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Clapp, Asahel (05 October 1792–17 December 1862), physician, botanist, and geologist, was born in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, the son of Reuben Clapp and Hepzibah Gates, farmers. When Clapp was a small child, his family moved to Montgomery, Franklin County, Vermont, near the Canadian border. Later, after acquiring sufficient learning for the purpose, he moved to Shelton, Vermont, to teach school. At about eighteen years of age and desiring to learn medicine, he moved to St. Albans, Vermont, and apprenticed himself to Dr. Benjamin Chandler. The completion date of his training and his whereabouts thereafter are unknown until he arrived in New Albany, Indiana, early in 1817....

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Emmons, Ebenezer (16 May 1799–01 October 1863), medical doctor and geologist, was born in Middlefield, Massachusetts, the son of Ebenezer Emmons and Mary Mack, farmers. Childhood interests in insect and mineral collecting predisposed Emmons to the natural sciences at Williams College, from which he graduated in 1818. That same year he was married to Maria Cone; they had three children....

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Houghton, Douglass (21 September 1809–13 October 1845), geologist and physician, was born in Troy, New York, the son of Jacob Houghton, a lawyer and later a county judge, and Mary Lydia Douglass. Raised in a close-knit, cultured home in Fredonia, New York, Douglass was a small person with a nervous, active temperament inclined toward the practical and scientific. He exhibited early his lifelong interest in the natural world, and in spite of a slight speech impediment and facial scarring from a youthful experiment with gunpowder he was at ease with all levels of society....