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Sigismond Bacstrom, Dr. (ca. 1750-1805)

Collected Notes on Bacstrom, S. for Biography construction : Coming soon...
M.D. and Surgeon.

The Scandanavian doctor also authored an Account of a Voyage to Spitzbergen in the Year 1780.

the admission of Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom, at age 44, into the fraternity of the Rosicrucians by the Comte de Chazal, in the French colony of Mauritius in 1794

[Testimony of initiation of Alexander Tilloch into Bacstrom's Rosicrucian Society, signed by Bacstrom and dated London April 5, 1797.]

Bacstrom, S. 1799. Account of a voyage to Spitsbergen in the year 1780. Philosophical Magazine 4:139-52. Also in Pinkerton's Collection of voyages - London 1808-14. [[Voyage in Rising Sun from London to Svalbard: accounts of the making-off process ashore in Magdalena Bay, and meeting Russian hunters at Smeerenberg.]

MacLean, Adam. BACSTROM'S ROSICRUCIAN SOCIETY. A good short narrative on the elusive characters of Sigismund Bacstrom and the Comte de Chazal.

Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom, who gathered together an assortment of manuscripts from the 16th to the early 19th century, many of which he translated into English,

Bacstrom Collection of Manuscripts. [  ca. 1700 ]
Most manuscripts copied and translated in English from earlier works between 1790-1808 by Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom. 21.4 x 17.7 cm. 19 volumes. containing about 120 separate items,

Some volumes contain illustrations, ink, watercolor.
All volumes are uniformly bound.
Following is a brief listing of the contents of each volume, including author information, when known. [102]
Vol. 1: 9 works, including one each by W. De Cones and George Ripley. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 2: 10 works, including one by H. Nollius and four by S. Bacstrom. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 3: 7 works, including two by E. Gobineau de Montluisant, one each by D. J. Wallachin, and W. Blomefeeld. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 4: one work of letters to the Rosey Crucian Society attriubuted to M. Sendivogius. Translated by Dr. Sibly  1791 . Illustrations, ink, watercolor.
Vol. 5: 9 works, including one by J. de Monte Raphaim  1723 .
Vol. 6: 19 works, including one each by Paracelsus, Alexis Piemontese, Baro Urbigerus, Ford, S. Trismosin, and Abraham Eleazar. Vol. 7: 10 works, including one each by J. Langelott, Paracelsus, J. Helvetius and three by von Suchten. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 8: 16 works, including one each by J. G. Jugel, Neuman, K. Digby, and Abbé Rousseau, H. von Batsdorff, J. J. Beccher, W. von Schroeder and Leona Constantia, and two by Trismosin.
Vol. 9: 8 works, including one each by G. von Welling, and Paracelsus. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 10: 7 works, including one each by M. Fachsen, D. Beuther, J. Sternhals, and S. Norton  1577 . Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol. 11: 9 works, including one each by S. Norton, V. Koffsky, G. von Welling, Ali Puli, and C. F. de Sabor. Illustrated, ink frontispiece.
Vol 12: 9 works. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol 13: 5 works, including two by P. Poney, and one by Neptis. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol 14: 20 works, including one each by J. Yardley, St. Dunstan, J. Gier, C. Horn, C. Stella, Dippelius, Chrysogonus, J. d'Espagnet, and Eirenaeus Philalethes. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol 15: 1 work. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol 16: 3 works by Bernard of Treves.
Vol 17: 6 works including one each by A. Bëyer, and Leona Constantia. Illustrated, watercolor frontispiece.
Vol 18: 3 works.
Vol 19: 1 work. Diploma Bacstrom.

BACSTROM'S ALCHEMICAL ANTHOLOGY. Edited and with an Introduction by J.W. Hamilton-Jones by BACSTROM, Sigismond. Hamilton-Jones, J.W. (editor) $125.00
London: John M. Watkins. 1960.. First edition. 500 copies printed. Small octavo, original blue cloth titled in gilt on spine panel. Black & white frontispiece plate depicting a bookplate used by Bacstrom, adapted from an Alchemical Figure in a fifteenth century manuscript. This is. the first edition of the first Alchemical work by Bacstrom. The MS, in the hands of Hamilton-Jones, was originally titled "An Essay on Alchemy", and is here published along with extracts from the great early Alchemists. None of Backstrom's Alchemic. al books were ever published in his lifetime, although H.P. Blavatsky, in LUCIFER (a Theosophical monthly magazine) commenced the publication in serial form in February 1891 of a book translated by Backstrom entitled THE GOLDEN CHAIN OF HOMERUS; the. publication of those installments was discontinued shortly thereafter upon Blavatsky's death. Backstrom was an initiate of the Societas Rosae Crucis and a disciple of Comte Louis de Chazal.

Physician who was also an alchemist and a Rosicrucian. Believed to be of Scandinavian origin, he spent some time as a ship's surgeon. While visiting the island of Mauritius, he met the mysterious occultist and alchemist Comte Louis de Chazel, who initiated him into a Societas Rosae Crucis. De Chazel owned an extensive library of occult and mystical works and a well-equipped laboratory for astronomical observations and alchemical experiments. He informed Bacstrom that he had succeeded in making the philosophers' stone and demonstrated the transmutation of quicksilver into gold. Subsequently Bacstrom lived in London and had discussions with other individuals interested in hermetic subjects. He translated a number of treatises on alchemy from German, French, and Latin into English, adding his own commentaries. His manuscript Essay on Alchemy was published in a limited edition under the title Bacstrom's Alchemical Anthology, edited by J. W. Hamilton-Jones (1960).

Waite humorously stated that he was not able to trace the eastern progress of the brotherhood further than the Isle of Mauritius, where it is related in an odd manuscript that a certain Comte De Chazal initiated Sigismond Bacstrom into the mysteries of the Rose Cross Order in 1794, but nothing is known about the Comte De Chazal or his character, and it is possible that Bacstrom might have been one of those persons who, in all times and countries, have been willing to purchase problematical honors. Bacstrom's manuscripts attained a new importance later, when they passed into the hands of Frederick Hockley, an important figure in the revival of magic in the nineteenth century in England and who was later concerned with a revival of the Rosicrucian society.

Selected Acquisitions Fall 2000 With a supplement on the Mellon bequest Compiled by the Beinecke Library curatorial staff:
• Sigismund Bacstrom. Watercolor drawings made during a voyage around theworld, 1791-95. 63 original drawings, in various media (pencil, pen, ink,and watercolor). Most of the drawings were made on the Northwest Coastand in Hawaii; they include pencil and ink notations and are accompaniedby a 4-page manuscript[1]

bMS 677
Copy of the Admission of Sigismund Bacstrom into the Fraternity of Rosicrucians by the Comte de Chazal, transcribed by Frederick Hockley, 1839.
Summary Information:
Call Number: bMS 677
Title: Sigismund Bacstrom. Copy of the Admission of Sigismund Bacstrom into the Fraternity of Rosicrucians by the Comte de Chazal, 1839.
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-1911
Quantity: 1 volume
Administrative Information:
Preferred Citation: Sigismund Bacstrom, Admission into Fraternity of Rosicrucians, bMS 677, Andover-Harvard Library, Harvard Divinity School
Access: There are no restrictions on access to this collection. 
Biographical Note:
Sigismund Bacstrom (c. 1750-1805), born in Scandinavia, was a physician, alchemist, and Rosicrucian. He was initiated into the Societas Rosae Crucis by Comte Louis de Chazal, an occultist and alchemist who Bacstrom met on the island of Mauritius during his travels as a ship's surgeon. This meeting led to Bacstrom's interest in alchemy, and he began to study it seriously, eventually translating many works on alchemy into English. Bacstrom is the author of Bacstrom's Alchemical Anthology.
Scope and Content:
This volume is a copy of the admission of Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom into the fraternity of the Rosicrucians by the Comte de Chazal, in the French colony of Mauritius in 1794. It contains the original pledges made by Bacstrom. The volume is handwritten and illustrated by Frederick Hockley, a well-known Rosicrucian. 

• Sigismund Bacstrom. Watercolor drawings made during a voyage around theworld, 1791-95. 63 original drawings, in various media (pencil, pen, ink,and watercolor). Most of the drawings were made on the Northwest Coastand in Hawaii; they include pencil and ink notations and are accompaniedby a 4-page manuscript entitled "Catalogue of some accurate and characteristicOriginal Drawings and Sketches made after nature during a late Voyage roundthe World in 179l, 92, 93, 94, and 95 by S: Bacstrom M.D. and Surgeon." 

MS. 22.
40 folios. 250x152mm. Late 18th Century. In English.
[Sigismund Bacstrom]
f6r-12v Copy of the Original Admission of Count de Chazal.
f14r-19r In the Name of cyhla hvhy the true and only God, manifest in trinity.
[Testimony of initiation of Alexander Tilloch into Bacstrom's Rosicrucian Society, signed by Bacstrom and dated London April 5, 1797.]
22r-40v Aphorisms and Process. Aphorismi Operis Maximi Antiquorum Sapientium. [In English.]
[Signed and dated at end]: "Above I have faithfully communicated our Aphorisms - Sigismund Bacstrom M.D., F.R.C., London, 5 April 1797."
[The major collection of Bacstrom's manuscripts is in the Manly Palmer Hall collection in the Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles.]
[See MS. 320 Item 5, for a few folios which seem to relate to the 'Aphorisms and Process'.]

'Journal of a Botanical Excursion in Wales in this year 1775'
John Lightfoot's 1773 manuscript, transcribed by S. Bacstrom.

For the men of modest means who usually took on the role of voyage naturalist, patronage implied a high degree of material dependence.  Anyone who leafs through the Warren Dawson's calendar of Banks's correspondence (which summarizes from a large sampling of the letters) will again and again encounter supplicants begging for money or employment.  Sigismund Bacstrom, MD, writes from London, June 28, that "since 1779 [he] has made six voyages as surgeon in merchant ships," seeks employment, and "asks Banks to recommend him amongst his friends"; on August 18, 1791 he writes that he hopes to join a world voyage; Banks "wishes him success, will pay him 6d. each for plant specimens w-flowers or fruit"; on November 18, 1796, he has returned, describes his adventures, and thanks Banks for his kindness to his wife during his absence.

In the summer of 1772, Sigismund Bacstrom, surgeon and naturalist, who, on this occasion, acted
as secretary to Banks who had decided to commissioned a brig, the Sir Lawrence, and sail for Iceland
via the Hebrides.

Sigismund Bacstrom a painter on one of the two British ships Butterworth and Three Brothers near Langara Island shows blue-eyed Haida where the two Spanish priests aboard Santiago had seen about eighteen years earlier.  These sightings likely represent the earliest know Metis in the Pacific Northwest.


Canton: the Western 'Factories'
Chinese artist, c.1780
Gouache, 18 x 29 1/2 ins
Inscribed in ink 'Sigismund Bacstrom del. 1794 & 1796'.
This painting was brought back from Canton by the surgeon and alchemist Sigismund Bacstrom, who visited Canton in 1793-4; the painting is listed in Bacstrom's manuscript catalogue dated June 1800, now in the Beinecke Library at Yale.

[1] Entitled "Catalogue of some accurate and characteristic Original Drawings and Sketches made after nature during a late Voyage roundthe World in 179l, 92, 93, 94, and 95 by S: Bacstrom M.D. and Surgeon." 

John Yardley (fl.1716), Worcester glover: transcript of an account by Sigismond Bacstrom (fl.1790-1794) of how Yardley was stated to have discovered the Phiolosopher's Stone. c.1790 (transcribed mid 19th century). (MS.3657).

Bacstrom in the R.A.M.S. collection:

"Instructions Respecting the Art of Transmuting and Ameliorating the Metals" by William Baron von Schroeder, F.R.S., 1684. Published by FR. Roth Scholtzen Nurnberg 1733.
Translated from the German by S. Bacstrom M.D., 1797.

Extracted from a French work, entitled, "Histore dee Indies Orlentales." par Moner. Sou chu de Rennefort Admiral. Suivant la copie de Paris. a Leide 1688. 8 vo.
Translated by S. BACSTROM, M.D. 1797.

"Some Processes" of Johan Gottfried Tugel's Experimental Chymistry etc. Leipzig 1766.
Translated from the German by: Sigismond Bacstrom, M.D. 1798.

"The Chemists Key of Henry Nollius." Published by Eugenius Philalethes, London, 1657. S. Bacstrom M.D.

"The Great Work of the Lapis Sophorum According to Lamspring's Process."
Translated from the German by Sigismond Bacstrom, M.D. 1804.


The ‘Harriet’ was a brigantine of 152 tons. She left London on 17 April 1879 bound for the west coast of Africa with a crew of eight including the captain, William Pape. On 3 August 1879 the ‘Harriet’ sank at the mouth of the River Volta, the crew having been taken off by a surf boat and landed at Addah.

HARRIET (1852)
The British ship HARRIET was built at Quebec in 1852. 935 tons net; 144 x 30 x 23 feet (length/ breadth/depth of hold). 31 August 1853, re-registered at Teignmouth, Devon. She is listed in the annual volumes of Lloyd's Register of Shipping for 1853/54-1857/58, where her tonnage is given as 798/925 (old/new measurement).
1853/54-1855/56 - "Shaddick" [= Chadwick]
1856/57 - J. Seagrove
1857/58 - Lambeurd
1853/54-1855/56 - G. Hennet
1856/57-1857/58 - Toulmin
Port of Registry:
1853/54-1855/56 - Teignmouth
1856/57-1857/58 - London
Port of Survey: London
Destined Voyage:
1853/54-1855/56 - Sydney
1856/57 - [not given]
1857/58 - Australia
Sources: National Archives of Canada, RG 42, Vol. 1407 (original Vol. 196 = microfilm reel C-2062); Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 1853/54-1857/58; Eileen Reid Marcil, The Charley-Man; a history of wooden shipbuilding at Quebec, 1763-1893 (Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press, 1993). There may be additional information in Frederick William Wallace, comp., Record of Canadian shipping; a list of squarerigged vessels, mainly 500 tons and over, built in the Eastern Provinces of British North America from the year 1786 to 1920 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1929).

HARRIET (1839)
The Hamburg bark HARRIET was built at Bremen in 1839, and registered [Bielbrief] at Hamburg 10 June 1839 to the Hamburg firm of Parish & Co. 146 Commerzlasten; 111,10 x 26,6 x 18,1 Hamburger Fuß (1 Hamburger Fuß = .28657 meter), length x beam x depth of hold, zwischen den Steven.
1839-1847 - J. H. Hancker
1839-1841 - from Bremerhaven/intermediate ports/Havana
1841/42 - Valparaiso
1842/43 - Havana
1843 - Havana
1843-1845 - Valparaiso/intermediate ports/Manila
1845 - Cadiz/Bahia
1846 - Havana/Matanzas, Cuba
1846/47 - Cadiz/Rio de Janeiro
1847 - New Orleans15 October 1847, sold to Abraham Ewout van Dycke, Hamburg.
1847-1849 - Abraham Ewout van Dycke (owner)
1849-1851 - J. T. Peters
1851-1853 - J. C. F. Janssen
1848-1851 - New Orleans/Rio de Janeiro/intermediate ports/New York/intermediate ports/Amsterdam
1851-1853 - Valparaiso/Guayaquil/intermediate ports29 February 1853, sold to J. Stürcken & Co, Hamburg.
1854-1857 - J. P. Thode
1857-1860 - N. C. Pedersen
1854/55 - Buenos Aires/Singapore/Akyab
1855/56 - Newcastle upon Tyne/Manzanillo, Cuba
1856/57 - England/intermediate ports/Callao
1857-1860 - England/intermediate ports/Hong Kong/Macau1860, sold Norwegian (Capt. Bie).
Source: Walter Kresse, ed., Seeschiffs-Verzeichnis der Hamburger Reedereien, 1824-1888, Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, N. F., Bd. 5 (Hamburg: Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, 1969), vol. 1, pp. 117 and 243; vol. 2, p. 95.


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