jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010

John Edmonstone

Hey kids,

So I decided to research/report on the man who taught Darwin taxidermy. His name was John Edmonstone, and (as we learned), he was a freed slave from Guyana. He lived in Edinburgh after moving to England with his former master, who was a landowner in South America whose son-in-law was the British naturalist who taught John taxidermy. He worked freelance for the University, stuffing specimens for their natural history museum, and made money on the side teaching taxidermy to students. Apparently Darwin spent an hour a day with him for two months, for the whopping price of 1 guinea. Darwin found him "very pleasant and intelligent," and their friendship seemed to leave an impression on Darwin, who realized from it that other races were "just as intelligent" as Europeans. The thing is, not much beyond this is known about Edmonton- birth date, death date, anything. I guess that's how things were back then for freed slaves. Interesting.


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