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Manuscript Group 414
DR. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY COLLECTION
1794-1874
1 cubic foot


Dr. Joseph Priestley was an eminent English Unitarian minister and chemist who is best known as the discoverer of oxygen. After an unruly mob destroyed his laboratory in England, Priestley came to Pennsylvania at the invitation of Benjamin Franklin and ultimately settled along the Susquehanna River in Northumberland County.

The bulk of the collection (22 items) were authored by Priestley and pertain to his life in Northumberland. These include correspondence, land deeds, his 1802 will and a printed booklet entitled Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland and its Neighborhood (1801). Other items pertain to his son, Joseph Priestley, Jr., and include records of land purchases, legal and business accounts and family matters. Miscellaneous items include a photograph of chemists attending the Centennial of Chemistry Celebration held in 1874 that honored Dr. Priestley's discovery of oxygen.

The bulk of the collection is housed at the Joseph Priestley House, 742 Priestley Avenue, Northumberland, PA 17857. To view it please contact the site administrator or regional curator at (717) 473-9474.






PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records