Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/13
WHAT WE OWE TO AGASSIZ
He restrained her, saying gently, "Do not frighten it away; the bees are the friends of the flowers."
Agassiz's concern for the promotion of agriculture was evinced by word and deed upon many occasions. In 1861 he supervised the drawings for the "New Edition" of Harris's "Insects injurious to vegetation," and "rendered assistance by way of suggestion and advice throughout" the publication of the work that was the prototype of the later extensive reports and organizations, state and national, in the line of economic entomology. The last chapter of "A Journey in Brazil," published in 1868, was more than half devoted to the agriculture and forestry of that country.
So deeply interested was Agassiz in the problems involved in the improvement of domesticated animals that, at the close of his exhausting summer at Penikese, and only three months before his death, he wrote me a letter of 1,700-1,800 words devoted mainly to that subject. The following sentences are very suggestive:
It is probable that this topic occupied him in his last public effort, a lecture on "The Structural Growth of Domesticated Animals" before the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture, only twelve days before his death.On the twenty-eighth of May, 1874, the birthday of Agassiz next following his death, there was held here a Memorial Meeting. It was addressed, among others, by the Hon. John Stanton Gould, then our non-resident lecturer on agriculture, who had witnessed interviews between Agassiz and farmers seeking information as to animals, crops and soils. He said "It was beautiful to see that illustrious man impart the needed facts in language perfectly adapted to the intellectual and scientific status of the inquirer."
- See, also, the relation of a botanist, Professor C. F. Millspaugh, Cornell Era, June, 1907, p. 443, and "Proceedings of the Memorial Meeting of the Cambridge Historical Society," May 27, 1907.
- It is not easy to account for the omission of entries like agriculture and farmer from the indexes of the volumes by Marcou and Mrs. Agassiz.
- It was for the purpose of raising a sum to be added to the "Teachers and Pupils' Fund" in support of a scholarship at the Museum. There was raised $100, of which about one fourth was given by President White.