- Joel S. Schwartz
Orton, James (21 April 1830–25 September 1877), naturalist, explorer, and educator, was born in Seneca Falls, New York, the son of Azariah Giles Orton, a theologian and scholar, and Minerva Squire. His father earned a meager salary as a country parson, and his family had few material advantages, but young Orton received much intellectual stimulation and support at home. He exhibited a keen interest in science, particularly natural history and mineralogy. While still in his teens he began to write about the things he observed on the numerous field trips he took near his rural home. After attending a boarding school in Oxford, New York, he went to Williston Seminary because his family felt he should prepare for the ministry. Maintaining his interest in the natural sciences, however, he wrote and published ...