Skip to main content

Full text of "A biographical notice of George W. Tryon, Jr., conservator of the Conchological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia"

See other formats










With Compliments, 











" for, go at night or noon, 

A friend, whene'er he dies, has died too soon, 
And, once we hear the hopeless He is dead, 
So far as flesh hath knowledge, all is said." 

James Russell Lowell Agassiz. 

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia requested me, 
February 7th, 1888, to prepare a biographical notice of the late 
George W. Tryon, Jr. for publication in its Proceedings. He died 
February 5. The suddenness of the event shocked all his personal 
and many of his merely scientific friends, far and near. One (Mr. 
C. E. Beddome), who is in every sense qualified to justly appraise 
his worth, said to me in a note, dated Tasmania, April 4, not very 
long since received, " I have respected him as one of the grandest 
conchologists of the day. I feel that I have lost my most valued 
correspondent ; but what must be the loss of your academy and the 
conchological world. His great work ' Manual of Conchology,' not 
yet finished, will be the grandest monument that could be erected to 
his memory." 

Eminence, fairly acquired by a toiler on any path of learning or 
scientific research, wins admiration, especially from those moving 
forward on the same quest, whether in his neighborhood or in places 
widely remote ; and after he dies, they become more or less curious 
about his origin and career. Some are pleased to seek causes of his 
success in the circumstances of his life, assuming that social environ- 
ment sways the formation of character, just as physical conditions 
surrounding certain organisms are supposed to influence their de- 
velopment. Students of this class ask where the eminent man was 
born and raised and trained, as well as what notable features char^ 
acterized the locality where he grew to be distinguished among his 
associates. Those of another sort, who confide almost entirely in 
the doctrines of heredity, are disposed to ascribe the notable qualities 
of a contemporary to his parents and their ancestors, thus failing to 
recognize in him any merit wholly and clearly his own. They seem 
to forget that uncommon intellectual force, mental capability is not 
always traceable to heredity or to environment in any considerable 


extent. All the great heroes of science and literature did not have 
scientific ancestors or scientific environment. The genius of neither 
Franklin nor Shakespeare was an inheritance. 

George Washington Tryon Jr. the eldest son of Edward K. Tryon 
and his wife, nee Adeline Savitd, was born May 20, 1838, on Green 
street between Front and Newmarket streets, then in the district of 
the Northern Liberties. The place of his birth is about twelve or 
fifteen hundred yards, to the northward and eastward of the State 
House of Philadelphia, Independence Hall. The locality was 
never a fashionable quarter of the city. It abounds in alleys and 
courts of small tenements, having small windows glazed with eight 
by ten inch panes, and roofs of cedar shingles, as may be seen to-day. 
A substantial, industrious people, most of them engaged in mechan- 
ical pursuits, inhabited the neighborhood, the alleys and streets of 
which were the play-grounds of their many children. It is now as 
it was fifty years ago, only the signs of age in some spots: are prob- 
ably more apparent. 

George Washington Tryon, a gunsmith, had trained his son, 
Edward K. Tryon in the manufacture and trade in fire-arms and 
sportmen's accoutrements, a business which he had established and 
conducted successfully during a quarter of a century or more. He 
retired in 1837, leaving his son in possession of the establishment. 

George W. Tryon Jr. at an early age manifested a retiring, cheer- 
ful and considerate disposition. His interest in the sports and 
games of boys was not sufficient to divert him from books. When 
about seven years old he began to collect specimens of natural his- 
tory. The taste was encouraged by giving him a room at home in 
which to display them to members of a society of infant naturalists 
which he formed. From the start, shells received most of his atten- 

The observant and reflective character of the child's mind is 
notable. He early discovered that a nomenclature was necessary to 
satisfactorily arrange even a small collection of specimens. He in- 
vented one. He named shells according to their shapes or colors, as 
the round shell, the white shell ; one of such irregular form as puz- 
zled him to designate he called the funny shell. The habit of gath- 
ering specimens of natnral history begun without method in infancy, 
and more and more systematized as his experience and observation 
matured, was life-long. His first and predominant love for shells 
increased with his years and made him an industrious votary of 

He was taught the rudiments of learning at home. After he had 
passed through one or two private schools for children, it was deter- 
mined that he should receive academic instruction in the Friends' 
Central School, because it was regarded to be the best available. It 
was then in Race between Fourth and Fifth streets, and now is at 
the S. W. corner of Race and Fifteenth streets. 

He became a pupil of the institution in October 1850, and con- 
tinued till his school days ended, June 1853. During the almost 
three years here his attention was given only to English studies 
and drawing. The transfer of the family residence, in 1852, to 
Pittville, one of the purlieus of Germantown, five or six miles 
from the business centre of Philadelphia, did not interrupt his regu- 
lar attendance at school, nor hinder the growth of his museum. 
The family returned to, and was permanently established in the city, 
in 1869. 

Very soon after leaving the Friends' Central School he employed 
tutors in the city and studied French, German, and Music until he 
had acquired knowledge enough, to write and speak the languages 
sufficiently well for practical purposes, and to understand the princi- 
ples of musical composition. About this time with some of his 
young friends he formed a musical society or club. Their perform- 
ances enlivened the evenings at their country homes. 

His interest in books created in him a desire to be an author. 
His first effort in this direction was a history of the United States 
finished when he was twelve years old, but not printed. A few 
years later he announced that literary and scientific work would be 
his permanent occupation. But, at the earnest request of his parents, 
he relinquished the project, for a time, and engaged in mercantile 
work in his father's establishment. At the age of nineteen, 1857, 
he was given a share in the business, and on the retirement of his 
father in 1864, he became the principal of the firm, and so contin- 
ued till 1868, when he retired with a modest income, sufficient in 
his estimation to justify indulgence in unrestrained pursuit of science 
and letters. 

He found relaxation from business cares in music. Though not a 
notably skilful player on any instrument, he was acquainted with 
the science of music. 

He wrote a comic opera in three acts, entitled, Amy Cassonet or 
the Elopement, which was acted at the Amateur Drawing Room, 
and published ; but it was in no sense successful. The copyright is 
dated, 1875. 

He sought to spread a love of music among the people and to 
elevate their taste. With this in view he joined in the management 
of the Germania Orchestra for a season. It was a failure. His 
partner disappeared, and Mr. Tryon had to supply pecuniary defi- 

In connection with a musical-publication firm Lee and Walker, 
he edited and published, prior to 1873, librettos of fifty-two stand- 
ard and popular operas. During 1874 and 1875, he revised and 
edited the sheet-music publications of Lee and Walker, and in the 
same years edited The Amateur ; a monthly magazine of music and 
literature. He also arranged a series of operatic songs which were 
published, in 1875, under the title of Operatic Gems. In 1884, he 
published " Sacred Songs for Choir and Home Circles, a Collection 
of Solos, Concerted Pieces, Hymns, etc.," the music of which consist- 
ed largely of selections from the scores of the more popular operas. 

Mr. Tryon was a warm admirer of the fine arts, and occasionally 
amused himself with painting. 

Music and the fine arts were secondary occupations ; they never 
diverted him from the pursuit of natural history. 

He was elected a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of 
Philadelphia, June 1859. From that time till the end of his life no 
one did more to promote the interests of the institution. His ser- 
vices were many arid important. The society is largely indebted to 
Mr. Tryon for the edifice which it now occupies. On his motion, 
November 14th, 1865, a committee was formed " to devise methods 
for advancing the prosperity and efficiency of the academy, by the 
erection of a building " etc. He was appointed chairman of the 
committee. The measures recommended by it were adopted. The 
election of a Board of Trustees of the Building Fund followed, Jan. 
11, 1867. Mr. Tryon was appointed Secretary and held the office 
till he died, twenty-one years. He was a member of the building 
committee. No one labored more assiduously in every way to pro- 
mote the completion of the enterprise which he had started. He 
gave $3000 to the building fund ; and his generosity enabled the 
Conchological Section of the Academy to give to it as much more. 

Mr. Tryon was elected a Curator of the academy, January, 1869, 
and resigned July, 1876. Under his direction and personal attention 
the numerous collections of the museum were safely transferred, in 
January 1876, from the old, and arranged in the new building. This 
arduous task was admirably performed. 

At his instigation the Conchological Section of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences was founded, December 26, 1866. He was a con- 
stituent member, and its Conservator from December, 1875, thir- 
teen years. His skill in conchology is manifest in the admirable 
arrangement and classification; and his incessant carefulness, in the 
excellent condition of the collections which were under his official 
charge. According to the annual report of the Section, December 
1887, they consisted of 189,150 specimens, contained in 51.327 trays 
each with an appropriate label. This enormous collection, and an al" 
most complete conchological library of 954 volumes, besides 455 
pamphlets, bound in 26 volumes, all accessible under one roof, render 
the facilities of study of the subject in the academy unsurpassed. 

April 9, 1867, he made a special deposit of more than ten thousand 
species of shells and more than a hundred jars of specimens, chiefly 
of naked mollusks, in alcohol, gathered during his life-long devotion 
to the subject, on condition that none should be loaned. They were 
appropriately intercalated with the academy's collection. The dupli- 
cates were sold, by his direction, and the proceeds of sales covered 
into the treasury of the Conchological Section. It is notable that 
he did not stipulate that this very large contribution the largest 
private collection in this country should be kept separate from the 
rest of the museum and designated by his name, which is a 
usual condition attached to donations of private natural-history 
cabinets to public museums. It was his opinion that it is unwise to 
accept cabinets on such terms, because it must result sooner or later, 
in encumbering the museum with the care of numberless and useless 
duplicates, for which space cannot be easily afforded. 

The records show that Mr. Tryon contributed valuable specimens 
to the museum every year during the remainder of his life. 

He gave, May 7, 1867, 119 volumes and 56 pamphlets on conchol- 
ogy to the library. 

The first number of the American Journal of Conchology, of 
which Mr. Tryon was the editor and proprietor, was issued, Febru- 
ary 1865. Seven volumes were published, the last number in May, 
1872. After the institution of the Conchological Section of the 
Academy it was issued, nominally, by the publication committee of 
the Section, of which Mr. Tryon was chairman, but he was still the 
editor. The third and subsequent volumes contain summaries of 
the proceedings of the Section at its stated meetings. 


To the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, and to 
the American Journal of Conchology Mr. Try on contributed sixty- 
four papers, between 1861 and 1873, inclusive, a list of which is ap- 

In conjunction with Mr. Wm. G. Binney,in 1864, Mr. Tryon edited 
the complete writings of C. S. Rafinesque on recent and fossil conch- 
ology. In 1866, he published A Monograph on the terrestrial mol- 
lusca of the United States ; in 1870, A Monograph of the Fresh- 
water univalve mollusca of the United States ; in 1873, American 
Marine Conchology, and A Monograph on the Streptomatida3( Amer- 
ican Melanians) of North America. This work was prepared at the 
instance of the Smithsonian Institution, and published in its Miscel- 
laneous Collections, in December. It was a result of several years' 
study. The manuscript was completed in 1865, and laid aside. At 
the end of seven or eight years, he again took up the subject, which 
he regarded as " one of the most interesting and difficult branches of 
American Conchology," and found himself "inclined to question 
many of the conclusions" which he had reached. In the preface of 
the work he says : " A more enlarged acquaintance with fresh- 
water shells convinces me that a much greater reduction of the 
number of species than I have attempted must eventually be made; 
but until the prolific waters of the Southern States have been sys- 
tematically explored, and a great collection of specimens obtained, 
which shall represent every portion of those streams and include as 
many transitional forms as can be procured, a definite monograph 
of our Melanians cannot be written." 

More conclusive evidence of Mr. Tryon's habitual devotion 
to accuracy in all his work than is contained in the history of the 
preparation of this monograph is not required. 

Mr. Tryon, for the sake of relaxation, left Philadelphia, May 
1874, and returned September 19. During an absence of four 
months, he visited England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, 
Switzerland, Italy. 

In a series of letters he wrote good-humored, cheerful sketches of 
his impressions of people and places at which he halted on his way. 
They were published in the Amateur; a monthly magazine of Music 
and Literature. 

He visited England and the continent of Europe again in 1877. 
His route included Liverpool, London, Paris, Marseilles, and thence 
along the coast of the Mediterranean to Nice, San Reino, Genoa, 


Pisa, Rome, Xaples, Sorrento : returning through Venice, Florence, 
Turin, Geneva, Chamouni, Berne, Mayence ; the Rhine, Cologne,. 
Brussels, Antwerp and back to London, Liverpool and home, in the 

Now, naturally imbued with the love of truth exclusively for the 
truth's sake ; possessed of the true methods of scientific inquiry, and 
equipped with the results of his life-long home studies of the mol- 
lusca, as well as of his observations in the European museums and 
cabinets, Mr. Tryon devised the plan of his greatest work Manual 
of Conchology and promptly began its execution. 

The plan embraced four series of volumes. The first series of 
eleven or twelve volumes is devoted to the marine univalves; the 
second, of six or seven, to the terrestrial mollusca ; the third, of four 
or five, to the marine bivalves, and the fourth, of four or five vol- 
umes, to the fluviatile genera. 

The Manual of Conchology, completed according to the author's 
plan, will consist of from twenty-one to twenty-nine octavo volumes, 
all fully illustrated. 

The scope of this great work is described in the " advertisement " 
or preface of the first number, which was finished and ready for pub- 
lication in the last week of December, 1878. Mr. Tryon says, the 
Manual " will include, in systematic order, the diagnoses of all the 
genera and higher divisions of the mollusca, both recent and fossil, 
and the descriptions and figures of all the recent species ; together 
with the main features of their anatomy and physiology, their em- 
bryology and development, their relations to man and other animals, 
and their geological and geographical distribution." 

The numbers of the first series were issued quarterly. Volume 
IX was completed December 1887. The nine volumes include 3125 
pages of text, illustrated by 680 plates of 12.055 figures. 

The first number of the second series terrestrial mollusca was 
distributed January 1885, and thereafter quarterly to the close of 
Vol. Ill, December 1887. The three volumes contain 942 pages of 
text, illustrated by 187 plates of 6,434 figures. 

Conscious that he probably might not live to complete his enter- 
prise, but without foreboding, Mr. Tryon interested Mr. H. A. Pils- 
bry in it. To him he freely imparted his purposes and views in 
connection with it, so that he might continue the publication, should 
it become necessary. Mr. Pilsbry, who had the unreserved confi- 
dence of the author, has succeeded him in his office and will edit 


the work according to the plan. It will be published by the Conch- 
ological Section of the Academy, of which Mr. Pilsbry is the Con- 

Mr. Tryon published the first volume of Structural and System- 
atic Conchology, in 1882 ; the second, in 1883, and the third and 
last volume, in 1884. The three volumes contain 1195 octavo pages 
of text, illustrated by 140 plates of 3,087 figures. 

During the last ten years of his life, Mr. Tryon wrote 5262 octavo 
pages on conchology, illustrated by 1007 plates of 21,576 figures. 
To the labor of composition the business cares of publication were 
added : he was the publisher of his own works. 

Until his admission into the Friends' Central School, October 
1850, whatever religious impressions he may have imbibed in child- 
hood, if any, came from the Sunday School and the example and 
teaching of his parents who were Lutherans. After leaving school, 
June 1853, he became interested in the Society of Friends and reg- 
ularly attended its meetings during several years. For reasons, no 
doubt conclusive and satisfactory to himself, he left the meetings of 
the Friends, and, from about the year 1876, he was usually present 
at the stated services of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. 
When it was proposed, about 1883, to construct a new building for 
the church Mr. Tryon was chosen one of its trustees. The work 
interested him. He gave very generously (81000) in aid of its com- 
pletion. He was long chairman of the Society's committee on 
music, and, until his death, was prominent among those who, in 
various ways, actively promoted the interests of the church. 

He was not, however, rigidly sectarian. Knowing that there is 
difference on every question that interests men, his natural spirit of 
tolerance swayed his views and' conduct relatively to those holding 
opinions opposite to his own. 

He printed for private circulation, a pamphlet entitled, Church 
and Stage, with the motto, Fiat justitia, mat ccelum. It contains 
twelve octavo pages, and is dated March 15, 1880. 

The object of the paper is to uphold the drama as a proper means 
of popular instruction in spite of its general condemnation by 

After stating substantially that, in western Europe as well as in 
ancient Greece, the stage is the off-spring of the ceremonies of public 
worship that the mystery play, which followed the liturgical drama, 
was the first form of the serious national stage in England, France, 


Italy, Spain and Germany, 1 he contends that in as much as the 
theatre has originated independently and exists under many types 
of civilization Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Greek, Roman and mod- 
ern European and the influence of the Christian Church exerted 
against it through so many centuries has failed to extirpate it, the 
institution is likely to continuously thrive. Therefore, instead of 
persistently denouncing the stage, it would be more politic to 
kindly endeavor to point out and eliminate from it all acting that 
is, in any degree, detrimental to morality. 

His manner of treating the subject may be seen in the following 
quotations : 

" The first charge is, ' that dramas are frequently immoral stories, 
abounding in covert or open indecencies of language or action 
.sometimes actually blasphemous.' We appeal to any regular theatre 
goer whether his experience does not partially confirm this. Even 
those who frequent dramatic representations with the intention of 
encouraging only meritorious and unobjectionable plays, occasionally 
through ignorance of the matter of some new drama, or misled by 
uncandid notices of the press, find themselves ' assisting ' at repre- 
sentations, quite bad enough to destroy their faith in the theatre. 
Our own experience, however, and we believe that it will be borne 
out by the experience of every play -goer who has not depraved in- 
.stincts, is that plays are usually entirely innocent, and those of a 
serious character are intended to and do inculcate good morals and 
right living, that they teach man's whole duty with, (no words are 
more expressive), dramatic force ; that is to say, they make an im- 
pression such as can never be made by either reading or lecture ; 
for, to the power of trained declamation is added the verisimilitude 
of scenery and action. The eye as well as the ear receives and 
transmits the lesson to the brain and heart. No sermon can be 
.so effectual for good, simply preached from the pulpit as when it is 
embodied in appropriate action: that brings it home to us in all 
its reality ; it is no longer a mere abstraction. 
The play's the thing 
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. 

" Such is a good play, better than the best sermon, not only more 
powerful but more far-reaching in its beneficent mission. 

" Then if we take up the clerical charge once more, and agree 
that the amount of evil done by conveying this indecency or blas- 

i See Harper's Magazine, Dec. 1888, p. 62. 


phemy through the vividness of dramatic portrayal is incalcuable * 
that it familiarizes the auditors with wrong thinking, speaking and! 
doing, and thus lowers the moral tone of the community.' On the 
other hand, a good play, by parity of reasoning, should have an 
equally incalculable good influence, and we believe that it has. The 
vast majority of men [who] are not attracted towards the church, 
find themselves unable to comprehend its methods, endure its limita- 
tions, or perhaps ''appreciate its motives and for these, else left 
without moral instruction, the play yields along with its human 
interests and entertainment, its realistic teaching by example as 
well as precept. 

"Nay more, the clergyman who objects to the representation of 
the prayer scene in * Hamlet,' does not hesitate to read the passage, 
or to hear it read, perhaps by the very actor who is accustomed to 
play the part, and who will throw into it all the emotion and all 
the action that the lecture platform permits him. He will even 
listen to this recital in the opera house probably, and without 
alarming his conscience ' because it is not a dramatic performance, 
but only a recital.' 

" Thus, to be consistent, it seems that we must at least tolerate 
upon the stage, that which we approve in the library or lecture 
room. But this point is not yet exhausted : there are various con- 
ceptions of morality perhaps, and that of the churchman is not 
necessarily the highest. No one will deny that among theatre-goers 
are to be found persons who are as cultivated in religion, morals 
and manners, as tender of conscience, as responsive to the call of 
duty as any of the abstainers. Is it not rather illiberal then to 
assume that these persons only visit the theatre because they, in this 
particular, disregard the voice of conscience? Again, the lower 
classes of mankind, who frequent the sensational second-class play, 
who read the equally sensational second-class ' weekly ; ' are they to 
be frowned down on account of the vulgarity of their amusements? 
The uncultured cannot become educated Christian people at a bound : 
generations of refining influences are required to effect the transfor- 
mation. For these men and women in process of enlightenment,, 
with yet unformed, or badly formed tastes, the theatre is a civilizing 
agent of far greater power than it is for their betters. 

" It may be taken for granted that actors as well as audiences are 
susceptible to the moral or immoral lessons of the drama, and if,. 


as we assert, the vast majority of plays exert great, though un- 
obtrusive moral influence, then so far as their profession may be 
supposed to affect their conduct we should expect to find actors 
respectable and worthy the acquaintance of the pure and noble. 
But, it will be said, there is abundant evidence that at least many 
actors are dissolute people, that they live low, vagabond lives, are 
indecent in language and conduct, drunkards, gamesters, irreligious. 
The evidence, alas ! is abundant, and if it could be proven that the 
proportion of actors who are disreputable is larger than in other 
professions, we might accept the fact as some evidence of the cause 
assigned for it; but it is notorious that in all public professions 
lapses from rectitude are numerous. 

"A word in conclusion concerning those who, whilst despising 
the stage and its associations, yet avail themselves of its fruits. They 
owe their best music to its inspiration ; their best choir singers there 
received their education ; their minister is himself indebted to it, 
either directly or indirectly, for the force and grace of style and dec- 
lamation which render him so impressive. Without the stage you 
would not be possessed of Shakespeare whose single influence for 
good has certainly far outweighed all the evil which the theatre has 
ever done mankind. Those who while discountenancing the theatre, 
read Shakespeare or hear him read ; who listen with delight to the 
operatic overture or aria ; who hang entranced upon the eloquence 
of the rostrum, are meanly, (I had almost written dishonestly) 
enjoying the fruits of an institution which they condemn." 

Whether Mr. Tryon's championship of the stage be acceptable 
or not, few persons will fail to perceive in it his philantrophic dis- 
position and love of justice, as well as the degree of his inclination to 
render homage to the Muses. 

To those who would withhold all such matters from a biographical 
account of a scientest as not pertinent, and to those whose hostility 
to the theatre is relentless, the above citations may. seem too long ; 
but they may be excused. They prove that his mental scope took in 
very much more than the truths of natural science; that the com- 
paratively inferior and ignorant classes of society had his sympathy, 
and that he was ready to help improve their mental and moral level. 
Thus, they indicate a feature of his character not portrayed else- 
where in his writings. None will deny that a feature partly or 


wholly left out obscures or spoils the likeness, even in a finished 
painting of a friend. 

Mr. Tryon was notably cautious and conservative in scientific 
work. The personal reputation incident to success he did not appre- 
ciate very highly, nor regard to be among the objects of scientific 
research. Just as a private in the ranks, forgetful of all the labor 
and perhaps blood he has contributed towards it, delights in the 
glory of his regiment, wholly unmindful of the personal distinction 
he may have fairly earned for himself, so Mr. Tryon toiled to pro- 
mote the welfare and fame of the academy, within the bounds of 
which he seemed to have merged his scientific aspirations. Few 
have been like him in this respect ; but his example may have fol- 
lowers. Natural modesty, an almost reclusive disposition made him 
reluctant to hold office. He often refused to permit friends to nom- 
inate him for prominent positions in the society, and was apparently 
indifferent to the honor of membership in other associations. He 
did not care to publish that he was a corresponding member of the 
California Academy of Natural Sciences, from December 1862 ; of 
the Boston Society of Natural History, from March 1864 ; of the 
Koyal Society of Tasmania, from June 1886, nor of any other in 
which his name had been enrolled. 

Mr. Tryon's good sense and unselfish nature ; his cheerful, unpre- 
tentious deportment at all times, won for him affectionate respect 
and enduring friendships. Because he was punctual, prompt and 
efficient in doing, within the limits of official duty, whatever con- 
cerned the interests of the Academy, he deserved and had the 
unreserved confidence of all. 

The quantity and quality of work done during his happy career 
are perennial vouchers of his unremitting industry and varied abil- 
ity. It is doubted whether a collegiate training and the Master's 
degree would have facilitated his progress and enabled him to ac- 
quit himself better in any sense. A genius for discovering his own 
deficiencies, and then filling them by opportune self-help, was a 
practical substitute for an Alma Mater. 

Mr. Tryon's abiding desire to increase our knowledge of conchol- 
ogy, which he has done so much to advance, is manifest in his last 
will and testament, dated March 18th, 1886. 

He bequeathed to the Conchological Section of the Academy cer- 
tain real estate to be a source of a permanent trust fund, the income 


from which is to be applied to augment the Conservator's salary, to in- 
crease the collection of shells, as well as to other purposes, at the 
discretion of the Section. All profits whiofi may be derived from 
his conchological works and from his conchological publication bus- 
iness are to be added to the fund. 

This provision, in connection with the present vast collections and 
an almost perfect library, goes far towards establishing in the United 
States the centre of conchology at the Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia. 

Mr. Tryon was methodical in all bis ways, and unswervingly firm 
of purpose. He always did what he believed to be right in face of 
all opposition ; but he tranquilly considered argument against his 
opinions, and gracefully yielded them whenever he could not answer 
it. He passed much of his time in the academy at work among its 
collections and books. For health's sake he appropriated time for 
daily exercise in the open air, without much regard to the state of 
the weather. On Saturday, January 28, 1888, while the temperature, 
ranged between 12 and 17 F. and the wind was blowing freshly 
from the north-west, he walked briskly in an easterly direction more 
than a mile, and returning faced the wind. Paroxysms of difficult 
breathing forced him to stop many seconds, and several times. On 
reaching home he was much depressed physically ; his circulation 
was abnormally slow and weak, but he soon rallied and seemed to 
be surely recovering. In the course of two or three days a kind of 
roseola, to which he had been liable at times since an attack of scar- 
let fever in childhood, appeared, and towards the last became hern- 
orrhagie. He died February 5, the eighth day after his cold walk 
His father, a brother and a sister survive him. His mother died 
December 23, 1869. He was a bachelor. As far as known he was 
at no time inclined to change his celibate condition. 

Accepting a definition that poetry is merely the blossom and 
bloom of human knowledge, Mr. Tryon was Laureate of the king- 
dom of the mollusca. He well knew all its inhabitants they were 
thousands and characterized every typical one in descriptive lines 
full of knowledge but without poetic cadence or poetic measure of 
any kind. But his whole attention was not given to those mollusks. 
He had eyes for all natural objects. He was fond of flowers, had 
studied botany successfully, and learned to botanize. In the summer 
it was his custom to take long walks in the country. On reaching 
home from those walks he was almost sure to be laden with flowers 


.and grasses, gathered by the way, some for study in connection with 
his herbarium, which was large, and others to bedeck certain rooms 
in the house. And now and then a mineralogist was surprised to 
hear him talk so knowingly about minerals. Indeed, his acquaint- 
ance with natural history, generally, was sufficiently intimate to 
make the title of naturalist appropriate to him. His knowledge of 
nature and natural things was a pure accomplishment, in no sense 
associated with his bread-wining work while he was the successful 
man of business. 

This imperfect sketch of an. eminent benefactor of the academy 
is fittingly closed with the following tributary stanzas, written by 
his friend, our fellow member, Mr. John Ford, Feb. 15, 1888. 


As falls the oak, mature and strong in limb, 
A giant 'mong its fellows tall and grand, 

So fell the peer of those whom Science crowns, 
Th' immortal Tryon, type of noblest men. 

Not human hearts alone do feel the blow 
That struck him down in life's meridian, 

The leafy woods, the vales, and quiet streams 

Where Nature's gems he sought, alike are grieved. 

E'en Neptune mourns the loss of one who knew 
His sea-born children all by sight and name ; 

And from their games the Tritons sadly turn 
To breathe a requiem through horns of pearl. 

His form is gone, but deathless evermore 
On pages manifold his thoughts remain ; 

And there, like ripened fruits, they wait the hands 
Of all who would their charming flavor prove. 

Though well we know the victor's fadeless crown 
His brow adorns, and that he dwells in peace, 

Yet do our hearts, remembering the past, 
Still long to meet him face to face again. 



On the mollusca of Harper's Ferry, Va. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. 
Philad. 1861, pp. 396-399. 

Synopsis of the recent species of Gastrochsenidse, a family of 
acephalous mollusca. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1861, pp. 465- 

On the classification and synonymy of the recent species of Phola- 
didffi. Proc. Acad. Nat, Sc. Philad. 1862, pp. 191-220. 

Description of a new genus, (Diplothyra) and species of Phola- 
didse, (Dactylina Chiloensis.) Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1862, 
pp. 449-450. 

Notes on American Fresh Water Shells, with descriptions of two 
new species (Vivipara Texana, Amnicola depressa.). Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad. 1862, pp. 451-453. 

Monograph of the family Teredidse. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 

1862, pp. 453-482. 

Contributions towards a monography of the order of Pholadacea, 
with descriptions of new species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 

1863, pp. 143-146. 

Descriptions of two new species of Fresh Water mollusca, from 
Panama, (Planorbis Fieldii, Amnicola Panamensis,). Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, p. 146. 

Description of a new Exotic Melania, (M. Helense.). Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, pp. 146-147. 

Descriptions of new species of Fresh Water Mollusca, belonging 
to the families Amnicolidse, Valvatidse, and Limnseidse, inhabiting 
California. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, pp. 147-150. 

Description of a new species Pleurocera (P. plicatum.). Proc. 
Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, pp. 279-280. 

Description of a new species of Teredo, (T. Thomsonii) from New 
Bedford, Mass. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, pp. 280-281. 

Descriptions of two new species of Mexican Land-Shells, (Helix 
Remondi, Cyclotus Cooperi.). Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 1863, 
p. 281. 

Synonymy of the species of Strepomatidse, a family of Fluviatile 
Mollusca, inhabiting North America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Phi] ad. 
1863, pp. 306-322. 


Synonomy of the species of Strepomatidse, a family of Fluviatile 
Mollusca inhabiting North America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. 
Philad. 1864, pp. 24-48, 92-104; 1865, pp. 19-36. 

Description of two new species of Strepomatidse; Goniobasis 
Haldemani, Pleurocera Conradi. Amer. Journ. Conchol. I, 1865, 
p. 38. 

Descriptions of new species of Pholadidse. Amer. Journ. Conchol. 
I, 1865, pp. 39-40. 

Observations of the new genus lo. Amer. Journ. Conchol. I, 
1865, pp. 41-44. 

Catalogue of moilusca, collected by Prof. D. S. Sheldon, at -Dav- 
enport, Iowa. Amer. Journ. Conchol. I, 1865, pp. 68-70. 

Observations on the family Strepomatidse. Amer. Journ. Conchol. 
I, 1865, pp. 97-135. 

Catalogue of the species of Physa, inhabiting the United States, 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. I, 1865, pp. 165-173. 

Descriptions of new species of Melania. Amer. Journ. ConchoL 
I, 1865, pp. 216-218. 

Descriptions of new species of Amnicola, Pomatiopsis, Somato- 
gyrus, Gabbia, Hydrobia, and Rissoa. Amer. Journ. Conchol. i, 
1865, pp. 219-222. 

Descriptions of New Species of North American Limnseidse. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. i, 1865, p. 223-231. 

Review of the Goniobases of Oregon and California. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. i, 1865, pp. 236-246. 

Catalogue of the species of LimnsBa inhabiting the United 
States. Amer. Journ. Conchol. i, 1865, pp. 207-258. 

Description of a new species of Mercenaria; (M. fulgurans,) 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. i, 1865, p. 297. 

Monograph of the family Strepomatidse. Amer. Journ. Conchol. 
i, 1865, pp. 299-341 ; ii, 1866, pp. 14-52, 115-133. 

An abnormal specimen of Planorbis bicarinatus. Amer. Journ. 
Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 3. 

Descriptions of new fresh-water shells of the United States. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 4-7. 

Descriptions of new exotic fresh-water Mollusca. Amer. Journ. 
Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 8-11. 

Description of a new species of Rissoa; R. exilis. Amer. Journ. 
Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 12. 


Note on Mr. Pease's species of Polynesian Phaneropneumona. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 82. 

Description of a new species of Vivipara ; V. Waltonii. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 108-110. 

Descriptions of new Fluviatile Mollusca. Amer. Journ. Conchol. 
ii, 1866, pp. 111-113. 

Observations on an abnormal specimen of Physa gyrina. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 114. 

Note on the lingual dentition of the Strepomatidse. Amer. Journ. 
Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 134-135. 

Monograph of the terrestrial mollusca of the United States. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. II, 1866, pp. 218-277, 306-327 : iv, 1869, 
pp. 5-22. 

Description of a new species Columna ; C. Leai. Amer. Journ. 
Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 297-298. 

Descriptions of new species of Melaniidse and Melanopsidse. 
Amer. Jour. Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 299-301. 

Description of a new species of Septifer ; S. Trautwineana. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 301. 

Description of a new species of Helix; H. Bridgesi. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, p. 303. 

On the terrestrial Mollusca of the Guano Island of Navassa. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. ii, 1866, pp. 304-305. 

Notes on Mollusca collected by Dr. F. V. Hayden in Nebraska. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. iv, 1869, pp. 150-151. 

Catalogue of the families Saxicavidse, Myidse, and Corbulidse. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. iv, 1869, (Append.), pp. 59-68. 

Catalogue of the family Tellinidse. Amer. Journ. Conchol. iv, 
1869, (Append.), pp. 72-126. 

Descriptions of new species of terrestrial Mollusca from Anda- 
man Islands, Indian Archipelago. Amer. Jour. Conchol. v, 1870, 
pp. 100-111. 

Descriptions of new species of marine bivalve mollusca in the 
collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. v, 1870, p. 170-172 ; vi, 1871, pp. 23-24. 

Note on Cyclophorus foliaceus, Reeve (non Chemnitz) and C. Leai, 
Tryon. Amer. Journ. Conchol. vi, 1871, pp. 25-26. 

Notes on Dr. James Lewis' paper "On the shells of the 
Holston River." Amer. Journ. Conchol. vii, 1872, pp. 86-88. 

Catalogue of the family Cyprinidse. Amer. Journ. Conchol. 
vii, 1872, p. 252. 


Catalogue of the recent species of the family of Glauconomyidse. 
Amer. Journ. Conchol. vii, 1872, pp. 253-254. 

Catalogue of the recent species of the family Petricolidse. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. vii, 1872, pp. 255-258. 

Catalogue of the recent species of the family Cardiidse. Amer. 
Journ. Conchol. vii, 1872, pp. 259-275. 

Catalogue and synonymy of the recent species of the family 
Lucinid^. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad., 1872, pp. 82-96. 

Catalogue of the family Chamidse. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 
1872, pp. 116-120. 

Catalogue of the family Chametrachseidse. Proc. Acad. Nat. 
Sc. Philad., 1872, pp. 120-121. 

Descriptions of three new species of marine bivalve mollusca; 
Crassatella Adeline, Lucina distinguenda, Circe bidivaricata. Proc. 
Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad., 1872, p. 130. 

Catalogue and synonymy of the family Galeommidse. Proc. 
Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad: 1872, pp. 222-226. 

Catalogue and synonymy of the family Leptonidse. Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad., 1872, pp. 227-229. 

Catalogue and synonymy of the family Laseidse. Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad. 1872, pp. 229-234. 

Catalogue and synonymy of the family Astartidse. Proc. Acad. 
Nat. Sc. Philad. 1872, pp. 245-258. 

Catalogue of the family Solemyida?. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Philad. 
1872, p. 258. 

On a series of land and fluviatile Mollusca from Utah. Proc. 
Acad. Nat. Sc. thilad. 1873, pp. 285-286. 

The complete writings of Constantine Smaltz Rafmesque on Re- 
cent and Fossil Conchology. Edited by William G. Binney, and 
George W. Tryon Jr., members of the Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia. 8vo, pp. 96+40+8 = 144 ; plates 3 ; figures 69. 
Bailliere Brothers, New York ; J. B. Bailliere et Fils, Paris ; H. 
Bailliere, London ; C. Bailly Bailliere, Madrid. 1864. 

A Monograph of the Terrestrial Mollusca inhabiting the United 
States. With illustrations of all the species. By George W. Tryon 
Jr., editor of the American Journal of Conchology ; member of the 
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia; corresponding 
member of the Boston Society of Natural History ; the Lyceum of 
New York ; the California Academy of Natural Sciences ; the 
Zoologischen botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, etc. Published by 


the author, 625 Market street, Philadelphia, 1866. 8vo, pp. 159+ 
XLIV; plates 18, with colored duplicates; figures, 430. Bailliere 
Brothers, New York ; J. B. Bailliere, et Fils, Paris ; Tru'bner & 
Co., London ; C. Bailly-Bailliere, Madrid ; Asher & Co., Berlin. 

A Monograph of the Fresh water univalve mollusca of the 
United States, in continuation of Prof. S. S. Haldeman's work, pub- 
lished under the above title. By George W. Tryon Jr. Published 
by the Conchological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia, 1870. 8vo, pp. 238, plates 32. 

American Marine Conchology : or descriptions of the shells on 
the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Maine to Florida. 
By George W. Tryon Jr.. member of the Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia. Published by the author, No. 19 N. 
Sixth street, Philadelphia, 1873. 8vo, pp. 208 ; plates 44 ; figures 

Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, (253). Land and Fresh- 
Water Shells of North America. Part IV. Strepomatida? (Ameri- 
can Melanians). By George W. Tryon Jr.. Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, Washington, December, 1873. 8vo, pp. LV-f 435 ; 838 
figures, intercalated with the text. 

Manual of Conchology ; Structural and Systematic ; with illustra- 
tions of the species. By George W. Tryon Jr., Conservator of the 
Conchological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Phila- 
delphia. Published by the author. Academy of Natural Sciences, 
Corner Race and Nineteenth streets. 

Vol. I, 1879. Cephalopoda. 8vo, pp. 316; plates 112; figures 

Vol. II, 1880. Muricida3 including Purpurinse, 8vo, pp. 289 ; 
plates 70; figures 977. 

Vol.111, 1881. Tritonidaj, Fusida3, Buccinidse. 8vo, pp. 310 5 
plates 87 ; figures 1287. 

Vol. IV, 1882. Nassidse, Turbinellidse, Volutidse, Mitridse. 8vo, 
pp. 276 ; plates 58 ; figures 1345. 

Vol. V, 1883. Marginellidse, Olivida3, Columbellida3. 8vo, pp. 
276; plates 63; figures 1351. 

Vol. VI, 1884. Conida?, Pleurotomida?. 8vo, pp. 400; plates 
65 ; figures 1550. 

Vol. VII, 1885. Terebridse, Cancellariida3, Strombidse, CypraBida?, 
Ovulidse, Cassidida?, Doliidse. 8vo, pp. 309; plates 75; figures 


Vol. VIII, 1886. Naticidse, Calyptrseidse, Onustidse, Turritel- 
lidae, Verrnetidse, Csecidse, Eulimidse, Pyramidellidae, Turbonillidse. 
8vo, pp. 461 ; plates 79 ; figures 1582. 

Vol. IX, 1887. Solariidse, lanthinidse, Trichotropidse, Scalariidse, 
Cerithiidse, Rissoidse, Littorinidse. 8vo, pp. 488 ; plates 71 ; figures 
1991. (The first series, will be completed in eleven or twelve 


Vol. I, 1885. Testacellidse, Oleacinidse, Streptaxidse, Helicoidea, 
Vitrinidse, Limacidse, Arionidse, etc. 8vo, pp. 364 ; plates 60 ; fig- 
ures 1698. 

Vol. II, 1886. Zonitidse. 8vo, pp. 265 ; plates 64 ; figures 2072. 

Vol. Ill, 1887. Helieidse (begun ; to be completed in three or 
four volumes). 8vo, pp. 313 ; plate 63 ; figures 2664. 

Third series Marine Bivalves 4 or 5 volumes. 

Fourth series Fluviatile genera 4 or 5 volumes. 

NOTE The second, third and fourth series will be continued 
and completed by H. A. Pilsbry, Conservator of the Conchological 
Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 

Church and Stage, Philadelphia, March 15, 1880, (printed for 
private use). 8vo, pp. 12. 

Structural and Systematic Conchology : An introduction to the 
study of the Mollusca. By George W. Tryon Jr. Conservator of 
the Conchological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of 
Philadelphia. Published by the author, and issued from the 

Vol. I, 1882. 8vo, pp. 312 ; plates 22 ; figures 256. 

Vol. II, 1883. 8vo, pp. 430 ; plates 69 ; figures 1339. 

Vol. Ill, 1884. 8vo, pp. 453 ; plates 49 ; figures 1492.