Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Orleans Academy of Sciences after 1869

It would seem that I have an inkling of what happened to the organization after 1865. I found a list of officers in 1869 and the reader can see that it represents a completely different list of individuals. When the Depuydt article from 1875 would clearly reference these individuals (at least in theory):


Capt. John Roy Chairman.
Dr. V. O. King,
J. B. Knight,
Dr. George W. Avery,
Richard H. Conningsworth

Another document from 1869 makes reference to:

John Roy, J. B. Knight, and Dr. G. W. Avery, representing the Academy of Sciences.

The pattern that seems to emerge from this list is that a great number of professional moved to New Orleans.   "Capt John Roy" was an architect from Scotland.  More importantly we read elsewhere that "Dr. George W. Avery, a well known physician of Hartford, died of pneumonia. Dr. Avery was in New Orleans as an army surgeon with General Butler." In other words, Dr R S Walker may well have been another doctor from the North who spent a few years in New Orleans before going home (wherever that was). The fact that I cannot find any reference to another of the officers - "Richard H Conningsworth" parallels the situation with Dr R S Walker. A scientific publication of J B Knight. Here is something more important perhaps - a charter for the Polytechnic and Industrial Institute of Louisiana with many of the old players in the Academy of Sciences (which is also mentioned repeatedly in the document). J R Walker is mentioned as its secretary and this document refers to his connection with the organization -

in 1866 Dr. J. R. Walker was elected a fellow of the New Orleans academy of science; in 1870 he became a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1875 it fellow of the same body. In 1857 he was made a member of the Mississippi Valley Dental association, and in 1870-71 he was vice president of the American Dental association, [n 1875 he was president of the Southern Dental association. He was one of the regents of the Maryland Dental college from the foundation of that institution. In 1876 he was elected professor of operative and dental surgery in the New Orleans Dental college. It will thus be seen that the position he held, It will thus be seen that the position he held, both in scientific and professional circles, was no inconsiderable one, and that his ability and attainments were highly esteemed. In I80li he became a member of Merchants' lodge, I. O. O. F., and soon after joined Hobah encampment, passing rapidly through the official chairs of the order to that of grand patriarch of the state of Louisiana in 1871. Closely devoted to his profession, science and literature, he took but little interest in politics, although he was a bitter enemy to fraud and corruption. He was liberal in his religious views, courteous and genial in his manner, and a general favorite with all who met him. Dr Walker died June 22, 1887

He had at least one son W E Walker who moved to St Louis.

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