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Gould, Laurence McKinley (22 August 1896–21 June 1995), educator, geologist, and explorer, was born in Lacota, Michigan, the son of Herbert Gould and Anna Updike, farmers. In 1914 he left the family farm and moved to Boca Raton, Florida, where he taught in a one-room schoolhouse. He also helped to found a Sunday school class and with his students published the ...

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Hall, Basil (31 December 1788–11 September 1844), captain in the British navy and author of scientific works and books of travel, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Sir James Hall, a geologist of repute who published on a variety of other subjects as well, including architecture, and Helen Douglas. After a basic education in Edinburgh, Basil at age fourteen joined the Royal Navy and set out on the first of many voyages. By age twenty he was made lieutenant and at twenty-nine was a captain....

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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 ...

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Webber, Charles Wilkins (29 May 1819–11 April 1856), author and adventurer, was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the son of Augustine Webber, physician, and Agnes Maria Tannehill. Educated at home, Webber left Kentucky in 1838 after his mother’s death. Traveling south and west, he spent time with John Coffee Hays and the Texas Rangers and met ...