Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Reuben Haines to Thomas Jefferson, 24 February 1818

From Reuben Haines

Philadelphia, 2rd month (Feby) 24th 1818

At a meeting of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, held on the 27th ultimo

Thomas Jefferson of Monticello

was duly elected a Corresponding member.

The object of this institution being the promotion of all the various branches of Natural Science, especially the investigation of the natural productions of the United States, we shall be happy to receive, and communicate any information tending to its accomplishment.

As the Natural History of a country can only be properly investigated by a collection of its natural productions, we have accordingly commenced the formation of a Museum of Natural History, to which we solicit the attention of our members.

Reuben Haines { Corresponding
Secretary.
1

Printed form (DLC); in a font resembling script, with blanks filled in by Haines rendered in italics above; signed by Haines; endorsed by TJ as received 6 May 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Journal, vol. 1, pt. 1 (1817; Poor, Jefferson’s Library description begins Nathaniel P. Poor, Catalogue. President Jefferson’s Library, 1829 description ends , 5 [no. 175]).

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (from 2011 the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University) was founded in 1812 and incorporated by the state of Pennsylvania five years later. Since its earliest days under the leadership of presidents Gerard Troost, 1812–17, and William Maclure, 1817–40, it has encouraged the advancement of scientific knowledge through lectures, the publication from 1817 of a journal, the creation of an extensive research library, and the formation of a sizable museum of natural history (Act of Incorporation and Constitution of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia [Philadelphia, 1818]; “Notice of the Academy of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia,” Register of Pennsylvania 6 [1830]: 285–7; Members and Correspondents of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia [1877], 3, 26, 41).

Reuben Haines (1786–1831), philanthropist, briefly operated his family’s brewery in Germantown, Pennsylvania, before making public service his full-time occupation. Elected to the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture in 1810 and the American Philosophical Society in 1813, he joined the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in the latter year and served as its corresponding secretary, 1814–31. A Quaker and a strong supporter of education reform, Haines spent some time as a public-school director and as a manager of a school for poor children. In the summer of 1825 he hosted Lafayette at his home in Germantown. Haines died in Philadelphia (Records of births, marriages and deaths of many of the acquaintances of James P. Parke [microfilm at PHi]; William Wade Hinshaw and others, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy [1936–50; repr. 1969–77], 2:538–9; Rich Wagner, Philadelphia Beer [2012], 62; Minutes of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, from its Institution in February, 1785, to March, 1810 [1854], 120, 121; APS description begins American Philosophical Society description ends , Minutes, 16 Oct. 1813 [MS in PPAmP]; Members and Correspondents of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia [1877], 7, 42; Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, 24 Mar. 1818, 3 Feb. 1820; Charles Francis Jenkins, Lafayette’s Visit to Germantown, July 20, 1825 [1911], 33, 35; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 24 Dec. 1813, 13 Jan. 1815, 27 Oct. 1831).

1Preceding two words printed in italics.

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