Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/124

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changed to Schoolcraft. He died at the age of one hundred and two years. John, his third son, was a soldier under Sir William Johnson. Lawrence, John's son, distinguished himself during the siege of Fort Stanwix. He was afterward director of the glassworks of the Hon. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, at Hamilton, near Albany; and established the manufacture of glass in western New York.

Henry Schoolcraft spent his childhood and youth in Hamilton, cultivated poetry, and maintained an excellent standing in scholarship. At an early age he manifested a taste for mineralogy and natural science, which were then (about 1808) almost unknown in the country; formed the beginnings of collections; and organized an association for mental improvement. He investigated the drift stratum of Albany County as seen in the bed of Norman's Kill; and afterward, while living at Lake Dunmore, Vt., put himself under the teaching of Prof. Hall, of Middlebury College; added chemistry, natural philosophy, and medicine to his studies; erected a chemical furnace, and went into experimenting; and picked up a knowledge of Hebrew, German, and French. He began writing for books and periodicals in 1808—contributing, among other things, papers on the Burning Springs of western New York, and on archaeological discoveries that had been made in Hamburg, Erie County. In the last paper, which was published at Utica in 1817, he pointed out the necessity of discriminating between the antique French and European, and the aboriginal period, in American antiquity. He was engaged for a time in directing the building of works connected with his father's glass-making enterprises in Vermont, New Hampshire, and western New York. The ideas and knowledge gained in these operations supplied the material for his proposed work on Vitreology, or the application of chemistry to glass-making, the publication of which was begun in 1817. The supervision of these works required the making of considerable journeys, and these created in him the desire to travel through the wilds of the "Far West," which then hardly extended beyond the Missouri River.

He made some "preliminary explorations" to his contemplated journey in western New York in 1816 and 1817, and started from Olean on the Alleghany River for a journey down the Ohio and up the Mississippi in 1818. A large company of intending emigrants had gathered there waiting for the season to open, and Schoolcraft took passage in the first ark. Arrived at Pittsburg, he stopped to explore the geology of the Monongahela Valley, and was greatly interested in the rich coal and iron beds. He stopped to visit the Grave Creek mound and the ancient works at Marietta. At Louisville he found "organic remains" of several spe-