MS 290
Charles Christopher Parry (1823-1890)
Papers, 1841-1943

Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

Descriptive summary

creator:

  Parry, Charles Christopher (1823-1890)

title:

  Papers

dates:

  1841-1943

extent:

  1.8 linear feet

collection number:

  MS 290  

repository:

  Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

Administrative information

access:

  Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Charles Christopher Parry Papers, MS 290, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.

 

Historical note


Charles Christopher Parry, botanist and physician, was born in Admington, Gloucestershire, England, on August 28, 1823. When he was nine years old, his family moved from England to Washington County, New York. Parry earned an A.B. degree from Union College in 1842, then attended Columbia College as a graduate student, falling under the influence there of the botanist John Torrey. Earning an M.D. degree from Columbia in 1846, Parry settled in Davenport, Iowa, the same year and established a medical practice. Botanical studies rather than medicine proved to be his main interest, however. Parry served under David Dale Owen in 1848 in the geological survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. In 1849 he was appointed botanist to the United States‑Mexican boundary survey and worked in this capacity for three years. For the rest of his life, Parry spent his summers in botanical expeditions in western states like Colorado, Utah, and California, on his own or as botanist to an organized survey. He was the first person to hold the position of botanist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spending the years 1869‑1871 at the Smithsonian Institution. Parry published his botanical papers in a wide variety of scientific journals and newspapers. In 1853 he married Sarah M. Dalzell, who died in 1858. The next year he married Emily R. Preston, who survived him. Parry died in his home in Davenport on February 20, 1890. Parry's herbarium and many of his personal papers and books were purchased by Iowa State University in 1894.  

 

Collection Description


The Parry collection includes correspondence, notebooks, clippings, and miscellaneous papers. Many of the manuscripts and notebooks contain field notes from botanical expeditions, including notes on San Domingo, the Rocky Mountains, Mexico, and the Wasatch Mountains in the Utah Territory. There are two scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings--one dealing with the Mexican boundary surveys and the Santo Domingo Commission, the other containing clippings from the Chicago Evening Journal in 1863-64 dealing with the exploration of the Far West. The collection also includes photocopies from the accession records of the ISU library listing books from Parry's personal collection in the ISU library, Iowa State professor L. H. Pammel's notes on Parry, and papers dealing with the cataloging of the Iowa State collection in 1942-43. Correspondents include Rosa Smith Eigenmann, W. H. Emory, George Engelmann, Asa Gray, Edwin James, Albert Kellogg, D. D. Owen, S. B. Parish, Emily R. Parry, A. Randall, John Torrey, and Sereno Watson.  The manuscript volumes in the Parry collection were formerly classified, with Library of Congress call numbers placed on the bound volumes. Call numbers and volume sizes have been included in the description of individual series to aid in their identification on the shelf.

 

Series 1

Correspondence

1846-1849

description

Letters and documents by and to Parry (1846‑1849) and correspondence (1902-1931) relating to the assembling of the Parry collection by Professor L. H. Pammel. Four bound volumes in slipcases (10 1/2" x 13"). See also Section VI, Box I, Miscellaneous, for an additional letter from Edwin James. Formerly classified as QK31 P248c

 

 Container list  

Box

Title

Dates

1

Volume 1

1846-1853

1

Volume 2

1854-1871

1

Volume 3

1872-1879

1

Volume 4

1880-1889 (Parry); 1902-1931 (Pammel)

 

Series 2

Manuscripts

1848-1878

description

Reports, memoranda, manuscripts of articles, and maps (1848-1878) assembled by L. H. Pammel; "Charles Christopher Parry" by L. H. Pammel, 191?. 48 pieces in 1 volume (12" x 16 3/4").  Formerly classified as QK31 P248m

 

Container list

Item

Title

1-8

Reports,etc. Geological survey of the Northwest (1848)

9

Account of Chagres River, by Captain Meade (1849)

10-33

Report, maps, etc., United States and Mexican boundary survey (1849-1854)

34

The Evil Effects Resulting from an Improper Association of Educational Interests with Party Politics (1860)

35

Chicago Evening Journal (December 8, 1863-1864)

36

On the Character of the Persistent Snow Accumulations in the Rocky Mountains (1866)

37

San Domingo (1871)

38

Notes on Agave, etc. (1871)

39-41

Cereus no. 2 (1871)

42

Summer Botanizing in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah Territory (1876)

43-47

Memoranda, etc., Mexican Trip (1878)

48

Charles Christopher Parry, by L.H. Pammel (191?)

 

 

Series 3

Notebooks

1841-1880

extent

21 volumes (ranging in size from 4 1/4" x 6 1/4" to 7" x 8 1/2"). In slip cases.

 

   Container list  

Volume

Title

1

Memorabilia (1841)

2

Diary and field notes (May-November 1848)

3

Pocket note book (September-October 1848)

4

Diary of a trip on Ohio (March-April 1849)

5

Traveling notes (April-July 1849)

6

Traveling expenses (March-July 1849)

7

Expedition to the Gila--Sick report (September-November 1849)

8

Botanical and ethnographical notes, Yuma country (December 1849)

9

Field notebook (June 1849-March 1850)

10

Field notebook (March-August 1850)

11

Field notebook, botany (June-July 1850)

12

Field notebook no. 3 (September 1850-March 1851)

13

Field notebook (October 1851-February 1852)

14

Field notebook (February-August 1852)

15

Miscellaneous notes (January-August 1852)

16

Cacti--descriptions (July 1852)

17

Field notebook and journal (August 1852-January 1853)

18

Barometric observations (May-September 1867)

19

Geological notes U.P.R. W-E.D. (1867)

20

Botanical notes, etc. (April-July 1878)

21

Diary (January-December 1880)

   

Series 4

Clippings

1853- ca. 1880

Container list  

Title

Dates

Clippings dealing with the Mexican boundary surveys and the Santo Domingo Commission. 7 pieces in 1 folder, (8 3/4" x 12 1/2"). Each piece accompanied by a typewritten title with a bibliographical reference. Formerly classified as QK31 P248cm.

1853-ca. 1880

Clippings, Chicago Evening Journal, etc.. 1 volume (12 1/2" x 17"). Includes other contents of a scrapbook kept by Parry (1863‑1880). Typewritten copies of the newspaper contributions by Parry in this scrapbook have been included as number 35 in the Parry manuscripts in Section II. Formerly classified as QK31 P248c1.

1863-1864

 

 

Series 5

Miscellaneous

description

Collection of letters and other material dealing with cataloging the Parry manuscripts in 1942-1943. Includes duplicate carbon copies of some of the Parry letters, a rough draft of a Parry chronology, lists of titles collected for a Parry bibliography, and carbon copies of the tables of contents from the bound volumes of Parry correspondence and manuscripts. The items in folders 1-5 were formerly classified as QK31 P248i.

  Container list

 

Folder

Title

1

Carbon copies of tables of contents of Parry Papers bound as correspondence and manuscripts

2

Correspondence on the Parry Papers. Typewritten excerpts from the Parry notebooks and correspondence

3

Titles collected for a bibliography of C. C. Parry

4

Typescript copies of clippings from the Chicago Evening Journal containing articles on the Far West, 1863-64

5

Typescripts of letters from Samuel Bonsall Parish to C. C. Parry, 1879-1889

6

Letter from Edwin James (1797-1861) to Parry, written at Burlington, Iowa,    February 11, 1859, telling of an he "range of mountains
containing the sources of the Platte and Arkansas." Formerly classified as F626  J232L.

7

Photocopies of ISU Library accession records showing Parry books, a list of books in the Parry collection, and copies of Board of Trustees Report (1894) concerning the purchase of the Parry collection.

8

Photocopies of Parry correspondence from the University of Notre Dame

 

Series 6

Card file

description

Card file indexing the correspondence, notebooks, and manuscripts. Ca. 900 cards, 1943.

 

 

Descriptive summary   |  Administrative information  |  Biographical/Historical note
Collection description  |  Organization  |  Description of series/container list


Iowa State University Library, Ames, IA 50011
Comments: tzanish@iastate.edu
URL: http://www.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/manuscripts/MS290.html
Revised: 3 February 2003.