In 1873, John William Draper began writing his History of the Conflict between Science and Religion (1874). Draper did so at the request of Edward Livingston Youmans (1821-1887), America’s premier science popularizer and founder of Popular Science magazine (1872). As editor of the International Scientific Series, Youmans asked for Draper’s contribution. Later, Youmans brother, William Jay Youmans, published Andrew Dickson White’s Warfare of Science (1875) and his subsequent A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) in serial form in The Popular Science Monthly beginning in 1876. William would later become editor-and-chief of the periodical upon Edward’s death.
Who were Edward and William Youmans? And what were their relationship to Draper and White? Here we are reminded of the importance of how publishers, the “circulation circuit,” and “book history” are central to any real understanding of history of science and religion.