Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

American Philosophical Society

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all

Profiles

  • Neil Rudenstine
    Leon Rudenstine (born January 21, 1935) is an American scholar, literary scholar, and administrator. He served as president of Harvard University from 1991 to 2001.
  • Marc Tessier-Lavigne
    Trevor Tessier-Lavigne OC FRS FRSC FMedSci (born December 18, 1959) is a Canadian-born neuroscientist who is the 11th and current President of Stanford University. He holds dual citizenship of the Unit...
  • John Lukens, Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania and Delaware (1720 - 1789)
    I do believe this is the same John Lukens that was the map surveyer of the state area of Pennsylvania with William Penn. There is also a commet named after him. John Lukens (1720?-1789) served as Surve...
  • Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26105763/joseph-shippen
    Lt. Colonel Joseph Shippen, III (1732 - 1810)
    He was a Captain in 1756, Brigade Major in 1758 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1759, colonel in French and Indian War; secretary of Province of Pennsylvania; assistant judge of Chester County; vestryman of ...
  • William Chauvenet (1820 - 1870)
    William Chauvenet (24 May 1820 in Milford, Pennsylvania – 13 December 1870 in St. Paul, Minnesota) was a professor of mathematics, astronomy, navigation, and surveying who was instrumental in the estab...

The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 and located in Philadelphia, is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. Considered the first learned society in the United States, it has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 270 years.

Through research grants, published journals, the American Philosophical Society Museum, an extensive library, and regular meetings, the society continues to advance a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the sciences. Philosophical Hall, now a museum, is located just east of Independence Hall in Independence National Historical Park; it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

History The Philosophical Society, as it was originally called, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, James Alexander (lawyer), Francis Hopkinson, John Bartram, Philip Syng, Jr. and others as an offshoot of an earlier club, the Junto. It was founded two years after the University of Pennsylvania, with which it remains closely tied.

Since its inception, the society attracted America's finest minds. Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson,[4] Alexander Hamilton, James McHenry, Thomas Paine, David Rittenhouse, Nicholas Biddle, Owen Biddle, Benjamin Rush, James Madison, Michael Hillegas, John Marshall, and John Andrews. The society also recruited philosophers from other countries as members, including Alexander von Humboldt, the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Tadeusz Kościuszko, and Princess Dashkova.

By 1746 the society had lapsed into inactivity. In 1767, however, it was revived, and on January 2, 1769, it united with the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge under the name American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge. Benjamin Franklin was elected the first president. During this time, the society maintained a standing Committee on American Improvements; one of its investigations was to study the prospects of a canal to connect the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River. The canal, which had been proposed by Thomas Gilpin, Sr., would not become reality until the 1820s.

After the American Revolution, the society looked for leadership to Francis Hopkinson, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Under his influence, the society received land from the government of Pennsylvania, along with a plot of land in Philadelphia where Philosophical Hall now stands.

Illustrious names have continually been added to the membership roster, reflecting the society's scope. Charles Darwin, Robert Frost, Louis Pasteur, Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, John James Audubon, Linus Pauling, Margaret Mead, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison became members of the society. The society continues to attract names of high renown today, with a current membership list (as of the April 2005 elections) of 920 members, including 772 resident members (citizens or residents of the United States) and 148 foreign members representing more than two dozen countries.

Many members of the Society of the Cincinnati were among the APS's first board members and contributors; today the APS and SOC still maintain an informal, collegial relationship. Additional Information at Wikipedia

American Philosophical Society