John Kirk Townsend (1809-1851) was a Philadelphia Quaker who helped shape American science and American history with a pioneering trip across North America on behalf of the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1834. His narrative of that trip, published in 1839, is considered a classic of American travel literature.
Leaving Philadelphia at the age of 24, he returned three years later with a remarkable number of natural history discoveries which were greeted with enthusiasm by the members of the Academy of Natural Sciences and were used as models by John James Audubon in The Birds of America and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
To commemorate the bicentennial of Townsend’s birth, and to celebrate his many achievements, Academy Senior Fellow Robert Peck will present an illustrated talk about Townsend and his remarkable life. Don’t miss this chance to learn about one of the most important (but least known) naturalists of the 19th century.
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