This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Prof. Cope continues his attacks on the Academy in The American Naturalist, much to the regret, we are sure, of his best friends. It would not be just to Prof. Cope to say he does not believe in his own statements, - it is much more charitable to refer the distortion of facts to some other source. But, injustice to the Academy, it is but right to say that his statement is not correct that " Prof. Cope was dropped from the Council (of the Academy) on account of absence from more than six of the meetings, Prof. Cope having been engaged in a scientific exploration in Oregon;" It would, of course, be a strange thing for a society having in view the advancement of science, to " fix a penalty for the absence in question," and it is evidently the intention of Prof. Cope to make the world believe that the Academy did this very strange thing. But every one acquainted with the Academy knows that it is perfectly practicable for a member of its councils to be absent six months or a year without losing his seat, and they will also know that when, notwithstanding this, Prof. Cope's seat was vacated, it shows that he has not told the whole story.
Equally short of the whole truth is the at" tempts to make the world believe that Dr. Le Conte favors his views and is dissatisfied with the working of the Academy, when it is well known that the present administration of the Academy has no warmer friend than Dr. Le Conte.
Further, it is said "one of our rising young naturalists has been relieved of the scholarship which was endowed by A. E. Jessup, and which paid a small salary, without the offer of an equivalent place." This is equally remarkable for the inference left to be drawn through not telling the whole truth. The fund provides that beneficiaries shall have its advantages for two years. At the end of that term there happened to be no suitable applicant, and the excellent Mr. Ryder was offered a continuance until an acceptable successor should arise. He was, indeed, four years on the fund instead of the two promised, and, much to the regret of the Academy, it had "no equivalent place to offer him".
But the most singular fact is that Prof. Cope should feel justified in using a public magazine like the Naturalist to attack a private institution, for the Academy has no endowment for its maintenance. Some five hundred members pay :$10 a year, and there are some life members of $100 each. These pay to support in their own way their own private property; what they do for science is their own free and voluntary gift. An immense majority of them have voted down Prof. Cope's ideas of management, and in consequence, he appeals to the public for the sym-pathy which the Academy denies him, just as he would be justified in doing were it a public institution and it was squandering the public funds.
There have been some small sums left to the Academy for special purposes, at various times, but it will surprise many readers to know that, while Prof. Cope would have it do things which only richly-endowed institutions do, it has maintained its well-known reputation over the world, with its large museum and magnificent library of over 20,000 scientific volumes, on an annual income of about $6,000 a year; a great portion of which has to go for city expenses I Indeed, so far from the public having any right to criticise their work, the most of the noble results reached here have been from the individual labors of the members, as well as from their individual cash. The magnificent herbarium of the Academy, unequalled, perhaps, in the United States outside of Cambridge, in its arrangement and care is the result of the free labor of Pickering, Bridges, Durand, Burk, Diftenbaugh, Parker, Redfield, and some others, at odd times, with little more cost to the institution than gas-light. And what is true of the Botanical is true of other departments.
One would suppose that Prof. Cope might mention some of these facts in his tirades, - but then we may suppose a good many other things.