Peter, Robert, 1805-1894

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Chemist, physician, teacher.

Robert Peter was born in England but emigrated to America in 1817. He lived for a time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After attending the Rensselaer School, in Troy, New York and lecturing on chemistry at Western University of Pennsylvania, Peter moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where he became a professor of chemistry at Transylvania University. He also studied medicine at Transylvania, and received his medical degree in 1834. He only practiced medicine for a short while, but served on the medical faculties of Transylvania and of the Kentucky School of Medicine in Louisville. Peter supervised military hospitals in Lexington during the Civil War and later served as a professor of chemistry at what is now the University of Kentucky. He also served as chemist for two geological surveys of Kentucky and one each of Arkansas and Indiana.

From the description of Robert Peter papers, 1828-1905, 1854-1905 (bulk dates). (University of Kentucky Libraries). WorldCat record id: 14037817

Biographical note: Robert Peter, a native of England, came to America with his family in 1817. Having received some training as a druggist in Philadelphia in the apothecary shop of Charles Ivory, Peter attended Rensselaer Institute in Troy, New York in 1828, and from 1829 to 1831 lectured on natural science and chemistry at the Pittsburgh Philosophical Society and Western University of Pennsylvania. In 1832 he came to Lexington, Kentucky as an instructor at the Eclectic Institute, a school for boys established by Benjamin O. Peers. Peter was named to a chair in chemistry at Transylvania University in the following year.

Peter continued to be associated with Transylvania, then known as Kentucky University, until 1878 when religious and political turmoil resulted in the separation from the university of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, to which Peter adhered as professor of chemistry. In that controversy Peter played a prominent role as a spokesman against the narrow orthodoxy of Kentucky University Board of Curators representing the interests of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

In addition to Peter's duties as an instructor, he was employed as chemist by the Kentucky Geological Survey at various times during the administrations of state geologists, David Dale Owen, N. S. [Nathaniel Southgate] Shaler, and John Robert Proctor. The results of his extensive analyses of Kentucky soils and minerals were published in various reports of the survey. Other Peter writings included a manuscript history of Transylvania University and its Medical Department which were published by The Filson Club subsequent to his death (1896, 1905).

From the description of Papers, 1828-1895. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 191917676

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Pettus, William H., b. 1808?. William H. Pettus diploma, 1846 The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Peter, Alfred M., 1857-1953. Alfred M. Peter papers, 1860-1908. University of Kentucky Libraries
creatorOf Leavy, William A., 1796-. Papers, 1812-1956, bulk 1873-1875. Transylvania University, J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library
referencedIn Yandell family. Yandell family papers, 1823-1877. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Payne, Virgil Francis, b. 1893. Virgil Francis Payne papers, 1828-1950 1838-1888 (bulk dates). University of Kentucky Libraries
referencedIn Thomas Say papers, 1819-1883, 1955, 1819-1883 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Greene, George G., 1912-1986. Dr. George G. Greene collection, [1845?-1985?] Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Guide Project Office
creatorOf Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. Notes for the correction of errors in the History of Transylvania University, the 11th publication of the Filson Club : typescript copy, [ca. 1896]. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Payne, Virgil Francis, b. 1893. Papers of Virgil Payne, (bulk 1927-1960) Chemical Heritage Foundation, Othmer Library of Chemical History
referencedIn Leavy, William A., 1796-1877?. Papers, 1812-1955 (bulk 1873-1877). Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Kentucky State Archives
referencedIn Clay, Brutus J. (Brutus Junius), 1808-1878. Brutus J. Clay papers, 1859-1864. University of Kentucky Libraries
creatorOf Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. Letter, 1889. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. Robert Peter papers, 1828-1905, 1854-1905 (bulk dates). University of Kentucky Libraries
creatorOf Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. Papers, 1828-1895. Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Guide Project Office
creatorOf Drake, Daniel, 1785-1852. Papers, 1817-1850, bulk 1824-1825. Transylvania University, J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library
referencedIn Evans, Howard (James Howard), 1895-1969. Catherine and Howard Evans papers, 1724-1968. University of Kentucky Libraries
creatorOf Durrett, Reuben T. (Reuben Thomas), 1824-1913. Reuben T. Durrett added papers, 1883-1910. The Filson Historical Society
creatorOf Peter, Robert, 1805-1894. Notes for the correction of errors in the History of Transylvania University, the 11th publication of the Filson Club : typescript, [ca. 1896]. Texas Christian University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bartlett, Elisha, 1804-1855. person
associatedWith Bowman, John B., 1824-1891. person
associatedWith Bowman, John Bryan, 1824-1891. person
associatedWith Bradford, Laban Johnson, 1816-1891. person
associatedWith Brown, John Mason, 1837-1890. person
associatedWith Bullitt, Henry M., 1817-1880. person
associatedWith Clay, Brutus J. (Brutus Junius), 1808-1878. person
associatedWith Coleman, Thomas C., 1800-1861. person
associatedWith Comstock, D. O., fl. 1828-1833. person
associatedWith Drake, Daniel, 1785-1852. person
associatedWith Durand, Elias, 1794-1873. person
associatedWith Durrett, Reuben T. (Reuben Thomas), 1824-1913. person
associatedWith Eclectic Institute (Lexington, Ky.) corporateBody
associatedWith Evans, Howard (James Howard), 1895-1969. person
associatedWith Flint, Joshua B. (Joshua Barker), 1801-1864. person
associatedWith Gibbs, George, 1815-1873. person
associatedWith Hart, Henry Clay, 1837- person
associatedWith Hickman, William A., 1816-1894. person
associatedWith Hildreth, Samuel P. (Samuel Prescott), 1783-1863. person
associatedWith Jackson, John Davies, 1834-1895. person
associatedWith Kentucky Geological Survey. corporateBody
associatedWith Kentucky School of Medicine (Louisville, Ky.) corporateBody
associatedWith Kentucky University. corporateBody
associatedWith Kentucky University. Agricultural and Mechanical College. corporateBody
associatedWith Lawson, L. M., 1812-1864. person
associatedWith Leavy, William A., 1796- person
associatedWith Leavy, William A., 1796-1877? person
associatedWith Lesley, Joseph P., fl. 1858-1885. person
associatedWith Lesquereaux, Leo, 1806-1889. person
associatedWith Owen, David Dale, 1807-1860. person
associatedWith Owen, Richard, fl. 1860-1887. person
associatedWith Payne, Virgil Francis, b. 1893. person
associatedWith Peers, Benjamin Orr, 1800-1842. person
associatedWith Peter, Alfred M., 1857-1953. person
associatedWith Pettus, William H., b. 1808? person
associatedWith Pittsburgh Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Proctor, John Robert, 1844-1903. person
associatedWith Rensselaer Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Reuben T. Durrett Collection on Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley (University of Chicago. Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Say, Thomas, 1787-1834 person
associatedWith Schaeffer, George C., fl. 1850-1881. person
associatedWith Schere, Alexander, fl. 1853-1857. person
associatedWith Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate, 1841-1906. person
associatedWith Transylvania University corporateBody
associatedWith Transylvania University. Medical Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Western University of Pennsylvania. corporateBody
associatedWith Williams, John Augustus, 1824-1903. person
associatedWith Yandell family. family
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--Troy
Indiana
Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
Arkansas
Kentucky--Lexington
Kentucky
Appalachian Region
Kentucky--Lexington
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Indiana
Kentucky--Louisville
Subject
Disciples of Christ
Universities and colleges--Faculty
Botany
Medical colleges--History
Medicine
Chemistry
Universities and colleges--History
Universities and colleges
Medical colleges
Geochemistry
Coal--History
Plants--Catalogs
Chemistry, analytic
Education, higher
Agricultural colleges
Geological surveys
Occupation
Chemists
Physicians
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Person

Birth 1805

Death 1894

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