Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Russel Clark (1782-1849) was a student at the University of Pennsylvania sometime between 1798 and 1809. According to an article in the Sandy Hill Herald, Clark began working as a physician in northern New York circa 1810 and "devoted the best energies of his life to his profession in a wider range of practice than usually falls to the country physician." He married Aurinda (or Aurinea) Wheeler in 1804. He died on May 30, 1849, at the age of 67.
Dr. James Woodhouse (1770-1809) was a prominent chemist and lecturer. Woodhouse graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an A.B. in 1787. He then served in the army as "a medical assistant, taking part, in 1791, in General St. Clair's unfortunate campaign against the western Indians," (Chamberlain, page 302). He completed his medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where he studied under Benjamin Rush and earned his degree in 1792. While studying at the University of Pennsylvania, his attention "was especially directed to the chemistry of medicine, in which he acquired a considerable reputation, even before graduation," (Chamberlain, page 302). Woodhouse was appointed to University's Chair of Chemistry in 1795, a position he held until his death on June 4, 1809. A member of the American Philosophical Society, Woodhouse also founded the Chemical Society of Philadelphia in 1792.
Chamberlain, Joshua L., editor. University of Pennsylvania: Its History, Influence, Equipment and Characteristics. Boston: R. Herndon Company, 1901.
Sandy Hill Herald obituary, circa 1849, via WikiTree, accessed 2017 November 22.
This notebook documenting chemistry lectures delivered by Dr. James Woodhouse at the University of Pennsylvania was kept by Russel Clark at some point after 1798 and before 1809. The first portion of the notebook, thoroughly outlined in a table of contents, focuses on the theoretical principles of chemistry. The opening lecture provides an overview of the history of chemistry, and subsequent sections treat the topics of heat, the classes of chemical solutions, "chemical apparatus," and the qualities of gasses, alkalis, acids and "earths." The latter portion of the notebook lists particular substances organized by category, and describes their properties and applications. In order, the text discusses metals (a particularly long section), oils (animal, vegetable and mineral), acids, alcohols (preceded by a brief digression on fermentation), "animal substances" and mineral waters. Throughout the book, but particularly in the second half, the notes include information on plant chemistry. The uses and applications of chemical substances, including within the field of medicine, are occasionally noted. Leaves from three plant species were pressed within the pages of this notebook.
Gift of Dr. Russel Clark Paris (great grandson of Dr. Russel Clark).
Formerly: Dewey 610.4 W855
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Rive Cadwallader
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 November 17
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.