Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/271

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SKETCH OF PROFESSOR ALPHEUS HYATT.

SKETCH OF PROFESSOR ALPHEUS HYATT
By RALPH S. TARR.

PROFESSOR HYATT was born April 5, 1838, in Washington, D.C. He attended various schools, among them the Maryland Military Academy, then under the direction of Captain Allen, an ex-officer of the regular army, an old-fashioned teacher, and somewhat of a naturalist, lie entered the class of 1860 in Yale College, but after the Freshman year he left the institution to travel for a year in Europe. Returning, he entered the Lawrence Scientific School at Cambridge in 1858, where he took the highest degree, under Agassiz, in 1862.

His parents intended that he should become a merchant; but this was not congenial to the youth's natural tastes, and it was considered the next best course for him to study law. After pursuing for nearly two years studies which were distasteful to him, he finally broke away from college and went to Europe. Upon his return he determined to learn engineering. Thinking that a course in geology would be an excellent introduction to this branch, and attracted by the great name of Agassiz, he began to study that science at the Lawrence Scientific School. While at Cambridge, being attracted by a fine collection of Ammonites, he asked permission to study them, and, after graduation, published a monograph upon them. After a period of service as captain in the army he renewed his studies under Agassiz, in a class which included such students, since become eminent naturalists, as A E. Verrill, A. S. Packard, N. S. Shaler, S. H. Scudder, F. W. Putnam, E. S. Morse, A. Agassiz, Theodore Lyman, J. A. Allen, and A. S. Bickmore. He afterward went to Salem, where Putnam was curator in the Essex Institute, and in 1807 became one of the curators, Morse and Packard afterward came in, and the four founded and for some years edited the "American Naturalist," which is now published in Philadelphia. These same young naturalists were also instrumental, together with officers of the Essex Institute, in founding the Peabody Academy of Sciences at Salem. They formed the first scientific staff, and together planned the museum, in which Professor Hyatt was appointed a curator in 1809. In the year 1871 Professor Hyatt was elected Custodian of the Boston Society of Natural History, and in 1872 he went to Europe, with his family, to finish the studies on Ammonites which he had begun in the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy in 1861. In 1881 he was elected Curator of the Boston Society. In addition to this he is unofficially in charge of the fossil cephalopods of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Cambridge, and is Professor of Zoölogy and Paleontology in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also has a class from Boston University,