Popular Science Monthly/Volume 40/April 1892/Notes and Obituary Notes

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We published in the Monthly for June, 1886, a sketch, by Prof. David Starr Jordan, of the eminent early American naturalist C. S. Rafinesque, for which we were not able at the time to secure an authenticated portrait. We have since found such a portrait, which was published several years ago in Potter's American Monthly, and now have the privilege, by permission of Messrs. Potter & Co., of presenting it to our readers, as a supplement to Prof. Jordan's delightful sketch. It comes in opportunely at this time to supply the lack of the portraits of the Bartrams, of neither of whom have we been able to find an authenticated likeness. As the object most closely associated with the Bartrams, we give in connection with the sketch of them a view of the house built by the elder Bartram, as it appeared in 1887, from a photograph furnished us by Mr. Thomas Meehan.

A new star, not marked on any map, was observed February 1st in the constellation Auriga, slightly in advance of the star 26 of that constellation, and of about the same, or the sixth magnitude. It is described as yellowish, and somewhat fuzzy in appearance.


Dr. Thomas Sterry Hunt, a distinguished American geologist and chemist, died at the Park Avenue Hotel, in this city, February 11th, of mitral disease of the heart, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. A sketch of his life and scientific activity, and a portrait, were given in the Monthly for February, 1876. He retired from public professional life in 1878, but had made since then many important contributions to theoretical chemistry and geology. One of the organizers of the International Geological Congress, he was its first secretary, and was a vice-president at the meetings in Padua, 1878; Bologna, 1881; and London, 1888. He was a member of the International Juries at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Dr. Hunt had been in feeble health for many months previous to his death.

Sir George Biddell Airy, English Astronomer Royal from 1836 till 1881, died on January 2d, after a few months' illness, in the ninety-first year of his age. A sketch of his life and works up to that time, with a portrait, were given in The Popular Science Monthly for May, 1873. He after that made the preparations for the equipment of the British expedition for the observation of the transit of Venus of 1874, a subject on which he had been engaged since 1836. He retired from his office in the Greenwich Observatory in 1881, after forty-five years of service.

M. Émile de Laveleye, the eminent Belgian economist and publicist, died at Liége, early in January, of pneumonia, following influenza, just after the publication of his latest work. Government in Democracy. He was born in Bruges in 1822, studied law in the University of Ghent, and engaged in historical and philological labors, and afterward in works on political economy and kindred sciences, which gave him a world-wide reputation. In 1864 he was appointed Professor of Political Economy in the University of Liége. His principal works were on the Rural Economy of Belgium and of Holland, on Property and its Primitive Forms, and Natural Laws and the Object of Political Economy. He was the most conspicuous advocate of bimetallism.

According to the Academy, the death of the Duke of Devonshire, in December, 1891, was a greater loss to the learned world than (directly) to politics or society. The duke had been intimately associated with academical affairs ever since he took his degree at Cambridge in 1829. "The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge bears witness to his munificence, while science acknowledges no less gratitude to him for serving as chairman of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of Science."

Prof. John Couch Adams, the English astronomer and mathematician, who shares with Leverrier the honor of having predicted the place where the planet Neptune would be found, has recently died. He was the son of a farmer, and was born near Bodmin, Cornwall, in 1818. He began his investigations of the irregularities in the motions of Uranus in 1841, and completed them as early as Leverrier did his, but suffered himself to be anticipated in the publication. In 1858 he succeeded the late Dean Peacocke as Lowndean Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge.

The death is announced of Colonel James Augustus Grant, a famous African explorer. He was the son of a Scottish clergyman and was born in 1827; served in the war of the Indian mutiny; accompanied the Abyssinian Expedition in 1868 as a member of the Intelligence Department; and in 1860 to 1863, with Captain Speke, explored the sources of the Nile and discovered the Victoria Nyanza. He described this expedition in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, and its botany in those of the Linnæan Society; and published in 1874 a supplementary account of the expedition, of which a joint account by the two explorers had already appeared. It was entitled A Walk across Africa. He received medals from the Royal Geographical Society, the Pope, and King Victor Emanuel.