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Charles Doolittle Walcott, who became the third Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and the fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was author of a paper in volume 1, number 1, of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. From 1890 through 1906, he published six scientific papers, one abstract, eight discussions, and a presidential address in that journal. Examination of these four categories of publication helps trace the history of the Society and the Bulletin through their early years.

Walcott made a very few errors of fact and of judgment in the six papers. Notwithstanding those, the quality and breadth of the papers demonstrate that he was a geologist of wide-ranging interests and confirm his importance in American geology; only part of his scientific activities during this 16-year interval were published in the Bulletin. The subsequent impact of Walcott’s scientific papers is included in this historical review.

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