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quoted by the younger Michaux. Charlevoix's History of New France, published in 1745, may be mentioned, too, as affording a few curious details, with not inaccurate engravings, of nearly a hundred plants of Canada and Louisiana. But these books, like Josselyn's Rarities of New England, are all too superficial, in the nature of their information, to admit of much application to the ends of modern botany.
Previously, then, to the revolution effected in natural science by Linnæus and the subsequent zeal displayed by philosophers in exploring different countries for the purpose of making scientific discoveries, the only valuable work on the botany of this country is Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama islands. And it is observable that, as the meridional parts of America, in consequence of the mildness of their climate and the superior richness of their productions of every kind, were the first to be settled by Europeans, so the natural history of those tracts of the new world was quite familiar to philosophers much earlier than that of the more northerly sections of the continent. Hence we find the bulky folios of Piso on the natural history of Brazil, of Plumier and Sloane on the Islands, and of Hernandez on Mexico, to have appeared, when extremely little was known of the same subjects in the rest of America. Hence also the first important work, which departs from the limits of tropical America, namely, Catesby's History, does but just step out of those limits into the nearest regions of the now United States. Its author, Mark Catesby, an English naturalist of some credit, had spent seven years in Virginia, from 1712 to 1719, chiefly employed in the study of its natural history; and at the expiration of that period returning to England, he was prevailed upon, at the suggestion of his patron, Dr Sherard, and with the assistance of the earl of Macclesfield, sir Hans Sloane, and other philosophers of the time, to undertake another voyage to America, with the express design of collecting, describing, and delineating its most remarkable natural productions. The fruit of his voyage was the Natural History of Carolina. It first appeared in numbers between 1730 and 1748, with splendid colored plates etched by himself from his own drawings and painted under his immediate inspection; a second edition was published in 1754, and a third in 1771, of which both, and especially the last, are much inferior to the original impression. The work contains brief descriptions, in
French and English, of the birds, beasts, fishes, insects, and plants indigenous to the regions comprehended in its plan; and, beside its being more complete than any thing which had gone before it, the elegance of its figures gave it high celebrity at the time of its publication, and still retains for it no little reputation. But two unpardonable faults, both attributable to the age in which it was compiled, detract from the botanical value of Catesby's Natural History. The first defect, to which we allude, is the total absence of a convenient classification; and the second, which is a consequence of the first, is the neglect, both in the drawings and descriptions, to notice the minuter parts of the fructification and inflorescence, which the discoveries of Linnæus have elevated into such indispensable importance in every work on systematic botany. Catesby's Herbarium is now deposited in the British Museum.
The next book relating to our plants is of less pretension than Catesby's History, but of far more value as a scientific work, namely, the Flora Virginica, the joint production of Clayton and Gronovius, assisted by Linnæus himself, who was in Holland at the time it was written. John Clayton emigrated from England to America in the year 1705, and resided here till his death in 1771, filling, for upwards of half a century, the office of clerk of Gloucester county in Virginia. During a long life of eighty-eight years he assiduously cultivated the science of botany, in which he attained high rank through his communications with the learned men of Europe. In addition to these extensive communications which he made, he was engaged in preparing for publication a large botanical work, which at his death he left behind him ready for the press, but which is now unhappily lost, having been consumed, together with the building in which it was deposited, in the early part of the revolutionary war. Among the correspondents of Clayton was John Frederic Gronovius, a distinguished naturalist of Leyden, to whom Clayton was in the habit of sending dried specimens of plants with copious and accurate descriptions. Of these materials Gronovius composed the Flora Virginica, first printed at Leyden in 1739, with a supplement in 1743, and afterwards consolidated into a single volume in 1762 under the superintendance of Laurence, the son of John Gronovius. Clayton's Herbarium, at the decease of the younger Gronovius, was purchased by sir Joseph Banks, in whose possession it was used by Pursh in the
compilation of his Flora. The appearance of the Flora Virginica is to be looked upon as an era in the history of our botany, since it is the oldest accurate systematic work on the subject. The classification of Linnæus, although it had yet made little progress in Europe, was now rapidly rising into notoriety in the north; and the adoption of it in the Flora Virginica, with all its advantages of precision, perspicuity, definiteness and elegance, imparted to this work a value, which it cannot lose until the sexual system ceases to be studied. In 1812 the elder Barton designed and commenced a new edition of the Flora Virginica, which, however, his numerous occupations never permitted him to accomplish.
Here, rather than in any other place, should be noticed the labors of Linnæus in illustrating the botany of this country; but he is so completely an element and an essential portion of the whole science of botany itself, that, although he was in no small degree attentive to our plants, we shall content ourselves with indicating the sources from which he derived his information concerning the botany of the United States. Next to Clayton, whose Flora Virginica was the basis of Linnæus' account of our plants, his most useful correspondent was the celebrated John Bartram, esteemed by Linnæus the best practical botanist of the age in which he lived. Bartram was a native of Pennsylvania, where he resided until his death in 1777, in his seventy-sixth year, attaining, like his contemporary Clayton, a vigorous old age in the diligent cultivation of natural science, the fruits of which he was in the practice of communicating to the learned in Europe, above all to Linnæus. .* Another valued friend of Linnæus was the respectable historian of the Five Nations, Cadwallader Colden, who sent his correspondent an enumeration of several hundred American plants in a paper published among the Acta Societatis Upsaliensis. A fourth American correspondent of Linnæus was Dr Adam Kuhn, who went to study under the great reformer of natural science himself at Upsal, and after his return became the first public teacher of botany in our country, being appointed professor of that branch of natural history in what is now the university of Pennsylvania. Finally, by the recommendation of Linnæus, professor Kalm, of Abo, made a
• The sons of Bartram inherited his taste for the study of natural history. One of them, William, is well known by his travels in Carolina, Georgia, and the Floridas.
New Series, No. 7.
voyage to America between the years 1748 and 1751, for the purpose of collecting specimens and studying natural history, of which voyage he afterwards published an account in a respectable book of Travels. He procured Linnæus many plants, all of which, marked with the letter K, belong to the Linnæan Herbarium, now in the hands of sir James Edward Smith. By these means, and the correspondence of other naturalists in America, Linnæus became master of nearly a thousand species of our plants, which enter largely into the composition of the Systema Vegetabilium. And the attention excited by the writings of Linnæus, together with the compartive fulness of those writings in botanical collections, may have been the cause of the chasm, that occurs in the history of our botany for more than twenty years after the second edition of Gronovius and Clayton's Flora Virginica. Perhaps also the revolutionary war, which deprived us of the treasure which Clayton had spent his life in compiling, may have impeded the investigations of foreign botanists in this country, until after the time when our independence was acknowledged.
The first fruits of the peace, however, were a native production, namely, an Account of the Vegetables indigenous to this Part of America, published in 1785 in the Memoirs of the American Academy, by the venerable Dr Cutler. Considering the time when this paper was drawn up and the little attention which had then been paid to botany in New England, it was certainly, notwithstanding its want of completeness and accuracy, a meritorious production, from its bringing into notice several valuable plants, whose properties were very imperfectly understood previously to its appearance.
In 1781 a small German book had been printed at Gættingen, entitled a Description of some Species of North American Trees and Shrubs; and in 1787 the work was republished in a much improved and enlarged form, with accurate, but coarse
• This remark applies to Cutler's account of the Iris versicolor, Hamamelis Virginica, the genus Rhus, Phytolacca decandra, and more especially Ictodes fœtidus, which, although Catesby had taken it for an Arum, Cutler pronounced to be a new genus, and possessed of great virtue as a remedy for asthmatic complaints. This last vegetable has experienced rather a singular fortune, having been first referred to Arum, then by Linnæus transferred to Dracontium, to Pothos by Michaux, to Symplocarpus by Salisbury, and finally established as the genus Ietodes by Bige. low and Cutler. Dr Cutler is likewise advantageously known by his account of the Lobelia inflata given in evidence at the trial of the notorious Thompson. See Massachusetts Term Reports, vol. vi, p. 134.
engravings, under the name of Contribution to German Scientific Forestry, treating the Culture of the North American trees, with application to German forests.' Frederic A. J. von Wangenheim, the author of this rare book, servved in America, during the revolutionary war, as captain of a troop in the Hessian cavalry, and was afterwards employed as an upper forester in Prussia. Sprengel says he acquired great credit for his exact knowledge and cultivation of the trees of North America.
A small treatise on our forest trees was also published at Philadelphia in 1785, by Humphrey Marshall, under the title of Arbustum Americanum. Its author was long known as a scientific horticulturist, whose garden is said by Pursh to have contained a valuable collection of trees and shrubs in 1801, but to have declined a few years afterwards on the death of Marshall. The Arbustum Americanum was so much esteemed as to be translated into French, and reprinted at Paris soon after it first appeared; but neither that, nor Wangenheim, nor another German work, on the forest-trees cultivated in a celebrated garden at Harbke in the dutchy of Brunswic, published in 1771, by John Philip Duroi, and sometimes referred to on the subject of our botany, can be supposed to afford much information, which is not contained in the more recent and complete works of the Michaux.
Next after these appeared the Flora Caroliniana. Of its author, Thomas Walter, we have never happened to meet with any notice in print; but in his preface he informs us that all his specimens were collected within an area of two hundred miles in circumference, which, from the date of the preface, would seem to have been on the banks of the river Santee in South Carolina. His work was printed at London in 1788, in Latin, containing the essential characters and specific descriptions of more than a thousand plants, arranged according to the principles of the sexual system. It is valuable as containing a large number of species, and nearly thirty genera, then for the first time described; but as it merely gives the botanical differences, without any allusion to the habit, soil, or other circumstances connected with the plants, it is now superseded by later publications; although few authorities are more frequently quoted or more relied upon than the name of Walter. Pursh says, that he saw Walter's Herbarium in the possession of the family of John Fraser, who introduced so