Wortman, J. L. (Jacob Lawson), 1856-1926
Jacob Lawson Wortman was a medical doctor and paleontologist. Wortman participated in many paleontological field expeditions with Edward Drinker Cope, American Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh.
Jacob Lawson Wortman was a medical doctor by training. (2, p. 124) He worked as a research associate of Edward Drinker Cope for many years. (1, p. 68) During that period Wortman gained a broad knowledge of fossil vertebrates.
Wortman was hired by Henry Fairfield Osborn to be his principal assistant in the newly established Department of Mammalian Palaeontology, later to become, Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in 1891. (1, p. 68) Wortman led a number of expeditions to look for and excavate fossils for AMNH and published the results extensively. He also gave field training to Walter Granger, Albert Thomson, and O.A. Peterson. (3, p. 653)
Wortman left AMNH in 1899 to become Curator in Charge of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. (2, p. 124)
Dr. Wortman worked for the Carnegie Museum until 1908, when he resigned his position and moved to Brownsville, Texas. He opened a pharmacy there and remained in place until his death on June 25, 1926. (2, p. 125)
(1) An Agenda for Antiquity. Henry Fairfield Osborn and Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, 1890-1935, Ronald Rainger, The University of Alabama Press, Tascaloosa and London, 1991.
(2) William Diller Matthew Paleontologist. The Splendid Drama Observed, Edwin H. Colbert, Columbia University Press, New York, 1992.
(3) J. L. Wortman — A Biographical Sketch., H.F. Osborn, Natural History, Vol. xxvi, pp. 652, 653.
Publications by Wortman
On the affinities of Leptarctus primus of Leidy. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 6, article 8.
Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
Psittacotherium, a member of a new and primitive suborder of the Edentata. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 8, article 16., Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
Osteology of Patriofelis, a Middle Eocene creodont. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 6, article 5. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.; Wortman Expedition to the Rocky Mountains 1893)
On the divisions of the White River or Lower Miocene of Dakota. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 5, article 9. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
Restoration of Oxyaena lupina Cope, with descriptions of certain new species of Eocene creodonts. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 12, article 7. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
On the osteology of Agriochoerus. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 7, article 4. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
The ancestry of certain members of the Canidae, the Viverridae, and Procyonidae. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 12, article 6. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.; Matthew, William Diller, 1871-1930.
The Ganodonta and their relationship to the Edentata. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 9, article 6. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
The extinct Camelidae of North America and some associated forms. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 10, article 7. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
Species of Hyracotherium and allied perissodactyls from the Wahsatch and Wind River beds of North America. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 8, article 6. Wortman, Jacob Lawson.
Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:
Correspondence relative to the formation and organization of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology. Correspondence between Morris K. Jesup, Henry Fairfield Osborn, C.O. Marsh, J.L. Wortman, J.B. Hatcher, O.A. Peterson, W.H. Utterback. Many letters from Volume II have been removed. Two volumes containing approximately 100 letters.
The professional correspondence includes letters between Brown and other paleontologists both within AMNH and elsewhere. It also contains correspondence regarding Brown's lecture tours and his application for copyright. There are also some letters from the public with paleontological enquiries.