Newberry, J. S. (John Strong), 1822-1892

Alternative names
Birth 1822-12-22
Death 1892-12-07
English, French

Biographical notes:

Newberry, a naturalist and physician, was secretary of the western department of the U. S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War. After the war he was a noted geologist.

From the description of Telegram, November 14, 1864. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 298561221

John Strong Newberry was a geologist and Professor of Chemistry and Natural Science at Columbian College (the name changed to George Washington University in 1904). Newberry was born at Windsor, Connecticut on December 22, 1822. He attended the Western Reserve academy and graduated from Western Reserve College (Hudson, Ohio) with an A.B. in 1846 and an A.M. in 1849. He also earned an M.D. (1848) from the Cleveland Medical school, and continued his medical studies in Paris from 1849 to 1850 and practiced medicine in Cleveland, Ohio from 1850 to 1855. During May of 1855, he was appointed assistant-surgeon and geologist in Lieutenant Williamson's exploration of the country between San Francisco and the Columbia river. He was geologist of the expedition under Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives, which explored the lower Colorado river from 1857 to 1858. He then accompanied the expedition under Captain J. N. Macomb, which explored the San Juan and upper Colorado rivers in 1859. In 1861, Newberry was assigned to duty in the U.S. War Department; however, in June he became connected with the sanitary commission. In September he was appointed secretary of the western branch of the commission. He directed the sanitary operations in the Mississippi valley and was present at the Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23-25, 1863. He was professor at the Columbian College from 1856 to 1857; professor of geology and paleontology at the School of Mines of Columbia College, New York from 1866 to 1892, and was made professor emeritus in 1892.

From the description of John Strong Newberry papers, 1898. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 206080422

John Strong Newberry (1822-1892) was a botanist, educator, and naturalist largely self-trained in botany and zoology. A graduate of the Cleveland Medical School (1848), he pursued medical studies in Paris, France where he also studied at the Jardin des Plantes. In the 1850s he accompanied several expeditions to the American west on botanical and geological surveys. In 1866 he accepted a professorship at the School of Mines of Columbia University in New York where he taught geology and botany. Within two years he was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and president of the Lyceum of Natural History (which became the New York Academy of Sciences). He was a leading figure in the Torrey Botanical Club during a period of its greatest activity and growth. In 1863 the U.S. Congress elected him as one of fifty original members of the National Academy of Sciences. Newberry was an important influence on Nathaniel Lord Britton, founder of the New York Botanical Garden, who succeeded him as Professor of Geology and Botany at Columbia University in 1892. He died in New Haven, Ct. in 1892.

From the description of John Strong Newberry papers 1850-1879. (New York Botanical Garden). WorldCat record id: 42359970


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  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Paleobotany


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  • North America (as recorded)