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GCH monthly meeting: Presentation on Mary Treat, South Jersey Scientist

Join Gloucester County Humanists for our regular monthly meeting, held on the third Sunday of each month from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at the Gloucester County Library, 389 Wolfert Station Rd, Mullica Hill NJ. We meet in Conference Room C.

Discussion centers around Humanism, atheism, secularism, church-state separation, and other related topics. Meet your fellow local Humanists and help us plan GCH activities and events.

At our March 17 meeting, we follow up on February's celebration of Darwin Day with a special presentation about the South Jersey scientist who helped Darwin publish his work: Mary Treat of Vineland NJ. International Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around February 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

Gloucester County Humanists is proud to welcome Nancy Steelman, Board Member of the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, who will offer a fifteen-minute presentation on Mary Treat to our members on Sunday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m., at the Gloucester County Library, Route 45 and Wolfert Station Road, Mullica Hill NJ. Mrs. Steelman, an award-winning poet from Vineland, will bring photocopies of some of the Darwin letters and photographs to share with GCH.

The Press of Atlantic City reported that Charles Darwin got some help from a South Jersey scientist named Mary Treat.

"When Charles Darwin needed help finishing his 20th book, the legendary English evolutionist turned to an amateur woman naturalist from Vineland named Mary Treat.

Citing her careful observations several times, he published “Insectivorous Plants” in 1875, and it sold better and faster than his landmark work, “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.”

“Mrs. Treat, of New Jersey, has been more successful than any other observer,” he said in a section of the book that described how the bladderwort plant catches its prey.

Treat was a pioneer in several areas of natural sciences. She wrote several books, published about 100 articles, discovered a few species of insects and plants and described many others better than anyone before.

“Although neglected heretofore by natural history biographers Mrs. Treat deserves a place in the history of New Jersey’s natural history as its first capable woman naturalist,” wrote historian and scientist Harry B. Weiss in a 1955 article on Treat’s life in the New Jersey Historical Society magazine."


Following the presentation, GCH's Janice Rael and Bill Reitter will have more information about Mary Treat to share with the group.

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  • Ed B.

    Ver informative. Inquisitive, interactive group!

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Ed B.


    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Janice R.

    Thanks for coming, everyone, our speaker was amazing!

    1 · March 17, 2013

  • Bill F.

    Sorry Janice. I can't make this one. Some family issues have come up that need my full attention. So, I'm not 100% percent sure I will be able to attend.

    March 15, 2013

  • Alvin E.

    I can't make this meetup.
    I'll see you next month.

    March 11, 2013

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