Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/576

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

an aggravation of the evils of her lot, by securing for her a hard thralldom to many masters."

With growing civilization, on the other hand, come security and confidence, and that sense of justice and honor which is the best protection of the weak; and, with the increasing and ameliorating influences of science, a great improvement may still be looked for in the condition of our race. We stand perchance upon the threshold of a future, brighter than even the brightest dreams of our past; on the verge of a Utopia long deemed impossible, when the moral nature, unvitiated by an erring will, shall no longer fetter the eager soul to base aims and unworthy aspirations, but shall leave it to its free scope and native regality of birthright and action. Then to the human race, still in its vast masses so ineffably degraded, a new and more mighty civilization may unlock boundless stores of knowledge and power, and unseal fresh fountains of pure and unfailing enjoyment.—Chambers's Journal.

 
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SKETCH OF BENJAMIN SILLIMAN.[1]

THERE is no other name so long and closely associated with the history of American science as that of Silliman. The first who made it illustrious was Benjamin Silliman, born in 1779, and educated for a lawyer, but who entered the field of science early in the century, accepting the new chair of Chemistry in Yale College in 1802. He was a pioneer in the department of geology, contributing to the formation of that science, not only by observations and explorations, but ably maintaining its claims and rights when these were strenuously resisted by an unenlightened public opinion. Professor Silliman also rendered an incomparable service to American science by founding, in 1818, the "American Journal of Science and Arts," but better known, both in Europe and America, as "Silliman's Journal." Of this periodical, he was for twenty years sole, and for eight years more the senior editor. After half a century of duty in the college he resigned his professorship, and died in 1864.

Benjamin Silliman, Jr., son of the preceding, and the subject of the following notice, was born in New Haven, December 4, 1816, and entered college in August, 1833. After graduation he was employed as assistant and teacher in the departments of Chemistry, ]Mineralogy, and Geology in Yale College, and in original studies and investigations in these sciences and their practical applications in the arts. He became associate editor with his father, in 1838, of the "American

  1. For this sketch we are indebted to the "Yale Book," published by Henry Holt & Co.