American Geo graphical Society. Organization formed at 179 Broadway in Manhattan on 9 October 1851 as the American Geographical and Statistical Society. The original membership numbered about 100 and included some of the most prominent figures in New York City, among them Alexander Isaac Cotheal, Henry Evelyn Pierrepont, Charles A. Dana, Henry J. Raymond, Freeman Hunt, and Judge Alexander Warfield Bradford. Early activities of the society included publication of its Bulletin (from 1852) and the reading of papers on such topics as the exploration of South America and the polar regions, construction of a railroad to the Pacific, and the extension of the telegraph. Despite concerns about insufficient funds and membership, the society was granted a charter by the state legislature in 1854. It moved its headquarters to Cooper Union in 1866 and took its current name in 1871; it later moved successively to 11 West 29th Street (1876), West 81st Street, 3755 Broadway, at Audubon Terrace (1911), and 156 Fifth Avenue. In the 1880s the society focused on such concerns as development of the Congo basin and the siting of a ship canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Its president between 1903 and 1906 was Commander Robert E. Peary, explorer of the North Pole. In 1912 the society gained international recognition when it sponsored the Transcontinental Excursion, which introduced distinguished Eu ro pe an geographers to the American landscape. The Bulletin became the Geo graph i cal Review in 1916. The society was an important source of strategic information to the American military during both world wars. In 1950 it launched a quarterly magazine for the general reader called Focus and the following year published the Millionth Map of Latin America. It played an important role in preparing the Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World (1952) and assembled an important map collection (now at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee). In later years the society reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening geograph i cal education in American schools. A travel program was begun in 1985 to sponsor educational voyages throughout the world. At the turn of the twenty- fi rst century the American Geo graph i cal Society was located at 120 Wall Street.