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This Day in Georgia History

October 13, 1867

John R. Cotting Died

John R. Cotting died in Milledgeville, where he was buried in Memory Hill Cemetery. Born Nov. 16, 1778 in Acton, Massachusetts, he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1802. First pursuing a career in religion, Cotting left the ministry in 1812 and for the next 23 years taught geology, chemistry, and other science subjects. During this time, he wrote introductory textbooks in chemistry and geology. In 1835, Cotting left Massachusetts, moving to Augusta, Georgia, where he undertook a survey of local soil types. In 1836, the General Assembly authorized a state geological survey, and Gov. William Schley named him as state geologist.