Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871

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Scottish publisher; author of 'Traditions of Edinburgh,' 'History of the rebellion of 1745-46,' 'Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen,' and 'A life of Scott,' among others; acquaintance of Sir Walter Scott.

From the description of Robert Chambers papers, [1827-1836?]. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 44616234

Publisher and author Robert Chambers was born in a small town in Scotland; after his affluent family lost their fortune, he and his brother William began selling books in Edinburgh in 1818. They turned the venture into the noted publishing house of W. & R. Chambers. He was the author of many essays, several reference works, and numerous books, including works on Scottish history and folklore, and popular science. In 1844 he wrote and published anonymously Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, a controversial work on evolution that anticipated Darwin's Origin of Species. The science was flawed, but the book was extremely popular; Chambers was revealed as the author only with the 12th edition in 1884.

From the description of Robert Chambers letter to Richard J. Greene, 1853 Feb.15. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 63664622

Scottish publisher and author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [London], to Joseph Macgregor, 1833 Feb. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270623026

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to Mrs. Howitt, 1863 June 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270623349

Robert Chambers, Scottish publisher and writer. He made a name for himself in the 1820's with Scottish historical writings such as his Traditions of Edinburgh (1824). In the 1830's, Chambers and his brother William formed the publishing firm W. and R. Chambers and produced Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. He is best rememberd for his Cyclopaedia of English Literature (1841-3), and his Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), an anonymously published work in which he challenges creationism.

From the description of Robert Chambers manuscript material : 1 item, 1859 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 85895049

From the guide to the Robert Chambers manuscript material : 1 item, 1859, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)

Scottish writer and publisher.

From the description of Letters, 1830-1862. (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 122584657

Scottish publisher and writer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [Edinburgh], to Mr. Aislabie Denham, 1847 Feb. 11. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 459793346

American author.

From the description of Letter, 1843. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83722125

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) was an important scientific reformer during the early nineteenth century. From his position as superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, and through leadership roles in the scientific institutions of the time, Bache helped bring American science into alignment with the professional nature of its European counterpart. In addition, Bache fostered the reform of public education in America.

On July 19, 1806 Alexander Dallas Bache was born into one of Philadelphia's elite families. The son of Richard Bache and Sophia Dallas, he was Benjamin Franklin's great-grandson, nephew to George Dallas (vice president under James K. Polk), and grandson to Alexander James Dallas (secretary of the treasury under James Madison). In 1821, Bache was admitted to the United States Military Academy at the age of 15, graduating first in his class four years later. He remained at the Academy for an additional two years to teach mathematics and natural history. While serving as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, working on the construction of Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., he met Nancy Clarke Fowler whom he would later marry.

Bache left the Army in 1828 to begin an academic career, accepting an appointment as professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Although his scientific interests were broad, he had a particular interest in geophyscial research. While in Philadelphia, he constructed a magnetic observatory, and made extensive research into terrestrial magnetism, and during the 1830s he began to be recognized as a leading figure in the city's scientific community. Bache was an active member of the American Philosphical Society and the Franklin Institute, seeking to raise the professional standards of both institutions and urging them to place a stronger emphasis on original research. While at the Franklin Institute from 1830-1835, Bache led a Federally-funded investigation into steam-boiler explosions, the government's first use of technical experts to examine a matter involving public policy.

In 1836 Bache became interested in educational reform when he was asked to help organize the curriculum at Girard College, of which he later served as president. Bache spent two years in Europe visiting over 250 educational institutions. The result of his visit was a 600 page study, Report on Education in Europe, to the Trustees of the Girard College for Orphans published in 1839. Although Bache was unable to apply the report at Girard College because of its delayed opening, it proved useful in overhauling the curriculum of Philadelphia's Central High School, where he was superintendent from 1839-1842, and was widely influential among American educational reformers, helping to introduce the Prussian educational model to the United States.

After meeting many of the leading savants during a European tour, including Alexander von Humboldt, Francois Arago, and Karl Friedrich Gauss, Bache became convinced of the need to professionalize American science. His opportunity to make an impact came in 1843 with the death of Ferdinand Hassler, superindendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. In the years before the Civil War, the Coast Survey supported more scientists then any other institution in the country, and Bache and his colleagues saw the Survey as a means of gaining federal patronage for science. After a campaign by his friends and colleagues, Bache was named as Hassler's replacement. Over the next two decades Bache transformed the Coast Survey into one of the nation's leading scientific institutions, becoming an important patron of science himself in the process . Bache was not just an administrator, but remained personally involved in field work.

Bache also led the reform of American science through his leadership of an elite group known as the "Lazzaroni" or scientific beggars. The goal of the Lazzaroni was to ensure that the nation's leading scientists kept control of the nation's scientific institutions, and they were instrumental in reforming the American Association for the Advancement of Science (of which Bache was president of in 1850). In his remarkably busy schedule, Bache was a member of the Lighthouse Board (1844-1845), superintendent of the Office of Weights and Measures (1844), and a prominent regent for the Smithsonian Institution, where he convinced fellow Lazzaroni Joseph Henry to become its first secretary. Bache also played a leading role in the creation of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as its first president. When the Americn Civil War broke out, Bache focused the Coast Survey to support the war effort, was vice president of the Sanitary Commision, a consultant to the army and navy on battle plans, a superintended for Philadelphia's defence plans, and a member of the Permanent Commission of the navy in charge of evaluating new weapons. Bache died in Newport, R.I. on February 17, 1867.

From the guide to the A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Scientists Collection, 1563-1973 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Boswell's Life of Johnson : including Boswell's Journal of a tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a journey into North Wales, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1464-1897 (inclusive), 1724-1874 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1833 Feb. 25, Edinburgh, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1829 Mar. 2, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1828 Dec. 13. to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1850 Nov. 20, Doune Terrace [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Kinloch, George Ritchie, 1796?-1877. George Ritchie Kinloch papers for Ancient Scottish ballads, 1820-1883. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1850 July 2, 1 Doune Terrace [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Robert Chambers, evolution, and the early Victorian mind, 1951, 1951 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870. Minutes of a meeting of the Guild of Literature and Art : autograph manuscript draft : England, 1862 July 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter : to Mr. Aitken, [between 1822 and 1830?] Monday evening. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1828 Feb. 20, Hanover Street [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Burns, Isabella, 1771-1858. Letter, 1852, September 28, Bridgehouse, Ayr to [Robert Chambers]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letters, 1830-1862. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Hayward, A. (Abraham), 1801-1884. Abraham Hayward correspondence files : 1063 items, 1790-1889 New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Robert Chambers manuscript material : 1 item, 1859 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
creatorOf Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf National Library of Scotland. Selected letters chiefly from and a few letters to Robert Chambers. University of Guelph
referencedIn Fales Portrait/Subject Collection, ca. 1800-Present Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1857 Apr. 18, 1 Doune Terrace, [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : Lowson, to Messrs. D. Maclagan, 1863 Apr. 9. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1861 Sept. 3, 3 Hall Place, St John's Wood, London, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1859 Mar. 29, 1 Doune Terrace, Edinburgh, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Burd-Shippen Papers, 1708-1792 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Donald Hyde and Mary Hyde Eccles Autograph Collection, 1505-1957 (inclusive), 1702-1854 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : Edinburgh, to Robert Balmanno, 1848 July 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Crowquill, Alfred. Papers of Alfred Crowquill, 1824-1905 (bulk 1852-1862). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Alison, Archibald, 1757-1839. Papers pertaining to Charles Darwin and evolution [manuscript], 1771-1921. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1841 Mar. 29, Printing Office, Dons Close [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1859 July 30, High Street, [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter, 1843. American Primers
referencedIn Abraham Hayward correspondence files : 1063 items, 1790-1889 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
referencedIn Autograph File, C, 1554-2002. Houghton Library.
creatorOf A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Robert Owen Collection, 1805-1858 National Co-operative Archive
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1857 Apr. 10, 339 High Street, Edinburgh, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1841 May 4, Printing Office, Dons Close [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Crawhall, Joseph, 1821-1896. Joseph Crawhall album : London, assembled 1890. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to Mrs. Howitt, 1863 June 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : Edinburgh, to Robert White, 1866 July 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1828 Oct. 7, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Dickinson family library, 1810-1977. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Gordon, John Thomson, fl. 1849-1863. Letter: 1858 Nov., Edinburgh, to the Right Honble Lord John Manners, First Commissioner of Her Majesty's Office of Works / John T. Gordon [et.al.]. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1867 Apr. 2, St Andrews, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : [Edinburgh], to Mr. Aislabie Denham, 1847 Feb. 11. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Autograph letter signed : [London], to Joseph Macgregor, 1833 Feb. 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: [1827?], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Robert Chambers letter to Richard J. Greene, 1853 Feb.15. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1867 Oct. 21, St Andrews, to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Letter: 1845 Nov. 27, 1 Doune Terrace [Edinburgh], to David Laing / R. Chambers. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Robert Chambers manuscript material : 1 item, 1859 New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Dorothea Lynde Dix papers, 1798-1893 (inclusive), 1827-1887 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871,. Autograph letters signed from Robert Chambers to various people [manuscript], 1851-1864. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Robert Chambers papers, [1827-1836?]. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871 person
associatedWith Bache, A. D., (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
associatedWith Bache, Albert Dabadie, 1832-1895 person
associatedWith Balmanno, Robert, person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, Scotland). corporateBody
associatedWith Barnes, H. B. (Henry Broughton) person
associatedWith Bernstorff, Anna, Countess person
associatedWith Bond, W. C. (William Cranch), 1789-1859 person
correspondedWith Boswell, James, 1740-1795 person
associatedWith Brewster, David, Sir, 1781-1868 person
associatedWith Brewster, Sir David person
associatedWith Burd, James, 1726-1793 person
associatedWith Burns, Isabella, 1771-1858. person
associatedWith Burns, Robert, 1759-1796 person
associatedWith Carnarvon, Evelyn Stanhope Herbert, Countess of, 1834-1875 person
associatedWith Chappell, William, 1809-1888. person
correspondedWith Charles Edward, Prince, grandson of James II, King of England, 1720-1788 person
associatedWith Cheney, T. Apoleon (Theseus Apoleon), 1830-1878 person
associatedWith Combe, George, 1788-1858 person
associatedWith Cooper, Peter, 1791-1883 person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Crawhall, Joseph, 1821-1896. person
associatedWith Crowe, Eyre, 1824-1910 person
associatedWith Crowquill, Alfred. person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. person
associatedWith Denham, Michael Aislabie, d. 1859, person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870. person
associatedWith Dickins, Asbury, 1780-1861 person
associatedWith Dickinson family, collector. family
correspondedWith Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887 person
correspondedWith Dixon, William Hepworth, 1821-1879 person
associatedWith D. Maclagan, corporateBody
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fessenden, W. P. (William Pitt), 1806-1869 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Gordon, John Thomson, fl. 1849-1863. person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Greene, Richard J., person
associatedWith Hale, Charles person
associatedWith Hale, Charles, 1831-1882 person
associatedWith Hamilton (Family) family
associatedWith Hamilton, William, 1665?-1751. person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
associatedWith Hayward, A. (Abraham), 1801-1884. person
associatedWith Hilgard, Julius Erasmus, 1825-1891 person
associatedWith Howitt, Mary Botham, 1799-1888, person
associatedWith Hunt, Leigh, 1784-1859. person
correspondedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 person
correspondedWith Kean, Charles John, 1811?-1868 person
correspondedWith Kean, Ellen, 1805-1880 person
associatedWith Kennedy, James, 1406?-1465. person
associatedWith King, Horatio, 1811-1897 person
associatedWith Kinloch, George Ritchie, 1796?-1877. person
associatedWith Lee, Samuel Phillips, 1812-1897 person
associatedWith Lohf, Kenneth A., person
associatedWith Macgregor, Joseph, person
associatedWith Macpherson, Ewen, 1706-1764. person
associatedWith Manly, Charles, person
associatedWith Mayne, John, 1759-1836. person
associatedWith Mcpherson (Family) family
associatedWith Millhauser, M. (Milton) person
associatedWith Minto, Emma Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Countess of, d. 1882 person
associatedWith Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889 person
associatedWith National Library of Scotland. corporateBody
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Orsay, Alfred Guillaume Gabriel, comte d', 1801-1852 person
associatedWith Owen, Robert., 1777-1858 person
associatedWith Paine, Robert Treat, 1803-1885 person
associatedWith Paine, R. T. person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Potter, Alonzo, 1800-1865 person
associatedWith Priestley, Sir William Overend, 1829-1900. person
associatedWith Quetelet, Adolphe, 1796-1874 person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Redfield, W. C. (William C.), 1789-1857 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Ruggles, Samuel B., (Samuel Bulkley), 1800-1881 person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Schofield, John McAllister, 1831-1906 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Schumacher, Heinrich Christian, 1780-1850 person
associatedWith Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832. person
associatedWith Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872 person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. person
associatedWith Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. corporateBody
associatedWith Songs of Scotland prior to Burns. person
associatedWith Spalding, John, 1609-1670. person
associatedWith Sparkes, Jared person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Spencer, Charles Achilles, 1813-1881 person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
associatedWith Stevenson, Alan, 1807-1865 person
associatedWith Stevenson, David person
associatedWith Stevenson, David, 1815-1886 person
associatedWith Stevenson, Robert, 1772-1850 person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Tilghman, Tench, 1810-1874 person
associatedWith Toucey, Isaac, 1792-1869 person
associatedWith Upsher, Able Percey person
associatedWith Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Watkin, William Thompson, 1836-1888. person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
associatedWith White, Robert, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Scotland
Scotland--Kilburnie
Scotland--St. Andrews
Scotland
Edinburgh (Scotland)
Great Britain
Subject
Cooper Union
Lighthouse
Publishers and publishing--Scotland--19th century--Correspondence
Publishers and publishing--19th century--Correspondence
National Academy of Sciences
Jacobite Rebellion, 1745-1746--Campaigns
Education
Scottish poetry
Authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
Registers of birth, etc
Early National Politics
Natural history
Poetry
Science and technology
Geology
Ballads, Scots
Girard College
Music
United States Coast Survey
Pamphlets
Lear, King (Legendary character)--Manuscripts
Shylock (Fictitious character)--Manuscripts
Authors, Scottish--19th century--Correspondence
Tombs
Antebellum Politics
Wood-engraving
Geological Survey of the State of New Jersey
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1802-07-10

Death 1871-03-17

Britons

English

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