In 1816 he projected a work on American entomology, and in the next year six plates and the accompanying text were printed, but, from a lack of proper pecuniary support, the project for the time fell through, and the work was not properly published until a later date. In 1817 William Maclure and several other men of influence and property joined the academy, and through their efforts the "Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia" was started, and Say began his long list of contributions to knowledge. No complete list of his papers has been published, but the number aggregates nearly one hundred.
In 1818 Say, in company with William Maclure, George Ord, and Titian R. Peale, visited Georgia and Florida on a collecting expedition, and in the next year Say received an appointment as naturalist on Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains, with Peale as an assistant. Peale is now the only survivor of either expedition, and at a ripe old age continues his scientific labors. The writer has heard many an anecdote of these trips from him. Long's expedition left Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in May, on a steamboat built for the purpose, and proceeded as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they spent the winter. Daring the next year they went to the Rocky Mountains, and, returning by another route, broke up at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in November. Say appears to have been unfortunate on this expedition. At one time he was in charge of a party of five, making a trip on foot, when the pack-horse broke loose, and they lost both horse and baggage. Later, in charge of another party, he fell in with a number of Kansas Indians, and again lost horses, baggage, and camp equipments. The narrative of Long's expedition was published in two octavo volumes and folio atlas (Philadelphia, 1823), and some of Say's descriptions of the animals and "animal remains found in a concrete state" were given in foot-notes scattered through both volumes.
After the disruption of the party, Say, in company with one or two others, went to New Orleans, and soon returned to Philadelphia. His next trip was with Long's second expedition, which explored the sources of the Mississippi River; but, with the exception of this and one or two minor expeditions, the next few years were spent in Philadelphia.
In 1825 Say left his native city, never to return. William Maclure, who was a man of wealth and refinement, but considerably eccentric withal, had an idea that the "community system" was the true way of living, and, unlike some other dreamers, he proceeded to put his plans into execution. A large tract of land was purchased at New Harmony, Indiana, and there the community was started. Numbers of people, among them Thomas Say, Gerard Troost, and C. A. Lesueur, influenced by the arguments of the projectors and the glowing accounts of the happy life to be led by a people possessing all things in common and working for a common good, removed themselves and theirs to