Records of the Erving Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy kept by John White Webster
- 1824-1835 and undated.
Extent.17 cubic feet (1 half-document box)
The records were assembled as an archival collection by the archivist at an unknown date from various sources without regard to original provenance in order to document University professorships.
Historical Note on John White Webster
Webster served as an associate editor of the Boston Journal of Philosophy of Arts (1823-1826) and edited two well-known foreign works for use in the United States, Elements of Chemistry (1827) by Andrew Fyfe (1792-1861) and Animal Chemistry or Organic Chemistry by Justus Liebig (1803-1873). In 1826, Webster published a textbook designed for students studying chemistry at Harvard, A Manual of Chemistry. This chemistry book presented the latest advances in chemistry and discussed general chemical principals, electronegative substances, electropositive substances, metals and their combination with other substances, mineral analysis, and vegetable and animal substances.
In March 1850, Webster was arrested for the murder of Dr. George Parkman (1791-1849), a well-known Boston physician. He was found guilty and was hanged on August 30, 1850.
The previous holders of the Erving Professorship of Chemistry were Aaron Dexter (1791-1816) and John Gorham (1816-1827).
- Correspondence, 1824-1835 and undated
- Faculty reports, 1826-1827
- Absences from Chemical Exercises, 1828 February 21
- Plan of an apparatus room, undated
One item was acquired through purchase in 1952:
- Letter from John W. Webster to Robert Bakewell, Jr., 1835 April 13.
- Bentinck-Smith, William and Elizabeth Stouffer. "Erving Professorship of Chemistry, 1791." In Harvard University, History of Named Chairs: Sketches of Donors and Donations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Secretary to the University, 1991.
- Cohen, I. Bernard. Some Early Tools of American Science: An Account of the Early Scientific Instruments and Mineralogical and Biological Collections in Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1950.
- Long, J.H. "Some Points in the Early History and Present Condition of the Teachingof Chemistry in the Medical Schools of the United States." Science XIV, no. 349 (September 6, 1901) : 360-372.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot. Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.
- Pearson, Edmund L. "Webster, John White." Dictionary of American Biography. Ed. Dumas Malone. Vol. XIX. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943. 592-593.
- Sullivan, Robert. The Disappearance of Dr. Parkman. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown and Company, 1971.
This finding aid was created by Dominic P. Grandinetti in July 2011.
- Webster, John White, 1793-1850. Records of the Erving Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy kept by John White Webster, 1824-1835 and undated: an inventory
- EAD ID
Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository
Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA