Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PARSONS, Henry Belts, chemist, born in Sivas, Asia Minor, 20 November, 1855; died in Tucson, Ariz., 21 August, 1885. He was graduated at the school of pharmacy of the University of Michigan in 1876, and for two years had charge of the pharmaceutical laboratories "there, also delivering lectures. In 1878 he became special assistant in the chemical division of the department of agriculture in Washington, and was professor of materia medica and botany in the National college of pharmacy. These appointments he resigned in 1881 to accept the post of chemist-in-chief of a large drug firm in New York city, whose laboratory was built and equipped under his supervision. Failing health led to his resignation from this place in 1884, and he was then editor of the "Druggist's Circular" until his death. He was a trustee of the New York college of pharmacy, and a member of the committee of revision in 1880 of the " United States Pharmacopoeia." His published papers are numerous, and include analyses of various plants, reports on sorghum, with thousands of analyses, exhaustive communications on berberina, opium, quinine, nitrous ether, the oleates, and similar topics. His "Method for the Proximate Analysis of Plants" was published in the chief chemical journals of the world, and universally adopted, appearing in all the text-books on the subject.
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