Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861

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French naturalist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Paris, to an unidentified lady, 1844 Oct. 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269579006

French zoologist; defined a system of "parallel" evolution and followed the Lamarckian tradition of classification.

From the description of Histoire naturelle generale des regnes organiques, ca. 1850. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122332787

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire was a French zoologist and an authority on deviation from normal structure. He coined the term ethology. He was born in Paris, the son of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. In his earlier years he showed an aptitude for mathematics, but eventually he devoted himself to the study of natural history and of medicine, and in 1824 he was appointed assistant naturalist to his father. In 1832-1837 he published his great teratological work, Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux.

From the description of Génération continue des races actuelles par les séries animales et végétales: memoir, autograph manuscript draft, 1834, August 18. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 713900724

French zoologist, only son of Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, and biographer of same.

From the description of Letter, 1833. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122585672

Bonaparte, Charles Lucien, Prince of Canino (1803-1857, APS, 1824). Charles Lucien Bonaparte, French naturalist and ornithologist, was a nephew of the Emperor Napoleon, the son of the Emperor’s younger brother Lucien.

Charles Lucien Bonaparte, was raised in Italy and shared his father Lucien’s republican political values. He received an extensive scientific education in Italian universities. In 1822 at the age of nineteen he married his cousin Zenaida-Charlotte-Julie, daughter of Joseph, king of Naples and Spain, and brought her to live in the United States for six years. The couple had twelve children.

Before the age of twenty he discovered a warbler, then unknown to science. And would make his greatest contributions to zoology, even though he had begun his scientific career with several essays in botany. While in the United States Bonaparte published numerous ornithological notes in the Journal of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. He continued Alexander Wilson’s work on birds, updating the latter’s American Ornithology. He also sponsored the then unknown John James Audobon for membership in the Academy of Natural Science in 1824, although Audobon was not elected.

Returning to Europe in 1828 at the age of 25, Bonaparte settled in Italy and began a period of major political activity. He advocated for the organization of scientific congresses that also provided an opportunity for meetings of independents and reformers. After the accession of the initially liberal Pope Pius IX in 1846, Bonaparte became a member of the Pope’s party, but proceeded to move in a more radical direction, affiliating with the radicals and joining the Supreme Junta that seized power in the Roman states during the Revolutions of 1848. After the flight of Pope Pius in November 1848, Charles Lucien became deputy for Viterbo in the Assemblée Nationale Romaine; he was eventually elected Vice-President of the Assemblée. He also served on a commission to draft a constitution for the Roman Republic. When his cousin Louis Napoleon sent French troops to restore the Pope, Bonaparte participated in the defense of Rome with the Republican army. After its defeat and the fall of the Roman Republic, he fled with his family back to France, first to Marseilles and then Orléans, where he was arrested and released. Louis Napoleon ordered him out of the county and he set sail from Le Havre for England.

While in England, Bonaparte attended the 1849 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Birmingham, then visited the Scottish ornithologist Sir William Jardine. During his sojourn in England Bonaparte started work on a classification of every bird in the world, visiting museums across Europe to study their collections. The following year, 1851, he was allowed to return to France, where he and his family settled in Paris. At this point he gave up politics and concentrated exclusively on his scientific endeavors.

Bonaparte became interested in the principles of biological classification as early as 1831. In his early work he departed from the concepts of Georges Cuvier, of whom he was quite critical. He classified Insectivora before the Rodentia and separated the Chiroptera from the Primates. He made use of location, structure and the relationships of the branchiae in his classification of fish. Also, in developing classifications, he considered physiological data and morphology. Consequently, he raised the Batrachia to a subclass, then united the saurians and ophidians (Reptilia). He devoted the final years of his life to establishing a definitive classification of zoological groups, publishing synopses, conspectuses, and catalogs of the fauna of France. To this end, he not only encouraged fellow zoologists to study local fauna, but in 1857 conceived a general work in collaboration with Victor Meunier on the fauna of France entitled Histoire naturelle generale et particuliere des animaux qui vivent en France. Bonaparte’s death later that year prevented the realization of the project.

Charles Lucien Bonaparte was deeply interested in the French Muséum d’histoire naturelle and hoped to see the addition of a special gallery for native fauna. He bequeathed his library, containing works on the natural sciences, meterology, history and politics, as well as his extensive correspondence, to the Muséum.

From the guide to the Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte letters, 1825-1857, 1825-1857, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861. Autograph letter signed : Paris, to an unidentified lady, 1844 Oct. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859. Papers, 1801-1859. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn John Edward Gray papers, 1783-1884, 1783-1884 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861. Letter, 1833. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Pasteur, Louis, 1822-1895. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn John Edward Gray papers, 1783-1884, 1783-1884 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Alexander von Humboldt papers, 1801-1859, 1793-1859 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Peale-Sellers families. Correspondence, 1686-1963. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Bonaparte, Charles Lucian, 1803-1857. Letters, 1825-1857. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Charles Willson Peale letterbooks, 1767-1827, 1767-1827 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Gray, John Edward, 1800-1875. Papers, 1783-1884. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Dutrochet, Henri, 1776-1847. Letter, 1838, May 26 : Noroy, [France], to Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Paris. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861. Génération continue des races actuelles par les séries animales et végétales: memoir, autograph manuscript draft, 1834, August 18. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Library. Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection. 1668-1983. American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte letters, 1825-1857, 1825-1857 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore, 1805-1861. Histoire naturelle generale des regnes organiques, ca. 1850. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Peale, Charles Willson, 1741-1827. Letterbooks, 1767-1827. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Peale-Sellers family collection, 1686-1963 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Sélys-Longchamps, Michel-Edmond, baron de, 1813-1900. [Notices diverses]. University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Ange, Martin S. person
associatedWith Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Bonaparte, Charles Lucian, 1803-1857. person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Cooper, William, 1798? -1864 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, baron, 1769-1832. person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Dutrochet, Henri, 1776-1847. person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried, 1795-1876. person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Etienne, 1772-1844. person
associatedWith Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832. person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Gray, George Robert, 1808-1872 person
associatedWith Gray, John Edward, 1800-1875. person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
associatedWith Hoeven, Jan van der, 1802-1868. person
associatedWith Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859. person
associatedWith Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de, 1744-1829. person
associatedWith Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1646-1716. person
associatedWith Müller, Johannes, 1801-1858. person
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Norman, Haskell F. person
associatedWith Oken, Lorenz, 1779-1851. person
associatedWith Pasteur, Louis, 1822-1895. person
associatedWith Peale, Charles Willson, 1741-1827. person
associatedWith Peale-Sellers families. family
associatedWith Peale-Sellers families. person
associatedWith Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1799-1885 person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Rüppell, Wilhelm Peter Eduard, 1794-1884 person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Sélys-Longchamps, Michel-Edmond, baron de, 1813-1900. person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
associatedWith Temminck, C. J., (Coenraad Jacob), 1778-1858 person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Evolution (Biology)
Learned institutions and societies
Literature, Arts, and Culture
Natural history
Natural selection
Science and technology


Birth 1805-12-16

Death 1861-11-10





Ark ID: w60p133p

SNAC ID: 44295637