Jacob Whitman Bailey, an American naturalist, born at Ware, Mass., April 29, 1811, died at West Point, N. Y., Feb. 27, 1857. He graduated at the West Point military academy in 1832, and was appointed lieutenant in the artillery. After passing six years at several military stations in Virginia and Carolina, he was appointed professor of chemistry, botany, and mineralogy at the military academy in 1839. He was especially distinguished as a microscopist. He published a volume of "Microscopic Sketches" containing about 3,000 original figures, and gave much attention to the minute animal and vegetable organisms at that time all included under the general term infusoria, and to the whole family of algae. Among the principal subjects of his research were the fossil deposits of Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia, the rice fields of the South, and the dredgings of the coast survey and of the line of soundings across the Atlantic, made by Lieut. Berryman in reference to the laying of the telegraphic cable. He made a microscopical collection of more than 3,000 objects, fixed upon slides, catalogued, and marked. His collection of algse was equally complete, consisting of about 4,500 specimens, systematically arranged in portfolios.
These collections, together with all his books on botany and microscopy, his sketches, scientific correspondence, and a large store of rough material from the localities he had studied, he bequeathed to the Boston society of natural history. He also made improvements in the microscope.