Cope, E. D. (Edward Drinker), 1840-1897

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1840-07-29
Death 1897-04-12
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Vertebrate paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope became the leading theorist of the neo-Lamarckian movement in American biology. He sold his fossil collection to the American Museum of Natural History in 1894.

From the guide to the Edward Drinker Cope Field diaries, 1872-1874, 1876-1877, 1879, 1881-1885, 1892, 1872-1892, (American Philosophical Society)

Zoologist, paleontologist and educator. Member Society of Friends. Professor at Haverford College (1864-1867) and University of Pennsylvania (1891); president (1896) American Association for the Advancement of Science.

From the description of Papers, 1848-1940 (bulk 1855-1896). (Haverford College Library). WorldCat record id: 25540988

Naturalist and paleontologist, member of the National Academy of Science, professor of zoology and comparative anatomy.

From the description of Letters, 1846-1897. (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 22577217

From the description of Letters, 1846-1897 [microform]. (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 40976844

Edward Drinker Cope was a vertebrate paleontologist. He was the leading theorist of the neo-Lamarckian movement in American biology. He sold his fossil collection to the American Museum of Natural History in 1894.

From the description of Field diaries, 1872-1874, 1876-1877, 1879, 1881-1885, 1892. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122489518

Vertebrate paleontologist.

Cope was the leading theorist of the neo-Lamarckian movement in American biology. He sold his fossil collections to the American Museum of Natural History in 1894.

From the description of Papers, 1846-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155485103

Vertebrate paleontologist.

Cope was the leading theorist of the neo-Lamarckian movement in American biology. He sold his fossil collection to the American Museum of Natural History in 1894.

From the description of Notebooks, 1846-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155509625

Vertebrate paleontologist.

Cope was the leading theorist of the neo-Lamarckian movement in American biology. He sold his fossil collections to the American Museum of Natural History in 1894.

From the description of Papers, 1872-1900. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155509630

Edward Drinker Cope was born on July 28, 1840 to Alfred and Hannah Edge Cope, who were wealthy Philadelphia Quakers. His father hoped Edward would become a farmer and much of his education was obtained by private tutors. He also attended Westtown School and in 1860, he attended Dr. Joseph Leidy’s class on comparative anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Cope’s interest in the natural sciences began at an early age and in 1858, he began volunteering at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where he catalogued the reptilian collection. He also studied in Washington, D.C. with Professor Spencer F. Baird, concentrating his attentions on the herpetological collections at the Smithsonian Institute. By the time that he entered the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 20, he had already been published thirty times. In 1863, his father sent him to Europe in order that he be spared participating in the Civil War and his interest in the natural sciences increased as he visited natural history museums in Berlin, Leyden, Munich, Vienna, Paris and London.

In 1864, Cope returned to Philadelphia and was hired to teach comparative zoology and botany at Haverford College. He remained a professor there until 1867 when he resigned in order to pursue scientific exploration and writing. In 1884, he served as curator of the National Museum in Washington, D.C. and in 1891, he was professor of geology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1896. During his career, Cope led and/or participated in geological surveys, both state and federal (the United States Geological Survey), of the western states of the United States. Through his exploration and work with surveys, Cope made known "more than 600 speciesand many genera of extinct vertebrates new to sciences, many of which he had personally discovered in the Cretaceous strata of Kansas or the Tertiary of Wyoming and Colorado," (Osborn, page 129).

At the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Cope served as curator from 1865 to 1873, as corresponding secretary from 1863 to 1876, and as a member of the Council in 1879. He resigned from the Academy, after a conflict regarding the fundamental organization of the organization, in 1883.

Cope was a “founder of the Neo-Lamarckian school of evolutionary thought, [which] believed that changes in developmental (embryonic) timing, not natural selection, was the driving force of evolution,” (UCMP). At the time of his death on April 12, 1897, Cope had discovered and described over 600 new species and contributed over 1300 papers to scientific literature.

Bibliography:

Haverford College Quaker and Special Collections. Edward Drinker Cope papers, 1848-1940 (bulk 1855-1896), Ms. Coll. 956.

Osborn, Henry Fairfield. "Biographical Memoir of Edward Drinker Cope, 1840-1897," National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Biographical Memoirs, Volume III, 1929.

University of California Museum of Paleontology. “Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897),” http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/cope.html (accessed November 29, 2011).

From the guide to the Edward Drinker Cope papers, 1859-1907, (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia)

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Subjects:

  • Zoological illustration
  • Paleontology--Research
  • Natural history museums
  • Vertebrates, Fossil--Catalogs and collections
  • Geology, Stratigraphic
  • Animals, Fossil
  • Dinosaurs
  • Evolution (Biology)
  • Geology
  • Fossils--Collection and preservation
  • Paleontology--Fieldwork
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Fossils
  • Phylogeny
  • Inheritance of acquired characteristics
  • Families
  • Reptiles
  • Vertebrates--Evolution
  • Fishes
  • Paleontology--Classification
  • Travel
  • Herpetology
  • Paleontologists--Correspondence
  • Fishes, Fossil
  • Paleontology
  • Ichthyology
  • Zoology
  • Vertebrates, Fossil--Collection and preservation
  • Vertebrates, Fossil
  • Anatomy
  • Fossils--Collection and preservation--West (U.S.)
  • Evolution

Occupations:

  • Paleontologists

Places:

  • Mexico (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Estate records (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)