Patterson-Lord Papers, 1776-1876

Mss.B.P274.2

Date: 1776-1876 | Size: 0.5 Linear feet, Circa 600 items

Abstract

This collection of Robert Patterson family papers is composed primarily of the letters of Robert Maskell Patterson (1787-1854, APS 1809), but includes some of the business and personal papers of his father, Robert Patterson (1743-1824, APS 1783), and a series of letters written from Europe in 1855 by Helen Patterson Robins (1825-1919).

Background note

Robert Maskell Patterson (1787-1854, APS 1809) was a professor of chemistry and natural philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania (1812-1828) and professor of natural philosophy at the University of Virginia (1828-1835). He was director of the U.S. Mint from 1835 to 1851. His father, Robert Patterson, was a revolutionary soldier, professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania (1779-1814), and director of the U.S. Mint (1805-1824).

Robert Maskell Patterson was born in 1787 into a prominent Philadelphia family. His father was Robert Patterson (1743-1824, APS 1783), at the time professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania (1779-1814) and subsequently director of the United States Mint (1805 to 1824). He served as president of the American Philosophical Society from 1819 until his death. Robert Maskell Patterson's mother was Amy Hunter Ewing.

Patterson was educated at the University of Pennsylvania's preparatory school, received his B.A. in 1804, and then went on to study medicine at the University under Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815, APS 1759). He earned his M.D. in 1808. As his friend John Kintzing Kane (1795-1858, APS 1825) noted in his 1854 obituary, "Dr. Patterson was an inmate of the University almost from his cradle."

After graduation Patterson went to Paris to pursue his studies at the Jardins des Plantes. He worked with a number of prominent scientists, including Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829), Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752-1833), and Siméon Denis Poisson (1781-1840), who encouraged him to study natural history, chemistry, and mathematics. In 1811 he went to England to complete his training in chemistry with Humphry Davy (1778-1829, APS 1810) at London.

Shortly after his return to Philadelphia in 1812, Patterson was appointed professor of natural philosophy in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. He subsequently also became professor of natural history, chemistry and mathematics in the faculty of arts. In 1814 he assumed the post of Vice Provost. That same year he married Helen Hamilton Leiper (1792-1871), daughter of the merchant and politician Thomas Leiper (1745-1825). The couple had six children.

Around this time Patterson was involved in identifying and acquiring suitable books and instruments for Ferdinand R. Hassler's (1770–1843, APS 1807) planned coastal survey. The elder Patterson belonged to a group of APS members that had been instrumental in the establishment of a Coast Survey in 1807. Robert Patterson had selected Hassler as its director that year, and, after many delays due to financial problems and difficulties in obtaining suitable instruments, Hassler was finally scheduled to conduct the first survey in 1816-1817. Hassler turned to the APS for assistance, and both father and son probably contributed to a list of useful literature and apparatus. In 1826 Patterson was selected by the Pennsylvania governor to determine the best source of water for the planned state canal.

Patterson remained at the University of Pennsylvania until 1828, when he accepted the chair in natural philosophy at the University of Virginia. He routinely used a large collection of apparatus during his lectures and demonstrations. He evidently was an effective teacher; his colleague and friend Robley Dunglison (1798-1869, APS 1832) recalled that "As a lecturer of science, Dr. Patterson was one of the most successful I have ever heard." His student John Fries Frazer (1812–1872, APS 1842) noted that from Patterson "he received the best and most effective lessons in the art of teaching." However, his appointment in 1835 as director of the United States Mint took him out of the classroom and back to Philadelphia. There he drew up a code of mint laws which included changes in the composition of the alloys in the coins. He remained at the Mint until around 1851 when poor health compelled him to curtail his activities. Kane recalled that Patterson passed "unscathed through the purgatory of several political conflicts, and their alternating denunciations of triumph."

At the age of twenty-two, Patterson was elected to the American Philosophical Society, the youngest man admitted during the first century of the Society's existence. In 1813 he was elected one of the secretaries, and in 1825 he was chosen as a vice president. From 1849 until his death he served as the Society's president. He also belonged to the Academy of Natural Science, the Franklin Institute, which he helped found, the Musical Fund Society, and the Institution for the Blind. He was a trustee of Old Scots Presbyterian Church and president of the Pennsylvania Life Annuity Company. Patterson also belonged to the "Five Club," a social club that also included Kane, Dunglison, George W. Bethune, and Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867, APS 1829), and that met regularly for conversation. Their meetings, according to Judge Kane, were "quiet, joyous, and instructive."

Patterson died in Philadelphia in 1854.

Scope and content

The majority of the Robert Maskell Patterson material in this collection concerns Patterson's trip to and study in Europe during the years 1809-1812. There is a significant amount of letters written by Patterson to his family during this period, with existing typescripts of the letters. The European correspondence with Francis E. Berger, N. Haley, Learned Jarvis, and Edward Learned, is the most voluminous for this period. Most of the remaining Robert Maskell Patterson material centers on his post as director of the United States Mint in Philadelphia.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically, by creator name.

Collection Information

Physical description

Approximately 600 items

Provenance

Deposited by Louis R. [Louise Lord], 08/19/1978; accessioned, 1981 (1981 1201ms).

Related material

For more materials related to Robert Maskell Patterson and the Patterson Family, see also the Robert Maskell Patterson Papers (Mss.B.P274).

Early American History Note

Previously catalogued with the Robert Patterson Collection, The Patterson-Lord Collection contains contains a range of documents that touch on many different topics, although most have to do with science and engineering. The largest portion of the documents relate to scientific correspondence to Robert Patterson, a member of the APS. Much of this correspondence is done under the cover of official APS business. Of particular note are a series of letters relating to nautical calculations that include complex equations used to determine longitude and latitude for nautical almanacs.

Indexing Terms


Corporate Name(s)

  • United States Mint.

Genre(s)

  • General Correspondence
  • Institutional Records

Geographic Name(s)

  • Jardin des plantes (Montpellier, France)

Personal Name(s)

  • Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815
  • Berger, Francis E.
  • Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
  • Chapman, Nathaniel, 1780-1853
  • Ewing, Thomas, 1789-1871
  • Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874
  • Hassler, F. R. (Ferdinand Rudolph), 1770-1843
  • Hazard, Samuel, 1784-1870
  • Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
  • Moore, Samuel, 1774-1861
  • Palisot de Beauvois, Ambrose-Marie-François-Joseph, 1752-1820
  • Patterson family.
  • Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854
  • Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824
  • Peale, Franklin, 1795-1870
  • Peale, Rembrandt, 1778-1860
  • Peale, Rubens, 1784-1865
  • Robins, Helen Patterson, 1825-1919
  • Russell, Jonathan, 1771-1832
  • Strickland, William, 1787-1854
  • Tilghman, Richard Albert, 1824-1899
  • Vaughan, John, 1756-1841
  • Walsh, Robert, 1784-1859
  • Wistar, Caspar, 1761-1818
  • Woodbury, Levi, 1789-1851

Subject(s)

  • Americans Abroad
  • Education
  • Education -- Europe -- 19th century.
  • Science and technology


Detailed Inventory

I. Correspondence
Circa 1809-1876  
Allibone, -----
  
American Philosophical Society
  

Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867; Ludlow, John, 1793-1857

Andrews, Joseph, 1806-1873
  
Auriol, Mrs.
  
Barry, Colonel
  
Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815
  
Berger, Francis E.
  
Berzelius, Jöns Jakob, friherre, 1779-1848
  
Biddle, Clement C. (Clement Cornell), 1784-1855
  
Boswell, Thomas
  
Bowen, William Corlis, 1785-1815
  
Breck, Samuel, 1771-1862
  
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
  
Bureaux de Pusy, -----
  
Chapman, Nathaniel, 1780-1853
  

Regarding: Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826

Conway, Madame
  
Corson, R. D.
  
Corwin, Thomas, 1794-1865
  

See also: Millard Fillmore, 1851 April 7

Devereux, J.
  
Dickins, Asbury, 1780-1861
  

1835 May 29: Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845 (1835 May 29); Samuel Moore, 1774-1861

Downey, John
  
Dunglison, Robley, 1798-1869
  
Du Pont de Nemours, Pierre Samuel, 1739-1817
  
Ecard, Madame
  
Edwards, Milford
  
Ewing, Maskell, 1758-1825
  

Leiper, Thomas, 1745-1825

Ewing, Thomas, 1789-1871
  
Faussaux, V.
  
Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874
  

Thomas Corwin, 1794-1865

Fisher, William Wharton, 1786-1838
  
Ford, James W.
  
Gardner, George
  
Godon, Silvain, circa 1769-1840
  
Grand Chancellor, Ministre d'Etat
  
Gray, James
  
Haley, N.
  
Hames, John
  
Hamilton, Archibald
  
Hassler, F. R (Ferdinand Rudolph), 1770-1843
  
Hazard, Samuel, 1784-1870
  
Henderson, Alexander
  
Hodge, William L.
  
Holmes, John
  
Hopkins, John M.
  
Ingersoll, Joseph R. (Joseph Reed), 1786-1868
  
Ingham, Samuel D. (Samuel Delucenna), 1779-1860
  
Jarvis, Learned
  
Johnston, Robert
  
La Cépède, M. le comte de (Bernard Germain Etienne de La Ville sur Illon), 1756-1825
  
Learned, Edward
  
MacInnes, Thomas G.
  
Madison, James, 1751-1836
  
Mawes, I.
  
McEvers, James
  
Mercadier, Jean-Baptiste, 1750-1816
  
Merrihew, Stephen
  
Michaux, François André, 1770-1855
  
Miscellaneous & Unidentified
  
Moore, Mary P.
  
Moore, Samuel, 1774-1861
  

See also: Dickins, Asbury, 1780-1861

Morton, George Douglas, Earl of, 1761-1827
  
Murphy, John
  
Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia
  

Cross, Benjamin, 1786-1857; Dunglison, Robley, 1798-1869

Palisot de Beauvois, Ambrose-Marie-François-Joseph, 1752-1820
  
Patterson, Helen Hamilton, 1792-1874
  

Speed, James

Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826
1823 July 19 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letters from Europe
1809-181249 items

Typescripts

Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Europe
1809 June 15 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Amsterdam
1809 July 23 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Europe
1809 July 30 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Europe
1809 August 5 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1809 August 13 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1809 August 17 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1809 August 20 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1809 August 21 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Gravesend
1809 August 23 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 August 26 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Amsterdam
1809 September 6 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Amsterdam
1809 September 10 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Amsterdam
1809 September 12 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 October 18 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 October 20 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 October 26 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 November 15 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 December 12 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1809 December 15 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Europe
1810 January 1 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 January 13 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 January 14 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 January 20 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 February 11 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 March 30 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 March 30 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 April 3 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 April 7 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 April 11 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 May 7 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 May 24 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 July 26 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 August 26 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 August 26 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 September 20 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 September 25 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 November 15 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 November 17 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1810 November 22 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 January 29 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 March 28 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 April 4 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 July 9 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 September 6 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from Paris
1811 September 12 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1811 November 14 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1812 February 3 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from London
1812 April 29 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Letter from New York
1812 August 4 
Patterson, Robert Maskell, 1819-1909
1876 March 6 
Peale, Franklin, 1795-1870
  

Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia

Peale, Rembrandt, 1778-1860
  
Peale, Rubens, 1784-1865
  
Peters, R.
  
Philadelphia (Pa.). Councils. Committee on City Property
  

Morris, W.

Povall, Richard
  
Purdon, M.
  
Revere, J.
  
Robins, Helen Patterson, 1825-1919
1855 January - September4 folders

Letters from Europe

Rodman, John, 1775-1847
  
Ronaldson, James, 1768-1841
  
Russell, Jonathan, 1771-1832
  
Schalleg, I. H.
  
Shalen, N.
  
Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864
  
Smith, Robert
  
Sticks, Gilbert
  
Strickland, William, 1787-1854
  
Swift, J. G. (Joseph Gardner), 1783-1865.
Letter to Francis Gurney Smith, 1818-1878
1847 January 7 
Switz, Thomas W.
  
Tilghman, Richard Albert, 1824-1899
  
Trix, Edward.
Letter to Robert Patterson, 1743-1824
1813 August 9 
University of Pennsylvania
  
United States Mint
  
Vaughan, John, 1756-1841
  
Vaughan, William Oliver, 1783-1825
  
Walsh, Robert, 1784-1859
  
Warden, David Bailie, 1772-1845
  
Whitehill, Robert, 1738-1813
  
Wistar, Caspar, 1761-1818
  
Woodbury, Levi, 1789-1851
  

Samuel Moore, 1774-1861

Wylie, Samuel B. (Samuel Brown), 1773-1852
  
II. Manuscripts
1776-1854 
Breck, Samuel, 1771-1862.
Short Biography of Robert M. Patterson
  
Invitations to Dinner in Honor of Robert M. Patterson, 1787-1854
  
Map of Europe
  
Newspapers
1828-1854 
Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Articles of Agreement
1784 October 22 
Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Bonds
  
Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Concerning the Note of Daniel Henkels
  
Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Estate
1824 September 
Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Oath of Allegiance
1776 September 19 

Ewing, Samuel, 1776-1825

Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Pennsylvania Society for Promoting Abolition of Slavery
1793 OS

James Pemberton, 1723-1809

Patterson, Robert, 1743-1824.
Receipts & Business
  
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Account with Charles H. Israel
1812 August 17 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Notebook
  
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
On the Ecclesiastic or Religious Organization of the French Empire
  
Passport
1811 September 25 
Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854.
Questions Concerning Payments to Captain Hull
Circa 1811 
Patterson family..
History
  
United States Mint..
Affirmation of Office
  
United States Mint..
Commission of Robert Patterson, 1743-1824
1806 January 17 OS

Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826; James Madison, 1751-1836

United States Mint..
Commission of Robert M. Patterson, 1787-1854
  OS

Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845