Descriptions of the Papers and Talks Presented at the Annual Meeting
Philanthropy, Agricultural Reform, and Republican Political Economy:
The Work of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture During
the Era of Lewis and Clark
Shawn Kimmel, Library Company of Philadelphia
Kimmel examines the influence of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting
Agriculture on the philanthropic and civic life of the city, and the
work of agricultural reformers such as Lewis' friend William Hamilton
and the relation to the Expedition.
Displaying the Expanding Nation to Itself: The Cultural Work
of Public Exhibitions of Western Fauna in Lewis and Clark's Philadelphia
Brett Mizelle, California State University
Mizelle traces the Lewis and Clark collected articles to Jefferson to
C. W. Peale's museum. The problems of developing interest in displaying
the expanding nation to itself are explored.
"Our Future Metropolis": Philadelphia on the Edge of
the Nineteenth Century
Michal McMahon, West Virginia University
McMahon intends to "extract" a vision of the l9th-century
metropolis, contrasting it to Jefferson's vision of farmers and farming.
Early Urban Water Supply in Philadelphia: A First in Municipal
Jane Mork Gibson, Industrial Historian
The paper reports the why's and wherefores" of the Philadelphia
Water Works as the first central water system in the US, including supply
and health aspects.
Jefferson's Philadelphia: Setting the Stage for Lewis and Clark,
An Illustrated Lecture
Robert Peck, Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences
In his keynote address, naturalist, historian, and Philadelphia native
Robert Peck will describe the people, the setting and the intellectual
climate of Philadelphia at the time of Lewis' historic visit to the
city. He will discuss how the Lewis and Clark expedition was shaped
by Lewis' Philadelphia experiences, and explain the critically important
role the city and its institutions played in disseminating - and preserving
- information about the findings of the expedition following its return.
Quadrature of the Lune: Surveying the Life of Andrew Ellicott
Barry Rauhauser, Lancaster County Historical Society
Utilizing the works of an artist to gain a deeper insight into the artist's
life is unavoidable. Poems often suggest the subconscious life of the
poet just as brush strokes might hint at the hidden desires of the painter.
In much the same way, the products of science provide an inward examination
of the scientist. The only difference is the language we must decode
to get at the heart of the individual. For Andrew Ellicott this scientific
language consists of circles and squares, of long, invisible lines through
forests, of a ten-mile square along the Potomac, and of seemingly infinite
mathematical equations. But this rather cold world of numbers and objective
study is full of philosophical undertones that greatly influenced Ellicott.
A study of the science surrounding Andrew Ellicott's world helps to
explain his struggles with his Quaker beliefs, his strong attachment
and commitment to family, and his search and acceptance of truth in
all matters of life. Analyzing Ellicott's world of geometric equations,
surveying instruments, and mathematical puzzles offers a deeper look
at the man who set many of the geographic boundaries of the United States.
Lewis and Clark's Contributions to Meteorological Science
Terry Nathan, University of California, Davis
Lewis and Clark's weather observations, particularly at Fort Mandan
and Fort Clatsop, will be compared to present day climatology to determine
the extent to which their weather experiences were anomalous. Weather
data recorded in the Lewis and Clark journals together with proxy data
obtained, for example, from historical records of Nile River floods,
and anomalies in the Indian Monsoon, will be used to construct a picture
of regional and global weather patterns for the winters of 1805 and
1806. Using statistical techniques this information will be compared
to present day climate data for the Fort Mandan and Fort Clatsop regions.
Mineral Productions of Every Kind: The Geological Education of
Meriwether Lewis and Observations of Western Geology in the Journals
of Lewis and Clark
John W. Jengo, PG
Throughout the Expedition, Lewis and Clark methodically noted a wide
array of rock types, diligently recorded the appearance of coal and
important minerals, made inspired sedimentological inferences on river
depositional processes, and speculated intelligently on erosional phenomena.
Meriwether Lewis' principal geological mentors were Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Smith Barton, and Andrew Ellicott. Richard Kirwan's Elements
of Mineralogy was the primary mineralogical reference book. The
education Lewis received in Philadelphia enabled the captains to record
a remarkably complete and relatively continuous account of the geological
terrain of the Expedition's route that effectively fulfilled Jefferson's
Dignified and Civil Inquiry: Dr. Caspar Wistar in Philadelphia,
the Athens of the Western World
Nina P. Long, Wistar Institute
Lewis consulted with Caspar Wistar, a scientific and social leader in
Philadelphia, in the area of natural history and fossil remains. The
paper will explore Wistar's role as a member of the leadership community
in Philadelphia, arguing that his style of scientific inquiry fit with
that of Philadelphia rather than with the "more adventuresome striking
forth" which we see with Lewis and Clark.
Benjamin Rush and the Medical Theorists of the 18th Century
Charles Greifenstein, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
The speaker will review the life of Benjamin Rush, noting his interests,
public service and controversies.
Philadelphia: Medical Mecca and Science's Hometown
Nancy V. Webster, Historical Consultant
The paper will address the preeminence of Philadelphia as the center
for knowledge and experimentation related to the interaction with the
Lenapes (Delaware Indians) and with the Friends (Quakers).
Supplies from Philadelphia
Frank Muhly, LCTHF Board Member
The merchants, their location and the supplies Lewis procured in Philadelphia
will be discussed. Some will be discussed in detail as they receive
special mention in the journals.
Food and the Corps of Discovery: Philadelphia Planning and Provisioning
The food history of the expedition is examined in this paper with an
eye to strategies for selecting, packing, and transporting food and
liquor on the journey. Attention will be given to the medical/nutrition
advice Lewis received from Rush. The edible botanical specimens Lewis
collected and their fate will be discussed.
"I Never Yet Parted": Bernard McMahon and the Seeds
of the Corps of Discovery
Robert Cox, American Philosophical Society
The seedsman Bernard McMahon played a discreet, but vital role in facilitating
the botanical study and (unwittingly) the publi
cation of the botanical results of the Corps of Discovery. An Irish
immigrant and political radical, he cultivated a relationship with ThomasJefferson
based upon a similar political and scientific outlook and rooted in
the exchange of gifts of books and plants, becoming the key figure in
cultivating the seeds brought back from the Louisiana Territory.
Nineteenth Century Scientific Opinion of Lewis and Clark
Andrew Lewis, American University
Early republican natural history in Philadelphia is examined by focusing
on interpretive disputes and contested rules of evidence. Building on
historians John C. Greene, Whitfield Bell and others, this paper examines
early natural history controversies.
Benjamin Smith Barton's Elements of Botany(1803): A Retrospective
Eric v. d. Luft, Curator Health Sciences Library, SUNY, Syracuse
Lewis met with Barton in Philadelphia in May of 1803 and took Barton's
Elements of Botany with him on the expedition. This book was the state-of-the-art
volume concerning botany at the time and included the most recent adjustment
to Linnaeus's classification scheme. The paper argues that the volume
reflects what Lewis would have learned from this eminent botanist.
The Ethnobotanical and Medical Aspects of the Botanical Specimens
Collected by Lewis and Clark
Ara DerMarderosian, Ph.D., University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
The paper will describe the examination, review and updating of the
medical and pharmacological activity of the 177 Lewis and Clark Herbarium
specimens in the Academy of Natural Sciences collection, including uses
by Native Americans. Those of medicinal value, reported with poisonous
or toxicity problems, used as food, used today, etc will be discussed.
The Eminence of an Opulent City: Birch's views and the Image
of Philadelphia at the Turn of the l9th Century
Emily Cooperman, University of Pennsylvania
Birch's book is "both a physical and ideological" guide to
Philadelphia in the early 19th century. This talk analyzes the publication
as both a reflection of and a bid to shape the image (and the future)
of the city of Philadelphia at the turn of the l9th century, a period
that saw the removal of the national and state governments and increasing
commercial activity in rival port cities.
Reflections on Meriwether Lewis: A Country Boy in the Big City
Dayton Duncan, Writer and Filmmaker
Dayton Duncan's perceptive ins¦ghts on Meriwether Lewis and the time
he spent in Philadelphia will be the subject of the Closing Keynote
Address. Mr. Duncan will also reflect on his own journey from a small
town in lowa to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia,
which mirrored Lewis' journey to the city 164 years earlier to receive
essential scientific training from the mentors of Philadelphia.