“In 1849 James Hall was shown a geological chart by a deputy superintendent of public instruction in Albany. “Foster’s Complete Geological Chart” had been created and submitted to the superintendent for approval by James T. Foster, a school teacher living in Greenbush, New York. Hall was outraged by the chart, particularly because it did not include any New York rock formations, but instead used European names and fossils.

Hall took the chart and sent it to Louis Agassiz for his opinion. Agassiz wrote a blistering condemnation of it which Hall subsequently had printed (along with his own letter of outrage) in the Albany papers. Foster then sued both Agassiz and Hall for libel ($20,000 and $40,000 in damages, respectively). Meanwhile, Foster revised his chart by inserting New York names and including Ebenezer Emmons’ “Taconic System”, the validity of which Hall strongly opposed.”  MORE at the New York State Archives …

NYSA's geological chart by James Hall, 1852
NYSA’s geological chart by James Hall, 1852