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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Uffenbach, Bernard von

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UFFENBACH, Bernard von (oof-fen-bok). German historian, b. in Liebenthal in 1691; d. in Vienna in 1759. He received his education at Vienna, became a Jesuit when he was twenty-three years of age, and in 1722 was sent to the South American missions. After residing for some time at Montevideo, where he learned the Indian tongues, he became a missionary among the Guaranis, with whom he lived about twenty years. He also studied the customs, manners, and habits of the Indians, took detailed notes of his observations and of the natural resources of the country, and formed valuable collections in natural history. He returned to Germany about 1745, and was presented to Prince Lichtenstein, who appointed him librarian. Father Uffenbach lived in Vienna, became a favorite in society, and was received at the imperial court, where he narrated stories of Indian life and the experiences of the early Spanish adventurers. His works include “Historia de Guaranibus” (2 vols., Vienna, 1755), and “Guarani Lexicon,” which is considered as the only reliable monument that is left of the Guarani language (1756). In his “Litteræannuæ Societatis Jesu,” sent from South America from 1739 till 1744, and afterward collected and edited by Johann Theophilus Büshing (1785), are to be found interesting details about the country of the Guaranis and the Jesuit missions in South America. Uffenbach's collections in natural history are preserved in the museum at Vienna, and were utilized for an “Historia naturalis Americæ meridionalis” (4 vols., Vienna, 1790).