Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DEWEY, Chester, educator, born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, 25 October 1784; died in Rochester, New York, 5 December 1867. He was graduated at Williams in 1806, studied for the ministry, was licensed to preach in 1808, and officiated at Tyringham, Massachusetts.
In the same year he became tutor at Williams, and in 1810 was appointed to the professorship of mathematics and natural philosophy. He held this place for seventeen years, during which he did much for the advancement of the College. For many years he was professor and lecturer on chemistry and botany in the medical Colleges of Pittsfield, 'Mass., and Woodstock, Vermont. In 1836 he became principal of the collegiate institute in Rochester, New York, where he remained till 1850, when he was appointed professor of chemistry and natural philosophy in the University of Rochester, which was established that year. He held this office until 1860, at which time he offered his resignation, feeling unable to perform active service, but consented to retain a nominal connection with the University, and to give instruction when it suited his convenience. After the age of eighty he lived in retirement, and aided many religious and benevolent objects. His entire life was given to scientific pursuits, and he held a high position among American naturalists. He made the study of grasses a specialty, and discovered and described several new species: The degree of M. D. was conferred upon him by Yale in 1825, D. D. by Union in 1838, and LL. D. by Williams in 1850. He was a careful arid accurate observer of the weather, and his notes were published in regular monthly reports, His papers on some of the " Families and Natural Orders of Plants," published in the " American Journal of Science," attracted the attention of some of the leading European botanists, and led to a correspondence with them. Ill the class of "carices" he was a recognized authority, and his writings on that subject make an elaborate monograph, upon which he labored for more than forty years. His "History of the Herbaceous Plants of Massachusetts" was published by that state. His latest writings were review articles on "The True Place of Man in Zoology" and "An Examination of some Reasoning's against the Unity of Mankind."
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