In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Essay on Sources Manuscript Sources The most important sources for any study of consulting are the papers of the men of science, and to a large extent, this book is based on manuscript sources. The most useful are found in the J. Peter Lesley Papers at the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, which contain Lesley’s correspondence with capitalists and mining companies , as well as many drafts of his consulting reports, along with maps and bills for his professional services. The American Philosophical Society also holds the papers of Lesley’s nephew and sometimes assistant, Benjamin Smith Lyman, and of his brother Joseph. The next best records of consulting are found in the two collections of James Hall’s papers in the New York State Library and New York State Archives, respectively. There is a third, and until this study unknown, Hall collection in the New York State Archives containing material from the 1860s, during which Hall worked in Canada and on petroleum.Other material on Hall’s (and Eben Horsford’s) commercial interests can be found in the Eben Horsford Papers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. Yale University houses several key manuscript collections, including the Silliman Family Papers, the Dana Family Papers, the William Henry Brewer Papers (containing the “Petroleum Draft”), and the William D. Whitney Family Papers (containing Josiah Whitney’s infamous indictment of Benjamin Silliman). The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, has a separate collection aptly entitled the Silliman-Whitney Controversy containing correspondence of the council and minutes of its meetings. A small collection of Benjamin Silliman Jr.’s correspondence is located at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the Smithsonian Institution. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, holds significant material on American science and the California oil boom in, respectively, the W. J. Rhees collection and the Thomas Bard Papers, which includes Stephen F. Peckham’s letters and journals. The records of other consulting chemists and geologists are of lesser importance. Some correspondence of Henry Darwin Rogers is located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the William Barton Rogers Papers and the Rogers Family Papers. Richard Cowling Taylor’s papers are in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia , but they lack correspondence relating to the Albert mineral trials. The Academy of Natural Sciences does have the American Association of Geologists and Naturalists Papers, which includes Charles Jackson’s insightful “Remarks on Mining Operations, 1846.” Other papers of Jackson are located in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, but these deal largely with the ether controversy. There are very few letters of Abraham Gesner; a handful relating to the New Brunswick Geological Survey are preserved in the Secretary’s Letterbooks of the Geological Society of London. The James Young Papers in the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, are the best resource for following the legal and commercial controversies surrounding Kerosene and Paraffine. The Drake Well Museum in Titusville, Pennsylvania, has the best sources on the Penn397 sylvania oil boom, including the letters and reminiscences of Francis Beattie Brewer, George H.Bissell,James M.Townsend,and Edwin L.Drake,along with the unique photographs of the JohnA.Mather collection.The Brewer and Bissell letters were published in Paul H. Giddens, ed., The Beginnings of the Petroleum Industry: Sources and Bibliography (Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1941). The Townsend and Drake letters and the personal histories of Brewer, Bissell, Townsend, and Drake were published in Paul H. Giddens, ed., Pennsylvania Petroleum, 1750–1872: A Documentary History (Titusville: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1947). Primary Sources The next most important sources for this study are published consulting reports. Many of these can be located by searching library collections under the names of particular men of science or the companies for whom they consulted. Other reports are not so easy to find; they are interleaved in untitled business prospectuses or with company bylaws and are found in the archives among the papers of men of science. The Drake Well Museum contains the richest collection of oil company prospectuses and consulting reports along with pamphlets, maps, atlases, and newspapers relating to the oil boom.The Hagley Museum and Library inWilmington,Delaware,has a smaller collection of coal and oil prospectuses.Yale University has a number of Silliman’s reports, but the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University owns a complete set of Silliman ’s California oil reports. The other published sources for nineteenth-century American science and technology fall into three categories: journals...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.