Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/447

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ALPHEUS HYATT.

ALPHEUS HYATT.
By Professor W. H. DALL.

IN the death of Professor Alpheus Hyatt, of Cambridge, philosophical zoology in America has sustained a loss only second to that which was involved in the death of Cope.

Alpheus Hyatt was born in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, April 5, 1838. He was a scion of an old and honored Maryland family; from whom the suburban village of Hyattsville, near Washington, took its name; and which is still well represented in Baltimore. He lost his father early but his mother survived to a venerable age, dying in Washington hardly more than a year before her son.

Young Hyatt was a pupil of the Maryland Military Academy, subsequently entering the class of 1860 at Yale, but after the Freshman year he left the college for a year's travel in Europe. In 1858 he went to Harvard as a student of Louis Agassiz, in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, entering the Lawrence Scientific School from which he finally graduated in 1862. During the war of the Rebellion he served in the Forty-seventh Massachusetts volunteer regiment and left the army with the rank of captain, subsequently taking up post-graduate studies in Germany. In 1867 he married Miss Andella Beebe, of Valatia, New York, and became a curator in the celebrated Essex Institute of Salem, Mass., in which so many of the naturalists and historical writers of the last half century found at one time or another a congenial environment. About that time a particularly large group of workers was located in or about Salem, and in connection with Morse, Packard and Putnam, all ex-pupils of Agassiz, Hyatt took part in founding the Peabody Academy of Sciences in Salem. These four naturalists for some years formed its scientific staff, and by them, with the help of Scudder and others, the American Naturalist was started on its career of usefulness.

In 1870 Hyatt was elected custodian and, in 1881, curator, of the Boston Society of Natural History, at the same time, and for some years subsequently, serving as professor of zoology and paleontology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. He also had charge, up to the time of his death, of the important collection of invertebrate fossils in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and was one of the collaborators of the United States Geological Survey in its field work and paleontological researches.