So by the early years of the nineteenth century, fossils had taken on a certain inescapable importance, which makes Wistar's failure to see the significance of his dinosaur bone all the more unfortunate. Suddenly, in any case, bones were turning up all over. Several other opportunities arose for Americans to claim the discovery of dinosaurs but all were wasted.
In 1806 the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the Hell Creek formation in Montana, an area where fossil hunters would later literally trip over dinosaur bones, and even examined what was clearly a dinosaur bone embedded in rock, but failed to make anything of it.
Other bones and fossilized footprints were found in the Connecticut River Valley of New England after a farm boy named Plinus Moody spied ancient tracks on a rock ledge at South Hadley, Massachusetts. Some of these at least survive—notably the bones of an Anchisaurus, which are in the collection of the Peabody Museum at Yale.
Found in 1818, they were the first dinosaur bones to be examined and saved, but unfortunately weren't recognized for what they were until 1855. In that same year, 1818, Caspar Wistar died, but he did gain a certain unexpected immortality when a botanist named Thomas Nuttall named a delightful climbing shrub after him. Some botanical purists still insist on spelling it wistaria.