HAYDEN, Ferdinand Vandeveer (1829 – 1887). Report of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories. Volume VI. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1874.

$ 75.00

HAYDEN, Ferdinand Vandeveer (1829 – 1887). Report of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories. Volume VI. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1874.

Folio (11 4/8 x 9 inches). 30 numbered tinted lithographs. Original ochre cloth, gilt (a little rubbed).

First edition, being "Contributions to the Fossil Flora of the Western Territories. Part I. The Cretaceous Flora. By Leo Lesquereux". 

In the company of Fielding Bradford Meek, Hayden embarked "on his first major expedition during the summer of 1853, as a fossil collector to the White River Bad Lands of Dakota (then in Nebraska Territory).

"Between 1853 and 1860 Hayden explored western territories that are now parts of Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Displaying energy and ingenuity, he gained patronage for his expeditions from the American Fur Company, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Corps of Topographical Engineers as well as from several individual sponsors. By the outbreak of the Civil War, Hayden had established a reputation as the most versatile collector of natural history specimens in the United States and the country's foremost exploring geologist. In collaboration with Meek he outlined for the first time the geologic structure of the entire upper Missouri Basin. Their joint publications raised fundamental questions of methodology and challenged many assumptions of European geologists. They were early leaders in pointing out the uniqueness of American geology.

"A brilliant field geologist, Hayden learned to integrate from numerous unconnected outcrops an accurate sense of the structure and extent of geological formations, many of which he discovered and named. He made numerous pioneering observations on the uplift and erosion of the Rocky Mountains, though he never synthesized his major insights in a particular work; they are scattered throughout his 140 publications. His Geology and Natural History of the Upper Missouri (1862) best epitomizes his style as a collector and naturalist. That book also provides unintended confirmation for Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution--unintended, because Hayden wrote it before he read Darwin's Origin of Species (1859)... Working for the Department of the Interior from 1867 through 1878, Hayden directed an ambitious series of geologic and natural history surveys, whose scope and purpose he himself largely determined. Hayden encouraged the federal government to increase substantially its funding of his Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, which attracted more attention and talent than any other scientific institution during the postwar years. His survey's most influential publication was the Atlas of Colorado (1877 and 1881), a classic compilation of geology, topography, and landscape delineation.

"Hayden solicited numerous monographic studies from a variety of naturalists, which he then published through his survey (see Schmeckebier). His patronage encouraged important works by scores of specialists, especially Meek, Joseph Leidy, Edward Drinker Cope, Leo Lesquereux, Cyrus Thomas, Samuel Hubbard Scudder, Thomas C. Porter, John Merle Coulter, Elliott Coues, Alpheus Spring Packard, Joel Asaph Allen, Charles Abiathar White, and Albert Charles Peale. By distributing numerous photographs and reports, especially of Colorado and the Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Hayden profoundly influenced the way Americans saw and understood the West. He was ahead of his colleagues in recognizing and promoting the scenic values of western topography. A genuine enthusiast for science, Hayden wanted laymen to appreciate both the erudite monographs and the more appealing annual reports of his survey. In these ways he pioneered the popularization of science' (Mike F. Foster for ANB).