John Bachman
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John Bachman

Selected Writings on Science, Race, and Religion

Title Details

Pages: 400

Illustrations: 7 color illus.

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/15/2016

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4983-1

List Price: $34.95


Pub Date: 07/01/2011

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3818-7

List Price: $48.95

John Bachman

Selected Writings on Science, Race, and Religion

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  • Description
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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 natural history.

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.

Waddell’s thoughtful selections from Bachman’s writings offer an excellent picture of a truly significant figure in the history of natural history, the defense of all human races as a single species, and the development of religion in the American South.

—Lester D. Stephens, author of Science, Race, and Religion in the American South: John Bachman and the Charleston Circle of Naturalists: 1815–1895

Waddell . . . has skillfully compiled portions of Bachman’s writings on the title’s three topics (the bulk of the text includes his work in natural history) along with some of his personal correspondence, showing him to be scientific, thoughtful, and still well worth reading.

—D. A. Lovejoy, Choice

About the Author/Editor

GENE WADDELL is Special Collections Archivist Emeritus at the College of Charleston and former director of the South Carolina Historical Society. Waddell is the author of the two-volume Charleston Architecture, 1670–1860.