Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/137

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ALPHEUS HYATT, 1838-1902

placed him in charge of the fossil cephalopods and this collection remained under his care until his death in 1902.

In 1865 lie published his first scientific paper, a short one of only five pages in which he states that the Beatricidæ which he collected at Anticosti in 1861 are not fossil plants as others had supposed, but cephalopods. We know, however, that he was himself mistaken, for they are now believed to be hydrocorallines.

In the same year he wrote an appreciative notice of the life of his young college chum, George H. Emerson, a chemist of great promise, whose untimely death from overwork had terminated at its very beginning a useful life in science. While in college together Emerson and Hyatt had begun the critical study of the bible, Hyatt coming to entertain liberal views while Emerson became a ritualist. It was characteristic of Hyatt to disagree upon essential matters with his closest friends and yet never in any sense to lessen the mutual esteem and affection between him and them. His simple honesty, freedom from conceit and above all his cordial and generous nature made this possible. Thus it was that within a year of the time when he began his studies under Agassiz he became an evolutionist and an admirer of Lamarck, whom Agassiz characterized as "an absurd egotist." Independent of the theoretical side of his work Hyatt will be remembered as a great teacher and a leader in systematic zoology, for he was an uncommonly accurate observer and his publications present a vast body of well-founded facts.

The year 1865 saw Louis Agassiz's pupils, whom the war had scattered, again working by their master's side at Harvard. But the old relation of master and pupil could not long endure, for the truth was that the time had come for the young birds to fly from the paternal nest, and in 1867 Morse, Packard, Putnam and Hyatt severed their relations with Agassiz and cast in their lot with the Essex Institute of Salem; this movement being known as the "Salem secession." Salem thus became an active center in the natural sciences and so much public interest was awakened that in 1869 these four young men cooperated with a number of progressive citizens of the town to found the Peabody Academy of Sciences, and with the aid of Scudder and others they succeeded in establishing the first permanent American journal devoted to the natural sciences. The American Naturalist, Hyatt being one of its editors from 1868 to 1871.

On January 7, 1867, he married Miss Audella Beebe, daughter of Smith M. Beebe, Esq., of Kinderhook, N. Y.

During the period of his residence in Salem, Hyatt continued to study and to describe the fossil cephalopods of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Suess and Hyatt were indeed the first zoologists to attempt to distinguish genera and species among the ammonites, and Hyatt was the first to announce the fact that these