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Lardner Vanuxem

VANUXEM, Lardner, geologist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 23 July, 1792; died in Bristol, Pennsylvania, 25 January, 1848. He was graduated at the Ecole des mines, Paris, in 1819, and soon after his return to the United States was called to fill the chair of chemistry and mineralogy in South Carolina college. In 1826 he retired from the college and devoted his attention exclusively to geology as a profession. During that year he published in the newspapers and in Robert Mills's "Statistics of South Carolina" reports on the geology of the state, and then visited Mexico to examine mining property. In 1827-'8 he studied the geological features of the states of New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, under the auspices of the state of New York, and made his report to its legislature. On the establishment of the geological survey of New York in 1836, Professor Vanuxem was assigned to the charge of the 3d geological district, and continued in the active work of the survey until 1841. The results are given in "Geology of New York, 3d District" (Albany, 1842). At the close of the survey he spent some time in Albany in arranging the state geological cabinet, out of which has grown the New York state museum. Professor Vanuxem's private collection of mineral and geological specimens was considered at the time of his death as " the largest, best arranged, and most valuable private collection in the country." He was a member of the Philadelphia academy of natural sciences, and of other scientific associations. It was the habit of those connected with the New York survey to meet at Albany at the end of each field season for the purpose of comparing observations and of becoming acquainted with each other. In the autumn of 1838 Professor Vanuxem suggested that an invitation be given to the geologists of Pennsylvania and Virginia for the purpose of devising and adopting a geological nomenclature that might be acceptable to all those that were then engaged on the state surveys, and thus become the nomenclature of American geology. This meeting was finally held in 1840, and then the Association of American geologists was organized, which is now represented by the American association for the advancement of science, probably the largest scientific body in the world. In addition to the report that, has been mentioned, and numerous papers on scientific subjects in the "American Journal of Science," he published " An Essay on the Ultimate Principles of Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, and Physiology" (Philadelphia, 1827).

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