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Identifier: R-MC 010

Albert Huntington Chester Papers


  • 1871-1903

Scope and Content Note

The Albert Huntington Chester papers include correspondence to Chester from scientists and friends. These letters were written from all over the world between 1875 and 1903. The letters relate chiefly to mineralogy, geology, Chester's expedition to the iron mines in Minnesota, and the publication of his books on mineralogy. To a lesser extent, the papers cover his reports as curator of the Rutgers Geological Museum in 1896, and Chester's attempt to gain admission to the Century Club in New York.

Some of the correspondents include the British Museum of Natural History, the Russian Imperial Legation in Washington, D.C., the director of Geological Survey of India, and other foreign government officials. Some of the letters are not written in English.

Some interesting letters include one from Secretary of War Elihu Root concerning a Lieutenant Fales; a letter from Walter Reed, dated February 23, 1895, from the War Department Surgeon General's office, U.S. Army Medical Museum and Library. Another is from John A. Roebling, dated April 29, 1896. A final letter is one addressed in 1903 to Chester's widow, referring to the gift of his library and mineral collection to Rutgers College.

There are also reports, field notes, and site diaries of Chester's geological expeditions. In addition, there are maps, surveys, miscellaneous reports, bills, statistics, newspaper clippings, and lectures and notes on several different scientific subjects. There are letters and reports on the exploration of Minnesota's iron mines, rock and mineral specimens and findings, and on the managerial aspects of these expeditions. The maps and surveys cover the Vermilion Lake, iron mines, and vicinity, sketches of rocks, sectional plottings and geological plottings. The site diaries contain information on the Vermilion camp site and vicinity, activities in camp and accounts and expenses for both Vermilion and Mesaba Minnesota iron ranges.


0.8 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



Albert Huntington Chester, chemist, mineralogist, and mining engineer, was on the faculties of Hamilton and Rutgers College. His papers include correspondence to Chester from scientists and friends relating to mineralogy, geology, Chester's expedition to iron mines in Minnesota, and the publication of his books on mineralogy. The papers also include reports, field notes, and site diaries of Chester's geological expeditions, as well as lectures and notes on chemistry, geology, and other related topics.

Biographical Sketch of Albert Huntington Chester

Albert Huntington Chester, chemist, mineralogist, and mining engineer, was born at Saratoga Springs, New York on November 22, 1843, the son of Albert Tracy and Elizabeth (Stanley) Chester of Connecticut. Chester married Alethea S. Rudd of New York City in 1869. When she died in 1891, he married Georgiana Waldron Jenks of Buffalo in 1898. He died on April 13, 1903. He had one son, Albert Huntington Chester, Jr.

Chester was considered a philanthropist and active church member of the Collegiate Reformed Church. He was fond of fishing and owned one of the islands in the little Rideau Lake in Canada. Chester's great-great-grandfather, William Powell, served in the Revolutionary War with George Washington's army in New Jersey, and at the Battle of Bennington.

Following two years of study at Union College, Chester entered the Columbia College School of Mines, where he graduated with an M.E. in 1868 and a Ph.D. in 1876. From 1870 to 1891, he was professor of chemistry, mineralogy and metallurgy at Hamilton College in New York. A degree of Sc.D. was conferred on him by Hamilton College in 1891. He then became professor of chemistry and mineralogy at Rutgers College, serving from 1891 to 1903. He was also a mining expert in the great iron deposits of the Vermilion District of Minnesota from 1873 to 1880. While at Rutgers. Chester served as director of the Rutgers Geology Museum in 1896.

In 1882, Chester was chemist to the New York State Board of Health. He was a practicing mining engineer and published a number of scientific work, including "The Iron Region of Northern Minnesota" in Annual Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey, No. 11 (1884), 154-167; A Catalogue of Minerals Alphabetically Arranged, With Their Chemical Compositions and Synonyms (New York,1897); and A Dictionary of the Names of Minerals, (New York, 1896).

Guide to the Albert Huntington Chester Papers, 1871-1903 R-MC 010
Edited Full Draft
Shari Jacobson
May 5, 1991
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 3, 2004: chester converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

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