Monday, November 10, 2014

Thank you Veterans... for Natural History Expeditions

Many thanks Veterans for all efforts in securing peace and prosperity for all Americans while putting your life on the line in wartime!

Randolph B. Marcy - Brady-Handy
Randolph B. Marcy (1860-1865) Library of Congress Prints and
Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection. 
Thanks should also be given for all that military personnel do in peacetime. As an example, Captain Randolph B. Marcy led a military expedition in 1852 up the Red River of Louisiana finding the headwaters. In so doing, he wrote a book The Prairie Traveler that provided emigrants heading west tons of practical advice on surviving difficult journeys through unknown territories. George McClellan (future Civil War General) was part of the expedition and was in charge of collecting plant and animal specimens: "an interesting collection of reptiles and other specimens, in alcohol...put into the hands of Professors Baird and Girard of the Smithsonian Institution..." Yes, during the period 1852-1854 Spencer Baird of the Smithsonian was receiving natural history specimens from 26 separate military expeditions! Here is webpage clipping of Spencer Baird recounting the reptile collection from Marcy and McClellan book: Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852.
Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year
1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., Book, 1854; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/ : accessed November 10, 2014),
University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu;
crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.