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Rogers, James B., 1803-1852



  • Existence: 1802 February 11 - 1852 June 15


James Blythe Rogers (1802 - 1852) was an American physician, chemist, and educator. The eldest brother of William Barton Rogers, founder of MIT, James Blythe is known for his time practicing medicine, his work in the field of applied chemistry, as well as his many professorships held at various universities.

Rogers would be educated at the College of William and Mary, where his father, Patrick Kerr Rogers, was positioned as professor of natural history and chemistry [1]. Afterward, in 1822, he achieved his MD from the University of Maryland and started to practice medicine in Pennsylvania [2]. In 1830, Rogers would marry Rachel Smith of Baltimore, eventually sharing a son, William Barton Roger II, born in December 1833 [2].

By 1827, Rogers would cease his duties as an active physician, and began to hold many professorships throughout the remainder of his career. Primarily teaching chemistry, he would maintain positions at Washington Medical College (Baltimore), University of Cincinnati, Medical Institute of Philadelphia, Franklin Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania [2]. Rogers would also become the superintendent of a chemical manufacturer in Baltimore, in addition to assisting his brother, Henry Darwin Rogers, in his geological survey work for the state of Pennsylvania [3]. Much of Rogers' analyses on chemistry were published in conjunction with his brothers -- William, Henry, and Robert -- including co-authored surveys, forensic chemistry investigations, and scientific textbooks [3].

James Blythe Rogers died in Philadelphia on June 15th, 1852. His position, then as professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, was filled by his youngest brother, Robert Empie Rogers [2]

1. “William Barton Rogers” Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 18 (May 1883) 2. “William Barton Rogers: Chronology” MIT Libraries 3. Edgar Fahs Smith, "James Blythe Rogers, Chemist, 1802—1852" Journal of Chemical Education (June 1943)


Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Rogers family papers

Identifier: MC-0002
Scope and Contents The Rogers Family Papers (1811-1904) consist primarily of family correspondence, the bulk of which falls between 1830 and 1851. Letters written by Henry Darwin Rogers are predominant. The collection also includes several letters written by Robert Empie Rogers to other members of the family, and letters to and from Emma Savage Rogers and James Savage. Letters written to William Barton Rogers are also present in the collection.In addition to family correspondence, the collection...
Dates: 1811 - 1904

William Barton Rogers II papers

Identifier: MC-0003
Scope and Contents of the Collection The substance though not the bulk of the papers consists of letters from Henry Darwin Rogers to his nephew William Barton Rogers II, son of James Blythe Rogers. From 1852 to about 1857 William Barton Rogers II worked as an assistant to Henry D. Rogers on the Pennsylvania Geological Survey. The papers of are interest because they shed light on the working methods of the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania.The collection includes correspondence from Henry Darwin Rogers instructing...
Dates: 1838 - 1919

William Barton Rogers papers

Identifier: MC-0001
Abstract This collection contains the personal correspondence of William Barton Rogers, the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Family and professional correspondence, notes, articles, lectures, clippings, and drafts of articles on scientific topics, documents relating his philosophy on science and technology education, and many antecedent documents relating to the establishment and early years of MIT are included. An important part of the collection is drafts of...
Dates: 1804 - 1950; Majority of material found within 1834 - 1882