Chester Dewey Papers

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Chester Dewey papers
Creator: Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867
Call Number: A.D518
Dates: 1810-1877
Physical Description: 1.5 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Related Materials
Content List
Series I: Meteorological observations
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Personal materials
Collection Overview
Title: Chester Dewey papers
Creator: Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867
Call Number: A.D518
Dates: 1810-1877
Physical Description: 1.5 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Chester Dewey was born on a farm in Sheffield, in southwestern Massachusetts, on October 25, 1784. He attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, graduating in 1806.

He became a minister for the next several years, before returning to Williams as a tutor in 1808 and then becoming a professor in 1810. He taught a range of subjects, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, and botany.

He left Williams to become the principal of the Berkshire Gymnasium (a boys' school) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he served from 1827 to 1836. Beginning in the 1820s and continuing for two decades he also lectured at two western New England medical schools.

In 1836 he moved west to Rochester, New York to become head of the high school, later known as the Rochester Collegiate Institute.

In 1850, at the age of 66, Dewey was a founding faculty member of the University of Rochester. For the next eleven years, he taught chemistry and natural sciences, retiring in 1861 at the age of 76.

During his long career, he published a number of articles. One of his special interests was botany. Another was meteorology. For three decades, 1837-1867, he kept daily records of Rochester weather.

He died in Rochester on December 15, 1867 and was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester.

Both the Dictionary of American Biography (v. 5, 1930) and the American National Biography (v. 6, 1999) have biographical sketches on Dewey with helpful bibliographies. He is noted as being one of the 56 most important American scientists of his time as studied in the book, American Science in the Age of Jackson (1968).

Scope and Content
The Chester Dewey papers contain his daily meteorological records for Rochester, 1837-1867. Dr. Dewey's notebooks of Meteorological Observations also contain newspaper clippings, including a weather series by Dr. Dewey and miscellaneous articles, and notes added by others. The correspondence section of his papers contains 95 letters from various correspondents, including William Boott, James Dwight Dana, Ebenezer Emmons, Joseph Henry, Benjamin Silliman, Joseph Torrey, and Edward Tuckerman. The letters have been indexed in the card index for letters in the Department, and each folder of correspondence in his papers has a cover sheet listing the letters in the folder.

New York (State)--Rochester
Records (Documents)
Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867
The Chester Dewey papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Chester Dewey papers, A.D518, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of RochesterRelated Materials
The Department also has a collection of 227 pamphlets gathered by Chester Dewey that he had bound in 11 volumes. (Call number: AC 109.5 D51p ) They represent a broad range of topics, including education, politics, and natural history, along with many sermons. They span the period 1794 to 1848.

Among the museum pieces in the University Archives is a walking stick owned by Chester Dewey. It is inscribed on its head: Dr. C. Dewey From the Geology Class Curtis Sem'y 1861. (The Curtis Seminary for Girls in Rochester later became the Livingston Park Seminary, which closed in 1934.)

Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Series I: Meteorological observations
Box 1, Folder 1Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1837, 1838, 1839
Box 1, Folder 2Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1840, 1841
Box 1, Folder 3Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1842, 1843
Box 1, Folder 4Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1844, 1845
Box 1, Folder 5Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1846, 1847
Box 1, Folder 6Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1848, 1849
Box 1, Folder 7Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1850, 1851
Box 1, Folder 8Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1852, 1853
Box 1, Folder 9Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1854, 1855
Box 1, Folder 10Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1856-1860
Box 1, Folder 11Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1861-1867
Box 2, Folder 1Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1858
Seely, J.C. and Clark, I.C., Meteorological observations taken at the University of Rochester, 1858. (11 items. Lacks November)

Box 2, Folder 2Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1859
Clark, I.C. and Filmer, T.T., Meteorological Observations taken at the University of Rochester, 1859. (10 items. Lacks February and June)

Box 2, Folder 3Meteorological observations, Rochester, 1860
Filler, T.T. and Fenner, F.D., Meteorological observations taken at the University of Rochester, 1860. (12 items)

Series II: Correspondence
Box 2, Folder 5Correspondence (Indexed), 1817-1839
Box 2, Folder 6Correspondence (Indexed), 1840-1849
Box 2, Folder 7Correspondence (Indexed), 1850-1859
Box 2, Folder 8Correspondence (Indexed), 1860-1863
Box 2, Folder 9Correspondence (Indexed), 1864
Box 2, Folder 10Correspondence (Indexed), 1865
Box 2, Folder 11Correspondence (Indexed), 1866-1867, undated
Series III: Personal materials
Box 2, Folder 4Semi-centennial at Plymouth Church, December 27, 1857 and January 10, 1858
(5 items)

Box 2, Folder 12List of Chester Dewey Letters owned by the Rochester Academy of Science
(Note: These have been arranged chronologically with the letters owned by the University; see above.)

Box 2, Folder 13"Non-letters" (Unindexed)
Box 2, Folder 14Miscellaneous financial accounts
Box 4, Object 1Latin grammar
Bought by Chester Dewey, December 18, 1800.

Box 4, Object 2Scrapbook: "Brief Illustrations"
A newspaper series comprised of 146 articles appearing in The Sun from December 6, 1832-June 2, 1836. The scrapbook contains several other newspaper articles and Dewey's handwritten notes on theories of light.

Box 4, Object 3Index Rerum: or Index of Subjects
Belonged to Chester Dewey and Charles A. Dewey. Book published in 1839, contents written by the Deweys dated anywhere from 1840's - 1860s.

Box 4, Object 4Account book, 1855-1877
Accounts of both Chester Dewey and Charles A. Dewey, 1855-1877.

Volume 1Day Book: Dr. Dewey's accounts, 1810-1830, 1854-1866
Includes a record of the marriages performed by him, 1854-1866.

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