Popular Science Monthly/Volume 45/June 1894/Obituary Notes


Colonel Alfred Burdon Ellis, commander of the successful British expedition against the Sofas in Africa and a valued contributor to The Popular Science Monthly, died at Teneriffe, March 5th, of African fever. He was the only surviving son of the late Lieutenant-General Sir Samuel Burdon Ellis, and was born in 1852. He entered the British army in 1872, and became a captain in the First West India Regiment in 1879, major in 1884, and lieutenant-colonel in 1891. During twenty-two years he saw a great deal of active service in Africa. He served in the Ashantee war and received a medal; commanded the Houssa Constabulary in 1878; was employed in the Intelligence Department during the Zulu war; was the leader of the expeditions to Tambi (Sierra Leone) and Toniataber (Gambia) in 1892, and for the latter received a medal with clasps; was civil commandant of Sekondi and Chamer on the Gold Coast in 1874, district commander of Quittah in 1878, and of Accra in 1879; was chief officer of the troops on the Gold Coast in 1882 and 1886; and was commandant in the Bahamas in 1889 to 1891, when he was appointed to the command of the troops in West Africa, with the local rank of colonel. In 1892 he administered the government of Sierra Leone. The last of his dispatches concerning the expedition against the Sofas was dated January 29, 1894. A few days after his return to Sierra Leone from this expedition he was attacked with fever, and was removed to Teneriffe. He was the author of A History of the Gold Coast, The Ewe-speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West Africa, The Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa, and of the following articles in The Popular Science Monthly: A Letter on the Lucayan Indians, vol. xxxvi; The Indwelling Spirits of Men, vol. xxxvi; On Vodu-worship, vol. xxxviii; Survivals from Marriage by Capture, vol. xxxix; On Polyandry, vol. xxxix; The Great Earthquake of Port Royal, vol. xl; Marriage and Kinship among the Ancient Israelites, vol. xlii; and White Slaves and Bond Servants in the Plantations; besides which we have others on hand awaiting publication.

Dr. H. C. Georges Pouchet, Professor of Comparative Anatomy in the Museum of Natural History, Paris, died March 29th in that city. He was the son of the Félix Pouchet who distinguished himself several years ago in the controversy respecting spontaneous generation, and was born in Rouen in 1833. He became assistant naturalist and head of the anatomical department in 1865. He was retired in 1869 in consequence of the publication of some article relating to the Museum of the School of Agronomy, but was raised in 1875 to the position he occupied at the time of his death, succeeding Paul Bert. He was the author of numerous works of scientific value, among which were his doctor's thesis on the Coloration of the Epidermis and his Traité d'Ostéologie comparé. He was also a writer in literature of considerable productiveness and high reputation.

Mr. William Pengelly, F.R.S., who recently died in England, was a local geologist of much and excellent reputation. He contributed greatly by the results of his personal researches to the work of Lyell, Murchison, and others in establishing English geology. He continued the exploration of Kent's Cavern, under the direction of the British Association, through sixteen years. Besides many other geological papers, he prepared, in connection with Dr. Oswald Heer, a monograph on The Lignite Formation of Bovey Tracey, Devonshire. He collected and arranged the Devonian fossils of the Pengelly Collection, now at Oxford. He originated the Torquay Natural History Society, and in 1862 founded the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art. He was Fellow of the Royal and Geological Societies, and an honorary member of the Société d'Anthropologie of Paris.

Paul Jablochkoff, a distinguished Russian electrician and inventor of the electric lamp which bears his name, died in Saratov, Russia, early in April. He was an officer in the Russian army, and was the first person who succeeded in dividing the electric current satisfactorily. His system of electric lighting has been used in several cities of Europe, and for a considerable time the great thoroughfares of Paris, near the Opera, were illuminated with his carbons.