William Barton Rogers

Manuscript Collection | Bibliography | Chronology

Rogers Genealogy

1802
February 11
James Blythe Rogers was born.
1804
December 7
William Barton Rogers was born.
1808
August 1
Henry Darwin Rogers was born.
1812 The Rogers family moved to Baltimore.
1813
March 29
Robert Empie Rogers was born.
1819 Patrick Kerr Rogers was appointed Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at the College of William and Mary, and the family moved to Williamsburg.
1819-1824

William Barton Rogers attended William and Mary. It remains unclear whether he ever actually graduated from the College.

Fragment of report from W&M


Report from William and Mary

1820 Hannah Blythe Rogers died.
1822 James Blythe Rogers received the M.D. degree from the University of Maryland and began practicing medicine in Pennsylvania.
1825 William Barton Rogers and Henry Darwin Rogers moved to Baltimore
1826

Fragment of letter from William to his fatherWilliam Barton Rogers and Henry Darwin Rogers opened a school at Windsor, Maryland. Their brother Robert was among their pupils.

 

 

Letter from William to his father, Dcember 5, 1826

1827 James Blythe Rogers became Professor of Chemistry at Washington Medical College, Baltimore
  William Barton Rogers gave a course of lectures at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore.
1828 Patrick Kerr Rogers died. William Barton Rogers was chosen to fill his father's position as Professor of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry at the College of William and Mary.
1830 James Blythe Rogers married Rachel Smith of Baltimore.
  William Barton Rogers assumed teaching duties in mathematics in addition to his other duties at William and Mary College.
  Henry Darwin Rogers became Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania. While at Dickinson, Henry Darwin Rogers also edited a periodical entitled "The Messenger of Useful Knowledge."
1832-1833 Henry Darwin Rogers spent the winter in London, where he became acquainted with members of the Geological Society of London and other scientists. His impressions of the development of science in Europe were communicated in letters to his brothers.
1833

William Barton Rogers was elected a correspondent of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.

Fragment of letter from Robert to William

Letter from Robert Rogers to his brother William, 1833

1833
December 17
William Barton Rogers, son of James Blythe Rogers and nephew to William Barton Rogers, was born.
ca. 1833-1835 Henry Darwin Rogers lectured on geology for the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
1834 William Barton Rogers wrote his first important scientific publications -- the result of this observations of Virginia's greensand and marl.
1835 William Barton Rogers was chosen as a member of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.
  William Barton Rogers was elected a member of the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society of Richmond.
 

Joseph Henry letter fragmentWilliam Barton Rogers was appointed to the chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Virginia and moved to Charlottesville. Most summers were spent in fieldwork for the geological surveys.


Letter of recommendation from Joseph Henry, July 1835

1835-1839 James Blythe Rogers was Professor of Chemistry in the Medical Department of the University of Cincinnati.
1835-1840 Henry Darwin Rogers led the New Jersey Geological Survey and published a report and a map of the state.
1835-1846 Henry Darwin Rogers was Professor Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Pennsylvania.
1835-1848 William Barton Rogers served as State Geologist of Virginia. He was assisted in fieldwork by his brothers.
1836 Robert Empie Rogers graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania.
1836-1856 Henry Darwin Rogers was head of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey.
1840 William Barton Rogers, Henry Darwin Rogers, Robert Empie Rogers participated in founding the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists, the parent organization of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  James Blythe Rogers moved to Philadelphia, where he assisted Henry Darwin Rogers in field and lab work and lectured on medicine.
1841 James Blythe Rogers was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Medical Institute of Philadelphia.
1842 William Barton Rogers and Henry Darwin Rogers presented a paper on their theory of the structure of the Appalachian Mountain chain before the third annual meeting of the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists in Boston.
  William Barton Rogers and Henry Darwin Rogers were elected honorary members of the Boston Society of Natural History.
  Robert Empie Rogers became Professor of Applied Chemistry and Materia Medica at the University of Virginia.
1843 Robert Empie Rogers married Fanny Montgomery.
1844 William Barton Rogers and Henry Darwin Rogers were elected foreign members of the Geological Society of London.
  William Barton Rogers was elected a member of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries, Copenhagen.
1844-1845

William Barton Rogers served as Chairman of the Faculty of the University of Virigina.

Memoranda kept by the chairmanFragment of memoranda booklet

1844-1847 James Blythe Rogers was Professor of Chemistry at the Franklin Institute.
1845 William Barton Rogers was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1846 In response to Henry Darwin Rogers's request, William Barton Rogers wrote "A Plan for a Polytechnic School in Boston," a plan the brothers hoped would be funded by the Lowell Institute. The terms of the Lowell will did not allow the plan to be funded.
  Robert Empie Rogers published a textbook on chemistry.
1847 James Blythe Rogers became Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.
1848 William Barton Rogers received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Hampden-Sidney College in Virginia.
1849 James Rogers, uncle to the Rogers brothers, died.
 

Diary of wedding trip kept by RogersWilliam Barton Rogers married Emma Savage of Boston, and the couple took a honeymoon trip to England, Scotland, and Switzerland, then returned to Charlottesville in October.

"Fragments of Notes of Travel"

1850 William Barton Rogers II entered the University of Virginia.
1852 James Blythe Rogers died in Philadelphia. His position as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania was filled by Robert Empie Rogers. William Barton Rogers II returned to Philadelphia; he never resumed his study at the University of Virginia.
1852-1857? William Barton Rogers II worked as an assistant on the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania.
1853 William Barton Rogers resigned his professorship at the University of Virginia and moved to Boston, where he delivered several courses of public lectures.
1854 Henry Darwin Rogers married Eliza Lincoln, a half sister of Emma Savage Rogers.
1855 Robert Empie Rogers's edition of Lehmann's Physiological Chemistry was published.
1856 Robert Empie Rogers was elected Dean of the Medical Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
1857 Henry Darwin Rogers was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Dublin.
  William Barton Rogers traveled to Great Britain for his health and attended a meeting of the British Association in Dublin.
  Henry Darwin Rogers became Regius Professor of Natural History at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
1858 Henry Darwin Rogers published his Geology of Pennsylvania, the final report of the Geological Survey of the state.
1859 William Barton Rogers received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the College of William and Mary.
  In response to the need for more readily available scientific and technical education, a committee of interested citizens petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for allocation of part of the Back Bay land for a Massachusetts Conservatory of Art and Science. (Massachusetts Legislature - House document number 260, March 30, 1859.) William Barton Rogers was not involved in the preparation of this memorial. He was a member of the Committee of the Boston Society of Natural History which supported the memorial.
  William Barton Rogers II became a clerk at the Western Saving Fund Society of Philadelphia.
1860 On behalf of the Associated Institutions of Art and Science, William Barton Rogers wrote the second memorial to the legislature proposing that the Back Bay land should be used for a complex of educational institutions. (Memorial of Committee of Associated Institutions of Science and Art - House document number 13, January 1860.) The memorial was defeated. A less grandiose plan, set forth in William Barton Rogers's Objects and Plan for an Institute of Technology, including a Society of Arts, a Museum of Arts, and a School of Industrial Science, proposed to be established in Boston, was approved by the legislative committee. It was not approved by the legislature, but the set of principles set forth in the Objects and Plan became the basis of the establishment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1861 William Barton Rogers was appointed State Inspector of Gas Meters and Gas for the state of Massachusetts.
1861
April 10

MIT's charterThe "Act to Incorporate the Massachusetts Institute of Technology" was passed by the legislature and approved by Governor Andrew.

MIT's charter

1862
May 6
At the first meeting of the members of the Institute, William Barton Rogers was elected President.
1862
July
William Barton Rogers II was promoted to the position of Secretary and Assistant to the President of the Saving Fund Society of Philadelphia.
1862
November 12
William Barton Rogers II married Rachel Wilson Wister.
1862
December
William Barton Rogers II was appointed Treasurer of the Saving Fund Society of Philadelphia.
1862-1863 Robert Empie Rogers served as Acting Assistant Surgeon at West Philadelphia Military Hospital.
1863 William Barton Rogers attended the organizational meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. Although he was a charter member of the Academy, he was dropped for lack of attendance and later reinstated.
1863-1869 William Barton Rogers served as Corresponding Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1864 Robert Empie Rogers and others founded the Humbolt Oil Company, which failed in 1873.
  William Barton Rogers resigned his office as State Inspector of Gas Meters and Gas.
 

Scope and PlanWilliam Barton Rogers's Scope and Plan of the School of Industrial Science of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was adopted by the Government of M.I.T. as a statement of basic educational policy.

 

Scope and Plan

1864-1866 Henry Darwin Rogers served as President of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow.
1865 The first students began to study at M.I.T.
  William Barton Rogers was elected first President of the newly-organized American Social Science Association.
1866 Robert Empie Rogers married Delia Saunders.
  Henry Darwin Rogers died in Scotland.
  Harvard University conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on William Barton Rogers.
1867

William Barton Rogers was appointed Commissioner to represent Massachusetts at the Universal Exposition at Paris.

Certificate of Appointment

Certificate of appointment

1868 Due to ill health, William Barton Rogers retired from teaching physics at M.I.T. Professor John Daniel Runkle was appointed as acting president to serve until William Barton Rogers was well enough to resume his administrative duties.
1869 The Rogers Laboratory of Physics was established by E.C. Pickering and named in honor of William Barton Rogers.
1870

The first proposals of a union of M.I.T. and Harvard were made. William Barton Rogers was consistently opposed to the proposed union.

Rhymes on Darwin

 

 

Rhymes on Darwin by Rogers and his
sister-in-law

  William Barton Rogers formally resigned the presidency of M.I.T. because of his poor health. J.D. Runkle was elected to succeed him.
1870
September
William Barton Rogers II became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
1872-1875 Robert Empie Rogers did research aimed at improving metal refining techniques in the U.S. Mint.
1873 James Savage, William Barton Rogers's father-in-law, died.
1875-1879 Robert Empie Rogers served as President of the Franklin Institute.
1876 William Barton Rogers was elected President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1877 Robert Empie Rogers became Professor of Medical Chemistry and Toxicology at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.
1878 On the resignation of President Runkle, William Barton Rogers began a second term of service as President of M.I.T.
1878
February
William Barton Rogers II was appointed Vice President of the Saving Fund of Philadelphia.
1878-1887 William Barton Rogers II was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mercantile Library Company.
1879-1882 William Barton Rogers served as President of the National Academy of Sciences.
1880 The American Association for the Advancement of Science met in Boston, and William Barton Rogers served as host chairman.
  William Barton Rogers II was chosen a member of the American Philosophical Society.
1881
May
General Francis Amasa Walker was formally elected to succeed William Barton Rogers as President of M.I.T.
1881
November
General Walker took office as President of M.I.T.
1882
May 30

Newspaper clippingWilliam Barton Rogers died in Boston.


Newspaper clippings concerning the death of
William Barton Rogers
1882
October
William Barton Rogers II elected one of the Board of Managers of the Saving Fund Society of Philadelphia.
1883 Robert Empie Rogers received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Dickinson College, Pennsylvania.
  The original building of the Institute was re-named the Rogers Building in honor of William Barton Rogers.
  The highest mountain in Virginia was named Mt. Rogers in honor of William Barton Rogers.
1884 Robert Empie Rogers died.
1887 William Barton Rogers II became a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
1893
January
William Barton Rogers II was elected one of the Board of Trustees of the Building Fund of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and Secretary of the Board.
1893
March 15
William Barton Rogers II died.
1896 Life and Letters of William Barton Rogers, edited by Emma Savage Rogers with the assistance of William Thompson Sedgwick, was published.
1911 Emma Savage Rogers died.

 


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