King of the 40th Parallel: Discovery in the American West

King of the 40th Parallel: Discovery in the American West

by James Gregory Moore


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This book recounts the life and achievements of Clarence King, widely recognized as one of America’s most gifted intellectuals of the nineteenth century, and a legendary figure in the American West. King’s genius, singular accomplishments, and near-death adventures unfold in a narrative centered on his personal relationship with his lifelong friend and colleague, James Gardner. The two, upon completing their studies at Yale, traveled by wagon train across the continent and worked with the California Geological Survey. King went on to establish the Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel, a government mapping program that stretched across the western mountain chains from California to Wyoming. This was the precursor to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Founded in 1879, with Clarence King as its architect and first director, the USGS became the most important and influential science agency in the nation.
The adventurous aspects of conducting geological fieldwork in the West, much of them documented by letters written by King and Gardner, punctuate a book copiously illustrated with historic maps and photographs showing localities and people important to the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804752237
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 02/27/2006
Edition description: 1
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James Gregory Moore is Senior Research Geologist Emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers and four books, including Exploring the Highest Sierra (Stanford University Press, 2000).

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviationsxxi
Introduction: A Bird of Paradise1
1A Youthful Alliance6
2Ablebodied Men28
3Gold and Guns48
4Almost Inaccessible to Man78
5Grand Cold Fury of the Sierra108
6Mirage and Blizzard123
7Fever on the Desert138
8True Ice and False Summit185
9An Unparalleled Fraud221
10Pushed with the Utmost Vigor252
11Rocky Triangulation271
12A Grand Fusion295
References Cited363

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