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Dr. William Darlington Papers

Identifier: 022
This collection is divided into four (4) series. Series 1: Correspondence contains three of Darlington’s four letterbooks: Volume I (1805-1837), Volume II (1837-1845), and Volume IV (1852-1862). [Note: Volume III (1845-1852) is in the collection of the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA]. The letters include those to several U. S. Presidents and political figures, leading American and European botanists, and many local historical figures. Indexes to the letterbooks; original letters to his son, Thomas Darlington; and drafts of letters in progress complete the series. Series 2: Essays and Speeches contains a journal of Essays and Speeches written and delivered by Darlington between 1801 and 1848 as well as an index to the volume. Series 3: Personal Papers contains photocopies of Darlington’s lecture notes taken at the University of Pennsylvania medical school; his published dissertation; an autobiographical sketch composed in 1849; two commonplace books dated 1801 and 1802; photographs; ephemera; and a partial photocopy of Darlington’s will. Series 4: Published Materials contains newspaper clippings related to Darlington’s library and botanical pursuits; a copy of Elizabeth Montgomery’s Reminiscences of Wilmington (1851) including extensive annotations made by Darlington; and an edition of Darlington’s Flora Cestrica (1837) with many interleaved manuscript notes.


  • 1782-1863
  • 1801-1862


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research


3.00 Boxes


Dr. William Darlington (1782-1863) was a physician, botanist, politician, businessman, and philanthropist from West Chester, PA. Darlington earned a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He practiced medicine, wrote books on botany, served as President of the Bank of Chester County, and ran successfully for three terms as a U. S. Congressman. The collection includes Darlington’s correspondence with many prominent political and botanical figures of his time; speeches and essays composed by Darlington; commonplace books, and ephemeral items.

Arrangement Items are arranged chronologically whenever possible within each series.

Processing Information

Processed by Ron McColl
Dr. William Darlington Papers
Ron McColl
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Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository