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Charles H.  Denison
(1824-1902)

Charles H. Denison was born in Connecticut on March 14, 1824, the son of Fanny Allen and Beebe Denison. He and his wife Mary Ann Cottrell (married 1848 in Stonington, Connecticut) lived in Westerly, Rhode Island, where Charles worked as a "merchant." In 1860 Charles and his wife were still in Westerly, where he still worked as a "merchant." The 1870 census shows him living in Stonington, Connecticut and working as an "insurance agent." Denison then moved to California later in 1870. The 1880 Census for Oakland, California shows Charles H. Denison from Rhode Island, with his wife Mary A., working as a fire insurance agent.

The famous paleontologist O.C. Marsh wrote in the American Journal of Science that, during a visit of the Yale College Scientific Party to California in October 1870, they were taken to an exposure of fossil tree truinks, the existence of which "was first made public by Charles H. Denison, Esq., of San Francisco, who visited the spot in July last and, soon after, gave a short account of the discovery in the San Francisco Bulletin."

Because Denison had lived for years in Westerly, Rhode Island (although he had later moved to San Francisco) he was elected a "corresponding member" of the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1882. In the International Scientist's Directory for 1883 he is listed as a mineralogist and botanist in San Francisco. In 1876, at the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Association of California in San Francisco, he read a poem about Rhode Island. Dennison was also a member of the San Francisco Microscopical Society; at the seventh annual reception of the Society in 1880, the members of the Society exhibited various subjects under microscopes on tables arranged about the room. Dennison showed microcrystals of zircon, gold and azurite, while his friend G. L. Murdock showed crystals of gold and cinnabar. In May of 1884 he traveled to New York where he presented a paper before the New York Microscopical Society on the gold sands of California. In 1890 he was elected Vice-President-General of the Sons of the American Revolution for Maine.

References:
Biographical Review, v. 26, Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of New London County, Connecticut (1898), Boston, p. 429-430.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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