Scientific Society in Williamsburg
Original Author: Virginia Gazette
Created: May 1773
Medium: Newspaper
Publisher: Library of Virginia

Scientific Society in Williamsburg

A May 1773 issue of the Virginia Gazette announces the establishment of a scientific society in Williamsburg, Virginia. Known as the Virginian Society for the Promotion of Usefull Knowledge, the organization had recently held its first formal meeting and had elected the following officers: John Clayton, botanist and author of Flora Virginica, as president; John Page, burgess from Gloucester County and soon-to-be member of the Governor's Council, as vice president; the Reverend Samuel Henley, professor of moral philosophy at the College of William and Mary, as secretary; St. George Tucker, law student and future professor at the college, as assistant secretary; and David Jameson, Yorktown merchant who would later become a Virginia state senator, as treasurer. The beginnings of the organization dated to November 1772, when the charter members agreed to form a society that would encourage the study of "Geography, Natural History, Natural Philosophy, Agriculture, Practical Mathematics, Commerce, Physic, American History."