Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/41

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yet begun to crumble. The specimen was twenty-one feet from the surface of the ground.

In all these and numerous other cases Dr. Abbott's attention was specially directed to the question of the undisturbed character of the gravel, he having been cautioned upon this point in the early part of his investigations.

Here it is proper to premise that the apparent monopoly of this evidence by Prof. Putnam and his associates in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge, Mass., has come about by a legitimate and natural process, which at the same time has probably interfered to a considerable extent with the general spread of the specific information in hand. Early in the investigations at Trenton, Prof. Putnam, who had lately become curator of the museum, with its large fund for prosecuting investigations, satisfied himself of the genuineness of Dr. Abbott's discoveries, and at once retained him as an assistant in the work of the museum, thus diverting to Cambridge all his discoveries at Trenton. Living on the ground during long-continued and extensive excavations made by the railroad, Dr. Abbott's opportunities were exceptionally favorable; hence his own prominence in the whole matter.

It is important also to note that, before taking up with Dr. Abbott's work, Prof. Putnam took ample pains to satisfy himself

PSM V43 D041 Section across the delaware river at trenton n j.jpg
Fig. 2.—Section across the Delaware River at Trenton, N. J.: a, a, Philadelphia red gravel and brick clay (McGee's Columbia deposit); b, b, Trenton gravel, in which the implements are found: c, present flood plain of the Delaware River (after Lewis). (From Abbott's Primitive Industry.)

of its character and correctness. In 1878 Prof. J. D. Whitney visited Trenton in company with Mr. Carr, assistant curator of the museum. In the Twelfth Annual Report Mr. Carr writes: "We were fortunate enough to find several of these implements in place. Prof. Whitney has no doubt as to the antiquity of the drift, and we are both in full accord with Dr. Abbott as to the artificial character of many of these implements." In reporting further upon this instance at the meeting of the Boston Society of Natural History, on January 19, 1881, Mr. Carr states that the circumstances were such that "it [i.e., one of the particular implements] must have been deposited at the time the containing bed was laid down." In 1879, and again in 1880, Prof. Putnam spent some time at Trenton, and succeeded in finding with his own hands "five unquestionable palæolithic implements from the gravel, at various depths and at different points." One of these was four feet below the surface soil and one foot in from the perpendicular face which had just been exposed, and where it was