Clarence King, a Yale-educated geologist, surveyed the American West and served as the first director of the United States Geological Survey. His close friend Henry Adams said that he had “that combination of physical energy, social standing, mental scope and training, wit, geniality and science, that seemed superlatively American and irresistibly strong.”
At the age of twenty-two Clarence served as a volunteer geologist in the 1864 Survey of California, crossing the country with a group of pioneers who departed from St. Joseph, Missouri. His skills as a geologist astounded his co-workers – he scaled mountains, named peaks and drew extremely accurate maps.
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