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Benjamin Smith Barton: Naturalist and Physician in Jeffersonian America
Benjamin Smith Barton: Naturalist and Physician in Jeffersonian America

Our Price: $20.00
ISBN: 9781930723351


Description Author(s)/Illustrator(s)

Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815) was trained as a physician but is best known as the first professional naturalist in the United States. His interests were numerous and diverse, but he died before he had the opportunity to complete many of his planned projects. Even so, the list of his accomplishments is extensive. Barton authored the first textbook on botany written in the United States, Elements of Botany, as well as numerous other publications, including Collections for an Essay Towards a Materia Medica of the United States and New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America. From 1804 to 1809, he served as editor of the Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal, one of the oldest scientific publications of the United States. He instructed Meriwether Lewis in plant identification and collection to assist with the gathering of plant specimens during Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition (1804-1806). Barton’s wide-ranging interests were equaled by his voluminous correspondence to contemporaries including Thomas Jefferson, Alexander von Humboldt, and Thomas Pennant, which offers pivotal insights into the early natural sciences in the United States.

Benjamin Smith Barton: Naturalist and Physician in Jeffersonian America represents decades of research by the authors and collects a wealth of archival resources into one volume. It reveals the breadth of Barton’s interests, highlights his notable contribution to the nascent scientific community in the United States, and displays the remarkable diversity of organisms, extant and fossil, that passed through Barton’s hands as the American continent opened to exploration. The text is complemented by valuable supplemental resources, including genealogical information and charts, a bibliography of Barton’s writings, and separate indices of flora, fauna, and people discussed in the text.

This book was published by the Missouri Botanical Garden and would not have been possible without the additional resources and cooperation of the American Philosophical Society and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Publication Information
  • Publisher: Missouri Botanical Garden Press
    Publication Date: 2007
    ISBN: 9781930723351
    Format: Hardcover
    Pages: 1,127
    Illustrated: Yes