Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America, Volume I
Part I. Essay on classification
Part II. North American Testudinata
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)
Boston, Little, Brown and Company; London, Trübner & Co., 1857
Gould Library Special Collections
Agassiz published his Essay on Classification in the first volume of the Contributions. For Agassiz, the proper classification of plants and animals was essential to understanding the relationships among animals and between animals and the environments they inhabit.
An anti-evolutionist, Agassiz argued that plant and animal species are immutable and do not change over time. In the Essay, he wrote that ” . . . all differences observed among finite beings are ordained by the action of the Supreme Intellect, and not determined by physical causes.” (1)
(1) Louis Agassiz. Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America, Vol. I. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1857, p. 83.