Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/49

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By Professor A. D. Mead,


ANOTHER American naturalist of the generation and the type to which belonged Leidy, Cope, Baird, Goode and Hyatt has passed away, Alpheus Spring Packard, professor of zoology and geology at Brown University.

His lineage of sturdy, scholarly men, his academic heritage from great naturalists and the freshness of natural history in America at the time he commenced his career are all perceptible in the sterling quality and the wide range of his life work. The grandfather of the naturalist, the Rev. Dr. Hezekiah Packard, was a revolutionary soldier and fought at Bunker Hill. He received from Harvard College the degrees of A.B., A.M. and D.D. and was an eminent preacher, teacher and writer. The Rev. Dr. Jesse Appleton, one of the early presidents of Bowdoin College, was Professor Packard's maternal grandfather. His father, Alpheus Spring Packard, was a member of the Bowdoin faculty for sixty-five years and served the college successively as tutor, professor of ancient languages and classic literature, of rhetoric and oratory, of natural and revealed religion; as librarian and as acting president. He was an author and a revered teacher; it was of him that Longfellow wrote in his Morituri Salutamus delivered at the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the poet's class,

"they all are gone
Into the land of Shadows,—all save one,
Honor and reverence, and the good repute
That follows faithful service as its fruit,
Be unto him, whom living we salute."

Professor Packard was born at Brunswick, Maine, February 19, 1839, and died at his home in Providence, February 11, 1905, after an illness of about six weeks. He entered Bowdoin College at the age of eighteen. In his senior year he commenced the serious pursuit of investigations in natural history and continued it with unremitting zeal until the very week of his death, when he insisted upon correcting the proof of his last memoir, published by the National Academy, of which he had long been a distinguished member. While an undergraduate student he enjoyed the friendship and the inspiring instruction of Dr. Paul A. Chadbourne, who was afterwards president of Williams College. It was through him that Packard joined the