Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD, dated January 10, 1849.

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Publication InformationWashington Jan 10 49

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Dear Baird

In Gray's appendix to Griffith's Cuvier, I find

Gen. 2[...] Salamandra

*Toes 4 Salamandria

*Toes 4.5 Salamandra

a --------

b --------

c --------

d ------

e -----

f ---- skin and paratoids smooth, minutely punctated, lateral line none, toes longs and free, . (then follow several European & Asiatic species) be add. Probably the following American species belong to this section. (then follow the names of forty or more species, , among which

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are S.[...] a white faced salamander ; Capt [Beechy's] salamander S. Beechii, ; Green's salamander, S. Greenii, Gray;

g. skin and paratoids smooth, minutely punctuated; lateral line none; toes very short webbed, & he enumerates only.

S. variegata. . S. Platydactylus . Brown with irregular-dorsal bands, Mexico.

And this is all Master Gray saith. N.B. don't accuse me of not distinguishing between punctted & punctted. I copy literatim. Item. Next time you want to use in the feminine, don't make it in a. Greek you know c.

As to the Bilder-Lexicon

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is worth [...] 'translate a few pages, & note the time. It is worth certainly #1' per page of the German text & perhaps more. You will of course correspond directly with Garrigue on the subject.

Will you give me General Churchill's present address?

Yours trulyG P. M

P.S. The above extracts are from the 9' vols. of Griffith & Pidgeon's Cuvier, Animal Kingdom London 1831. Synopsis of the species of the clan Reptilia by J. E. Gray c c pp 105-107

References in this letter:

Georges Cuvier, The Animal Kingdom arranged in conformity to its organization. With supplementary additions by Edward Griffith and Edward Pidgeon and notices of new genera and species by John Edward Gray. 16 vols. London: G.B. Whittaker, 1827-1835.

Charles Rudolph Garrigue, a New York publisher, obtained the plates to F. A. Brockhaus's Bilder Atlas zum Conversations Lexicon (Leipzig) with the intention of republishing them with an English text. Marsh suggested that Baird translate and revise the work. It was a massive undertaking on which Baird spent four years. Published in 1852 as The Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature, and Art, it established Baird's reputation.

Sylvester Churchill and Lucy Hunter Churchill were Mary Churchill Baird's parents. A Vermont native, Sylvester Churchill (1783-1862), served in the War of 1812, was Inspector General in the Mexican War, and Brigadier General during the Civil War.