Axel Leonhard Klinckowström (1775 - 1837, alt: Klinkowstrom) was a Swedish Baron active in the late 18th and early 19th century. Pressured by his ambitious father, Klinkowström joined the Swedish navy as an ensign at 17 and rose, in the course of a long career, to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Nonetheless, Klinkowström was not naturally militaristic and tended towards a more philosophical and artistic temperament. It was most likely Klinkowström's skills as an artist that lead his superiors to send him to America. Between 1818 and 1820 Klinkowström traveled to the United States to investigate the American invention of the steamboat and assess its military potential for the Swedish navy. During his American tour Klinkowström composted some 25 illustrated letters which were published in 1824, roughly four years after his return to Sweden, as Bref om de Förenta Staterna. The compilation not only offered practical advice for the military, merchants, and gentleman travelers, but contained numerous aquatints based on Klinkowström's drawings and offered a Tocqueville -esque commentary on American culture.