Science, Race, and Religion in the American South: John Bachman and the Charleston Circle of Naturalists, 1815@-1895 / Edition 1

Science, Race, and Religion in the American South: John Bachman and the Charleston Circle of Naturalists, 1815@-1895 / Edition 1

by Lester D. Stephens
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807825182

ISBN-13: 9780807825181

Pub. Date: 01/31/2000

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

In the decades before the Civil War, Charleston, South Carolina, enjoyed recognition as the center of scientific activity in the South. By 1850, only three other cities in the United States—Philadelphia, Boston, and New York—exceeded Charleston in natural history studies, and the city boasted an excellent museum of natural history. Examining the

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Overview

In the decades before the Civil War, Charleston, South Carolina, enjoyed recognition as the center of scientific activity in the South. By 1850, only three other cities in the United States—Philadelphia, Boston, and New York—exceeded Charleston in natural history studies, and the city boasted an excellent museum of natural history. Examining the scientific activities and contributions of John Bachman, Edmund Ravenel, John Edwards Holbrook, Lewis R. Gibbes, Francis S. Holmes, and John McCrady, Lester Stephens uncovers the important achievements of Charleston's circle of naturalists in a region that has conventionally been dismissed as largely devoid of scientific interests.

Stephens devotes particular attention to the special problems faced by the Charleston naturalists and to the ways in which their religious and racial beliefs interacted with and shaped their scientific pursuits. In the end, he shows, cultural commitments proved stronger than scientific principles. When the South seceded from the Union in 1861, the members of the Charleston circle placed regional patriotism above science and union and supported the Confederate cause. The ensuing war had a devastating impact on the Charleston naturalists—and on science in the South. The Charleston circle never fully recovered from the blow, and a century would elapse before the South took an equal role in the pursuit of mainstream scientific research.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807825181
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/31/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.14(d)

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Preface
Acknowledgments
Scientific Terms Used in This Work
1. In a Singular Place
2. Exalting Two Books
3. In the Shadow of Audubon
4. Treasures of Earth and Sea
5. A Low Class of Animals
6. From Alpha to Omega
7. Ancient Animals
8. Passionate Pursuits
9. Hyenas and Hybrids
10. The Jawbone of an Ass
11. The Broken Circle
12. Last Links
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

IllustrationsCharleston, 1851 Frontispiece
John Bachman
Four species of shrews
John James Audubon
Edmund Ravenel
Fossil echinoderms
John Edwards Holbrook
Blanding's turtle
Lewis Reeve Gibbes
Dwarf waterdog
Francis Simmons Holmes
Fossil gastropod shells
John McCrady
Two species of hydromedusae
Samuel George Morton
Louis Agassiz
Josiah Clark Nott

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