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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/565

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549
SKETCH OF JEAN-CHARLES HOUZEAU.

passage for the United States. He spent his time in gardening, in drawing architectural designs for the rebuilding of the burnt city, and in making surveys of Matamoras and Brownsville for the consul of the United States. His house sheltered many Texan refugees. At last the American war-ship Kensington appeared at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and Houzeau was given passage on her to New Orleans as a member of the Belgian Academy of Sciences. At New Orleans he identified himself with the interests of the colored population, and became a regular contributor and one of the editors of their French journal, the Union, afterward the Tribune, to which he added an English part. He came north in July, 1863, and resided in Philadelphia till November, 1864, pursuing scientific and literary studies and preparing his book on the Mental Faculties of Animals as compared with those of Man, which was published in 1872. Then he returned to New Orleans and took charge of the Tribune, which became, on the strength of his famous article, Is there any Justice for the Black? one of the best known and influential journals of the country, contributing to it some eighteen or twenty columns a day. He presided over the Republican Convention of July 30, 1866, which was mobbed, and barely escaped from it with his life by the aid of a back passage. In the next year a division arose among the parties interested in the Tribune, with which Houzeau would have nothing to do, and he retired from it.

Houzeau had hardly landed in the New World when he received the offer of a professorship of Geology in the Free University of Brussels. He declined, but his name was put upon the programmes and kept there for two years, while efforts were continued to induce him to accept. He was disposed to consider more favorably the offer of a position in the military school, made in 1863, but the financial limitations of the institution prevented the consummation of the appointment. No settled intention, but accidents arising one after another, kept him in America for twenty years. He formed plans to return to Europe several times, but something occurred to postpone the day. In the mean time his literary and scientific activity suffered but little interruption. He contributed to three or four journals sketches of travel, American life, the Indians, the war, slavery, etc., and to the scientific societies and journals papers on the numerical calculus, the radius vector of a new planet, parallax, stellar movements, and other subjects; and, while busiest on the New Orleans Tribune, he taught stenography to a school of colored men, and corresponded with the New York Evening Post.

A few weeks after giving up the New Orleans Tribune, Houzeau removed to Jamaica, where he found a new life of freedom opened up to him with, ample opportunities for study. He took