John Eatton Le Conte papers, 1816-1877


Date: 1816-1877 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet, 86 items


These are primarily papers relating to the work of the United States Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, with special reference to surveys of harbors of the eastern United States. Some papers and letters relate to natural history and are addressed to John Lawrence LeConte. Correspondents include Rutherford B. Hayes, Joseph Henry, Daniel Parker, and E.G. Squier.

Background note

John Eatton LeConte was an engineer and a naturalist. He was in the Corps of Topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army, 1818-1831. He studied and wroted papers on many subjects in natural history and specialized in entomology.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

86 items.


Purchased from Moore ($750.00) and accessioned, 09/12/1962 (1962 1530ms).

General Note

Contents of John Eatton LeConte Papers are integrated into the John Lawrence LeConte Papers (B L493).

Early American History Note

The John Le Conte Papers contain a range of correspondence, most of which deals with discussions of natural history. Le Conte was a scientist whose interests were in natural history, especially entomology. Le Conte worked at the United States Army Corp of Topographical Engineers, and his correspondence relating to their surveys provide details on the state of eastern seaports and harbors in the mid-eighteenth century. Most of the correspondence is incoming and it is often either orders from superiors to Le Conte or field reports from subordinates to LeConte. The orders for Le Conte to organize an expedition to explore Florida are included.

There is also a notebook on the course of study for cadets West Point. This appears to be a description of what is expected of cadets at the academy circa 1820. Expected courses taken, division of classes, and other administrative and academic information are included in the document. Subsequently, there is a multi-page fragment of a report on West Point written by Le Conte in 1821.

Because all of the Le Conte Family Papers were all given to the APS at the same time, some of John L. Le Conte's papers are included in his father's collection, including information on John L. Le Conte's work on the Honduran Interoceanic Railway.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. -- Army. -- Corps of Topographical Engineers.


  • General Correspondence
  • Military Records
  • Official Government Documents and Records

Personal Name(s)

  • Hayes, Rutherford B., 1822-1893
  • Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878
  • Le Conte, John Eatton, 1784-1860
  • LeConte, John L. (John Lawrence), 1825-1883
  • Parker, Daniel
  • Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888


  • Education
  • Exploration.
  • Harbors -- United States.
  • Military History
  • Military topography.
  • Natural history.
  • Science and technology
  • Topographical surveying -- United States.