
in a condition bordering on indigence.
   His last days were surrounded by afflicting circumstances.  His 
young wife, who, for more than a year, had been, like himself, confined 
to a bed of sickness, died, only a month ago, by his side, of pulmonary 
consumption, and the effect of her death upon the sorrowing Gouraud no 
doubt hastened his end, for until that event he seemed to be 
recovering.  His remains will be deposited in the Greenwood Cemetery, 
beside those of his companion in suffering, which seem to have awaited 
this reunion, for her coffin was temporarily deposited in a vault until 
the widowed husband could select its last resting place, in compliance 
with her wish; and one of the dying man's most poignant regrets was 
that he could not fulfil this desire of her who has only gone before 
him to the tomb.
   Professor Gouraud was a man of studious habits and pleasing manners.  
His knowledge was various and extensive.  He leaves two young children 
and an unfinished work on which he had bestowed three years of labor 
and built the most exalted hopes.  It is a universal grammar, in which 
he completes his system of mnemotechny, and applies a uniform 
arrangement to the orthography and pronunciation for the seven 
principal languages of the civilized world.  This work, assimilated to 
that of the Benedictines by the patience and research which it exacted, 
will probably not be lost to science.  Three fourths of it are printed, 
and we hope that this offspring of Gouraud's genius, this orphan of his 
thought and his toil, will no more be abandoned than the two orphans of 
his affections.
   His funeral will take place this day, at 4 o'clock P.M., from his 
late residence, 282 Columbia street, Brooklyn, near the South ferry.
   [We can add nothing, at present, to the obituary notice we have 
copied from the Courrier, except that a severe pecuniary 
disappointment, to himself and his children, was added to the long list 
of suffering attending Mr. Gouraud's protracted illness.  More than a 
year ago he received advices that a considerable legacy had been 
provided for him, by the will of an aged relative in France, but with a 
condition that he should appear in person, by a specified time, to 
undertake the performance of certain trusts also designated in the 
will.  The time expired, we believe, in March, when his wife was dying 
and he was himself unable to rise from his bed.  In all our interviews 
with him he spoke of this with the deepest anxiety and chagrin, on 
account of his children, for whom the legacy would have made an 
adequate provision.]--Commercial Advertiser.

Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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