previous next

[126] untrained understandings. They recognized his enthusiasm and his genius, and loved him accordingly.

Professor Agassiz's interest in his collection for its own sake, and especially for its educational value, was absorbing. While it was in the boathouse, and later when it filled a large old wooden building near the college, he could hardly rest for fear of fire or other accident which might so easily destroy it. Most of his time was devoted to it. Nearly all his money was expended upon it. In “Louis Agassiz: his life and Correspondence,” his wife quotes him as exclaiming during an illness:--

“O my Museum! my Museum! always uppermost by day and by night, in health and in sickness, always-always!”

It must be remembered that by his own efforts he had gathered a great collection; with his own money he was caring for it, and such care is costly. His private life was a constant struggle with the poverty thus voluntarily incurred.

But better days were to dawn. Financial burdens were lightened by the very successful school for girls opened by his wife. In this school he himself took delight in giving the young women their instruction in science.

At last, in 1858, he knew the relief of having his burden shared. Mr. Francis C. Gray left $50,000 for a “Museum of comparative zoology,” to be established at Harvard. Land was at once given by the University, aid was granted by legislature and over $70,000 was subscribed by citizens. Now a suitable building could be erected and there were pecuniary resources sufficient to care for his beloved specimens.

Although Agassiz was permitted to see only the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Louis Agassiz (3)
Francis C. Gray (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1858 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: