George Gibbs (mineralogist)

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George Gibbs (7 January 1777 in Newport, Rhode Island – 5 August 1834 at Sunswick, Long Island) was an American mineralogist and mineral collector. The mineral gibbsite is named after him.[1]

He spent several years while a young man travelling abroad, and devoted much of his time and wealth to the collection of minerals. On his return to Rhode Island he brought with him the most extensive and valuable collection ever seen in the United States up to that time. It consisted of the collection of Gigot d'Orcy (1733–1793), containing 4,000 specimens, and that of Count Gregoire de Razumowsky, containing 6,000 specimens. These, with the results of his own gathering, formed a cabinet of more than 20,000 minerals. The collection was first exhibited in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 1822 he was elected vice-president of the New York lyceum of natural history, He published valuable papers both in the "American Mineralogical Journal " and the "American Journal of Science."

Gibbs offered to deposit his collection at Yale. In 1825 he offered it for sale at $20,000, giving the preference to Yale. The funds were raised through the influence of Professor Silliman. Gibbs continued his interest in mineralogy, making extensive journeys and developing new mineral localities.

He married Laura, daughter of Oliver Wolcott, secretary of the treasury during the administrations of Washington and John Adams. Their son, George Gibbs Jr., was an antiquarian, born in Sunswick, now Astoria, Long Island in July, 1815. The younger Gibbs died in New Haven, Connecticut on April 9, 1873.