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Elliott Coues Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-43487).

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Coues, Elliott (09 September 1842–25 December 1899), naturalist and historian, was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel Elliott Coues and Charlotte Haven Ladd. His father, a prominent peace advocate, received a position in the U.S. Patent Office and moved the family to Washington, D.C., in 1854. There, under the tutelage of ...

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Hildreth, Samuel Prescott (30 September 1783–24 July 1863), physician, naturalist, and historian, was born in Methuen, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Hildreth, a physician and farmer, and Abigail Bodwell. At age fifteen he entered Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; he spent four terms at Andover and Franklin academies. He studied medicine first under his father and then for two years under Thomas Kittredge of Andover. To complete his education, he attended an eight-week course at Harvard Medical School, after which he received a diploma from the Medical Society of Massachusetts in 1805....

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Keeler, Clyde Edgar (11 April 1900–22 April 1994), biologist, educator, and cultural historian, was born in Marion, Ohio, the son of Anthony Sylvester Keeler, a watchmaker and teacher, and Amanda Jane Dumm Keeler, a teacher. Growing up in Marion, with nearby farmlands, Keeler had early opportunities—on his milk and paper routes—to observe nature, and he attributed the launching of his biomedical career to childhood observations of field mice. Keeler graduated from Denison University (Granville, Ohio) in 1923 with a zoology major and enough credits for a master’s degree; he lacked only the research component, which he completed in 1925 at Harvard. Cited as “the school artist” in the yearbook, he was Phi Beta Kappa, president of the Zoology Club, and captain of the cross country team. He was also a member of the Student Army Training Corps (for World War I) and, after the war, the Reserve Officers Training Corps; he eventually rose to the rank of major in the U.S. Army Officers Reserve Corps....

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Thompson, Zadock (23 May 1796–19 January 1856), naturalist and Vermont historian, was born at Bridgewater, Vermont, the son of Barnabas Thompson and Sarah Fuller, farmers. The Thompsons eked out a subsistence from Bridgewater’s stony soil, and as a sickly youth Zadock rejected the prospect of a lifetime of farming, giving instead, as his brother Salmon put it, “early evidence that he liked to read better than to work.” He spent his late teens and early twenties studying and teaching school in eastern Vermont and western New York, but he had to return home when a severe illness kept him bedridden the first six months of 1818. Looking for other means of making a living, Thompson compiled and published four almanacs for 1819 and 1820, filling them with his self-calculated astronomical data, moral maxims drawn after Poor Richard, and “a great variety of original and selected instructive and entertaining matter” that included selections of his own turgid verse....