Coues, Elliott(kouz), 1842–99, American ornithologist, b. Portsmouth, N.H., grad. Columbian College, later Columbian Univ. and now George Washington Univ. (B.A., 1861; M.D., 1863; Ph.D., 1869). He served as an army surgeon in the Civil War and as naturalist on government surveys and taught (1877–87) at Columbian Univ. He was a founder of the American Society for Psychical Research and a leader in the theosophist movement. He wrote Key to North American Birds (1872), Birds of the Northwest (1847), and Fur-bearing Animals (1877); he edited the journals of Lewis and Clark (1893), Zebulon M. Pike (1895), and Alexander Henry and David Thompson (1897).
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Coues, Elliott(1842–99) ornithologist; born in Portsmouth, N.Y. He moved to Washington, D.C., with his family at age 11 and became interested in birds after making the acquaintance of Smithsonian Institution naturalists. He enlisted in the Union Army as a medical cadet in 1862 and was appointed an assistant surgeon in 1864. He served in various western posts until 1881, and during those years made collections and compiled information about local bird life. His Birds of the Colorado Valley (1878) is considered a classic. An ardent theosophist, he helped found the American Society for Psychical Research. He also edited several volumes of early travel in the American West.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.