Members attending the American Association of the Advancement of Science met in Springfield, Massachusetts, in August of 1859, and visited the Appleton Cabinet at Amherst College. This article sings the praises of the cabinet with all its natural wonders, especially the array of fossil footprints. The cabinet also contained large collections of plants, insects, animals, and seashells from around the world.
Edward Hitchcock hosted the meeting, which went on for a full week. The meeting consisted of lectures, field trips, dinners, and soirees. It was at this event that local farmer Roswell Field announced his belief that none of the fossil footprints had been made by birds, but by reptiles.