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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/419

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SKETCH OF DR. CHARLES T. JACKSON.

scientific men in the country. He was appointed State Geologist of Maine, and surveyor of the public lands of Massachusetts lying in Maine, in 1836, and spent three years in the execution of those works. In 1839 he, as State Geologist, surveyed Rhode Island: and he began the geological survey of New Hampshire, in which he was occupied for three years, in 1840. At about this time he drew up a plan for the geological survey of New York, which was adopted. He explored the southern shores of Lake Superior, and revealed the mineral resources of that country in 1844; returned to the same region in the next year, and opened copper-mines, and discovered iron-mines. In 1847 he was appointed to superintend the geological survey of the mineral lands of the United States in Michigan, a work in which he continued for two years, till he was displaced in consequence of political changes in the national Government. He became a member of the Boston Society of Natural History soon after its formation, and was elected one of its curators in 1833. He afterward became one of its vice-presidents, and continued to hold that office till disabled by sickness in 1874.

Dr. Jackson's name is most closely associated with his claim to priority in the discovery of the anæsthetic properties of ether, which was the subject of a long controversy, and one that was very painful to him. His claim is supported by the testimony of Mr. Francis Alger, Dr. J. B. S. Jackson, Dr. Martin Gray, and Mr. T. T. Bouvé, to whose eulogy before the Boston Society of Natural History we are indebted for most of the facts given in this notice. These gentlemen were his chosen friends, and were for a long time closely associated with him. Dr. J. B. S. Jackson was one of the signers of a remonstrance addressed to Congress against its making: a errant of money to W. G. Morton, Dr. Jackson's rival in the claim of discovery, based upon the ground that the signers believed that the reward, so far as the question of discovery was concerned, ought to go to Dr. Jackson. Dr. Martin Gray published a pamphlet under his own name, maintaining that Dr. Jackson was the sole discoverer of anæsthesia, and that Mr. Morton could only be considered to have performed a secondary part by proving that the administration of ether is safe in surgical operations. Mr. Bouvé, who was for a considerable time a student in Dr. Jackson's laboratory, and afterward met him frequently in social intercourse, accords to him the honor of having been the discoverer of the anæsthetic properties of ether, but has "never thought him entitled to the credit of its introduction into use, or even to that of having thoroughly verified what he claimed to be true respecting the safety of administering it. He had experimented upon himself, and had afterward demonstrated respecting it, even going so far as to recommend its use by others, and this constituted discovery; but he did not prove to others what he was himself convinced of, and allowed precious time to pass—yes, much time—without making any application of the discovery. Indeed, had it not been that Mr. Mor-