Linda Hall Library
Science Engineering Technology

Meriwether Lewis

Meriwether Lewis, an American naturalist explorer, was born Aug. 18, 1774. Lewis grew up in sight of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s residence in Virginia, and Jefferson thought highly of young Lewis, making him his personal secretary, really his aide-de-camp, during Jefferson’s first term in the White House (in fact, Lewis lived in the brand-new White House from 1801 to 1803, while Jefferson himself moved back to Monticello)…

Eberhard von Zimmermann

Eberhard von Zimmermann, a German zoologist, was born Aug. 17, 1743. Zimmermann was an important founder, if not THE founder, of biogeography. He made a detailed study of the distribution of mammals around the globe. Zimmermann noted that very few animals are tolerant of changes in climate; reindeer cannot live in Germany, or elephants in Italy…

Abbé Reginald Outhier

Abbé Réginald Outhier, a French cleric, was born Aug. 16, 1694. Outhier was not only a man of the cloth, but an accomplished surveyor and astronomer, and he was selected to accompany Pierre de Maupertuis and a small group of French scientists on a journey to Lapland in 1736…

Alexander von Keyserling

Count Alexander von Keyserling, a Russian zoologist, paleontologist and nobleman, was born Aug. 15, 1815. Keyserling was a close friend of the Tsar Nicholas I, and when the English geologist Roderick Murchison was invited by Nicholas to come to Russia to examine the geological formations there, Keyserling was assigned to accompany him…

Samuel Gurney Cresswell

Samuel Gurney Cresswell, a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy, died Aug. 14, 1867, at the age of 39; we do not know the day of his birth. In 1850, Cresswell set sail as second-in-command on HMS Investigator, the mission of which was to search for the missing crew and vessels of Sir John Franklin somewhere in the Arctic archipelago…