The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 Thomas Say

Thomas Say

Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 10 Oct 1834 (aged 47)
New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana, USA
Burial New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 11835 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Father of American Entomology. Born into a prominent Quaker family of Philadelphia. He was a founding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He was appointed chief zoologist of Major Stephen Long's exploring expedition to the tributaries of the Missouri River in 1819 and again in 1823 for the expedition to the headwaters of the Mississippi. During the 1819 expedition he was the first to describe the coyote, swift fox, western kingbird, band-tailed pigeon, Say's phoebe, rock wren, lesser goldfinch, lark sparrow, lazuli bunting, and orange-crowned warbler. Say's studies of North American insects brought him recognition from the learned societies of Europe. He described considerably more than 1,000 new species of beetles and over 400 insects of other orders, including species in every important insect order. His American Entomology was an important work and remains a classic. It was published over an eleven-year period with volume 3 being completed in the utopian community of New Harmony, Indiana, of which he became a member in 1825.

Family Members



His epitaph reads......

"Votary of nature from a child,
He sought her presence in the trackless wild;
To him the shell, the insect and the flower
Were bright and cherished emblems of her power.
In her he saw a spirit all divine,
and worshipped like a pilgrim at her shrine."




How famous was Thomas Say?

Current rating:

18 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11835
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Say (27 Jul 1787–10 Oct 1834), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11835, citing Thomas Say Gravesite, New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .