liam Cooper, moved to New Jersey and settled at Slougha, near Hoboken, where James commenced his school life, but it was not until he was ten years of age that his school life really began, as prior to this time he was subject to many and severe spells of illness. As he was obliged to walk a mile or more through the fields, he took many of the side paths for the purpose of hunting birds, shells, snakes and other objects of natural history, thus early showing the tendency which has marked his later years. During this period and the succeeding years, he was largely indebted to his father for his education and real preparation for his after career. It may be proper that we devote a few words to the father who exerted so great an influence in the son.
His father, William Cooper, was born in the year 1798, and was the son of James Cooper, an English merchant, who, coming to New York shortly after the Revolutionary War, accumulated a comfortable fortune, and died in 1801. William gave up all ideas of business and devoted his life to the study of Nature, inheriting these tastes from his mother, who was Miss Frances Graham. At the age of nineteen William Cooper united with a number of others and established the Lyceum of Natural History of New York, which became the school of many of our noted scientists. Senator Samuel L. Mitchell, M.D., was the first President, who with Cooper laid the foundation of its magnificent museum. Nathaniel Paulding, the poet, was its first Secretary, and William Cooper was Secretary in 1818 when it was incorporated. For many years Dr. John Torrey, who was the educator of many of our noted botanists, was the curator of the museum, and the intimate personal friend of Mr. Cooper, and to him Dr. Torrey dedicated his first real botanical work, The Botany of the Northern and Middle States. At this time Prof. Eaton was, under the direction of Courtland Van Rensselaer, making geological surveys. These old records of the Lyceum, which are before us as we write, vividly recall the early struggling days of science in the United States. What a list of scientific workers, do these old files of proceedings recall. Mark the time, 1818 to 1854.
In 1821 William Cooper departed for Europe in order to perfect himself in zoology, and was the first American member of the Zoological Society of London. He attended the lectures of Cuvier and those master minds of the Jardin des Plantes, and on his return to the United States took up the study of Palæontology, being among the first in our country to engage in this science. He became the warm friend of Schoolcraft who afterwards made for himself a name as a historian of the Indian races. William Cooper was the friend, correspondent and co-laborer of Lucian Bonaparte, and edited the last two volumes of Bonaparte's works, who showed his appreciation of the assistance by dedicating to Cooper one of the finest of his new species, Falco cooperi, the type specimen of which was shot by Cooper in Hudson County, N.Y. and, another type specimen, Ætodrormas cooperi, was also taken by him, and it is unique in the fact that no second specimen has been secured. The result of William Cooper's ornithological work is largely incorporated in Bonaparte's works. He was the friend of Audubon, and Nuttall, and gave them the use of his specimens and notes, and assisted them in their works. He died April 20, 1864, and at this time, he and his life long friend, John Torrey, were the only surviving members of the original Lyceum, Mr. Cooper having been a member forty-seven years.
Nurtured by such influences, his education superintended by such a father, his earliest memory being of the conversations of such men, it would be impossible for the subject of our sketch to be other than that which he has been, — an authority in his own field of study. In 1851 James G. Cooper graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and henceforth will be known to us as Dr. Cooper. The succeeding two years were spent in the City hospitals, when at the beginning of the year 1853 we find him taking the initiatory step that to him was the turning point of his life; a period in which hope and ambition as regards certain directions became ruling factors and decided his course. We may be pardoned for dwelling a moment on a period that strengthened his tendencies, and decided the course of his ambitious future. At this time the Government had determined to take some action in regard to a transcontinental railroad, and was making arrangements for a preliminary survey for a route between St. Paul and Puget Sound, and, on April 27, 1853, Dr. Cooper signed a contract with Gov. I. I. Stevens, (who had lately been appointed Governor of the Territory of Washington, and placed in charge of the survey) as one of the physicians to the survey. This appointment meant more to him than the mere $70.00 a month that he received, as it brought him into direct contact with those bright and