The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Whitney, Josiah Dwight

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WHITNEY, Josiah Dwight, American geologist, brother of W. D. Whitney (q.v.): b. Northampton, Mass., 23 Nov. 1819; d. Lake Sunapee, N. H., 18 Aug. 1896. He was graduated at Yale in 1839, and spent the years 1842-47 in study in Europe, and then explored, with J. W. Foster, the Lake Superior region. Their ‘Synopsis’ of the explorations was published in 1849 and their ‘Report’ on the geology, 1850-51. He was appointed State chemist and professor in the Iowa State University in 1855 and State geologist of California in 1860. He labored on the survey of that State till 1874, publishing his ‘Geological Survey of California’ (1864-70). In 1865 he was appointed to the chair of geology at Harvard. Among his publications not already named are ‘The Metallic Wealth of the United States’ (1854); ‘Yosemite Guidebook’ (1869); ‘Contributions to American Geology’ (1880); ‘Studies in Geographical and Topographical Nomenclature’ (1888). The highest peak of the Sierra Nevada was named Mount Whitney (q.v.) in his honor.