A Claim for Scientific Property

A Claim for Scientific Property
Henry James Clark
Gould Library Special Collections

Henry James Clark produced many of the microscopic drawings that appear in the Contributions. In the Introduction to Volume I, Agassiz credited Clark for his work, and praised his “untiring patience and unsurpassed accuracy.”

By 1862, when Volume IV of the Contributions was published, Clark felt that Agassiz had not properly acknowledged his contributions to the project (1). In this letter, sent to scientists across the United States and Europe, Clark details his accusations against Agassiz, claiming that parts of Volumes II and III and nearly all of Volume IV were his own work.

Clark threatened a lawsuit, but it did not come to trial. Ultimately, Clark resigned from Harvard and joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania State College where he lectured and published his work on embryology (2).

(1) Edward Lurie. Louis Agassiz: A Life in Science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960. p. 319.
(2) Lurie, p. 322.