The collection comprises of correspondence to Spencer Fullerton Bird regarding the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867
Joseph Rothrock collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Joseph Rothrock
- Dates of Creation1865
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (2 leaves)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Joseph Trimble Rothrock was born on 9 April 1839 in McVeytown, Pennsylvania, United States. He studied botany at Harvard University, graduating in 1862. From 1862 to 1864, he served with the Union Army, seeing action at Antietam and Fredericksburg where he was seriously wounded. He was appointed botanist on the US Western Union Telegraph Expedition (Alaskan Division), 1865-1867 (leader Robert Kennicott), sent by the Western Union Telegraph Company to survey a route for, and to construct, a telegraph line through Alaska by way of Yukon River and Seward Peninsula, in connection with plans to establish a telegraph link between the United States and Europe across the Bering Strait.
On his return in 1867, Rothrock was appointed professor of botany at Pennsylvania State Agricultural College and the following year received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, later holding the chair of botany at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1895, Rothrock became Pennsylvania's first commissioner of forestry, founding the Pennsylvania State Forestry Academy at Mont Alto in 1903. Resigning as a commissioner in 1904 and from the State Forestry Commission in 1914, he died on 2 June 1922 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
The correspondence is arranged chronologically
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland Garland Publishing, London (1994) Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Pennsylvania State and Darwin college and Pennsylvania University Archive
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
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