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Abstract Detail

History of Botany: The Missouri Connection

Caomhanach, Nuala [1].

Thomas Nuttall and 19th Century Botany: The St. Louis Connection.

Thomas Nuttall's brilliance as a naturalist and as one of the most adventurous explorer's of the nineteenth century earned him the title of Father of Western Botany. His passion for the natural world serendipitously led this native Englishman to master the known American flora under the tutelage of Benjamin Barton in Philadelphia. In 1809 Barton sent Nuttall westward to collect botanical specimens, making Nuttall one of the first professionally trained naturalists to explore the western frontier of the United States. Upon arrival in St. Louis, Nuttall would spend six months exploring the environs of the city discovering many species of plants new to science and rousing his eager anticipation of the coming expedition with the Astorians. The result of this expedition on the Missouri River resulted in The Genera of North American Plants, and a Catalogue of the Species, to the year 1817 (1818), a remarkable two-volume work, written in English, such as had never before been produced in America in the botanical field. Nuttall's reputation as a field naturalist led to an appointment as Curator of the Botanical Garden and Lecturer at Harvard University in 1822. Thomas Nuttall forms an integral connection to St. Louis as a precursor in the establishment of St. Louis as a botanical centre during the nineteenth century.

Broader Impacts:

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Thomas Nuttall
St. Louis
Frontier Naturalists
Benjamin Barton
19th Century Botany.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY05
Location: Lindell D/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: SY05001
Abstract ID:383

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