John Bachman (1790-1874) was an internationally renowned
naturalist and a prominent Lutheran minister. This is the first
collection of his writings, containing selections from his three
major books, his letters, and his articles on plants and animals,
education, religion, agriculture, and the human species.
Bachman was the leading authority on North American mammals. He
was responsible for the descriptions of the 147 mammal species
included in Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, a
massive work produced in collaboration with John James Audubon.
Bachman relied entirely on scientific evidence in his work and was
exceptional among his fellow naturalists for studying the whole of
Bachman also relied on scientific evidence in his Doctrine
of the Unity of the Human Race. He showed that human beings
constitute a single species that developed as varieties equivalent
to the varieties of domesticated animals. In this work, perhaps his
most significant accomplishment, Bachman stood nearly alone in
challenging the polygenetic views of Louis Agassiz and others that
white and black people descended from different progenitors.
Bachman was also an important figure in the establishment of
Lutheranism in the Southeast. He wrote the first American monograph
on the doctrines of Martin Luther and the history of the
Reformation. Bachman served for fifty-six years as minister of St.
John's Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and was one
of the founders of Newberry College.
Subjects: History, History of Science & Technology
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