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upon this great order, the Species Filicum, was completed only two years ago; when the indefatigable author, upon the verge of fourscore, immediately and courageously entered upon the preparation of a condensed Synopsis of all known Ferns, and had made considerable progress in the undertaking, when the attack of a prevalent epidemic suddenly closed his long, honored, and most useful life.
Sir William Hooker was doubtless the most prolific botanist of the age, even exceeding Linnæus in this respect, — having published about seventy volumes (including the journals he edited) and over four thousand plates, all the earlier ones from his own drawings, and having described as many new species as there were of plants known in the time of Linnæus. This is not so extraordinary when we consider that his term of authorship covers fifty-five years, no part of which was unproductive, and that his opportunities were unusually great, through his numerous pupils and distant correspondents, — inspired by his zeal and attached by his generosity and winning ways, - who sent him the vegetable productions of all lands; as also by his public spirit and influence with men in office, through which governmental facilities were secured, and botanists appointed when possible to all exploring expeditions and voyages. His opportunities, therefore, were of his own making, and were improved by a sustained industry and single devotion to his pursuit, that have never been surpassed. Like Linnæus also, but unlike most naturalists, so well had he calculated his powers and directed his aims, that he left no half-finished works behind him, but completed everything he undertook, excepting that upon which he had just entered when he was called to his rest. Mere amount of publication in descriptive botany may be of small or equivocal merit. Of Hooker it is to be remarked, not only that he did a vast amount of botanical work, but that he did it surpassingly well.
John LINDLEY was born at Catton, near Norwich, on the 5th of February, 1799, and was educated at the grammar school of that town. His father was a nurseryman of some consideration, and the author of a well-known work upon the orchard and kitchen garden. Young Lindley's bent for natural history was congenital, and his special vocation, as the practical illustrator and introducer of the natural system into common usę wherever the English language is spoken, was early indicated. In one of his first lectures, a sketch of which has just been printed from his manuscript, he gave a lively account of his early endeavors after botanical knowledge, and the small satisfaction that VOL. VII.
rewarded them; of the kind notice that was taken of him by Sir James Edward Smith, the head of the prevailing school, and the maintainer of the full sufficiency of the Linnæan artificial system, who, by cautioning the young man not to be led astray by new and false lights, first awoke a curiosity which began to be gratified when he soon afterwards visited his friend Hooker, and was by him introduced to Jussieu's Genera Plantarum, and Richard's Analyse du Fruit. It was then, as he says, that his botanical life commenced, and a translation from the French of Richard which he made on the spot, at one sitting of three days and two nights, was the first of his numerous publications. In 1818 or 1819, he went up to London, and, introduced by Hooker to Sir Joseph Banks, was employed by him for a time as assistant librarian. Sir Joseph introduced Lindley to Mr. Cattley, a wealthy merchant and amateur cultivator, who wanted scientific assistance in illustrating and publishing some new plants of his collection. In this service, Lindley in 1821 brought out the fine folio volume entitled Collectanea Botanica. He dedicated it to Mr. Sabine, the Honorary Secretary of the Horticultural Society of London, under whom the next year he became Assistant Secretary, just when the famous garden at Chiswick was to be laid out. In 1826, as sole Assistant Secretary, and afterwards as Vice Secretary, Lindley became, and long remained the practical head of this important establishment, which, under his wise and energetic administration, has rendered vast service to horticulture and to botany. From the year 1829 to 1861 he was Professor of Botany in the London University, and at the same time lecturer at the Apothecaries' Garden at Chelsea. In 1830, he published the first edition of his Introduction to the Natural System of Botany, revised and amplified it in 1836, and in 1846 he expanded it into that encyclopædia of botanical knowledge, “ The Vegetable Kingdom, or the Structure, Classification, and Uses of Plants, illustrated upon the Natural System.” The several works upon structural and physiological botany, which accompanied the systematic ones already mentioned, those upon medical and economical botany, his Theory and Practice of Horticulture, and the like, need not here be enumerated, being among the best known and most widely used botanical books of the age. The same may be said of Loudon's Encyclopædia of Plants, the scientific part of which was by Lindley, and of the Botanical Register, the rival of the Botanical Magazine, which he edited for about twenty years. He originated, in 1841, the Gardeners' Chronicle, and conducted it until recently, when his health gave way. Of his various labors and writings relating to horticulture, it has been said to be mainly due to them “that this branch of knowledge has risen from the condition of an empirical art to that of a developed science.” At least it may be asserted that scientific horticulture in Great Britain owes more to Lindley than to any other person, except, perhaps, to his predecessor, Knight. In systematic botany his most considerable and profound works related to orchideous plants, upon which he has long been the paramount authority. Physiologist, morphologist, and systematic botanist, he displayed equal genius in all these departments of the science; and, if he worked too rapidly to do full justice to his great powers in any one of them, he must be allowed to have contributed efficiently to the advancement of them all.
His distinguished scientific career was cut short in the year 1862, by an affection of the brain, brought on by protracted and severe overwork; and he died of apoplexy on the first of November last, leaving a void not easy to be filled.
Louis Isidore DUPERREY, Admiral in the French Navy, was born in Paris, October 22, 1786. He entered the Navy in 1802, and was for a long time in active service. In 1811 he executed a hydrographic survey of the coast of Tuscany. In the French expedition of 1817, for determining the figure of the globe and the elements of terrestrial magnetism and other purposes, he was entrusted with the hydrographical operations. Soon after this, in 1822, he was placed in command of a new expedition around the world for scientific discovery. An account of this voyage was published in Paris, in six quarto volumes, in the years 1828 – 32. His observations on the invariable pendulum, and on the inclination and declination of the magnetic needle, made in this voyage, were published in 1827. He also published papers on the configuration of the magnetic equator in 1830; on the direction and intensity of terrestrial magnetism in 1837, and in 1841, a paper upon the geographical positions of the magnetic poles, and especially on the position of the southern magnetic pole. He died in Paris, after a long illness, on the 25th of August, 1865.
Twenty-two members have been elected into the Academy during the year. Nine of these are Resident Fellows, two of the first class, two of the second, and five of the third class.
Nine are on the Associate or Non-resident list, two in the first, two in the second, and five in the third class.
Four are Foreign Honorary Members, viz. : J. Victor Poncelet of Paris, in the Fourth Section of the First Class, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Wilhelm Struve of the Astronomical Section; Arthur Cayley of London, in the Mathematical Section of Class I., in the place of the late Sir Wm. Rowan Hamilton ; M. Delauney of Paris, in place of the late Sir John Lubbock of the same Class and Section; and Dr. Joseph Dalton Hooker, of Kew, in place of his father, the late Sir William Jackson Hooker, of the Second Class and the Botanical Section.
Professor Lovering, as Chairman of the Committee of Publication, presented a report accounting for the expenditures in printing under the appropriations of the past year. The re
port was accepted. . Professor Cooke presented the report of the Library Committee; which was accepted.
Mr. Paine reported that he had received from the representatives of the late Jonathan P: Hall the thermometer belonging to the Academy, and the records of Mr. Hall's observations.
Mr. Paine was authorized to obtain the barometer of the Academy used by Mr. Hall, and to get it repaired.
Remarks were made by the President and by the Librarian on the aid rendered by the Smithsonian Institution in effecting the exchanges of the Academy; and on the motion of the Librarian it was
Voted, That the thanks of the Academy be presented to the Smithsonian Institution for the generous and efficient aid which it has rendered through its system of foreign exchanges and distribution of publications, by which the Academy has greatly profited.
The President announced from the Finance Committee that the unexpended balances of past appropriations were not included in the appropriations recommended for the current year. In accordance with information from Professor Eliot concerning a sum of money raised by subscription for the general expenses of the Academy, the recommendations of the Finance Committee were amended, and the following appropriations passed :
For General Expenses . . . $1,400
ASA GRAY, President.
of Class II.
Josiah P. COOKE.
Committee of Finance.
sex officio, by statute.
The other Standing Committees were appointed on the nomination of the President, as follows: