David I. Spanagel explores the origins of American geology and the culture that promoted it in nineteenth-century New York. Focusing on Amos Eaton, the educator and amateur scientist who founded the Rensselaer School, and DeWitt Clinton, the masterful politician who led the movement for the Erie Canal, Spanagel shows how a cluster of assumptions about the peculiar landscape and entrepreneurial spirit of New York came to define the Empire State. In so doing, he sheds light on a particularly innovative and fruitful period of interplay among science, politics, art, and literature in American history.
David I. Spanagel is an associate professor of history at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
List of Figures and TablesPreambleIntroductionPart I1. Invitations to Study the Earth's Past2. Natural Sciences and Civic Virtues3. The Landlord and the Ex-convictPart II4. Clinton's Ditch5. Eaton's Agricultural and Geological Surveys6. Empire State ExportsPart III7. Literary Naturalists8. Kindred Spirits9. Rocks, Reverence, and ReligionConclusionNotesEssay on SourcesIndex