Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HALDEMAN, Samuel Stehman, naturalist, born in Locust Grove, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 12 August, 1812; died in Chickies, Pennsylvania, 10 September, 1880. He was educated at a classical school in Harrisburg, and then spent two years in Dickinson college, but was not graduated. Scientific pursuits were approved by his parents, but for a time he was compelled to manage a sawmill. In 1836 Henry D. Rogers, having been appointed state geologist of New Jersey, sent for Mr. Haldeman, who had been his pupil at Dickinson, to assist him. A year later, on the reorganization of the Pennsylvania geological survey, Haldeman was transferred to his own state, and was actively engaged on the survey until 1842, preparing five annual reports, and personally surveying the counties of Dauphin and Lancaster. In 1840 he began the publication of his monograph on the "Fresh Water Univalve Mollusca of the United States," in which he described the Scolithus linearis, a new genus and species of fossil plant, the most ancient organic remains in Pennsylvania. During the year 1842-'3 he gave a course of lectures on zoology at the Franklin institute, and in 1851 became professor of natural sciences in the University of Pennsylvania. This chair he held until 1855, when he accepted a similar professorship in Delaware college. Meanwhile he also lectured on geology and chemistry in the State agricultural college of Pennsylvania, and in 1869 became the first occupant of the chair of comparative philology in the University of Pennsylvania, which he held continuously until his death. Professor Haldeman made numerous visits to Europe for purposes of research, and when studying the human voice in Rome determined the vocal repertoire of between forty and fifty varieties of human speech. His ear was remarkably delicate, and he discovered a new organ of sound in lepidopterous insects, which was described by him in Silliman's "American Journal of Science" in 1848. He made extensive researches among Indian dialects, and also in Pennsylvania Dutch, besides investigations in the English, Chinese, and other languages. Professor Haldeman was an earnest advocate of spelling reform, and was the author of several manuals of orthography, orthoepy, and etymology. In 1858 he gained the Trevelyan prize over eighteen competitors by his essay on "Analytical Orthography" (Philadelphia, 1860). He was a member of many scientific societies, was the founder and president of the Philological society, and one of the early members of the National academy of sciences. During 1851-'2 he edited the "Pennsylvania Farmer's Journal." He was a contributor to the "Iconographic Cyclopaedia" (New York, 1852), and furnished the articles on articulata, insecta, entomology, conchology, radiata, and others. His contributions to scientific literature have been large, and his papers on philology, conchology, entomology, geology, chemistry, and paleontology include over two hundred titles. He has published, besides works previously mentioned, "Zoological Contributions" (Philadelphia, 1842-'3); "Elements of Latin Pronunciation" (1851); an edition of Taylor's "Statistics of Coal" (2d ed., 1855); "Tours of a Chess Knight" (1865); "Affixes in their Origin and Application" (1865); "Rhymes of the Poets," under the pen-name of "Felix Ago" (1868); "Pennsylvania Dutch" (1872); "Outlines of Etymology" (1877); and "Word Building" (1881).
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