Eaton, Amos

Eaton, Amos

(ē`tən), 1776–1842, American naturalist, b. Chatham, N.Y., grad. Williams College, 1799. After practicing law for a time, he conducted pioneer geological surveys in Albany and Rensselaer counties, N.Y. (1820–21), and along the Erie Canal (1822–23). His report on the canal was published in 1824. He then became professor at the scientific school opened by Stephen Van Rensselaer (1824) in Troy, N.Y. (now Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). Besides a number of textbooks, he wrote the Manual of Botany (1817; 8th ed., with John Wright, North American Botany, 1840) and An Index to the Geology of the Northern States (1818).

Bibliography

See biography by E. M. McAllister (1941).

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Eaton, Amos

(1776–1842) botanist; born in Chatham, N.Y. He graduated from Williams College (1799) and was admitted to the bar (1802), but gave up law to study botany at Yale. After 1810, he gave public lectures in New England and New York and wrote a botany textbook. Then in 1817 he published his major work, Manual of Botany for the Northern States, which had its last edition in 1840. He became professor of natural history at the Medical School in Castleton, Vt., joining the Rensselaer School (now Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) (1824–42). His voluminous writings were later found to be more enthusiastic than accurate.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.