Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883

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U.S. astronomer and professor of astronomy at Princeton University.

From the description of Stephen Alexander letter, 1837, Jun. 9, Princeton, to "My dear Sir." (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 34766968

American Astronomer.

From the guide to the Stephen Alexander letter to the editors of the New York Tribune, 1873, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Astronomer; professor of astronomy at College of New Jersey, Princeton, N.J.

From the description of Letters, 1862-1863. (Historical Society of Princeton). WorldCat record id: 70962081

From the description of Letter, 1858 Mar. 20. (Historical Society of Princeton). WorldCat record id: 70962079

Stephen Alexander was an astronomer, mathematician, author, and educator, under whose influence astronomy first developed as a separate discipline at Princeton University. He graduated with honors from Union College at the age of eighteen.

A cousin and also a brother-in-law of Joseph Henry, he collaborated with Henry in his scientific investigations at Albany Academy and accompanied him to Princeton in 1832, when Henry became professor of natural philosophy. Appointed tutor in mathematics in 1833 and professor of astronomy in 1840, Alexander's association with Princeton continued for fifty years. Alexander gave Princeton's first discrete course in astronomy. The College's first astronomy building, the Halsted Observatory, which stood on University Place from 1869 to 1932, was built through his influence and from his plans; however, a telescope was not installed until after his retirement. Working with only his own small telescope, he carried on a steady program of research, published many papers, and studied comets, including the great comet of 1843, whose sudden appearance excited American interest in astronomy. He also studied the atmospheres of Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter, led expeditions for the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the National Academy of Sciences to observe solar eclipses, and in collaboration with Henry, conducted experiments on the relative heat of sunspots. He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1859 and was chosen as one of the original fifty members of the National Academy of Sciences in 1862.

From the description of Stephen Alexander Papers 1827-1882 (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 61275326

Stephen Alexander was an astronomer, a mathematician, an author, and an educator, under whose influence astronomy first developed as a separate discipline at Princeton University. He graduated with honors from Union College at the age of eighteen.

A cousin and also a brother-in-law of Joseph Henry, he collaborated with Henry in his scientific investigations at Albany Academy and accompanied him to Princeton in 1832. Appointed tutor in mathematics in 1833 and professor of astronomy in 1840, Alexander's association with Princeton continued for fifty years. He gave Princeton's first discrete course in astronomy and the College's first astronomy building, the Halsted Observatory, was built through his influence and from his plans. He studied the atmospheres of Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter, and led expeditions for the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the National Academy of Sciences to observe solar eclipses. He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1859 and was chosen as one of the original fifty members of the National Academy of Sciences in 1862.

From the description of Stephen Alexander collection, 1827-1882. (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 61668585

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883. Letter, 1858 Mar. 20. Historical Society of Princeton
referencedIn John Fries Frazer papers, 1834-1871, 1834-1871 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Gibbes, Lewis Reeves, 1810-1894. Lewis Reeves Gibbes papers, 1793-1894 (bulk 1838-1894). Library of Congress
referencedIn Princeton Scientific Expeditions Collection, 1834-1995, 1834-1930 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Princeton University Archives.
creatorOf Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883. Stephen Alexander Papers 1827-1882 Princeton University Library
referencedIn Goodfellow, Edward, 1828-1899. Journal, 1860. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883. Stephen Alexander letter, 1837, Jun. 9, Princeton, to "My dear Sir." Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883. Letters, 1862-1863. Historical Society of Princeton
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIe, 1845-1865 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Ihrie, William M. (William Muirhead), d. 1899. Papers, 1854-1861 (inclusive). Rutgers University
creatorOf Stephen Alexander letter to the editors of the New York Tribune, 1873 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Lecture Notes Collection, 1772-1990 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Princeton University Archives.
referencedIn Autograph File, A, 1518-2002. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Lecture Notes Collection, 1792-1976. Princeton University Library
referencedIn Lewis Reeves Gibbes Papers, 1793-1894, (bulk 1838-1894) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Notes of Lectures on Natural Philosophy, 1857-1858 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn John L. (John Lawrence) LeConte papers, 1812-1897, 1812-1897 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Alexander, Stephen, 1806-1883. Stephen Alexander collection, 1827-1882. Princeton University Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IId, 1837-1844 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Airy, George Biddell, Sir, 1801-1892 person
associatedWith American Association for the Advancement of Science. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
correspondedWith Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871 person
correspondedWith Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
correspondedWith Baily, Francis, 1774-1844 person
associatedWith Barlow, Peter, 1776-1862. person
associatedWith Faraday, Michael, 1791-1867. person
associatedWith Frazer, John Fries, 1812-1872 person
correspondedWith Gibbes, Lewis Reeves, 1810-1894. person
associatedWith Goodfellow, Edward, 1828-1899. person
correspondedWith Green, Caleb Smith, 1819-1891 person
correspondedWith Hart, John S. (John Seely), 1810-1877 person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Ihrie, William M. (William Muirhead), d. 1899. person
correspondedWith Joslin, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1796-1861 person
associatedWith LeConte, John L., (John Lawrence), 1825-1883 person
associatedWith Nassau-Hall Bible Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Nassau Hall (Princeton, N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Nixon, John T. (John Thompson), 1820-1889 person
associatedWith Princeton University corporateBody
associatedWith Royal Observatory, Greenwich. corporateBody
associatedWith Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. corporateBody
correspondedWith Stryker, William S. (William Scudder), 1838-1900 person
associatedWith Wheatstone, Charles, Sir, 1802-1875. person
associatedWith Wurts, John Howard, 1838-1862 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Paris (France)
Vienna (Austria)
United States
New Jersey--Princeton
New Jersey
United States
Subject
Astronomy
Eclipses
Astronomers--19th century
Scientists--History--19th century
Astronomy--Observations
Astronomers--Correspondence
Scientists--19th century
Occupation
Astronomers--New Jersey--Princeton
Astronomers--New Jersey
Function

Person

Birth 1806-09-01

Death 1883-06-25

English

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