Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/819

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THE PROGRESS OF AMERICAN MINERALOGY.

was needed here which should include the modern discoveries, and one also which should gather up the scattered facts already published in regard to American minerals.

Fortunately for the further progress of science in this country, this was done by Professor Parker Cleaveland. His work was published in 1816, and was entitled "An Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology."

Professor Cleaveland was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Bowdoin College, and, like many other professors of science in the early history of American colleges, was charged by the trustees to lecture also on mineralogy and chemistry. He was an enthusiastic student of mineralogy, was well acquainted with the literature of the science in various languages, had been a successful teacher of the subject for many years, and withal was both an explorer and investigator, and held intimate relations with the leading mineralogists of the day. The work was modeled on the general plan of Brongniart, combining the excellences of both the French and German schools, and gave in detail almost everything then known in regard to American minerals. It supplied the pressing need for a thorough, systematic, and American treatise on mineralogy, well suited to all classes of students, and it was written in such a masterly style that it won for its author the highest praise from the leading mineralogists of the world. "It brought," says Professor Silliman, "within the reach of the American student the excellences of Kirwan, Jameson, Haüy, Brochant, Brongniart, and Werner, and we are not ashamed," he says, "to have this work compared with those of these celebrated authors." His biographer states that "he received letters of respect and congratulation from Sir David Brewster, Sir Humphry Davy, and Dr. McCulloch, in England, from Berzelius, in Stockholm, Germar of Halle, from Brongniart, Baron Cuvier, and the Abbé Haüy, in Paris."

The work at once took rank as one of the leading authorities on the science, and was introduced as a class-book in the principal schools and colleges in America. The first edition was soon exhausted, and a new and revised edition, with more than a hundred pages of new matter, was published in 1822. The demand was so great that this likewise was soon out of print, and a third edition was called for by the public; but Professor Cleaveland had about this time become so engrossed in the administration of the affairs of the new Medical School at Brunswick that he was unable to respond to the call, having turned his thoughts and efforts in new directions.

Unfortunately for the science of mineralogy, in which he had obtained such eminence as an author and teacher, he no longer contributed actively to its progress, although he continued his work as lecturer on the science so long as he lived.

The last to be mentioned of these early leaders is Professor Benjaman Silliman. His name is so intimately associated with the progress