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SHEPARD, Charles Upham.

(1804 – 1886)

(Born: Little Compton, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 29 June 1804; Died: Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., 1 May 1886) American mineralogist.

Shepard was born the son of a congregational minister. He studied at Brown University in 1820-21, and in 1824 graduated from Amherst. He then studied for a while with Thomas Nuttall [1786-1859] before becoming assistant to Benjamin Silliman [1779-1864] at Yale. Shepard was a lecturer on natural history at Yale from 1830 to 1847. He also became a professor of chemistry and natural history at Amherst in 1835, a post he held until 1852. From 1834 to 1861, Shepard was professor of chemistry at the Medical College of Charleston, South Carolina. Shepard was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the societies of natural science at St. Petersburg and Vienna, as well as the Royal Society of Göttingen. His publications were in mineralogy, chemistry and geology, with most of his papers being published in the American Journal of Science. Much manuscript material is in the Amherst College library. At the age of fifteen, Shepard began to collect minerals and meteorites. He carried this collection first to Brown University and then to Amherst. There he became a student of Amos Eaton [1776-1842], who inspired Shepard to visit various mineral localities. Subsequently, he made expeditions throughout the U.S. east of Mississippi and discovered a number of new species. Collecting of pink and green tourmalines from Paris, Maine and rutile from Georgia made it possible for him to build a large and important mineral collection through exchanges with European collections. Although in 1881, a major portion of the collection was destroyed in a fire at Amherst, at the time of his death 5 years later, Shepard's collection of minerals was said to be the largest in America, and certainly one of the best in the world. It was donated to Amherst by his son.

Biographical references: ABA: I 1456, 239-240, 244-247. American Chemists & Chemical Engineers: 2, 253-4 [by R.C. Sheridan]. American Journal of Science: 3rd Series, 31 (1886), 482-3. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 239. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 263. DAB: 17, 71-2 [by F.B. Lommis]. Daniels, American Science in the Age of Jackson, 1968. Elliott, Biographical Index, 1990: 210. Elliott, Biographical Dictionary, 1979: 234-5. Poggendorff: 2, cols. 919-20 & 1441, 3, 1242 & 4, 1392. Popular Science Monthly: 47 (1895), 548-53, portrait. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 21 (1886), 535-7. Sarjeant, Geologists, Suppl. 2, 1995: 2, 1074. WBI. Wilson, Benjamin Silliman and his circle, 1979. World Who's Who in Science: 1535. Youmans, Pioneers of Science in America, 1896: 419-27.

Treatise on Mineralogy, 1832

1. English, 1832-5 [First edition].
Treatise | on | Mineralogy. | [rule] | By | Charles Upham Shepard, A.B. | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [double rule] | New Haven: | Hezekiah Howe. | [rule] | 1832.

2 parts in 3 vols. [Part 1] 8°: [i]-xix, [1] errata, [1]-256 p., illus.; [Part 2, vol. 1] 8°: [i]-xliv, [1]-300 p., 271 illus.; [Part 2, vol. 2] 8°: [1]-331, [1] blank p., 228 illus.

Contents: [Part 1: 1832] [i-ii], Title page, verso copyright notice.; [iii]-xi, "Preface."- signed Charles U. Shepard, 1 June 1832.; [xii], Blank.; [xiii]-xix, "Table Of Contents."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [1]-256, Text.

[Part 2, vol. 1: 1835] [i-ii], Title page, verso copyright notice.; [iii]-iv, Dedication to Benjamin Silliman, signed Charles U. Shepard, May 1835.; [v]-xvi, "Preface."; xvii, "List Of The Principal Works Consulted In The Prepa- | ration Of This Treatise."; [xviii], Breithaupt's scale of hardness and errata.; xix-xliv, "Tabular View | Of The | Classes, Orders, Genera And Species | Of The Natural System.; [1]-300, Text.

[Part 2, vol. 2: 1835] [1-2], Title page, verso copyright notice.; [3]-294, Text.; 295-316, "Chemical Arrangement | Of The | Species."; 317-331, "Appendix."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. After the two editions of Cleaveland, the next comprehensive mineralogical work published in America was Shepard's Treatise. Based partly on the plan of Frederick Mohs and partly on original research, this work treats mineralogy as a separate study in natural history. It is innovative in separating its subject from other topics formerly regarded as belonging to it and defining precisely the terms it applies to mineralogical science. The work is separated into five parts. Volume one contains the first four, while volume two holds the last part. Terminology, described in part one, is divided into 3 divisions. The first applying to simple minerals embraces the geometrical properties of minerals such as crystallography, cleavage, fracture, surface appearance and double refraction. The second division which refers to compound minerals, describes twin crystals, groups and geodes of crystals, imitative shapes of crystals, and pseudomorphs. Division three describes the properties common to both simple and compound minerals. These are divided into optical and physical. The former consists of luster, color and transparency while the later covers aggregation, hardness, specific gravity, magnetism, electricity, taste and odor. Special attention is given here to describing Mohs scale of hardness and its derivation because this property plays an important role in the Classification and Characteristic sections of the work described below. The second part covering Classification, describes the theoretical part of the science. It fixes the idea of species, and discusses the generalities of classification. After briefly explaining the differences between artificial and natural classification schemes, Shepard introduces his artificial method. Rooted in the principals of Mohs, it derives classes and orders as follows: "1. Minerals possessed of regular forms; 2. Minerals yielding regular forms only by cleavage; 3. Minerals destitute of regular forms, and not affording them by cleavage. The first may be termed the Crystallized class, the second the Semi-crystallized class, and the third the Uncrystallized class." The first two classes are divided into orders by their different systems of crystallization, or primary forms. The third is divided into three orders, depending upon if the contents are solid, liquid or gaseous. The arrangement of the species in each order is in a series according upon the property of hardness, unless the species is liquid or gaseous in which event the classifier is specific gravity. Part three describes the purpose of Nomenclature in mineralogy. It divides the subject into systematic and trivial components, and concludes that in mineralogy only a trivial nomenclature should be applied. This is because minerals do not propagate their kinds like living species and therefore, no systematic treatment of names could be used to distinguish the different minerals. Completing the first volume is part four the Characteristic. This section describes the properties that can be used to identify a specimen in hand and relate it back to the classification and ultimately it proper name. For example, is the mineral crystallized? Such a property is the characteristic of the class. Is the system of crystallization a cube? Such an observation finds the order. Determining the specimens hardness narrows it to usually two or three species. Finally, determining the specific gravity of the specimen theoretically provides the last trait needed to look up the aforementioned properties in the provided tables and determine the name of the species. An interesting feature of these tables is that all species thus far found in America are specifically marked. In 1835 was published the second part of the Treatise, bound in two volumes and containing the five part, Physiography. This is a descriptive mineralogy, with the species arranged alphabetically so as to be more useful for students employing Shepard's Characteristic to locate a detailed descriptions of specific minerals. In addition, two tables are presented. The first outlines a natural history classification and the second presents a chemical scheme. The descriptions of the species are valuable for giving details of American localities, many of which the author had personally visited, and which have long since been exhausted. Numerous well executed figures mostly of crystals are scattered throughout the text, adding to the value of the work. This edition is rare in complete sets.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 80. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 491. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 2040.

2. English, 1844 [2nd edition].
A | Treatise | on | Mineralogy. | By | Charles Upham Shepard, M.D. | Prof. Of Chemistry In The Medical College Of South Carolina. | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Second Edition. | [rule] | New Haven: | A.H. Maltby. | Charleston, S.C.-Babcock & Co. | Amherst, Mass.-J.S. & C. Adams. | [rule] | 1844.

8°: viii, 168 p., diagrams, illustrations.

Very scarce. This is the second edition of the first part of the Treatise by Shepard published in 1832 with some additional information added to the table of the species. It also is the cause of some bibliographical confusion, because a portion of this edition was bound up with the slightly appended descriptive mineralogy of the first issues (1835). The author gives the following explanation for this occurrence: "In giving the characters of the species (p. 106 to the end), I have appended (within parentheses) to each, the most interesting information of various kinds, which has been brought forward since 1835, with a view to supply the principal deficiency which the use of the treatise might occasion to such as wish to employ it, in connection with my general work on descriptive mineralogy of that date." [Advertisement to the new edition of the Introduction]. Shepard has continued within this introduction to follow the principals of Frederick Mohs in relation to the determinations and arrangement of the minerals. This was a natural method of classification that many mineralogies had followed, including James Dwight Dana in his System of Mineralogy, the second edition of which had been published a few months prior to Shepard's. However, the anonymous (Benjamin Silliman, Jr.?) review of Shepard's Treatise in the American Journal of Science takes the author to task for still adhering to this method and not adopting the seemingly more appropriate chemical scheme: "Chemical evidence has therefore with him no decisive weight, unless it is corroborative of natural history characters." The inability for Shepard to accept the chemical approach inevitably lead to his Treatise being overshadowed by other works.

Bibliographical references: American Journal of Science: 1st Series, 47 (1844), 333-51. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 80.

3. English, 1857 [3rd edition].
A | Treatise | on | Mineralogy. | By | Charles Upham Shepard, M.D., | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornate rule] | Third Edition, | With 488 Illustrations. | [ornate rule] | New Haven: | Printed By B.L. Hamlen, | Printer to Yale College. | [rule] | 1857.

4°: π4 1-564 572; 230l.; [i]-vii, [1] blank, [1]-451, [1] blank p., index, 725 illus. Page size: 226 x 130 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso copyright notice.; [iii]-vii, "Supplement to the Appendix."; [viii], Blank.; [1]-5, "Introduction."; 6-31, "Section I. Properties of Simple Minerals."; 32-35, "Section II. Properties of Compound Minerals."; 36-52, "Section III. Properties Common to both Simple and Compound Minerals."; 53-63, "System of Arrangement."; 64-376, "Part II. Characters and Descriptions of Species."; [377]-394, "Chemical Arrangement of the Species."; [395]-420, "Natural History Arrangement of the Species."; [421]-432, "Appendix."; 433, "Plan of Arrangement of the Author's Mineralogical Collection."; 434-438, "Catalogue of C.U. Shepard's Meteoric Collection."; [439]-451, "Index."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. The first part concerns theoretical aspects, dividing the science into five sections. First, there is a description of the terminology used in the science. Second comes the theoretical structure of the classification, while the third explains the objectives of the nomenclature used in the system. The fourth section derives the characteristics used to distinguish minerals within the theoretical framework, while the five explains the nature of physiography, or the actual placing of minerals into the system. The second part contains descriptions of the minerals arranged in the classification scheme outlined in part one of the Treatise. The descriptions are complemented by 725 fine drawings, mostly of crystals. Appendices at the end arrange the mineral names according to their chemistry and to the natural history method. Also of interest are descriptions of Shepard's mineralogical and meteoric collections. Part one of this volume was published in 1852, although no reference is made to this on the title page which lists 1857 as its published date.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 80.