Charles Upham Shepard, an American physicist, born at Little Compton, E. I., June 29, 1804. He graduated at Amherst college in 1824, taught botany and mineralogy in Boston, was for two years assistant in the laboratory of Prof. Silliman at Yale college, and took charge for one year of an institution opened in New Haven by James Brewster for popular lectures on science. In the winter of 1832-'3 Mr. Shepard, under a commission from the United States government, investigated the culture of the sugar cane and the manufacture of sugar in the southern states, and incorporated the results of his observations in Prof. Silliman's report to the secretary of the treasury in 1833. He had previously been appointed lecturer on natural history in Yale college, a post which he held till 1847. From 1834 to 1861 he was professor of chemistry in the Charleston medical college, S. C. In 1835 he was appointed associate of Dr. Percival in the state geological survey of Connecticut. In 1845 he was chosen professor of chemistry and natural history in Amherst college, where he is now (1875) professor of natural history.
His collection of minerals and meteorites, now deposited in Amherst college, is the finest in the United States, and surpassed in Europe only by those of the British museum and the imperial cabinet of Vienna. He has published "Treatise on Mineralogy" (1832; 3d ed., enlarged, 1855), a report on the geology of Connecticut (1837), and numerous scientific papers.