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Discovering Algot Lange


This is a picture of Algot Lange. Do you know who he is? I had not heard about him until last week when a patron approached the General Research Division reference desk asking about him. Mr. Lange was a Swedish explorer who wrote two books about his adventures in the Amazon during the early twentieth century. He’s an interesting fellow and a reminder that not all of history has been told: there is not a single entry for Algot Lange in any of our biographical databases nor is he the subject of any book. I decided that was reason enough to trace his story by means of historical documents.

Through a database called Ancestry Library Edition, I was able to find passenger lists recording Algot’s return trips to New York, passport applications (see below), and a WWI draft registration card (also below). I discovered that he was born in 1844 in Sweden but migrated to New York in 1904 and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1915. His naturalization papers are on file in the National Archive Records Administration. There are also 22 newspaper articles in the New York Times advertising his books and lectures as well documenting his trips to the Amazon. If anyone’s interested in writing about him, I have plenty of sources to direct you to.











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Other photographs of Algot Lange

There's also a couple of pics of him at the Library of Congress, amongst the Bain Collection. Check these: and

Hi, I'm a writer and

Hi, I'm a writer and history doctoral candidate working on a book on 1910s explorers in Peru and the Amazon, and I'd love to hear more about Algot Lange -- perhaps for my next project. If you could direct me to the sources you pulled together, that would be terrific. best, Chris

Hello Chris, Please feel

Hello Chris, Please feel free to write me at the following address: histref (at) I'd be happy to share with you what I've found. Best, Sachiko Clayton

I would love to read Chris'

I would love to read Chris' book when it's finished. Would that be possible?

Åke Mortimer Lange

According the Royal Swedish Library Algot Lange was born in 1884. I would say that he is identical with Åke Mortimer Lange, born May 10, 1884 in Stockholm (Hovförsamlingen). Most likely he changed his name to Algot, which is his fathers name.

Algot Lange

Yes, this is Åke Mortimer Lange, who used his father's name after he moved to the United States. He died at some point during the 1950s. I am doing research on his mother, the author Ina Lange. He was a Swede, that is correct; however, his mother was from Finland (Russia when she was born) and the family moved to Copenhagen in 1885, so it is doubtful that Åke/Algot ever spent much time in Sweden. There are several articles from newspapers about him in the archive in Copenhagen.

Translating "In the Amazon jungle" from English to Portuguese..

I am Hélio Rocha, a Brazilian professor who loves travel writing on Amazon and I'm translating his book "In the Amazon Jungle" into Portuguese language. So I'd like to get information on Lange's biography.

Algot Lange

Algots brother Einar was married to one of my ancestors, the author Elisabeth Krey, so maybe I can help you.

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