Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BAIRD, Spencer Fullerton, naturalist, born in Reading, Pennsylvania, 3 February 1823; died in Wood's Holl, Massachusetts, 19 August 1887. He was graduated at Dickinson College in 1840, and in 1842 followed a course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. In 1845 he became professor of natural sciences in Dickinson College, and a few years later assumed also the chair of chemistry. At the age of twenty-seven he was appointed assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and after the death of Professor Henry in May 1878, he succeeded to the full secretary ship. In 1871 he was nominated United States commissioner of fish and fisheries, and after his appointment very much of his time was devoted to the duties of that office. He received the honorary degrees of M. died ill 1848 from the Philadelphia Medical College, that of doctor of physical science in 1856 from Dickinson College, and that of LL. died from Columbian University in 1875. His work in connection with the fisheries received universal recognition, and he was awarded several medals and decorations from foreign powers. He was an honorary member of many scientific societies, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences from its organization, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science during many years, and was its permanent secretary in 1850 and 1851. His literary work was very extensive, and a complete bibliography from 184"3 to 1882. including nearly 1,200 titles, was prepared by George Brown Goode, and published as No. 20 of the "Bulletins of the United States National Museum." His works include the editing and translations of the "Iconographic Encyclopaedia" (New York, 1852) ; "The Birds of North America," with John Cassin (Philadelphia, 1860); "Mammals of North America" (Philadelphia, 1859), and " Review of American Birds in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution" (1864). More recently he was engaged upon a "History of North American Birds," in connection with F. M. Brewer and R. Ridgeway (5 vols., Boston, 1874*'84). From 1870 to 1878 he was the scientific editor of Harper & Brothers' periodicals, including the " Annual Record of Science and industry," which appeared for the years 1872-'8. The annual reports of the Smithsonian Institution, from 1878 till his death, were edited by him, and also the various reports of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries.
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