On 10 May 1842, Amos Eaton (1776–1842) passed away in Troy, NY.
He was an American botanist, geologist, and educator who co-founded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824 with Stephen Van Rensselaer III (1764–1839). His work as an educator is considered to have helped established the modern science education system independent of the liberal arts.
A biography notes that he underwent a Christian conversion following an affliction:
“‘Professor Eaton was a firm believer in the Christian religion’, says Prof H.B. Nason, who knew him as well as any man, ‘and he was sustained and comforted by its truths amid trials and afflictions which seldom fell to the lot of man,’
“In a letter to his wife after a deep affliction he wrote, ‘I feel that these trials are but the chastisement of a father. My faith in divine revelation and in the immediate agency of an all seeing God is greatly strengthened.’
“Again he writes: ‘My little office has become to me a house of prayer. I can close my work by strenuous exertion so as to gain two or three hours each day for reading of the scriptures, contemplation, and prayer.’ ‘At last’, he adds, ‘I seemed to consent to all the terms of the Gospel, and to throw myself wholly upon Divine mercy without reserve. I have faith to believe that he heard my prayer and gave my soul its first moments of real peace’.”
Among his books were Art without Science (1800), Elementary Treatise on Botany (1810), Botanical Dictionary (1817) (2nd 1819, 4th ed. 1836), Manual of Botany (1817) and Chemical Notebook (1821), Chemical Instructor (1821), Cuvier’s Grand Division (1822), Geological Nomenclature of North America (1822), Zoological Syllabus and Notebook (1822), Geological and Agricultural Survey of the District adjoining the Erie Canal (1824), Philosophical Instructor (1824), Botanical Exercises (1825), Botanical Grammar and Dictionary (1828), Geological Text-Books Prepared for Popular Lectures on North American Geology (1830), Directions for Surveying and Engineering (1838), Geological Text-Book for the Troy Class (1841).
—“Amos Eaton.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.
—Ballard, Harlan Hoge. Amos Eaton. (Pittsfield, MA: Berkshire Historical Society, 1897), 232. Images: United States Geological Survey; Undated postcard from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.