CDV OF MARSHALL McDONALD, VMI PROFESSOR

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Item Code: 1138-1561

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Bust view of McDonald. Image is clear but light. Mount has had top and bottom edges trimmed. Photographer's backmark, Miley, Lexington, Va.

Marshall McDonald (October 18, 1835 – September 1, 1895) was an American engineer, geologist, mineralogist, and fisheries scientist.

Born in 1835 in Romney, Virginia, present-day West Virginia. From 1854 to 1855, McDonald studied natural history under Spencer Fullerton Baird at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He then attended the University of Virginia and Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated in 1860. McDonald served as an assistant professor of chemistry at the institute under Stonewall Jackson and continued to teach intermittently throughout the American Civil War.

McDonald joined the Confederate States Army in 1861 and was commissioned as a lieutenant and engineer officer. He served as an inspector general on Stonewall Jackson's staff, then served as staff officer for Major General Martin Luther Smith and as an engineer officer for Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton. McDonald was taken as a prisoner of war by the Union Army at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863. Following the war in 1865, McDonald returned to the Virginia Military Institute where he was appointed a professor with the rank of colonel, instructing and serving as chair of the subjects of chemistry, geology, mineralogy, and metallurgy. He also established the institution's first museum.

By 1875, McDonald was involved in fish farming and became the administrator of the Virginia state fish hatchery at Wytheville. He was appointed as the Fish Commissioner of Virginia and invented the fish ladder during his tenure. In 1879, Spencer Fullerton Baird hired McDonald for a position at the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There, he served as a special agent, superintendent of the shad hatcheries, Chief of the Division of Fish Culture, and Chief Assistant Commissioner of the Fish Commission. In 1888, President Grover Cleveland appointed McDonald as the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries. McDonald died in office in 1895.

This image was from the collection of the late William A. Turner.  [jet]  [ph:L]

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