Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 486

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.

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state geologist of California in 1860, and engaged in conducting a topographical, geo- logical and natural history survey of that state until 1874, when the work was discon- tinued by act of legislature. Besides various pamphlets and annual reports on the subject, he issued six volumes under the title of "Geological Survey of California" (Cambridge, 1864-70). In 1865 he was appointed professor of geology in Harvard, which chair he still retains, with charge of its school of mining and practical geology. The degree of L.L.D. was conferred on him by Yale in 1870. Prof. WHITNEY was one of the original members of the National academy of sciences, named by act of con- gress in 1863, but he has since withdrawn from that body. He is also a member of other scientific bodies, both at home and abroad. In addition to contributing to the American Journal of Science, the North American Review and similar periodicals, he has translated Berzelius' "Use of the Blowpipe" (Boston, 1845), and is the author of the "Yosemite Guide Book" (San Francisco, 1869). Prof. WHITNEY has made a specialty of collecting a library of geological and geographical books. Mount Whit- ney, the highest mountain in the United States, was named in his honor. His wife Louisa GODDARD, was born in Manchester, Eng., Dec. 17, 1819; died in Cambridge, May 13, 1882; is the author of "The Burning of the Convent, a Narrative of the Destruction of the Ursuline school on Mount Benedict, Charlestown, by one of the pupils" (Cambridge, Mass., 1877), and "Peasy's Childhood, and Autibiography" (1878); res. Cambridge, Mass. 7692. i. HAS ONE CHILD. 4474. PROF. WILLIAM DWIGHT WHITNEY, Ph. D., LL. D., (Josiah D., Abel, Aaron, Moses, Moses, Richard, John), b. Feb. 9, 1827; m. Aug. 27, 1856 Elizabeth Wooster BALDWIN. She was the dau. of Gov. Roger Sherman BALDWIN, and was b. Aug. 8, 1824. He was b. Jan. 4, 1793; gr. at Yale in 1811, an eminent lawyer in New Haven, Conn., and at one time gov. of the state, 1844-45, and United States senator, 1848-51. He was born at Northampton, Mass. The mother was daughter of Rev. Payson WILLISTON (Yale 1783) of Easthampton, and sister of the founder of WILLISTON semi- nary, in that town. The father was a business man, later manager, first as cashier and then as president, of the Northampton bank, and widely and honorably known for

Prof. William Dwight Whitney, Pierce, p. 486.jpg


his ability and integrity; his children mostly turned to liter- ary pursuits; the oldest, Josiah Dwight, being a well-known scientist, long head of the California survey and now pro- fessor of economical geology in Harvard university; the third son, James Lyman, being one of the heads of the Boston public library; and the fourth, Henry Mitchell, a professor in Beloit college, Wisconsin; while a daughter, Maria, is a teacher, formerly in charge of the department of modern languages at Smith college (for women) in North- ampton; all the sons except Wm. D., are graduates of Yale. Wm. D. WHITNEY made his preparation for college entirely in the free public schools of his native town. The teachers whom he remembers with most gratitude are Rodolphus B. HUBBARD, long the head of the high school there, and John B. DWIGHT, of New Haven (Yale, 1840). He entered the class at the beginning of the sophomore year. No small part of his time while in college was spent roam- ing over the hills and through the valleys, collecting birds for the Natural History society and setting them up; and work of this kind has never since been entirely abandoned. On leaving college, being undecided what occupation to turn to, he at first went provisionally into the bank, under his father, and it ended in his staying there more than three full years. During the first year, indeed, he stopped and made a feint of beginning the study of medi- cine-commencing service in a doctor's office one day, only to be taken down with a long fit of illness the next, and returning to his first work when this was over. He did in the three years a good deal of bird and plant-collecting; and a case of his birds, chiefly the acquisitions of this period, now forms a part of the collection in the Peabody museum of New Haven. He did also a good deal of studying, especially in some of the modern European languages; and finally, early in 1848, was led, partly under the influence and encouragement of his father's pastor, now Professor Geo. E. DAY, of Yale, to turn his attention to Sanskrit, text-books for which were within his reach in his brother's library. In the spring of 1849, he left the bank; and the summer of that year was spent by him among the swamps and mosquitoes of

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