1530s -- explorer Jacques Cartier detailed many of the natural products of the New World

1585 -- Sir Walter Raleigh establishes Roanoke; he took with him Thomas Hariot, who in 1588 published an account of Virginia in which he commented on many exotic plants and animals.

1590s -- In Paris, Jean Robin and his nephew, Vespasien, grew and described several species of plants from Canada and New England.

before 1596 -- John Gerard organized a garden on the Strand in London, another in Hertforsdhire, and maintained his own in Holborn; Robin and Gerard exchanged plants

Near what is now Quebec, French explorer Samuel Champlain established a botanical garden. He sent specimens to the Robins in Paris.

under English King James I

In the early 17th century in London there were a number of gardens: John Parkinson's at Long Acre, Ralph Tuggy's, John Gerard's at Holborn, and toward Whitehall that of Edward Morgan, who specialized in the primula family.

1607 -- the founding of Jamestown, VA.

1609 - - John Tradescant the elder (b. 1570) the elder gave money so that in 1609 Captain Samuel Angall could find the best route to Virginia.

Tradescant was of yeoman stock. Despite this, he became the greatest gardener of his day. He introduced to Britain the greatest number of new, strange and exotic trees. He brought over the tulip. He established a garden of his own at South Lambeth near Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

1609 -- Tradescant started his real career with Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, at the new Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

1611 - - John Tradescant sets off on a shopping expedition on behalf of Robert Cecil.

On one of his shopping trips he met and became a lifelong friend of Jean Robin (Royal Herbalist to Henry IV and Louis XIII). He also did the same with Rene Morin, who was to become one of the greatest French nurserymen of his day and a famous collector of natural history objects.

1614 - - John Tradescant leaves Cecil's employment and turns to farming as a sideline. We next hear of him working as a gardener with Sir Edward Wotton at St. Augustine's Palace in Canterbury.

1615 - - Galileo Galilei faces the Inquisition for the first time.

1616 - - The botanists were active in gathering North American plants from the very founding of the New World colonies. The Gardeners' Company of London was among the City companies which contributed to the founding of Virginia. And in 1616 Tradescant agreed to be a shareholder in a plan for a Virginia plantation led by Captain Samuel Argall. Author Mea Allan believes that John Tradescant the younger went along on the trip and sent plants back. One plant sent back was Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana).

He was a subscriber to the Virginia Company.


1620 - Caspar in his Prodomus theatri botanici described the plants grown in Europe from seeds gathered by Champlain as well as some found by the English

1623 -- Caspar's Pinax theatri botanici accounts for about 6,000 plant species. This was the standard work for the next 130 years until challenged by Linnaeus.

1621 - - John Tradescant joins the service of the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers.

1621 - - founding of the first botanic garden in Britain by Lord Henry Danvers, the Earl of Danby, at Oxford seventy-six years after the first continental garden; probably inspired by Tradescant's garden of exotic plants in South Lambeth.


1623 - - Vespasien's catalog includes some new exotics from the New World.

1624 - - Dutch settle in New Amsterdam.

1625 - - King James I of England dies; John Parkinson had been his Royal Apothecary

1625-1649 - - Charles I of England.

1626 - - Guy de la Brosse, physician to Louis XIII, extracts an edict from the government for the planting of a state Physic Garden. Delay of about 9 years before he gets another edict to start building and planting.

1628 - - Duke of Buckingham assassinated. Tradescant retires to cultivate his own garden at Lambeth for the next two years.

1629 - - Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris by John Parkinson gives a full 1,000 species. This is the first modern gardening book. Emphasizes as never before admiring flowers for beauty rather than cultivated only for their use in medicine. Parkinson was born in 1567, probably in Notthinghamshire. Founded a garden in Long Acre close by Covent Garden. John Tradescant, with his own plantation at Lambeth, probably visited the garden.

1630's -- nearly a hundred different North American trees were in cultivation in European gardens

1630 - - appointment of John Tradescant to be Keeper of His Majesty's Gardens, Vines and Silkworms, at Oatlands, near Weybridge. It was later destroyed by Cromwell.

1633 - - Oxford botanic gardens. The wall and gate finished.

1634 - - the great tulip madness sweeps Holland. Lasts for about three years to 1637. It left a trail of bankruptcy, ruined speculators, general disillusionment, and a government unable to control the financial repercussions.

1634 -- John Tradescant names 40 North American plants in his garden-list of 1634. Tradescant is credited with being the first to grow the Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Aquilegia canadensis, Aster tradescantii, Rudbeckia laciniata, Tradescantia virginica, and, possibly Robinia pseudo-acacia. Lemmon (1968:5) says that they brought back the first lilac, gladioli, lupins, the pomegranate, the hypericum and many crocuses.

1635 - - Jardin des Plantes in Paris founded. This started as the Jardin Royal des Plantes Medicinales (or Jardin du Roi) with Vespasian Robin as the head gardener. (Open to the public in 1640, the Jardin du Roi became a botanical garden in 1693.) Vespasian Robin was Robert Morison's mentor in horticulture and the son of the great Jean Robin, whose Ile Notre-Dame garden supplied the new royal garden with some of its first plants.

1635 - - Jacques Cornut publishes Canadensium plantarum historia. It was the first work specially dealing with North American plants. Cornut was a physician in Paris and described species growing in Parisian gardens. French explorers in Canada seem to have brought plants back to the Jardin du Roi.

1637 - - death of John Tradescant 1637. The Tradescants, before elder John's death, had been importing plants from Virginia. John Tradescant's son made three visits: 1637, 1642 and 1654. He settled around the area of Yorktown and Belfield, Virginia. "There is scarcely one garden in all Virginia that has not many of John Tradescant's trees and plants growing in it." The two Tradescants were responsible for what amounts to a monopoly of plant introductions into England. They brought back more than 90 new plants.

1638 - - the younger John Tradescant takes his father's gardening position at Oatlands

1640 - - Theatrum Botanicum, by John Parkinson, describes over three thousand plants

1642-1649 - - beginning of English Civil War against Charles I

1648 - - Robert Morison takes a medical degree at Angers. His master in botany was the King's Botanist, Vespasian Robin, a great gardener.

1649 - - Charles I beheaded

1650-60 - - Cromwell takes over in England

1650 - - John Parkinson dies. The genus Parkinsonia, two species of trees from tropical America, is today named after him.

1654 - - last Tradescant trip in America. Lemmon (1968:5-6) says his introductions included the michaelmas daily (Aster tradescantia), monarda (Monarda fistulosa), Rhus cotinus, the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), the American walnut, the grave vine, Vitus vulpina and V. labrusca, the red maple, the deciduous cypress (Taxodium distichum), the acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia)the daffodil called plenissimus and the spiderworts (Tradescantia) named after this great family of early plant hunters.

1656 - - John Tradescant. A further 30 or 40 American species appear in the catalog of garden-plant incorporated in the Musaeum Tradescantianum. They included the red maple, the tulip tree, the swamp cypress and the occidental plane; the vines Vitis labrusca and V. vulpina; Adiantum pedatum, Anaphallis margaritacea, Lonicera sempervirens, Smilacina racemosa and Yucca filamentosa.


1660-1706 -- The British pastor and naturalist John Ray (1627-1705) was the founder of taxonomy as an independent branch of biology. He was an enthusiastic amateur botanist. He distinguished plants with and without flower and monocots from dicots. In botany he built a system based on the structure and appearance of fruits, flowers, leaves and other organs, thus forming a natural system. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort had a system based on the structure of the corolla alone. This was very popular. But it was an artificial system. But he made a big contribution with his definition of the concept of genus. He was the immediate predecessor of Linnaeus.

1660 - - Parliament invites Charles II to return to England.

1660-1685 - - Charles II of England.

1660 - - Dr. Robert Morison came to England at the bequest of Charles II as King's Physician and Keeper of the Royal Garden at Oxford. Morison had fought on the royalist side in the Civil War and had been obliged to take refuge in Paris. While in France Morison had obtained the post of curator of the Duc d'Orleans' garden at Blois, the garden which inspired Sibbald to found the first Edinburgh Botanic garden.

1665 - - Uppsala botanic garden.

1669 - - Morison published Praeludia Botanica. Later he was a severe critic of Ray's system of classification and author of a better one sketched in his Dialogus.

1670 - - Edinburgh botanic gardens

1672 -- John Josselyn visited New England in 1638-1639 and lived there from 1663 until 1671. In 1672 he published the book New Englands' Rarities Discovered. His was the first work to describe New England plants. He estimated at least a thousand new species were awaiting discovery.

1673 - - founding of the Chelsea Physic Garden by the Society of Apothecaries of London when they leased land from Charles Cheyne. Not much was made of it until Sir Hans Sloane bought the whole manor of Chelsea from Cheyne and gave the land of their garden to the Apothecaries.

1674 -- John Josseyln's Account of Two Voyages to New England. Emphasized the importance to farming of many New England plants.

1678 - - The Reverend John Banister (1650-1692). One of the earliest of a long line of clerical and missionary plant hunters. He was sent to Virginia by the then Bishop of London, Henry Compton, whose gardens were and still are at Fulham Palace, London. Banister arrived at Charles Court County, Virginia in 1678 with a brief. Among his introductions are: Magnolia virginianaPurple Coneflower Echinacea purpureaVirginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) Lemmon (1968:8) says his introuctions included Crataegus coccinea, Cornus sericea, Baccharis halimifolia, Laurus benzoin, Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia glauca, M. longifolia, Negundo fraxinifolium, Spiraea opalifolia, Rhus copallina, Aralia spinosa, Menispermum canadense, Quercus coccinea, Ostyra virginica, Abies balsamifera, Gleditschia triacanthos, Abies alba, and Abies nigra.

1682 - - London Doctor Nehemiah Grew, on purely theoretical grounds, assumed sexual reproduction in plants.

1682 - - Amsterdam botanic gardens

1685 - - Charles II dies

1685-88 - - brother James II of England

1687 - 1772 North American Trees and Shrubs Period of Plant Collecting

1688 - - Glorious Revolution

1688-1702 - - William and Mary of England

1688 - - Within two years John Banister sent John Ray a 'Catalogue of Plants observed by me in Virginia', which was published in Ray's Historia PlantarumVol. II (1688). He was responsible for writing the first printed account of American flora (1688). He died early before he could write a natural history of Virginia. He died while on an excursion, either falling from the rock or being accidentally shot by one of his companions. His introductions included Magnolia virginiana, Rhododendron viscosum, Echinacea purpurea, Mertensia virginica and possibly Dodecatheon meadia, though this has also been attributed to Tradescant and to Catesby.

1692 - - John Banister dead. He was accidentally shot and fell from a rock on one of his Virginian explorations and died. He died before he published. His works have been compiled by Joseph and Nesta Ewan in John Banister and His Natural History of Virginia 1678-1692 University of Illinois Press (1970). In 1685 or 1686 he described the Walking Fern.

"In September last we occasionally took a journey towards, I might have said to the mountains, had not the Indians which were our guides been afraid as they pretended but I am apt to think it was policy not fear retarded them, and that they were unwilling to let us be acquainted with the recesses so far up in the country. ....our small path brought us to a vast rock...overspread with a swift fall of water... A little lower down this rivulet is received into a natural basin and from thence conveyed into a small vault of craggy rocks, where with its fall it makes a dead hollow sound, something like that of a kettle-drum, but more like an Indian one, which is a skin stretched over an earthen pot half full of water. ... where among other Capillaries grows this small but rare kind of Harts Tongue (Walking Fern, Camptosorus rhizophyllus). This plant grows erect as other of the like kind till nature calls it down to propagate; and when its offsets are strong enough to draw in their own alignment it leaves them and grows up as before."

1692 -- member of the Temple Coffe House Botany Club in London, Leonard Plukenet, published Phytographia in which he described many of Banister's specimens.

1694 - - De sexu plantarum epistola (Letter concerning the Sex of Plants) founded the teaching of the sexuality of plants. For the experimental proof we are indebted to Camerarius. He separated those flowers with only stamens from others with only pistils.

1694 - - A sect of German Pietists (led by Kelpius) established on the lower Wissahickon a garden where medicinal plants were raised for use and study. This is the first garden in America where a botanical arrangement of plants was made.

1696 -- Englishman Hugh Jones arrives in Maryland; sent as replacement for Banister; collected plants. Not too successful, so William Vernon sent over to Maryland. A third botanists sent to Maryland was David Krieg. All together they collected more than 650 plants from Maryland.

1698 -- James Petiver publishes book on Maryland's plants

1700 -- Plukenet publishes about Maryland's plants

1700 - - French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) went to the Levant. He was Professor of Botany at the Jardin du Roi. His pupils in Paris included Sir Hans Sloane and William Sherard, the benefactor of the Botany School at Oxford.

1702 - - William III of England dead

1702-1714 - - Queen Anne

1702 - - German doctor Johann Heinrich Burkhard at Wolfenbuttel proposed that the number and arrangement of the stamens and the pistils be used as the basis of an artificial system of plants. Linnaeus did not know about Burkhard's ideas.

1704 -- John Ray publishes on Maryland's plants

1705 - - John Ray dead



1707 - - Carolus Linnaeus born in Rashut in Smaland

1712 --- Mark Catesby (1682-1749) was the first professional full-time collector whose movements in America are reasonably well known. John Ray inspired him. His father died when he was 23 and he went to Virginia to be with his elder sister Elizabeth and her husband R. William Cocke. He reached Williamsburg on April 23, 1712. Became acquainted with Col. William Byrd, also a keen amateur naturalist. Sent seeds to Bishop Compton, who had sent John Banister out. Also sent seed to Ray's friend, the botanist Samuel Dale.

1713 - - seeds of Catesby's collecting were sent to Bishop Compton by a correspondent in the spring

1714-1727 - - King George I of England

1714 - - Catesby goes up the James River to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains where he discovers the Rose Acacia (Robinia hispida) but was unable to introduce it, for when he returned to get seed he found the country had been burnt by the 'ravaging Indians' and the trees destroyed.

1715 - - John Clayton (1694-1773) arrives in Virginia. Born in England in 1694.

1717 - - Linnaeus enters elementary school in Vaxjo.

1718 - - Jardin du Roi's name is changed to Jardin Royal de Plantes. Many naturalists of note were employed there, including Tournefort, Vaillant, B., A.-L. and A. de Jussieu, and Buffon, each of whom left his mark on the garden.

1719 - - Catesby. Returned home in autumn of 1719. He had made notes and drawings which were used later in his book Natural History of Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1730- 47)

1722 - - Sherard organized the sending of Catesby back to America in company with Governor Col. Francis Nicholson then going to the new colony of Carolina. Arrived in Charleston in May 1722. He introduced his Charleston friends to some of the plants he found in the interior, such as the catalpa and perhaps the spice-bush (Calycanthus floridus). The plants he introduced to Britain include Callicarpa americana, Coreopsis lanceolata and the American wisteria.

1722 - - Thomas More. Backers of Catesby's journey to the Carolinas (mainly Sherard) also sent a collector to New England. He was probably between age 50 and 60 at the time of his visit to America. 1722 lands in Boston. Sent some plants back. Got involved with local politics.

1722 - - Sloane got Philip Miller (that remarkable popularizer of botany, exponent of gardening, and father of horticultural journalism) appointed as Gardener at Chelsea. Miller became so famous that Linnaeus came to see him during his English visit, and even persuaded him to alter the system of classification he had used in his best-selling Dictionary of Gardening, a not inconsiderable feat when one considers that Miller was notoriously obstinate and quarrelsome. Miller was the first who raised from seed sent to London by the Jesuit d'Incarville, from China, Ailanthus altissima, Tree of Heaven.

1724 - - Thomas More. Returns to England. He introduced only the American Ash (Fraxinus americana) and the Poison Tree (Rhus vernix), of which Catesby also sent seeds.

1724 - - Linnaeus admitted to the secondary school in Vaxjo.

1725 - - Dr. Christopher Witt (1675-1765) had been with the German Pietists at Wissahickon. He started the first botanical garden in America, 20 years before Bartram. He corresponded with Peter Collinson and talked with John Bartram.

1726 - - Catesby returns to England.

1726 - - after a rather bad spell, from 1726 onwards the Oxford garden was immensely improved by the learning and generosity of an amateur botanist, Dr. William Sherrard. He had persuaded Dillenius to come to England and made him Superintendent of his own garden at Eltham in Kent, where the German made a Hortus Elthamensis for his patron. According to Linnaeus, Sherrard made Oxford pre-eminent among all the universities of Europe for the study of botany.

1727-1760 - - George II of England

1727 - - Linnaeus matriculates at the University of Lund

1727 - - Cadwalader Colden (1688-1776) developed Coldengham, a country seat west of Newburgh, N.Y. He became a leading American scientist (and Lt. Governor of New York) who knew all the important native scientists of his time.

1728 - - Linnaeus continues his studies at the University of Uppsala.The medical faculty at Uppsala consisted at this time of Olof Rudbeck the younger, son of the famous rector of the university, and Lars Roberg. Rudbeck had a fine reputation through his studies of native Swedish birds.

1728 - - Sherrard dead. He left the university money to endow the salary of a Professor or Botany. One condition was that Dillenius be the first Sherrardian Professor.

1730 - - Linnaeus studied Tournefort's system but based his early work on the sexuality of plants on the experimental results of Camerarius.

1730 - - Linnaeus. Praeludia sponsaliorum plantarum (Prelude to the Betrothal of Plants). In this essay Linnaeus presented the doctrine of the sexuality of plants. The view that the stamens and pistils of plants are specifically sexual organs had been advanced by a few botanists - - the Englishman Nehemiah Grew (1641-1711), the German Rudolph Jacob Camerarius (1665-1721), and the Frenchman Sebastien Vaillant (1669-1721) - - but had received little support. Linnaeus named lecturer in botany at Uppsala; faculty giving a professorship to a student in his third year. Begins the great botanical works Bibliotheca botanica (Botanical Dictionary), Classes plantarum (Classes of Plants), Critica botanica (Botanical Criticism), and Genera plantarum (Genera of Plants).

Linnaeus was convinced that God had chosen him to arrange all of nature. Therefore, he felt sure that none of his colleagues could equal him in science. He liked early ideas of Enlightenment like physico-theology, which attempted to demonstrate through the study of nature the purposeful harmony of creation. He was not a thinker in the philosophic sense.

1731 - - Linnaeus. Nils Rosen returns to Uppsala from trip abroad. Tense between Rosen and Linnaeus. He wanted the botany lectures as well as his anatomy lectures. Rudbeck blocked the transfer. At about this time disagreements occurred in Rudbeck's household which resulted in Linnaeus's losing his benefactor's confidence and having to find another place to live.

1732 - - Linnaeus. 5 month journey through Lapland and Finland.

1733 - - Linnaeus. Gives first course in chemical experimentation at Uppsala.

1734 - - Linnaeus' Journey through Dalecarlia. Becomes convinced he needs the M.D. degree for future professional growth. Decides to go abroad to get it. Becomes friends with the municipal doctor in Falun, Johan Moraeus, a wealthy man, and asks for the hand of his eldest daughter.

1735 - - Linnaeus. Gives ring, given back to him, but nevertheless engagement was formed. Dr. Moraeus agrees to a three-year absence of his future son-in-law, and his daughter was bound by a written pledge. Goes abroad. Visits Lubeck, Hamburg, Amsterdam. June 12. Receives M.D. degree in Harderwijk. Stay in Leyden. September. Becomes overseer of the private botanical and zoological garden of George Clifford in Hartekamp.

1736 - - Johan Friederich Gronovius, botanist and physician, realizes the importance of Linnaeus' Systema naturae(System of Nature ) (Leyden) and pays for its publication. This was Linnaeus's fundamental work. Journey to England. Bibliotheca botanica (Amsterdam). Fundamenta botanica(Fundamentals of Botany) (Amsterdam). Musa Cliffortiana florens Haretcampi (Clifford's Flowering Banana at Hartekamp) (Leyden)

1736 - - Dillenius improves the Oxford Garden. In 1736 he was visited by Linnaeus, and although disagreeing with his system he conceived an almost passionate friendship for the great Swede. Dillenius even offered Linnaeus half his salary and half his house if only he would remain at Oxford. He wept when Linnaeus refused.



This was the period in which the Linnaean system became the dominant one. Americans themselves start to become more systematically involved in plant hunting and plant study. Especially important in this was the city of Philadelphia. Great credit goes to the Quakers. They encouraged botany and horticulture at the very inception of Pennsylvania. The great Quaker founder, George Fox, had early urged that all schools established by the Society of Friends teach "the nature of herbs, roots, plants and trees." Penn had written of the desirability of studying and following nature and endeavoring to become good naturalists.

America's first systematic plant hunter was John Bartram. He was born in Darby, Pa in 1699. His mother died when he was only two years old. His father remarried and moved to North Carolina. John stayed in Philadelphia with his grandmother. Upon her death he inherited the farm. In 1723 he married Mary Maris. He had two children by Mary. His wife died four years after the marriage.

In 1728 John bought land on the Schuylkill River at Kingsessing, then about three miles from Philadelphia. You can visit this house as it is a house museum. The garden there is considered to be America's first botanic garden.

Bartram married Ann Medinghall in 1729. He had nine more children. One of his sons by this second marriage (born in 1739) was William Bartram who became an explorer, naturalist and man of letters. John remodeled a small cabin from the days of the old Swedish colony. It took him two years. He had been teaching himself botany. His first wife was not very supportive but his second wife was more so. He seems to have started his garden about the time of his second marriage. He expanded his property holdings to 261 acres in all.

Philadelphian Joseph Breintnall recommended Bartram to Peter Collinson. Collinson was a wholesale wool merchant of London. He would ask for new American plants for England. Bartram would provide boxes of seeds for Collinson. Thereby, he introduced about 200 new trees, shrubs and plants to England.

1735 or 36 - - John Bartram trip up the Schuylkill to its source

1735 - - by this date Linnaeus persuaded the Swedish East India Company to allow periodical free passages for some of his pupils to wherever ships might be trading. The first to be sent out by Linnaeus was Reverend Christopher Ternstroem who sailed about 1735.

1737 - - Linnaeus. October. Leaves Hartekamp. Amsterdam, Leyden. Critica botanica (Leyden). Flora Lapponica (Flora of Lapland) (Amsterdam). Genera plantarum (Leyden). In the latter, Linnaeus attempted to provide a single, correct name to each genus of plants then known in the world. Through his efforts, the majority of the plants in the Torrey Botanical Area of field study, came to be known by their current scientific names.

Dec, 1737 - - Collinson writes to John Custis, future father-in-law of Martha Dandridge Custis. Custis was a great gardener. Says he is sending John Bartram out to see him.

1738 - - John Bartram trip to Virginia

1738 - - Dr. John Mitchell admitted to the American Philosophical Society. He came to Virginia in 1735 and remained until 1746 when illness forced him to return to England. He began sending Virginia plants to Europe in 1738. In 1742 he sent a long manuscript to Collinson about Virginia plants along with a collection of 560 plant specimens.

1738 - - Linnaeus. Hortus Cliffortianus (The Clifford Garden) (Amsterdam). The Anglo-Dutch merchant banker George Clifford had a fine garden at Hartecamp near Haarlem. Clifford drew on the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) company for specimens. Early summer. Departs from Holland. Visits Antwerp, Paris. Returns to Sweden by sea. September. Begins practice as a physician in Stockholm. Classes plantarum (Leyden).

1738 - - Rev. Ternstroem dies on voyage back to Sweden

1739 - - Linnaeus. Becomes acquainted with Carl Gustav Tessin. May. Named physician to the Admiralty. President of the newly founded Academy of Sciences. June 26. Marriage to Sara Elisabeth Moraea.

1739 - - John Bartram traveled to the Catskills. Met Dr. Cadwallader Colden, Surveyor General of the Colonies and a member of the King's Council of New York. Dr. Cadwalader Colden (1688-1766) is a big name in New York state politics. He once served as the Lt. Gov. and then temporary Governor of the state. He actively opposed the large land owners of New York state, which brought him into open conflict with many of the famous New York families. He introduced the Linnean system to America and furnished Linnaeus with descriptions of several hundred American plants. In 1727 he wrote a History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada. He also wrote several medical works. He lived in Coldingham, nine miles north of Newburgh, New York, along the Hudson River. A plant, our "Missouri railroad weed," was named Coldenis for him by Linnaeus.

Jane Colden, daughter, was America's first woman botanist. She was written about as one of the charming examples of what women in the New World could accomplish. Linnaeus himself received approving reports of her efforts. She used the Linnean system to classify her wildflowers. She was born in 1724, married in 1759 to Dr. Farquhar. She died in 1766. She wrote an article on the subject of a St. Johnswort, Hypericum virginicum, about which she and Dr. Garden of South Carolina had corresponded. She wanted it named for him, but John Ellis, also acquainted with Dr. Garden, had already decided to name the cape jasmine, Gardenia jasminoides, for him. John Clayton and John Bartram were both Jane Colden's contemporaries and acquaintances.

1739 - - Gov. of Pennsylvania, James Logan, publishes a botanical essay in Leyden, Holland.

1739 - - John Clayton sent his collection to J. F. Gronovius. In 1739 Gronovius authored the first book on North American flora, Flora Virginica. The first edition was done without Clayton's approval or work, but second edition was coauthored.

The Finn Pedr Kalm was a student of Linnaeus. He was particularly interested in medicinal and dye-yielding plants. He landed in Philadelphia; met with Benjamin Franklin; and visited John Bartram. Kalm often conferred with Bartram about his scientific findings as Bartram was the most prominent American naturalist of the time. Kalm quotes Bartram many times in his Travels. At Raccoon (now Swedesboro), New Jersey he would preach when no regular clergyman was available. He married the pastor's widow. In 1757 he received a doctor's degree in theology from the University of Lund. He was in 1777 elected a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

1740 - - Linnaeus. Systema naturae, 2nd edition (Stockholm).

1741 - - Linnaeus. Professor of theoretical and practical medicine at Uppsala. Journey to Oland and Gotland.

1742 - - Linnaeus. Exchange of departments with Rosen. Given supervision of the Botanical Gardens.

1743 - - Cadwalader Colden becomes one of the original members of the American Philosophical Society. He was the man responsible for introducing the Linnean system to America. He was never fully happy with the system, preferring a more natural one.

1743 - - John Bartram. James Logan sends a peace mission to negotiate with the Iroquois Indians at Onondaga on Lake Ontario after a skirmish between them and some Virginian backwoodsmen. Conrad Weiser and Bartram went. They reached Shamokin (now Sundbury) where they picked up Chief Shikillamy. On the trip, Bartram discovered "a great mountain Magnolia, three feet in diameter, and above an hundred feet high." This was the Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata). People were calling his garden the finest collection of wild plants in North America. Learned men from the Colonies and abroad came to see his garden and to talk to him.

1748 - - Linnaeus. Signs of psychic depression. During the last three decades of his life, Linnaeu suffered periods of moodiness and genuine depression, nervous restlessness and irritability, fear of death and the wish to retreat from everything. In 1748 he began to think that the world was conspiring against him. He may have suffered from manic-depression along with schizoid characteristics. In the last years of his life, the picture of his personality is completely dominated by symptoms of progressive hardening of the arteries of the brain.

1747 - - Colden sent Linnaeus a carefully cataloged and described collection of plants, which Linnaeus published in "Plantae Coldenghamiae" in Acta Upsaliensis. In 1747 in his Flora ZeylanicaLinnaeus conferred the accolade of naming a plant the Coldenia.

1748 - - William Forsyth. A Scotsman who succeeded Philip Miller at the Chelsea Physic Garden. He created the first rock garden in England. In 1784 he was appointed gardener to George III at Kensington and St. James's palaces.

1749 - - Linnaeus. April-August. Journey through Skane. Materia medica.Linnaeus. Rector of the University of Uppsala.

1749 - - Kalm was supposed to have returned to Sweden in 1759, but decided to extend his time in North America. Set off in May on a long-planned visit to Canada.

1750 - - Kalm makes another northern trip, following the Mohawk River to the country of the Iroquois and visiting Lake Ontario and the Niagara Falls.

1750 - - Linnaeus sends out the Reverend Peter Osbeck.

1751 - - Linnaeus. Philosophica botanica(Botanical Philosophy)

1751 - - Pedr Kalm sails for Europe. His herbarium contained about 325 species, many of which Linnaeus subsequently described in the Species Plantarum.

1752 - - Linnaeus made Knight of the Order of the Polar Star.

1752 - - Osbeck back in Sweden.

1752 - - Dr. Alexander Garden, a Scotsman. Dr. William Rose invited him to Charles Town, South Carolina. In April 1752 he arrives. Dr. William Bull lends him John Clayton/ Gronovius's Flora Virginica. He visited Dr. Cadwallader Colden. While he was there John Bartram arrived. He went to Philadelphia and saw Bartram and Benjamin Franklin. 12/1755. Marries Elizabeth Peronneaus.

1753 - - Linnaeus. Museum Tessinianum; Species plantarum(Species of Plants). Before 1753 plants were given long,multi-worded Latin phrase descriptive names. Linnaeus introduced the nw system of scientific nomenclature.

1753 - - John Bartram went with William Bartram (then 14) for a trip to the Catskills where they visited Dr. Colden again.

1754 - - Linnaeus. Museum Adolphi Friderici (The Museum of Adolphus Frederick)

1754 - - approximately. At the age of 23 Scotsman William Aiton emigrated to England and was given a job in the Chelsea Physic Garden by Philip Miller.

1755 - - John and William Bartram went to Connecticut

1757 - - Pedr Kalm received a doctor's degree in theology from the University of Lund.

1758 - - Linnaeus. Buys country estate at Hammarby, near Uppsala. Systema naturae, Animalia. 10th edition.

1759 - - Linnaeus. Rector of the University. System naturae, Vegetabilia, 10th edition.

1759 - - William Aiton given the job as Superintendent at Kew. At first he had under his charge only the relatively small botanic garden of the Princess Augusta.

1760 - - John Bartram traveled to Virginia and South Carolina. Stayed in Charleston with Dr. Alexander Garden (whose acquaintance he had made when Garden was passing through Philly five and a half years before). He met the celebrated woman horticulturist, Martha Logan, who afterwards sent him many seeds and plants.

1760 - - Englishman Joseph Banks (1743-1820) enters as a gentleman commoner at Christ Church, Oxford; Israel Lyonds comes to Oxford to teach Banks and others

1761 - - John Bartram. To Pittsburgh and down the Ohio River. He corresponded with Fothergill in London and the great Linnaeus.

1761 - - Colden becomes Lt. Gov. of New York

1762 - - Linnaeus. Raised to the nobility under name "von Linne."

1763 - - Florida becomes a British colony

1763 - - Linnaeus. Genera morborum (Kinds of Diseases). Relieved of teaching obligations; son designated as his successor.

1764 - - Linnaeus. Museum Ludovicae Ulricae Reginae(Museum of Queen Louisa Ulrica)

April 9, 1765 - - John Bartram. gets a letter from Collinson telling him he is appointed the King's botanist, with a salary of 50 pounds a year. The King had no interest in botany and the Queen's patronage was fully engaged by John Hill and his protege William Young.

1765 - - John Bartram went from Philly to Charleston (where he visited Dr. Garden) to Cape Fear River, North Carolina to Charleston. On this trip he traveled from Savannah up the river to Augusta, then back to Ebenezer and south to Fort Barrington on the Altamaha River. It was here they found Franklinia altamaha and Nyssa sylvatica (the Tupelo). Went back to St. Augustine and then explored the St. Johns River. They traced this for 400 miles until their way was blocked by water plants. Turned back, Jan, 1766.

1765-6 - - William Bartram accompanied his father on many a trip. After their 1765-6 trip to the near end of the St. John's River, William decided to stay in Florida. William decided to settle on the St. John's River just north of Fort Picolata. His father disapproved. William tried unsuccessfully to become a planter in Florida (to grow indigo). He came back to Philadelphia but once again failed in the mercantile business. Got a commission to draw illustrations for Dr. Fothergill. Returned to his uncle's home on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Wrote Dr. Fothergill about an extended trip. Fothergill agreed. So he traveled from Cape Fear River to Charleston to Savannah to the St. Mary's River and then back to Altamaha River and back to Savannah. Sent his collections to Fothergill.

1766 - - Linnaeus. Clavis medicinae(Key to Medicine); Systema naturae, 12 ed., Part I.

1766 - - Cadwalader Colden dies - - William Young is back in Philadelphia, gossip saying he left under a cloud. Some of his reputation rested on his introduction of the Venus Fly-trap (originally Bartram's discovery), which had never before been seen alive in Europe.

1767 - - Linnaeus. Systema naturae, 12 edition, Part II.

1768 - - Linnaeus. System naturae, 12 ed., Part III.

1768 - - Collinson dies

1768 - - Dr. Adam Kuhn of Philadelphia was probably the first professor of botany in America. He had the chair of botany at the University of Pennsylvania. He studied under Linnaeus.

1769 - - John Bartram elected to Royal Academy of Science of Stockholm

1770 - - Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836) obtains a doctorate in medicine. He then becomes deputy to L. G. Le Monnier, professor of botany at the Jardin du Roi.



1775 -- Battles of Lexington and Concord and start of the American Revolution

1777 -- John Bartram dead

1778 -- Linnaeus dead

1781 -- Rev. Manasseh Cutler elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1785 -- Andre Michaux first comes to America; sets up a nursery in New Jersey in 1786.

1785 -- Humphry Marshall, cousin of the younger John Bartram, had a large arboretum at Marshallton in Chester County, Pa. In 1785 he publsiehd a catalog, Arbustrum americanum, in which he accounted for many of the species in his arboretum.

1785 - - Reverend Manasseh Cutler was born in Killingly, CT, 1742. Farm boy and graduate of Yale. He taught school, studied the treatment of smallpox, read law and became an attorney. Went into business as a merchant, read theology under his father-in-law and was licensed to preach. Pastor. In 1776 he became chaplain of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment, going with it to Rhode Island. Took up practice of medicine to support his family. Climbed Mount Washington. Aspired to write a natural history of New England. 1786 - - drove to Ohio in a sulky; helped form the Ohio Company. He studies Catesby's Natural History.

1785 - - Rev. Manasseh Cutler presented a paper on Vegetable Productions. This is credited with being the first treatise on New England botany. Cutler's "Account" begins with a lament that Canada and the southern states have been visited by "eminent botanists from Europe" while the part in between "seems still to remain unexplored." He blames this on the fact that botany is not taught in our colleges due to 'the mistaken opinion of its unutility in common life.'

1787 -- Michaux finds many new species in the montane forests of the Carolinas; later traveled to Hudson Bay in search of new species.

June, 1787 - - Washington "rid to see the Botanical Garden of Mr. Bartram, which though stored with many curious plants, shrubs and trees, many of which are exotics, was not laid off with much taste nor was it large."

1788 -- Thomas Walter's Flora caroliniana published

1789 - - William Prince Nursery. Located at Flushing, Long Island. In October, 1789, Washington visited Mr. Prince's fruit gardens and shrubberies at Flushing on Long Island. He found that "these gardens, except in the number of young fruit trees, did not answer my expectations. The shrubs were trifling, and the flowers not numerous."

1789 - - Aiton published the first official Hortus Kewensis. A total of 5,500 species were described in three volumes arranged according to the Linnaean system, with a note of the habitat, date of introduction, and introducer's name.

1791 - - William Bartram's book Travels came out. The reception at home was cool. But in Europe they loved it. America was to Europeans an exotic, far-away land, and here for the first time was a book that described the scenery, the natural history, and even the original inhabitants in clear and illuminating detail. French botanist Andre Michaux and his son Francois came to visit. So did Thomas Nuttall, the English botanist, and Benjamin Smith Barton, and Henry Muhlenberg, and Alexander Wilson - - all famous in their own right. Then he became appreciated in America too.

William was elected Professor of Botany at the University of Pennsylvania, but he had to decline because of his health.

His book deeply influenced Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, a friend of Coleridge. Both Charles Lamb and Percy Bysshe Shelley presumably read the book. So did Emerson and Thoreau.

Jefferson wanted him to go on what became the Lewis and Clark expedition. They wanted him to be Official Naturalist. But his eyes were bad.

William Bartram was one of the first Am authorities on birds. Influenced Alexander Wilson, ornithologist.

William Bartram never married. He lived with his niece Nancy via brother John. She had married Colonel Robert Carr.

1791 -- Gotthilf Heinrich Muhlenberg, son of Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg (champion of Lutheranism) published a paper entitled "Index flora lancastriensis" in which he accounted for 454 genera and more than a thousand native and cultivated species that grew in the vicinity of his home in Lancaster, Pa. Carl Ludwig Willdenow revised Linnaeus's Species plantarum and described several new American species from specimens sent by Muhlenberg.

1792 - - Washington puts in two substantial orders to the nursery to John Bartram, son of the first John.

1795 - - Andre Michaux set off on his final American journey. Up the Catawba River, Knoxville. Nashville. Danville, KY. Hurt in horse fall. Made it to the Mississippi. His private means exhausted.

1796 -- Return to France. Shipwreck. Lost all his personal property, but nearly all his collections were saved. Received with honor and distinction but no money. Did give him a small proportion of his 7 years' arrears of salary. Many of his trees had been sent by Marie Antoinette to her father's gardens at Schonbrunn.

1799 - - Frederick Pursh. He came to the US and settled in Philadelphia. He became acquainted with Muhlenberg, William Bartram and Humphry Marshall. He was the manager of gardens of William Hamilton, Esquire. His principal patron was Dr. B. S. Barton who provided funds for his travels.

1799 - - John Fraser back to America, this time with his elder son, John.

1800-1808 Jefferson President

1800 -- Francois-Andre Michaux, Michaux's son, returns to the U.S.

1801 -- predecessor of New York Botanical Garden started by David Hosack on ground now occupied by Rockefeller Center.

1803 - - Dr. B.S. Barton. First elementary work of botany by Dr. B. S. Barton is published in Philadelphia. Early in the 19th century, Philadelphia was recognized as the chief source of scientific enquiries. One of the guiding lights in Philadelphia, Dr. B. S. Barton, presided over a wide and active circle, some of whose members (like Dr. Schoepf and Dr. Muhlenberg) were busy writing their own materia medica of this country.

1803 -- Barton's book Elements of Botany published.

1806 -- Barton employs Frederick Pursh, a Saxon-born botanist, to help examine specimens from the Michaux flora. Soon start fighting and so Pursh moves on to Hosack's employ, with whom he also had a falling-out.

1807 -- the younger Michaux returns to Paris.

1808 -- English naturalist Thomas Nuttall arrives in Philadelphia.

The claim to fame of the Quaker Bridge area in the New Jersey pine barrens area is the discovery here of curly grass fern (Schizaea pusilla) in 1805 or 1808.   A label accompanying a specimen in the collection of the Torrey Botanical Society says: First discovered by Dr. C. W. Eddy, near Quaker Bridge in the pine barrens of New Jersey, about 30 miles from Philadelphia. Dr. Eddy was in company with J. LeConte, Pursh, and C. Whitlow and though he and Mr. LeConte found all the specimens, Pursh has claimed the honor of the discovery himself. (quoted in Pierce 1957:56)

1809 -- Nuttall sends Barton 43 specimens gathered during a trip to the salt marshes of Delaware Bay; he also toured the Nanticoke River on the Chesapeake Bay; then went to Niagara Falls.

1809 - - Bernard M'Mahon founds a botanic garden (named Upsal) near Huntingdon Station, Philadelphia.

1810-1813 -- three volumes published by the younger Michaux.

1813 -- publication of Pursh's Flora americae septentrionalis

1814 - - Frederick Pursh publishes in London a description of North American plants. He describes the collection of Lewis and Clark. He described double the number of species of Michaux's Flora. He was born in Tobolsh, in Siberia, in 1774 of German parentage. He was educated in Dresden. Unwisely, William Roscoe lent Bradbury's herbarium specimens to Frederick Pursh and Pursh published descriptions of all Bradbury's new plants (some 41 of them) in an appendix to his Flora Americae Septentrionalis. This crushed Bradbury and he never made another collecting expedition.

1814 - - John Lyon died of typhoid in America. He collected 3,600 plants of Magnolia macrophylla at one time. "His attitude was commercial; in all his journals he never expresses pleasure in a plant, but he almost invariably notes the mileage covered and the cost of the journey. Many of his so-called first introductions are due to others." Fraser and Lyon overlap with Pieris floribunda, Jeffersonia diphylla, Oenothera tetragona fraseri and several other plants. Lyon's new ones included Chelone lyoni, Dicentra eximia and Iris fulva.

1815 - - In 1798 Jussieu's System appears, but it was not until 1815 that his system was available in Philadelphia.

1817 - - Bradbury returned to England to publish his book of travels (at his own expense); then he brought his family with him to America and settled at St. Louis, where he became director of the Botanic Garden. Nuttall got credit for a number of species which, almost certainly, were also introduced by the neglected Bradbury - - Oenothera missouriensis, Ribes aureumand Shepherdia argentea. Nuttall's plants included Camassia fraseri, Lepachys (Rudbeckia) columnaris, Mentzelia decapetala, Oenothera caepitosa, O. nuttalliiand Penstemon glaber.

1818 - - Dr. William P.C. Barton, nephew of B.S. Barton publishes a compendium of Philadelphia plants.


This period may be tied to the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars which left Europe dried up for the moment. The period also overlaps with that of the less active period (1815-1870) of the Age of Imperialism. The European powers were not content to just take over new continents, but now expanded to the Old World also. American and English books on plant hunting naturally emphasize the United States and China/Japan because these are partly temperate lands that grow plants that can also grow in the eastern United States and England.

1818 - - Thomas Nuttall. Publication of Nuttall's Genera of North American Plants at Philadelphia.

1820 - - Frederick Pursh dead at the age of 46.

1820 - - Banks gets Hooker a professorship of botany at the University of Glasgow. He was a good teacher and popular with the students. He built up the city's botanic garden to be an equal of any garden in Europe.

1820 - - Joseph Banks dead. Upon this death, there was a distinct threat that Kew's plants would be dispersed throughout the country. William Hooker fought this. He conducted a campaign to make Kew a national garden.

1822-34 - - Thomas Nuttall takes over Harvard's botanic garden.

1820s - - John Torrey (1796-1873) taught chemistry at West Point, College of Physicians and Surgeons and at NYU.

1823 - - Bradbury died in Kentucky.

1823 - - William Bartram dead. Among the plants he discovered are oil-nut, yellow anise, yellowroot, laurel cherry, white buckeye, golden Saint Johnswort, oak-leaved hydrangea and mountain magnolia. See Harshberger, John W. 'The botanists of Philadelphia and their Work.'

1823 - - Thomas Nuttall. Takes up duties at Cambridge.

1823 - - In 1823, when Joseph Sabine, then secretary of the horticultural Society was looking for a collector, David Douglas was strongly recommended and was sent out on his first trip to America. He visited gardens in New York and Philly and then went up to Lake Erie and then to Buffalo and back to New York. He made a second visit to Philly where he met Nuttall. Douglas is the best known of all collectors in America. He was born in 1798, the son of a village stone mason in Scotland. He worked at the Glasgow Botanic Garden by the time he was 21.

1824 - - David Douglas visited Bartram's garden and was back in England by Jan 1824.

1824 - - following the defeats of Napoleon, France starts to get back its colonial empire. Between 1824 and 1914 it adds close to 3.5 million square miles and some 50 million people. It took over what became French North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) starting in 1824 through an expedition against the Algerian pirates. The French stayed on. The French later take over what becomesFrench Indo-China (Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam).

1824 - - Torrey publishes the Flora of the Northern and Middle Sections of the United States. He led American botanists in the adoption of the natural system of classification, developed by Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu and promoted by A. P. Candolle.

1825 - - It was decided to send Douglas to explore the Columbia River area in British Columbia. With the cooperation of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set sail. By mid-Feb he was off the coast of Oregon. Landed at Fort Vancouver. Went 90 miles up river. He began to have trouble with his eyes caused by blown sand and snow blindness. He found Pinus lambertiana, second only to the giant redwoods in size and magnificence. To get the cones at the top he fired his gun to knock them off. 8 hostile Indians showed up because of this and Douglas was luck to finally shake them off.

1826 - - Jussieu resigns his post as director of the National Museum of Natural History.

1827 - - Thomas Drummond is a nurseryman in Forfarshire. Went on Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition. Once back he was made curator of Belfast Botanic Garden.

1827 - - Charles Darwin in the autumn went up to Christ's College, Cambridge, his immediate aim a B.A. to eventually become a minister. He had given up earlier on an attempt to be a physician because of an extreme sensitivity to the sight of blood.

1828 - - The British government commissioned HMS Beagle for a hydrographic survey of South America. The commander was Captain Robert FitzRoy, R.N.. He asks for a naturalist to sail with him, a person qualified to examine the land. The task at hand was to complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, commenced under Captain King in 1826 to 1830 and to survey the shores of Chile, Perus and of some islands in the Pacific.

1830-33 - - publication of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology influences the young Charles Darwin. It further placed doubt on the biblical story of genesis.

1830-54 - - Torrey becomes a professor at Princeton. He taught only during the summers, staying in New York City in the winters.

1831 - - start of the 5 year voyage of the HMS Beagle

1831 - - Drummond leaves to become an independent plant collector sponsored by Glasgow and Edinburgh Botanic Gardens

1831 - - Asa Gray (1810-1888) gets an M.D. degree. The leading botanist of the day in America was John Torrey.

1832 - - Asa Gray abandoned the practice of medicine and becomes a full collaborator with Torrey on the Flora of North America.

1833 - - Drummond finally reached Texas after spending his first season collecting mainly in the Ohio Valley. He caught cholera and barely recovered.

1832 - - John Veitch and his son James (1792-1863) moved the nursery business to Mount Radford, Exeter, England.

1834 - - Thomas Nuttall departs from Harvard. Went on the Oregon Trail.

1835 - - HMS Beagle anchors off Chatham Island, the easternmost of the Galapagos group on the morning of September 17.

1836 - - Nuttall returns from his trip across America and to Hawaii. He added a further 1,000 new species to the American flora. This was the end of his active career.

1836 - - October. The HMS Beagle returns to England docking at Falmouth on the southwest coast. Darwin discovered that he had already gained some note in scientific circles because Henslow had read some of his letters to the Cambridge Philosophical Society, in whose Proceedingsthey had been published. Sedgwick had read parts of them to the Geological Society of London.

1837 - - John Gould, a taxidermist and leading ornithologist, astounds Darwin when he reports that Darwin brought back three species of mockingbird from the Galapagos (the very possibility of which, he had already admitted, would undermine the stability of species) while the finches belonged to thirteen different species. "If ever there was one moment when Darwin was pushed across the border dividing creationism from evolution, this may well have been that moment." (Ronald Clark "The Survival of Charles Darwin: A Biography of a Man and an Idea" New York: Random House, 1984, page 47.) He later reads Thomas Malthus and this further pushes him in his views of evolution. This pushed Darwin to the theory of the survival of the fittest.

1839 - - Joseph Dalton Hooker, supporter of Darwin, sails to the Antarctic in HMS Erebus

1839-1841 - - Darwin publishes five separate volumes about his trip. He publishes the third volume in the series Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836. This established his further reputation as a scientist and author. 1839 is also the year Darwin himself says he clearly had formulated his theory of evolution. He was extremely reluctant to engage in controversy and therefore waited until he had amassed an extreme amount of documentation before he published.

1839 - - Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), son of William J., receives a M.D. degree from the University of Glasgow. He had met Darwin in 1834 and in a few years they had become friends.

1840 - - Kew is established as a national botanic garden through the efforts of William J. Hooker.