Joseph Priestly

Joseph Priestly was an English chemist and a natural philosopher. He was born in Fieldhead, England on March 13, 1733 and died on February 6, 1804. He was the oldest of six children (three brothers and two sisters). His mother was a farmer's daughter and his father was dresser and finisher of cloth. With his mother being so young and having children so quickly, Joseph was sent to live on his grandfather's farm. After his mother's death he moved back in with his father, however, he was later adopted by hi Aunt Sarah (his father's sister) when he was nine. His aunt's house is where he was exposed to discussions of theological questioning for many of the ministers in the neighborhood were welcome there. Joseph lived with his aunt until she died in 1764. Joseph spoke many languages. At a young age he learned Latin and Greek in school and on holidays he was taught Hebrew. In his mid teens he came down with tuberculosis of the lungs, while he was recovering from his illness, he tau!
ght himself French, Italian, and German. He also learned how to speak Chaldean, Arabic, and Syrian. Privately he learned the rudiments of algebra and geometry.
Throughout his childhood, Joseph wanted to be a minister. He attended the Academy of Daventry where he learned the traditional subjects as well as natural and experimental philosophy. This was where his interest in natural phenomena and experimentation were encouraged. He preached at Nantwich in Cheshire where the congregation was more accepting of his unorthodox theology. He later became a school teacher and private tutor. He was also a minister in Leeds and Birmingham. His views on the French Revolution caused his home and chapel to get burnt down. Because of this he moved to Pennsylvania three years after.
Joseph Priestly's scientific works covered chemistry, physics, electricity, magnetism, and optics. His chemical studies included "fixed air" (carbon dioxide)…

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