Joel Baily was born in East Marlborough, Chester County, Pennsylvania on February 1, 1791, the son of Quaker parents John Baily and Sarah Taylor, and a descendant of Joel Baily, who arrived in America in 1681 and settled in the Chester County area in 1682. He was a volunteer in the War of 1812, although certainly in a non-combat capacity considering his religion.
Basily had a strong inclination to natural science, and made a careful study of the botanicals in the neighborhood of his family's farm. He also made a collection of the minerals to be found in Chester County, and in so doing created the first mineral collection in that county which later spawned so many others (including those of William W. Jefferis, Charles Pennypacker and John B. Brinton , q.v.), and one of the first significant self-collected regional mineral collections in the country. He was the intimate friend of Dr. William Darlington, Joshua Hooper and Humphrey Marshall, who were his neighbors and distinguished botanists. Many mineralogists visited him, and he was always willing to share his knowledge of localities and his duplicate specimens. He never married.
When Baily died on July 9, 1862, his mineral collection and books passed to his nephew, Joel Scarlett (1828-1894); following Scarlett's death the collection was donated to Swarthmore College..
PENNYPACKER, C.H. (1894) Joel Baily. The Mineral Collector, 1 (2), 29.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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