Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Pumpelly, Mary Hollenback Welles
PUMPELLY, Mary Hollenback Welles (pum-pel'-ly), poet, b. in Athens, Pa., 6 May, 1803; d. in Paris, France, 4 Dec., 1879. She wrote religious historical poems, including “Belshazar's Feast,” “Pilate's Wife's Dream,” “Herod's Feast,” and “An Ode to Shakespeare.” Some of these were collected and published in a volume (New York, 1852). — Her son, Raphael, geologist, b. in Owego, N. Y., 8 Sept., 1837, was educated at the polytechnic school in Hanover, and at the Royal mining school in Freiberg, Saxony, after which he travelled extensively through the mining districts of Europe for the purpose of studying geology and metallurgy by direct observation. In 1860 he was engaged in mining operations in Arizona, and during 1861-'3 he was employed by the government of Japan to explore the island of Yesso, after which he was engaged by the Chinese authorities to examine the coal-fields of northen China, and returned to the United States in 1866, after crossing Mongolia, central Asia, and Siberia, thus completing a geological journey around the world in the north temperate zone. During 1866-'75 he was professor of mining at the School of mining and practical geology at Harvard, and in 1870-'1 he conducted the geological survey of the copper region of Michigan, for which he prepared “Copper-Bearing Rocks,” being part ii. of volume i. of the “Geological Survey of Michigan” (New York, 1873). He was called upon in 1871 to conduct the geological survey of Missouri, and for three years devoted his energies to that task, preparing “A Preliminary Report on the Iron Ores and Coal Fields,” with an atlas for the report of the “Geological Survey of Missouri” (New York, 1873). When the U. S. geological survey was established in 1879, Prof. Pumpelly organized the division of economic geology, and as a special agent of the 10th census he planned and directed the investigations on the mining industries, exclusive of the precious metals, and prepared volume xv. of the “Census Reports” on “The Mining Industries of the United States” (Washington, 1886). During 1879-'80 he conducted at Newport, R. I., an elaborate investigation for the National board of health as to the ability of various soils to filter spores from liquids and from air. In 1881 he organized the Northern transcontinental survey, with reference to collecting information concerning the topographical and economic features of Dakota, Montana, and Washington territories, and had charge of the work until its cessation in 1884, also editing the reports of the survey. He then re-entered the national survey as geologist of the archæan division of geology, and remained there but a few years. Prof. Pumpelly is a member of
various scientific societies, and in 1872 was elected to membership in the National academy of sciences. He has contributed papers to the literature of his profession, many of which have appeared in the “American Journal of Science” or in the transactions of learned societies. His books include “Geological Researches in China, Mongolia, and Japan during the Years 1862-'5,” issued by the Smithsonian institution (Washington, 1866), and “Across America and Asia” (New York, 1869).