Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/416

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

SKETCH OF GEORGE BROWN GOODE.

THE United States has had no more assiduous working naturalist than Dr. G. Brown Goode; and few if any of them have contributed as much as he to the development and increase of the resources of our country. He was also one of the world's greatest museum administrators, and an anthropologist of most comprehensive views.

George Brown Goode was born in New Albany, Indiana, February 13, 1851, and died in Washington, D. C., September 6, 1896. While he was still a boy his parents removed to the State of New York. He cultivated the taste for natural history, which he manifested early, and it found food and encouragement in the Reports of the Smithsonian Institution, which formed part of the family library, and which he was accustomed to read. As a student in Wesleyan University, whence he was graduated in 1870, he was marked by his predilection for natural-history studies and the interest he took in museum methods. After graduation he entered Harvard University as a graduate student, and enjoyed the teaching of Agassiz. On the erection of Orange Judd Hall at Wesleyan University, he was invited by the faculty of that institution to arrange the collections in natural history. He performed the work with a skill and discrimination that marked him as specially adapted for it, and had, no doubt, great influence in deciding his future career. His first contribution to scientific literature was a note published in the American Naturalist in 1871, recording the occurrence of the billfish in fresh water in the Connecticut River; and his first paper exhibiting range of investigation and power to collate facts was one showing that snakes do actually receive their young within themselves by swallowing them, on the appearance of danger, to let them out again when the danger is past. For the purpose of this inquiry he sought evidence through an advertisement in the American Agriculturist, asking for the communication of observations on the subject. He had become interested in the work of the United States Fish Commission, and meeting Prof. Baird at the meeting of the American Association in Portland, Me., in 1873, was invited by him to become a member of its staff. In that capacity he was for several years a member of the commission's summer parties. He also became connected with the National Museum as assistant curator, and served it for a time without other compensation than duplicate specimens, and these he turned over at once to the museum in Orange Judd Hall. He was named in a short time assistant director of the museum, and in 1887 assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in charge of the National Museum,