William Morris Davis

Most Influential Person

American geographer

Why Is William Morris Davis Influential?

According to Wikipedia, William Morris Davis was an American geographer, geologist, geomorphologist, and meteorologist, often called the "father of American geography". He was born into a prominent Quaker family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of Edward M. Davis and Maria Mott Davis . Davis studied geology and geography at Harvard's Lawrence Scientific School and then joined the Harvard sponsored geographic exploration party to the Colorado territory, led by the inaugural Sturgis-Hooper professor of geology, Josiah Dwight Whitney. Wild stories had circulated since soon after the Louisiana Purchase about Rocky Mountains peaks 18,000 feet or higher. The Harvard expedition set out to investigate, and found none, but they did find "14ers" . He graduated from Harvard University in 1869 and received a Master of Mining Engineering in the following year. Davis worked for Nathaniel Shaler as a field assistant, and was later hired to teach at Harvard. Though his legacy lives on in geomorphology, he also advanced theories of scientific racism in his writings about physical geography.

William Morris Davis's Published Works

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