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Charles Mayer Wetherill collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S1387

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 3 folders of correspondence to and from Charles M. Wetherill, including letters from residents of Lafayette, Indiana, concerning the Lafayette Union Club during the U.S. Civil War (1862-1863); his handwritten journal and receipts from his trip to Niagara Falls, Montreal, and New England (1844-1845); personal letters from Charles (Sr.) Wetherill to his brother William, a student at Mount Airy, Pennsylvania (1817-1818); and an original, 34-star American flag.


  • 1817-1863


Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions apply. Contact the repository for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Charles Mayer Wetherill was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1825, son of Charles and Margaret Wetherill. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1845. In 1847 he studied abroad in Europe, where he received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Giessen in 1848. In 1853 he was awarded an honorary M.D. by New York Medical College, and was elected to the American Philosophical Society. In 1856, he married Mary Benbridge in Tippecanoe, Indiana, and in 1857 the couple resided in Lafayette, Indiana, where he completed his study of grapes for winemaking at Purdue University.

Wetherill’s academic accomplishments included his chemical investigations at his private laboratory in Philadelphia and his lectures at the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. In 1860 he published the treatise, "The Manufacture of Vinegar", and in 1862 was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to serve in the Bureau of Chemistry of the newly formed Department of Agriculture, precursor to the Food and Drug Administration. In 1866, Wetherill was appointed chemistry professor at Lehigh University, where he worked until his death on March 5, 1871 in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


“Milestones in U.S. Food and Drug Law History.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Accessed 30 November 2017.

"Charles M. Wetherill." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Accessed 30 November 2017.

Smith, Edgar Fahs. Charles Mayer Wetherill, 1825-1871. Easton, Pa., 1929. Appletons' Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1600-1889 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA:

Indiana, Select Marriages Index, 1748-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:


0.01 Cubic Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Paul Robertson on 1952/08.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/11/30 by Linda Gellert. EAD finding aid created 2017/11/30 by Linda Gellert.
Charles Mayer Wetherill collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.