Rouelle, Jean

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(b. probably Douzy [Ardennes], France, 1751 or 1753; d. unknown) chemistry, natural history.

Nephew of the two Rouelle brothers, Jean was probably the same nephew described by contemporaries as laboratory assistant to Guillaume-Franrçois at the Jardin du Roi. He was a physician and in 1775 succeeded Hilaire-Marin as apothecary to the Duc d’Orléans. He sailed in 1788 to the United States, having been named to a ten-year post as mineralogist in chief and professor and demonstrator of natural history, chemistry, and botany at the new Académie des Sciences et Beaux-Arts des États-Unis (Richmond, Virginia). The Academy, established by A.-M. Quesnay de Beaurepaire, soon foundered, but Rouelle fulfilled part of his contract by forming a collection of animals, plants, and minerals which he brought back to France in 1798. He then taught chemistry at the École Centrale in Charleville (Ardennes). He was a member of the American Philosophical Society (20 January 1792).


John [sic] Rouelle, A Complete Treatise on the Mineral Waters of Virginia (Philadelphia, 1792); MS “Observations sur les cultures coloniales et en particulier sur celle de la canne a sucre …,” Bibliothèque Centrale, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, MS 1981, I, no. 2505, Archives Nationales, Paris, AJ15 551; H. E. Sigerist, “Rise and Fall of the American Spa,” in Ciba Symposia, 8 (1946), 313–326; H. M., “L’Enseignement à l’école centrale de Charleville,” in études ardennaises, no. 14 (July, 1958), pp. 21–23.

Rhoda Rappaport