Albert H. Tuttle to Charles Scott Venable
May 22, 1888

Albert H. Tuttle writes to Charles Scott Venable expressing his desire to become the new Chair of Biology at UVA and lists his qualifications as well as gives some educational and family history. 


                        DEPARTMENT OF


COLUMBUS, O., May 22, 1888.

Prof. C. S. Venable, 

            University of Virginia.

My dear Sir:

                        A[s] you have already been informed by Prof. Bohannon, I have decided to become a candidate for the chair of Biology and Agriculture to which you have recently called attention in Science. 

            The climate of this region proving unfavorable to the health of my family, I have for some time contemplated a change whenever an opportunity occurred for making one that would be at once beneficial in this regard and otherwise to be desired. In both these respects I should prefer the position now vacant at the University of Virginia to that which I now occupy, if I am right in the idea of it which I have derived from the conversation with Prof. Bohannon and from the catalogue and upon mailed by yourself. 

            You will of course wish to know something concerning me. I may say briefly of myself that I was graduated at the State College (then the Agricultural College) of Pennsylvania in 1868, where I was a special student in Botany throughout the greater part of my college course. After teaching a short time in one of the State Normal Schools of Wisconsin, I went to Harvard, where I was for nearly three years a special student in the Museum of Zoology and in the private laboratory of the late Jeffries Wyman, then professor of Comparative Anatomy. Shortly after going to Cambridge I was appointed Instructor in Microscopy. The only other position I have ever held is that which I now occupy, upon the duties of which I entered in January, 1874. A few years since upon leave of absence I spent three months in the histological laboratory of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and the remainder of the year in the Biological Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, devoting my time in both places chiefly to the study of new methods of histological and biological technique. While my duties in the field I now occupy are confined to the province of Animal Biology, I have constantly endeavored in my vacation work and study to Keep alive and growing my knowledge of plant life: and in reason for preferring a position like that in question to the one which I now occupy is the opportunity it would afford me to devote a portion of my regular work to Vegetable Biology. 

            I have received the degrees of B.Sc. and M. Sc. in course from my College. I have on two or three occasions declined to receive the honorary degree of Ph.D. tendered me. I am a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was Vice President for the section of Histology and Microscopy at the Montreal meeting. I am also a fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society of England. I was born in this state: am forty three years old; am married, and we have three children. 

            This is a brief statement of my antecedents. As regards the character of my personal work or my special qualifications for the position I desire, I must let others speak. I have therefore informed, either personally of by letter, some of those who know me best of my decision to be a candidate for this chair, and requested them to communicate with you. Should you desire to make inquiries about me, I would suggest that Dr. J. T. Rothrock, professor of Botany in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and formerly of my college can speak for my training as a botanist. The men under whom I did work in Zoology, both at college and at Cambridge are dead: but of my present attainments you can hear from Prof. F. W. Putnam, the successor of Prof. Wyman as curator of the Peabody Museum at Cambridge and the well-known Permanent Secretary of the American Associations; Prof. Edw. S. Morse of the Peabody Academy of Science, Salem, Mass (both of whom are Museum of Zoology men); Prof. B. G. Wilder of Cornell University; Dr. W.K. Brooks, professor of Zoology at the Johns Hopkins University; and others. As regards my ability as a teacher I must refer you chiefly to those who have known me here: among them Prest. W.H. Scott of this institution; Ex Prest Edward Orton, now an professor of Geology; or any of my colleagues. Dr. T. C. Mendenhall, new president of the Rose School of Technology at Terre Haute, Indiana, and recently of the U.S. Signal Service was formerly my colleague and can speak of my work. As regards my ability to deal with the applications of Biology to Agriculture, I should be pleased to have you correspond with Prest. W. I. Chamberlain of Iowa Agricultural College (at Ames, Iowa) till recently and for several years secretary of the State Board of Agriculture of this state. 

            I should be glad to hear from you more specifically as regards the duties and limitations of the chair in question; to answer any enquiries that may occur to you, or to give you any information in my power: or should you desire it, to visit the University and confer with you in person. I remain, sir, 

Very respectfully Yours,         

Albert H. Tuttle


Albert H. Tuttle to Charles Scott Venable, May 22, 1888, Letters Concerning the Appointment of Albert H. Tuttle, accession number 12368, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.