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|Collectors:||Brewer, William Henry 1828-1910.|
|Title:||William Henry Brewer Papers (PP)|
|Abstract:||Collection consists of manuscripts, notes, correspondence, and galley proofs.|
|Quantity:||9.5 linear inches; 2 boxes|
|Call Phrase:||William Henry Brewer (PP)|
William H. Brewer (1828-1910) was the first Chair of Agriculture at the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University and a botanical explorer of California and the Pacific Coast. He was Principal Assistant in charge of Botany on the pioneering Geological Survey of California, 1860-1864. His recommendations about Alaska led to its purchase by the United States in 1867.
Brewer was born on a farm at Poughkeepsie, NY on Sept. 14, 1828. Shortly after the family moved to Enfield, near Ithaca, NY. In 1848 Brewer entered Yale University to study agricultural chemistry under Professors Benjamin Silliman, Jr. and John Pitkin Norton. At Yale he was one of the first members of the Berzelius Society. After two years at Yale, Brewer returned to Enfield and began his teaching career at Ithaca Academy. In 1852 he returned to Yale where he received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the Sheffield Scientific School. In this first graduating class were George J. Brush, William P. Blake and three others. From 1852-1855 he taught at the Ovid Academy, Ovid, NY. In 1855 he traveled to Heidelberg where he studied natural sciences under Professor Bunsen and to Munich where he studied under Professor Liebig. In summer of 1856, he undertook a 600 mile botanical exploration of Switzerland. Before returning to Ovid in 1857, he attended Chevreul's lectures on chemistry in Paris. In 1858, he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College) at Washington, PA. That year he married his first wife, Angelina Jameson. In 1860 she and their newborn son died.
That year under the recommendation of George J. Brush, his former classmate, and now a professor at Yale, Brewer was invited to participate in the Geological Survey of California, directed by Josiah Dwight Whitney. This Survey would set the standards for all future geological surveys undertaken in the U.S. His primary task was leading field parties and maintaining records of botanical collections. Classifications were not undertaken until after the Survey was completed.
Although no longer employed by the Survey, Brewer brought his specimens to Harvard where he was advised by Asa Gray on their determinations. The first volume of the Botany portion of the Geological Survey of California was not published until 1876. The second volume appeared in 1880 under the authorship of Serano Watson (1826-1892).
In 1864, Brewer left the California survey to occupy the Chair of Agriculture in the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale. He remained at this post until 1903, retiring as professor emeritus. He was active in Connecticut government, establishing agricultural experiment stations and organizing the Connecticut and New Haven Boards of Health. He was special agent in the 1880 census, reporting on the production of cereals in the U.S. He was chair of the committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences in 1903 to make recommendations for a scientific survey of the Philippine Islands.
Other botanical explorations he participated in were: the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (1869); Greenland (1894); and the Harriman Alaska Expedition (1899).
He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of California in 1910.
A diarist and letter writer, his writings are preserved in the History of Technology Collection at the University of California, Berkeley archives. They were most recently edited by Frances P. Farquhar in 1966.
Brewer had remarried in 1868 to Georgiana Robinson at Exeter, NH. They had four children: Nora, Henry, Arthur, and Carl.
He died at New Haven in 1910.
The collection documents Brewer's career as Professor of Agriculture at Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University and his work on the Botany volumes of the Geological Survey of California, 1860-1880 under Josiah Dwight Whitney; including his collaborations with Asa Gray and Sereno Watson. It contains manuscripts, notes, correspondence, and galley proofs. The collection is arranged into three series.
|The collection is organized into three series:|
|Series 1: Lectures. n.d. Arranged by subject.|
|Series 2: Geological Survey of California, Botany. 1860-1880. Arranged by subject.|
|Series 3: Sereno Watson Papers. 1875-1879.|
This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.
|The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.|
|Brewer, William Henry 1828-1910 -- Archives.|
|Gray, Asa, 1810-1888.|
|Watson, Sereno, 1826-1892.|
|Botanical exploration -- California.|
|Geological Survey of California. Botany -- Sources|
University of California, Bancroft Library
History of Science and Technology Collection
Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Herbaria
William Henry Brewer Papers
Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University
William Henry Brewer Papers
William Henry Brewer (PP), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.
This colletion was retrospectively accessioned on 22 September 1980. The original accession number is x229.
Originally processed by Laura Zelasnic, Project Archivist, June 2000, with grant funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA-23141-98). Converted into EAD in December 2005 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-50678-04.
Series 1. Lectures.
Scope and Content:
This series contains manuscripts of two lectures delivered by William Brewer during the course of his career as Professor of Agriculture (1865-1903) at the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University.
|1.1||Water Supply & Drainage of Farm Houses…and Their Relations to Health||n.d.|
|1.2||Principles of Stock Breeding||n.d.|
Series 2. Geological Survey of California, Botany.
Scope and Content:
This series contains manuscripts and proofs for Vol. 1 of the Botany section of the Geological Survey of California. Notable in this series are manuscript determinations of Polemoniaceae by Asa Gray. Correspondence to Sereno Watson regarding his proofreading of Vol. 1 and his corrected proofs is found in Series 3: Sereno Watson Papers.
|1.3||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Ranunculaceae||1860-1880|
|1.4||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Berberidaceae-Sarraceniaceae||1860-1880|
|1.5||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Papaveraceae||1860-1880|
|1.6||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Fumariaceae||1860-1880|
|1.7||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Cruciferae||1860-1880|
|1.8||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Capparidaceae||1860-1880|
|1.9||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Resedaceae||1860-1880|
|1.10||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Cistaceae||1860-1880|
|1.11||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Violaceae||1860-1880|
|1.12||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Polyglaceae-Frankeniaceae||1860-1880|
|1.13||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Caryophyllaceae-Steroliaceae||1860-1880|
|1.14||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Linaceae||1860-1880|
|1.15||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Zygophyllaceae||1860-1880|
|1.16||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Geraniaceae||1860-1880|
|1.17||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Rutaceae-Rhamnaceae||1860-1880|
|1.18||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Vitaceae-Anacardiaceae||1860-1880|
|2.19||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Leguminosae||1860-1880|
|2.20||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Rosaceae||1860-1880|
|2.21||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Calycanthaceae-Loasaceae||1860-1880|
|2.22||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Umbelliferae||1860-1880|
|2.23||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Araliaceae-Cornaceae||1860-1880|
|2.24||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Polemoniaceae by Asa Gray||1860-1880|
|2.25||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Bibliographic Notes||1860-1880|
|2.26||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Misc. Notes||1860-1880|
|2.27||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Lists of Species & Synonyms||1860-1880|
|2.28||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Proofs, Leguminosae||1860-1880|
|2.29||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Proofs, Papaveraceae||1860-1880|
|2.30||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Proofs, Pages 1-13; 165-200||1860-1880|
|2.31||Geological Survey of California, Botany, Proofs, Pages 201-276; 613-628||1860-1880|
Series 3. Sereno Watson Papers.
Scope and Content:
This series contains correspondence from William Brewer related to Watson's proofreading of the galleys for Geological Survey of California, Botany, pre-prints of George Engelmann's contributions to Vol. 2 and some of Watson's notes for Vol. 2.
|2.32||Sereno Watson Papers, Geological Survey of California, Botany, Correspondence||1875-1876|
|2.33||Sereno Watson Papers, Geological Survey of California, Botany, Vol. 1, Corrected Proofs||1875|
|2.34||TITSereno Watson Papers, Geological Survey of California, Botany, Vol. 2, Notes||n.d.|
|2.35||Sereno Watson Papers, Geological Survey of California, Botany, Vol. 2, Preprints of Contributions by George Engelmann||1879|