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Seberang Perai Story: James Logan, A polymath on a Province Wellesley Plantation
Seberang Perai Story Lecture by Dr Gerrell Drawhorn
James Richardson Logan (1819-1869) has a monument erected in his honor in front of the court house in Penang. But who was this man and why did the government abhor him while locals of all races loved him? And what was his special connection to Seberang Perai?
Logan was a lawyer, newspaper editor, a plantation owner, a philanthropist, a geologist, a climate change theorist, a linguist, a cultural evolutionary theorist, an explorer, and one of the first to collect cultural information on the orang asli. He was the editor of the Pinang Gazette and the founder and editor of the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, better known as 'Logan's Journals'. In addition, he was one of Province Wellesley's largest landowners. This talk will open a window on Logan, his era, and the significance he may hold for understanding science and politics in Malay Settlements during the Victorian period.
Dr. Gerrell Drawhorn is a UC Berkeley and UC Davis graduate in Biological Anthropology. His publications range from Tree Shrews, the relationships of the earliest hominins to his Ph.D. dissertation on Fossil Orangutans. His interests in the history of evolutionary thought and Alfred Russel Wallace led him to discover the long neglected 19th century writings of James Richardson Logan, a man who could be called Malaysia’s first evolutionary scientist. Dr. Drawhorn currently teaches at California State University in Sacramento.
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