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HoS Advent Calendar 2016

Oliver Wendell Holmes to E. D. Cope

Oliver Wendell Holmes could write a thank-you letter. Here he thanks E. D. Cope for sending him a copy of his latest essay. Holmes regrets that he has not yet found the free time to concentrate on Cope’s essay and so has yet to read it, though he looks forward to doing so. Boston, Nov. […]

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History

Maria Wants Her Sextant Back

Buried in Haverford’s Special Collections is a brief letter from Maria Mitchell to E.D. Cope.[1] When she wrote to Cope, Mitchell was a senior member of the scientific community. She was director of Vassar College’s observatory, where she was also professor of astronomy. On October 1, 1847, when she was 29, she had discovered a […]

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History

Ernst Haeckel’s Letter to E.D. Cope

E.D. Cope received letters from all sorts of people, including one from Charles Darwin’s son Francis, who sought copies of any letters Cope and Darwin might have exchanged. Another of Cope’s correspondents was the German biologist Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel is best known for his particular theory of evolution, which combined aspects of Darwinism with German […]

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History

E.D. Cope’s Residence in Philadelphia

Edward Drinker Cope, the petulant paleontologist and neo-Lamarckian who complained about livestock being driven past his house and thought he was “an ideal model of homo sapiens and scientist” (see the section on “Cope’s Corpse”) lived for a time in adjoining townhouses on the corner of Pine Street and 21st in Philadelphia. He used one […]

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History

The Choleric Cope: An Exhibition Panel on Edward Drinker Cope

Last fall, as part of Haverford College’s exhibition on things Darwin—“Charles Darwin, Edward Drinker Cope, and the Evolution of the Natural Sciences at Haverford College”—I wrote a panel on Haverford’s most famous evolutionist, the Neo-Lamarckian Edward Drinker Cope. Although he is something of a local hero, Cope seems to have been a jerk (see, for […]

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History

A Day in the Life of Edward Drinker Cope

Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist who helped to establish the Neo-Lamarckian school of evolutionary thought. He was also a local Quaker and professor, first at Haverford College from 1864–1867 and then at the University of Pennsylvania in 1891. Cope thought that evolution occurred through changes in embryonic development, not natural selection. Additional stages […]