tion of the geological survey of the State, embracing therein a full and scientific examination and description of its rocks, soils, metals, and minerals; make careful and complete assays and analyses of the same, and prepare the results of his labors for publication under the three following titles, to wit: first, Physical Geography, Scientific Geology and Mineralogy; second, Economical Geology, embracing Botany and Agriculture; third. General Zoölogy of the State." At first he planned to do no more than collate and arrange such material as had been accumulated by his predecessors; but he soon found this very unsatisfactory, and, abandoning this plan, he undertook to go over the whole ground anew. He had for years been unknowingly preparing for just this task, and he threw himself into it with his accustomed energy and devotion, and suspended all other work; but ere long his overtaxed strength gave way, and his last illness was upon him. At first he could not be willing to lay aside a task so congenial, and which he so greatly desired to finish; but soon his naturally quiet and trustful disposition overcame all discontent, and in full acquiescence in the will of the God in whom he had always trusted and whom he had tried to serve, he came to the end in peace, on January 19, 1856. At this time he also held the professorship of Natural History in the University of Vermont, to which he had been appointed in 1853.
His friend for over a score of years, Dr. Thomas M. Brewer, editor of the Boston Atlas, and himself a naturalist of no small ability, thus referred to Prof. Thompson's death: "His loss, both as a citizen and a public man—he has not left his superior in science behind him in his own State—is one of no ordinary character. We have known him long and well; and in speaking of such a loss we know not which most to sympathize with, the family from whom has been taken the upright, devoted, and kind-hearted head, or that larger family of science who have lost an honored and most valuable member. Modest and unassuming, diligent and indefatigable in his scientific pursuits, attentive to all, whether about him or at a distance, and whether friends or strangers, no man will be more missed, not merely in his immediate circle of family and friends, but in that larger sphere of the lovers of natural science, than Zadoc Thompson."
When his death was announced to the Boston Society of Natural History, of which he was a member. Prof. William B. Rogers took occasion to express the high respect in which he had held him as a thorough and persevering worker in geology, saying that he possessed a larger amount of accurate practical knowledge than would have been supposed from his modest and retiring manners, and exhibited a great natural sagacity in those departments of science which he loved.