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Book Chapter

Geology in America, 1848-1888

January 01, 1932


THIS period of four decades, ending with the organization of the Geological Society, was broken by the terrible Civil War, along with the accompanying unrest immediately before and following the conflict. The years 1856 to 1866 were a time of suspension in scientific activity, except in inventions for destruction, but with peace there came great scientific productivity.

Below are given some of the more important and distinctive events:

The history of the ancestral associations has been told in Chapter III.The very deliberate and hesitant movement which eventually resulted in the creation of the Geological Society lasted through seven years. There was no haste to break away from the American Association. On the contrary there was hesitation and long deliberation, which eventually was ended by group action.

The history of the movement has been told by the two Winchells, brothers, who were the most active participants in the initial planning and organizing of the Society. That of Alexander Winchell is the historical sketch which occupies the first few pages of the Society's Bulletin. The story by Newton H. Winchell was told at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Society, and is printed as pages 27 to 30 of volume 25. While these two accounts cover the same facts and events, they have interesting minor differences, and they are both largely reproduced below.

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The Geological Society of America, 1888-1930

Herman LeRoy Fairchild
Herman LeRoy Fairchild
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Geological Society of America
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January 01, 1932




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