A C.S. Rafinesque Anthology


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About the Book

Among American naturalists, C.S. Rafinesque (1783–1840) is second only to Audubon in the popular interest he sustains. This interest is due in part to his colorful life and provocative personality, but he is also remembered for devising Latin scientific names for more plants than any other naturalist who ever lived—and a great number in the animal kingdom, as well. This passion for nomenclature has kept his name memorable (some would say notorious) among naturalists. Yet his taxonomic writings made up only a part of his extensive oeuvre.
Rafinesque’s restless mind ranged over areas of inquiry from archaeology to zoology. His published writings in these fields have been difficult to lay hands on and have never been collected. Among such essays now gathered into this volume, two were unavailable until 1949, six were listed only in 1982 and four remained unknown until 2001. The recovery and reprinting of these 12 contributions help to broaden the understanding of his achievements over a lifetime. Arranged in nine sections, 25 topics are offered here (several of which are explored in more than one essay), including “the Origin of Native Americans,” “Hebrew Studies,” “Utopian Society,” “Lightning,” “The Milky Way,” “Sea Serpents” and “Evolution.” Editorial introductions are provided for each topic, and period illustrations—some included in the original Rafinesque publications—enhance the text.

About the Author(s)

The late Charles Boewe formerly directed Fulbright Foundations in South Asia. He lived near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

C.S. Rafinesque
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 281
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, indexes
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2147-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reprinting Rafinesque      1

I. Antiquities
1. Archaeological Site      17
2. Origin of Native Americans      24
3. Big Bone Lick      32

II. Linguistics
4. Chinese      39
5. Ruter Reviewed      54
6. Hebrew Studies      59

III. Society
7. Life in Lexington      67
8. Utopian Society      81

IV. Education
9. Colleges      97
10. Natural History Surveys      108

V. Public Lectures
11. Inaugural Lecture117
12. Greek Independence      129

VI. Popular Science
13. The Cosmonist.      135
14. Lightning      158
15. The Milky Way.      162
16. Phenology      171

VII. Phytogeography
17. Kentucky Botany      179
18. North American Botany      185

VIII. Natural Science
19. Natural Science in America      193
20. Review of Elliott’s Botany      209
21. Review of Maclure’s Geology      218
22. Discovery of Aerosols      225
23. Sea Serpents      232
24. Evolution      241

IX. Metaphysics
25. The Psyche Papers      251

Index of Genera      263
General Index      266

Book Reviews & Awards

“extremely useful”—Journal of the History of Biology.