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Ebenezer Seymour
(1801-1879)

Rev. Ebenezer Seymour was a clergyman, teacher, school principal and mineral dealer with offices in New York City, and a home in Bloomfield, New Jersey. According to the New York City Directory for 1869, he dealt in “Minerals, Shells, Fossils, etc.” Seymour was born September 15, 1801, in Stillwater, New York, the son of William Seymour and Sarah Patrick, and was christened in the First Congregational Church of Stillwater. He married Mary Hoe (1805-1880) in 1831, studied for the clergy, and began his ministry in Albion, New York, then served as Pastor of the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church from 1834 to 1847. Health problems developed, forcing his retirement, and his parishoners then sent him to Europe for treatment.

Shaw's History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey (1884) states that the “Bloomfield Institute” (referred to as the “Select School” on the 1850 census) was established by the Rev. Ebenezer Seymour after his retirement from the pastorate of the church. It was opened in 1847, and for thirteen years was a successful school. It had at one time two departments, one for young men and one for young ladies, and attracted students from abroad. Rev. Seymour was said to be “sunny in disposition, genial in manners and unfailing in kindness of heart. [He was] fond of music, [and] an enthusiast in natural science.” Passenger records show that Seymour took a trip to England in 1856, returning to New York on September 29 aboard the Baltic out of Liverpool. Perhaps this trip further stimulated his interest in mineralogy, and helped to establish contacts with European dealers. After his school closed in 1860, “he established a Mineralogical Exchange in New York, and was widely known among the mineralogists of this country as well as in Europe.” His first shop was at 52 Beekman Street; from 1877 until his death he advertised in The Naturalist's Directory as the "New York Mineral Agency" at 14 Bond Street.

The Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) College mineral cabinet was said to have grown considerably in 1866, when a highly regarded mineralogical collection was purchased from E. Seymour of New York for $2,500, a significant expenditure at the time. The Seymour specimens and other acquisitions led to a glowing report in the 1882 Alumni Association history of the College: "At present, the Mineralogical Cabinet is in every way excellent, and admirably adapted to the purposes of instruction. Few colleges possess a better one."

On the 1870 census Seymour still referred to himself as a “mineral agent.” He died June 21, 1879, at the age of 77. All of his stock and assembled collections were taken over by the Philadelphia mineral dealer A.E. Foote, who operated Seymour's shop in 1880 as a "branch depot of A.E. Foote's establishment" until the close-out half-price sale had been completed.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Ebenezer Seymour Ad from The Naturalist's Directory (1877) for Ebenezer Seymour's "New York Mineral Agency"
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The Mineralogical Record - Ebenezer Seymour 49 x 74 mm
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