Isaac Newton

Title

Isaac Newton

Description

Pennsylvania farmer and dairyman, Isaac Newton served as the first United States Commissioner of Agriculture. Under Newton, the agency focused on research and education, disseminating information to farmers throughout the nation. Newton advocated for daily weather reports being telegraphed nationwide, created an experimental farm on the National Mall, and contributed to the National Botanical Garden's specimen collections.

Creator

Source

National Archives at College Park. View original image.

Coverage

First Name

Isaac

Last Name

Newton

Birth Date

03/31/1800

Birthplace

New Jersey

Death Date

06/19/1867

Occupation

Biographical Text

Isaac Newton was a successful farmer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. From his dairy farms, he sold ice cream to Philadelphia and butter to Washington, DC. As a member of the USĀ Agricultural Society, he lobbied vigorously for the establishment of a federal department.

In 1862, President Lincoln created the USĀ Department of Agriculture and appointed Newton to be the first commissioner. Newton wanted the Department to be a scientific institution, serving the needs of American agriculture by educating farmers and conducting research. Under his leadership, the Department hired a number of accomplished scientists.

In addition to directing projects like the fields on the Mall and the creation of a library, Newton took an active hand. He is said to have worked in the fields one summer to help protect the crops from a sudden thunderstorm. Sadly, Newton died before the first building for the Department of Agriculture was completed, but his vision for the Department lived on.

Description

Pennsylvania farmer and dairyman, Isaac Newton served as the first United States Commissioner of Agriculture. Under Newton, the agency focused on research and education, disseminating information to farmers throughout the nation. Newton advocated for daily weather reports being telegraphed nationwide, created an experimental farm on the National Mall, and contributed to the National Botanical Garden's specimen collections.

Creator

Isaac Newton

Birth Date

03/31/1800

Death Date

06/19/1867

Coverage

1860-1889

Source

National Archives at College Park. View original image.