Geological Survey of Missouri (1853-1855)

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Geological Survey of Missouri was organized by George Clinton Swallow, State Geologist of Missouri, and ran from 1853 - 1855. The objectives were to: study the geology of the entire state, determine the mineral content of mining areas, examine the state's agricultural and manufacturing resources, and provide reports on as many counties as practicable. Staff included Dr. A. Litton, R. B. Price, B. F. Shumard, Frederick Bass, and Frederick Hawn (assistant geologist). F. B. Meek joined the staff of the Survey as an assistant geologist in 1854. The survey work got underway on May 24, 1853, and the first two months were spent in Boone and Howard counties. In late June, Dr. Litton collected a number of objects from St. Genevieve, Farmington, Mine la Motte, Pilot, Knob, Shepard Mountain, and other locations. Dr. Litton and Shumard then began working together in Washington, Franklin, and Madison counties. Additionally, the team focused on regions surrounding the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as well as the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroads. Specimens collected during the survey included rocks, minerals, soil, water, and fossils. Meteorological observations were also made, when time permitted, and notes about the trees, plants, water power, and other facets of the agricultural and manufacturing resources of the regions visited were taken.


Swallow, George Clinton. (1855). The first and second annual reports of the Geological Survey of Missouri. Geological Survey. Jefferson City [Mo.] : By order of the legislature, James Lusk, Public Printer. Retrieved from

Date Range

1853 - 1855


  • Geology
  • Paleontology


  • United States
  • Missouri River
  • Missouri
  • Hannibal
  • Farmington
  • Mississippi River


Expedition name