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  • ID: I19977
  • Name: Charles Mayer Wetherill
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1825 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Christening: 10 AUG 1825 St Andrew´s Episcopal Ch, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Death: 5 MAR 1871 in Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1
  • Burial: 8 MAR 1871 Laurel Hill Cem, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Occupation: Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem
  • Education: University of Pennsylvania, University of Giessen, Germany
  • Note: ®21
  • Note:
  • Note: DOB: 4 Nov 1825
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  • Note: Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985
  • Note: Name: Charles Wetherill
  • Note: Baptism Date: 10 Aug 1825
  • Note: Baptism Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Note: Father Name: Charles Wetherill
  • Note: Mother Name: Margaret Wetherill
  • Note: Organization Name: St Andrew´s Episcopal Church
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  • Note: Charles received his A.B. from U of Pa in 1845; A.M. & PHD in 1848 from U of Giessen. (Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families III)
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    He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1845, and then worked for a year at practical chemistry in the laboratory of James C. Booth in Philadelphia. In 1847 he went abroad and studied for eight months at the College de France in
    Paris, after which he followed organic chemistry under Justus yon Lie-big at the University of Giessen, where he received the degree of Ph. D. in 1848. During 1849-'52 he was occupied in chemical investigations at his private laboratory in
    Philadelphia, and gave a course of lectures on chemistry before the Franklin institute.
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    In 1859 he was in Lafayette, Indiana to study grapes for winemaking. He met balloonist, John Wise, who was trying to develop air mail delivery. In exchange for information of high-altitude chemistry, Charles provided a gas generator to fill
    Wise's balloon. ( The Engines of Our Ingenuity - AIR MAIL, 1859 by John H. Lienhard, University of Houston)
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  • Note: 1860 Census: Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co, Indiana
  • Note: Chas. M. Wetherill head age 36 b. PA Ph D/MD
  • Note: Mary C. age 27 b. IN
  • Note: Anna B. age 3 b. IN
  • Note: Richard age 1 b. IN
  • Note: real estate - $50,000; personal - $2000; 2 servants; enumerated 25 Jun 1860
  • Note:
  • Note: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
  • Note: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
  • Note: United States to Charles M. Wetherill,
  • Note: Bill for services as chemical expert April 6 to October 31, 1863 at ten dollars per day & 10 cents per mile - $2172.80
  • Note:
  • Note: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
  • Note: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
  • Note: Isaac Newton to Charles M. Wetherill, November 1863
  • Note:
  • Note: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
  • Note: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
  • Note: Isaac R. Diller to Abraham Lincoln, April 25, 1863
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  • Note: Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois:
  • Note: Philadelphia Oct. 5th 1863
  • Note: Sir:--
  • Note: I have this day received a letter from you dated October 1st in which, after certain statements erroneous in fact, you dismiss me from the Dep't of Agriculture, and demand possession of my laboratory.
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    ¶ In answer I would beg leave to remind you that I have two letters from your Department; one detailing me for thirty (30) days, the other extending my detail, and that you have no right to dismiss me until I am remanded to your Department. The
    above would be a sufficient reason for
  • Note: retaining possession of my laboratory; but perhaps I had better remind you further that the said laboratory is locked up by direction of the President for reasons not necessary here to mention.
  • Note: ¶ I expect to be able to return to Washington during the present week.
  • Note: I am your ob't servant,
  • Note: (Signed) Charles M. Wetherill
  • Note: Chemist Dep't of Agrl on special detail.
  • Note:
  • Note: March 21, 1864 - House of Representatives, 38th Congress, 1st Session - H. R. 346 - bill to pay Dr. C. M. Wetherill $750 for services as chemist of the Dept of Agriculture
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  • Note: He was a professor of chemistry at Lehigh university in 1866-71, and the author of The Manufacture of Vinegar.
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  • Note: Born: November 4, 1825 in Pennsylvania, United States
  • Note: Died: March 5, 1871
  • Note: Occupation: Chemist
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    Wetherill, Charles Mayer (Nov. 4, 1825 - Mar. 5, 1871), chemist, was born at Philadelphia, the son of Charles and Margaretta Mayer Wetherill, and a first cousin of Samuel Wetherill, 1821-1890 [q.v.]. On his mother's side his ancestors were
    early Pennsylvania settlers of German origin. After instruction in private schools young Wetherill entered the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied chemistry under A. D. Bache and J. F. Frazer [qq.v.], and was graduated in 1845. He
    spent a year studying analytical chemistry in the laboratory of James C. Booth and Martin H. Boyé [qq.v.] in Philadelphia, and then continued his chemical work abroad under Pelouze, Fremy, Gay-Lussac, and Dumas in Paris and under Liebig in the
    University of Giessen, from which he received the degrees of M.A. and Ph.D. in 1848.
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  • Note:
    On his return to Philadelphia he opened a chemical laboratory for private instruction and analysis, which he conducted until 1853. During this period he made investigations upon minerals, illuminating gas, adipocere, foods, and other products.
    In 1851 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society and in 1853 was awarded the honorary degree of M.D. by the New York Medical College. In that year he prepared for the New York Crystal Palace Exposition of the Industry of All Nations
    an exhibit of Pennsylvania minerals and chemical products, for which he published a description. At the conclusion of this exposition Wetherill made a journey through Michigan and other North Central states for the purpose of exploring their
    mineral resources. On Aug. 12, 1856, he married Mary Benbridge of Lafayette, Ind., to which place he transferred his residence. The next five years he devoted to private research and literary work. He made a chemical analysis of the white
    sulfur water of Lafayette and published in 1860 his well-known treatise, The Manufacture of Vinegar.
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    In July 1862 he accepted appointment as chemist of the newly created federal Department of Agriculture under Commissioner Isaac Newton [q.v.]. He was the first scientist of this department and established a laboratory in the basement of the old
    Patent Office, where he conducted investigations upon the chemical composition of sugars, sirups, wines, and other agricultural products. His Report on the Chemical Analysis of Grapes, which appeared as a separate publication in 1862, was the
    first scientific bulletin to be issued by the Department of Agriculture. As government chemist Wetherill was detailed by President Lincoln in 1862 and again in 1863 to conduct temporary investigations upon munitions for the War Department.
    These interruptions in the agricultural work of his new department excited the displeasure of Commissioner Newton, who refused to retain Wetherill longer in his position of department chemist. This event led to a celebrated congressional
    investigation in which Wetherill was completely exonerated from blame (Congressional Globe, Jan. 18, 19, 20, Mar. 21, 1864). From 1863 to 1866 he was chemist of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, during which period he conducted an
    important investigation upon the ventilation of the new House and Senate chambers in the United States Capitol extensions. The ninety-page report of his chemical investigation, "Warming and Ventilating the Capitol," was published as House
    Executive Document 100 (39 Cong., 1 Sess.).
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    In 1866 Wetherill accepted the professorship of chemistry in the newly founded Lehigh University of Bethlehem, Pa., a position which he held at the time of his death. During these years he published his Syllabus of Lectures on Chemical Physics
    (1867) and his Lecture-Notes on Chemistry (1868). As a professor and organizer he established a brilliant reputation. He furnished plans for the reorganization of the chemical department of the University of Pennsylvania and was offered the
    directorship of this department. He accepted this position but died at Bethlehem, from heart disease, before he could enter upon his new duties. In the applications of his science to exposition work, ventilation, and agriculture, and in the
    improvement of college courses in the subject, Wetherill made lasting contributions to American chemistry during the important transition period between 1840 and 1870.
  • Note: -- C. A. Browne
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    [Sources include: Charles Wetherill, Tables Which Show in Part the Descendants of Christopher Wetherill (1882); original letters, papers, and documents supplied by Wetherill's son, Richard B. Wetherill, Esq., of Lafayette, Ind.; E. F. Smith,
    Charles Mayer Wetherill, 1825-1871 (1929), reprinted from the Jour. of Chemical Education; obituary in Pub. Ledger (Phila.), Mar. 7, 1871. Wetherill's chemical papers and memorabilia are preserved in the Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection of
    the Univ. of Pa.]
  • Note: Source Citation: "Charles Mayer Wetherill."Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI
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  • Note: 1870 Census: Lower Saucon Twp, Northampton Co, Pennsylvania
  • Note: Seidersville PO
  • Note: Charles Wetherill age 45 b. PA chemistry professor
  • Note: Mary age 34 b. IN
  • Note: Annie age 13 b. IN school
  • Note: Richard age 11 b. IN school
  • Note: 4 other residents; real estate $50000; personal $5000; enumerated 23 Aug 1870
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  • Note: The Philadelphia Inquirer 7 Mar 1871:
  • Note:
    WETHERILL - On Sunday morning, the 5th inst, suddenly, of disease of the heart, at his residence, in South Bethlehem, Pa, CHARLES MAYER WETHERILL, Ph. D.M.D., Professore of Chemistry in the Lehigh University, son of the late Charles and
    Margaretta S. Wetherill.
  • Note: His relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral, which will leave Berks Street Depot, for Laurel Hill Cemetery, at 10:45 o'clock precisely, on Wednesday morning, the 8th inst.
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  • Note: The Philadelphia Inquirer 8 Mar 1871:
  • Note: Decease of Dr. Charles M. Wetherill
  • Note: Dr. Wetherill, professor of general and applied chemistry in the Lehigh University, died on the 5th inst, at the university, in Bethlehem, Northampton county, in this State.
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    Dr. Wetherill was eminent for his scientific entertainments in chemistry, and devoted them to the advancement of education in the industrial arts. The Doctor was a native of this city, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. With a
    desire for scientific studies he went, after his graduation, to Germany, remaining three years at the University of Gressen and in the laboratory of the celebrated Liebig.
  • Note:
    On his return he became the chemist of the Agricultural Bureau at Washington. From that post he was transferred, upon the organization of the Lehigh University, to the chair of Chemistry in that institution. He furnished the plans for the
    chemical department of the new school of science which the University of Pennsylvania is about to establish in West Philadelphia. His death will doubtless be deeply lamented by his friends of scientific education throughout the country.
    2 1 3 4
  • Change Date: 17 FEB 2014

    Father: Charles Wetherill b: 17 DEC 1798 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Mother: Margaretta Sybilla Mayer b: 31 AUG 1804 in

    Marriage 1 Mary Coleman Benbridge b: 27 JAN 1833 in Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co, Indiana
    • Married: 12 AUG 1856
    1. Has No Children Anna Benbridge Wetherill b: 1857 in Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co, Indiana
    2. Has No Children Richard Benbridge Wetherill b: 10 JAN 1859 in Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co, Indiana

    1. Name: The Mayer Family
      Name: Author: B. Mayer
      Name: Call Number: CS71.M4674 1878a
      Name: This book is a recorded memoir and genealogy of the Maryland and Pennsylvanian Family of Mayer, which originated in the Free Imperial City of Ulm.
      Name: Bibliographic Information: Mayer, Brantz. The Mayer Family. Garnier & Company, South Carolina 1878.
    2. Name: Colonial Families in Philadelphia
      Name: edited by John W. Jordan
      Name: published by Lewis Publishers
      Name: New York, 1911
    3. Name: Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century
      Name: American Publishers' Association, 1902, Chicago, IL
    4. Name: Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 6 vols.
      Name: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889
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