Rogers, Henry D. (Henry Darwin), 1808-1866
- Existence: 1808 August 1 - 1866 May 26
Henry Darwin Rogers (1808 - 1866) was an American geologist and educator. He is known primarily for his work as official state geologist for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, his field studies in mountain building, as well as for his establishment of several scientific associations. Henry Darwin is the brother of William Barton Rogers, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1861.
Rogers, like the rest of his siblings, spent much of his professional life as an educator. As a professor he taught chemistry at Dickinson College, and was similarly elected to lecture on geology and mineralogy at the University of Pennsylvania. He'd later live and teach abroad in Scotland, as the first American Chair of Natural History at the University of Glasgow .
Much of Rogers' work was also done on behalf of several state governments. In 1835, he was appointed by the state of New Jersey to lead the state's Geological Survey, in which he subsequently published a report and a map of the state . A year later, in 1836, he would be chosen by the state of Pennsylvania as their own state geologist. Rogers would continue to intermittently work to survey Pennsylvania, and in 1858 published his final report for the project, The Geology of Pennsylvania: A Government Survey .
During the 1840s, alongside his government work, Rogers, with his brother William Barton, would execute geological field work with a predominant focus on the structure(s) of the Appalachian Mountain chain . Their theories, first presented in Boston for the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists -- in which the brothers helped to co-found -- were considered quite radical for the time, and helped to establish themselves as leading geologists of the day. Henry and William would co-author many scientific publications together across their respective careers, however much of the work published in On the Physical Structure of the Appalachian Chain (1842), has since been debunked by modern scientists.
As part of other freelance work, Rogers would relocate to Boston in 1846. It was after speaking to Boston philanthropist, John Lowell, in 1846, that Henry asked his brother William Barton Rogers to draft a plan for a scientific school which would later become MIT .
Soon after visiting his brother, William, in Boston, Henry Darwin Rogers would return to Glasgow where he would die on May 29th, 1866.
1. "Henry Darwin Rogers" Encyclopedia Britannica (July 2022) 2. “William Barton Rogers: Chronology” MIT Libraries 3. "Henry Rogers" University of Glasgow (March 2020) 4. Elizabeth Andrews, Nora Murphy, and Tom Rosko “William Barton Rogers: MIT's Visionary Founder” MIT Libraries (October 2004)