These papers include lectures and notes on chemistry, ethnology, and natural history, especially botany; a sketch of the geology of Arkansas; and various lists of specimens.
Edward R. Foreman (1808-1885) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. After twelve years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed Assistant
in the Smithsonian Institution in 1848. Foreman's duties with the Smithsonian included the organization of the meteorological reporting system initiated by Secretary Joseph
Henry and the arrangement of scientific lectures. During his years at the Smithsonian, Foreman also served as Professor of Chemistry in the National Medical College. In 1852,
he accepted the position of chief examiner in the Patent Office, a position he retained until 1860. Foreman returned to the Smithsonian in 1874 as a collaborator in Ethnology
in the United States National Museum.