Seaman Knapp was born December 16, 1833, in Essex County, New York, and attended Poultney Academy and Union College, from which he graduated in 1856. He taught at Fort Edward Institute and later founded the Ripley
Female College in Poultney, Vermont (1863). In 1866, he moved to Iowa to farm. In 1879, Knapp was appointed Professor of Practical and Experimental Agriculture at Iowa State Agriculture College and held that post until
18885, when he moved to Louisiana. There he became active in rice farming and served as the first president of the Rice Growers' Association. In 1897, he began working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, taking
charge of the demonstration farms in the South, and was active in the formation of the Agriculture Extension Service. Knapp married Maria Hotchkiss in 18856, and they had three sons and two daughters. One son,
Bradford Knapp, served as president of Texas Technological College from 1932 to 1938. Seaman Knapp died on April 1, 1911.
The Handbook of Texas has published a more in-depth online biography of Seaman A. Knapp at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/KK/fkn2.html.
Scope and Contents
The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal materials, charts, maps and graphs, printed material, news clippings, literary productions and scrapbooks pertaining to Seaman A. Knapp. It bulks (1892-1912)
with correspondence, including letters from William Howard Taft and Booker T. Washington, as well as printed material and literary productions concerning early 20th century agriculture. 21 prints and 6 negatives
were transferred to photographs.