Requests that a benefactor donate to the Museum, not to him
Autograph Letter signed: "L Agassiz", 1p, 5x8. Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1873 June 27. On letterhead of Museum of Comparative Zoology
to "C. W. Galloupe". Docketed on verso. In full: "I forgot to
comply with your request concerning the yacht. While I am pleased to hear of
your intention to deed them to me personally, I am sure it would add dignity to
the art, if the object for which she is presented was referred to in a few
words, perhaps by saying 'for the use of the Anderson School School of Natural
History/the Museum of Comparatiave Zoology.' It would relieve me from the
possible imputation of securing personal gifts under the pretense of public
service. Very truly yours". Born in French-speaking Switzerland and educated
at European universities, Agassiz (1807-1873) accepted a Professorship at
Harvard (1848) and spent the rest of his life promoting American science. He
made highly influential studies of fossil fish and glaciers, coining the term
"Ice Age" to describe an ancient era of extensive glaciation. Although his
fossil studies were used by others to support Darwin's Theory of Evolution,
Agassiz never accepted that doctrine. He espoused catastrophism,
believing that new species emerged after such upheavals, and defined a species
as "a thought of God". Lightly foxed. 1x1-inch paper loss in upper right corner.
Paper separation (up to ¾-inch) at top and bottom of vertical folds, the one in
lower right repaired with transparent tape, touchinhg "assiz" of signature.
Otherwise, fine condition.
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