In the city in which we meet this year an exposition is preparing which is designed to commemorate the peaceful acquirement a century ago of the rights of France to the Mississippi valley and the regions to the west. It was the metallic wealth of the valley region which first led to its exploration by the French, and which still constitutes an important feature in its industry, yielding annually, as it does, an amount about equal to the original purchase price. To a still greater degree has the unexampled rapidity with which, in the last half century, civilization and industry have spread over the mountainous regions of the West been due to the development of their mineral resources—a development to which geological science has in no small measure contributed.
In selecting a subject for my address as President of the the Geological Society of America, it has seemed appropriate, . . .