Amos Binney (1803-1847)

Physician & Malacologist

Amos Binney was born into a prominent family of New England merchants and professionals in October 1803. Although he received a degree in medicine from Harvard University in 1826, his true passion was for the natural sciences, specifically Malacology, a branch of invertebrate zoology that deals with the study of mollusks.

A few years later during a trip to Europe, Binney died suddenly in Rome at the age of 43. In keeping with his wishes, his widow returned his body to Boston to be buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.  A book on land mollusks he was working on was published posthumously in 1851 granting the late Binney an international reputation in the scientific world of the time.

An historic photograph of a cemetery monument with a shroud draped over an angel sculpted.
Amos Binney monumnet by Thomas Crawford, commissioned 1847, installed 1850. Mount Auburn Cemetery, Lot 1391, Heath Path. Photograph of a Southworth and Hawes daguerreotype, c.1850. Mount Auburn Cemetery Archives.

Amos Binney is buried in Lot #1391 on Heath Path at Mount Auburn Cemetery.  His marble memorial, carved by Thomas Crawford in 1847, is the only monument at Mount Auburn that has been designated an “American Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Committee and was conserved in 2014.

A well-manicured cemetery lot with a marble monument in the center.

Top Image:

Portrait of Amos Binney: BSNH, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons