On this day in Alabama history: English-born naturalist left the Black Belt

On this day in Alabama history: English-born naturalist left the Black Belt
Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) was a scientist and naturalist whose writings contributed to the popularization of biology during the mid-nineteenth century. Gosse's short stay in Alabama in 1838 resulted in his 1859 book Letters from Alabama, describing his observations and experiences. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama)

December 31, 1838

English-born naturalist Philip Henry Gosse left Alabama after an eight-month stay in the Black Belt. One of the best-known zoologists in Europe, Gosse traveled to Alabama to collect fossil shells in Claiborne, but instead accepted a teaching job in Pleasant Hill, Dallas County. While in Pleasant Hill, he carefully recorded his observations of plant and animal life, plantation life and the common events in the lives of people. He published those observations in a series of articles in the English magazine “The Home Friend” in 1855 and in book form as “Letters from Alabama” in 1859, complete with engravings made from sketches and watercolors that he produced while in Dallas County.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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