Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/792

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Before the coming of Mitchell, Princeton thought and Princeton methods had prevailed in the University of North Carolina

PSM V49 D792 Denison Olmstead.jpg
Denison Olmsted.
After a daguerreotype by Moulthrop.

to the exclusion of all others. But in 1817, Denison Olmsted, a classmate of Mitchell's at Yale, was elected Professor of Chemistry and Geology. Messrs. Mitchell and Olmsted were recommended to Judge William Gaston, then a member of Congress, by the Rev. Sereno Dwight, chaplain of the United States Senate, as young men who were likely to become prominent scientists; and the trustees, upon this recommendation, and upon that of Hon. George E. Badger, who had been their classmate at Yale, offered them chairs in the university.

In 1821 Olmsted laid before the Board of Internal Improvements of North Carolina a proposition to undertake a geological and mineralogical survey of the State. This letter is

PSM V49 D792 First observatory.jpg
First Observatory.
Drawn from description furnished by John H. Watson, Esq., Mayor of Chapel Hill, N. C.

preserved in the executive office at Raleigh. The board approved, and presented the matter to the Legislature. But the Legislature took no notice of the matter until two years later, when the proposition was renewed. The survey was authorized by act of the General Assembly, ratified December 31, 1823. Prof. Olmsted was appointed to begin the survey under direction of the State Board of Agriculture, prosecuting the work during the vacations of the university. Thus was established the first geological survey by public authority in America. It was sus-