Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Lewis R. Gibbes Papers

Collection #: 0020

Dates: 1834-1901

Size: 7 boxes (2 oversize) (4.5 linear feet)

Biographical Note: Professor (1838-1892) of mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry at the College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.). Gibbes studied medicine in the United States and in Paris (1836-1837). Gibbes was the author of numerous articles on astronomy, natural history, and related subjects. He studied the classification of chemical elements, invented scientific instruments, and served as an officer of the Elliott Society of Natural History for thirty years.

Scope and Content Note: Papers include biographical information (1901), obituaries and eulogies for Gibbes, drafts of letters, copies of letters, notes, ephemera, astronomical calculations, botanical specimens, writings, scrapbooks, prints, astronomical charts, Elliott Society materials, and a glass plate negative.

Drafts of two letters (1890 July 14 and December 6) from Gibbes to C.S. Sargent at the Arnold Arboretum in Brookline, Mass. state Gibbes is sending Sargent papers for publication. Gibbes also asks Sargent for plant specimens.

A volume containing copies of letters in French includes an index. Copies of letters (1838-1850) are to family members and others at Charleston (S.C.), Philadelphia (Pa.), Havana (Cuba), Paris (France), and elsewhere. Class notes (ca. 1836-1837) from France relate to medical studies. Notes also include zoological observations (1856). A notebook (1836-1882) contains comments about books on religion. Ephemera (1836-1837) relates to Gibbes' studies in France.

Gibbes' writings include clippings of "astronomical notes" (1834-1869) published in Charleston (S.C.) newspapers, and articles and pamphlets about natural history, inventions, mathematics, and the biographies of famous individuals. Scrapbooks (1834-1893) contain clippings about Gibbes's work, science, astronomy, natural history, poetry, local events, and the Civil War. Prints are of individuals, battles, foreign cities, and other scenes. Astronomical charts contain diagrams and mathematical calculations. A glass plate negative depicts Gibbes.

Elliott Society of Natural History materials include a pamphlet (1857) with the constitution and by-laws, a handwritten membership list (1850s), ephemera, handwritten reports (1887) of the corresponding secretary, foreign science society memberships (1853-1898), issues of the Proceedings of the Elliott Society of Natural History, and clippings.

Subject Headings:

Gibbes, Lewis R., 1810-1894.
Sargent, Charles Sprague, 1841-1927.
Astronomy -- Observations -- South Carolina.
Astronomy -- Charts, diagrams, etc.
Astronomy -- Observations.
Botany -- Research.
Geology -- Research.
Natural history -- Societies, etc.
South Carolina -- History.


Lewis R. Gibbes Papers Box/Folder

Biographical Material 1/1
Correspondence: 1836-1854, 1890 1/2
Study in France: 1836-1837 (class notes, Programme des Cours de I'Ecole de Medicine, receipts for room & board) 1/3
Astronomical Calculations 1/4
Zoological Observations 1/5
Botanical Specimen - Lacebark Tree of Jamaica 1/6
Writer's Guide for Correcting Printer's Errors 1/7
Poem Transcription 1/8
Sale of His Library: 1888 1/9
Obituaries, eulogies, and memorials 1/10
Dramatic Presentation "Lewis Gibbes-a legend for tomorrow" by Emmett Robinson 1/11


Annular Phase of Venus 1/12
Astronomical Notes (Appearing in the Charleston Newspapers: 1834 - 1869) 1/13
Botany of Edings Bay 1/14
Catalogue of the Phoenogamous Plants 1/15
Description of a New Species of Salamander 2/1
Description of Menobranchus Punctatuts 2/2
Description of Ranilia Muricata 2/3
Description, with figures of six species of Porcellana 2/4
Early Life of Francis Arago 2/5
Earthquake of 1886 2/6
Eugune Chevreul 2/7
Flight of Butterflies 2/8
The Identity of the Comets 2/9
Measuring the Earth's Density 2/10
Note on Pieris Rapae 2/11
Note on Cyaloid, and the Maxima and Minima 2/12
Note on the Usual Methods of Demonstrating the Arithmetical Rule for Finding the Area of a Triangle 2/13
Notice of Stalactites Formed in Artificial Structures 2/14
Of the Collection of Crustaceans in the Cabinet of the Boston Society of Natural History 2/15
On a Convenient Form of Aspirator 2/16
On an Easy Mode of Illustrating the Difference in the Velocity of Sound in Different Gases 2/17
On Some Points Which Have Been Overlooked in the Past and Present Condition of Niagara Falls 2/18
On the Carcino Logical Collections in the Cabinets of Natural History in the U.S. 2/19
On the Occulator 3/1
A Portable and Easily Made Heliotrope 3/2
Remarks on Niagara Falls 3/3
Rules for the Accentuation of Names in Natural History (2 copies) 3/4
Synoptical Table of Chemical Elements 3/5
Scrapbooks & unattached newspaper clippings re: Gibbes' scientific work, his teaching career, and misc. scientific reports. Etc: 1834-1893 (partial list follows inventory) 3/6-8
Prints (individuals, battles, foreign cities, etc.) 4
Elliott Society of Natural History-- (name change, 1867) Constitution and By-laws: 1857 (pamphlet) 5/1
Membership List: 1850's (handwritten) 5/2
Notice of Meeting: 1868 (printed form) 5/3
Reports of Corresponding Sec.: 1887 [handwritten] 5/4
Reorganization: 1885 [broadside] 5/5
Foreign Science Societies Memberships: 1874-1898 5/6
Cooperating Societies: N.D. 5/7
Various Editions: 1853-1890 5/8
"News and Courier"-- articles: 1937 5/9
Oversize prints and astronomical charts and calculations 6
Glass plate negative of Lewis R.Gibbes 7

Box 3 Folder 6
Handwritten (legal size paper) note referencing the College of Charleston.
The Star of Bethlehem. Reappearance of Cassiopeia's Visitor of 1572.
Action of City Council. July 31, 1850.
Senator Hampton's Joke.
Refusal to become candidate for the President to replace Finley. (College of Charleston). February 3, 1857.
Election to and refusal to chair Math and Philosophy at Columbia College. December 5, 1853.
The Courier. Poetry. "The Little Grave".
College of Charleston, May 9, 1848. Finley President.... faculty and courses set.
The College of South Carolina. W. T. Brantly, LRG ... student days. August 1859.
The Courier. Poetry. "There's no death of Kindness."
"Seak Gently to the Erring." Poetry.
"For the Little Ones." Poetry. 1859.
"Meeting in Charleston."
Patrotic Tender. LRG and McCrady from College of Charleston volunteer as assistants to Corps of Engineers.
The Courier, 1861. Poetry. "The Palmetto Roll."
The Courier, 1862. Poetry. "The Devil's Visit to Old Abe."

Box 3 Folder 7
The Evening News, August 8, 1851. Clipping "Mountain Rambles - No. 2."
"... of Wofford College....
The Star of Bethlehem. "Facts, which underlie a Fanciful and Mysterious Legend."
The Courier, October 8, 1861. Poetry. "Going out with the Tide."
"The Jesuits in Japan-Xavier." 1861.
"Daddy's Version of ‘Excelsior'." Poetry.
New Results of Science.
The Evening News, August 12, 1851. "Mountain Rambles - No. 1".
The Courier. Poetry.
The Eclipse of the Sun, (1846; 1882; 1900).
"Only a Year". August 1859.
Perplexities of Titles.
Improvements in Grinding Phosphates.
Charleston, May 22, 1845. "Transit of Mercury."
Astronomical Chart. January 8, 1817.
The Mercury, October 18, 1844. Article by LRG, College of Charleston.
Charleston, May 1843. Article by LRG. List of Shells. List of Plants.
Wooden Gunpowder.

Box 3 Folder 8
News and Courier. Winter on the Catawba.
News and Courier, July 15, 1892. Fifty Year of Labor. Resignation of LRG. (2 copies).
News and Courier, August 4, 1879. Matters in the State.
Charleston College. August 7, 1878. Professor LRG student exams.
Charleston Daily Courier, March 31, 1858. CofC commencement.
Charleston Daily Courier. Confederate States, July 20, 1861. Astronomical Notices.
Charleston Daily Courier, March 30, 1857. Carolinian. Report on case between Dr. Gibbes and the mayor of Columbia.
Charleston Daily Courier, April 1, 1857. Inaugural Address. Induction of N. Russell Middleton L.L.D, into Presidency at College of Charleston.
Death of William Hume Simons 1872 CofC graduate.
The Macadam Road.
Charleston Daily Courier, July 8, 1861. Astronomical Notices. (By LRG)
Charleston Daily Courier, July 31, 1860.
Happenings in Edgefield.