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during the Buckshot War, and was active in drafting the laws called for by our amended State Constitution. He was the author of the preamble of our Consolidation Act, and his skillful hand was present in the shaping of those sections which concerned the administration of our finances. He was a leader in the establishment of the Paid Fire Department, after having long served as a volunteer member of the old Philadelphia Hose Company. He was one of the founders of the Union Club, which developed into the splendid organization of the Union League. For forty-one years he has been a manager of the Western Saving Fund, and its President for twenty years. For forty-five years he has served as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. For fifty-six years he has been a member of this Society, and has been its President for eighteen years. As President of the National Board of Trade, and of our own local organization, as a member of the Board of Finance of the Centennial Commission, and in many other capacities, his voice has been raised and his influence has been exerted in unselfish devotion to the greatest of public interests.
His long and varied career stands for unbending integrity in the discharge of trust duties; for knowledge and power in the discussion of public questions; for breadth and liberality of opinion ; for constant progressiveness and generous hospitality to new ideas ; for lofty ideals supported by trained technical skill. He has walked on the high places of this earth with undimmed eye and steadfast courage. The loftiness of his position enabled him to see the tops of distant thoughts which men of common stature never saw. With him “Knowledge was not a couch whereon to rest a searching and restless spirit; nor a terrace for a wandering or variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; nor a tower of state for a proud mind to raise itself upon ; nor a sort of commanding ground for strife and contention ; nor a shop for profit and sale, but a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate."
At the end of ninety-four years of life, with none of the intellectual infirmities of age, and without the slightest trace of acerbity of temper, he stands in the golden glow of an honorable and useful career, the central object of our affection, of our veneration and esteem.
It is fitting that his portrait should grace these walls-walls hallowed by sacred associations and cherished with filial piety.
“I would rather,” said Hazlitt, “leave behind me a good portrait than a good epitaph.” The sentiment is just. Those who read tombstone inscriptions are few, but those who can find inspiration in the study of a well-pictured face are many. This Society, grateful to the donors of this adınirable portrait, will direct it to be hung beside those of the illustrious men who were his predecessors, in commemoration of the virtues, the talents and the services of Frederick Fraley.
Mr. Smyth, in presenting to the Society the portrait of Prof. Lesley, said :
At the same time that the portrait of Mr. Fraley was obtained it was learned that a portrait of Prof. J. P. Lesley was obtainable ; the subscription fund was immediately enlarged and the second portrait was procured. I must not omit to add that both are the admirable work of the same excellent artist-Mrs. Margaret Lesley Bush Brown, a daughter of Prof. Lesley.
In behalf of the subscribers, I present both these portraits to the American Philosophical Society.
Mr. WILLIAM A. INGHAM said:
In speaking to the resolution accepting the donation of Prof. Lesley's portrait tendered this evening to the Society my words shall be few and I hope fit.
This portrait of Prof. Lesley by his daughter is to me a most speaking likeness. It shows him as I have seen him a hundred times sitting in his chair, roused up from a reverie by some remark, whether opposing his views or corroborating them (it made little difference), but rousing him up and starting him off, active and alert on an animated discourse which might last an hour.
I have seen him thus often, and I prefer to remember him thus, if it shall so happen, that in the course of nature he shall go before me to join the majority. I am not competent (who is?) to pronounce on his eminent qualities as a geologist and scientist.
Prof. Lesley was an assistant on the First Geological Survey of the State, and has written a history of that Survey, published in Volume A of the Reports of the Second Survey.
The First Survey was completed in 1858 by the publication of the
Final Report, but some years prior to that date the corps was disbanded and Prof. Lesley had turned his attention to other matters..
He was Secretary of the American Iron and Steel Association for six years, and during that time he published The Iron Manufacturers' Guide (1856), which is a complete list of the active furnaces in the United States and a very complete discussion of the iron ores.
Of course much of this is now obsolete, but at the time it was the first and only manual on the subject.
About the same time he published his Manual of Coal.
This little book, a model of its kind, contains, first, a description of the coals of Pennsylvania, remarkable for its accuracy, and, second, a concise treatise on “ Surface Geology.” In this the author insists on the importance of topography as an adjunct to geology.
Prof. Spencer, in a recent address (Popular Science Monthly, May, 1898), says, “Geomorphy is the outgrowth of topography, which was made a science fifty or sixty years ago by Prof. J. P. Lesley and his coworkers. Its birth is graphically described by the author himself.”
And from the very beginning of the Second Geological Survey, Prof. Lesley has always insisted on the importance of topography as preliminary to geology. This is shown by the repeated efforts of the Board at his instigation to obtain an appropriation for a topographical survey. The failure of these efforts will account for the fact that the Second Geological Survey is not as satisfactory as it might have been made.
It seems strange at this date that any argument should be necessary in favor of topography as preliminary to geology.
After the disbandment of the First Survey, Prof. Lesley was constantly occupied as an expert geologist—which work took him all over our State and into adjoining States. He became thoroughly familiar with every square mile of the State geologically and geographically
In this time he made frequent professional visits to Europe, where he made acquaintance with all eminent geologists, many of whom became his life-long friends.
In one of these visits he saw that the key to the complicated structure of the Jura was to be found in Pennsylvania, and Desor came over here and learned from us how to interpret the Jura problem.
This varied professional experience, as evinced in his reports to
his employers (one of which, on the Nittany Valley ores, a model of geological work, has been published), but most of which are in the archives of his employers—his numerous publications in the ProCEEDINGS of our Society, his general repute as to familiarity with the geology of the State, combined to make him the choice for State Geologist under the act of 1874.
He was Librarian of this Society part of the time and Secretary all the time from 1858 to 1887.
He was Vice-President from 1887 to 1898.
My personal intercourse with Prof. Lesley began with the organization of the Second Geological Survey in 1874.
Since that time he as State Geologist and I as Secretary have been in the most intimate connection.
In that period of over twenty years I have been impressed with his unselfish motives, supervising the field work of his assistants with the sole idea, (1) of the good of the Survey, and (2) that every man should receive full credit for his work.
He is a thorough, unselfish, impartial man of science. It is largely due to Prof. Lesley, in continuing across this State the work begun by Prof. Cook in New Jersey on the terminal glacial moraine, that the wonderful recent revival of interest in surface geology is due. The modern geology which attempts to account for the present condition of the earth's surface may almost be said to date from the survey of the terminal moraine.
Aside from geology, Prof. Lesley, in his Lowell lectures, delivered in 1865-1866, on the “Origin and Destiny of Man," branches far afield into Egyptology and Theology. In these subjects, which he merely touches, he shows the hand of a master.
A list, possibly imperfect, kindly prepared for me by Miss Morrison, is hereto appended of Prof. Lesley's contributions to our PROCEEDINGS. The titles number sixty-nine, on almost every subject conceivable. But besides these printed papers, he has often delighted the Society with impromptu remarks on matters pending. We all remember how brilliant these impromptu remarks were ; how he illuminated what was obscure and explained what was confused. Sad to say, no record of these speeches has been preserved.
In the preparation of this brief and inadequate sketch, it has been my duty and pleasure to read again some of Prof. Lesley's publications, and I have been impressed more than ever with his amazing versatility, with the power of his imagination, illuminating every
subject with flashes of genius, with his perfect command of language and his profound thought.
His introductory chapters to the Final Report of the Second Survey (a most unequal work, part of which was written under stress of physical and nervous depression), particularly the chapters on “Geological Time," “Geological Space" and “The Appalachian Sea," with his other works previously mentioned, deserve record here. These show that he is not a narrow-minded, one-sided person ; that his scope embraced the sphere of human knowledge, of course with limitations, as no man is omniscient. After all, his monument is to be found in the publications of the Second Geological Survey, 120 volumes, a library in itself.
It is our pride that he belongs to us. It is our pleasure that we have now a portrait of him which may serve to perpetuate his likeness to those who shall come after him, and who will reap, perhaps unwittingly, the harvest from seed which he has sown.
Communications Published in the TRANSACTIONS and PROCEEDINGS of the
American Philosophical Society, by Prof. J. P. Lesley. Notes on a Map intended to Illustrate Five Types of Earth Surface in
United States between Connecticut and the Atlantic Trans. [N.S.], xiii, 307 Insensible Gradation of Words
.Proc. vii, 129 Geology of the Arctic Archipelago
293 Copper Horizon
329 Becker's Aneroid..
342 Primary Limestone near Chadd's Ford, Pa.
“ viii, 281 Superclinous Oil Springs of the West
" 262 Coal System of Southern Virginia..
60 Aurora at Cape Breton.... Coal Measures at Cape Breton
.Proc. ix, 93, 197 West Virginia Asphalt.....
. Proc. ix, 183 Vortical Gales at Sea, January, 1864 Abbeville Quarries Ancient Sea Level. Pennsylvania Lignite ... Petroleum in Eastern Kentucky..
.Proc. x, 33, 187 Compounds of Bar
Proc. x, 137 Petroleum Well Sections.
227 D'Orbigny Papyrus....
543 Harris Museum in Alexandria.
561 Aurora of April 15, 1869....
xi, III Section across the Alleghany Mountains
115 Tornado at Cave City, Ky......... Violation of the Law of Debituminization....
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