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The Fifth International Geological Congress, Washington, 1891

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The Fifth International Geological Congress, Washington, 1891The,Fifth,the

The Fifth International Geological Congress,

    Washington, 1891 byCliffordM.Nelson

    TheFifthInternationalGeological

    ??usGeologicalSurvey,950NationalCenter,Reston,VA20192

    0001,USA.E-mail:cnelson@usgs.gov

    The5thInternationalGeologicalCongress1GC).the

    initiaZmeetinginNorthAmerica.wasthefirstofthe three1GCsthathavebeenhetntheUnitedStatesof America(USAJ.0fthe538registrantsalivewhenthe 5thKjCconvenedinWashington.251persons,repre. sentingfifteencountries,actuallyattendedthemeeting. Theseparticipantsincluded173peoplefromthe. ofwhomforty..tworepresentedtheUSGeologicalSur.. 1,ey(USGS).FourteenoftheUSStategeologicalsur- veyssentrepresentativestoWashington.Eightpartici

    pantscamefromothercountriesintheWesternHemi. sphereCanada3).Chtlel1).Mexico(3).andPeru

    l1).Thesixty.sixEuropeangeologistsandnaturalistsat the5th1GCrepresentedAustro-Hungary3).Belgium

    (3),Britain(12).France(7).Germany(23).Norway (1),Romania(3).Russia(8).Sweden4).andSwitzer-

    land21.TheUSGSandtheColumbianCollege(now theGeorgeWashingtonUniversity)actedastheprinci. palhosts.TheAmericanAssociationfortheAdvance

    mentofScienceandthen

    America(GSA)metinthe

theGeologicalSocietyof

    Capitalimmediatelybefore

    theCongressconvened(26August-1September1891). The5th1GCformaldiscussionstreatedthe

    geneticclassificationofPleistocenerocks,thechrono. 1ogicalcorrelalionofclasticrocks,andthefnternational standardizationofcolors,symbols,andnamesusedon geologicmaps.thirdofthosetopicscontinuedkey

    debatesatthe1stthrough4th1GCsTheGSA.the

    KoreanEmbassy,theSmithsonianInstitutionUS

    NationalMuseum,theUsGsandoneofthetwo

    SecretariesGeneralhostedeveningreceptions.FieM

    excursionsexaminedPaleozoicexposuresinNewYork l825August).CretaceouPleistocenelocalitiesalong thePotomacRiversouthofWashington(30August),and classicPrecambrian.Pleistocenesequencesandstruc. 1uresintheGreatlains,YeZlowstone.RockyMoun

    tains,andGreatBasinl2-26September1.withoptional tripstotheGrandCanyonl19L-28September1andLake Superior(23September-2October).Thesingle.volume reportofthe5th1GCwaspublishedinWashingtonin l893

    Prologue:invitationsin1888forthe5thIGC

    enmeetinginLondonduring17-22September1888.the4th InternationalGeologicalCongress(IGC)receivedthreeinvitations toholdthenexttriennialcongressatcitiesintheUnitedStatesanda fourthtoconvenethe6thIGCinViennain1894.Onl9September. PersiforFrazer(FranklinInstitute),theSecretaryoftheAmerican AssociationfortheAdvancementofScience's(AAAS)Special CommitteeontheInternationalCongressofGeologists,introduceda

multipartyofferfromPhiladelphiatohostthe5thIGC.Theinvita

    lionstomeetintheUnitedStates(US)hadbeenexpectedeversince theAAASreestablishedits'AmericanCommittee'in1882.with JamesHall(StateGeologistofNewYork1asChairmanandThomas Hunt(NewYorkCity1asSecretary(Saunders.1883:634).The3rd IGC,heldinBerlininl885,hadrecordedaninvitationfroman unnamedrepresentativeofAmericaninstitutionsofhigherlearning andresearch,butnotamemberoftheAAASAmericanCommittee. toholdthe5thIGCinPhiladelphia.anearlier.butnowsmaller,cen

    terofscienceintheUSAthanWashington.Frazer,amemberofthe AmericanCommitteesince1885anditsSecretarysince1886.now urgedthe4thIGCtochoosePhiladelphia.principallytohonorthe originalAAASAmerican(or'Founding')Committeeof18761880

    duringtheUniversityofPennsylvania'scentennialcelebrationin 1891(Frazer,1888b;Dalia.1888a;Frazer,1889:54_55:Hulkeand Topley.1891:4950).Asecondandanonymousinvitationfrom

    NewYorkCitvalsoarrivedinLondon.

    On20September,GiovanniCapellini(Bologna)suggestedto theIGC'sCouncilthatitchooseanewcommitteeofAmericansand letitselectthelocationforthe5thIGC.TheCouncilpromptlyestab

    lishedanAmericanProvisional(Organising)Committeeforthe IGC,composedofHall,JamesDalia(Yale).Frazer.GroveKarl Gilbert(USGS),Hunt,OthnielCharlesMarsh(YaleandUSGS). JohnNewberry(ColumbiaandUSGS.Chairman).andCharlesWal

    cott(UsGS).TheCouncilchargedthemwithformingapermanent committeetoorganizethe5thIGC.Laterthatday.fivemembersof theProvisionalCommitteefavoredPhiladelphiaoverWashington byavoteofthree(Hunt,Frazer,andWalcott)totWO(Gilbertand Marsh)andtheythenmadethechoiceunanimous.Frazertransmit- tedthecommittee'sdecisiontotheCouncilon21September.on

    whichdaytheCouncilalsoreceivedbycableanofferfromJohn Powell,DirectoroftheUSGSsince1881,tostagethe5thIGCin Washington.JosephPrestwich(Oxford),the4thIGC'sPresident. readPowell'smessagetotheattendees.Prestwich'sreplythanked Powell,butaddedthattheCouncilhadalreadyapprovedthechoice ofPhiladelphiaandhadsoinformeditsma3,or.

    Dr.NelsonhasservedasageologistandhistorianwithUSGSatReston,Virginia,since1976

    Episodes,Vo1.29,no.4

    Eachofthewesternexcursionsparticipantsdepartedfrom WashingtonwithacopyofthedetailedguidebookwrittenbyCross, Eldridge,Emmons,Gilbert,'Uly'Grant(GeorgeWilliams'sprottgt), Hague.Iddings,McGee,EdwardOrton(StateGeologistofOhio), AlbertPeale(USGS),Walcott,WalterWeed(USGS),White,and GeorgeWilliams.andeditedbyEmmons(1891d).Bytheendofthe secondday,thepartyhadpassedupthevalleyofthePotomacand crossedtheAppalachiansandfourMidweststatestoreachMin

    neapo!is.St.Pau1.Afterasixhourstopover.hostedbyNewton

    Winche11.thepartycontinuedwestacrossthenorthernGreatPlains, wherethenativetribesnolongerposedanydangertotravellers.In 1890.theUSCensusBureauhadofficiallydeclared(forits1lth decennialcoverage)thatitcouldnolongerrecognizeadefinitefron

    tierinthe?rest.ThelongseriesofcampaignsagainsttheGreat PlainstribesalsoendedthatDecemberandinJanuary1891when

    theGhostDanceuprisingterminatedinthemutualhorrorsofsev. eralskirmishesbetweenUSArmyunitsandbandsofSiouxin westernSouthDakota(Utley,1984:255-257).

    On6September,theexcursionistsarrivedattherailheadat Cinnabar,Montana,1,149kilometersfromWashington.111evcon. tinuedonbystagecoachtotheYellowstoneNafionalPark.where HagueandIddings(wholeftWashingtonon1September).and Pealeand?reedledtheirexaminationofYellowstone'snotablegeo. 1ogicalfeatures(seeFigure3).beforereturningtoCinnabaron13 September.Rejoiningthetrain,theparticipantswentwesttoButile, anditsHomestakeMine,andPocatello.Foranadditional$15.some ofthemtooktheoptionalsidetriptoShoshoneFallsbeforerejoining onthel6ththemainpartyatSaltLakeCity.fromwhenceGilbert hadguidedatourofLakeBonneville'sterraces.During17-20Sep. tember,thetravelerspassedsoutheastacrossUtahTetory's WasatchMountains,theTertiarywatersbed,andtheGreenRiver,to reachGrandJunctioninwesternColorado.Fromthere,thetrain passedeastoutoftheColoradoRiverBasin.pastRifleandGlen. woodSprings,intothecentralRockiesandontoAsoenand Leadville.wheretheyspentafewhoursinthemineswithCrossand Emmons.PassingthroughCanyonCity,ColoradoSprings,and Manitou,thepartyreachedDenveron20September,wheresome participantstookbriefside-tripstoseeJurassic-Tertiarysections nearMorrisonandGolden.

    AtDenver,thepartydividedonceagain.Foranadditional$100 each,Frech,Hughes,andtheothervisitorsamongthethirty.sixpar- ficipantsdepartedonatendayroundtriptotheGrandCanyonofthe

    Colorado.Byrail,viaPuebloandAlbuquerque,thegrouptravelled 1,403kilometerstoreachFlagstaff,wheretheymetPowellwhohad comewestseparately.inparttosubstitutefortheabsentDuttonand

    Walcott.Movingnorthbysaddlehorsesandwagons,butwithoutthe Figure4SomeoftheLakeSuperiorexcursionists;

    Pumpellyintoprow,secondfromleft(Pumpelly,1918, 2-facingp.678).

    promisedtentsininclementweather.theyarrivedonthesecondday attheSOUthrimoftheGrandCanyon.nlere.thegeologistsexam- inedthePrecambrian-Pcrmiansectiondirectly(bydescendinginto theCanyon)andbyviewingitacrosstheCanyonfromvantageslike thoseoppositePointSublime.On2lSeptember,theremaining excursioneersreturnedeastfromDenverbywayofTopeka,Kansas City,andChicago,where,onthe23rd,themainpartydividedforthe lasttime.TheprincipalgroupcontinuedeasttoPortHuronand acrossOntariotoNiagaraFalls,Buffalo,andWeehawken(therail terminus).TheyreachedNewYorkCitybyferrybeforenoonon26 September,havingtraveled9,258kilometerssinceleavingWash

    '

    ington.

    Barrois,Chernishev,Reusch,andCarlSchmidtquickly departedfromChicagoon23SeptemberforMilwaukee,where, byinvitation,theyjoinedPumpelly,VanHise,andFrederick Rhinelander,Jr,intheprivateCaroftherailroadmagnateFreder. Figure3PanoramafromMountWashburn(3,123meters),lookingsouth,byHenriGolliez;

    YellowstoneLakeinbackgroundatleft(Emmons,1893,Plate. ickSr.TheelderRhinelanderarranged

    f0rthemto"beside.trackedwhenever

    wewishedtoallowplentyoftimefor

    observinganddiscussing"geologicprob

    lemsintheLakeSuperiorregion

    (Pumpelly.1918:679).Theparty(see

    Figure41examined"thecriticalpointsin

    thegeologyoftheupperpeninsulaof Michigananditsironandcopperregions. andimportantpointsinCanada"(ibid.,. TheylookedatPrecambriansequencesin areasinandaroundIronMountain, Republic,Ishpeming,GardenRiver, SaultStMarie,Michigamme,Houghton andCalumet,Keweenaw,Penokee

    Gogebic,SundayLake,andPotatoRiver beforereturningtoMilwaukeeon2 October.Pumpellyalsorecordedtheir subsequenttravelfromPittsfield.Massa. chusettstoPrecambrianandCambrian exposures(includingthe'Taconic' sequencesinVermont'sGreenMoun

    tains,butthe5thIGC'sCompterendudid notincludeaguidetothistrip.

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