Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GABB, William More, paleontologist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 January 1839: died there, 30 May, 1878. He was educated in Philadelphia, and acquired his knowledge of geology in the Academy of natural sciences of that City. In 1862 he was appointed paleontologist to the geological survey of California, under Professor Josiah D. Whitney, and continued actively engaged in that work until 1865. The cretaceous and tertiary fossils were classified by him, and the portion devoted to that subject in the first volume on paleontology of the "Geological Survey of California" (1864), and the entire second volume, were written by him. In 1868 he undertook a survey in Santo Domingo for the Santo Domingo land and mining company, remaining on the Island from 1869 till 1872. Subsequently he published an extended memoir" On the Topography and Geology of Santo Domingo," in the "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society," vol. xiv. (Philadelphia, 1873). He then went to Costa Rica under an appointment from the government, and engaged in a topographical and geological survey of that country, where he also made extensive ethnological and natural history collections for the Smithsonian institution. Mr. Gabb published a memoir" On the Topography of Costa Rica," with a map, in "Petermann's Mittheilungen," and also one on the" Ethnology of Costa Rica," in the "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society." His report on the geology and paleontology he left unpublished at the time of his death. Besides the foregoing publications he contributed frequent papers to the scientific journals and proceedings of societies. He received an election to the National academy of sciences, was also a member of other scientific societies, and ultimately gained a reputation for greater knowledge of American invertebrate paleontology of the cretaceous and tertiary age than any other scientist of his time.
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