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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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Eaton, Amos (17 May 1776–10 May 1842), geologist, botanist, and educational reformer, was born in Chatham, New York, the son of Azubah Hurd and Abel Eaton, farmers. In 1790 Eaton went to Duanesburgh, New York, to live with a relative, Russell Beebe, who taught him land surveying. A blacksmith by trade, Beebe helped Eaton manufacture his own surveying instruments. From 1791 to 1795, Eaton studied the classics under private tutors in Chatham and nearby Hillsdale. He entered Williams College in 1795 and graduated in 1799. Also in 1799, Eaton began to study law in Spencertown, New York, and married Polly Thomas. They had one child before Polly died in 1802. The earliest hint of Eaton’s promise as an educator was realized with the publication of his surveying manual, ...

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Riddell, John Leonard (20 February 1807–07 October 1865), botanist, microscopist, and geologist, was born in Leyden, Massachusetts, the son of John Riddell and Lephe Gates. Riddell’s father, successively a schoolteacher, constable, and justice of the peace, subsequently moved his family to New York State near the town of Preston. Here Riddell received his early education at a school kept by one of his uncles. He then attended Oxford Academy for four months, served briefly as a schoolmaster, and later enrolled in Rensselaer School in Troy, New York, receiving a B.A. degree in 1829 and an M.A. in 1832. While acquiring his degrees, he supported himself by giving lectures on geology, botany, and chemistry in New York State and Ontario, Canada. His growing reputation as a lecturer led in 1832 to his appointment as professor of chemistry and botany at Ohio Reformed Medical College. Two years later he began lecturing on botany at the Cincinnati Medical College, where in 1836 he was awarded a medical degree. While in Ohio he published a series of papers on botany and geology and wrote ...