Clarence King

1842 (Newport, R.I.) – 1901 (Phoenix, Ariz.)

King authored a classic geological text, led classic geological surveys, and promoted the use of contour-lines to specify altitude. Ruskin and Doré were among his heroes (he’d founded a group at Yale inspired by Ruskin’s writings); he travelled to Europe in his retirement to meet them both. Dana taught him at Yale, and Agassiz at Harvard. Bierstadt, the painter of sublime Western landscapes, was among his artist friends, joining in on some of his wilderness trips, as also did the photographers Watkins (whom King greatly admired) and O’Sullivan. He seems to have got on well with all.

Clarence King knew…