1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Church, George Earl

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CHURCH, GEORGE EARL (1835–1910), American geographer, was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on the 7th of December 1835. He was educated as a civil engineer, and was early engaged on the Hoosac Tunnel. In 1858 he joined an exploring expedition to South America. During the American Civil War he served (1862-1865) in the Army of the Potomac, rising to the command of a brigade and the rank of colonel; and in 1866-1867 he was war correspondent of the New York Herald in Mexico. He explored the Amazon (1868-1879), and gradually became the leading authority on that region of South America, being appointed United States commissioner to report on Ecuador in 1880, and visiting Costa Rica in 1895 to report on its debt and railways. He wrote extensively on South and Central American geography, and became a vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society (London), and in 1898 president of the geographical section of the British Association.