Rare Natural History Book, Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, A First lesson in Natural History

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Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, A First lesson in Natural History. 1st edition, Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1859. Octavo, pp. 82, 40 text wood cuts.

The work is complete and in the original brown cloth with gilt titles. The binding is tight, light scuffing to the boards. The text is clean. In very good condition.


Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz (1822-1907) grew up in Massachusetts society and used her knowledge and her social connections to advance the cause of women's education. She was one of the first women to be elected to the American Philosophical Association. She was also the wife of the noted naturalist, Louis Agassiz. In 1865 she helped organize and manage the Thayer expedition to Brazil with her husband. In 1871 she helped organize and manage the Hassler Expedition, which was the first important American government marine expeditions. Much of the expeditions collected specimens were given to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, which Louis Agassiz had founded. Elizabeth Agassiz's notes from that expedition are the only extant explanations of Louis Agassiz's later theories of glaciation For several years, Elizabeth and several other women had been advocating that Harvard open its doors to women. Finally in 1879, the Harvard Annex was founded. In 1882 Elizabeth Agassiz was involved in establishing the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women. She served as president of the Society for 12 years until it became Radcliffe College in 1894 and Elizabeth served as the first President from 1894 until 1903. During her life Elizabeth published several works on natural history with her work "First Studies in Natural History" being her first. Her last published work was the two volume "Biography of Louis Agassiz" published in 1885.