means of communication between the more intelligent people of the State upon all subjects embraced in its title. Chancellor Robert R. Livingston was the president of this society from its formation till the time of his death, in 1813; and the first volume of the Transactions (1791 to 1799) contains no less than eighteen communications from his pen upon various subjects.
The Annual Address for 1813 was delivered before the Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts, at the Capitol, in Albany, by Dr. Theodoric Romeyn Beck. In the preface to this address he stated that his aim in composing the address had been a special one. "It was to exhibit at one view the mineral riches of the United States, with their various application to the arts, and to demonstrate the practicability of the increase of different manufactures, whose materials are derived from this source."
The most notable and important movement in the progress of scientific study began about 1817, when Professor Amos Eaton, after having prepared himself at Yale College with the best means and instruction then afforded, began his courses of scientific lectures at Williams College, which he afterward extended to the larger towns of New England and New York. In 1818, at the invitation of Governor De Witt Clinton, who was ever a most enlightened and liberal advocate of scientific progress, Professor Eaton gave a course of lectures before the New York Legislature, some of whose members had already been his pupils. At this time much interest was awakened in the subjects of geology and other departments of natural history throughout the State. Professor Eaton's lectures in Troy led to the organization of the Troy Lyceum of Natural History, which at that time could boast of possessing a more extensive collection of geological specimens than could be found in any other institution within the State of New York. In 1820 and 1821 Professor Eaton, with the assistance of Drs. T. Romeyn and Lewis C. Beck, under the patronage of Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, carried out an agricultural and geological survey of Rensselaer and Albany Counties. These surveys, reports of which were published, were intended to be made subservient to the interests of agriculture, and were spoken of in the "American Journal of Science" as being the most extensive and systematic efforts of the kind made up to that period. In 1822, under the patronage of Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer, Mr. Eaton undertook a geological and agricultural survey of the district adjoining the Erie Canal. The report upon this work was published in 1824, in a volume of one hundred and sixty-three pages, with a geological profile extending from the Atlantic to Lake Erie, and a "profile of rocks crossing part of Massachusetts" (from Boston Harbor to Plainfield), by Rev. Edward Hitchcock, who also furnished a description of the rocks and minerals crossed by this profile. In 1824 General Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School in Troy, and its graduates became efficient aids in the dissemination of