ABOUT THE INTRODUCTORIES
The first two manuscripts from William Wagner’s mineralogy series are introductory lectures. It is in these two samples of writing that the charm and character of Wagner as an individual is most clearly visible. In combination, these two lectures constitute roughly one hundred pages musing on the significance of scientific knowledge to the average Philadelphian, the unique and exciting position of the 19th century scientist, celebrations of mankind’s elaborate perseverance over nature, the necessity of constant study to overcome the challenges of science, the importance of the virtues of truth and knowledge, the manifestation of an omnipotent God through the laws of nature, the importance of free and accessible scientific education across all strata of society, and occasionally, minerals.
NOTE: Large chunks of writing from the first introductory can also be found in the second introductory, which gives rise to the question of whether the second introductory was merely a revision of the first.