Francis Harper (biologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Francis Harper
BornNovember 17, 1886
DiedNovember 17, 1972 (Aged 86)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materCornell University
Scientific career
Author abbrev. (botany)F. Harper
The botanist Roland McMillan Harper is Francis' brother.

Francis Harper (17 November 1886 – 17 November 1972) was an American naturalist known for the study of the 18th-century American naturalists John and William Bartram.[1] His research included studies of the Okefenokee Swamp and fieldwork in the north eastern United States and in northern Canada, and authored new combinations for two species originally described by William Bartram, Garberia heterophylla[2] and Roystonea elata.[3][4]


Harper received an A.B. in 1914 and a Ph.D. in 1925[5] from Cornell University. He taught briefly at Swarthmore College, but beyond that he worked for museums, government agencies and research agencies.[6]

In 1914 Harper made his first trip to northern Canada on an expedition to Lake Athabasca[7] working as a zoologist for the Geological Survey of Canada.[1]

Between 1917 and 1919 Harper served as a rodent control officer in France[1] with the United States Army's 79th Division.[6] He returned to Athabasca in 1920,[6] Nueltin Lake in southern Keewatin in 1947 and the Ungava Peninsula in 1953, his last trip north.[7] Harper published notable works on the caribou of Keewatin, the birds of the Ungava Peninsula, and the Montagnais of the Ungava.[6][8]


From 1917 through the 1950s Harper spent significant time researching the work of the early North American naturalists John Bartram and his son William Bartram. Harper traced the Bartrams' travels in the American South and helped revive both scientific and popular interest in the Bartrams' work,[9] while keeping notebooks on his fieldworks as early as in 1912.[10] Harper's research into the Bartrams was funded by grants from the John Bartram Association in Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, and the Guggenheim Foundation among others.

Extensive publications on both of the Bartrams included annotated editions of John Bartram's "Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida 1765-1766"; William Bartram's "Report to Dr. John Fothergill 1773-1774" and an annotated The Travels of William Bartram: Naturalist’s Edition first published in Philadelphia in 1791.[11]

Harper published on the mammals[12] and folklore[7] of the Okefenokee Swamp, including recordings of the local music. He also published on the "extinct and vanishing" mammals of the old world.[6] His papers are held in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.[6]


Harper authored about 135 publications[12] including:

  • "The Vultur Sacra of William Bartram", written by William Bartram, edited by F. Harper.[a] Swarthmore, Pa, 1936? OCLC 898176374, ISSN 0004-8038
  • "The Bartram trail through the southeastern states",[b] Chicago, 1939. OCLC 6248679
  • "Some works of Bartram, Daudin, Latreille, and Sonnini, and their bearing upon North American herpetological nomenclature",[c] Notre Dame: Indiana University Press, 1940.OCLC 6588855
  • "William Bartram's names of birds",[d] Rochester: , 1942? OCLC 977478068
  • "John Bartram's Diary ; and William Bartram's Travels, edited by F. Harper, "Transactions of American Philosophy Society", n.s., 33 (1-2), Philadelphia: APS, 1944.[e] OCLC 84528141
  • "Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, from July 1, 1765 to April 10, 1766" edited by F. Harper.[14]
  • "Travels in Georgia and Florida, 1773-74. A Report to Dr. John Fothergill" edited by Francis Harper.[15]
  • The Travels of William Bartram: Naturalist’s Edition, edited by Francis Harper, University of Georgia Press: (30 September 1998), ISBN 0-8203-2027-7.[16][17][18][19][20][21][f]


  • n.s. (December 1942). Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, part 1. 33. pp. 1–122.
  • Manville, Richard H (1959). "Book Review: John and William Bartram's America by Helen Gere Cruickshank; by Francis Harper". Journal of Mammalogy. 40 (2): 259–260. doi:10.2307/1376463. ISSN 0022-2372. JSTOR 1376463. OCLC 5550260962.



  1. ^ Reprinted from "The Auk," vol. LIII, October 1936.
  2. ^ Reprinted from the "Bulletin of the Garden Club of America", September, 1939.
  3. ^ Reprinted from the American Midland Naturalist, v. 23, no. 3, May, 1940.
  4. ^ Reprinted from the "Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Science" 8: pp.208–221, September 10, 1942.
  5. ^ Bound in one volume with extra title page. See also the bibliographical note in Brothers of the spade: Correspondence of Peter Collinson, of London, and of John Curtis, of Williamsberg, Virginia, 1734–1746 by Swem, E.G., in "Proceedings of American Antiquarian Society", volume 58, part 1. (Apr. 1948)[13] on this work.
  6. ^ Originally published by Yale University Press: in 1958.


  1. ^ a b c Norment, Christopher J. (March 2000). "Francis Harper (1886–1972)" (PDF). Arctic. 53 (1): 72–75. doi:10.14430/arctic837. Retrieved 6 Jan 2009.
  2. ^ Bartonia; a Botanical Annual. Proceedings of the Philadelphia Botanical Club. 23.
  3. ^ "Harper, Francis (1886-1972) : IPNI Author Details". Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  4. ^ "Search result as "Author standard form = W.Bartram (including publishing authors, including basionym authors) and Ranks". International Plant Names Index. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Harper, Francis (June 1925). "A faunal reconnaissance in the Athabaska and Great Slave Lakes region" (eBook). Thesis (Ph.D.). Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University. OCLC 691700648.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Guide to the Francis Harper Collection: Francis Harper papers, 1899-1973". Kenneth Spencer Memorial Library, Kenneth Spencer Research Library. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  7. ^ a b c Palmer, Ralph S.; Trautman, Milton B, .; Trautman; Palmer; Storer (1973). "Francis Harper". The Auk. American Ornithologists' Union. 90 (3): 737–738. JSTOR 4084200.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Francis Harper papers". Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  9. ^ Harper, Francis (1945). "Proposals for Publishing Bartram's Travels". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society.
  10. ^ Harper, Francis (1990-09-01). Okefinokee Album. University of Georgia Press. pp. i–xiii, 5–7, 18. ISBN 9780820312743.
  11. ^ Bartram, William, 1739-1823. (1998). The travels of William Bartram. Harper, Francis, 1886-1972. (Naturalist's ed.). Athens, Georgia.: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0820320277. OCLC 38147862.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b Palmer, Ralph S. (1973). "Francis Harper, 1886-1972". Journal of Mammalogy. American Society of Mammalogists. 54 (3): 800–01. doi:10.2307/1378993. JSTOR 1378993.
  13. ^ Swem, E. G; American Antiquarian Society (1949). Brothers of the spade: correspondence of Peter Collinson, of London, and of John Custis, of Williamsburg, Virginia, 1734-1746. Worcester, Massachusetts: Published by the Society. OCLC 950896824. Reprinted from the "Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society"--verso of title page shows "Copyright 1949 American Antiquarian Society Worcester, Massachusetts".
  14. ^ APS 1942, pp. 1–122.
  15. ^ APS 1942, pp. 121–242.
  16. ^ Briggs, Loutrel Winslow (1959). "Reviewed work: The Travels of William Bartram, Naturalist's Edition, Francis Harper". The South Carolina Historical Magazine. 60 (4): 234–237. JSTOR 27566259.
  17. ^ Dupree, A. Hunter (1959). "Book Review: The Travels of William Bartram: Naturalist's Edition". The Mississippi Valley Historical Review. 45 (4): 660–661. doi:10.2307/1888721. ISSN 0161-391X. JSTOR 1888721. OCLC 5545187777.
  18. ^ Earnest, Ernest (1959). "Book Review: The Travels of William Bartram". American Quarterly. 11 (1): 86. doi:10.2307/2710734. ISSN 0003-0678. JSTOR 2710734. OCLC 5545670975.
  19. ^ Geiser, S. W (1959). "Book Review: The Travels of William Bartram: Naturalist's Edition". The Journal of Southern History. 25 (2): 240–242. doi:10.2307/2954623. ISSN 0022-4642. JSTOR 2954623. OCLC 5545583407.
  20. ^ Newman, James R (1959). "Book Review: The Travels of William Bartram". Scientific American. 200 (1): 158. ISSN 0036-8733. OCLC 7792903265.
  21. ^ Sturtevant, William C (1959). "Book Review: The Travels of William Bartram". American Anthropologist. 61 (3): 548. doi:10.1525/aa.1959.61.3.02a00470. ISSN 0002-7294. OCLC 5549172805.
  22. ^ IPNI.  F.Harper.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]