Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/366

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362
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

The dominant mind at Philadelphia was that of Leidy, thirty-six years of age. Cope was a boy of nineteen. In Washington, were Joseph Henry, sixty-two; Bache, sixty-three; Baird, thirty-six, and others attached to the Smithsonian Institution, and the great government surveys. Baird was often a contributor to the publications of the New York Lyceum of Natural History.

In New York was Torrey, a man of sixty-three, and among others two young men, Theodore Nicholas Gill—the senior member of this academy—and Daniel Giraud Elliot, now honoring this museum with his presence—both born in New York, and both in their early twenties. Not only have these two—early identified with the scientific publications of this academy—witnessed the change that has taken place during the past fifty years, but their long series of contributions to science admirably illustrate the strange power that has been exerted upon zoological work in general, and descriptive zoology in particular, by him who came into being one hundred years ago.

In New Haven were James Dwight Dana, forty-six; Daniel C. Gilman, twenty-eight, and the Sillimans.

In Boston, were Agassiz, adored by the people—preeminent among teachers—the studious lovable Gray, at one time (1836) librarian of this academy, and Jeffries Wyman. Both Agassiz and Gray were about the age of Darwin. Jeffries Wyman was a few years their junior; of him Lowell has written:

He widened knowledge and escaped the praise
He toiled for science, not to draw men's gaze.

Under the influence of these, Agassiz, Gray, Jeffries Wyman, there gathered at Cambridge, at about this time, what we should now informally and affectionately call "a bunch of boys." Shaler, eighteen; Verrill (who has come down from New Haven to be with us this afternoon) and Packard, twenty; Morse, Hyatt and Allen—our Dr. Allen—twenty-one; Scudder, twenty-two.

Of the five centers of scientific activity, youth was certainly the characteristic of the school at Boston. It is therefore safe to predict that the germ of the new truth in biological science would find a more favorable medium in Boston than here in New York or farther south.

The infection was immediate, indeed "pre-immediate." The period of incubation extended over about ten years, ending in an acute epidemic from 1871-1876, which affected lyceums, associations and academies indiscriminately. Convalescence than began, since which the American body-scientific has enjoyed good health and has shown many periods of remarkable growth.

The "Origin of Species" was published in London late in November, 1859. The following month, Asa Gray, long intimately acquainted with Darwin, and anxious that Americans should see promptly the