Page images

stream of well equipped geologists to compete with those trained at the fountain head of their own inspiration. It is this fact more than any other that accounts for the difference in the number of "starred" names among the older and younger graduates of the Department, as recorded in Cattell's list, which is so much deplored by Keyes.2

But it is not the starring of its graduates that marks the value of a university's training or the value of its contribution to a country's scientific progress. It is the number of painstaking, careful workers that it diverts into the stream of investigators. Measured by this standard, the Johns Hopkins University has contributed largely to Geology. Of its 72 doctors in Geology, 37 either hold commissions in the Federal Survey or have at some time been engaged in special investigations under its auspices. Eleven (11) have served in State Geological surveys, ten (10) have acted as State Geologists, five (5) have been connected with scientific bureaus of the general government other than the Geological Survey and ten (10) or twelve (12) have served in administrative capacities in scientific organizations and on scientific publications. Some have occupied 6 or 7 positions, in all of which they have been actively engaged in advancing the interests of Geology. Hopkins geologists have worked in every State in the Union, with the exception, perhaps, of three (3), and have published something concerning the geology of each. They have contributed to the known geology of Alaska, The Philippines, Cuba, Porto Rico, The Canal Zone and some of the countries of Central and South America. They have written textbooks and monographs, magazine and journal articles and in later years have entered commercial lines. In whatever field of endeavor they have been occupied, most of them have carried with them the desire to know and have shared with others whatever knowledge they have attained. Only a very few ended publica


Keyes, C., Hopkins contribution to American geology: J. H. U. Alum. Mag., vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 136-141, 1920.

tion with their doctor's thesis. Most of them have added something to the World's Geological store. Some have added a great deal.

And the Hopkins has spread its influence not only through its own graduates. Many young geologists, who had already earned their spurs, hastened to the University in its early years to learn something of the new kind of attack in geological problems that had been imported from Europe. Some of them spent but a year in Baltimore but all became admirers of the type of work required in the young University and when they left it, they spread its fame throughout the land. It is not asserted that the Hopkins trained them to become geologists, but it did equip them with a new technique with which they were able to solve problems that had hitherto been regarded as insoluble. Bain, Berry, Bibbins, Eastman, McCallie, Prindle, F. B. Wright, Carvill Lewis, Volney Lewis, Merrill, Nason and Stanton, among others, got something of their inspiration from the Hopkins. It is evident that they would not have been attracted to it, had they not been convinced that it had something to give them which they regarded as of value. This something added to their capital and to the extent to which it was absorbed made them more effective geologists.

Perhaps the greatest of all contributions made to geology by the Johns Hopkins was that indefinable efflatus which we call "spirit." It inspired its own students with the desire for knowledge and taught them that the only road to understanding is painstaking work. In a subject like Geology, the temptation to "theorize," or, more properly, to guess, is strong. At the Hopkins "guesses" were always frowned upon, though theorizing on the basis of facts was always encouraged. The necessity of having a strong foundation of facts upon which to build one's theory was always emphasized and it was impressed upon the student that the only method of collecting facts was by intensive labor. The Hopkins motto used to be, and I think it is now, "It is more important to

write something, than much!" I confidently believe that the University's greatest contribution to geology was its insistence upon work on the part of its own students and indirectly upon all other students of geology.

Naturally the most striking specific contributions made to American geology by the Hopkins came about through the introduction of the microscope as a geological instrument. Reference has already been made to the part the Hopkins played in the demolition of the idea that the Archean rocks of the Piedmont Plateau are all sedimentary. In the course of this contest several favored views of American geologists were proven false and a firm foundation for many new theories was constructed. The influence of Le Conte was almost paramount in American Geology at the time Geology began to be studied at the Hopkins. Le Conte, as you will remember, taught that the crystalline schists are metamorphosed sediments and that with increasing metamorphism they lost their schistosity and finally assumed the features of igneous rocks. At this time the Wernerian doctrines were so strongly held by many American Geologists that granite was widely regarded as an intensely metamorphosed sediment and Sterry Hunt had actually separated the old schists. and certain basic rocks into stratigraphic units following a definite succession which he asserted was determined by chemical processes. Those rocks, however, were not regarded by Hunt as metamorphosed sediments, but as chemical deposits from a nearly universal ocean. Concerning the serpentine at Syracuse, he writes, "From a study of the facts before us, it is apparent that we have here evidence of the formation by aqueous deposition of a bed of concretionary silicate of magnesia, taking the form of serpentine, with a little associated bastite or bronzite and probably some other crystalline silicates."


Hunt, T. S., The geological history of serpentines: Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., vol. 1, p. 174, 1883, and Mineral Physiology and Physiography, Boston, 1886, pp. 447-448.

[ocr errors]

In the dicussion that ended the controversies on the origin of granite and of serpentine the evidence furnished by this laboratory had a prominent part. The intensive study of Maryland granites, both in the field and under the microscope showed that many of them were intrusive magmas and in addition that many of the granitic gneisses in the Piedmont Plateau were also igneous and Williams 5 argued that the same origin must be ascribed to many of the granite masses throughout the Blue Ridge and Piedmont provinces elsewhere. This was in accord with the views of Lehmann, Teall, Reusch and others in Europe, but, as has been stated, was not the view held by most American Geologists of that time. Since the discoveries of Keyes and Williams it has been clearly recognized, as we all know, that some gneisses are squeezed granites and others are metamorphosed sediments. The refusal to accept any gneisses as igneous had led to erroneous ideas concerning the structure of many schist series and had made very difficult the interpretation of the geology of many districts in which gneissic terranes are prominent."

After the study of the Baltimore gabbros and basic schists had shown that the latter had been derived from the former, the problem of the origin of other basic schists was widely attacked. It had been asserted by various geologists that the ferromagnesian schists of many other regions were sedi

'Keyes, C. R., Some American eruptive granites: Iowa Acad. Sci., Proc., vol. 1, pp. 24-26, 1893; Some Maryland granites and their origin: Geol. Soc. Am., Bull., vol. 4, pp. 299-304, 1893, and Origin and relations of Central Maryland granites; U. S. Geol. Surv., 15th Ann. Rep., pp. 685-740, 1895.

Williams, G. H., General relations of the granitic rocks in the Middle Atlantic Piedmont Plateau: U. S. Geol. Surv. 15th Ann. Rep., pp. 657-684, 1895.

Cf., Also Grimsley, G. P., The granites of Cecil County, in northeastern Maryland: Cin. Soc. Nat. Hist., Jour. vol. 17, pp. 59-67 and 78-114, 1894.


mentary. But Williams had no difficulty in proving that the green schists near Peekskill are sheared igneous rocks, and that those in the Marquette and Menominee iron ranges, which had been regarded as sedimentary by Brooks, Rominger, Wadsworth and others were likewise of igneous origin.

The studies begun by Williams in the Lake Superior region were continued by Lawson, Bayley, and others until the view was generally accepted that most of the dark schists so abundantly met with in the region surrounding the lake are igneous, and the nature of the pre-Cambrian igneous action in this district was in a general way established. These rocks were later suggested by Van Hise and Leith as a possible source of supply of iron for the great iron ore deposits of the district.

By 1891, it was recognized that many of the schists in the Piedmont Plateau 10 are squeezed intrusive rocks. With these removed from the stratigraphic series the interpretation of its geological history was made possible and incidentally the classification of the pre-Cambrian terranes was substantially advanced. The importance of the studies on the schists in the Piedmont area were regarded at the time as so important that their publication started warm discussion, not only in this country but also abroad. It was of

'Williams, G. H., The contact metamorphism produced in the adjoining mica schists and limestone by the massive rocks of the "Cortland series," near Peekskill, N. Y.: Amer. Jour. Sci., vol. 36, pp. 254-269, Oct. 1888.

Williams, G. H., The greenstone schist areas of the Menominee and Marquette regions of Michigan: a contribution to the subject of dynamic metamorphism in eruptive rocks, with an introduction by R. D. Irving: U. S. Geol. Surv. Bull. 62, pp. 31-241, 1890.

"Rominger later abandoned this view but his final conclusions are known only from an extract from an unpublished manuscript quoted by Irving in the introduction to the report of Williams.


Williams, G. H., The petrography and structure of the Piedmont Plateau in Maryland: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., vol. 2, pp. 301-318, 1891.

« PreviousContinue »