Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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ACADEMIES (IN AMERICA). The oldest among the American academies devoted to the progress of science, is the American philosophical society at Philadelphia, founded by Benjamin Franklin and his associates in 1743. It has published, from 1771 to 1881, two series of transactions in quarto, numbering 21 volumes, (besides 20 volumes of proceedings), and filled with papers of value on a great variety of subjects. The American academy of arts and sciences, established at Boston, 1780, has issued many costly volumes, illustrating natural history and other sciences. The academy of natural sciences of, Philadelphia, started in 1814, has devoted itself to original investigations and publications, as to the plants, animals and minerals of the United States, and has collected a very fine and extensive museum of objects of natural history. The lyceum of natural history in New York city, founded 1818, has published many volumes of annals devoted to science. The Boston society of natural history, 1834, has done much to promote investigation in its special field. The Connecticut academy of arts and sciences, founded in 1799, at New Haven, is still publishing valuable memoirs. The Essex institute, of Salem, Mass., formed in 1848 from the union of a county natural history society and a historical society, has nearly 500 members, and has printed a long series of collections illustrating history, biography, and almost every department of science. The Albany (N. Y.) institute, organized in 1824, has collected a library and a natural history collection, and published 8 volumes of transactions. The Franklin institute of Philadelphia, which dates from 1824, is for the promotion of the mechanic arts, and has published 110 volumes of its journal. The American institute, New York city, dating from 1829, devoted chiefly to agriculture and the mechanic arts. Thirty-two volumes of its transactions have been published by the state.


—Of institutions or academies devoted to the fine arts, may be named the national academy of design, organized at New York in 1828, the Pennsylvania academy of fine arts, Philadelphia, 1807, and the metropolitan museum of art, established in New York city in 1870; these have annual or permanent exhibitions of painting and sculpture, and the last named has gathered a most valuable archæological collection.


—Of the historical societies of the United States, the oldest is the Massachusetts historical society, organized at Boston in 1791, "to collect, preserve and communicate materials for a complete history of the country." It has published more than 70 volumes. Since the birth of this Nestor of the historical societies, more than 170 others have been formed, representing states or localities, of which we can only name the more vigorous or extensive: New York historical society (1804); American antiquarian society, Worcester, Mass., (1812); Rhode Island, Providence, (1822); Maine, (1822); New Hampshire, (1823); Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, (1824); Connecticut, Hartford, (1825); Ohio historical and philosophical society, Cincinnati, (1831); Virginia, Richmond, (1831); Vermont, Montpelier, (1838); Georgia, Savannah, (1839); Maryland, Baltimore, (1844); New Jersey, Newark, (1845); New England historic-genealogical society, Boston, (1845); Minnesota, St. Paul, (1849); Wisconsin, Madison, (1849); Iowa, Iowa City, (1857); Long Island, Brooklyn, N. Y., (1863); and Southern historical society, Richmond, (1869). Most of these have published volumes of original contributions to history or early manuscripts.


—Of academies devoted to special sciences, there are the American geographical society, organized at New York in 1851; American philological society New York; American institute of architects, New York; American oriental society, founded at New Haven, in 1842; American numismatic and archæological society, 1857; American society of civil engineers and architects, New York; the American ethnological society, New York, 1842; Washington philosophical society, Washington, D. C., 1871; Cooper union for the advancement of science and art, New York, 1854, with a free school of art and science, lectures, library and periodical reading room; Lowell institute, Boston, 1839; Peabody institute, Baltimore, 1857 [the last two devoted, the one to public lectures, the other to a library, popular lectures, a conservatory of music, and an academy of art]; American association for advancement of social science, Boston, 1869, which has published 10 volumes; American medical association, Philadelphia, 1847; American public health association, Washington, 1872; American pharmaceutical society, Philadelphia, 1852.


—There are in the United States, 3 more prominently national organizations or academies, viz.: The national academy of sciences, Washington, incorporated by congress in 1863, with a membership originally limited to 50; this academy is required to investigate and report upon any subjects referred to it by the government, and its proceedings and papers (hitherto small in extent) are printed by congress. The American association for advancement of science, organized in 1848, 30 volumes of whose annual proceedings have been issued. The Smithsonian institution, Washington, created by act of congress in 1846, in pursuance of a legacy left by an Englishman to found an institution for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men. Its large income, of about $35,000 annually, is expended in procuring and publishing original researches in science, and to an efficient and widely useful international exchange. It has published more than 75 volumes of contributions to knowledge, miscellaneous collections and annual reports.


—In America, outside of the United States, may be named the natural history society of Montreal; the literary and historical society of Quebec; the real sociedad económica de la Habana (Cuba); the sociedad Mexicana de geografia y estadistica (México); the instituto historico geographico e ethnographico do Brazil (Rio Janeiro), an active scientific academy, the most important in South America, founded in 1838, and enjoying an annual grant of $3,500 from the government; and the universidad de Chile (Santiago), an institution for liberal education, which has published over 50 volumes of valuable anales and scientific memoirs.


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