The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 316
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In 1844 an Independent Universalist minister from Fall River,
Massachusetts, Levi Chase, delivered a lecture on phrenology and
physiognomy,21 and in the following year, one Dr. A. Crane not
only lectured on phrenology but also examined the bumps, knots,
and protuberances of dozens of heads, including that of President
Anson Jones. A newspaper editor remarked dryly that Crane had
his hands full.22
The inhabitants of Houston seem not to have had any insatiable
curiosity about the fauna and flora of the region, but two notable
visitors had. Early in 1837 John James Audubon visited Texas
to collect additional birds for his monumental Birds of America,
then still in press. He would much rather have spent all of his
time on Galveston Bay and lower Buffalo Bayou studying the
wildlife, but, upon an invitation from the government, he made
a hurried visit to Houston to study the wildlife of the city, not
the least of which was President Sam Houston himself.23 After
Audubon had left Texas, with a quantity of new specimens and
at least one new bird picture in his portfolio, Stephen Hendrick-
son Everitt, of Jasper, a civilized man when he was not engaging
in duels with champagne bottles in some local tavern, introduced
into the Senate of the Republic a bill granting honorary Texan
citizenship to Audubon, a bill in which his illiterate and semi-
literate colleagues had no interest whatsoever.24 In 1842 William
P. Smith was in Houston collecting animals and plants for the
Earl of Derby. Smith is said to have discovered in Texas a new
variety of panther and of wolf, as well as two skunks and an
2lMorning Star, December 28, 1844.
221bid., July 8, 1845; July 12, 1845; Telegraph and Texas Register, July g, 1845;
July 16, 1845-
lSJohn James Audubon, Ornithological Biography: Or an Account of the Habits
of the Birds of North America (5 vols.; Edinburgh, 1831-1839), IV, xvi-xix; Lucy
Audubon (ed.), The Life of John James Audubon, the Naturalist (New York,
1875), 408-413; Thomas M. Brewer, "Reminiscences of John James Audubon,"
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, LXI (October, 1880), 671; Alfred N. Williams,
Sam Houston and the War of Independence (Boston, c.1893), 246-248; Samuel
Wood Geiser, "Naturalists of the Frontier, VIII, Audubon in Texas," Southwest
Review, XVI (Autumn, 1930), 108-135, reprinted without documentation in Geiser,
Naturalists of the Frontier ([Dallas] 2nd ed., 1948), 79-84; Frances Hobart Herrick,
Audubon the Naturalist . . . (2 vols.; New York, 1938), II, 163-165.
24Telegraph and Texas Register, extra, May 23, 1837; "Texas Collection," South-
western Historical Quarterly, XLIV, 637-638.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/379/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.