Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/633

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SKETCH OF PROFESSOR O. C. MARSH.

plans. He has followed his uncle's example in princely gifts to science, and, thus far, likewise, we may add, in remaining a bachelor.

Prof. Marsh is a firm believer in evolution, and enjoys the personal acquaintance and friendship of Darwin, Huxley, Wallace, Spencer, and other prominent advocates of this doctrine. He is at present in England with his scientific friends, but will return in time for the St. Louis meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Science.

Aside from his scientific reputation, Prof. Marsh became well known to the general public, a short time since, through his contest with Secretary Delano and the Interior Department. It will be remembered that while Prof. Marsh was on his perilous expedition to the "BadLands," near the Black Hills, in the winter of 1874, he was twice driven back by the Sioux Indians, who supposed him to be in search of gold rather than bones. In endeavoring to propitiate the savages, he held various councils with Red Cloud and the other principal chiefs, and at last gained permission to proceed with his party only by promising Red Cloud to take his complaints and samples of his rations to the Great Father at Washington. The fulfillment of this promise, together with an exposure of the frauds which he had seen practised upon the Indians,[1] led to a sharp fight with Secretary Delano and the Indian ring. Secretary Delano began by calling the professor "a Mr. Marsh," and ended by retiring to private life and political death in Ohio. The scalps of several lesser officials and contractors were taken by the professor in the same fight, and subsequent events have more than substantiated all of the charges he made. This is perhaps the only instance in which a private citizen has successfully fought a department of the Government in his efforts to expose wrong-doing. Red Cloud has since sent the professor an elegant pipe and tobacco-pouch, as a token of his gratitude, and with them the complimentary message that "the Bone-hunting Chief," as he calls the professor, "was the only white man he had seen who kept his promises."

Prof. Marsh's scientific publications, which began while he was a student, number more than one hundred, and are mostly papers in scientific journals. One of the most important of these publications is his address as Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered in August, 1877, at Nashville, Tennessee, and published in The Popular Science Monthly for March and April, 1878. He is now engaged in the preparation of a series of monographs, with full illustrations, of his discoveries, which will be published under Government auspices. The first volume, upon the "Odontornithes, or Birds with Teeth," illustrated with forty quarto plates, is now in press, and will soon be published.

Among the more noteworthy of Prof. Marsh's scientific papers are the following:

  1. A statement of affairs at the Red Cloud Agency, made to the President of the United States, Yale College, July, 1875.