The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 33
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David 7ou verceur 2uret,
S. W. GEISER
A BIOLOGIST, working on the history of his science, often
encounters materials of interest to colleagues in the more
formal fields of social and political history. When working in the
Yale Library, for example, I took time to run over the printed
and manuscript materials in the alumni collection of Ashbel
Smith's class (that of 1824) to see what materials on his life
existed that had been unworked. My pleasure was unbounded
to find in that collection an early autograph-album effusion
of Smith, and abundant other materials on the formative period
of Smith's sojourn at Yale. If anyone in the future works on
the life of Ashbel Smith, I 'recommend this collection as worthy
of the closest attention. Ashbel Smith (besides his notable
work as Texan statesman and patriot) was a well-trained
scientist. He took Phi Beta Kappa at Yale in the Class of
1824 and his M.D. degree at Yale in 1828. This training was
followed by work at the Necker Hospital in Paris; and he
came to Texas with an admirable training in the spirit and
method of science which even the leveling influences of the
frontier could not crush. He was one of the founders of the
Philosophical Society of Texas (1837), of the Texas Literary
Institute (1846), of Galveston College (1852), of the Houston
Scientific Institute (1866), and numerous other educational
organizations. He was, of course, first president of the board
of regents of The University of Texas. He made a number of
important publications on the epidemic diseases of early Texas
(1839, 1850, 1854), and published an important paper on the
geography of Texas, in the bulletin of the Geographical Society
of Paris, in 1844.
Again, when four years ago I was working on the publica-
tions of Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in the library of the
Gray Herbarium in Cambridge, I came upon some exceedingly
tare material on the life of David G. Burnet (1788-1870).
Because of its rarity, because it casts light on an early Texan
statesman, and because it also deals with an early American
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/37/?rotate=270: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.