This Day in History: 1787-06-27
Thomas Say (1787 – 1834) was born on this day. He was a US naturalist, described as being the father of both American entomology and American conchology. Say was a self-taught naturalist who, amongst others, helped found the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1812), the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the New World. He served as zoologist on two of Long’s expeditions (1819 – 20 and 1823).
Best known for his 6 vol. American Conchology, or Descriptions of the Shells of North America Illustrated From Coloured Figures From Original Drawings Executed from Nature (1830–34), largely illustrated by Le Sueur, along with his wife Lucy Say (first woman elected as member of the Academy of Natural Sciences).
Say described more than 1,000 species and is honoured in the names of species under say(i) and sayanus(-a, -um).