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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/522

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The city of Philadelphia was then an important scientific center. A number of geologists resided there, and were wont to hold occasional meetings. At last it seemed desirable to convene PSM V49 D522 James Hall.jpgJames Hall, surviving founder of the Association of American Geologists and of the A. A. A. S., and oldest surviving past president, Albany, 1856. a larger and more general assemblage; and on the 2d day of April, 1840, about twenty geologists, including nearly all the most prominent ones in America, met there and organized "The Association of American Geologists." Edward Hitchcock presided, and Lewis C. Beck was secretary. Of the founders of this association who attended this first meeting, three venerable men still survive—James Hall, of Albany; Bela Hubbard,[1] of Detroit; and Martin H. Boyd, of Coopersburg, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Several of the older States were represented, including Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. Of the Western States, Michigan alone had then instituted a geological survey; and Bela Hubbard and Douglas Houghton traveled that long journey together from Michigan to Philadelphia. It took them an entire week, traveling day and night by the most direct route; and the roads in Ohio were so muddy that the passengers often had to alight and assist in pulling the stage out of the mud.

The next year (1841) the geologists met again in Philadelphia, and many new members were added. In 1842 the meeting was held in Boston, where several naturalists came into the association, and the name was changed, mainly through the influence of Amos Binney and Augustus A. Gould, to "The American Association of Geologists and Naturalists." Subsequent annual meetings were held in Albany, Washington, New Haven, New York, and Boston.

Several years after the association was founded the chemists and physicists proposed to join, and in 1848 another meeting was

  1. When this article went to the printer Bela Hubbard was dangerously ill, and his death occurred on June 13th. Recent letters from him have furnished some of the most interesting of these reminiscences.