May 10

rossiter_worthington_raymond_photoWhile not true blood relatives, Rossiter was Anton’s close friend and Uncle Ros to Anton’s kids and grandkids (I have 3 of Rossiter’s books signed, in part, ‘Uncle Ros & Aunt Sally’ to Karl & Marguerite in 1905).  Since his wide ranging interests and successes do not get their due elsewhere on the web, they will get it here (and eventually wikipedia).


As one tribute noted, “Dr. Raymond was one of the most remarkable cases osantaf versatility that our country has ever seen’—sailor, soldier, engineer, lawyer, orator, editor, novelist, story-teller, poet, biblical critic, theologian, teacher, chess-player—he was superior in each capacity. What he did, he always did well.”

Here’s a short biographical sketch from Rossiter’s Memorial (full pdf here):

Rossiter Worthington Raymond, Brooklyn Pol­y­tech­nic In­sti­tute (1857), La­fay­ette Coll­ege (PhD 1868), Leigh Un­i­ver­si­ty (LLD 1906), and the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh (hon­o­rary LLD. 1915)., mining engineer, metallurgist, lawyer, and author, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 27, 1840, the son of Robert Raikes and Mary Anna (Pratt) Raymond; grandson of Eliakim and Mary (Carrington) Raymond, of New York City, and of Caleb and Sally (Walker) Pratt, of Providence, Rhode Island.

He was of English descent, his earliest American ancestor on the paternal side, Richard Raymond, having emigrated from England to this country and settled at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1632; while on his mother’s side he was descended from well-known New England families. His great-grandfather, Nathaniel Raymond, was an officer in the Revolutionary army; and his grandfather, Caleb Pratt, served in the war of 1812.

rossiter_raymond_memorial_coverHis father (born 1817, died 1888), a native of New York City, was a graduate of Union College in 1837, editor of the Syracuse ‘Free Democrat’ in 1852, and the ‘Evening Chronicle’ in 1853-4, and afterward professor of English in the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and principal of the Boston School of Oratory. His mother (born 1818, died 1891) was a native of Providence, Rhode Island. They were married at Columbus, Ohio, in 1839, and Rossiter was the eldest of a family of seven children, of whom four were sons.

He received his early education in the common schools of Syracuse, New York, and in 1857 entered the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, of which his uncle, John H. Raymond (afterward president of Vassar College), was then president, graduating from that institution, at the head of his class, in 1858. He spent the ensuing three years in professional study at the Royal Mining Academy, Freiberg, Saxony, and at the Heidelberg and Munich universities.

Returning to the United States in August 1861, he entered the Federal army and served as aide-de-camp, with the rank of captain, on the staff of Major-General J. C. Fre’mont, by whom, during his campaign in the Valley of Virginia, he was officially commended for gallant and meritorious conduct.

From 1864 to 1868, he engaged in practice as a consulting mining engineer and metallurgist in New York City; and in the latter year was appointed U. S. Commissioner of Mining Statistics, -which position he held until 1876, issuing each year ‘Reports on the Mineral Resources of the United States West of the Rocky Mountains’ (8 vol., Washington, 1869-76), several of which were re-published in New York, with the titles of ‘American Mines and Mining’, ‘The United States Mining Industry’, ‘Mines, Mills and Furnaces’, and ‘Silver and Gold’

These reports contained descriptions of the geology, ore deposits, and mining enterprises of the United States public domain, discussions of metal.- lurgical processes adapted to American conditions, and observations and criticisms concerning the practical operation of the Federal mineral- land laws of 1866 and subsequent years. In 1870, he was appointed lecturer on economic geology at Lafayette College, which chair he occupied until 1882, and for one year during that period gave the entire course on mining engineering.

In 1873, Dr. Raymond was appointed United States Commissioner to the Vienna International Exposition, and as such delivered in Vienna addresses in the German language at the International Convention on Patent Law and the International Meeting of Geologists; and an address in English at the meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute in Liege, Belgium. From 1875 to 1895, he was associated as consulting engineer with the firm of Cooper, Hewitt & Co., owners of the New Jersey Steel & Iron Co., the Trenton Iron Co., the Durham and the Ringwood iron works, as well as numerous mines’ of iron ore and coal. As president of the Alliance Coal Co., and director of the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co., as well as a personal friend of Franklin B. Go wen, he became acquainted with the inner history of the memorable campaign against the ‘Molly Maguires’, and has since been known as a fearless opponent of all tyranny practised in the name of labor. His articles on ‘Labor and Law’, ‘Labor and Liberty’, etc., published in the ‘Engineering and Mining Journal’ at’the time of the Homestead riots, attracted wide attention and for these, as well as similarly frank discussions of the operations of the Western Federation of Miners in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado, he received special denunciations and threats from the labor-unions thus criticised. While connected with Cooper, Hewitt & Co., he also assisted Abram S. Hewitt in the management of Cooper Union and for many years directed the Saturday Evening Free Popular Lectures on science, etc., which constituted the beginning of what has since become a vast lecture system in the city of New York.

From 1885 to 1889, he was one of the three New York State Commissioners of Electric Subways for the city of Brooklyn, and served as member and secretary of the board, preparing its final report, which was generally regarded as the best statement of the problem of municipal engineering and policy involved in the distribution of electric conductors. At the close of his official term as Commissioner, he became consulting engineer to the New York & New Jersey Telephone Co., which position he retained for many years.

In 1898, Dr. Raymond was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of New York State and of the Federal District and Circuit Courts, his practice being confined to cases involving either mining or patent law, in the former of which he was a leading authority. In 1903 he was lecturer on mining law at Columbia University, New York. He had also delivered numerous addresses at other colleges and universities, including Yale, Cornell, Pittsburgh, Lehigh, Lafayette, Union, California, the Worcester Polytechnic, and the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.

An original member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, he served as its vice-president in 1871, 1876, and 1877, president from 1872 to 1875, and secretary from 1884 to 1911. In the last capacity he edited 40 of the annual volumes of Transactions, to which he liberally contributed essays, especially pertaining to the Federal mining laws, as well as other articles of importance.

In 1911, Dr. Raymond resigned his position as secretary of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, of which he was after that time secretary emeritus.

Dr. Raymond was the editor of the ‘American Journal of Mining’ from 1867 to 1868, of the same periodical under the title ‘Engineering and Mining Journal’ from 1868 to 1890, and thereafter was a special contributor to that journal. In 1884, he. prepared for the U. S. Geological Survey a historical sketch of mining law which was subsequently translated into German and published in full by the ‘Journal des Bergrechts’, the only periodical in the world devoted exclusively to the subject of mining jurisprudence, and for which he received high praise.

In addition to the official works previously mentioned he was the author of ‘Die Leibgarde‘ (1863), a German translation of ‘The Story of the Guard‘ by Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont (1863); ‘The Children’s Week‘ (1871); ‘Brave Hearts‘ (1873); ‘The Man in the Moon and Other People’ (1874); ‘The Book of Job‘ (1878); ‘The Merry-go- Round‘ (1880); ‘Camp and Cabin‘ (1880); ‘A Glossary of Mining and Metallurgical Terms‘ (1881); ‘Memorial of Alexander Mining Law’ (1883-95); ‘Two Ghosts and Other Christmas Stories’ (1887); ‘The Life of Peter Cooper‘ (1897); various technical works and papers on mining law, as well as numerous addresses and magazine articles, and contributions to several American dictionaries and encyclopedias.

In 1909, in collaboration with W. R. Ingalls, he contributed to the first Pan-American Scientific Congress, held at Santiago, Chile, a paper on ‘The Mineral Wealth of America’, and at the second congress, which assembled at Washington, D. C., in 1915, he was represented by a paper entitled ‘The Value of Technical Societies to . Mining Engineers’. ‘The Conservation of Natural Resources by Legislation’ was delivered in 1909 before a joint meeting of the four national engineering so: ieties.

In 1916, Dr. Raymond published a volume of poems, entitled ‘Christus Consolator and Other Poems’. At the time of his death he was at work upon a history of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, which he hoped to finish this year.

In 1910 the 70th birthday of Dr. Raymond was celebrated by a dinner at which all branches of the engineering profession, the scientific and learned societies, and the prominent institutions of learning were represented. On this occasion the gold medal of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy was awarded to Dr. Raymond “in recognition of eminent services and lifelong devotion to the science and practice of mining and metallurgy, and of his numerous and valuable contributions to technical literature”.

In 1911, during the visit to Japan of members and guests of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Dr. Raymond received from the Mikado the distinction of Chevalier of the Order of the Rising Sun, fourth class—the highest ever given to foreigners not of royal blood—’ “for eminent services to the mining industry of Japan”. These services consisted in advice and assistance rendered in America to Japanese engineers, students, and officials throughout a period of more than ,25 years.

Dr. Raymond was an honorary member of the Society of Civil Engineers of France, the Iron and Steel Institute and the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy of Great Britain, the Mining Society of Nova Scotia, and the Australasian Institute of Mining Engineers. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Geographical Society, a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the American Forestry Association, and various other technical and scientific organizations both at home and abroad. He received the degree of Ph.D. from Lafayette College in 1868, and that of LL.D. from Lehigh University in 1906. On the latter occasion, speaking as an adopted alumnus of the University, he delivered to the graduating classes an address on ‘ Professional Ethics’ which has been widely quoted and approved.

In February 1915, Dr. Raymond delivered the commemorative address on the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Pittsburgh, and received from that Institution the honorary degree of LL.D.

On March 3,1863, at Brooklyn, New York, he married Sarah Mellen, daughter of William R. and Mary (Fiske) Dwight of that city. Of their five children two survived to adult years; Alfred (born 1865, died 1901), an architect and engineer of thorough training and great promise; and Elizabeth Dwight (born 1868), since 1892 the wife of H. P. Bellinger of Syracuse.

He died suddenly, of heart failure, at his home in Brooklyn, on the evening of December 31, 1918, and was buried in Greenwood cemetery.

Biographies about Rossiter W. Raymond:

Books, Biographies and Articles written by Rossiter W. Raymond:

Presentations, Speeches, Addresses:

Mining Reports (World Cat Resources):

  • [First] report has title: Mineral resources of the states and territories west of the Rocky Mountains … Subtitle varies slightly. Continues the reports of J.R. Browne. Continued by “Mineral resources of the United States” published by the U.S. Geological survey. No reports made 1877-1881. Found in the Congressional series as follows:
  • [1st] 1868, 40th Cong., 3d sess., House ex. doc. no. 54.
  • [2d] 1869, 41st Cong., 2d sess., House ex. doc. no. 207.
  • [3d] 1870, 42d Cong., 1st sess., House ex. doc. no. 10.
  • [4th], 1871, 42d Cong., 2d sess., House ex. doc. no. 211.
  • [5th], 1872, 42d Cong., 3d sess., House ex. doc. no. 210.
  • [6th], 1873, 43d Cong., 1st sess., House ex. doc. no. 141.
  • [7th], 1874, 43d Cong., 2d sess., House ex. doc. no. 177.
  • [8th], 1875, 44th Cong., 1st sess., House ex. doc. no. 159.
  • Master microform held by: LrI.

Christmas Sermons at Plymouth Church Sunday School:

Additional Correspondence or documents that I know little about:

Hymns (according to


‘Famous’ Quotes:

  • Of all the large class of idiotic capitalists the Britisher shows the least symptom of intelligence.”  Engineering and Mining Journal (Arizona) 23 July 1881.
  • You’ll find this quote all over the web “Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is on ly a ho ri zon; and a ho ri zon is no thing save the lim it of our sight.” IT comes from the poem “Death is only an Horizon” and the whole poem goes as follows:.

O God, who holdest all souls in life

and callest them unto thee as seemeth best:

we give them back, dear God,

to thee who gavest them to us.

But as thou didst not lose them in the giving,

so we do not lose them by their return.

For not as the world giveth, givest thou,

O Lord of souls:

that which thou givest thou takest away:

for life is eternal, and love is immortal,

and death is only the horizon,

and the horizon is nothing

save the limit of our sight.



2 Responses to “Rossiter W. Raymond: Biography and Bibliography”

  1. bea baldridge Says:

    I bought a book by Rossiter Raymond in an antique store. When I got it home, I noticed it was from a private collection and given to Mrs. A. E. Carlton. A note is inside, signed by him. “Mrs. A.E. Carlton with love and greetings from Sarah D. and R (looks like maybe a W) Raymond, Christmas, 1910. Inside it says “Printed for Private Circulation, 1910.

    Does anyone know anyone that would like to buy this and what it may be worth? Thank you.

  2. Sandy Henkel Says:

    I have the book, The Children’s Week, Seven Stories for Seven Days. You list it as being published in 1871 yet my copy says 1872. Were there several printings? Also, how much is this book worth today? Just curious for insurance purposes.

Leave a Reply