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Smallwood Collection

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Smallwood, W. M. (William Martin), 1873-1949.
Title: Smallwood Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1801-1887
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence and publications of various nineteenth-century naturalists and scientists, primarily Amos Eaton.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

William Martin Smallwood (1873-1949) was an American biologist and a professor at Syracuse University. Smallwood collected books and manuscript material related to the history of science in the United States, much of which he donated to the Syracuse University Library. Most of this collection originated with Smallwood's research for a 1937 article on Amos Eaton.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Smallwood Collection mainly consists of materials directly or indirectly related to the naturalist Amos Eaton. The total collection spans 1801-1887, and the bulk of material comprises incoming letters sent to Eaton from other naturalists and educators between the years of 1817 and 1838. Most of these letters contain scientific enquiries or are related to Eaton's role as a Senior Professor at The Rensselaer School in Troy, New York. Similarly, the manuscript materials and publications all appear to have originally belonged to Eaton and some contain marginal notes. There are also several items indirectly related to Eaton's arrest and imprisonment in 1811 for forgery due to a land dispute. Many of the items are accompanied by typewritten notes and transcriptions by Smallwood.

In addition, the collection includes several items of correspondence unrelated to Eaton, including letters written by Lorenz Oken, Joseph Dalton Hooker, and Thomas Henry Huxley.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is in alphabetical order by correspondent's last name.

Manuscripts and publications are in alphabetical order by author's last name.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Beck, Lewis C. (Lewis Caleb), 1798-1853.
Beck, Theodric Romeyn, 1791-1855.
Booth, James Curtis, 1810-1888.
Brongniart, Adolphe, 1801-1876.
Browne, Peter A. (Peter Arrell), 1782-1860.
Cleaveland, Parker, 1780-1858.
Clinton, DeWitt, 1769-1828.
Clinton, George W. (George William), 1807-1885.
Eaton, Amos, 1776-1842.
Hall, Frederick, 1780-1843.
Holbrook, Josiah, 1788-1854.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton, 1817-1911.
Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859.
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895.
Moore, Zephaniah Swift, 1770-1823.
Morton, Samuel George, 1799-1851.
Oken, Lorenz, 1779-1851.
Phelps, Lincoln, Mrs., 1793-1884.
Rafinesque, C. S. (Constantine Samuel), 1783-1840.
Riddell, John Leonard, 1807-1867.
Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864.
Smallwood, W. M. (William Martin), 1873-1949.
Steel, John H. (John Honeywood), 1780-1838.
Torrey, John, 1796-1873.
Townsend, Peter S. (Peter Solomon), 1796-1849.
Van Rensselaer, Stephen, 1764-1839.
Woodward, Theodore, 1788-1840.

Corporate Bodies

Rensselaer School


Naturalists -- Correspondence.


Troy (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Lecture notes.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Smallwood Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of William Martin Smallwood.

Further Eaton letters purchased, 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: LMD
Date: 29 Mar 2010
Revision history:

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Box 1 Arnold, Benedict 1826
Box 1 Beck, Lewis C. 1829
Box 1 Beck, T. Romeyn 1828
Box 1 Browne, Peter A. 1828
Box 1 Chilton 1831
Box 1 Cleaveland, Parker 1827
Box 1 Clinton, DeWitt 1824
Box 1 Clinton, George W. 1827
Box 1 Eaton, Amos 1828, 1836
Box 1 Hall, F. 1827
Box 1 Holbrook , Josiah 1820
Box 1 Hooker, Joseph D. Undated - addressed to "Mr. Crookes," also includes portrait engraving of Hooker
Box 1 Humboldt, Alexander von 1856
Box 1 Huxley, Thomas Henry 1887 - addressed to "Mr. Crookes," includes portrait engraving of Huxley
Box 1 King, William A. 1825
Box 1 Locke, John 1819
Box 1 Moore, Zephaniah Swift 1817
Box 1 Morton, Samuel G. 1829
Box 1 Oken, Lorenz 1831 - addressed to "Prof. Joh. Ny. Friese," of Innsbruck, Germany
Box 1 Pendleton, Nathaniel 1803 - Smallwood's note: "This letter. . . is important in showing the sort of contract in which Amos Eaton became involved."
Box 1 Phelps, Almira H. L. 1832, 1838
Box 1 Rafinesque, C. S. 1826
Box 1 Riddell, J. L. 1838
Box 1 Silliman, Benjamin 1829
Box 1 Steel, John H. 1821
Box 1 Torrey, John 1828
Box 1 Townsend, P. S. 1818
Box 1 Van Rensselaer, Stephen 1825
Box 1 Woodward, Theodore 1822, 1823, 1824
Manuscript Material
Box 1 Histoire Des Vegetaux Fossiles by Adolphe Brongniart 1832 - handwritten English translation of Brongniart's work
Box 1 "Animal Physiology" by Amos Eaton 1817 - handwritten notes for a lecture given by Eaton
Box 1 Memoir of the Geological Survey of the State of Delaware by James C. Booth 1841 - Eaton's personal copy, given to him by Booth
Box 1 Histoire des Vegetaux Fossiles by Adolphe Brongniart ca. 1828 - Eaton's personal copy with marginal notes
Legal Documents
Box 1 1801 - Smallwood's note: "While this old deed has no known connection with Eaton. . . [it] is indicative of the kind of deed which Eaton doubtless drew up during his brief career as a lawyer."
Box 1 1801-1887 - photocopies of materials in the Smallwood Collection

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