Albert Henry Tuttle

Albert Henry Tuttle was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, on November 19, 1844, the fourth child born to Henry Blakeslee Tuttle and Emeline Reed. The family moved to Cleveland around 1852, and Tuttle attended Cleveland High School and the Cleveland Institute.

Tuttle briefly worked as a teacher before enlisting in the Union army on August 15, 1864, for a 60-day term. Although he was only 19 years old, he told recruiters he was already 20. He mustered into the 8th Independent Battery of the Ohio National Guard and showed up for duty at Wade House Armory before marching to Camp Cleveland in Brooklyn, Ohio. His regiment was assigned to guard Confederate prisoners of war at Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie. He mustered out there on October 17, 1864.

After the war, Tuttle taught natural science for two terms at the State Normal College in Plattsville, Wisconsin. He graduated from Pennsylvania State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1870 and spent the next two years studying at Harvard under Louis Aggasiz and working as an instructor in microscopy. He taught zoology, geology, bacteriology, and comparative anatomy at Penn State in 1872 and at Ohio State from 1873 to 1888. Tuttle travelled to Europe in the fall of 1872, and he married Kate Austin Seeley in Paris, France, on August 7, 1873. They had three children together: William, born July 3, 1874; Clara, born December 19, 1875; and Anna, born May 19, 1877.

In 1888, Tuttle became the Miller Chair of Biology at the University of Virginia, a position he held until his retirement in 1913. He embodied the “reconciliationist” trend in American social and cultural life in the late 1800s. Reconciliationists sought to bury the hatchet in the decades after the Civil War, celebrating the duty and valor of both armies and exalting the restored nation that emerged from the conflict. The fact that Tuttle lived and thrived in Virginia for so long speaks to the degree to which many white Americans found common ground with their former enemies. As one colleague observed, “one does not feel that [Tuttle] is a ‘Yankee’ or ‘Westerner’ but a genuine old Virginian.” His personal papers, housed in UVA’s Special Collections Library, contain newspaper clippings extolling the virtues of Confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson.

By all accounts, Tuttle loved UVA, and he turned down an offer to become president of Ohio State in order to remain at the university. He retired in 1913 and moved to California, where he continued to represent UVA. He attended the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting held in Philadelphia in early January 1927. He applied for a pension on January 3 of that year, but he died three weeks later, on January 23, 1927, in Alameda County, California. He is buried with his family in Charlottesville at the University Cemetery.

Image: Albert Henry Tuttle (courtesy Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia).


Rosser D. Bohannon to Charles Scott Venable Regarding Albert H. Tuttle, May 18, 1888

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

Albert H. Tuttle Presents Paper at Scientists' Meeting, January 5, 1927

Name:Tuttle, Albert Henry
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
  • UVA (Union)
8th Independent Battery Ohio Nation Guard (Light Artillery, 60 days, 1864)
Branch of service:Army
Muster In1864-08-15Johnson's Island, OH
Enlistment1864-08-15Camp Cleveland Brooklyn, OHaccepted20
Muster Out1864-10-17Johnson's Island, OHMustered Out
Residence at UVA:Charlottesville, VA
UVA Begin Year:1888
UVA End Year:1913
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Private
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Tuttle, Albert HenryTuttle, Albert HenryC-2302718application-invalid
Tuttle, Albert Henrynoneapplication-minor
Tuttle, Albert Henrynoneapplication-parent
Tuttle, Albert Henrynoneapplication-widow
Birth date:1844-11-19
Birth date certainty:Certain
Birth place:Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Death date:1927-01-23
Death place:Alameda County, CA
Causes of death:
Occupations:Teacher, Professor
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Tuttle, Albert Henryparent ofTuttle, William Buckhout
Tuttle, Albert Henryparent ofTuttle, Clara Mary
Tuttle, Albert Henryparent ofTuttle, Anna Seeley
Tuttle, Katewife ofTuttle, Albert Henry

Compiled Service Record for Albert H. Tuttle, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; Pension records for Albert H. Tuttle, RG 15, NARA; Albert Tuttle Papers, 1864-1926, Accession #7327-a, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; R.D. Bohannon to Charles Scott Venable, May 18, 1888. Letters Concerning the Appointment of Albert H. Tuttle to the Chair of Biology and Agriculture at the University of Virginia, 1888, Accession # 12368, Special Collections, UVA; The News Leader (Staunton, VA), January 5, 1927; Oakland (CA) Tribune, January 25, 1927; Lyon Gardiner Tyler, ed. Men of Mark in Virginia: Ideals of American Life; A Collection of Biographies of the Leading Men in the State, Vol. 5 (Men of Mark Publishing Company, 1909), 430-431; University of Virginia Alumni News, Vol. 2 (Alumni Association of the University of Virginia, 1913), 5; Roger Pickenpaugh, Johnson’s Island: A Prison for Confederate Officers (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 2006), 30, 35-36, 45, 54, 92; Clayton Butler, "Albert H. Tuttle: UVA's Unionist Professor," January 16, 2019, Nau Center Website,