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Full text of "Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium."

BOTANICAL BEACHCOMBERS 
AND EXPLORERS: 

Pioneers of the 19th Century 
In the Upper Great Lakes 



Edward G. Vos 




BOTANICAL BEACHCOMBERS 
AND EXPLORERS: 

Pioneers of the 19th Century 
In the Upper Great Lakes 



Edward G. Voss 
University of Michigan 



CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HERBARIUM 

Editorial Committee: Howard Crum, Rogers McVaugh, Robert L. Shaffer 



Price: $4.00 postpaid 



; Card Number ' 



Vol. 13 is complete in this issue. Previous numbers of the Contributions are listed at 
the end. For information, address the Director, University of Michigan Herbarium, Ann 
Arbor, Michigan 48109, U.S.A. 



rhis volume of the Herbarium Contributions 
s published just as Rogers McVaugh begins his 
etirement furlough at The University of Michi- 



tion added, of a talk presented at Michigan State University on August 23, 1977, at the 28th 
Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), as a special lecture arranged 
by the Historical Section of the Botanical Society of America, additionally sponsored by the Ecological 
and Systematic Sections of that Society and by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. An earlier 
version of chapters 1 and 2 was presented in Bay View at the annual meeting of the Little Traverse 
Regional Historical Society July 9, 1969. The subject deals principally with traveling and local 
collectors and observers of plants in the Great Lakes basin above Lake Erie-not with the 
development of all botany in the region; little or nothing is said about the growth of teaching or of 
investigations into such fields as plant anatomy and physiology or about the beginnings of forestry 
and agriculture. Botany as a science was new enough in the 19th century, and it began largely as a 
study of the flora. Some notice is taken here of early interest in medicinal plants, for these were 
often native wild species; a large chapter could be developed on this theme alone. 

What kinds of people provided our first knowledge about the plants in this previously 
unexplored territory? This account attempts to put some flesh on them, to tell something of the 
persons whose names might otherwise be quite meaningless on an old herbarium label or in the 
literature. Or sometimes a person is well known, but his botanical activities in this region are not. 
My effort has been to synthesize in a single more or less connected narrative, and to supplement 
where desirable (and possible), the fragments of botanical history in our region which have been 
pubhshed over the past 160 years. The result, 1 hope, is a readable story, placed to some degree in 
historical perspective. The vignettes of botanical history may serve to remind the present generation 
of local naturalists that the pioneer days were scarcely more than a century ago; and they may 
serve to remind the historian that there is a rich source of data in the collections and observations 
of both amateur and professional naturahsts. 

The wedding of history and natural history should lead to vigorous progeny. I have tried to 
provide enough dates and facts about the lives of many persons so that specimen labels or 
published observations, especially if scanty or incomplete, can be more precisely interpreted -or at 
least to provide an indication of available sources for such information. But sometimes all 1 have 



defied more ample biograp: 


hical treatm 


ent. Biohistorians 


who want to go further with c 


certain 


individuals or certain local 


areas will find many implicit 


suggestions for such research, wh 


lich is 


likely to be based on both 


pubhshed and unpubhshed s, 




s, including collections from 




While preparing this ac, 


ted and fror 


n which much car 


ibel 


earned about the fiora of an area in 


count, I hav 


e spent weeks rea 


ding 


countless biographical sketcht 


:s and 


obituaries. This has been no1 






.ne which brings to life the pi< 


aneers 




gh resolving 


discrepancies betv 


/een 


different accounts has often I 






errors in dates and other hard facts cited by scholars are distress 


ingto 


deal with.) The various editions of Amen 


'can Men of Scienc 


e pre 


)vide some biographical data for the 


better known botanists and 


! are seldon 


[1 specifically cited he 


re. Helpful references about 


early 


literature and its authors 


are in Meisel (1924-1929) 


and 


Blake and Atwood (1942) 


. The 


indispensible bibhographic r 


esource for 


biographical data 


I is 1 


Barnhart's Notes (1965); in 


citmg 


biographical references, I have tried to i 


ivoid excessive rep 


etition of those easily found in Ba 


rnhart 


and to cite additional ones as well as the 


: best sources for r 




IS whose principal botanical a< 


:tivity 



tory over the past quarter-century, especially the late Professor H. H. Bartlett, 
' Michigan; Rogers McVaugh, Harley Harris Bartlett Professor of Botany, my col 
in the University Herbarium; Professor Ronald L. Stuckey, of Ohio State Univ 
the Historical Section of the Botanical Society of America and the instigator f 



drawing this survey together as well as the supplier of much valuable data over the years; and the 
Michigan Historical Collections/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. The resources of 
numerous units in the University Library system and of the Alumni Records Office have been 
essential. The library of Michigan State University (East Lansing) and the Michigan State Library 
(Lansing) have also been consulted. With a single duly noted exception, every reference cited in 
footnotes or bibliography has been seen by me. Numerous persons and agencies have responded 
patiently to inquiries which often must have seemed to them to be trivial. 

The first draft of this account was completed at the University of Michigan Biological Station 
on Douglas Lake, where my students over the years have repeatedly heard about Thomas Nuttall 
and Douglass Houghton, have seen in the field the species they brought back as new from the 
upper Lakes long ago, and have sometimes even been kind enough to suggest that the story ought 
to be brought together and put down on paper. 

E. G. V. 
March 1978 



CONTENTS 



2. The Houghton Era 

3. The Increase of Botany in Wisconsin 

4. The Brothers Wincheil and Developments from Michigan to Minnesota 

5. Lake Superior, North of Gitche Gumee 

6. Lake Surveyors, and Others 

7. Facing the 20th Century: The Rise of Local Societies and Collectors 

8. Visitors from Far and Near 

9. To Bring It All Together: Cataloging the Local Flora 
Bibliography 

Index of Persons and Institutions 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Dwarf lake iris, Iris lacustris 

Distribution map of sea rocket, Cakile edentula 

Map of Michigan Territory by F. Lucas, 1823 

Zina Pitcher 

Douglass Houghton's herbarium 

Specimen labels from Douglass Houghton and William Burt 

Douglass Houghton 

Distribution map of Pitcher's thistle, Cirsium pitcheri 

Increase A. Lapham 

Title page of Lapham's 1836 Catalogue of Plants & Shells 

Newton H. Wincheil 

Edmund P. Sheldon 



Map of Lake Superior, from Louis Agas; 
Speci 

Isle St. Ignace, Ontario, from Louis Agassiz, 1850 

Linear-leaved sundew, Drosera linearis 

Specimen labels of A. B. Lyons and Emma J. Cole 

Letterhead of the Detroit Review of Medicine and Pharmacy 

Specimen label of Mary H. Clark 

Mary H. Clark, Emma J. Cole, Charles K. Dodge, Oliver A. Farwell 

A page of C. A. Davis' annotated "Michigan Flora" by Wheeler and 

Smith (1881) 
Distribution map of Hill's pondweed, Potamogeton hillii 
E. J. Hill 

Charles F. Wheeler 
William J. Beal 



All portraits not otherwise credited in their legends are 
from the files of the University of Michigan Herbarium. 
The sketch on the cover is from the title page of Agassiz's 
Lake Superior {\^5Q). 



INTRODUCTION 



The fascinating story of early knowledge about the plant life of the upper Great 
Lakes has never been presented in any comprehensive way. It is a tale full of historical 
associations and marked by an unusual number of personal relationships tying together 
many of the major participants. In these days of fragmented science and intense 
specialization, it is sometimes hard to comprehend the breadth of knowledge and 
interests possessed by the explorers and naturalists of the previous century and the 
influence one had upon another. 

No justification is needed for restricting the subject to the 19th century. On the 
one hand, omission of the 20th century removes from our survey the multitudinous 
activities of more modern times; and it removes the necessity of referring or not 
referring-to any botanists among those now living. On the other hand, omission of the 
centuries before the 19th really omits almost nothing. Before our story begins seriously 
in 1810, travelers into this portion of the Old Northwest were more interested in furs, 
or in the souls of the Indians, than they were in study of the natural history of the 

What may be the first plant collection from the upper Lakes region recorded as 
entering the scientific world is cited in a letter from Dr. Alexander Garden, of Charles 
Town, South Carolina, to British merchant John ElHs, February 2, 1767: "I have given 
the doctor [Andrew Turnbull] two large pods of a plant which I had from New York, 
called there the Horn plant, from the shape of the pods. It comes from Detroit. I have 
never seen it grow, and do not know what it is, if you know, pray inform me?" Four 
months later. Garden wrote Ellis: "I sowed the Horn plant . . . which is now in flower, 
but I have not examined it. It seems to approach to the Chelone or Martynia."^ 

In the latter part of the 17th century and on into the 18th century, missionaries 
and military men did occasionally record something of the plants of "New France," 
and a studious individual may even have gathered specimens, although these were more 
likely for herbal interest than for pure scientific purposes.'^ Jacques Pierre Daneau, 
Sieur de Muy (1695-1758), who later was one of Cadillac's successors at Detroit, 
earlier commanded Fort St. Joseph [Niles, Michigan] "and while at that post made a 
close study of the plants found in that country, and upon his return to France in 1736 
carried with him a great collection of specimens to be examined and analyzed in order 
to determine their medicinal properties."^ Charles, Marquis de Beauharnois, governor- 
general of New France, wrote from Quebec on October 17, 1736, that the Sieur de 
Muy had "devoted himself to the study of plants" and "brought some back powdered, 



Ijames Edward Smith, A Selection of the Correspondence of Linnaeus and Other Naturalists 
(London, 1821) 1: 553-555. See also Edmund Berkeley & Dorothy Smith Berkeley, Alexander 
Garden of Charles Town (Chapel HiU, 1969), p. 215. I offer no opinion as to what the "Horn 
plant" from Detroit really was; it is not impossible that the unicorn-plant, Martynia fProboscideaJ 
louisianica, was cultivated (and perhaps escaped) in Detroit by 1767. Farwell reported it as rare in 
waste places there in 1900 {Rep. Mich. Acad. 2 (for 1900): 63. 1902 ["1901"]). 
2See Goodrich (1940, pp. 301-302). 
3c. M. Burton in Mich. Pioneer Hist. Coll. 34: 334-335 (1905). 



and some roots and leaves. He states that he 

diseases. I think many of these plants are un 

plants around the Great Lakes were unknown to science-and many more of them 

unknown in France -but it was to be another century before naturalist-explorers had 

made them at all well known. 

Most if not all botanical interest in our area before 1810 was even more casual 
than that of the Sieur de Muy. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, wrote as early as October 
5, 1701 -only six weeks after his arrival: "The woods are of six kinds, walnut trees, 
white oaks, red, bastard ash, ivy, white wood trees^ and cottonwood trees. But these 
same trees are as straight as arrows, without knots, and almost without branches 
except near the top, and of enormous size and height."^ Cadillac's enthusiasm for his 
new domain led him generally to describe the vegetation in glowing if not always 

Charlevoix, the celebrated Jesuit priest, teacher, historian, and explorer, who 
journeyed to the western Great Lakes in 1721, noted poison-ivy at Detroit and 
mentioned the importance of ginseng at the St. Joseph River. He dismissed Mackinac 
Island, however, as "only a barren rock, and scarcely covered with a little moss and 
herbs."^ Many travelers, such as Alexander Henry in the 1760's,^ were interested in 
maple sugar. The indigenous peoples of the region were of course familiar with many 
plants long before the 19th century, especially those considered useful to them, and 
much of their lore was dutifully recorded by later explorers. ^^ 

This is not the occasion to relate more of the 17th and 18th century events in this 
historic region: the battles of the fur trade; the battles of the French, the British, and 
the Indians; the key location of Michilimackinac at the crossroads of all travel on the 
upper Lakes, for throughout most of the history of this region, the principal mode of 
transportation was by water. Even long after the simple canoe had been supplanted by 
more elaborate vessels, and long after the first stage roads and finally railroads 
penetrated the North late in the 19th century, water remained a favored route for 
many purposes-as it is to this day for freighters carrying iron ore and other products 
of mid-America and for ocean-going vessels of many nations which enter the Lakes via 
the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

Remembering the historic background of the region and the almost complete 
restriction of early knowledge about it to places along the shores, we are prepared to 
focus on explorations of the 19th century. This account is admittedly biased toward 
Michigan, partly because of the central-and complete-location of this state in the 

4Quoted in Mich. Pioneer Hist. Coll. 34: 137 (1905). 

5The white wood (or bois blanc of the French) was not, as might be imagined, the white biich 

(Betula papyrifera), but the basswood or linden {Tilia americana). See, for example, Peter Kalm's 

diary for Oct. 14 and Oct. 21, 1749 (pp. 564 & 586 in vol. 2 of Adolph Benson's English ed. of 

Kalm's Travels). 

^Quoted in Mich. Pioneer Hist. Coll. 33: 111-112 (1904). 

7See, for example, Mich. Pioneer Hist. Coll. 33: 113-136 (1904) and Goodrich (1940, ch. 2-4). 

SQuoted from vol. 2, p. 34, of the 1766 EngUsh ed. published in Dublin by John Exshaw and 

9Alexander Henry, Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories Between the Years 
1760 and 1776 (New York, 1809). [Reprinted 1966 by University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, as 
March of America Facsimile Series No. 43.] 

lOSee also such works as Richard Asa Yarnell, Aboriginal Relationships Between Culture and Plant 
Life in the Upper Great Lakes Region, Anthrop. Pap. Mus. Anthrop. Univ. Mich. 23. 218 pp. 



region to be considered, and partly because of my greater familiarity with develop- 
ments (and the literature) in this area. I have made no attempt to cover the south end 
of Lake Michigan, despite the interest of the Indiana Dunes and the shore around 
Chicago to southern Wisconsin.!^ Some highlights are given for portions of Wisconsin, 
Minnesota, and Ontario adjacent to the upper Great Lakes, but it is often hard to 
separate work done in these portions from that done farther away. The east shore of 
Lake Huron seems actually to have received relatively little botanical attention in the 
19th century. ^^ Limitations of time and space still permit mention of only selected 
pioneers: the ones I find most important, most interesting, most representative, or 
most neglected in existing biographical sources. 



I'At least there is precedent for this neglect: Only two paragraphs (on pp. 7-8 & 14) in Donald 
Culross Peattie's Flora of the Indiana Dunes (Field Museum, Chicago, 1930) refer very briefly to 
work since 1870. Neither H. S. Pepoon, in An Annotated Flora of the Chicago Area (Chicago 
Acad. Sci. 1927), nor Floyd Swink, in Plants of the Chicago Region (ed. 2, Morton Arboretum, 
Lisle, 111., 1974), offers any historical background. 
12This judgment can be made on the basis of the text and bibHography in Penhallow (1897). 




Dwarf lake iris, Iris lacustris, one of the 
upper Great Lakes (see p. 5). This is an endemic 
Michigan-Lake Huron region. (Photo by E. G. Voss in 
the species was first discovered by Thomas Nuttall in 18 



Our story begins with the travels of Thomas Nuttall (1786 1859),*^ born in 
England and apprenticed there to his uncle, a printer. Having taken an interest in 
botany, he sailed for America in 1808 to seek his fortune. In 1810, Nuttall was sent 
out on a two-year expedition under the patronage of Professor Benjamin Smith Barton 
of the University of Pennsylvania, whom he had met promptly upon arriving in 
Philadelphia from England. Barton, full of ambition to write comprehensively on the 
flora of North America, recognized in Nuttall an able young botanist "distinguished by 
his love of science, his integrity, his sobriety, and innocence of character." And, it has 
been suggested, his expendability in the wilds of the Northwest. ^"^ Barton offered him 
a salary of eight dollars a month plus expenses and wrote up an explicit contract 
specifying his duties. 

Early on the morning of April 12, 1810, Nuttall-then age 24-left Philadelphia for 
the eight-day stagecoach ride to Pittsburgh. From there, he walked to Lake Erie, with 
some back-tracking to fetch baggage, and along the shore to the Huron River-over 400 
miles of walking altogether. Learning that the west end of Lake Erie was too swampy 
for practical hiking, he took a boat to Detroit, then a community of less than 1,000 
people, where he arrived on June 26. He explored the Detroit area for a month and 
came to realize not only the immensity of his intended journey to the interior plains 
of the continent but also the greater feasibiUty of travel in this region by water than 
by land. Consequently, he doubtless welcomed an opportunity to depart from his 
instructions to go from Detroit to Chicago, thence along the western shore of Lake 
Michigan and overland to Lake Superior and westward. Instead, as he recorded in his 
diary, he left Detroit on July 29 in a birchbark canoe with the deputy surveyor of the 
territory of Michigan, Aaron Greely, who was bound for Mackinac Island to survey the 
town lots and various private claims in the region which antedated American 
independence. 15 They arrived at Mackinac August 12 and after several days Nuttall 
was again fortunate in being able to join a party of the Pacific Fur Company headed 
for the Columbia River via St. Louis. His travel with the Astorians took him to Green 
Bay for two weeks, where he was impressed with the Indian use of maple sugar and 



l^A full-scale biography of Nuttall is by Graustein (1967; see pp. 38-77 for his 1810-1811 
travels). An earlier account is by Pennell (1936). NuttaU's previously unpublished diary for 1810 
was presented by Graustein (1951). For a full bibliography on Nuttall, see Stuckey (1968). Only a 
brief summary of his life is given here, for the details are now readily accessible and nothing 
original can be added. 

150n the importance of Greely's surveys in the new territory of Michigan, see M. M. Quaife, 
Detroit Biographies: Aaron Greeley, Burton Hist. Coll. Leafl. 5: 49-64 (1927). He also surveyed 
the only private claim in Cheboygan County in 1810 and his description (with his name spelled 
"Greely") is reproduced in Judy Ranville & Nancy Campbell, Memories of Mackinaw (Mackinaw 
City Public Library & Woman's Club, 1976) p. 25. 



5 

wild-rice, and thence up the Fox River and by a short portage to the Wisconsin River 
and the Mississippi. Returning eventually to New Orleans from his western travels, 
Nuttall shipped his specimens and notes to Barton and sailed for his home in England 
in December of 1811. 

In 1815, the War of 1812 having just been concluded, Nuttall returned to 
Philadelphia. Three years later, he published The Genera of North American Plants, 
and a Catalogue of the Species, to the Year 181 7. This strictly American production 
achieved international acclaim for Nuttall and was a remarkable accomphshment for 
one who had spent scarcely more than six years in this country. According to 
tradition, he set much of the type himself. ^^ 

There are no entries in Nuttall's diary between his departure from Detroit July 29, 
1810, and his arrival in Wisconsin on August 26. But we know from his Genera that 
his days on the Lakes were profitable. Altogether, Nuttall mentioned about 60 species 
as specifically occurring around the Great Lakes, at least a third of them described as 
new to science, including Amorpha canescens (leadplant) from the Fox River of 
Wisconsin and westward. Orchis huronensis (= Habenaria hyperborea, tall northern 
green orchid) from islands of Lakes Michigan and Huron, Melanthium glaucum (= 
Zigadenus, white camas) from a number of locahties, and others. Chief among these 
were three species described as new to science from the vicinity of Michihmackinac: 
Iris lacustris, a dwarf species named for the lakes and endemic to the shores of 
northern Lakes Michigan and Huron; Tanacetum huronense, a large -headed tansy 
named for Lake Huron but in addition to the sandy shores of the northern Great 
Lakes now known also from the Hudson Bay region and the north Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts; and Rubus parviflorus, a misnomer regarding flower size, the tasty thimbleberry 
in fruit, occurring in the northern Great Lakes region, the Black Hills of South Dakota, 
and quite widely in the West-a classic example of the disjunct cordilleran or western 
element in our flora. 

The species we know now as Lathyrus japonicus (or L. maritimus, the beach pea) 
and Cakile edentula (sea rocket) were among the common beach plants Nuttall noted 
but which, unlike the tansy, had already been described from ocean shores. He also 
mentioned the little birdseye primrose. Primula mistassinica (which he called P. 
farinosa), from the "calcareous gravelly shores of the islands of Lake Huron; around 
Michilimakinak, Bois Blanc, and St. Helena, in the outlet of Lake Michigan," ad- 
mitting he had not seen it in flower; Linnaea borealis (twinflower), "abundant in the 
shady pine forests of Lake Huron"; Poly gala paucifolia (fringed polygala), forming 
"almost exclusive carpets of great extent in the Pine forests of Lake Huron"; and 
many others which likewise were not new to science but which make clear that 
Thomas Nuttall deserves credit as being the first botanist to have seen and recognized 
in his pubUshed work many of the most distinctive plants of our northern forests and 
shores. His collections would be the first scientific ones from this region, but most of 
them were apparently lost.^^ His travels never brought him to the Great Lakes region 
again after 1810. 

In 1818, the year that Nuttall's Genera was published, Illinois was admitted to the 
Union and Michigan Territory was extended to include the land north of Illinois and 
west of Lake Michigan as far as the Mississippi River-in other words, to include what 

1971 Hafner reprint of NuttaU's 



later became Wisconsin and much of Minnesota. Since 1813, Lewis Cass had been 
governor of Michigan Territory, which had been separated from Indiana in 1805, and 
he became increasingly anxious to learn about this large area and make peace with the 
Indians, some of whom still bore friendly feelings toward the British after the War of 
1812. Born in New Hampshire in 1782 and raised in Ohio, Cass came to Detroit with 
the Ohio militia at the beginning of the War of 1812. He considered General Hull, then 
governor of the territory, to be a traitor for surrendering Detroit and testified at his 
subsequent court-martial. President Madison soon named Cass governor and henceforth 
he was regarded as a Michigan man; he maintained his home in Detroit-the territorial 
capital-throughout his years of government service. ^^ It was Cass-always recognized 
as a scholar in his views-who led the first government-sponsored, scientifically oriented 
expedition into the upper Great Lakes. ^^ 

On November 18, 1819, Governor Cass wrote to Secretary of War John C. 
Calhoun, suggesting an expedition to the Lake Superior-Upper Mississippi region, 
which would "well accord with that zeal for inquiries of this nature which has recently 
marked the administration of the War Department." He pointed out: "The country 
upon the southern shore of Lake Superior, and upon the water communication 
between that lake and the Mississippi, has been but little explored, and its natural 
features are imperfectly known. We have no correct topographical delineation of it, 



18For 




of Lewis Cass, see Du 


nbar (1970) 


Following 1 


8 years as gove 


nor of 


Michigan Territory, Cass served as secretary of war 








chigan. 










of Michigan 


Si quaeris peninsulam 




m, circumspice; and he designed the sta 


c seal. Cass 


presidential 


ambitions wer 




fulfiUed 


, but he was the 






ntil 1976 was 


nother 


Michigan man nominated 


for the presidency by 


major par 


y (the other 


party, but wit 


equal 


19The 


most complete ac 


count of this expeditio 


a is in the 


thoroughly documented edi 


ion of 


Schoolc 


raft's Narrative by 


Williams (1953). Brief s 










Rodger 


(1942, pp. 63-66 













-A 


^nrrua-i 








-4i^?mi 



tribution of sea rocket, Cakile edentula, in the Grea 


t Lakes region-typical 


ncted to the shores of this region but which also occu 


r on ocean shores. (Fro 


63, p. 107; half circles represent rehable reports; fuU circ 





1 Guire & Voss 



and the little information we possess relating to it has been derived from the reports of 
the Indian traders." Cass concluded: "I am not competent to speculate upon the 
natural history of the country through which we may pass. Should this object be 
deemed important, I request that some person acquainted with zoology, botany, and 
mineralogy may be sent to join me."20 xhere were reports of copper to investigate 
and treaties to be concluded with the Indians for certain of their lands; some 
understanding of what the British might be doing and what influence they still had on 
the Indians would be useful to the Government. 

Calhoun was convinced of the merits of the proposed expedition and on January 
14, 1820, directed Cass to proceed with the plans which, in fact, he had already begun 
to implement. In February, Calhoun appointed Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, then age 27, 
to the position of mineralogist of the expedition. His salary was $1.50 per day.'^' 
Schoolcraft had learned the glass industry in his youth in New York state and in 1819 
published an account of the lead mines of Missouri, which brought him to the 
attention of Calhoun. It was his appointment to the Cass expedition which first 
brought Schoolcraft to his adopted state of Michigan, where Cass had him appointed in 
1822 as Indian agent at Sault Ste. Marie, where he served until the agency was 
combined in 1832 with the one at Mackinac, where he continued until 1841. 

Captain David Bates Douglass (1790-1849),22 an 1813 Yale graduate and since 
1815 assistant professor of natural philosophy in the U.S. Military Academy at West 
Point, was appointed to prepare a map and serve as scientist to the expedition in all 
fields except those assigned to Schoolcraft. As Cass wrote him: "The astronomical & 
topographical observations will of course be made by you, and the departments of 
zoology & botany will require as much of your observation as you may be able to 
bestow upon them."^^ As the first person assigned by the Federal government to 
collect plants around the northern Great Lakes, Douglass should rate a prominent place 
in our history, but his specimens are not numerous. He reported after the expedition: 
"The region in which the greater part of our journey has been performed is not one 
which presents any considerable variety of Botanical specimens. I have however formed 
an Herbarium of such as offered. "^^^ Douglass' heart seems not to have been in 
botany! John Torrey of New York, the leading botanist in the country, had sent him 
instructions on making specimens before the trip, but as Douglass wrote afterwards to 
Benjamin Silliman (his former professor at Yale): "I must beg leave to observe, in the 
first place that the collection of plants was made by a person, who, besides not being a 
professed botanist, was almost constantly engaged with other objects of research. The 
formation of an Herbarium, requiring much leisure and frequent attention, could 
scarcely be expected, under such circumstances, and would not have been undertaken, 
except in the exigency of having no professed botanist attached to the Expedition. "^^ 

The specimens were sent to Torrey, who pubhshed an account in volume 4 of 
Silliman's American Journal of Science and Arts (1821). I have encountered some of 

20Quoted by Schoolcraft (1855, pp. 27-31); Williams (1953, pp. 302 305); Jackman et al. (1969, 



1871, pp. 199-221); Dexter (1912, pp. 550-553); 



23Quoted by Williams (1953, p. 311). 
24Quoted by Williams (1953, pp. 385-386); . 
25Quoted in Torrey (1821, p. 57); Rodgers (] 



Douglass' specimens in the herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden, where 
Torrey's collections now reside; they are very scantily labeled. A few others, sent by 
Torrey to Schweinitz, are in the herbarium of the Academy of Natural Sciences, 
Philadelphia. 26 Schoolcraft published a narrative of the expedition in 1821, organized 
chronologically, with dates; and Douglass' journal was published recently, though with 
careless and often erroneous botanical annotations. ^7 Since there are dates with some 
species in the Torrey list, it is sometimes possible to connect a specific locahty to a 
certain plant, especially if the label bears a date. Observations on the flora and general 
vegetation occur throughout the accounts of Schoolcraft and Douglass. 

Schoolcraft and Douglass arrived in Detroit at midnight on May 8, on the first 
run of the season from Buffalo of the famous steamship, Walk-in-the-Water. (At 
Buffalo, Douglass apparently collected the type material of the spring cress which bears 
his name: Cardamine douglassii Britton.) Much work needed to be done to prepare for 
departure; the supplies needed for a summer in the wilderness amounted to several 
tons, for there were 40 or more persons in the party, including soldiers, Indians, and 
voyageurs. On May 24 the group departed from Detroit in three birchbark canoes 
made by Saginaw Indians. These were not little recreational canoes; they were 30 or 
more feet long and capable of carrying about four tons each. But they were not the 
safest vehicles for keeping specimens dry! As quoted in a letter from Douglass to 
Silliman, accompanying Torrey's Ust of the plants, "a part of the collection was injured 
by an accident on the Ouisconsin, in which my canoe was very nearly filled with water 
before it could be got ashore. The consequence of which was that nearly all the plants 
in one case were completely spoiled before I was able to dry them."28 

The expedition returned to Detroit, with all personnel safe and sound after more 
than 4,000 miles of travel, almost four months after leaving. It took 14 days to travel 
from Detroit to Mackinac. Every night they put ashore and unloaded all the tons of 
cargo. There were apparently a few moments for botanizing, as a number of species are 
mentioned in the Torrey list for the shores of Lake Huron. Some, such as the yellow 
lady-slipper, Cypripedium calceolus, listed for "Presque Isle, June 5th," bear dates 
when Schoolcraft's narrative and the journals of others note that the party was 
detained by strong winds. The expedition stayed six days at Mackinac Island, getting 
an additional canoe, laying in supplies, and making observations. Here they noted the 
dwarf Iris lacustris, with the comment in Torrey's catalog: "Mr. Nuttall discovered this 
26Rodgers (1942, p. 65); Stuckey (1978a). 

27jackman et al. (1969); extracts were earlier published by Williams (1953, App E pp 366-382) 
Other journals of the expedition were also kept. James Duane Doty, 20-yearK)ld' Detroit lawyer' 
was appomted official journalist. His journal was finally published in Coll State Hist Soc Wis b' 
163-246 (1895) and by Williams (1953, App. F, pp. 403-436). Doty was later the second 
governor of Wisconsm Territory (1841-1844); he had been active in promoting Wisconsin as a 
territory and in getting Madison as the capital. His colorful and controversial political career does 
"'^0,^°"'^/" "f, ^^^^' '^ '^ concisely summarized by Joseph Schafer in Wis. Mag. Hist. 18: 446-465 
(1935). A full treatment of Doty is by Alice Elizabeth Smith, James Duane Doty Frontier 
Promoter iSi^ie Hist. Soc. Wis., Madison. 1954. 472 pp.). Charles C. Trowbridge, likewise 20 and 
bvmg with Doty m Detroit, was employed as an assistant to Douglass. His journal was published in 
462-498). Trowbridge became a prominent citizen of Detroit, which he saw grow to a large city 
before his deatfi m 1883; he served in many charitable, business, and civic capacities, including 
mayor, m 18J6 he was the unsuccessful Whig candidate for governor of the new state, losing to 
lu "i!"'^ Mason who at the age of 19 had become acting governor upon Cass' removal to 
Washmgton in 1831 to become secretary of war. Trowbridge was the first secretary of the 
University nf Mphoati 1817^UJTC ' 



Iris in the same place where it was found by Capt. Douglass-on the gravelly shores of 
the Islands of Lake Huron." Traveling two years after the publication of Nuttall's 
Genera (in which this iris was first described) and 18 years after Nuttall's trip, the Cass 
expedition had one botanical advantage in its earlier season, so that some species, such 
as the endemic dwarf iris, might still be seen in flower. Similarly, of the Httle primrose 
found by Douglass on the shores of Lake Huron, Torrey says: "Mr. Nuttall found it in 
the same place, but not in flower." The journey from Mackinac to the "Soo" took 
two days, and three were spent dealing with the Indians there, including a treaty 
ceding to the United States 16 square miles of land and making possible the 
establishment of Fort Brady-now the site of Lake Superior State College. 

Over two weeks were spent along the south shore of Lake Superior, including two 
days passing the Grand Sable Dunes and the Pictured Rocks, both of which features 
greatly impressed the travelers-and nearly 150 years later sufficiently impressed 
Congress to establish for them the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Dr. Alexander 
Wolcott, Indian agent at Chicago and physician to the expedition, "with considerable 
labour ascended these sandy eminences," wrote Schoolcraft of the dunes. ^9 Another 
member of the party wrote: "one of our Indians whom curiosity induced to ascend 
them had much the appearance of a child when running on the summit of the hills, 
and when he returned to the canoe he was almost exhausted with fatigue ."^^ Douglass 
expressed the general sentiment regarding the next landmark: "I cannot think any 
scenery I ever visited, even including Niagara Falls and its vicinity, is to be compared 
for grandeur and sublimity to the Pictured Rocks of Lake Superior."^^ Governor Cass, 
duly impressed with his first view of this part of his domain, wrote to Secretary of 
War Calhoun: "Two of the most sublime natural objects in the United States, the 
Grand Sable, and the pictured rocks are to be found upon this coast. The former is an 
immense hill of sand extending for some miles along the Lake, of great elevation & 
precipitous ascent. The latter is an unbroken wall of rocks, rising perpendicularly from 
the Lake to the height of 300 feet assuming every grotesque & fanciful appearance, 
and presenting to the eye of the passenger a spectacle as tremendous as the 
imagination can conceive, or the reason itself can well sustain."32 Apparently the 
members of the expedition were too overcome by the scenery to collect any specimens 
from this area, but later explorers made up for their neglect. 

Near the Keweenaw Peninsula, Schoolcraft commented: "we here first noticed a 
creeping plant called kinni-kinick by the Indians, which is used as a substitute for 

tobacco The Indians prepare it by drying the leaf over a moderate fire, and 

bruising it between the fingers so that it, in some degree, resembles cut tobacco. In 
this state it is smoked, and is very mild and pleasant. "33 We know the plant as 
bearberry {Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), and Torrey's catalog of Douglass' collections also 
refers to smoking it. Late in June the expedition crossed the Keweenaw Peninsula 
including its boggy portage where a ship canal was under construction 50 years later. 
Douglass noted several bog plants here including pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea) and 
the showy lady-slipper (Cypripedium reginae). The ubiquitous false toadflax (Comandra 

29Schoolcraft (1821, p. 148). 

30james Doty's journal for June 20; see Williams (1953, p. 471). 

31jackman et al. (1969, p. 49). 

32Quoted by Williams (1953, p. 325). 

33Schoolcraft (1821, pp. 161-162).. 



umbellata) was noted at Keweenaw and said to be "Used by the Indians and traders in 
fevers. "34 

How did this official Government expedition celebrate the Fourth of July, 
1820-the 44th anniversary of American independence? There was an unfavorable 
wind, and until 2:00 they stayed on land at the mouth of the Sandy River, on the 
Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior. The only collection of Douglass' listed by Torrey 
for this date is the beach pea {Lathyrus faponicus), which is known not only from all 
five of the Great Lakes but also Lake Champlain, Lake Winnipeg, and the northern 
shores of the Atlantic and Pacific-as well as the Old World. Strictly a shoreline plant, 
it is representative of a group of species that would naturally be seen by explorers 
traveling by water, but that no one would find inland.35 Nuttall had said it was 
"Abundant on the shores of Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan." On July 5, the 
expedition reached Fond du Lac-the present site of Duluth and prepared to go up 
the St. Louis River and across to the Mississippi. They never did reach the source of 
the Father of Waters, for it was too late in the season for navigating the rivers. But 
they arrived at Upper Red Cedar Lake, later renamed Cass Lake, and then returned 
downstream to the Wisconsin River, whence they portaged to the Fox River, reaching 
Green Bay on August 20. Wild-rice was found "in the greatest luxuriance and plenty in 
Fox river" and another grass was described as new by Torrey from "the banks of Fox 
River, &c" (Panicum longisetum, now considered a form of Echinochloa walteri, one 
of the wild millets). Some of the party returned to Detroit directly from Green Bay, 
while the rest continued down the west side of Lake Michigan to Chicago; Governor 
Cass went from there overland to Detroit, leaving Schoolcraft and Douglass to continue 
around the east side of Lake Michigan, back to Mackinac, and down to Detroit, which 
they reached on September 23-one day short of four months after their departure. 

Although explorations by canoe were rugged adventures, we should remember that 
conditions even in the territorial capital at the time were primitive by modern 
standards: In 1820, Detroit (population about 1,500) had steamboat service from 
Buffalo once every two weeks or so (except of course in winter)-but there was no 
railroad, no telegraph or telephone, no stagecoach service, no daily newspaper (though 
there was a weekly one), and no daily mail (in 1817 the mail began to come fairly 
regularly from Washington via Cleveland once every three weeks, by horse and 

It is now time for a brief digression on medical men. Many early physicians were, 
of course, also accomplished botanists. These included some Army surgeons, one of 
whom was Zina Pitcher (1797-1872).37 a native of New York state,' Pitcher 
graduated in medicine from Middlebury College, in Vermont, in 1822. This was during 
the period (1817-1824) that Amos Eaton, who was to become famous as a scientist 



34Torrey (1821,p. 60). 




35See Guire & Voss (1963). Because of their restricted distribution, several su 

T^:i ;'r 1977)''" '"^^"'^"^ ''- '' --' ''- '--'- ''-'''-' '^ ^"^^^" 

36Farmer (1890, p. 880). 


t.i:s:z. 


370n Zina Pitcher, see Nati Cycl. Am. Biogr. 12: 214-215 (1904); Kelly (1914, pp. 145-150); 
Connor in KeUey & Burrage (1920, pp. 917-918); Phalen in Diet. Am. Biogr. 14: 636-637 
(1934); Bidlack (1962, pp. 12-14); Whittaker (1972). There is a tribute in the middle of the front 
page of the Detroit Free Press for April 6, 1872, the day after Pitcher's death: "Death of Dr. Zina 




York^ 



lecturing 
50tany.39 por 
Army surgeon 



1 Scho. 



and educator, "wandered through the New England state; 

on botany. Through such lectures, Eaton became Pitcher' 

the first eight years after receiving his M.D., Pitcher was stationed 

"in the yet unbroken wilderness of the territory of Michigan."40 He served at Fort 

Saginaw, Fort Brady (Sault Ste. Marie) from 1826 to 1828, and Fort Gratiot (Port 

38McAmster (1941, p. 180). The Rensselaer School, with which Eaton's name is so closely 

associated, was not founded until 1824; Pitcher could not have studied with Eaton there, as 

suggested in some biographies. 

39Eaton, America's "first great teacher of natural history," had also been Torrey's first instructor 

in botany, when young Torrey's father was fiscal agent for the prison in which Eaton was 

incarcerated on questionable charges of forgery (Rodgers 1942, pp. 13-16). One of Eaton's sons, it 

might be noted here, Amos Beebe Eaton (1806-1877), was a mUitary man who did some 

collecting in the Great Lakes region; he was stationed for a while at Fort Gratiot, where his son, 

Daniel Cady Eaton, was born in 1834. But D. C. Eaton's botanical activity came after he left 

Michigan. (See SetcheU 1900; Stuckey 1978c.) 

40Kelly (1914, p. 146). 



Huron), before going to Arkansas and Virginia. He accumulated a large herbarium 
which was acquired in 1880 by Isaac C. Martindale, whose collection was ultimately 
purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1964 for the National Arbor- 
etum."*' In 1836, nearly 15 years after being commissioned by Secretary of War 
Calhoun, Pitcher resigned his commission and returned to Michigan, where he practiced 
medicine in Detroit and became one of the leading citizens of the state. 

In 1828, while he was stationed in Michigan, Pitcher had joined with Lewis Cass 
and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in founding the Historical Society of Michigan. Upon his 
return to the state, he was named by Governor Mason-although of the opposing 
party-to be a member of the first Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. He 
served as an influential regent until 1852, when the post became elective, and is 
credited with being the founder of the medical school, on whose faculty he served 
1851-1872. When the American Medical Association met in Detroit in 1856, it elected 
as its 10th president the president of the Michigan State Medical Society and former 
mayor of Detroit, Dr. Zina Pitcher. 

A number of plants have been named for Pitcher, including a handsome thistle 
with cream-flowered heads, Grsium pitcheri, which grows only on the sandy shores of 
Lakes Michigan and Huron, with a single area on Lake Superior. It is now considered 
a "threatened species.'"*^ Torrey proposed the epithet, based on material found by 
Pitcher "on the great sand banks of Lake Superior," so it was probably while Pitcher 
was stationed at Fort Brady that he found this plant; the "great sand banks" can only 
be the Grand Sable Dunes, so admired by the Cass expedition and to this day the only 
place on Lake Superior where Pitcher's thistle is known to grow. However, this is not 
the type locality, thanks to one of those legal maneuvers into which the conventions 
of nomenclature can lead us. Torrey was not the first to publish a name for this 
thistle, which was actually first described by Amos Eaton in the fifth edition of his 
Manual of Botany (1829), with a clear statement that although it was first found by 
Pitcher on Lake Superior, "My specimen was collected by Dr. E. James, at Lake 
Huron, from which I made this description." 

Edwin James (1797-1 861)^^3 graduated from Middlebury College in 1816, six 
years before Pitcher, and then studied medicine with his older brothers in Albany, New 
York. Already possessed of an interest in botany, he attended lectures by Eaton in 
Albany and doubtless elsewhere (including the Troy Lyceum of Natural History). 
Through Eaton, James became acquainted with John Torrey. While the Cass expedition 
was exploring the Lake Superior region in 1820, Dr. James was accompanying Major 
Stephen H. Long's first expedition, to the Rocky Mountains, as botanist and geologist 
as well as surgeoa After writing up the results of Long's expedition, James applied for 
formal instatement as assistant surgeon, U.S.A., and this was approved by the Senate in 
January, 1823. His service was mostly at Fort Crawford (Prairie du Chien) on the 
upper Mississippi unfil 1826, when he received orders late in the fall to go to Fort 
Brady (18th in his list of 20 posts in order of preference!).'*'* Knowing that ice would 
prevent him fiom reaching his assignment before spring, he went by boat to Albany 

4lMeyer & Elsasser (1973, pp. 382-383). Torrey sent some Pitcher specimens to Schweinitz, and 
collections of his are to be found in various herbaria. 
42SeeMc/i. Bot. 16: 106 (1977). 

43on Edwin James, see Pammel (1907-1908); Rowe in Kelly & Burrage (1920, pp. 606-607); 
; Voss (1956, pp. 24-26); Benson (1968). 



15 

and visited there and in Philadelphia, where he was married. Before navigation opened 
on the Lakes, he received a change in orders: the assistant surgeon at Fort Mackinac, 
Dr. Richard Satterlee, was going on leave, and James took his place from May 23 until 
the end of August,45 after which he proceeded to his original assignment at Fort 
Brady, where he remained until the spring of 1832 (thus overlapping for a year 
Pitcher's assignment to Fort Brady ).46 While at this post, he became a charter member 
of the Historical Society of Michigan, founded in 1828 with two other citizens of 
Sault Ste. Marie, Zina Pitcher and H. R. Schoolcraft, as prime movers. 

The type specimen of Pitcher's thistle, then, was probably collected by Edwin 
James during the summer of 1827 at (or near) Mackinac Island, in the north end of 
Lake Huron. Presumably James collected other plants there and at Fort Brady .^'^ In 
1832 he was assigned to Albany, New York, and the next year he was dismissed from 
the Army. He had become interested in Indian dialects while stationed on the frontier, 
in the temperance movement, in abolitionism, and in other subjects, and spent the last 
quarter-century of his life in Iowa, ending his days as something of a recluse. 

The Cass expedition had never reached the true source of the Mississippi, and 
Schoolcraft could not forget a hope of achieving that goal-even though he had written 
from Vernon, New York, to Douglass in November of 1820: "I have scarcely stirred out 
of the house since my return, and have endeavoured in the comforts of a christian 
country to forget the canoes, the rocks, and headwinds of those 'bloody Lakes.""*^ 
Settled in Michigan as Indian agent at Sault Ste. Marie in 1822, married in 1823 to 
Jane Johnston (the well educated daughter of a prominent fur trader and grand- 
daughter of a Chippewa chief), and member of the territorial legislature 1828-1832, 
Schoolcraft became increasingly involved in Indian history and in Indian affairs on Lake 
Superior and in Wisconsin and Minnesota.'*^ His opportunity for the long-awaited 
exploration came late in 1830, when Governor Cass, under directions from the War 
Department, requested Schoolcraft to endeavor to end the hostilities between the 
Chippewa and the Sioux in the Minnesota-Wisconsin area, when a negotiated boundary 
line between the tribes was in no way marked and tension was mounting. Schoolcraft 
made plans for an expedition the following summer. In addition to a small detachment 
of troops and the usual Indian guides and such persons, the party included School- 
craft's brother-in-law, George Johnston,^*^ and a physician who was to become 
extraordinarily prominent in Michigan affairs- Douglass Houghton. 



45To place the times in historical perspective, it may be noted that the celebrated surgeon William 

Beaumont had just left Fort Mackinac two years previous, in 1825. 

46For dates of James' and Pitcher's assignments, I am indebted to investigations of Rogers 

McVaugh in the National Archives and reported in a letter to me March 5, 1956. See also the 

account of James' rivalry with Schoolcraft while at Fort Brady (Benson 1970, from Benson 1968). 

47specimens sent by James to others, such as Torrey (whose herbarium is at the New York 

Botanical Garden), should be preserved, but none of the thistle is in Eaton's herbarium (see Voss 

1956) and no material of it collected by James or Pitcher is at the New York Botanical Garden 

(according to C. W. Laskowski, who searched for me in 1964). James' own collections and papers 

were burned after the death of his wife in 1854 (Pammel 1908; see also Benson 1968, p. 334). 

48Quoted by Williams (1953, p. 353). 

49For a recent discussion of Schoolcraft's role in history, see Marsden (1976). 

50On the family of George Johnston, brother of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, grandson of a leading 

Indian chief in Wisconsin, see Mich. Hist. 54: 108-121 (1970). 



Chapter 2. 
THE HOUGHTON ERA 



Douglass Houghton (1809^1845)51 grew up in New York state and received his 
A.B. in 1829 from the Rensselaer School in Troy, where he greatly impressed the 
senior professor, the well known botanist and educator, Amos Eaton. Eaton asked him 
to remain as an assistant and in February of 1830 he was appointed adjunct to the 
junior professor in chemistry and natural history, with expectations of a higher 
position. 52 With a promising career ahead of him, what led Douglass Houghton to 
Michigan? 

In the fall of 1830, Detroit, then a prospering community of some two thousand 
citizens and the capital of the territory of Michigan, wanted to improve its cultural 
opportunities. A newspaper and several prominent citizens of the state, including Lewis 
Cass and Zina Pitcher, supported a proposal to bring a lecturer who would talk on, and 
demonstrate, science. Amos Eaton had written that someone from his institution could 
be obtained and when the funds were subscribed, Lucius Lyon, the Michigan territorial 
delegate in Congress, stopped to visit Eaton on his way home from Washington and 
closed negotiations. So it was on Eaton's recommendation that young Houghton, less 
than two months after his 21st birthday, arrived in Detroit, allegedly with 10 cents 
and a letter of recommendation in his pocket. This was in November of 1830, just 
before the ice put an end to navigation for the season. His lectures that winter on 
chemistry, natural history, and mechanical philosophy were an astounding success and 
Houghton became one of the most popular men in Detroit, acquainted with the 
leading citizens. These included Schoolcraft, who was then serving in the legislature 
and who wrote later about plans for his expedition: 

While at Detroit during the winter, 1 had invited Dr. Douglass Houghton to accompany 
me to vaccinate the Indians. He was a man of pleasing manners and deportment, small of 
stature, and of a compact make, and apparently well suited to withstand the fatigues 
incidental to such a journey. He was a good botanist and geologist-objects of interest to 
me at all times; but especially so now, for I should have considered it inexcusable to 
conduct an expedition into the Indian country, without collecting data over and above 
the public duties, to understand its natural history.53 

The expedition left Sault Ste. Marie by canoe June 25 and returned 72 days later, 
on September 4, having traveled an estimated 2,300 miles. Houghton collected 
extensively and sent many plants to John Torrey, with whom he corresponded often. 
One letter from Houghton to Torrey, dated at Fredonia, New York, March 20, 1832, 
gives something of the flavor of his work: 



. biography of Houghton, 



51 

KeUy & Burrage (1920, pp. 564-565); Fuller (1928')r 

(1932); Wallin (1970); and numerous other sketches. 

52Nason (1887, p. 187). Until 1835, there were only twc 

"junior," at the institution, which became "The Rensselaer 

Polytechnic Institute" in 1861. 

53Schoolcraft (1851, p. 350). 



Some time in November last I received, through the hands of H. R. Schoolcraft 
Esqr. of the Saut Ste Marie, notice that you had made some requests respecting the 
plants which were collected during the expedition of the past summer. He also informed 
me that he had written you upon the same subject. 

In the expedition referred to I acted as naturalist, and have now the entire 
collection of plants, as well as parts of the other collections in my possession. You are 
undoubtedly well aware of the numerous difficulties which are presented in preserving 
and securing plants during a long and tedious canoe voyage. With the utmost care, I was 
unable to preserve many of my duplicate specimens, & others were entirely lost, or much 
injured. I send you a catalogue, as it was first taken, embracing many common plants 
which were preserved, mostly for comparison with our eastern & more southern plants. 
The unfortunate loss of my most valuable botanical books, of reference, together with an 

tion of the plants, since my return to this place. At the Saut Ste Marie, by the aid of Dr. 
James, of the U.S. Army, I was enabled to solve some of my difficulties . . y^ 

Later in the same letter, Houghton mentions that "Eaton's Manual 5th Edition was the 
work which I used in the field"; and in a letter to Schoolcraft dated April 3, 1832, 
Houghton stated "as I look for several new botanical works, in a few days, I will have 
some enjoyment in burying myself among my plants."^^ On May 12 he wrote 
Schoolcraft that he had spent "several days engaged in preparing to secure what plants 

may be collected from the effects of water I have heard from Torrey & have sent 

him a suit of Plants."^^ There can be no doubt that Houghton was an accomplished 
botanist in addition to his geological and other abilities. Schoolcraft noted at the 
Mauvaise [Bad] River in Wisconsin: "In the ascent of this stream, Dr. Houghton has 
collected about two hundred plants"^^ and later he stated that Houghton "was a 
zealous botanist, and a discriminating geologisl."^^ But he was not immune from the 
same problems that Nuttall and Douglass had evidently had, of keeping dry specimens 
from loss and damage on a long canoe voyage .^^ 



S^The original of this letter is in the Torrey papers at the New York Botanical Garden; a photostat 
is in the Michigan Historical Collections, University of Michigan, including an appended list of 
plants found in 1831. This list was dismissed by Mason when quoting the letter (1958, pp. 
294-295) as having "little historical value"; Mason stated that the information could be found in 
Houghton's published list (1834), but this is not true, for the published list makes no distinction 
between 1831 and 1832 collections. This letter by Houghton presumably resulted from a letter 
which Schoolcraft received from Torrey early in October of 1831, in which he stated: "You know 
that I have long devoted much of my time to the study of N. American botany, and that I am 
collecting materials for a general Flora of our country. Now, my dear sir, if you or Mr. Houghton 
(the young gentleman whom, I am informed, accompanied you) have made any collections in 
botany, I should esteem it a peculiar favor to have the examination of the specimens." (Schoolcraft 
1851, p. 397) On June 24, 1832, Houghton wrote to his brother Richard: "I received another 
letter from Prof. Torr[e]y, respecting my plants of last year . . . and I was much gratified to learn 

supported by the New York botanist. This will give me fresh courage to push the subject this 

season." (Quoted by Mason 1958, p. 298). 

55Quoted by Mason (1958, p. 296) from letter in Schoolcraft papers. Library of Congress. 

56Quoted by Mason (1958, p. 297) from letter in Schoolcraft papers, Library of Congress. 

57Schoolcraft (1851, p. 365). 

58schoolcraft (1851, p. 429). 

59Rodgers (1942, p. 103) quotes a letter from Torrey to Schoolcraft, October 5, 1832, omitting 

after the second paragraph a passage kindly suplied me by R. L. Stuckey: "Dr. H. sent me some of 

the more interesting plants which he brought with him last year-but he said that the best part of 

to Torrey makes clear the problem, as well as Houghton's dedication to botany: "The probability 

[to] collect a great number of specimens. But only two or three days after this my canoe bilged, & 
all the plants I had collected for several days were thoroughly wetted. Among them was this plant, 



For a week or more before the expedition departed from the Soo, Houghton 
collected in that vicinity, both in Canada and in Michigan. The route then led the 
party along the south shore of Lake Superior, and many of the same sights were seen 
as had fascinated the Cass expedition 11 years earlier. At Grand Sable, Houghton 
collected Grsium pitcheri-which had just been described in the 5th edition of Eaton's 
Manual, the one Houghton had with him. On June 30 the expedition passed the 
Pictured Rocks, where Houghton collected crowberry, Empetrum nigrum-io this day 
one of the few locations for this species on the south shore of Lake Superior.^O In 
Wisconsin, the party spent three days at La Pointe (Madeline Island), where George 
Johnston was in charge of Indian affairs,^ ^ and it then ascended the Bad River and 



& I was only able to preserve thi 
Laskowski, Jan. 1964.) No dupli 
but other species labeled by Houghton from the 



imperfect speci 



, 1831. 



60See 1 



Bot. 3: 35-38 (1964). This is now considered a "threatened sp 
Mich. Bot. 16: 107. 1977). 

6lMelancthon Woolsey, a member of the expedition, began a long letter to 
La Pointe, July 17, 1831: "Instead of a sand bank for a writing desk, I am now seated 

be no discredit to a place less out of the world than La Pointe. We have luxuries tt 
St. Mary's (Sault Ste. Marie] might envy. Our table groans beneath 
* ' veal and pigeons, rice-puddings and strawberries ... We at presei 



inhabitants 






well 1 



: glad t 



' (Southern 1 




n's first herbarium, begun while he w 

k (see footnote 62). A few plants from the 1831 

uded, such as the specimen of Pitcher's thistle in 



19 

portaged to the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers of the Mississippi system. The type 
material of a sedge which Torrey later named Cyperus houghtonii was collected August 
4 on a portage near the Namekagon. Many of the specimens from the 1831 expedition 
are from the Mississippi drainage in Wisconsin, although some are from the prairies of 
the Fox River on the return trip. 62 

Like the Cass expedition of 1820, Schoolcraft's 1831 tour had to give up any 
attempt to reach the source of the Mississippi because of the low state of the rivers so 
late in the season; and hence, while the official purposes were accomplished among the 
Indians, the story is not a very dramatic exploring narrative and Schoolcraft said 
relatively Uttle of it in most of his subsequent literary productions. ^^ He knew that he 
must try again to reach the true source of the Mississippi and in 1832 he was suc- 
cessful. An exploring expedition per se could hardly have been sponsored by the 
Office of Indian Affairs (which was under the War Department). But he convinced the 
Office to send him out again to extend peace, to investigate the condition of the fur 
trade, and to vaccinate and compile statistics on the Indians. Lewis Cass had gone to 



62The principal locations of specimens are at the New York Botanical Garden (from Torrey's 
herbarium) and at the University of Michigan Herbarium, which possesses Houghton's original 
five-volume herbarium, begun in his youth in New York but containing some of the 1831 and 1832 
specimens, and also possesses numerous sheets from the Schoolcraft expeditions mounted and filed 
in the usual manner. Duplicates were widely exchanged by Houghton and others, and are found in 

63Much valuable information on the 1831 expedition, including some botanical notes, usually with 
dates indicated, is in Schoolcraft (1851); Mason (1958) includes several relevant documents. From 

reconstruct the botanical results so as to provide localities and dates for as many as possible of the 
collections. 







■^y/C 






Above: Two labels in Douglass Houghton's hand from his herbarium as shown on p. 18. Below left: 
Label on an isotype of Carex houghtoniana, written by Houghton's assistant, Bela Hubbard. Below 
right: Label in Dennis Cooley's hand on a specimen collected by William A. Burt in 1847 in T46N, 
R41W, then in Ontonagon County, Michigan (see p. 26). (All labels slightly reduced.) 



Washington to become secretary of war in 1831 so his blessing on the expedition was 
presumably not hard to obtain. Again, Douglass Houghton was a member of the party, 
at the pay of $3.00 per day ,6"* with an official duty to vaccinate the Indians. The 
itinerary and botanical collections have been listed for the 1832 trip, about which 
much more has been published. ^^ 

The 1832 route was much the same along the south shore of Lake Superior except 
that it went all the way to Fond du Lac and followed the St. Louis River into 
Minnesota. But an earlier start (June 7 from the Soo) meant more navigable rivers. 
This is the better known expedition of Schoolcraft's, for on a lucky Friday the 13th 
of July, Schoolcraft, Houghton, and Lt. James Allen (in charge of the military escort 
from Fort Brady) portaged across a rise of ground to what was christened Lake 
Itasca.6^ They spent three and a half hours there, collected several plants, and then 
descended the Mississippi. The type material of Carex houghtoniana Torrey ex Dewey, 
which Houghton recognized as a new species of sedge, was among the collections from 
this long-sought location. Schoolcraft, describing the portage to what the Indians had 
called Elk Lake, assured us that "Dr. Houghton carried a plant press"^^ on this 
historic occasion. Collections were made in Wisconsin on the return trip, on which 
they portaged from the St. Croix River to the Bois Brule, following it to Lake 
Superior. Schoolcraft arrived at the Soo August 14 and Houghton followed on August 
25. Specimens were again sent to Torrey, and duplicates distributed later to other 
correspondents, including the Wisconsin naturaUst, Increase A. Lapham (see next 
chapter). Houghton sent a list of plants in a letter to Torrey November 24, 1832, as he 
had done March 20 for the plants of the previous season.^^ No distinction in dates, 
however, is made in the combined list that was published in Schoolcraft's narrative. ^^ 

Houghton returned for a few days late in November, 1832, to his home in 
Fredonia, New York, where he had been hcensed as a physician in 1831. He then 
returned to Detroit, whence he wrote to Schoolcraft: "You will undoubtedly be a 
Httle surprised to learn that I am now in Detroit, but probably not more than I am in 
being here. My passage through Lake Huron was tedious beyond endurance; and so 
long was I detained in consequence of it, that it became useless for me to proceed to 
New York [to work with Torrey] . Under these circumstances, after having visited 
Fredonia, I determined to engage in the practice of my profession, in this place, at 
least until spring. "'^^ Houghton quickly built up a large and successful practice and 
was much beloved by his patients and other citizens, who called him the "Little 



o^Mason (1958, p. 138). 

65Specimens in the University of Michigan Herbarium are itemized, with the itinerary, by 

Rittenhouse & Voss (1962). The 1832 trip is related by Schoolcraft (1834, and somewhat 

condensed 1855). The narrative was usefully repubUshed, with abundant additional documentation 

regarding the 1831 and 1832 expeditions, by Mason (1958). 

66The superstitious should note that on the same 1-riday the 13th, Zina Pitcher (then far from the 

Great Lakes, in Arkansas) was promoted from assistant surgeon to surgeon, U.S. Army, with the 

rank of major (.Natl. Cycl. Am. Biogr.). 

67Schoolcraft (1851, p. 412). 

68The original letter, received by Torrey in a bundle of specimens, is in the Torrey papers at the 

New York Botanical Garden; a photostat is in the Michigan Historical Collections. The letter, 

without the list of plants, is quoted by Mason (1958, p. 305); cf. note 54 above. 

69Houghton (1834). 

70Schoolcraft (1851, pp. 429-430); cf. also Houghton's letter of Nov. 24, 1832, to Torrey (note 

68 above). 



21 

Doctor";^^ he was active in civic affairs, lectured and collected plants. But he soon 
reduced his practice and in 1836 gave it up completely. He had accumulated large real 
estate holdings and achieved sufficient wealth in land speculation that he was 
financially independent for the rest of his brief career. 

Michigan's admission to the Union was official at noon on January 26, 1837, and 
two events of considerable botanical significance for the state resulted-although 
neither flourished to its full potential. One was establishment of the University in Ann 
Arbor and the calling of its first professor; and the other was the action of the 
legislature in creating a geological survey. 

At the fifth meeting of the Board of Regents of the University, in November of 
1837, a resolufion proposed by Regent Schoolcraft was approved, that an agent visit 
Europe to obtain apparatus and books, but no further action was taken. Schoolcraft 
and Pitcher, two of the most influential regents, were regular scientific correspondents 
of John Torrey's and the secretary of the regents was a former student of his. It is 
quite hkely therefore that Torrey was the inspiration for Schoolcraft's advice and also 
for Asa Gray's application to the University of Michigan early in 1838, even though 
the institution existed only on paper. At first, the regents thought it premature to 
begin selecting a faculty. But Stevens T. Mason, governor of the state, was so 
impressed with Gray on a visit to New York in May that he determined to bring him 
to Michigan. Douglass Houghton offered Gray a post with the new geological survey, 
and Mason wrote him that a University position could be assured in addition. On July 
17, Mason (who was ex officio a regent and served as president of the board) 
presented a communication from Gray proposing a faculty appointment commencing 
with a leave of absence for a trip to Europe. The regents then acted to make Asa 
Gray, John Torrey's young assistant, the first paid professor in the new university 
(which had no significant continuity with the original "university" established in 
Detroit in 1817).72 

Gray visited Michigan in August of 1838, his only trip to the state, but he had 
time to collect very few plants here. However, he was enthusiastic about the potential 
of the University and proposed to obtain scientific apparatus and books on his 
European trip. The regents settled upon his purchasing the nucleus of a library and 
authorized $5000 for the purpose, as well as a salary of $1500.^3 Gray's advice was 
clearly sought on scientific matters (he even hoped to bring Torrey to Michigan). He 
arranged with George P. Putnam in London to purchase an excellent collection of 
books, while he himself made valuable contacts with the leading botanists and 



"1 Houghton's height was 5 ft. 5 in. 

72in a letter to William Darlington, August 2, 1838, John Torrey wrote: "Dr. Gray has been 
appointed Prof, of Botany in the new University of Michigan. They have called him to the chair 
this early in order to secure his valuable services. He will proceed to Detroit next week to give 
direction for laying out the ground for an extensive Botanic Garden. In the autumn he will 
probably go to Europe & return next spring. This will give him an opportunity of seeing all the 

settle many of our doubtful plants. The Univ.y of Michigan has very large funds, & it will probably 

be one of the first in our country in the course of a few years They could not have found a 

man better qualified for the Botanical Chair than Dr. Gray. I shall be very sorry to lose him, but I 
think he will spend most of his winters in N. York." (I am indebted to Ronald L. Stuckey for 
supplying me with the transcript of this letter, which seems not to have been previously quoted, in 
the WiUiam Darlington papers. New York Historical Society.) 

73Gray's connections with the University of Michigan have been presented by Bartlett (1941) and 
Bidlack (1962, pp. 34-73). He did some botanizing at Ann Arbor the morning of Aug. 20, 1838 
(J. L. Gray 1893, 1: 81). 



22 

institutions of Europe. For making possible this critical experience in Gray's career, the 
regents deserve some credit; and indeed Gray is identified as Professor of Botany in the 
University of Michigan on the title page for volume ] of Torrey and Gray's great Flora 
of North America, published 1838-1840. The regents asked him to serve without 
salary beginning with the 1840-1841 year and he stayed in New York to work with 
Torrey. In March of 1842 Gray was offered a professorship (at only $1000) at Harvard 
and he tendered his resignation to the University of Michgian, which had just begun 
actually to admit students that year. His illustrious career at Harvard is well known 

Meanwhile, back at the capital in Detroit ,''5 the state government had likewise 
been getting organized in 1837. Two hours after Michigan became a state, a bill was 
introduced in the legislature for a geological survey and this was approved on February 
23-the first department of state government to be created by statute. It provided for 
a "full and scientific description" of the state's "rocks, soils and minerals, and of its 
botanical and geological productions, together with specimens of the same." Houghton 
was named state geologist (the whole idea was his) and work commenced almost 
immediately .^6 

Dr. Abram Sager (1810-1877),'^'^ who had studied with Amos Eaton and was in 
general practice in Detroit, was placed in charge of botanical and zoological work and 
operated independently of Houghton, who also collected a few specimens himself. The 
only roads were in the southernmost part of the state, and the localities of extant 
specimens are all southern but they were the first collections from the interior in 
contrast to the lake shores. In 1 838 the survey was reorganized and Houghton induced 
Dr. John Wright (1811-1846),78 another former student (but non-graduate) of 
Eaton's at the Rensselaer School, to leave a "lucrative practice" of medicine in Troy, 
New York, to become botanist for the survey. His assistant was George Bull, about 
whom we know almost nothing except that Eaton named a plant for him in 1840: 
Gymnandra bullii, now known as Besseya bullii or Wulfenia bullii, and also named 
Synthyris houghtoniana by Bentham six years later-an uncommon member of the 
snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) and now considered a "threatened species" in 
Michigan. ^^ It was from the "prairies" of Michigan, but no type material seems to be 
74The definitive biography of Gray, with full references, is by Dupree (1959). 
75The capital was not moved to Lansing until 1847. 

history of geological surveys in Michigan is presented in some detail by Merrill (1920, pp. 



76The 



' Alexander Winchell). For Houghton's role, see Rintala 
(1954) and Wallin (1970). Houghton's reports and related documents were conveniently repubUshed 
by Fuller (1928). 

770n Abram Sager (A. B. Rensselaer School 1831; M. D. Castleton Medical College, Vermont, 
1835), see Atkinson (1878, pp. 58-59); Nason (1887, pp. 196-197); Huber (1903); Vaughan 
(1905); Connor in Kelly & Burrage (1920, pp. 1013-1014) 

780n John Wright (M. D. Yale 1833) see Nason (1887, p. 138) and Kelly & Burrage (1920, p. 
1269). McVaugh (1970, p. 237) questions the year of Wright's death, citing a letter from his 
former medical partner, Thomas C. Brinsmade, to Abram Sager (Sager papers, Michigan Historical 
Collections, University of Michigan). The letter is indeed clearly dated at Troy April 25, 1845, and 
describes Wright's acute bronchitis and lung hemorrhaging in "November"; under these conditions it 
would seem unlikely that Wright would have remarried, yet he did so on December 5, 1844. All 
pubUshed sources, including Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Yale Univer- 
sity ... 1701-1892 (New Haven, 1892-and later editions), give 1846 as the year of Wright's 
demise, and I conclude that Dr. Brinsmade's pen slipped when he dated his letter 1845. He 
mentioned to Sager that Wright "but a few 
cheerfully about some scenes he had witness[ed] 
79see Mich. Bot. 16: 109 (1977). 



extant. Many collections were made in 1838, again in the southern part of the state 
and a bare hst of over 800 species (without locality data) was published in Wright's 
report in 1839. Wright offered a mild complaint about the legislative requirement tc 
collect in sets of 17: 

The bulky apparatus necessary to be conveyed from place to place, during the excursions 






Douglass Houghton (1809-1845), from a painting bj 

him at the Pictured Rocks with his pet spaniel. (Published by Bradish as frontispie 

Douglass Houghton, 1889.) 



Wright and Sager, as botanical and zoological assistants respectively, resigned after 
the 1838 season, in the face of financial panic in the state and reduced appropriations 
for the survey. Wright returned to New York, to become professor of botany and 
zoology at Rensselaer (1838-1845). Sager, who was then practicing in Jackson, 
Michigan, in 1842 became professor of botany and zoology in the University of 
Michigan, succeeding Asa Gray.^' In 1866 he gave his own herbarium to the 
University. 82 George Bull remained as a "subassistant" in botany in 1839 and 
accompanied Houghton himself in the northern part of the state as well as working 
independently in the southeastern part. In 1840 the legislature abolished the zoological 
and botanical responsibihties of the survey completely; only a few collections are 
known from 1840, evidently made by Houghton himself on Lake Superior. 

One of the interesting plants collected in 1839 was a goldenrod, Solidago 
houghtonii, named for Houghton, three years after his death, by Asa Gray in the first 
edition of his well known manual (1848). Houghton and Bull left Mackinac Island on 
August 14, 1839, in a rowboat with three oarsmen, bound for Green Bay. Somewhere 
in what is now western Mackinac County, at the north end of Lake Michigan, on 
August 15, they discovered this goldenrod.^^ x^e species is endemic to the northern 
shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron, growing in interdunal hollows, and is considered 
a "threatened species" in the United States. ^^ 

It is not surprising that specimens from the first survey of Michigan were sent to 
Gray for he was, after all, professor of botany in the University! And Gray had spent 
nearly the whole day of August 15, 1838, at Houghton's home in Detroit.85 
Unfortunately, many of the plants supplied to Gray are merely labeled "Michigan State 
Coll." without further data, and "Coll." has even been assumed by some monographers 
to stand for "College" (an anachronism at best) rather than "Collection. "86 other 



olAVright (1839, p. 421). 

SlProm 1848 to 1850, Sager was also librarian of the University. In 1850, when the medical 

department of the University was organized (as recommended by Regent Pitcher!), Sager assumed 

additional duties as professor of obstetrics, diseases of women and children; when Alexander 

Wmchell took over botany and zoology in 1855, Sager limited himself to his medical teaching, 

becommg professor emeritus of obstetrics in 1874 but resigning completely from the University in 

1875 in protest during the homeopathic medicine controversy. According to Huber (1903, p. 198), 

Sager declined the "presidency" of Rensselaer on the death of Eaton (in 1842); however in the 

Sager papers at the Michigan Historical Collections is a letter dated October 20, 1846, from 

Thomas C. Brinsmade (John Wright's former partner) offering Sager the senior professorship made 

vacant by the resignation of Prof. [George H.] Cook. 

82This herbarium was cataloged by A. B. Lyons as containing 878 species and 1555 specimens, as 

reported by A. Winchell in his Statement of Operations in the Museum of the University of 

Michigan ... for the year ending September 24th, 1868, p. 8 (Regents Proc, p. 298). Widely cited 

estimates of 1,200 species and 12,000 specimens are apparently greatly exaggerated. 

83For detaUs, see Voss (1956, pp. 27-28). 

84See Mich. Bot. 16: 106 (1977). 

85Letter from Asa Gray to Mrs. John Torrey, August 16, 1838, quoted in J. L. Gray (1893, 1: 

76). Gray in an earlier letter {ibid., p. 73) had noted that Dr. Houghton's home "is entirely 

occupied as a store4iouse for the stuff collected in the State survey. It is astonishing what a 

they have made." ' ' ^" ^"* ^^^ one an 

86For example, see comments in Mich. Bot. 6: 20-21 (1967). Gray has even been assumed to have 



duplicates were widely distributed (including a considerable set to Zina Pitcher),^^ and 
these are often more adequately labeled, although sometimes collections are attributed 
to Houghton which were gathered by the assistants who were in other parts of the 
state than Houghton on the dates specified. The botanical results of the first survey 
have been amply presented recently ^^ so little more need be said here. Michigan was 
put on the "botanical map" by the survey, and this was perhaps first evident in the 
8th edition of Eaton's Manual, published in 1840, in which he had the collaboration of 
Dr. John Wright, his colleague and former student and the former botanist to the 
Geological Survey of Michigan. Over 1,000 species are mentioned for Michigan in this 
edition of the Manual. As Eaton explained (in language we might find ambiguous): 
"The districts about our N. W. Lakes . . . have been in a great measure deficient in 
recorded localities of plants. ... the botanical surveys of Dr. Houghton, Dr. Wright, 
and his diligent assistant Mr. G. Bull, have supplied these deficiencies."^^ 

Houghton served two terms as mayor of Detroit (preceded and followed by Zina 
Pitcher), he declined an offer to become president of the University of Michigan but 
accepted a professorship, and was being considered for the governorship of the state at 
the time of his death-altogether a popular and influential citizen apart from the 
scientific contributions of himself and the competent associates he employed. 

The first geological survey of Michigan technically expired in 1842 with no 
subsequent appropriations by the legislature for salaries or field work, although 
Houghton was still recognized as state geologist and was becoming famous for calling 
attention to copper in the Upper Peninsula. In response to the disastrous financial 
condition of the times, Houghton conceived a plan which would allow geological 
observations to be made: he sought permission from the General Land Office of the 
United States for the state geologist to require the deputy surveyors to make certain 
observations during their surveys, thus connecting the geological survey with the linear 
survey of the United States. This plan was presented by Houghton in a paper read 
before the fifth annual meeting, in Washington in May of 1844, of the Association of 
American Geologists and Naturalists, which he was then serving as treasurer.^O The 
project was warmly endorsed. The land commissioner was doubtful, however, until 
Houghton himself offered to take the contract, which was signed late in June of 1844. 
Most of the work was done in 1845, when WilUam Burt was Houghton's chief 

WiUiam A. Burt (1792-1858)91 ^^^ ^ remarkable man, whose early career was in 
Erie County, New York, where he was an excellent mechanic, justice of the peace, and 
postmaster. He moved to Michigan in 1822, and engaged in building mills, including 
those at Dexter. He settled in the township of Washington, Macomb County, north of 
Detroit, and served in the territorial legislature. In 1831 he was elected county 
surveyor and two years later became a postmaster and a judge as well as a U.S. deputy 



87see Meyer & Elsasser (1973, p. 383). 

SSMcVaugh (1970). 

89Eaton & Wright (1840, p. 16). (I would have s 

supplied, by these diligent botanists!) 

90This was the organization which became th 

Science in 1848. Houghton's note to the chairm 



of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, fide R. L. Stuckey. The proposal 1 
ublished in the proceedings of the meetings (Houghton 1844). 
lurt, see Leeson (1882, pp. 241-243); Cannon (1884); H. E. Burt (1922). 



surveyor. This was the beginning of a career in surveys of public lands and railroad 
routes in Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin. (He ran the township lines where Milwaukee 
now stands.) In 1840, Burt received a contract to commence the surveys of the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan, work in which he remained for most of the decade. Distressed 
by deflection of the magnetic compass, he had invented the solar compass (patented in 
1836), which served him well in the Upper Peninsula, where it was he who discovered 
iron ore in 1844 near Marquette and in 1846 in the Menominee district. (He also, 
incidentally, patented in 1829 the first typewriter, and in 1856, the equatorial 

Burt is mentioned here not because of his inventions or his collaboration with 
Houghton in combining geological observations with the Hnear surveys, but because he 
also collected plants. Many of his specimens were supplied to Dennis Cooley, a 
neighbor in Washington Township, and came with Cooley 's herbarium to the Agri- 
cultural College, now Michigan State University. The notable feature about Burt's 
collections is the detailed localities on their labels. Many specimens of the time were 
merely labeled, e.g., "Lake Superior" without mention of state or even country, or 
"Michigan," or occasionally with the name of an island, river, or other landmark. 
Burt's specimens, hke the more precisely labeled ones of good collectors today, have 
the survey township recorded, e.g. "T46N-R41W ... about 30 miles south of Lake 
Superior . . . 1847." But then, he was running the survey lines! No one else could 
know with such precision exactly where he was in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula at 
the time. 

Plant collecting was carried on by other surveyors, friends of Burt's, such as 
George H. Cannon, some of whose specimens also entered Cooley 's herbarium. In 
addition, of course, the surveyors left valuable notes on the vegetation of the areas 
through which their lines passed. The species of bearing and line trees which they 
recorded have been analyzed to map the original vegetation of many areas. ^2 One of 
these witness trees, blazed by Burt June 17, 1850, stands to this day, a lofty red pine 
well known as an attraction in the Pigeon River Country State Forest, Otsego County, 
in northern Lower Michigan. 

Dennis Cooley (1787-I860),93 g^^t's botanical mentor, was a native of Deerfield, 
Massachusetts, and practiced medicine for five years in Georgia before moving to 
Washington Township, Macomb County, Michigan, in 1827-five years after Burt 
settled in the same township-and where he practiced until 1856. Like so many 
medical men of his day, Cooley was an ardent botanist, and he accumulated a 
herbarium variously estimated at 4,000 and 20,000 specimens, which was presented by 
his widow in 1863 to the Agricultural College. In 1853 Burt completed a manuscript 
hst of the flora near his home, but it seems no longer to be extant. 

Following Houghton's death by drowning in Lake Superior in October of 1845, 
his assistants, WiUiam Burt and Bela Hubbard, continued their surveys through 1846. 
Then in 1847 Congress authorized continuation of the survey of U.S. mineral lands in 
Michigan, and Charles T. Jackson ^4 was placed in charge. Jackson had just done 

"2For a recent example and summary of methods-with reference to Burt's original survey, see 

Frederick et al. (1977). 

930n Dennis Cooley (M. D. Medical College of Berkshire, Mass., 1822), see Kenaston (1863, pp. 

19 21); Leeson (1882, p. 817); Beal (1902a); Barnhart (1921). Kenaston, Leeson, and Barnhart give 

Cooley's year of birth as 1789, but Beal's date of 1787 (given by Barnhart 1965) is in accord with 

the Washington cemetery record, which gives his age as 73 at his death Sept. 8, 1860. 

^^On C. T. Jackson, see chapter 8 and note 299, below. 



surveys i 



New Hampshire, and Rhode Island (as well as in Nova Scotia during 
his summers at Harvard) and was well known for mineral analyses in his private 
laboratory .9^ In 1844 and 1845 he had visited the copper region of Lake Superior on 
behalf of Boston interests. Jackson's report, pubHshed by Congress in 1849, included 
not only geological reports by Burt and Hubbard on surveys of township lines in 1845 
and 1846 but also a "Catalogue of plants collected by Wilham A. Burt, Esq., on the 
primitive region south of Lake Superior in 1846." The catalog is by Dennis Cooley, to 
whom Burt referred his specimens, and it Hsts over 180 species, usually with survey 
townships indicated. 

Upon Jackson's resignation in 1849, two of his assistants, J. W. Foster^^ ^nd J. D. 
Whitney, were named to continue the work. The second part of their report, published 
by Congress in 1851, includes a botanical chapter by Whitney's younger brother, W. D. 
Whitney (1827-1894),97 who studied Sanskrit in spare moments in the Michigan 
wilderness, became largely diverted from natural sciences, and later became a distin- 
guished philologist at Yale. The nature of the Upper Peninsula terrain was aptly 
described by Foster and Whitney in their introduction: "Nearly the whole of this area 
is an unbroken wilderness, interspersed with tangled thickets, almost impassable 
marshes and inland lakes, which retard the progress of the explorer; . . . Passing weeks 
in succession in the midst of the forest, with no trace of the works of man around us, 
except the surveyors' lines, we have encountered difficulties unknown and unappreci- 



95see Abbott (1971, p. 234). 




96on J. W. Foster, see chapter 8 and note 301 


below. 


970n William Dwight Whitney, see Lounsbury 
(1936). See also note by Femald {Rhodora 
assumption" that W. D. Whitney was really J. 
principally his own {Rhodora 7: 150. 1905). 


1895) and Bender in Diet. Am. Biogr. 
7: 336-337. 1935); Fernald refers t 




ated by geologists in a more civilized and less inhospitable region. "^'^ W. D. Whitney's 
report listed over 400 species of vascular plants from the Upper Peninsula, many of 
them with locahties indicated-including, for example, Pitcher's thistle at Grand Sable. 
Notes on the trees and some of the shrubs are especially extensive. Evidently the 
report is based solely on observations by members of the field party between July 1 
and October 1, 1849; there is no indication as to how many of the species noticed 
were actually collected, but some specimens of Whitney's are to be found in the Gray 
Herbarium. One of these is the arnica described by Fernald^^ in 1935 as Arnica 
whitneyi named for Whitney and to this day known only from Keweenaw County, 
Michigan, and the Sibley Peninsula of Ontario, to the north. (Whitney had included it 
in his list as A. mollis, from Copper Harbor; it is now sometimes considered a variety 
of the western A. cordifolia. However it is classified, it is considered endangered in 
Michigan. 100) 

This is a natural point at which to leave, temporarily, the geological survey of 
Michigan and its natural history correlates. The overlapping connections in personnel 
and interests from Cass to Schoolcraft to Houghton to Burt show a continuity which 
could hardly be interrupted to look at simultaneous developments on the other side of 
Lake Michigan or on the north shore of Lake Superior. As John Torrey wrote to a 
correspondent in 1847: "Since the death of Prof. Houghton, Nat. History has 
retrograded in Michigan." 101 



lOOSeeMc/j. Bot. 16: 106 (1977). 

lOljorrey to Harry N. Patterson, May 27, 1847, as quoted by Kibbe (1953, 



Chapter 3. 
THE INCREASE OF BOTANY IN WISCONSIN 



In the area now known as Wisconsin, as in Michigan, the first references to plants 
are by French missionaries, explorers, and traders-and they are fragmentary. Wild-rice 
and other edible plants received particular notice. **^^ Casual botanical observations are 
about all one might expect during what we may call the pre-Linnaean and early 
post-Linnaean years, when not only was knowledge of the Great Lakes new from 
almost every standpoint, but also the science of botany itself was developing. In 
Wisconsin, as in Michigan, the first purely scientific work was by Thomas Nuttall, 
followed by the expeditions of Cass, Schoolcraft, and Houghton, all of which have 
been mentioned. 

The man to whom is due chief honor in Wisconsin is Increase A. Lapham 
(1811-1875),^03 that state's first resident botanist, indeed first scholar in many fields 
for, like so many of his contemporaries, he was by no means restricted to a single 
discipline. Even for those days of diverse attainments, Lapham was a man of 
remarkable accomplishments in botany, zoology, geology, meteorology, cartography, 
archeology, and engineering. He was born of Quaker stock in the state of New York 
in 1811, one of 13 children, and helped his father, a contractor, on construction of 
the Erie canal, the Welland canal, and other projects. In 1827, he moved westward to 
Ohio and that year-at the age of 16-submitted his first paper for publication in the 
American Journal of Science, beginning a lifelong correspondence and friendship with 
its editor, Benjamin Silliman. The young Lapham was for three years assistant engineer 
on the Ohio canal, kept a journal with records of the weather and observations on 
natural history, and published two more papers on the geology of Ohio. Ten weeks 
after Wisconsin Territory was separated from Michigan Territory, Lapham arrived in 



102cheney (1900, p. 558) asserts that Jean Nicolet, who is credited with the discovery of Lake 
Michigan in 1634, referred "in his notes" to a single Wisconsin plant, wild-rice, observed as the 
principal food of the Indians at Green Bay. However, Nicolet left no "notes"; the Jesuit Relations. 
which are our source of what httle "original" account there is of Nicolet's trip, say nothing of 
wild-rice. Cheney cites as his source C. W. Butterfield's History of the Discovery of the Northwest 
by John Nicolet in 1634 (Cincinnati, 1881). However, Butterfield (footnote 2, p. 57) clearly stated 
that he based his description of the Menomonees on accounts from "dates some years subsequent 
to Nicolet's visit." // there were evidence that Nicolet found Indians using wild-rice, which at best 
is extremely rare on the southeast side of Lake Superior, it would support the assumption that 
Nicolet did arrive in Wisconsin on his search for a short route to China, rather than on Lake 
Superior as claimed by some (see Clifford P. Wilson in Minn. Hist. 27: 216-220 (1946) and Harry 
Dever in Mich. Hist. 50: 318-322 (1966).) 

The importance of wild-rice, so frequently mentioned in early Wisconsin reports, is m marked 
contrast to Michigan, where, for example, the U.S. commissioner of Indian affairs, noting that 
nearly 14 million acres of Michigan had been ceded by the Chippewa and Ottawa Indians in 1836, 
reported that the Chippewas depended for no part of their subsistence "within the present limits of 
Michigan" on wild-rice, "a plant common at more northerly and westerly points." (25th Congress, 



30 

Milwaukee on July 1, 1836, having traveled over 1,200 miles from Reading, Ohio- 
mostly by steamboat from Cleveland. 

Lapham was brought to Wisconsin by Byron Kilbourne (for whom he had earlier 
worked) at a salary of $1000 per year to assist in surveying, canal-building, and 
promoting. During the year and a half before his arrival, Milwaukee had grown from 
10 residents in two families to a population of about 1,000. Lapham soon entered into 
the spirit of speculation and growth, perhaps following the example of Douglass 
Houghton, whom he had visited in Detroit en route. "Dr. Houghton," Lapham wrote 
from Detroit to a brother, "gave me many fine plants from the Northwest. He has 
made a fortune here by speculation . . ."104 And to Charles W. Short, Lapham wrote: 
"I saw Dr. Hougliton at Detroit-He has been too much occupied with his profession 



104i. A. Lapham to Darius Lapham, June 21, 1836. An interesting vignette of Detroit is in the 

inhabitants, several fine four-story brick buildings, numerous fine churches and a market-house as 
large as an ordinary Presbyterian church and built much in the same style! I went to church 
yesterday, and on coming out, I was surprised to see a row of one-horse carts, precisely similar to 
those used carting dirt on the canal, standing in front of the church, apparently waiting for 
something or somebody. I had the curiosity to wait also and see what was the object, and you may 
well suppose that my surprise was not lessened to see many fine gentlemen and ladies come out of 
the church and get into those carts, sitting flat on the bottom, having only a mat or some hay 
under them! A driver took his stand amongst them and drove off in, what I suppose they consider 
fine style. This appears to be the usual mode of traveling about the city." This was the city which 
became the automobile capital of the world! 



Increase A. Lapham (181 1-1875). 
(From N. H. Winchell 1894, facing 




31 

and with the speculation to attend to scientific pursuits. He suppHed me with many 
interesting plants, some from the very source of the Father of WatersV'^^^ Asa Gray, 
to whom Lapham also wrote from Detroit, encouraged him to collect. He corre- 
sponded and exchanged specimens not only with Gray, Houghton, Short, and Silliman, 
but also with a very large number of other leading scientists of the day, including 
Louis Agassiz, William Boott, Chester Dewey, George Engelmann, J. W. Robbins, 
Thomas Say, W. S. Sullivant, John Torrey, George Vasey, Alphonso Wood, and "nearly 
every American botanist and a large number of foreign ones."^^^ 

Lapham had not been in Milwaukee a year when he pubUshed a catalog of the 
plants and shells of the vicinity, a 12-page pamphlet which seems to be the first 
scientific work to have been published in Wisconsin Territory. ^*^^ It included a simple 
alphabetical Hst of a little more than 100 species of vascular plants, without further 
locality data or habitat. This was revised two years later to almost 400 species, with 
two mosses, and a supplement in two more years added another 145 species. 1*^^ By 
1853, Lapham was able to publish a sparsely annotated catalog of about 950 species 
for the entire state. ^^^ Supplements to this report appeared in later years, partly the 
workof Thomas J. Hale. 110 

Lapham lived to the age of 64 and thus was able to exemplify even more than his 
Michigan contemporary, Douglass Houghton, who died at 36, the development of 
resident botanical talent. He was not the transient explorer, passing through the state 
and plucking plants along the route. A pillar of Milwaukee, promoting its growth and 
investing in real estate, he helped to lure prospective settlers by his maps and books on 
Wisconsin; in addition, he was the resident scientist, promoting at the same time 
numerous scientific endeavors. m Described as "a small, spare, grey whiskered, 
spectacled man, methodical and reserved in manner,"* ^^ Lapham was not a man with 
excess time on his hands! He built up a large herbarium of some 24,000 specimens, 
both by his own collecting and by his exchanges (through which his Wisconsin 
specimens became dispersed widely), which was acquired after his death by the 
University of Wisconsin-the only portion of Lapham's collections not lost by fire 
December 1, 1884.113 

The relatively short-lived Wisconsin Natural History Association was organized in 



105i. A. Lapham to Dr. Short, Aug. 17, 1836. I am indebted to R. L. Stuckey for supply 

Historical Society Library; the originals are in the Lapham papers at the State Historical Society 

Wisconsin. 

106 Arthur (1881). 

107 Lapham (1836). The facsimile issued in 1976 was made from the copy presented by Laphan- 

Miss Ann M. Allcott of Marshall, Michigan, whom he married soon after; a photograph of 

original inscription is included with some copies of the facsimile, which also added an explanat 

page about the work. 

108a rather full accounting of eariy Wisconsin botanical publications is given by Che 



109Lapham (1853); the eariier explorations of Nuttall, Douglass, Say, and Houghtc 

he considered reliable, Lapham also pubHshed the first catalogs of the flora of the s 

(1857) and Minnesota (1875-but written 1865). 

llOSee Musselman (1969). The exact date of neither the birth nor the death of H: 

known, but he flourished botanically for a few years and did some collecting near 

lllSee Still (1938). 

112william G. Bruce in Wis. Mag. Hist. 18: 42 (1934). 

113schorger(1947, p. 174). 



32 

Lapham's office on March 3, 1848 (less than three months before Wisconsin became a 
state), for "mutual improvement in knowledge of the natural sciences; the study and 
development of the natural productions of Wisconsin; and the encouragement and 
diffusion of a taste for the pursuit of those enobling sciences among the citizens-''^^^ 
Lapham served as president of the Association, but his breadth of scientific interests 
was not necessarily shared by members who had a specific scientific hobby and who 
were incHned to attend meetings only when the agenda included a subject in which 
they possessed some knowledge. The Association soon became inactive but was revived 
by the governor in 1853 in order to sponsor a museum in Madison. Negotiations to 
acquire Lapham's extensive collections (including ethnological, archeological, and 
geological material) broke down, but the museum operated from 1853 until 1855 or 
soon afterwards. The Natural History Association transferred its activity back to 
Milwaukee and continued more or less active until 1863. Nothing was published under 
its auspices, but it did promote an active interest in natural history and was doubtless 
some stimulus to the founding, in 1857, of the Naturhistorische Verein von Wisconsin. 
This society flourished and rapidly accumulated collections which became too 
large to manage. In 1882 it resolved to donate its collections and property to the city 
of Milwaukee. Following authorizations by the city and the legislature, the Public 
Museum of the City of Milwaukee was organized in 1883.1^^ Another durable 
Wisconsin institution has been the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, 
which was founded in Madison in February of 1870. Lapham aided in its organization 
and served it as general secretary until February, 1873. The first volume of the 
Transactions, which the Academy promptly began publishing, appeared in 1872.^^6 



114schorger (1947, p. 169). 

115see Thai (1922). 

116on the Wisconsin Academy, 



PLANTS 4J^ SHELLS, 

FOUND IN THE VICINITY OF 
MILWAUKEE, 

JVest side of Zake Jflichigatt. 



Title page (reduced) of Lapham's Catalogue c 
1836, the year that Wisconsin Territory wa 
separated from Michigan Territory, a yea 
before Milwaukee was incorporated, and 1 
years before Wisconsin was admitted as 



]!!-JIIIILW,iXW!E:SI3 
1836. 



33 

For Lapham, "as for many men of science in this era, nature was the main 
laboratory, the naked eye the chief instrument, and the collection and comparing of 
specimens and natural phenomena the chief method of research." ^^'^ Unsuccessfully 
promoting the idea of a state natural history survey, Lapham pointed out to the 
legislature in 1855 that "the present is the proper time for making these investigations, 

before any more of the native species become extinct Soon it will be too late to 

secure specimens, or learn anything of the nature and habits of these species." ^^^ A 
century before extensive "official" activity on behalf of endangered and threatened 
species, another distinguished Wisconsin naturalist, Thure Kumlien (1819 1888)^^^ 
lamented destruction of the flora, through loss of habitat: "A large number of our 
plants have gradually become rare and some of them completely eradicated." ^^^ 
Kumlien, who came to Milwaukee from Sweden in 1843 and who was the first teacher 
in botany of Edward L. Greene, sent many natural history specimens abroad as well as 
building up collections for schools and museums in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the 
United States. A former student of Elias Fries at Upsala, Kumlien was said to know 
every kind of tree, flower, moss, lichen, and mushroom in southern Wisconsin. He was 
employed 1881 1883 as taxidermist and conservator by the Wisconsin Natural History 
Society (Naturhistorische Verein von Wisconsin) and, until his death, remained under 
the new management when the city of Milwaukee took over the Society's museum. 

One of the interesting persons whose botanical activities flourished after those of 
Lapham was T. A. Bruhin (1835-1896),121 a Catholic priest (O.S.B.), born in 
Switzerland, where he also died. In 1869 he came to Milwaukee and he served parishes 
in Neu Coin, Centreville, and Potosi, Wisconsin, until 1881, when he moved to 
Columbus, Ohio, for four years. Bruhin published copiously on the flora of Wisconsin, 
usually in Austrian journals or in German -language newspapers of Milwaukee. In his 
comparative flora of Wisconsin, 1^2 written the year after Lapham's death, and in later 
papers, Bruhin was especially interested in considering Old World plants cultivated or 
established in North America and American plants introduced in Europe, as well as 
species common to both continents. His lists include compilation from previous work 
as well as original records from Wisconsin. 

Of course, not all early explorations by Wisconsin botanists in the Great Lakes 
area were confined to the Milwaukee region. Among those who ventured farther north 
was L. S. Cheney (1858-1 938), ^23 a student and later professor at the University of 
Wisconsin, who collected in the summer of 1891 "at various points in northern 
Wisconsin, along the north shore of Lake Superior, and along the boundary between 
Minnesota and Ontario." l^** He listed 345 species as a result, all with good locality 
data, including bryophytes, in which he was especially interested. 



117Kioncke(1970, p. 163). 

llSQuoted by Schorger (1947, pp. 175-176). 

ll^On Thure Ludwig Theodore Kumlien, whose center 

technically just west of the Lake Michigan basin, see Greene 

120Kumlien (1876). 

12l0n Thomas Aquinas Bruhin, see Cheney (1901, pp. 4-6 

122Bruhin (1877). 

1230n Lellen Sterhng Cheney, see Conklin (1941). 

124cheney (1893). 



Alexander Winchell (1824- 1891),' 25 born in Dutchess County, New York, 
developed an ardent interest in botany following his graduation in 1847 from Wesleyan 
University. His first published scientific paper was his only strictly botanical one, on 
local flora in Dutchess County, published in 1851. He came to the University of 
Michigan initially in 1854 as professor of physics and civil engineering. However, he 
managed to have himself appointed the next year as professor of geology, zoology, and 
botany, succeeding Abram Sager. In 1859 he was further appointed by the governor as 
state geologist, under the new geological survey estabhshed by the legislature. In the 
tradition of Louis Agassiz (who had recommended him for the Michigan position), he 
introduced laboratory instruction in botany at the University and distinguished himself 
as a geologist, lecturer, and influential teacher of botanists and others. Among those 
influenced was his younger brother, N. H. Winchell (1839-1914), '^^ who entered the 
University of Michigan in 1858, graduated in 1866 (having taught school intermit- 
tently), and received a master's degree in 1869. 

Although A. Winchell apparently did Httle if any collecting of plants in Michigan, 
N. H. Winchell served as a "volunteer collector" in 1859 for the geological survey and 
in the 1860 season he was employed at $30 per month as a "subassistant"127 qj "j^ 
the special capacity of botanical collector and assistant. "^^8 Beginning in early June of 
1860 he accompanied parties in the field, from Saginaw Bay to the islands at the north 
end of Lake Huron (with special emphasis on Drummond Island), Sault Ste. Marie, and 
the north end of Lake Michigan, down to Grand Traverse Bay.^29 Unfortunately, 
specimens collected during this season have not been encountered, although they ought 
to be in the University of Michigan Herbarium. ^^^ However, N. H. Winchell did 
prepare a "Catalogue of Phaenogamous and Acrogenous Plants Found Growing Wild in 
the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the Islands at the Head of Lake Huron," which 
was published in his brother's first (and only) biennial report in 1861. This was the 
first attempt to Hst all the plants of the Lower Peninsula and was based on previous 
pubUshed and unpublished sources as well as the observations of 1859 and 1860. It 
cites many specific locahties and was quite an achievement for someone who had just 
entered the University two years previously! 

Winchell, see Merrill (1920, p. 203 et sqq. -this account 
;hell); Mains (1943, pp. 495-497); Jones (1977, pp. 268-272); and, especially, 
Davenport (1951a). 

126on Newton Horace Winchell, see Gale (1911); Minnesota Academy of Science (1914); Upham 
(1915); and Davenport (1951b). 
127Merrill (1920, pp. 208, 213). 
128a. WincheU(1861,p. 245). 

129a. Winchell (1861, p. 27); see also Voss (1956, pp. 29-30). 
130Perhaps they were among the stored collections lost in the fiie of 1913 (Mains 1956, p. 1447). 



35 

The geological survey effectively died of fiscal insufficiency during the Civil War, 
although Alexander Winchell was still looked upon as state geologist. In 1869, efforts 
were successful in the state legislature to revive the survey and Winchell was 
commissioned as director by the governor. N. H. Winchell was employed by the survey 
in 1869 and 1870. In 1871, A. Winchell resigned in protest over restrictions by the 
legislature (which had failed to provide for publication of the results of the survey) 
and in 1873 he resigned his University professorship to accept a position elsewhere. 
When he returned in 1879 to Ann Arbor, where he remained until his death, he was 
professor of geology and paleontology, botanical instruction having passed after his 
departure in 1873 to two of his former students, Mark W. Harrington and Volney M. 
Spalding. 131 

There were some rather direct connections between Michigan and scientific 
developments in Minnesota, which had been organized as a territory separate from 
Wisconsin in 1849 and admitted as a state in May of 1858. Early efforts at a geological 
survey were officially limited to geological matters and accomplished little. Thomas 
Clark (1814-1878),J32 assistant state geologist in 1864 and one of the "commis- 
sioners" ordered appointed by the second state legislature in 1860, did publish an 
annotated list of about 100 species of northeastern Minnesota in 1865. It comprises 
mostly cultivated plants and trees, arranged alphabetically by common name; localities 
cited range from Pigeon Point to Duluth along the Superior shore, with Superior and 
La Pointe, Wisconsin, also mentioned. Clark was a civil engineer, born in New York 
state, who lived in Ohio and Wisconsin (surveying the original plat of Superior) before 
moving to Minnesota, where he lived at the town of Beaver Bay, which he surveyed in 
1856. He was a state senator 1859 1860. 

Alexander Winchell was asked by the governor to visit Minnesota in 1870 to 
examine and report on salt springs. We can imagine that Winchell may have discussed 
the examples of the first Michigan survey, under Houghton, and the second, under 
himself, both of which included botanical and zoological as well as geological work. 
For in 1872 the Minnesota legislature established a comprehensive geological and 
natural history survey as proposed by president W. W. Folwell of the University of 
Minnesota. N. H. Winchell, who was then employed by the Ohio Geological Survey, 
was asked by Folwell to become state geologist (and professor of mineralogy and 
geology). 133 He assumed his duties in September of 1872 and served as state geologist 
for the rest of the century (although relinquishing his teaching duties in 1878). Warren 
Upham (1850- 1934),! 34 assistant geologist 1879-1885 (and later librarian and 
secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society), compiled a catalog of the flora of 
Minnesota, which was pubUshed in 1884. It reviewed previous work, beginning with 
Torrey's list of Capt. Douglass' plants and including a list prepared in 1865 by I. A. 



131 See Mains (1943, pp. 496-497). 

132on Thomas Clark, see Upham (1920, pp. 146 & 644). 

133The organization of the Minnesota survey was unique in b 

University. On the history of surveys in Minnesota, see MerrUl (1920, pp. 239-255), based on N. 

H. WincheU(1889). 

134on Warren Upham, who came to Minnesota from New Hampshire in 1879, and who succeeded 

N. H. Winchell in 1914 as archeologist for the Minnesota Historical Society, see Natl. Cycl. Am. 

Biogr. 7: 127-128 (1892); Upham & Dunlap (1912, p. 801); Emmons (1935); Emmons in Diet. 

Am. Biogr. 19: 124-125 (1936). These all say nothing of Upham's botanical work; Emmons' 

memorial even omits botanical titles in its bibliography. 



Lapham, who collected in Minnesota on several occasions. '^^ Upham's list covered all 
vascular plants and was well annotated. 

The intensity of botanical work for the Minnesota survey fluctuated. In December 
of 1875, the regents of the University ordered a thorough and systematic examination 
of the plant life of the state, a project supported by Winchell, who addressed a circular 
letter to the botanists of the state in the spring of 1876, soliciting their support. '^^ 
But in 1878, botanical and zoological work was ordered kept in abeyance. 1^7 Much of 
the published literature on the Minnesota flora deals, of course, with portions of the 
state beyond the area of the Great Lakes. The earliest collections from the Lake 
Superior region (Duluth northeastward to the international border) were made around 
1870 by persons from the U.S. Lake Survey (see chapter 6 below) and other 
"outsiders." But in 1878, Benedict Juni (1852-?), ^^^ then a University of Minnesota 
student, was appointed as a botanical and field assistant to the Minnesota survey 
(paralleling N. H. Winchell's own employment, while still a student, by the Michigan 
survey) and he gave "a few leisure hours" to collecting along the Superior shore 
although his duty was "in another line"; in 1879 he published a pioneering report on 
the plants of this region (mostly without detailed locaHties). The following season 
(1879), another student, Thomas S. Roberts (1858-1946),139 while assisting geologist 
C. W. Hall, collected extensively along the Lake Superior shore; his list of 290 species 
was published in 1880 and includes many not noted by Juni.^'^O 

Yet another young employee of the Minnesota survey from 1876 to 1885 was 
Clarence Luther Herrick (1858 1904),l4l a native of the state, who had organized a 
"Young Naturalists' Society" with T. S. Roberts and others in the Twin Cities region 
even before entering the University as a subfreshman in 1875. As was true of many of 
his contemporaries, he was interested in plants and animals as well as in geology; like 
Alexander Winchell, he was later described as representative of the last of the tradition 
of great naturaUsts exemplified by Louis Agassiz. In 1885, Herrick received an M.S. 
degree from the University of Minnesota and accepted a position as professor of 
geology and natural history at Denison University, Granville, Ohio. He spent several 
weeks the following summer with a group of Denison students on the northeast shore 

135Lapham's list was published posthumously in 1875 with a prefatory note by N. H. Winchell, 

who stated: "With a generous and cosmopolitan spirit which characterized him in his scientific 

labors, he sent the manuscript of the following catalogue of the plants of Minnesota to the writer, 

soon after the initiation of the geological survey of the State ... as a free contribution to the 

natural history of the State of Minnesota, which would be capable of producing more good in the 

possession of the officers of our survey than in his own. ... It is the first attempt ever made to 

make out anything like a complete list of our native vegetation. It is the embodiment not only of 

the labors of Dr. Lapham himself but also of all his predecessors, in studying the botany of 

Minnesota." The catalog is solely a list of names, without annotations, but does include bryophytes 

and hchens. Much of the previous work cited by Lapham in his introductory paragraphs dealt with 

portions of Minnesota beyond the Lake Superior basin. 

136see Geol. Nat. Hist. Surv. Minn. Ann. Rep. 5 (for 1876): 6-7, 64-66 (1877); Davenport 

(1951b, p. 220). 

137Geo/. Nat. Hist. Surv. Minn. Ann. Rep. 1 (for 1878): 7 (1879). 

138on Benedict Juni, see Upham & Dunlap (1912, p. 390). A Swiss who came to Minnesota in 

1859, he was captured by Sioux Indians in 1862. See also W. W. Folwell, History of Minnesota 

(Minn. Hist. Soc, 1924), 2: 125. Juni attended the University of Minnesota 1876-1879 but 

received no degree, I am informed (1978) by Maxine B. Clapp, Archivist. 

139on Thomas Sadler Roberts, physician and ornithologist, see Breckenridge & Kilgore (1946); 

also C. J. Herrick in Sci. Monthly 54: 366 (1942). 

140on the coUections of Juni and Roberts, see also Butters & Abbe in Rhodora 55: 75-76 (1953). 

I'^lOn Qarence Luther Herrick, see C. J. Herrick (1947; 1955). 




1 (1839-1914), 



1870's. (Minnesota Historical 5 



of Lake Superior, at Michipicoten Bay, where the primary interests were geological; 
but "plants and other specimens were collected." ^"^^ No biological specimens are 
mentioned in the published report of the summer. ^"^^ 

By the 1880's and 1890's, John M. Holzinger (1853-1929), Conway MacMillan 
(1867-1929), John H. Sandberg (1848 1917), Edmund P. Sheldon (1869-1913),144 
and other noted Minnesota collectors were including the Lake Superior region in their 
field investigations, although most of their work was done elsewhere in the state. 



142c. J. Herrick (1955, p. 42); see also C. J. Henick (1947, p. 178). 

143c. L. Herrick, W. G. Tight, & H. L. Jones, Geology and lithology of Michipicoten Bay. Results 
of the summer laboratory session of 1886. Bull. Sci. Lab. Denison Univ. 2: 119-143 (1887). If 
any biological specimens were retained at Denison they were presumably lost in the 1905 fire 
which destroyed Barney Science Hall. 



Joseph C. Arthur (1850-1942) collected in Minnesota during his early years in Iowa, 
and in 1886, immediately after receiving the first doctorate in botany granted by 
Cornell University, he left his job as botanist at the New York Agricultural Experiment 
Station and was "more formally opening up the botanic work" of the Minnesota 
survey. l'^^ Liberty Hyde Bailey (to be mentioned again in chapter 9), Warren Upham, 
and E. W. D. Holway (1853-1923) joined Arthur that summer in an investigation of 
all plants (including cryptogams) at Vermilion Lake and vicinity-the region between 
Lake Superior and the international border J"*^ Bailey included a list of plants seen at 
Duluth in the report on the 1886 season, and Upham included a supplement to his 
1884 flora in the report. The noted lichenologist Bruce Fink (1861 1927), while 
located in Iowa, worked several summers, beginning in 1896, for the geological and 
natural history survey of Minnesota. He made an extensive study of the lichens of the 
Minnesota portion of the Lake Superior shore in 1897 and referred in his report ^"^^ to 
earlier work along the Ontario shore by Agassiz and by Macoun. 



144i;;dmund Perry Sheldon is the only botanist mentioned in this paragraph for whom biographic 
data are obscure. Upham & Dunlap (1912, p. 697) say he was born Sept. 25, 1863; American Mi 
of Science ed. 2 (1910, p. 424) says he was born Aug. 9, 1869. Both agree that he was born 
Bowling Green, Missouri, and that he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1894. Maxii 
B. Qapp, Archivist, University of Minnesota, informs me (1977 & 1978) that the 1869 birth date 
confirmed by her sources, that even the cohesive class of 1894 soon lost track of Sheldon, and th 
the date of his death is not recorded; he began an instructorship in botany at the University 
1894 and his resignation was accepted by the regents June 1, 1896. A brief biographical sketc 
with a picture, is in The Gopher, the annual published by the junior class of the University > 

herbaria." After leaving Minnesota, he was a botanical explorer and forester in Oregon (Am. Mi 

was admitted temporarily as an attorney in Oregon in 1911, when he was living in Portland, bi 

little other information about his legal career seems to be availa 

Bar, pers. comm. 1978). Sheldon's undergraduate fraternity 

executive secretary reports to me (1978) that he died in 1913. 

145 Arthur (1887, p. 5). In 1887, Arthur went to Purdue University, where he r 

rest of his life. Kern (Phytopathology 32: 833-844. 1942), among others, 

distinguished career as a plant pathologist and includes a bibliography, but omits 

Minnesota work. 

146see Arthur et al. (1887) and Rodgers (1949, pp. 111-113). 



Edmund P. Sheldon (1869-1913), who described a 
head and a sedge, Sagittaria cuneata and Carex albu 
new species while he was still a student at the Univ 
Minnesota. (I'rom The Gopher, see footnote 144 ab 




N. H. Winchell had scarcely gotten settled in Minnesota before he proposed, in 
December of 1872, that a state scientific society be organized. Dr. Asa E. Johnson 
(1825-1906)^"*^ offered his office for the first meetings and was looked upon as the 
"founding father" of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences, which was launched 
in January of 1873. Dr. Johnson was the first president, and most of the founding 
members were physicians. N. H. Winchell was the youngest charter member and one of 
the few non-medical ones, but he was the "most active, diligent and interested worker 
of all the members of the Academy" and served it as president 1879-1881, 1897, and 
1898.1"^^ Louis Agassiz was an honorary member. Publication of a bulletin was begun 
the first year (1873). Soon, a museum was established, with specimens in cases "copied 
from similar cases in the museum of the University of Michigan"-but botanical 
specimens were not included at the first, although Dr. Johnson started reporting on the 
fungi of Minnesota in 1876 and Warren Upham on the vascular plants in 1882. In 
1881, Clarence Luther Herrick was secretary of the Minnesota Academy, "the most 
northerly or northwesterly in the United States." ^^^ j^g Academy was active 
principally in the Twin Cities region, but hke its homologous institution in Wisconsin, 
deserves mention for the early date of its establishment on the frontier of science in 
the Old Northwest. 



148on Asa Emery Johnson, see Gale in Proc. Minn. Acad. 4 (Bull. 
149on the Minnesota Academy (which became simply the "Mini 
March 6, 1906), see its early bulletins, especially Gale (1911) 
Winchell (5: 69-116. 1914). 
1505m//. Minn. Acad. 2: 44 (1881). 



Chapter 5. 
LAKE SUPERIOR, NORTH OF GITCHE GUMEE 



The south shore of Lake Superior was explored by the expeditions to the 
Mississippi already discussed-Indian legends recorded by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft even 
inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (in The Song of Hiawatha). Early Wisconsin and 
Minnesota work included some study of the west end of that vast inland sea. But what 
of the Canadian shore? The first scientific exploring expedition to pass along it was in 
too great a hurry to accomplish much there. This was the second expedition conducted 
by Major Stephen H. Long, who had explored 1819-1820 west to the Rocky 
Mountains, examining the recent Louisiana Purchase. In 1823, Secretary of War 
Calhoun ordered Long to command an expedition to the St. Peter's [Minnesota] River 
and Lake Winnipeg. '^^ Edwin James was supposed to accompany it (as he had Long's 
earlier expedition) as botanist, geologist, and physician, but he failed to receive his 
orders in time to connect with the party. Consequently, Thomas Say (1787-1834), 
who had also been on Long's first expedition and who was to serve as "zoologist and 
andquary" on this one, undertook "to collect such plants as might appear to him 
interesting, but with that diffidence with which a man will attend to a task with which 
he does not profess to be conversant." '^^ 

Long's expedition left Philadelphia at the end of April in 1823 and traveled across 
Ohio to Fort Wayne, thence to Chicago and across Wisconsin Territory to the 
Mississippi. On the return trip, however, the route led via Lake of the Woods and 
Rainy Lake to Fort William [now included in Thunder Bay] . Kakabeka Falls, not far 
west of Fort William, was a collecting site. The expedition left Fort WilUam September 
15, in a leaky, flat-bottomed 30-foot sailboat and arrived at Fort Brady, at Sault Ste. 
Marie, 15 days later, on September 30.^^3 jj^jg ^^s a rapid trip along the north shore 
of Lake Superior, where the rocky coast impressed the travelers although Keating 
admitted: "Our visit to this coast was of too transient and hasty a nature to permit us 
to extend our observations." ^^'^ In view of the "unusually boisterous and severe" 
season, which featured snow, hail, or rain as well as strong winds nearly the entire trip, 
it is remarkable that any observations were made at all! The accounts by Long and by 
Keating include only the most vague and general remarks on the vegetation of the 
Lake Superior region. 

Thomas Nuttall was supposed to report on the plants collected by the expedition, 

15l0n Long and this expedition, see Keating (1924); Ewan (1950, p. 253); Meisel (1926, 2: 

419-423); Stuckey (1970). 

152Keating (1824, 1: 12). Thomas Say achieved fame primarily as a zoologist, especially as an 

entomologist; his botanical work in the Great Lakes region was so slight that a discussion of his 

interesting life is hardly relevant here. Ewan (1950, p. 298) cites some principal references; Weiss & 

Ziegler summarize this expedition (1931, ch. 6, pp. 92-105). 

153Keating (1824, 2: 176). William H. Keating served the expedition as mineralogist and geologist, 

and also prepared the narrative after its return. 

154Keating (1824, 2: 177). 



but he did not return from a European trip in time to complete his work, so the 
botanical report was made by Rev. Lewis David von Schweinitz, one of the leading 
botanists of the Philadelphia region. 1^5 Schweinitz listed 130 species in all and for 
only four of them are any localities cited which are definitely in the Lake Superior 
region (although some others are said to range "to Lake Superior"): Arbutus 
[ Arctostaphylos] uva-ursi (". . . shores of Lake Superior"); Potentilla tridentata and 
Hudsonia ericoides [undoubtedly actually H. tomentosa] ("Falls of Kakabeka"); and 
Viburnum pubescens ("Sault de St. Marie"). After a chance to visit with Schoolcraft 
and others at the Soo, the expedition left on October 3 and arrived at Mackinac Island 
the next day, where Long and his companions boarded a revenue cutter for Detroit. 
They reached Philadelphia October 26. 

For the first serious botanical investigation of the Canadian shore, ^^^ we come to 
the great name of Louis Agassiz (1807-1873),^^^ born in Switzerland of a long line 
of Protestant ministers, trained as a physician, but called to a career as teacher and 
naturalist (he became professor of natural history at Neuchatel). He had exhausted the 
resources of his relatives and friends in Switzerland, who valiantly supported his 
scientific publications, when Alexander von Humboldt (whose friendship he had made 
in Paris) obtained for him a subsidy from the King of Prussia to make a scientific 
exploration in America. On his way to the United States, Agassiz visited his friend Sir 
Charles Lyell in England, who arranged for him to dehver a course of lectures at the 
Lowell Insfitute in Boston (where Lyell had earlier lectured). Agassiz arrived in the fall 
of 1846 and spent his first month traveling, accompanied on part of his tour by Asa 
Gray. He promptly impressed his colleagues with his breadth of knowledge as well as 
his good humor and charm and he became enormously popular. He was a gifted 
lecturer and people eagerly thronged to hear him. He accepted countless invitations to 
speak, in order to make enough money from lecturing to support his scientific work. 
In 1847 Abbott Lawrence sponsored Agassiz for a professorship in the Lawrence 
Scientific School, which he was endowing at Harvard; Agassiz could not be "Professor 
of Natural History," since that was Asa Gray's title, so he became "Professor of 
Zoology and Geology"-and he remained in America. 

Agassiz's first teaching at Harvard began in the spring of 1848, but he continued 
his view that all people, not just professionals, could benefit from scientific instruction. 
Consequently, his ambitious "field trip" to the north shore of Lake Superior in 1848 
included not only nine Harvard students (two from the law school) but also six other 
gentlemen: New York physicians, European naturalists, and two "cultivated Bostoni- 
ans" including the chronicler of the expedition, J. Elhot Cabot. 1^8 Qne of the Harvard 
College seniors on the trip was Charles G. Loring, whose older sister, Jane, had just 



155schweinitz (1824); see Stuckey (1970) for further botanical remarks. 

156perhaps the reference here should be to the first serious and extensive investigation, for a tew 
specimens (particularly mosses) were collected along Lake Superior in 1825 by Thomas Drummond 
(71790-1835) on Sir John FrankUn's second overland polar expedition in British North America. 
The expedition left Penetanguishene, on Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, on April 23 by canoe and 
arrived at Fort William May 10. Hooker (1829-1840) credited many species to Upper Canada 
[Ontario] on the basis of collections by Drummond (and his fellow-naturalist, Dr. John 
Richardson), but few are specifically noted for Lake Huron or Lake Superior, and for fewer still is 
an expUcit locality given. (Dentaria laciniata at Penetanguishene is one.) The season on Lake 
Superior would have been early for many collections. For a summary of Drummond's career, see 
Geiser (1948, pp. 55-78, references on p. 266); numerous references are also given by Stafleu & 
Cowan, Taxonomic Literature ed. 2, vol. 1 {Reg. Veg. 94. 1976), p. 685. 

157Aniong many references on Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, see Guyot (1886); Kelly & Burrage 
(1920, pp. 4 7); Lurie (1960). See also G. R. Agassiz (1913). 



42 

married Asa Gray on May 4, a little more than a month before the expedition left 
Boston. On February 10, the first edition of Gray's Manual had been published, and it 
is hardly surprising that Agassiz could say of the plants collected: "They were for the 
most part determined on the spot with the excellent work of my friend Prof. Asa Gray 
on the Botany of the Northern United States." ^^^ One can imagine young Charles 
Loring by the campfire on the wild Canadian shore keying down an unknown plant in 
the new book by his illustrious brother-in-law! Later editions of the Manual were to 
credit a number of species to Lake Superior on the basis of collections by Agassiz's 
party, for they were examined by Gray upon return of the expedition. ^^^ 

The narrative of this trip, with its scientific reports including lists of plants 
(though without locahties) and discussion of the vegetation (including comparisons 
with the Alps), proved to be popular and sales were considerable. '^^ The party spent 
two weeks just getting from Boston to Sault Ste. Marie and making preparations, 
which included consultation with C. T. Jackson and J. W. Foster, '^^ ^Yiq ^gj-g ^^gj^ 
surveying Michigan's mineral lands, and with officials of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
whose posts on the north shore proved hospitable. On June 30, accompanied by a 
dozen voyageurs to handle the paddling and camp chores, they left the Soo in one 
large Mackinaw boat and two 24-foot birchbark canoes. "Our canoe," wrote Cabot, 
"was distinguished by a frying-pan rising erect over the prow as figure-head, an 
importance very justly conferred on the culinary art in this wilderness, where nature 
provides nothing that can be eaten raw except blueberries." The expedition arrived 
back at the Soo on August 15-a month and a half later, having gone as far west as 
Thunder Bay and Kakabeka Falls. (Threatening weather had forced cancellation of 
plans for crossing to Isle Royale.) Agassiz's collections alone "occupied four barrels 
and twelve boxes, mostly of large size." 

Clearly the next person to be mentioned is Canada's famed John Macoun 
(1831-1920),163 born in Ireland, who emigrated in 1850 with his family to Ontario, 
where he taught public school in Belleville, becoming professor of natural history in 
Albert College in Belleville in 1868. He had early read Agassiz's Lake Superior, from 
which he "learned a great deal" and in the winter of 1868-1869 he read it again. 
Almost no botanical information had been recorded from the region in the meantime, 
and Macoun was asked to collect for them by two men of Montreal, including George 
Barnston (1800-1883), an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had gotten 

158Cabot's cousin Elizabeth Cabot Gary and Louis Agassiz were married in 1850, Agassiz having 
learned upon returning from the Lake Superior expedition that his first wife had died of 
tuberculosis in Switzerland in July. 
159l. Agassiz (1850, p. 154). 

160Mosses, too, were collected, and were examined by Leo Lesquereux and W. S. Sullivant (see 
Rodgers 1940, p. 203); in the second edition of Gray's Manual (1856), Sullivant credits at least a 
dozen uncommon mosses to Lake Superior on the basis of collections by Agassiz or Loring. 
161l. Agassiz (1850). Anyone who has experienced the black-flies and mosquitoes of the north 
shore, admired the grandeur of the scenery, viewed the terraces at Terrace Bay, or wished to know 
this area before road or railroad traversed it, will enjoy Cabot's narrative. For a remarkable blend 
of text and color photographs to convey the spirit of the north shore as the Indians knew it and 
the explorers saw it before it was soiled by "civilization," one should also pore over Superior: The 
Haunted Shore by Bruce Litteljohn & Wayland Drew (Gage Publ. Ltd., Toronto, 1975. 176 pp.) 
162xhe Bostonians Jackson and Foster were already well known to Agassiz; see chapter 8, at notes 
299 & 301. 

163For a full account of his life, see Macoun's autobiography (1922); see also Rodgers (1944b, 
especially pp. 73-80, 210-214, & 300-303), based largely on the autobiography. In 1875, 
Macoun turned down an offer to teach school in Cheboygan, Michigan (Autobiography, p. 134)! 



^t System 


of Michipiooten E-W. 


N?2 System 


of .liePicN30?W. 


NV.-i System 


oiTsWpiooaN-S. 


N?; S.'s.em 


on^lackBay^'.3o?E. ^^ 


N?o System 


of TlmnderCapeE3o?:N 


N?6 S^-stem 


oflsleRoyaleE;5.>^. 



\'.'l 




V 


,'C, 1 


.,..Q^ 


'" "vU.,, , 




Map of Lake Superior, frorr 



some specimens on Lake Superior as early as 1860. Armed with letters of introduction 
to personnel of that Company, Macoun left for Lake Superior early in July of 1869 
and spent nearly two months collecting and comparing his observations with those of 
his predecessor: "Agassiz placed the flora around as mostly subarctic, but I found that 
that statement only held close to the lake, while I found the plants a few hundred 
yards back from the lake almost identical with those north of Belleville. I saw the 
cause at once, the lake water according to Agassiz was 48°F. at midsummer and 120 
miles of cold water accounted for the change in flora on its shores." 1^4 !„ 1872 
Macoun again collected on the north shore, but more briefly for he was drafted en 
route by Sandford Fleming, chief engineer, to serve as botanist with his exploring 
party across the prairies to the Pacific, surveying a route for the railroad that had been 
promised to unite British Columbia with the rest of the new Confederation. (The 
Hudson's Bay Company territories had been purchased in 1869, while Macoun was on 
Lake Superior.) 

Macoun received a permanent fulltime appointment to the Dominion government 
in 1882, as botanist with the Geological and Natural History Survey; five years later he 
was assistant director and naturalist for the survey. The government bought the 
flowering plants in his herbarium, which altogether included some 50,000 to 100,000 
specimens. Almost every summer he was engaged in field work in some part of Canada, 
the geological survey being very broadminded about the conduct of such valuable 
scientific work. In the summer of 1884 Macoun returned to the north shore, walking 
almost 200 miles back from Ross Bay to Michipicoten along the route of the Canadian 
Pacific Railroad, which ranged at the time from a blazed path to various stages of 
construction. In his great Catalogue of Canadian Plants, published 1883-1902, 
numerous records from Lake Superior localities are cited by Macoun as a result of his 
own collecting efforts. Canada's great exploring botanist retired in 1912 and lived on 
Vancouver Island until his death. 



"about 40°," not 48°, as quoted I 



Chapter 6. 
LAKE SURVEYORS, AND OTHERS 



Macoun's exploits with raihoad surveys in western Canada, which cannot be 
discussed here but which brought him considerable fame and respect in that country, 
are reminiscent of the U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys. ^^^ However, in the Great Lakes 
region, another kind of survey was important: surveys and mapping of the Lakes 
themselves-and this work commenced before the transcontinental railroad surveys. The 
first steamboat to arrive in Detroit was the historic Walk-in-the-Water, in August of 
1818. The next year, she made the round trip from Detroit to Green Bay and back in 
13 days. Until 1825 there was still only one steamboat west of Niagara, but by 1831 
there was daily service to Detroit. ^^^ Aids to navigation, lighthouses, data on lake 
levels and weather, and standard charts became essential as commerce increased and 
cities and towns developed along the shores. A big task loomed: the five Great Lakes 
themselves cover some 95,000 square miles, and their total shoreline, including islands, 
is close to 10,000 miles (about equally divided between Canada and the United States). 

When the U.S. Lake Survey (Survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes) ^^'^ 
was established by Congress in the spring of 1841, the upper Lakes were still sparsely 

165on the history of these surveys and of the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers 
(1838-1863), which conducted them, see William H. Goetzmann, Army b'xploration in the 
American West 1803-1863 (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 1959. 509 pp. + maps). Sec also Meisel 
(1929,3: 189-220). 
166Farmer (1890, p. 909). 

167For the history of the Lake Survey, see Comstock (1882, ch. 1, pp. 1-47: "Historical Account 
of the Survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes-May, 1841, to July, 1881"); the early days 
are briefly described in Farmer (1890, p. 918); there is some history on pp. 2122-2126 (followed 
by a rather confusing index to reports) of House Doc. vol. 20, 63rd Congress, 2nd Session (Doc. 
6617. 1916). The basic history, of course, is in the annual reports of the Survey, which, like many 
Government documents, are bibliographically complicated. They were, in most years, appendices to 
the reports of the Chief of Engineers (before 1863, of the Topographical Engineers), which 
themselves were appended to the report of the Secretary of War, issued as a House or Senate 

report of the Chief of Engineers lack identification as a Congressional document but fortunately 
bear the same pagination. Additional reprints of the Lake Survey report, in some years, were 
repaged beginning with p. 1. For simplicity in subsequent footnotes, the reports are merely 
identified by their year (whether calendar year or fiscal year ending June 30, as the case may be-it 
varies!) and the document serial number by which the original report can easily be found in 
libraries containing U.S. Congressional documents; the Engineers' reports or the separate Lake 
Survey reprints may be additionally cataloged by libraries, which may thus in fact have copies of a 
given year's report in at least three different places. Since the reports often were required to cover 
a fiscal year ending in the middle of a field season, the officer in charge was incHned to be 
annoyed by the inconvenience, and a report may be repetitive, or cover activities beyond the 

of the activities of personnel are an invaluable source of biographical data and of itineraries of the 
several collectors who are discussed in this chapter. 

The Lake Survey was originally headquartered in Buffalo, but the office was moved to Detroit 
soon after Col. James Kearney took charge in 1845. The Survey was conducted by the Chief of 
Topographical Engineers until that Corps was merged with the Corps of Engineers (also under the 
War Department) in March of 1863. In 1882, the surveys were considered completed, and the 



46 

populated, although settlers were pouring in rapidly and commerce, especially from 
Buffalo to Detroit and Chicago, was growing. (To reach Lake Superior, it was still 
necessary, until 1855, to portage past the rapids at Sault Ste. Marie.) There were few 
lighthouses or other aids to navigation and no official charts, so that pilots had to 
rely largely on their own hard-earned experience. Navigation on the Great Lakes was 
especially dangerous because storms could rival those on the ocean but ships dared not 
ride them out; shores were always too close. Yet, in 1841, a ship leaving Chicago had 
no refuge from storms on Lake Michigan until the Manitou or Beaver Islands were 
reached-and the situation on Lake Huron was similar. With a modest appropriation of 
$15,000, the Lake Survey began in 1841 the systematic charting of the Lakes before 
the days of aerial photography and electric calculators (not to mention computers), so 
that every mile of shore was surveyed on foot, primary triangulation points were 
established in the rugged wilderness (as far as 100 miles apart across Lake Superior), 
and enormous calculations were made of astronomical data (based on hundreds of 
readings of stars to determine latitude and longitude precisely). 1^8 

In 1851, the major task of the Lake Survey really began; with larger appropria- 
tions, better instruments, improved methods, and more personnel, the work-previously 
confined largely to harbors-progressed. An officer of the Army Engineers was always 
in charge, but as activity expanded, more assistants were needed than could be spared 
from the Engineers and a greater number of civilian assistants were employed, being 
promoted to responsible positions as chiefs of parties after they had acquired 
experience. There were steamer parties responsible for taking soundings, for primary 
triangulation, and for moving parties from one place to another. In addition, there 
were shore parties engaged in gathering data for mapping, doing inshore hydrography 
and secondary triangulation. A shore party would consist of a chief, three or four 
assistants, and the requisite numbers of chainmen, leadsmen, and boatmen to assist the 
topographers, and crews for three or four six-oared boats. They had full camp 
equipment and established their camps on shore; after surveying for six or seven miles 
on either side of a camp, they moved to a new locafion. Sometimes as many as 200 
men would be at work during the field season (May to October if appropriations were 
made in time). Several of these men were active plant collectors who, like the land 
surveyors, were in a position to label their specimens with some precision. A number 
of University of Michigan students were employed summers by the Lake Survey; 
alumni and non-graduates were among the civil assistants for varying periods. Those 
who collected plants were probably inspired in their botanical interests, at least in part, 
by Prof. Alexander Winchell, whose botany class was required in both the classical and 
the scientific (including engineering) courses at the University. 

As early as 1861, N. H. Winchell acknowledged among the sources for his catalog 
of the flora of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan a "collection of plants made in the 
neighborhood of Fort Gratiot, near the foot of Lake Huron, by Mr. E. P. Austin, 



Lake Survey was suspended except for the issuance of charts. But appropriations for new surveys 
and correction of charts began in 1889 and the Survey resumed full operation in 1901. In 1970, it 
was transferred from the Army Engineers to the Department of Commerce and merged with the 
Coast and Geodetic Survey (with which it had often been confused!) to form the National Ocean 
Survey. In 1976, its functions and personnel were transferred from Detroit to Rockville, Maryland. 
loSjust as the final draft of this account was being completed, as if to emphasize the contrast, I 
was handed a photograph covering the area from Little Traverse Bay to Whitefish Point, taken by a 
NASA Landsat satellite from an altitude exceeding five miles; 



Assistant on the Coast Survey of the lakes." Edward Payson Austin attended the 
literary department of the University of Michigan 1857-1859 (and was therefore in 
part a classmate of N. H. Winchell's) but he did not graduate. 1^9 He was an assistant 
engineer with the Lake Survey from 1859 until he was discharged August 21, 1863, 
for leaving his post (on northern Lake Michigan) without authority. ^"^0 In 1859 he 
was assisting in the determination of the difference in longitude between Detroit and 
Fort Gratiot. ^"71 In 1860 he was engaged in astronomical computations, observed 
meteorological data at Sanilac, and was in a party on Lake Huron determining latitude 
and longitude of points on the Canadian shore. ^'^^ m^ pi^nt collections have not, so 
far as I recall, survived, and Httle more seems to be known about his natural history 
activities except that he developed a specialty in beetles. '^^ 

The collector whose name is most frequently encountered among the Lake Survey 
personnel was Henry Gillman (1833-1915).174 a scholar of broad interests, he was 
born in Ireland and came to Detroit with his parents in 1850-the same year that John 
Macoun emigrated to Ontario with his family. From 1851 to 1869 he was an assistant 
engineer with the Lake Survey, often in charge of shore parties. From 1870 to 1876, 
he was assistant superintendent of construction for lighthouses on the Great Lakes, and 
thus continued to travel along the shores. He then moved with his family to Florida ^^^ 



169sensemann (1923, p. 606 Austin is listed as a sophomore in the scientific course in the 
1857-1858 University of Mica gan catalog and directory, and the following year is Usted among 
"Students in Select Courses" r ot in any class; his residence is given as Ann Arbor both years. 
Merrill (1920, p. 208), listing 'lim as a volunteer collector in entomology for Winchell's survey, said 
he was "of Lake Suney" but this was presumably an error in transcription for "Lake Survey" as no 
"Lake Suney" is listed in gazetteers. 
170Lake Survey Report 1863 (Doc. 1184, p. 187). 
17lLake Survey Report 1859 (Doc. 1024, p. 711). 

lV2Lake Survey Report 1860 (Doc. 1079, pp. 304, 317, 385); Comstock (1882, p. 13). 
173Around 1867, Austin was associated with the office of the Nautical Almanac in Washington, 
D.C; he was assistant in the observatory at Harvard University 1868-1871 but he obtained no 
degree at Harvard (Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates 1636-1 895 -s^nd other 
years). He is listed in an 1873 directory of botanists (Bull. Torrey Bot. Oub 4: 49 & 56) as living 
in Washington, D.C, and specializing in Michigan; a supplement to that directory (ibid. 6: 104. 
1876) lists him at Cambridge, Mass., and not active. He published at least one paper on astronomy, 
in 1878, and a number of papers on beetles, including his presidential address for the Cambridge 
Entomological Club (Psyche 2: 217-223. 1879). Gifts from Austin of seeds of wild plants were 
acknowledged in the 1867 and 1868 reports of Alexander Winchell on operations of the University 
of Michigan Museum, and he also gave some insects and other specimens to the Museum 
1866-1868. In 1889 the Austin collection of beetles was acquired by Michigan State University. 
By then, Austin had moved west, where he devoted himself to real estate and mining; 
correspondence with Samuel Henshaw about the sale of his collections, which were stored in 
Cambridge, is in the archives of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, I am advised in 
an informative letter (1978) from Ann Blum, archives assistant. 

174The longest account of Gilhnan, with a small picture, is in Natl. Cycl. Am. Biogr. 7: 359-360 
(1892); see also Krum in Diet. Am. Biogr. 7: 294-295 (1931) and the first 8 eds. of Who's Who in 
America. Gillman's name is perpetuated nomenclaturally with at least three plants: A liverwort, 
pubUshed as Jungermannia gillmani C. F. Austin (Bull. Torrey Bot. Oub 3: 12. 1872), was 
collected by him in a cave on Au Train Island, Alger County, Mich., in 1867-evidently the first 
record of a liverwort collected in Michigan, and a new species at that! (See Bryologist 38: 83. 
1935.) A goldenrod was named for him by Asa Gray as Solidago humilis var. gillmani (Proc. Am. 
Acad. 17: 191. 1882), without specific collection data, which were later provided in a thorough 
discussion by E. S. Steele (Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 13: 367-369. 1911). Gillman himself (in J. U. 
& C. G. Lloyd, Drugs Medic. N. Am. 1: 235. 1885) proposed the name Actaea neglecta for what is 
now usually recognized as a white-fruited form of the red baneberry, A. rubra. 
175Engelmann (Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 3: 591. 1877) referred to "Mr. H. Gilhnan-late of 
Detroit, now in Waldo, Florida-who has very attentively studied the Flora of the Upper Lake 



48 

until 1878 (the year that his wife died). In 1880 he became librarian of the De- 
troit Public Library, charged with its improvement; when he left that post in 1885, 
the library had grown from about 40,000 volumes to about 60,000. He then served for 
five years as U.S. consul in Jerusalem and while there managed to procure for 
publication photographic facsimiles of some early Christian manuscripts, including the 
Didache. After his retirement from diplomatic service in 1891, he resided in Detroit 
when not traveling. He published a volume of poetry in 1863, during his Lake Survey 
career, and a volume on the wildflowers and gardens of Palestine in 1894. He did 
considerable archeological research in Michigan in the 1870's and published a long 
series of papers on that subject, especially on Indian mounds and Isle Royale mines. 
According to one of his biographers, he "was one of the first to emphasize the 
importance of Isle Royale as a field for scientific investigation. "^ "76 

Gillman's plant collections are usually adequately labeled and the ones I have seen 
date from 1864 (only a few)-well after he began his Lake Survey work-through 
1876, his last year supervising lighthouse construction. He was often in parties on the 
Straits of Mackinac and Lake Huron in the 1850's, on northern Lake Michigan (Benzie 
to Grand Traverse counties) in 1860, and on Lake Superior in 1861 (as was E. P. 
Austin), but Gillman seems not to have developed an interest in botany at that time. 
The survey of Green Bay commenced in 1862, and Henry Gillman was placed in 
charge of a shore party there in 1863, aided by Lewis Foote. In 1864 he collected 
(sparsely) on Lake Superior while surveying at Keweenaw Bay, Copper Harbor, and 
Torch Lake; and in 1865 he was in charge of a shore party, again aided by Foote, 
between Eagle River and Ontonagon. This party left Detroit May 20, 1865, and 
returned October 3; the site of their activity was described by their superior: "The 
field assigned to this party is . . . without inhabitants, and where the party was for the 
whole season almost cut off from communication. Occasionally a passing Indian 
brought them their mails in his canoe . . ."177 j^e next season, 1866, Gillman and his 
party sailed fiom Detroit on May 25 for Whitefish Bay, on the Door Peninsula of 
Wisconsin, but in 1867 he was back on Lake Superior (leaving June 7) in charge of a 
topographic and hydrographic party assigned to survey from Grand Island, near 
Munising, westward toward Marquette-until transferred in August to the Keweenaw 
Peninsula to work on grading and preparing for measurement the Keweenaw base line 
south of Portage Entry. Another portion of the south shore of Lake Superior, from 
Ontonagon westward into Wisconsin, was covered by Gillman in 1868, the party 
leaving Detroit May 16. He resigned from the Lake Survey before the field season of 
1869,'''8 and I do not know what he did that summer (he collected at Detroit in 



176Krum \n Diet. 



1' /Major W. F. Raynolds, Lake Survey Report 1866 (Doc. 1285, p. 459); Gillman had assisted 
then Lt. Raynolds from the south shore of the Straits of Mackinac to Little Traverse Bay in 1853. 
Information on Gilhnan's itineraries in this paragraph comes from the Lake Survey reports, from 
Comstock (1882), and from localities on specimen labels. 



l78Lake Survey Report 186S 


> (Doc. 1413, p. 558). Lt. Col 


. W. F. Raynolds, wh 


to was in charge of 


the Survey, in the same year 


(p. 543) noted frankly, in hi; 




situation which presumably h 


id to Gilhnan's resignation. Du; 




mUitary personnel 


except the officer in charge 


were assigned to the Survey 


(see also Comstock 


1882, pp. 14-15). 


"All the parties were, therefc 




d experienced civU a 


ssistants. When the 


war ended officers fresh from 


the Academy were^ordered t^ 




i Raynolds. "Their 


commissions entitled them to 




Xy'lacleTthe'^e'xD* 




command implied. The desire of the [War] Department to make the su. 


"ey % "^scLorof 


instruction' for young officer 




1 frequent changes that, within the past 


five yeais, fourteen different 


officers have been assigned 1 


:o duty on the surv 


ey, whose average 



49 

October). Plants collected by him on Isle Royale, during his "lighthouse period," date 
from 1872, 1873, and 1874; there are other collections from Lakes Huron, Michigan, 
and Superior 1871-1876, and in 1870 from Detroit and Fort Gratiot. 

Gillman's herbarium went to Princeton University and was deposited, with other 
Princeton collections, in the New York Botanical Garden in 1945. He corresponded 
and exchanged with many botanists, so his collections are in other herbaria as well.l'^^ 
Among his several short papers on Michigan plants was one on Lemnaceae (duck- 
weeds), reporting Lemna minor flowering at Eaton Rapids, Michigan, June 7, 1870, 
and Wolffia columbiana flowering in the Detroit River August 28, 1870.^^0 In another 
short note, he listed several localities on the three upper Lakes where he had found a 
reportedly uncommon liverwort. ^^^ 

Another very active engineer-botanist was Lewis Foote (1838-1925), ^^^ from the 
state of New York, who entered the University of Michigan in 1861. In the summer of 
1863 he assisted Henry Gillman's party on Green Bay and collected on the Door 
Peninsula in June and July. He accepted permanent appointment with the Lake Survey 
as an assistant engineer in 1864 and had to leave school about ten days before final 
examinations began on June 22; he was not able to return to Ann Arbor for his exams 
and conferring of his degree (C.E.) until 1866. In 1864 he was again around the Door 
Peninsula, but in 1865 was back with Gillman, on Lake Superior. In 1866 they were 
both on Green Bay and the west shore of Lake Michigan again. Foote's earliest 
collections date from his student days (1862) or before, 1^3 and it is easy to imagine 
that it was he who interested Gillman in collecting. Foote left the Lake Survey because 
of failing health in 1874, evidently before the field season. He was in business in 
Detroit for a year or two and surveyed near Kingston, Ontario, in 1877, before moving 



length of service on the work, when I was relieved, did not exceed one and a half seasons in the 
field. The result has been the discontent and resignation of a large proportion of the civil 
employes." 

179in a letter to Miss Mary Clark of Ann Arbor, April 11, 1867 (University of Michigan 
"The habitat of Lygodium palmatum I wrote 
ite Henry D. Thoreau-r/jar high-priest of nature. 

but I have been promised specimens from one of them, the ensuing season, and when I receive 
them you shall be remembered. . . . Platanthera obtusata I collected last season at 'The Portage, ' be- 
tween Lake Michigan & Green Bay, where the Canal is to be made soon.-It is rather scarce; & my 
stock is exhausted from numerous demands." 

ISOcillman (1870). Gilhnan published several later notes on flowering Lemnaceae, a subject which 
evidently interested him. Engelmann commented on flowering material of Spirodela supplied by 
Gillman from Detroit in Bull. Torrey Bot. Qub 2: 34 (1871). 
ISlGillman (1876). 

182in addition to Lake Survey reports, information about Lewis Foote is in the Alumni Records 
Office, University of Michigan, and in an unpublished manuscript in the files of the University of 
Michigan Herbarium, written in 1958 by R. Elda Evans, "Biography and Travels of Lewis Foote." 
A concise paragraph summarizing Foote's career as "Civil Eng. and Botanist" appeared annually 
beginning in 1908, in the announcement, catalog, and register of alumni of the University of 
Michigan Department of Engineering (Univ. Mich. Bull. n.s. 9(13): 168. June 1908-and later 
years), 

183Foote's album of neatly mounted "Flowers Analyzed in 1862" (April- August) looks like the 
result of a botany course at the University, although botany was then offered in the junior year 
(which was the same as the second year of the engineering course and hence 1862-1863 for 
Foote). All the specimens are from Ann Arbor, precisely dated, and a few are credited to Miss 
Mary H. Qark (see next chapter). However, in the University of Michigan Herbarium there is also a 
similar album of Foote's specimens from Norwich, N.Y. (his home at the time he attended the 
University), and Cazenovia, N.Y., without dates but probably even earlier. 



50 

westward with his wife. He farmed and led a quiet Hfe in Minnesota, Kansas, and Iowa, 
Hving almost until his 87th birthday. In 1903 he presented to his alma mater two 
thousand specimens collected mostly during the decade that he was mapping the 
shorelines and otherwise working for the Lake Survey. 

One of the interesting features of many of Foote's collections is that the original 
labels are written on neat rectangles of birchbark. These look as if they had been 
prepared in the field from emergency sources, but it is more likely that they were 
written picturesquely after he returned; the existence of birchbark labels in Foote's 
hand for collections made by another surveyor, 0. B. Wheeler, on another lake from 
Foote's location at the time, strongly suggests that the labels were not prepared in the 
field, despite their rustic appearance. ^^'^ 

In 1867, Foote was at St. Clair fiats in June and was then transferred to Sault Ste. 
Marie, for measurement of river fiow, being transferred again in August to the Niagara 
River. He continued study of outflow on the Niagara River in 1868 and 1869 
(including amount of water going over the falls), but in 1870 and 1871 he was in the 
field on Lake Michigan. (In 1870 he stayed in Detroit until the end of July, when the 
appropriations bill was finally passed and parties could be sent out.) Smoke from the 
severe fires on both sides of Lake Michigan (the great forest fires in Michigan and 

IS^See note 223 below. 









Labels from specimens collected by personnel of the U.S. Lake Survey (all slightly reduct 
Above: Two labels in Lewis Foote's hand, on characteristic pieces of birchbark; at left, fo 
coUection of /m lacustris by himself at Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, May 31, 1866 (the same day t 
Henry Gillman collected the same species at the same place); at right, for a collection by O. 
Wheeler at Isle St. Ignace, Canada West [Ontario], where Wheeler collected extensively in 1866 ; 
1867. Below: at left, a label of Henry Gillman's in his own hand, for a coUection from Au Ti 
Island, Alger County, Michigan, in 1867; at right, a label written by Lewis Foote for a specin 
collected by O. B. Wheeler and J. C. Jones in 1870, presumably near Farquhar's Knob, Cc 
County, Minnesota (see footnotes 203-206). 



51 

Wisconsin, as well as the Chicago fire) so reduced visibility in 1871 that the shore 
parties were unable to accomplish their surveying and were withdrawn early in 
October. 185 In 1872 and 1873, his last seasons with the Lake Survey, Foote headed a 
triangulation party on the St. Lawrence River, but he seems to have done no collecting 
in these years. 

It remains only to note that in the party under Foote's charge on the east shore 
of Lake Michigan May 15 to October 4, 1871, he had as one of his assistants V. M. 
Spalding. He expressed his gratitude to Spalding and three others "for the abihty and 
cheerful perseverance with which they did everything required of them."^^^ Foote and 
others suffered from bad health that season, and the helpful young assistant was 
Volney M. Spalding (1849-1918), who had then just completed his sophomore year at 
the University of Michigan-where he was later professor of botany and also offered 
the first full-fledged course in forestry to be given in the United States. ^^^ In a 
triangulation party on Lake Superior in 1872, Spalding assisted G. A. Marr, who 
wrote: "...left my recorder, Mr. V. M. Spalding, (who had had one season's 
experience on the survey), at Vulcan station [near the end of the Keweenaw 

Peninsula] He was landed at Copper Harbor July 4 Much is due the extra 

efforts of Mr. Spalding," resulting in successful readings under unfavorable con- 
ditions. 188 

One of the most eminent of the surveyors was O. B. Wheeler (1835-1896),189 a 
native of Washtenaw County, Michigan, who entered the University of Michigan in 
1856, took both classical and scientific courses, and received both an A.B. and a B.S. 
in 1862 and an M.A. and an M.S. in 1865. He was a classmate of N. H. Winchell and 
doubtless knew E. P. Austin and Lewis Foote on campus. During his senior year and 
for the summer (1862) after graduation, he was assistant to Prof. F. F. E. Brunnow in 
the new University observatory. In August of 1862 he became an assistant engineer 
with the Lake Survey, and except for two years away he remained with the Survey 
until its close in the summer of 1882.1^0 He received the honorary degree of Civil 
Engineer from the University of Michigan in 1879. Like a number of the former Lake 
Survey personnel who had transferred to the Mississippi River Commission, Wheeler 
became an assistant engineer on that Commission in 1884 and was located in St. Louis, 
Missouri. He served as a member of various U.S. surveying and astronomical expedi- 



185Lake Survey Report 1872 (Doc. 1559, p. 1031). 
186Lake Survey Report 1872 (Doc. 1559, pp. 1104-1106). 

187see Rodgers (1851, p. 46) and Dana (1953, pp. xii, 1-8). Volney Morgan Spalding (. 
University of Michigan 1873; Ph.D. University of Leipzig 1894) was one of the "greats" in 
history of botany in Ann Arbor, but he was not noted as a field collector and I resist 
temptation to say more of him in this account. I can recall seeing no collections which might 1 
been made during his Lake Survey employment. Botany was at that time in the second semt 
program of the freshman year at the University of Michigan (along with Latin, Greek, 
mathematics), so Spalding would presumably already have had Alexander Winchell's course; 
possibly he was further encouraged in his botanical interests by Lewis Foote. And perhaps he 
even spurred to an interest in forestry while surrounded on Lake Michigan by the immense fire 
1871-when ahnost four million acres burned in Michigan and Wisconsin, along with the cit; 

1182). 



52 

tions here and abroad (including observations of the transit of Venus in 1874 and 
1882 and the total solar eclipse in 1878). 

Wheeler's plant collections are mostly from the north shore of Lake Superior in 
the United States and "Canada West" (as it was then known), although his assignments 
in the field were more widespread. His specimens are not as numerous nor as well 
labeled as those of Gillman and Foote-but I do not know what became of the 
personal herbarium he presumably had, having seen only specimens distributed to 
others. His chief work with the Lake Survey was in primary triangulation, astronomical 
observations with much detailed computation of latitude and longitude, and office 
work organizing ("reducing") field data.^^' 

In 1863, the second season of work on Green Bay, E. P. Austin headed one 
section and O. B. Wheeler assisted the other section of an astronomical party 
determining latitude and longitude of points in and near Green Bay, South Manitou 
Island, and Beaver Island. After Austin was discharged, Wheeler was transferred to take 
over his section. '92 in 1864, he was again on Lake Michigan except for making 
determinations of lafitude at Copper Harbor and Portage Entry on Lake Superior. 
Wheeler and S. W. Robinson were in charge, in 1865, of astronomical work on Green 
Bay, where they invented the heliograph as a modification of the "heHotrope" (which 
was used in long-distance surveying). By cutting off the light fiom the heliotrope in 
such a way as to make long and short flashes of sunlight corresponding to the Morse 
code, telegraphic messages could be sent by mirrors long distances-over 90 miles, as 
usefully demonstrated later on Lake Superior. '^^ 

Until being transferred to Lake Michigan September 27, Wheeler in 1866 was 
assigned to triangulation work on Lake Superior, where a very large triangle was to be 
established between the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula (Vulcan station), Isle St. Ignace 
(almost due north, along the Ontario shore), and-a hundred miles away-a third point 
on the northeast shore (ultimately located at Tip Top Mt.). He was located on Isle St. 
Ignace from late June unfil, apparently, some time in August. '^4 isle St. Ignace 
became one of the principal collecting sites of his career, perhaps because the party 
waited over a month for favorable conditions to read angles, without success. With 
better (borrowed) instruments, the required angles were read in 1867. The parties 
planned for astronomical and triangulation work on Lake Superior in 1868 did not 
receive their expected new instruments in time, so were diverted to the lower Lakes, 
where Wheeler helped with observations between Detroit and Ogdensburg, New York. 

The season of 1869 was the first (and only) one in which the entire Lake Survey 
force was confined to Lake Superior. O. B. Wheeler succeeded Henry Gillman as 
"principal assistant," '^^ but continued triangulation work rather than participating in 
the shore parties both that year and in 1870. In 1869 he was at the triangulation 
stafion on Michipicoten Island in northeastern Lake Superior, where he collected and 
where he was aided by D. H. Rhodes, '96 who also made some collections which 



'^^The last report of the Survey (1882) stated that "computing machines" had been \ 
otfice, but did not say for how long; they were bulky, non-electric devices and those 
evaluated them did not include Wheeler, whose computational feats must have been perfc 
nothing more sophisticated than logarithms. (See Doc. 2094, pp. 2786-2790.) 
192Lake Survey Report 1863 (Doc. 1184, p. 187). 

193Lake Survey Report 1867 (Doc. 1325, p. 564); Comstock (1882, pp. 18 & 318). 
194Lake Survey Report 1867 (Doc. 1325, pp. 567, 583-584). 
195Lake Survey Report 1869 (Doc. 1413, p. 66). 




passed to Lewis Foote's herbarium, with which they came to the University of 
Michigan. The weather was considered very unfavorable in 1869; Lt. Col. Raynolds 
considered the season to be "by far the worst for field parties ever known in the 
history of the survey." '^^ As the officer in charge of the Survey, Raynolds seemed 
particularly sensitive to the difficulties encountered by the field parties, having written 
of the 1868 season: 



1 boat landings, the rough i 



dangerous 
an acciden 


St, aU 
09S 


'"ca'Hn 


oTbu 


•- 


ce that the 


r 


T^^^;:^:ri:^J^-^ 


Beginning in 
in office work. In 


1871 
that 


Wh 


eler 


evide 
ancy 


ntly spent 
having occ 


.::: 


dinth 


e of his time than previously 
e meteorology department of 



196Lake Survey Report 1870 (Doc. 1447, pp. 552-553). Daniel Harke 
received the C. E. degree from the University of Michigan in 1869 and i 
employee of the Lake Survey immediately afterwards. Most of the rest o 
engineer with railroad companies, in Michigan 1869-1872 and farthe 
responsible for the construction of thousands of miles of main line 
announcement, catalog, and register of alumni of the University of M 
Engineering [Univ. Mich. Bull. n.s. 9(13): 172 (June 1908-and other y 
Mich. Alumnus 27: 324. 1921.) 
197Lake Survey Report 1869 (Doc. 1413, p. 560); see also 1870 report (p. 



the Survey, he was instructed to take charge of its computations and to inspect the 
accuracy with which observations were being made; he also "had other duties to 
perform, being in charge of the computing department of the Lake Survey, and having 
also an unforeseen amount of astronomical observations to make during the sum- 
mer . . ."1^^ Wheeler, who was by then one of the engineers longest employed by the 
Survey, was in charge of the reduction of water-level and meteorological observations 
from March of 1871 to July of 1878 (after which he was temporarily assigned to 
determine the Mexico-Guatemala border), in addition to his work of "computations for 
the adjustment of the primary and secondary triangulation, and for the geodetic 
positions of the points of triangulation" as well as preparing data required by the 
draftsmen in drawing final charts. -^0*^ It is no wonder that he apparently did little field 
work or collecting after 1870! (Perhaps he lost interest, too, after Gillman and 
Foote-who may have gotten him started-left the Lake Survey.) 

We come next to the name of J. C. Jones (1841-1897),201 for some time a 
mystery on herbarium labels, for his later life was not devoted to science or 
engineering. He was born in Adrian, Michigan, and entered the University of Michigan 
in the fall of 1865. After one semester, he left for studies at Meadville Theological 
School (at that time in Pennsylvania), where he remained until June of 1867. He then 
became principal at Houghton School and after a year was transferred to the 
principalship of Tappan School (which he organized), both in Detroit. -^^^ He 
re-entered the University in the fall of 1869 and graduated with an A.B. degree in 
1872. During the summer vacations of 1870 and 1871 he was employed as a recorder 
and observer by the Lake Survey and was stationed on Lake Superior. The Survey 
steamer Search left Detroit June 7, 1870, and returned October 17 after a full season 
engaged in primary triangulation of Lake Superior. O. B. Wlieeler and his party were 
landed June 12 "near Farquhar's Knob."203 "Owing to severe illness, Mr. 0. B. 
Wheeler was compelled to leave the field, and after the 24th of September the 

199Lake Survey Report 1871 (Doc. 1504, p. 1008). 
200comstock (1882, pp. 24-25). 

201 Information on Joseph Comstock Jones is in the files of the Alumni Records Office, University 
of Michigan, including the letter on which the account in Chase (1880, p. 125) is based, and in an 
obituary in Mich. Alumnus 3: 198 (1897). He is also mentioned (see pp. 31, 34, 35, & 37) in a 
volume by his daughter, a distinguished civic leader, long interested in history, Sarah Van Hoosen 
Jones {Chronicle of Van Hoosen Centenary Farm, 236 pp.), privately published in 1969, three 
years before the death of Miss Jones, who received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 
1921 and returned to Rochester, Michigan, to farm in the best modern manner. Her mother, who 
had taught in the Saginaw schools, and Mr. Jones were married in 1889, two years after the first 
Mrs. Jones died expressing the deathbed wish that her husband marry Alice Van Hoosen. Daughter 
Sarah was scarcely five when her father died. 

202Letter from J. C. Jones to T. R. Chase, dated January 17, 1878 [sic, for 1879] in Alumni 
Records Office. 

203Farquhar's Knob, where a triangulation site was selected and station built in 1868, was not the 
promontory now known as Farquhar Peak. It is shown on the Lake Survey chart (Lake Superior 
No. 3), published in 1873, as being a little west of due north from Hovland, Minnesota (Farquhar 
Peak, on the other hand, is about 3 mi. northeast of Hovland); furthermore, the altitude of 
Farquhar's Knob, given on the chart as 1111 feet (above Lake Superior) and in Comstock (1882, p. 
315) as 1113.3 feet, is much too high for Farquhar Peak which is at most 652 feet above Lake 
Superior according to the topographic map (Farquhar Peak Quadrangle, U.S. Geol. Surv., 1960). 
The same topographic quadrangle shows no triangulation station on Farquhar Peak, while there is 
one VA miles west, just a half-mile east of the Hovland lookout tower and just above the 1700-foot 
contour, which would be exactly right for "Farquhar's Knob." (Capt. Francis U. Farquhar, for 
whom these features are named, was in command of the Lake Survey steamer Search in 1867 and 
1868, when its party was establishing triangulation stations on Lake Superior.) 



55 

remaining work at his station was performed by the recorder, Mr. J. C. Jones. It is due 
to Mr. Jones, as well as to the other recorders ... to state that they proved themselves 
amply qualified for positions of far greater trust and responsibility ."^'^'^ 

Alexander Winchell's report on the University of Michigan Museum for 1870 states 
that J. C. Jones '72 presented a collection "of about 200 species (500 specimens) of 
unnamed plants from Farquhar's Point, Minn., on the north shore of Lake Superior, 
about ten miles from the mouth of Pigeon river."^^^ Jones' specimens of none of the 
four species specifically mentioned by Winchell, including Ranunculus lapponicus 
"never before discovered in the United States," can now be found in the University of 
Michigan Herbarium, but other species include two which are not otherwise known 
from Minnesota (although both are on Isle Royale): the rare fern Cryptogramma crispa 
and a disjunct species of sweet cicely, Osmorhiza chilemis. Jones evidently sent at least 
one specimen of the little Lappland buttercup. Ranunculus lapponicus, directly to Asa 
Gray, who originally described it as a new species of anemone, A. nudicaulis, noting: 
"All I know of it is from a specimen sent to me in a letter, dated August 8, 1870, 
from Mr. Joseph C. Jones, then of the U.S. Steamer Search:'^^^ 

Some of Jones' specimens now in the University of Michigan Herbarium are 
labeled in the hand of Mark W. Harrington and some in the hand of John F. 
Eastwood,^^^ who was employed as an assistant in the museum in 1871, when 
Harrington left for Alaska. Presumably the numerous dupHcates were distributed 
similarly labeled, with scanty or even erroneous data: sometimes no year, sometimes 
the year given as 1869; the collector sometimes (by Harrington) identified as "Prof. J. 
C. Jones" and sometimes with an "M.D." after his name-both unwarranted appella- 
tions for a student in the class of 1872. I have seen herbarium specimens collected by 
O. B. Wheeler himself in addition to those of Jones from 1870, and sometimes there 
are specimens from the herbarium of Lewis Foote labeled in Foote's hand as collected 
by "0. B. Wheeler & J. C. Jones"; these are simply attributed to "North Shore Lake 
Superior Minnesota" but are presumably all from Cook County. 



204 Lake Survey Report 1871 (Doc. 1504, p. 994). 

^(iSReport of Operations in the Museum ... for the Year Ending Sept. 19th, 1871, p. 11 (Univ. 
Mich. Regents Proc. p. 148). The distance cited from Pigeon River would (depending on route 
taken) be roughly 15 miles from Farquhar's Knob. No map or other record has been found which 
indicates a "Farquhar's Point." I suspect, if the plants were unnamed (and unlabeled), they were 
accompanied at best with a scrap of paper or an oral statement of their origin, which erroneously 
was interpreted as to exact name and distance. The specimens include species as diverse in their 

(acrostichoides), so it is clear tiiat they were not all collected on a rocky summit! They probably 
came from various points between the landing site on the shore and the highest elevation. (See also 

206^0/. Gaz. 11: 17 (1886); the letter was also quoted, with minor errors in transcription, by 
Upham (1887, p. 46). 1 am informed (1978) by E. A. Shaw of the Gray Herbarium that the 
original letter is not now in the Gray correspondence there. The "Sand bay" where the plant was 
collected has eluded Minnesota botanists (see Butters & Abbe in Rhodora 55: 150. 1953). It shows 
on no maps, including the 1873 Lake Survey chart, which names only Horseshoe Bay in the 
vicinity of Hovland (and which does name Hovland, mysteriously not mentioned by name in the 
Lake Survey documents). Comstock (1882, p. 315) in describing Farquhar's Knob states: "This 
station is situated on the north shore of Lake Superior, and is about 4 miles northwest of Sand 
Bay, whence the trail leading to the station starts." The present road from Hovland to the site of 
Farquhar's Knob (see previous note) quite likely follows an old trail-and the distance would be 
about four miles. "Sand Bay" would therefore be the present Chicago Bay, or at least very near it. 

be desirable. 

207For samples of the writing of Harrington (A.B. 1868, A.M. 1871) and of Eastwood (A.B. 1871, 



56 

In 1871, while Wheeler was apparently doing desk work in Detroit, Jones was 
again on Lake Superior, aiding with latitude and longitude determinations at Lester 
River and Burlington stations on the Minnesota shore closer to Duluth and at Detour 
station on the Wisconsin shore (south of Sand Island)208 35 ^ell as at Thone's hill 
near Marquette, Michigan (in September). ^^^ He had been placed in charge of a 
division of A. R. Flint's triangulation party for July, and Flint commended him: 
"Considering his comparative inexperience and the poor instrument furnished him, I 
think Mr. Jones's results are entitled to favorable consideration. He rejoined my party 
about the 1st of August. "^''^ In 1872, Jones presented another 60 species (120 
specimens) to the University of Michigan, presumably from the 1871 season although I 
have not yet located one so labeled. 

Whether J. C. Jones collected plants at any time before or after his summer jobs 
with the Lake Survey, 1 do not know. One suspects that he was then merely collecting 
at the suggestion of 0. B. Wheeler, whom he was officially assisting in triangulation 
work. Immediately after graduating, Jones became superintendent of schools at 
Pontiac, Michigan, and after five years he took a similar position at East Saginaw, 
where he was prominent in civic and educational affairs, especially in promoting the 
free textbook system in Michigan. He received an A.M. degree from the University of 
Michigan in 1875. In 1885 he moved to New York, where he was in charge of the 
schoolbook department of Harper & Brothers. After that firm withdrew from the 
schoolbook business, Jones became superintendent of schools in Newton, Massa- 
chusetts, but soon resigned to become chief of the educational department for another 
publisher (Werner) in Chicago, where he died at the age of 56. 

One of the Lake Survey personnel who evidently did not go out in any field 
parties, but stayed in Detroit, was John M. Bigelow (1804-1878).2«1 He was born in 
Vermont, studied in Ohio, and in 1832 graduated from the Medical College of Ohio 
(which had been founded in Cincinnati in 1820 by Dr. Daniel Drake, the eminent 19th 
century physician of the Midwest 21 2) Dr. Bigelow then practiced medicine for a while 
in Lancaster, Ohio, where he became interested in botany and published a local flora. 
His chief botanical fame results from collections made during his service as surgeon 
with the Mexican Boundary Survey from 1850 unfil early in 1853 and, later in 1853, 
as surgeon and botanist under Lt. A. W. Whipple on the Pacific Railroad Survey. En 
route to the West on the latter mission, he visited in St. Louis with George Engelmann, 
to whom he had sent the cacti from the Boundary Survey; and he co-authored with 
Engelmann the account of the cacti in Whipple's report published in 1856. 

After continuing to collect in California and working in Washington, D.C., until 
the summer of 1854, Bigelow returned to his practice in Lancaster. Lt. Whipple-now 



208These stations are described by Comstock (1882, p. 314). 

209Lake Survey Report 1872 (Doc. 1559, p. 1066); Jones also served as recorder for A. 

St. Paulin June (p. 1054). 

3. 1100). On Aug. 5, the party again divide 
i. (Michigan), but it is not clear to which J 

The party returned to Etetroit on the steamer Search October 23. 

21l0n John Milton Bigelow, see Atkinson (1878, p. 285); Noyes (1878); Burr 

248-249); Waller (1942); Rodgers (1942, pp. 221-228; 249-255); Ewan (1950, p. 1( 

(1962). 

212Dr. Drake (1785-1852) collected in northern Michigan in 1842 (see Voss 1956, \ 

and later in the same year published a very readable account: "The northern lakes, a sun 

for invalids of the south" {Western Jour. Med. Surg. 6: 401-426. 1842). 



57 

Captain ended his work in the West in 1856, when the Chief of Topographical 
Engineers (the Corps under which the Railroad Surveys, hke the Lake Survey, had 
operated) reported: "Captain Whipple, engaged until September on Pacific railroad 
survey, is now charged with the improvement of St. Clair flats, and flats of Lake 
George, St. Mary's river, and of Lake Superior ."213 Whipple received additional 
responsibilities for lighthouses on Lakes Erie and Ontario, and remained in Detroit 
with the Topographical Engineers (but not the Lake Survey) until June 1, 1861, when 
he was relieved for service in the Civil War in which he lost his life. 

It seems probable that Whipple (whether on Bigelow's suggestion or otherwise) 
called his former associate to the attention of his fellow engineers in Detroit. For in 
1860, Capt. George G. Meade, in charge of the U.S. Lake Survey, could report in 
regard to meteorological observations: "... this branch of the survey has been assigned 
to Assistant J. M. Bigelow, who will henceforth devote his whole attention, under my 
immediate direction, to the reduction and discussion of these observations. The tables 
attached to this report are but the commencement of what, it is hoped, the future will 
furnish . . ."; and in regard to water-level observations, he reported that late in the 
summer he "was able to assign Assistant J. M. Bigelow permanently to this duty, as 
well as to the meteorological department . . ."^l'^ Bigelow remained as assistant 
engineer in charge of water-level and meteorological observations until the end of 
December, 1866.215 Hundreds of pages of meteorological data were published by him 
in the reports of the Lake Survey and, I suspect, are largely overlooked today. 

Although 1. A. Lapham and others had long been interested in water-level 
fluctuations in the Great Lakes, observations by the Lake Survey were rather irregular 
before 1860, being taken by temporary gauges wherever surveys were being carried on. 
In 1859, four self-registering tide gauges and many other gauges and meteorological 
instruments were installed at a total of 19 stations around the Great Lakes; observers 
were employed to make daily observations and send the records monthly to De- 
troit. ^16 It was thus John Bigelow in 1860 who began the regular charting and 
interpreting of lake-level fluctuations, an operation continued to this day by the Corps 
of Engineers. 

After a little over six years with the Lake Survey, Bigelow served a year as 
physician to the Marine Hospital in Detroit. The Detroit Medical College, organized in 
1868, began instruction in February of 1869 and Dr. Bigelow became a member of the 
first faculty, as "Professor of Medical Botany ."^ 17 His course, according to the 
catalog, "will be illustrated by specimens gathered fresh in excursions into the country, 
and will give students the opportunity of gaining a practical acquaintance with the 
medicinal plants of this climate, a knowledge of which is invaluable to every 
physician." "This course," the catalog continues, "will be optional with the students, 
and will cost an extra fee ."^ 18 Bigelow resigned in 1870 and was listed as "Emeritus 
Professor of Medical Botany and Materia Medica" until his death. From 1869 to 1873, 



213Report of J. J. Abert, Topographical Engineers, to Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, 

1856 (Doc. 894, p. 358); Whipple's relief is recorded in the 1861 report (Doc. 1118, p. 526). 

214Lake Survey Report 1860 (Doc. 1079, pp. 305-306). 

215Comstock (1882, p. 18). 

216comstock (1882, p. 12). 

217on the history of the Detroit Medical College, see discussion of A. B. Lyons in the next 

chapter, and the references in note 257. 

218Detroit Medical College, Annual Announcement and Catalogue for 1870, p. 4. 



however, he served as surgeon in charge of the Marine Hospital a post first held 
(1857-1861) by Dr. Zina Pitcher. 219 After retiring from practice, he moved to a farm 
outside Detroit and manufactured a proprietary preparation of opium, a watery extract 
called "svapnia."220 

While Bigelow was in Detroit, George Engelmann was working on his revision of 
the North American species of Juncus-the true rushes, published in 1866 and 
1868.221 Engelmann did not include Bigelow among those whose aid he specifically 
acknowledged in sending observations and specimens, but his collections are frequently 
cited,222 as is one of Juncus stygius by 0. B. Wheeler from the north shore of Lake 
Superior.223 

Although he was not associated with the Lake Survey, Albert E. Foote 
(1846-1895)224 is most appropriately mentioned next. Foote was a native of New 
York state, who received his M.D. from the University of Michigan in 1867, after 
which he served a year as an assistant in the chemistry department. In 1869 he joined 
the faculty of Iowa State College, where he remained until 1876, when he settled in 
Philadelphia and established himself as a dealer in minerals and objects of natural 
history. 

In the summer of 1867, Foote was one of 17 students and others who 
accompanied Alexander Winchell on an expedition to the mining region of Lake 
Superior, including Isle Royale.225 (j. j. Scovell [1841-1915] collected about 50 
plants on this trip, which was largely a non-botanical one.) The next year, as Winchell 



Dr. Foote, with unusual, and extremely creditable zeal for science, organized, at his own 
risk, an extensive expedition to the north shore of Lake Superior and the adjacent 
islands. The expedition left in the latter part of April and returned during September. 
The geological department of the University furnished the party with a tent, a camp-chest 
and utensils, and, in return for these facilities, as well as in recognition of the claims of 
his Alma Mater upon the services of her Alumni, Dr. Foote has furnished my department 
with a complete set of the geological, zoological and botanical specimens collected.226 

1868 expedition, 13 students accompanied Foote .227 xhe plants collected are 



220/>.oc. Am. Pharm. Assoc. 1877: 28 (1877); Noyes (1878); Waller (1942, p. 331). 
221a revision of the North American species of the genus Juncus, with a description of new or 
imperfectly known species, Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 424-458 (1866); 459-498 (1868). 
222Engelmann's standard collection, distributed with printed labels as "Herbarium Juncorum 
Boreali-Americanorum Normale," includes at least 1 1 numbers collected by Bigelow near Detroit in 
1866 and 1867. Sheets of some specimens now in the herbarium of the Missouri Botanical Garden 

data than "near Detroit"-in fact, some of them reveal that the specimens were collected "near 

Sandwich Canada" [now within Windsor, Ontario] and not in Michigan at all. See also note 310. 

223a Wheeler specimen of this rather rare species in the University of Michigan Herbarium is from 

Isle St. Ignace Aug. 5, 1866, and is labeled in Lewis Foote's hand on a piece of birchbark. (The 

Herbarium copy of Engelmann's monograph, incidentally, was O. B. Wheeler's and was presented to 

the University, along with much other literature, by the daughter of A. B. Lyons (see next chapter) 

after his death.) 

224on Albert Edward Foote, see Kraus (1958). 

'^'^^ Annual Report on the Museum of the University of Michigan, 1867, pp. 2 3 (Regents Proc, 

'^^^Statement of Operations in the Museum of the University of Michigan ... for the Year Ending 
Sept. 24th, 1868, pp. 3, 8-9 (Regents Proc, pp. 293, 299). 
227Kiaus (1958) 



59 

sometimes attributed to Foote and sometimes to "University Party." About 350 
specimens, representing 275 species, apparently all from Isle Royale, were received by 
the University. 22^ The principal set of duplicates seems to be at Ohio State University. 
One of the most interesting species collected by Foote at Isle Royale (Smithwick 
Island, according to the duplicate at Ohio State) was the mountain-cranberry, or 
lingenberry of the Scandinavians (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). The species has never been 
found in the state since (although I have searched Smithwick Island-and elsewhere- 
for it) and we list the status of it in Michigan as probably extinct^^S „i hope not 
extirpated by A. E. Foote! 

We can only speculate whether Foote met any of the Lake Survey botanists who 
were on Lake Superior. They were all preceded, incidentally, on Isle Royale by 
Thomas C. Porter ( 1822-1 90 1),^^^ of Pennsylvania, who collected there in 1865. Porter 
was at Sault Ste. Marie and Ontonagon late in July, and spent the morning of August 
2 at Isle Royale. On the return trip, the steamer stopped long enough for collections at 
Portage River (Houghton Co.), Marquette (including the mouth of Carp River), and 
Detour.230 

In Canada, personnel of the Geological [later "and Natural History"] Survey did 
some early collecting about the upper Great Lakes even before the work of Macoun 
for that survey. Robert Bell (1841 1917)231 ^^g fjj-st appointed to the staff of the 
Geological Survey-then located in Montreal-in December of 1856, before he was 16; 
half a century later he retired, after having acted as director of the Survey 1901-1906. 
In the summer of 1860, while still a civil engineering student at McGill University, he 
assisted Alexander Murray in explorations on the southeastern and southern shores of 
Lake Superior; after Murray left for Sarnia, Bell led the party along the north shore of 
Lake Huron to the Bruce Mines and Manitoulin Islands (where he had been the 
previous season also). He collected both birds and plants; in the report on the latter, 
published in 1861, the identifications were credited to B. Billings, Jr.232 About 275 
species were Hsted, including some bryophytes and lichens, almost always with 
localities and dates-certainly the first records for many of the sites indicated. A 
"supplementary list" of 37 trees and shrubs concluded the report; only a few of these 
were included in the main list, but the supplement gave no dates and presumably 
represented observations rather than collections. Some of the dates are clearly 
inconsistent and must represent typographical (or other) errors, but it appears that 
there were three principal excursions: The last two weeks of June from Whitefish Bay 
to Keweenaw Bay, with collections from the Two Hearted River, Grand Marais, Grand 
Island, Marquette, L'Anse, and other points (fewer on the return trip); July 19-21 at 
Sault Ste. Marie, and then an excursion northward as far as Namainse [s/c usually 



228seeMc/!. Bot. 16: 107 (1977). 

229on Thomas Conrad Porter, see Britton (1901) and Ewan (1950, pp. 67-72; 284-285); Ewan 

cites several earlier biographical sketches, but Porter's Lake Superior excursion is generally not 

mentioned by biographers. 

230see McAtee (1923) for Porter's itinerary and lists of some of the rarer species, as recorded in a 

letter of Aug. 1, 1892, to W. J. Beal. 

23l0n Robert Bell (C. E. McGill 1861; M. D. McGill 1878), one of Canada's leading explorers, see 

Applet. Cycl. Am. Biogr. 1: 227 (1886); Kelly & Burrage (1920, pp. 92-93); and, especially. Ami 

(1927). 

232Braddish Billings, Jr. (1819-1871) was a leading amateur botanist of Ottawa. For biographical 

data see WilUam G. Dore in Trans. Roy. Canad. Inst. 33 (II): 95-96 (1962 ["1961"]) and in the 

Commentary accompanying his 1968 facsimile reprint of Billings' list of plants collected in the 

vicinity of Ottawa during 1866. 



altered to Mamainse] , with records from sites around Gros Cap, Goulais Bay, 
Batchawana Bay, and Pancake Bay, ending August 23; and then from September 10 to 
October 6 the records are from St. Joseph's Island, Bruce Mines, the Thessalon and 
Mississaugi Rivers, Manitoulin and La Cloche Islands. ^33 

During the summer of 1866, Montreal physician John Bell (1845-1878) collected 
plants around northern Lake Huron, from Owen Sound to St. Joseph Island. He was 

stly recognizable today. "Sou-sou-wa-ga-mi Creek" where 

(apparently on the return trip) July 9 (other dates 

Point, Marquette Co., Michigan. The name 

■ Independence Lake), although 

"So-Sa-Wa-Ga-Ming Club" was 



233The localities cited in Bell' 

collections were reported Ju 

inconsistent) was between Huron River and Grani 

must therefore refer to what now is called Iron Ri\ 

it was known as the Yellow Dog River long before 



.Of ( 

taken with caution. ''Loiseleuria procumbens"' from t 
certainly the crowberry, Empetrum nigrum, which has 
few localities on the south shore of Lake Superior is 
1964. -stations since rediscovered). Another report of 
from La Cloche Island is doubtless also a major misidei 



Two Hearted River was in i 







61 

accompanying his older brother, Robert Bell, who was then professor of chemistry and 
natural science at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and still employed summers 
by the geological survey. Drummond Island (Michigan), in addition to Cockburn Island 
and St. Joseph Island, was given special attention botanically. Bell's list, which includes 
a few bryophytes and Uchens and has good locality data, was published in 1870 and 
makes no mention of previous work, such as N. H. Winchell's on Drummond Island^^"^ 
in 1860 or his own brother's on Manitoulin and elsewhere the same year. 

In the summer of 1881, Robert Bell, by then a physician as well as a surveyor, 
and assistant director of the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada, 
collected plants on an exploration in the wilderness along the Michipicoten River (well 
above its mouth on Lake Superior) and northward across the divide to the Moose 
River. His collections were Hsted, without very specific locahties, by Macoun.235 
Bryophytes and lichens were included. 

A few words about the east side of Lake Huron are in order here, but the 
Canadian basin of that lake deserves a fuller historical treatment. One of the first to 
collect in this area-and barely in it at that-was the Scotsman John Goldie 
(1793-1886),^^^ who later spent some years in Russia before returning to Ontario to 
retire. Most of his collecting was closer to the lower Lakes or even farther east, but on 
June 27, 1819, he took a carriage from York [Toronto] to Lake Simcoe, where he 
botanized until July 5. In his report on the collections of that season, published in 
1822, two species new to science were described from Lake Simcoe: the linear-leaved 
sundew, Drosera linearis, and the prairie buttercup. Ranunculus rhomboideus. 

In his great Flora Boreali-Americana (published 1829-1840), Sir William Hooker 
cited a large number of species from "Lake Huron" on the basis of collections received 
by him from a "Dr. Todd," who collected in 1826.23'7 Hooker also mentioned 
Goldie's Lake Simcoe discoveries as well as collections by Drummond^^S and (farther 
south) by David Douglas.239 

John Macoun collected in the vicinity of Owen Sound in 1871, and the east shore 
of Lake Huron was explored more thoroughly during July and August of 1873 by 
John Gibson and Macoun, both then of Albert College. Their report, published the 
same year, was the first to call attention to the unusual botanical features of the Bruce 
Peninsula, which subsequent explorations have continued to uphold as one of the most 
interesting areas around the Great Lakes. Macoun and Gibson reported on rare plants 
in Ontario in 1875, noting the occurrence of several of the species at various Michigan 
localities on the authority of Henry Gillman, who evidently corresponded with 
Macoun, his fellow Irish contemporary. 



234List in A. Winchell (1861, pp. 328-330). 

235Macoun(1883). 

236on John Goldie, see his posthumously published diary for 1819, which is prefaced on pp. 3-5 

with a biographical sketch presumably prepared by his son James (see Penhallow 1897, p. 8); the 

diary was republished, with a biographical sketch, in 1967 (Spawn 1967; see also Ewan 1968). On 

his 1819 collections, see Goldie (1822). 

237see Bamhart (1965, 3: 388), who estimated about 200 citations of C. C. Todd's collections. 

Hooker refers, for example, to "My specimens from Dr. Todd, gathered at Lake Huron" (1: 113). 

238see note 156. 

239see chapter 8. David Douglas and John Goldie had been fellow students at the botanic gardens 

in Glasgow, where they were protdgds of William Hooker. 



At the middle of the 19th century, statewide and county societies dedicated to 
the practical fields of agriculture and horticulture were beginning to flourish in most of 
the new states of the Midwest. These sometimes published early floristic lists (such as 
Lapham's for Wisconsin, lUinois, and Minnesota and Wheeler and Smith's for Michi- 
gan-to be mentioned later), for their transactions and reports were among the few 
local serials of the time. However, more strictly academic societies, often encouraging 
natural history collections, were soon thriving. Some of those in Wisconsin and 
Minnesota have already been mentioned. 

In the metropolis of Michigan, the Detroit Scientific Association was organized 
March 27, 1874, "with the purpose of establishing a permanent museum, and 
cultivating a love for the study of natural history and general science. "240 Henry 
Gillman was elected one of its three curators and A. B. Lyons (to be discussed shortly) 
was cabinet-keeper. A museum was begun two months later and was moved frequently 
as it expanded, finally being relocated from the Detroit Medical College to the Public 
Library, which assumed control of the collections in 1885 (the year that Gillman 
retired as librarian).241 

Much older than the Detroit Scientific Association were similar organizations in 
Flint and Grand Rapids. The Flint Scientific Institute was organized in February of 
1853.242 The next year, among the committees established was a "Committee on the 
Flora" which was "to report upon the indigenous plants, particularly the types, genera, 
and species peculiar to the region." The Institute held regular meetings once or twice a 
week; it lobbied actively in behalf of a state geological survey, circulating petitions in 
"all parts of the state" which, it felt, had an important influence in securing legislative 
action for the survey of 1859-1860 under the direction of Alexander Winchell.243 
The organization never fully recovered from the inroads on its membership occasioned 
by the Civil War. In 1877 its library and collections were transferred in trust to the 
Union School District of Flint to be preserved and maintained; the Institute remained 
as a corporate body, but it had essentially suspended operations. Like many such 
organizations, its founding is more precisely documented than its demise, since there 
was no formal disbanding. It evidently issued no publications other than its constitu- 

The first president and guiding spirit of the Flint Scientific Institute was Daniel 

240Farmer (1890, p. 714). EssentiaUy the same history of the Association is in Burton (1922, 1: 

849-850). Apparently it lasted into the 20th century. 

24lFarmer (1890, pp. 761-762). 

242on the Flint Scientific Institute, see Clarke in Ellis (1879, pp. 148 151); Meisel (1929, 3: 

169); Hendrickson (1973). 

243Dr. Manly Miles, brother-in-law of Dr. Daniel Clarke and also practicing in Flint, became 

62 



63 

Clarke (181 1 -1884),^'^'^ who received his M.D. from Harvard in 1839 and came to 
Genesee County, Michigan, in 1840, practicing there until his death (except for a short 
return to Massachusetts 1845-1847). Dr. Clarke, despite the demands of his practice 
and his civic activities, found time to collect plants extensively, especially in the Flint 
region, and to exchange widely. His herbarium of over 5000 sheets was purchased in 
1891 by the Agricultural College (now Michigan State University ).245 His collections 
from Flint and elsewhere in Genesee County are among the first major ones from the 
interior of the state after those of the first survey under Douglass Houghton, for they 
are mostly from the 1860's and early 1870's. 

The Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History 246 was founded in 1854 and held 
meetings for the presentation of papers and discussion. Like the Flint Scientific 
Institute, it intended to develop a museum and library, but it did not do so before, 
like the Flint group, it suffered from the Civil War. Following the war, some of the 
members of the inactive Lyceum met with the enthusiastic Grand Rapids Scientific 
Club, a student organization at the Union [later Central] High School. The two groups 
merged, as of January 2, 1868, forming the Kent Scientific Institute. An agreement 
was reached with the high school to house the museum and library of the institute 
(collections having already been assembled by the students). 

Among the few publications of the Kent Scientific Insfitute was a catalog of the 
flowering plants of the Lower Peninsula,247 listing also ferns and one alga. This work 
claimed to add 275 species and varieties to the earlier catalog by N. H. Winchell; it is 
nowhere claimed that these, or the total list of some 725 species, were necessarily 
represented in the herbarium of the institute. 2^8 The Hst lacks any geographical or 
ecological data. However, several species and varieties alleged to be new to science are 
described with extreme brevity. 249 Nathan Coleman (1827-1887),250 the author, 
evidently lived for about three years (1872-1874) in Grand Rapids, where he was a 
school teacher and a member of the Kent Scientific Insfitute. 251 He was born in 
Massachusetts and evidently had some interest in Iowa, where he spent his summer 
vacation in 1873 and where he had also been in 1868 and/or 1869.252 Soon after his 



244on Daniel Clarke, see Beal (1902b) and Burr (1930, 2: 464). Harrington (1905, 3: 1470) gives 
his birth as April 10, 1811, in Dedham [Mass.] and I am assuming that date is more accurate than 
the 1812 one given by Beal. There is no doubt that Beal erred in giving the date of Clarke's M.D. 
as 1835. 

245Beal(1899, p. 103). 

246on the history of this and related Grand Rapids institutions, see Baxter (1891, pp. 249-250); 
Hendrickson (1973). I have also received helpful information in letters from W. D. Frankforter, 
present director of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and his predecessor, Frank L. DuMond. 
247coleman (1874); see also Baxter (1891, p. 276). 

248A]though Baxter (1891, p. 250) states that the "herbarium has some 725 species of plants, 
collected by N. Coleman." Among the collections received by the University of Michigan in 1974 
(see below), about 12 were attributed to Coleman but even they bore no labels explicitly stating 
that they were collected by him. The fate of Coleman's specimens remains unknown, unfortu- 

249Most of these were not included until very recently in the Gray Index, although two of them 

were not only indexed earlier but also accepted as varieties in Gray's Manual: Polygonum 

amphihium var. stipulaceum Coleman and Chelone glabra var. linifolia Coleman. 

250The only published obituary of Coleman seems to be a very brief one by Webb (1887), which 

says nothing of botanical work or residence in Michigan. 

25 Iw. D. Frankforter informs me (1977) that Coleman is listed, as a teacher, only in the 1873-74 

and 1874-75 Grand Rapids City Directories. For a clue on dates see also note 254 below. 

252see Bot. Gaz. 2: 107 (1877). 



64 

Michigan list was published, he appears to have moved to Connecticut, where his 
address was given with several short notes published in Botanical Gazette 1876-1878. 
From 1884 until his death he was professor of mathematics and natural science at 
Wiley University in Marshall, Texas. He must have been quite interested in plant 
variation, to judge from his few published notes, including one^^^ itemizing observa- 
tions around Grand Rapids 1873-1874 and another254 presumably based in part on 
his Michigan experience. 

In 1902 the Kent Scientific Institute became the Kent Scientific Museum 255 and 
in 1936 the name was again changed, to the Grand Rapids Public Museum (to reflect 
the fact that it was a municipal institution, not a Kent County one). The herbarium, 
which had been stored since 1937 in an unused public school building, was placed on 
indefinite loan at Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids, when a new museum building 
opened in 1940 with no suitable facihties for such collecfions. When Aquinas found 
itself unable to continue to offer space for its safekeeping, the herbarium was placed in 
1974 on permanent loan to the University of Michigan Herbarium, where the material 
has been carefully remounted and restored. Nearly 4400 Michigan specimens, collected 
around or before the turn of the century, are included. Among these are about 600 
from the Detroit Scientific Association, some by Henry Gillman but the bulk collected 
or assembled by A. B. Lyons, whom we should digress to consider. 

A. B. Lyons (1841-1926)256 was born of missionary parents in Hawaii, where he 
attended Oahu College. He graduated from Williams College, in Massachusetts, in 1865 
and later entered the medical school of the University of Michigan, where he received 
his M.D. in 1868. For the rest of his long life he was a Michigan resident, except for 
the years 1888-1895 when he returned to Hawaii as professor of chemistry at Oahu 
College and chemist to the Hawaiian government. The Detroit Medical College ^57 was 
organized about the time that Lyons was finishing his studies in Ann Arbor and when 
it began to admit students in February of 1869, Lyons (who also assisted in chemistry) 
was among them, receiving the ad eundem degree of M.D. at the first annual 
commencement exercises June 8, 1869.258 He then became professor of chemistry in 
the College,258 serving until 1881, when he resigned during a faculty schism259 and 

253coleman (1877). 

254without title, Bot. Gaz. 1: 64 (1876), including the comment: "In 1872-3-4, I very 

frequently found Polygonum amphibium with salver form stipules I also found P. Careyi with 

salver form stipules. I wrote to Prof. Gray, but could not learn that he had ever seen this feature. 
The past season I found the same variation . . . around Bloomfield, Conn." It is odd that in his Bot. 
Gaz. notes, Coleman never indicated that in 1874 he had validly published names for some of the 
varieties observed in Michigan. 

255According to Hendrickson (1973, p. 148), in 1904 the Institute gave up title to its museum and 
library to the school board-and the Institute "graduaUy disappeared." 

256on Albert Brown Lyons, see Atkinson (1878, p. 518); Marquis (1908, pp. 294-295); Burton 
(1922, 5: 216-220). Additional information is in the files of the Alumni Records Office, 
University of Michigan. 

257on the history of the Detroit Medical College, which was first located on the grounds of Harper 
Hospital, see Farmer (1890, p. 733); Hickey (1894); Detroit CoUege of Medicine (1900); Burr 
(1930, 1: 511-535); Hanawalt (1968); and the annual catalogs of the College. In 1885 it merged 
with the Michigan College of Medicine, which had been organized in 1879, to form the Detroit 
College of Medicme-which ultimately became the Wayne State University School of Medicine. 
258Detroit Medical College, Annual Announcement and Catalogue for 1870. The same publication 
for 1871-1872 notes that "Prof. A. B. Lyons, whom ill health obliged to resign a year ago, has 
now fully recovered and will resume his old position as Professor of Chemistry." The fuU title was 
apparently enlarged in 1877 from "Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology" to add "and Director 
of the Chemical Laboratory." 



65 

became consulting chemist for Parke, Davis & Company, with which firm he was 
associated until 1887. In September of 1897 he became chief chemist and in 1898 
secretary for Nelson, Baker & Company, manufacturing pharmacists in Detroit, and he 
was a director of that firm at the fime of his death. An active member of the Detroit 
Academy of Medicine^^^ and other organizations, he served as an editor of the Detroit 
Review of Medicine and Pharmacy, as editor of Pharmaceutical Era, and for 20 years 
(1900-1920) as a member of the revision committee of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. 

Lyons' principal botanical publication, and one which emphasizes the importance 
of natural products to the early pharmaceutical industry, was an alphabetical di- 
rectory^^^ of plant names and synonyms, including all genera of flowering plants 
(except grasses and sedges) native in North America and species of medical or 
economic importance, with fully indexed names from the pharmacopoeia, vernacular 
names in several languages, and medicinal properties. With a reputation as an authority 
on plant synonymy and nomenclature, Lyons intended this work "to meet the 
practical needs of the retail druggist, who is often called upon to supply some root, 
bark or herb of which only an unfamiliar popular name is known to the customer." In 
1877 Dr. Lyons read a paper on the indigenous medicinal plants of Michigan before 
the Detroit Academy of Medicine, and it was published early the following year in two 
installments in The Detroit Lancet. 

When the Detroit Scienfific Association was founded. Dr. Lyons was a charter 
member and its first cabinet-keeper for several years. In April of 1875 he wrote to 
Miss E. C. Allmendinger of Ann Arbor: "I shall be glad to show you also the 
beginnings of a museum which we have made in the Detroit Scientific Association . . . 
Practically I have at present the supervision of the herbarium of the Assoc", which is 
nothing very extensive as yet . . .^^^ And the next month he wrote: "Our botanical 
specimens we are putting up on sheets about 14' X 16'. Some we have simply glued to 
the sheet. Others we have attached with strips of paper. We have not yet decided how 
to arrange the herbarium as a whole I have difficulty making out Solidagos-Is that a 
unique experience, I wonder? Mr. Gillman told me 'he took them in hand one season 
& mastered them in a few days' When I asked him to help me name them, however, I 
found he was as often puzzled as myself. We could not agree, with 'Gray' before us, 
gven."263 jfi August, he again referred to his activities: "I intend, if I ever have time 



259Hanawalt (1968, p. 54). 

260a1so active in the Detroit Academy of Medicine (founded in 1869) was an 1865 Williams 
College classmate of Lyons', Dr. Leartus Connor, prominent Detroit physician, editor, and medical 
historian (see his "Historical sketch of the deceased founders of the Detroit Academy of Medicine," 
Jour. Mich. State Med. Soc. 7: 291-295. 1908). Connor was for a time co-editor with Lyons of 
the Detroit Review of Medicine and Pharmacy. 

26lThe full title of this 467-page work, pubhshed in 1900 by Nelson, Baker & Co., is "Plant 
Names Scientific and Popular including in the case of each plant the correct botanical name in 
accordance with the reformed nomenclature, together with botanical and popular synonyms and 
French and Spanish names. The list comprises all important medicinal plants 
aeial names, the principal food plants of the world and all others of any 
giving e^ecial prominence to those which are indigenous in the United 
enlarged, edition (630 pp.) was published in 1907 with only a 
slightly condensed and more modest title. 

262Letter of April 7, 1875, in Allmendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium. 
263Letter of May 26, 1875, in Allmendinger papers. University of Michigan Herbarium. The 
specimens as received in Ann Arbor in 1974 from the Grand Rapids Public Museum were still 

remounted on better paper (the old collection evidently suffered water damage at some time). The 
original labels of the Detroit Scientific Association have, of course, been retained; those for 



66 

to over haul Mr 0. B. Wheeler's plants, many of which are from Lake Superior Mr W. 
offers us specimens whenever he has duplicates-"^^^ It is quite clear that there was 
an active group of dedicated amateur botanists in Detroit in the early 1870's, including 
both physicians and personnel of the Lake Survey. How or when the herbarium of the 
Detroit Scientific Association got to Grand Rapids (or why!) seems now to be 
unknown. 

The rest of the Grand Rapids Public Museum herbarium consists-as far as 
Michigan is concerned-largely of collections by the extremely active group of amateurs 
centered around Emma J. Cole (1845-1910),265 who evidently began collecting about 
1876 and published an excellent flora of the Grand Rapids area (including part of 
adjacent Ottawa County) in 1901. Miss Cole was born in Milan, Ohio, but the family 
moved soon to Michigan and she attended schools in the Grand Rapids area. She 
entered Cornell University in 1876 and remained three years. Later, she studied botany 
one summer under E. S. Burgess at Martha's Vineyard, and another summer with W. 
W. Rowlee. From 1881 until her retirement in 1907, she taught at Central High 
School, where an active botanical club was organized in June of 1896, including 
former students as well. She seems to have influenced a large number of students and 
others with her enthusiasm for botany, and several went on to college and/or careers in 
the field. 2^^ Well over 100 Michigan collectors are represented in her herbarium, most 
of them local Grand Rapids people although some represent exchange contacts. Miss 
Cole's own collections, together with those of her friends and pupils, are valuable for 
documentation of the flora of a now-populous part of the state nearly a century ago; 

Gillman's specimens are in his own handwriting; most of those for Lyons' and 0. B. Wheeler's 
collections are in unknown hands (not theirs!). Data, especially for Wheeler's, are often very scanty, 
and since the label form provided a space for "Donor" but not for collector, it is not always clear 
who the collector was. Many specimens with Lyons indicated as donor are from "Lake Superior"; 
Lyons' own collections otherwise seem to be mostly from Ann Arbor (while he was a student, e.g. 
1867) and the Detroit area. 
264Letter of August 16, 1875, in Alhnendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium. 



265on ] 



8-419); Voss (1955, p. 81); and unpublished 



material distributed by the Department of Botany, University of Michigan, to holders of the Cole 



266a number of her associates are mentioned in her flora (1901, pp. v-vi), including 10 other 
private herbaria assembled in Grand Rapids besides her own. Among these was the collection of 
Charles W. Fallass (1854-1942), who moved to Petoskey in 1898; I have elsewhere presented some 
notice of his work (Voss, 1955). The most prolific collectors among the "alumni" of Miss Cole's 
were W. Earle Mulliken, Homer C. Skeels (1873-1934), and George D. Sones (1866-1895). Sones 
was in charge of the herbarium of the Kent Scientific Institute for a period in the 1 880's. 



furthermore, they include the type material of several Crataegus described by C. S. 
Sargent-including Crataegus coleae, a hawthorn which he named^^? for the collabo- 
rator who supplied him with 20 new species. (Sargent visited Grand Rapids in 1901.) 
At her death (on a collecting trip in Mexico), Miss Cole left the residue of her estate 
to establish a fellowship in botany at the University of Michigan. 

The Ann Arbor Scientific Association was formally organized- after preliminary 
discussions-on April 10, 1875, with six charter members. 268 As with similar 
organizations, meetings were held frequently for presentation of papers and discussion. 
The membership included local amateurs and teachers as well as University of Michigan 
people. At the meeting of June 5, 1875, two of the non-University members, "Miss 
Mary H. Clark and Miss E. C. Allmendinger were made a committee to make out a list 
of plants found growing within a radius of four miles of Ann Arbor." Miss Clark died 
suddenly on the last day of that same month, but at the meeting of December 4, 
1875, Miss Allmendinger "from the Committee on the 'Flora of Ann Arbor,' made a 
final report, which was accepted." The report269 js mostly a list, with very few precise 
localities, but it is a valuable record of native and introduced species a century ago. 
The author noted that 16 of the 848 species Hsted were introduced and that two of 



267sargent, Trees and Shrubs 1: 7 (1902). 

268on the Ann Arbor Scientific Association, see its Proceedings (1876); it is also discussed on pp. 
318-323 of an unpublished manuscript by H. H. Bartlett, "Botany at the University of Michigan 
through the First Century, 1837-1937," in the Bartlett papers, University of Michigan Herbarium. 
269 Allmendinger (1876). This was republished with very few changes (other than correction of 
ypographical errors) as "Flora of Washtenaw County" in Chapman (1881, pp. 



195- 



DKTnOIT 







these, Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bur grass (Cenchrus) "will give trouble in 
the future if not soon exterminated." Only a single volume of Proceedings of the 
Association, for the year ending May 1, 1876, was published. In the Allmendinger 
papers at the University of Michigan Herbarium are notices of meetings through 
December 1, 1877, but the organization lingered on until May of 1886.270 

Elizabeth C. Allmendinger (1837-1909),271 instructor of botany at Ann Arbor 
High School since 1873, was a member of a pioneer Ann Arbor family. Her nephew, 
George F. Allmendinger, who lived with her, presented her herbarium to the University 
of Michigan after her death. During the 1868-1869 year and apparently one or two 
others, she taught at negro schools in the South. In the 1870's she was assisting Prof. 
Mark Harrington -and later his successor, Prof. Volney Spalding-in arranging the 
collections of the University, to which she devoted a great deal of effort, mostly on a 
volunteer basis. (She was permitted to keep duplicates for her own herbarium. 272) in 
her papers now at the University Herbarium is an undated [1879?] memorandum 
signed by V. M. Spalding: "The Herbarium and Botanical Workroom are placed in 
charge of Miss E. C. Allmendinger. Admission to these rooms and work done in them 
will be under her direction." 

Miss AUmendinger's frequent collaborator in botany, Mary H. Clark 
(1813-1875),273 came to Michigan from New York in the fall of 1837 when her 
father, an Episcopal clergyman, moved to Brighton. In 1839 before the University was 
admitting students-she founded in Ann Arbor, with her sister Chloe as vice -principal. 
The Misses Clark's School (earlier called the Misses Clark's Young Udies' Seminary)! 
which she served as principal or headmistress. This was a pioneer institution, conducted 
until Miss Clark's death, and was no doubt inspired by Emma Willard's Troy Female 
Seminary, which she reportedly attended after seven years of teaching and before 
moving to Michigan. 274 Mrs. Willard-who learned all she could from Amos Eaton-did 
endorse The Misses Clark's School, an 1842 prospectus of which includes in the Hst of 
books used Eaton and Wright's Manual and "Mrs. Lincoln's Botany. "275 mjss Clark 
was described as "a small nail-biting, nervous creature with a face one would long 
remember" 276 a^jj t^g "special intellectual interest of this lady was in the study of 
botany."277 Miss Clark had come to Michigan the year that Elizabeth Allmendinger 
270Bartlett manuscript, p. 320 (see note 268). 

27l0n Elizabeth Catherine Allmendinger, see Beakes (1906, p. 219); there is an obituary on p 1 
of the Ann Arbor Daily News for March 22, 1909. At the time of her death, she was the oldest 
resident of Ann Arbor who had been born in the city. 
272BarUett manuscript, p. 297 (see note 268). 
273For information on Miss Qark and her school, 

niversity of W 
(Ann Arbor) for July 16, 1875. 

Mary H. Qark is not listed among former pupils in Emma Willard and Her Pupils or Fifty 
Years of Troy Female Seminary 1822^1872, published by Mrs. RusseU Sage (New York, 1898. 895 
pp.). Perhaps the compilers of this volume had no address for Miss Qark and thus were unable to 
solicit information for it. Or perhaps her biographers are all wrong in saying that she attended the 

275Almira Hait Lincoln (later Phelps), author of best-selling (but hardly non-technical) botany 
books, was the younger sister of Emma Hart Willard and was vice-principal of the Troy Female 
Seminary 1824-1831 (see p. 25 of history cited in previous note). 

276stephenson (1928, p. 202). Compare the statement in a letter from Isaac Maitindale to Miss 
Allmendinger, December 11, 1873: "Please remember me to Miss. Clark, whose visit here last 
summer I shall not soon forget. . ." (Allmendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium). 
277stephenson (1928, p. 204). 



was born; she knew Abram Sager and John Wright and almost certainly Douglass 
Houghton-all of whom had studied in Troy, and it was she who fostered the first 
botanical interests of Miss Allmendinger, who probably once was a pupil in her school. 
Miss Clark carried on an extensive botanical correspondence and exchange, as well as 
traveHng some herself ,2''8 a^^i ^jigg Allmendinger did likewise. Unfortunately, Miss 
Clark used a style of label all too common in her day, with "Ann Arbor, Michigan" 
printed as her address at the bottom. Specimens accompanied by these labels were not 
necessarily from Ann Arbor; but even when other localities were explicitly given on 
such labels, the specimens are often cited in monographs as being from the collector's 
address. 






Qarl 


c, for a specimer 


1 from 


Negaunee, L[ake] 


Sluperior], 


187] 


(^Marquette 


Co., 


Michi- 


gan] 










ive hand may 


pre SI 


imably 


be"'' 


reUed upon, 


but 


Miss 






too of- 




attributed tc 


) "Ai 


in Ar- 


bor,' 


' printed as 


her i 




on the label. 







Charles K. Dodge (1844-1918)279 was a collector who was particularly obsessed 
with citing his home town almost every time he used his name. I have seen labels on 
which he did it three times, but usually it was printed neatly twice: "Herbarium of 
Chas. K. Dodge, Port Huron, Michigan" and "Collected by C. K. Dodge, Port Huron, 
Michigan." The specimen itself may not have come from anywhere in Michigan at 
all-nor from the home of the specialist who determined it for Dodge and whose 
address was generally also written on the label! Many odd and questionable distribu- 
tion records in the literature are doubtless the result of such old labels, hastily misread 
or incompletely copied or misunderstood in the process of exchanges. 

Dodge, born in Jackson County, Michigan, barely qualifies for inclusion in this 
19th century story, for much of his collecting was done in the early years of the 
present century, in diverse parts of Michigan. But his "Flora of St. Clair County, 
Michigan, and the Western Part of Lambton County, Ontario" was completed in 1898, 
dedicated to the Port Huron Academy of Science evidently another short-lived 
organization, and published in 1900. Dodge's flora is a thoroughly annotated 82-page 
listing in fine print of over 1 100 species. It was another production of a local flora by 
an accomplished amateur, for Dodge was a lawyer (who, we are told by Billington, did 
not relish the nickname "Posy"). After graduating from the University of Michigan in 
1870, where he had a course in botany under Alexander Winchell, he taught in the 
Upper Peninsula. He took an interest in botany about 1875, the year that he was 
admitted to the bar and moved to Port Huron to practice law. Except for two years 

278Henry GiUman wrote to Miss Qark AprU 11, 1867: "I think, from what you say, you would 
enjoy a tour on the Upper Lakes. It is a noble field. Perhaps you may get away some time." 
(Letter in Allmendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium.) Miss Clark did collect at Lake 
Superior in the early 1870's-perhaps as a result of Gillr 
279on Charles Keene Dodge, see Jenks (1912, pp. 822-824); 



c 
^ 



w 



Emma J. Cole (1845-1910). 





Charles K. Dodge (1844-1918). 



Oliver A. FarweU (1867-1944). 



71 

(May 1889-May 1891) in the West, he remained for the rest of his life in Port Huron, 
where he served at various times in civic positions, including city attorney, in 
September of 1893 Dodge was appointed one of the deputy collectors of customs at 
Port Huron; he largely retired from the practice of law and had more time to devote 
to botany. He became dissatisfied with his herbarium about the same time and nearly 
started it all over. In 1895 alone, he collected, single-handed, over 6000 specimens 
(including duplicates used for exchange), preferring to travel by bicycle rather than 
horse and buggy. ^^0 y^e most of his contemporaries, he exchanged widely. His own 
herbarium of some 35,000 specimens was left to the University of Michigan at his 
death, but unfortunately many of the records included in his published lists (especially 
the later ones) are not supported by specimens. 

Another prominent collector much of whose activity in Michigan was in the early 
20th century was Charles A. Davis (1861-1916).281 After graduating from Bowdoin 
College, in Maine, in 1886 and teaching for a year in Chicago, he came in 1887 to 
Alma College, Michigan, to teach natural science and chemistry. (The college had just 
been founded in 1886.) He immediately began collecting specimens about Alma and 
annotating a copy of Wheeler and Smith's "Michigan Flora"-new in 1881.282 when 
the geological survey of Michigan resumed activity, Davis was employed summers as a 
field agent, beginning in 1896, and was able to collect plants particularly in Tuscola 
and Huron counties. Volney M. Spalding then asked him to organize a new program in 
forestry at the University of Michigan, authorized by the regents in 1901. In 1905 
Davis received his Ph.D. from the University, with a classic thesis on peat, and in the 
same year he left his position as instructor in forestry to become curator of the 
herbarium, from which post he resigned in 1908 to move to Washington, having 
become peat expert for the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Space will not permit even mentioning all the resident collectors becoming active 
in Michigan toward the end of the 19th century. Only one more should be cited 
briefly in this chapter, one who has already been the subject of a major treatise. Oliver 
A. Farwell (1867-1944)2^3 collected very extensively in his home territory on the 
Keweenaw Peninsula during the last two decades of the previous century. His father 
was manager of one of the leading copper mines, the CHff. After moving to Detroit in 
1892, where he became botanist for Parke, Davis & Company, Farwell explored 
southeastern Michigan vigorously, but this was mostly in the 20th century, as were 
many of his vacation trips and post-retirement years back in the Copper Country. 
Farwell left us the impression of not having been very well organized, and his early 
collections, especially, are sometimes suspect as to accuracy of dates or localities. 
Nevertheless, he had a keen eye for oddities and he published names for a large 
number of minor variants. His large personal herbarium was left to the Cranbrook 
Institute of Science, where it is now well organized and indexed. An additional set of 
Farwell's specimens from the Parke, Davis herbarium came with that collection to the 
University of Michigan in 1933. 

280Dodge (1896). 

281on Charles Albert Davis, see Lane (1917); Dana (1953, pp. 9-23); Jones (1977, pp. 279-282). 
282Davis' copiously annotated copies of the three Michigan floras (Wheeler & Smith 1881, Beal & 
Wheeler 1892, Beal 1905) are at the University of Michigan Herbarium and aie often useful in 
supplementing data on his labels. Collections from "about Alma," for instance, were sometimes 
from an adjacent county, 

see McVaugh, Cain, & Hagenah (1953); Bartlett (1954); Wells & 



With so many active naturalists in Michigan, it is surprising that a state 
society-spoken of from time to time -should have been so long being organized. The 
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters was founded in 1870 and the 
Minnesota Academy three years later, but not until the 1890's were serious steps taken 
toward a similar society in Michigan.284 Finally, a meeting was called for June 27, 






MoU^ liui 1194 porfohata, L 



0^.^ 









A page (sUghtly reduced) from C. A. Davis' annotated copy ot Wheeler and Sni 
Flora" of 1881. Collecting sites of Alpena, Alma, Port Crescent, St. Louis, Lansm 
[Madison?] Lake are noted in the margins. (lor the work of Wheeler & Smith see c 



73 

1894, at the University of Michigan and 25 persons assembled. William J. Beal (whom 
we shall soon mention again) was elected president of the temporary organization and 
among the other botanists who signed a membership list were Charles A. Davis, Oliver 
A. Farwell, Frederick C. Newcombe, A. J. Pieters,285 j. h. Schaffner, and Charles F. 
Wheeler. It was recommended that the name "Michigan Academy of Science" be 
adopted. Organization was completed in December, 1894, and sections-including a 
botanical one-were established. Beal stressed the importance of a state survey of the 
fauna, flora, and other natural resources: "Michigan is far behind many other states 
east, west, and south in the study of fauna and flora. Primitive conditions are fast 
disappearing. In hundreds of townships, there are only fragments here and there which 
still contain the native wild plants. . . . Local societies for investigating this subject 
should be encouraged and assisted." ^^6 

The local societies, however, which had thrived in the last half of the 19th century 
for the most part only continued to decline, even as the new state academy was 
ascending. Some merged with others, some quietly died, some few grew into viable 
institutions. But all had been significant cultural influences in their communities. 
Collections, whether in the hands of local institutions or individuals, often received 
inadequate attention-especially botanical collections which are not adapted for public 
display purposes and which therefore there is less incentive to maintain. It is fortunate 
that so many of the large and historic plant collections built up by our botanical 
forbears have ultimately reached the major institutional herbaria in this region, where 
they can be properly cared for and readily consulted by those interested in local 
records and history. Most botanists have, of course, always distributed duplicates 
widely, exchanging with other collectors and submitting specimens to specialists for 
identification. However, as the 19th century progressed, the day soon passed when the 
botanical wealth of the Great Lakes of necessity ended up in New York, because John 
Torrey checked it; or at Harvard, because Asa Gray must see it; or in Philadelphia, 
where the Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812, only two years after 
Thomas Nuttall's pioneering trip through the Lakes. With a great burgeoning of 
scientific information from our region came also the natural development of regional 
institutions and pubHcations. Each new find did not have to be reported in Silliman's 
American Journal of Science, founded in 1818. One national journal, still thriving, the 
Botanical Gazette, was founded in 1875 primarily to be a journal of botany of the 
Midwest and West.287 



285pieters' report on the plants of Lake S 

1893 sponsored by the Michigan Fish ( 

strictly with the aquatic plants (vascular plants as we 

Lakes. 

286/?ep. Mich. Acad. 1 (for 1894-1899): 13 (1900). 

287see Rodgers (1944a, p. 33 et passim). 



Chapter 8. 
VISITORS FROM FAR AND NEAR 



Never, of course, was there a time when all botanical exploration around the Great 
Lakes was done by "official" expeditions or by local botanists, whether amateur or 
professional. The list of those who passed through one or more times and gathered 
specimens or recorded observations would be a long Hst indeed. Cruises on the Great 
Lakes became popular by the 1860's and 1870's; the first lock at Sault Ste. Marie had 
opened in 1855, making Lake Superior readily accessible. Guidebooks for tourists and 
travelers were published, as mining, fishing, lumbering, and other communities were 
able to offer facilities and the reputation of the Lakes region grew for healthful fresh 
air and invigorating climate. Construction of lighthouses and preparation of naviga- 
tional charts greatly improved the safety of shipping. 

Botanists were among those who took advantage of opportunities to visit the 
Lakes. From the New York city region, for instance, Arthur HoUick (1857-1933) 
visited the Copper Country of Lake Superior in August of 1879 the year that both he 
and N. L. Britton (1859-1934) graduated from the Columbia School of Mines. 
Hollick's later career was in paleobotany, but he published a short list of vascular 
plants observed on his 1879 cruise to Houghton. Britton himself (of "Britton and 
Brown" and other fame) visited Lake Superior a few years later and also collected at 
Mackinac Island. Thomas Morong (1827-1894), clergyman and outstanding student of 
the pondweeds, vacationed in Michigan in 1882 and wrote afterwards: "Yes, I visited 
Michigan, as proposed, and had a 'splendid' time, as the school girls say. Spent the 
whole month of August in Northern Michigan, and had a really fine sail in a steamer 
from Sault Ste. Marie to Buffalo, on my way home. Collected plants at Manistee, 
Mackinac, & Sauh Ste. Marie."288 From Pennsylvania, T. C. Porter visited the Lake 
Superior region by steamship in 1865.^89 Xo give an idea of the diversity of 
individuals and of circumstances through which their lives touched this region, a few 
persons of special interest who do not fit neatly into the narrative thus far are cited 
rather briefly in this chapter. Most of them achieved greater recognition in another 

David Douglas (1799-1834)290 deserves mention, if only to avert confusion with 
David Bates Douglass, who collected in Michigan Territory three years before David 
Douglas, whose principal fame was achieved later in the Pacific Northwest. (Who has 
not heard of such plants as the Douglas fir?) In 1823, Douglas, who was head gardener 
at the botanic gardens in Glasgow, was engaged by the Horticultural Society of 



288Letter from Morong to Harry N. Patterson, Oct. 6, 1882, as quoted by Kibbe (1 
289see chapter 6, at notes 229 230. 

290on David Douglas, see Harvey (1947); Beidelman (1969); and Douglas' Joum 
1914. Ewan (1950, p. 197) gives a thumbnail sketch, with references, and a long 1 
Taxonomic Literature ed. 2, vol. 1 {Reg. Veg. 



London (now the Royal Horticultural Society) to explore in America for new plants to 
grow, particularly trees. He sailed from Liverpool in early June, arrived at New York 
two months later, and in mid-September was at his farthest destination- Amherstburg, 
Upper Canada [Ontario]. September 15-25 he botanized along the full length of the 
Detroit River, including on September 23 "an excursion across the river to Michigan 
Territory" where he "found several species of Liatris" and other plants. He was 
especially interested in the oaks of the region. Of the white oak (Quercus alba), he 
recorded: "On the banks of the River Detroit from Amherstburg to the junction of the 
Thames with the St. Clair in Upper Canada, and on the opposite banks, in the 
Michigan Territory, on a deep alluvial rich black soil, these trees frequently measure 
from 20 to 25 feet in circumference at 8 feet from the ground, and are from 80 to 
100 feet high. "2^1 On a "small island" [Bois Blanc] opposite Amherstburg he 
gathered Lonicera hirsuta, a honeysuckle which created excitement in England. While 
Douglas is credited with introducing many North American plants into horticulture, 
they were mostly from the Northwest and not from the Detroit-Windsor area! 

George Engelmann (1809-1884),292 well known physician and botanist in St. 
Louis, Missouri, collected at the Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan in 1840.^^^ He had 
come to the United States in 1832 upon completing his studies in Europe (where he 
began a friendship with Louis Agassiz), and in 1835 settled in St. Louis. In 1840 he 
returned to Germany, where he was married on June 11; on his return, he visited Asa 
Gray in New York, beginning a lifelong friendship and correspondence. 2^"* Engelmann 
evidently took his bride back to St. Louis via the Great Lakes-perhaps following a 
route from New York to Detroit similar to the one taken by Gray himself only two 
years earlier when he visited the officers of the new University of Michigan. A 
steamboat from Detroit to Chicago would almost certainly have stopped at South 
Manitou Island for "all the steamboats saiHng on the upper lakes visit this place for 
supply of fuel, or for shelter in storms, (for the latter purpose used by all other 
vessels,). . ."295 yke most botanists, Engelmann was undoubtedly an opportunist on 
such an occasion, and I suspect he gathered what specimens he could whenever 
firewood was being loaded. After returning to St. Louis, he wrote Gray in November 



291/oMrrtfl/, p. 32. 

292Among the numerous references on Engelmann, see A. Gray (1884); Sander (1886); White 
(1896); Kelly (1914, pp. 157-162); Boisliniere in Kelly & Burrage (1920, pp. 365-366); Ewan 
(1950, pp. 204-205). None of these mention his being on Lake Michigan, although some refer 
vaguely to Lake Superior. Sander (p. 7) states that it was during the last 10 years of his life that 
Engelmann's explorations included "Lake Superior and the northern country." This was presumably 
in 1878, for on October 7 of that year Engehnann presented ^ecimens of copper from the Lake 
Superior mines to the St. Louis Academy of Science and gave a brief account of the vegetation 
along the Lakes (merely a few observations on oaks at Lake Superior and in Minnesota and 
Wisconsin, with no indication of exact place or date) {Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 4: xx 
[Proceedings]. 1880). 1 have encountered no specimens of Engelmann's from Lake Superior. 
293 Specimens in the herbarium of the Missouri Botanical Garden; labels bear only the year or at 
most "Aug 1840" for a date. 
294Dupree (1959, p. 97). 

295Lt. James T. Homans (in charge of the new lighthouse district embracing Lakes Michigan and 
Huron) to the Secretary of the Treasury, Nov. 5, 1838, reporting on his selection of the site for 
the light on South Manitou, authorized by Congress July 7, 1838 (25th Congress, 3rd Sess., U.S. 
House Doc. 24, p. 119 [Doc. 345]). Construction began in 1839 and was completed early in 1840. 
(See also Myron H. Vent, South Manitou Island, 1973, pp. 15 & 46.) Although only woodcutters 
for fuel for steamboats inhabited the Manitous in the early 1840's, farming was later attempted. By 
1898, the noted University of Chicago ecologist, H. C. Cowles, was taking a class to North Manitou 
(Rodgers 1944a, p. 178). 



of the plants he had observed at Niagara and "others equally interesting I found on the 
banks of Lake Huron and on the islands of Lake Michigan. "^^^ 

The influence (more or less indirect, to be sure) of Upper Peninsula copper on 
Michigan botany would be a story in itself. Long known to the Indians, copper 
deposits were first "officially" reported from the region by Douglass Houghton, who, 
as we have noted, collected plants in the course of his geological explorations. After 
the Chippewas ceded the land west of Marquette to the government in 1843, the 
burgeoning mining industry began in the Copper Country on Lake Superior. Following 
Houghton's death in 1845 and the appointment in 1847 of C. T. Jackson, of Boston, 
to take charge of a Federal survey of the mineral resources of Michigan's new public 
lands, Boston connections with copper mining were important. 0. A. Farwell's father 
was sent from Boston in 1871 to manage the fabulous Cliff mine. Farwell's prodigious 
botanical labors in the Copper Country have already been alluded to; it can be added 
here that his position as botanist for Parke, Davis & Company in Detroit resulted from 
family friendships with the founder of that firm, Hervey C. Parke, who had attended 
to the business records of the CHff mine 1852-1863.297 Even before the senior 
Farwell attempted to restore the CHff to productivity, Boston money had been heavily 
invested in other copper mines,^^^ for the influence of Charles T. Jackson was 
considerable. A prominent Bostonian, Jackson^^^ was the first curator of minerals and 
geology for the Boston Society of Natural History (1838-1841) and was the Society's 
vice president 1843-1874.300 j. w. Foster (1815-1873)301 returned to Massa- 
chusetts in 1844 after pracficing law in Ohio and assisting on the Ohio Geological 
Survey. In 1845 he was sent to Lake Superior in the interests of several mining 
companies. Two years later he was appointed to assist Jackson, along with J. D. 
Whitney, and in 1849 complefion of the Federal survey was assigned to Foster and 
Whitney upon Jackson's resignation. (It is not surprising that Louis Agassiz, a leading 
spirit in the Boston Society of Natural History, conferred with Jackson and Foster in 
Sault Ste. Marie before setting forth on his 1848 expedition upon Lake Superior.) 

296Letter of George Engelmann, Nov. 26, 1840, in the Gray correspondence at the Gray Herbarium 
(as reported to me by E. A. Shaw, 1978). 

297wells & Thompson (1973, p. 70); see also Donald Chaput, The Cliff: America's First Great 
Copper Mine (Sequoia Press, Kalamazoo, 1971), pp. 89-91, 100-102. 

298see Abbott (1971, especially pp. 232-236) and the major previous accounts cited therein. It 
should be noted in passing that Louis Agassiz's son Alexander spent two years in the 1860's 
straightening out the operation of the faltering mines which were consolidated as the Calumet and 
Hecla Mining Company in 1871, with Alexander Agassiz, Rodolphe L. Agassiz (his brother), and 
Quincy A. Shaw (a son-in-law of Louis Agassiz) in control. For forty years or more the 
Shaw-Agassiz family had absolute control of Calumet and Hecla, which was the most profitable 
mine on earth until the 1920's, paying shareholders more in dividends than all the gold and silver 
bonanzas of California, Nevada, or Alaska-and enabling Alexander Agassiz to devote himself to 
scientific studies and support of his father's Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Could 
Douglass Houghton and William A. Burt ever have dreamed of what their reports of copper and 
iron would ultimately mean to the economy of this region-and, indirectly, to study of its natural 

299on Charles Thomas Jackson (M. D. Harvard 1829), see Applet. Cycl. Am. Biogr. 3: 384-385 
(1887); KeUy & Burrage (1920, pp. 597-598); MerrUl & Fulton in Diet. Am. Biogr. 9: 536 538 

interesting but hardly relevant to the present account (see Harrington 1905, 2: 604 et sqq.). See 

the end of chapter 2 for Jackson's surveys in Michigan. 

300bouv^ (1880). 

301On John Wells Foster (who was president of the A.A.A.S. in 1869), see Applet. Cycl. Am. 

Biogr. 2: 512 (1887). 



77 

Massachusetts physicians ministered from time to time to the copper-mining 
communities and some of these were natural history collectors as well. It is reported in 
the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History that at a meeting November 
18, 1857, Charles J. Sprague (curator of botany for the Society 1852-1865) "read the 
names of a small collection of cryptogamous plants brought by Dr. Samuel Kneeland, 
Jr., from the Lake Superior region,"^^^ ^^d 11 widespread species (fungi and hchens 
except for one moss, Neckera pennata) are Hsted. Nothing is indicated of the locality 
or circumstances, but this is one of the first lists of such plants from Lake 
Superior-and perhaps the first recorded collection of a moss from Michigan. Samuel 
Kneeland, Jr. (1821-1888),303 a native of Boston, demonstrated anatomy at Harvard 
Medical School 1851-1853 and served as secretary of the Boston Society of Natural 
History 1858-1862 (having also served as cabinet-keeper and curator of fishes). "In 
1856 he went to Portage Lake, the copper district of Lake Superior, as physician and 
surgeon to several copper mining companies, where he remained one year."304 xhe 
month after his return to Boston, he presented a paper on the birds of Keweenaw 
Point in which he refers to "a residence of nearly a year at Portage Lake, from August, 
1856, to June, 1857."30^ The cryptogams earlier reported, however, cannot be 
assumed all to be from Houghton County for-typical of much geographic vagueness in 
those days-Dr. Kneeland explained: "In Keweenaw Point, I include that portion of 
the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which extends up into Lake Superior, embracing not 
only the Point proper, but the western portion as far as Ontonagon, the region of 
Portage Lake and Entry, and the Anse of Keweenaw Bay-all of which localities I have 
visited."305 

Another New England physician, better known as a botanist than the zoologist Dr. 
Kneeland, was James W. Robbins (1801-1879).306 A pondweed and an aquatic sedge, 
Potamogeton robbinsii and Eleocharis robbinsii, are among the plants which bear his 
name. He practiced in Uxbridge, Massachusetts for 30 years, until 1859, when he came 
to the Houghton -Hancock area as physician to the Pewabic copper mines, and he 
added extensively to his herbarium during the four years he was in Michigan. In 
1863-1864 he collected on a tour down the Mississippi to Texas and Cuba, after 
which he returned to Uxbridge "where he spent the remainder of his life, mostly 
retired from medical practice and devoting his leisure to his favorite pursuit." ^^^ 
Labels of some of Robbins' specimens, which are widely distributed in herbaria, bear 
definite localities, but the numerous ones attributed to Keweenaw Point are not 
necessarily from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula (where the Point is designated on 
modern maps), as is clear from Kneeland's statement quoted above. Those labeled from 
Keweenaw Peninsula are more obviously uncertain as to county. 

302/>oc. Boston Sac. Nat. Hist. 6: 296 (1859). 

303On Samuel Kneeland, Jr. (A.M. Harvard 1840; M.D. Harvard 1843), see (among others) Runkle 

(1889); Harrington (1905, 3: 1474); Kelly & Burrage (1920, p. 669); Diet. Am. Biogr. 10: 459 

(1933). (Harrington must be in error in giving Kneeland's birth year as 1820, for all other sources 

cite 1821.) 

304Runkle(1889, p. 439). 

305/Voc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 6: 231 (1859). 

306on James Watson Robbins (B.A. Yale 1822; M.D. Yale 1828), see Obit. Records Grad. Yale 

Coll. 1879, pp. 335-336; Kelly & Burrage (1920, p. 984). See also Rhodora 3: 262 (1901). 

^01 Yale Obit. Records-which also state: "During his professional life he had devoted himself 

largely to botany, gathering a valuable library, second, it is believed, to no private botanical library 



Early botanical collectors were often trained as physicians-indeed, medicine was 
about the only field in which an advanced degree in science could be readily obtained, 
and botany was an important supporting field. Some medically trained scientists 
apparently undertook a regular practice only briefly or not at all (e.g., Asa Gray, C. T. 
Jackson, A. E. Foote); some collected plants when their time or travels allowed;308 
only a few, such as George Engelmann, conducted their affairs with such extraordinary 
efficiency that they could achieve distinction in both botany and medicine. But 
physicians were not the only group of professional persons with auxiliary interests in 
natural history. Clergymen were frequently noted as naturalists and, like physicians, 
were often located at several places during their careers. (Like non-practicing physi- 
cians, too, some theologically trained persons never held pastorates, or held them only 
briefly.) 

Among the itinerant clergymen we have already mentioned T. A. Bruhin's work in 
Wisconsin. Another European priest of early days was Lawrence Holzer 
(1819-1876),30^ who was born in Bavaria, came to the United States as a missionary 
in 1847, and traveled extensively. An enthusiastic botanist, he sent quantities of 
specimens to Europe and built up a large herbarium of his own. His chief service was 
in Rochester, New York, but for a while he was at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church 
in Detroit, where he evidently was acquainted with other local amateurs and whence 
he wrote to Mary H. Clark in 1867: 

I hope Mr Gilman [sic] & Mr Foote will bring a few collection [sic] of Carices etc. 
from Lake Superior. Please look out for Juncus filiformis. Dr. Engelman [sic] of St Louis 

is growing west of here on Mr Austins farm. I could never collect it yet. Last year in 
looking for it I discovered near Detroit Juncus Greenii [sic] & Vaseyi growing in close 
neighbourhood. 

Wishing you a happy success in your botanical labors & also that some of our 
professors and students at Ann Arbor would take more interest in botany . . .^^^ 

Apparently Holzer felt that the University was displaying insufficient interest in 
botany, but his own contributions were duly acknowledged by Alexander Winchell, 
who was responsible for all museum collections: 

Rev. L. Holzer of St. Mary's Church, Detroit, has presented to the University 27 
species of plants growing in Michigan, but not heretofore existing in our Collection, nor 
embraced in any catalogue of the plants of the State. Mr. Holzer has also furnished a 
catalogue of 600 species of wild plants found growing in the Southeastern portion of the 
State-mostly about Detroit.SH 



308Nathan Wright Folwell (1805-1879), for example, was a medical classmate of Asa Gray and 
evidently practiced in Monroe County, Michigan, in 1832, where he collected plants; the rest of his 

;areer was in New York state. Dr. Folwell appears to have been Gray's first botanical 

t (Stuckey 1978b). 
309on Lawrence Holzer, see Beckwith (1912, pp. 42-43). 

310Letter of June 6, 1867, in Allmendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium. A specimen 
of /. vaseyi collected by Holzer Aug. 12, 1866, is in the University Herbarium, from "wet woods, 
swamps Detroit" and with the notation on the original label: "I have suspicions, that is a form 
between Vaseyi & Greenii." J. M. Bigelow collected /. vaseyi and J. greenei together in June, July, 
and August of 1867 in "Wet woods near Detroit" (Engelm. Herb. June. Bor.-Am. Norm., Nos. 17 
& 19). [An apparent original label with a sheet of No. 17 in herbarium of the Missouri Botanical 
Garden reads more explicitly "2 miles south Grand Junction Aug 27th ? 1866."] I wonder if 
Holzer caUed these plants to Bigelow's attention, or vice versa. (Cf. also note 222.) 
'^^^ Statement of Operations in the Museum. . . for the Year Ending 20th September, 1866, p. 7 
(Regents Proc, p. 174). Winchell's report for the following year noted: "Rev. L. Holzer, of Detroit, 



D. R. Shoop (1 833-7)312 was born in Pennsylvania, later lived in Illinois, and 
prepared for college partly at the University High School in Ann Arbor and partly by 
private instruction and study. He entered the senior class at the University of Michigan 
in 1863 and graduated with an A.B. degree in 1864. In the fall of 1864 he entered 
Auburn Theological Seminary (Auburn, N.Y.) and upon completion of his work there 
he received an A.M. degree from the University of Michigan in June of 1867. He was 
also married (to Anna E. Stanfield) in June of 1867 in Ann Arbor, where he had 
united with the First Congregational Church in 1857. Apparently he was connected in 
some way with Ann Arbor for about a decade and he was doubtless acquainted then 
with Miss Elizabeth Allmendinger, whom he addressed in his later letters as "Dear 
Friend Libbie," and who was also associated with the Congregational Church. Shoop 
was ordained in Tennessee in the fall of 1867 and during the 1867-68 year he was on 
the faculty of Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee. From 1868 to 1873 he was in 
Bellevue (Eaton Co.), Michigan, presumably at least part-time in the ministry; for the 
next two years he was superintendent of schools in Eaton County. ^^3 j^e then served 
pastorates elsewhere in Michigan: Manchester, Washtenaw County (1876); St. Louis, 
Gratiot County (Congregational Church, 1877-1878); Hastings, Barry County 
(Presbyterian Church, 1879-1880); back in Bellevue (1880-1882); and South Haven, 
Van Buren County (1882).314 His seminary last heard of him at Flushing, Genesee 
County, noting that in 1885 he was a member of the Saginaw Presbytery.^'^ His 
family also lost all track of him in the 1880's, when he left Michigan for the West. 
Whether he continued in the ministry or collected plants is unknown. 

However, Shoop was an active collector in his earlier years and exchanged 
specimens with others. On January 23, 1867, he wrote to Miss Allmendinger from 



included in any catalogue of the plants of the State." Holzer's lists are not to be found in the files 
of the University of Michigan Herbarium, and neither they nor any letters from Holzer have been 
found in the Winchell papers in the Michigan Historical Collections. 

312information about Darius Royer Shoop comes from Chase (1880), a file in the Alumni Records 
Office of the University of Michigan, and letters (1867-1878) to Miss E. C. Allmendinger, in the 
University of Michigan Herbarium. See also note in Mich. Bot. 11: 35 (1972), written while I was 
misinformed that Shoop was not an alumnus of the University. 

313it was in Eaton Co. that Shoop found Plantago cordata (cited Mich. Bot. 8: 101. 1969), now 
considered an extirpated species in Michigan {Mich. Bot. 16: 108. 1977). On July 23, 1869, he 
wrote to Miss Allmendinger from Bellevue, urging her to "come & spend some months with us." 
To tempt her, he noted: "I have found 13 new plants here . . . Frasera caroliniensis which 1 have 
looked for for years & of which I found a few plants among the Mts of Tenn. but not in blossom 
grows here in abundance. The rare Plantago cordata a water or marsh plant also grows here . . ." 
314lt is difficult to reconcile the record in what appears to be a clipping from a printed catalog of 
seminary alumni (in Shoop's file, Alumni Records Office, Univ. Mich.) with data in the incomplete 
sets of published Minutes, Genl. Assoc. Congr. Churches Mich., avaUable to me. According to the 
church Minutes, he became pastor of the Congregational Church in Pennfield [Calhoun Co., ca. 7 
mi. southwest of Bellevue, in Eaton Co.] in April of 1872; that church had been organized Feb. 
16, 1869. In May of 1873 (the time of the church's annual meeting), he is listed as acting pastor of 
the Bellevue church, which had been organized Oct. 1, 1871. In 1874, he was still living in BeUevue 
but that church was without a minister, while the Pennfield congregation (of 23 members) had 
"preaching a part of the time"; the 1875 situation was similar. By 1876 "BeUevue is practically 
extinct . . . Pennfield has nothing very encouraging" and both churches soon expired. It would 
appear that Shoop continued to live in Bellevue while serving, at least during part of his residence, 
the struggling church at Pennfield and perhaps teaching in addition. The clerical details are 
unessential for scientific purposes, but the sites of his residence and activity may help to clarify 
labels with specimens. Later, at least, he evidently ministered to Presbyterian churches. 
315Note from Auburn Theological Seminary, Aug. 11, 1900, in Shoop file, Alumni Records Office, 
University of Michigan. It is interesting that there was once a "Society of Natural History of 
Auburn Theological Seminary" (see Meisel 1929, 3: 439). 



seminary: "My Herbarium is scattered . . .part of it in Mich & a part here & much of 
it not yet arranged ... As soon as 1 can arrange my herbarium I would like to 
exchange & it makes but little difference where we are if we but know each others 
postoffice address."^^^ Since his specimens are scantily labeled (and his penmanship 
poor), as full an account of his life as now seems possible has been presented here. 
One of his closer friends and correspondents was Isaac H. Hall, who cited collections 
and observations from Shoop in short notes published 1870 1871.^'^ 

J. W. Stacey (1871-1943)318 is another whose Michigan days-barely in the 19th 
century-are not well documented. His fame as a student of Carex in the western 
United States came during the last decade of his life. But he was born in Kalamazoo 
County, Michigan, and attended the literary department of the University of Michigan 
in 1896 97. in November of 1897 he was ordained in the Congregational ministry, 
and from 1897 to 1901 he was pastor of the Congregational Church in New Baltimore, 
Michigan, on Lake St. Clair at the Macomb-St. Clair county line.319 stacey's botanical 
interests evidently began no later than 1891 in the vicinity of Rochester (Oakland Co., 
Michigan). On December 11, 1894, he wrote to W. J. Beal in East Lansing, enclosing a 
"List of Phaenogams & Higher Cryptogams found growing within 15 miles of 
Rochester, Mich., by J. W. Stacey." It contained 982 species and the covering letter 
(from one who was to specialize in Carex sone 40 years later!) noted: "This list is 
incomplete, especially in the Cyperaceae, but I did not want to put down any species 
unless I was sure of it. They have all been found since 1891, and I think another year 
I could add considerable . . ." Stacey offered to send Beal the exact localities for any 
species and asked for publications on botany. In October of 1900, he wrote to C. F. 
Wheeler, commenting on a Panicum identification and enclosing a list of 1116 names 

3l60n March 10, 1869, he wrote Miss Allmendinger from Bellevue, which he considered "a 
splendid field. We have a variety, beech & maple woods, oak openings, creek flats, & marshes. The 

come out & stay with us all summer & botanize this region Take the railroad to Marshall & 

there is a stage running from Marshall here distance 13 miles." Miss Allmendinger was in Georgia 
earlier in 1869, but evidently visited Mr. and Mrs. Shoop and their child in September of that year. 
3175„//. Torrey Bot. Gub 1: 35-36; 43-44 (1870); 2: 18 (1871). Isaac HoUister Hall 
(1837-1896) was at the time a practicing attorney in New York city and active in church 
affairs-as well as an amateur botanist. In 1869 he passed Ann Arbor en route by train to Des 
Moines to observe the solar eclipse with an expedition from Hamilton College (of which he was an 
1859 graduate), but he apparently did not stop (see Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 1: 27 (1870); letter of 
Dec. 2, 1869, to E. C. Allmendinger, in Univ. Mich. Herbarium). Hall also corresponded with Miss 
Allmendinger (whose aid he sought in keeping up with the address of the peripatetic Rev. Mr, 
Shoop!) and personally showed some of her troublesome specimens to John Torrey, for 
identification. A few years later, Hall was active in another field and he became a noted oriental 
and Biblical scholar (see Applet. Cycl. Am. Biogr. 3: 39. 1887). 

318a11 available published biographical information on John William Stacey in botanical literature 
seems to be included in Howell (1944). It has not been possible to learn anything of Stacey's 
academic training in either theology or medicine, apart from the single year which he had at the 
University of Michigan. (See also next note.) 

319Dates of Stacey's ministry are in the published Minutes, Mich. Congr. Assoc, Annual Meetings 
1898 through 1905. In 1901 he was caUed to Clarksville (Ionia Co.); the 1904 and 1905 Minutes 
give his residence as Grand Rapids (Kent Co.) in the list of ministers associated with the 
Congregational Church, but he is not listed as the minister of any of the churches in the Grand 
Rapids Association and one must assume that he may have been some sort of assistant minister or 
executive there. What he did from 1906 until his move to California in 1914 is unknown. 
Presumably this is when he had the medical training indicated by Howell (1944, p. 183)-but not 
at the University of Michigan, despite Howell's implication; Howell says that Stacey interned at 
Bellevue Hospital, but he is not listed among the internes at the Bellevue Hospitals in the reports of 



of plants growing in Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties, with data more precise 
than the county seldom provided. •^■^'^ 

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)321 spent the last summer of his life on his 
longest journey, a 3000-mile trip to Minnesota in a vain hope, fostered by his 
physicians, that a change of climate would restore his deteriorating health. In May of 
1861 Thoreau, accompanied by seventeen-year-old Horace Mann, Jr.,322 ^qj^ Qf ^j^g 
famed educator, traveled by train from Concord to Niagara Falls, Detroit, and (via Ann 
Arbor) Chicago, thence west to the Mississippi. A steamer on the river brought them 
early on May 26 to St. Paul. For nearly a month they botanized around the Twin 
Cities (except for an excursion up the Minnesota River); Thoreau read widely in 
libraries-but his health showed no sustained improvement. On June 23 they headed 
for home, via Milwaukee, where they spent the niglit of June 27 but made no botanical 
notes. The ship from Milwaukee paused long enough at Carp River [Leland, Michigan] 
for Thoreau to note a few plants including a "borraginaceous plant with 4 prickly 
nutlets & small flowers blue or rose, either color, stamens or [on?] corolla erect. What 
is it?" They stopped at the Fox and Beaver Islands and arrived June 20 at Mackinac 
Island. 323 

Thoreau and Mann stayed on Mackinac Island until the evening of July 4, when 
they sailed for Goderich, Ontario, whence they returned by train to Concord, arriving 
July 10. Thoreau made only one brief trip beyond Concord before his death the 
following May, and never had a chance to write up his chaotic notes, which were 
published in 1962 by Harding. They include various lists of plants, especially from the 
Twin Cities area of Minnesota and from Mackinac Island. These are of interest as a 
record of what species, especially introduced ones, were obvious at the time. In 
Minnesota, Michigan, Ontario, and New York, Thoreau at least five times noted an 
unknown small-flowered boraginaceous plant, which obviously challenged him. At 
Mackinac Island, for instance, he wrote: "Borraginaceous plant so common in 
Minnesota with lanceolate leaves & small blue flowers, prickly nutlets, common here & 
at Carp River." I have Uttle doubt that this plant was the northern wild comfrey, 
Cynoglossum boreale, not distinguished from the larger-flowered more southern C. 
virginianum until Fernald described it in 1905. Thoreau's lungs may have been weak, 

320The letters and lists of Stacey's cited here are at the Beal-Darlington Herbarium, Michigan State 
University. According to Howell, Stacey "at least one summer did botanical field work with C. F, 
Wheeler." The "list of plants collected at ClarksviUe, Ionia county" cited by Real (1905, p. 11) is 
not extant, if it ever existed; in fact, it was probably the 1900 list sent to Wheeler and on which 
Stacey's [later] address of Qarksville has been entered in Wheeler's hand. 

32 lit is hardly necessary to offer documentation regarding Thoreau. The Minnesota journey is 
covered by Harding (1962; 1965, pp. 445-451). 

322Mann, who had been encouraged in his natural history collections by Thoreau, entered Harvard 
in the fall of 1861 and studied botany with Asa Gray-the "first Bostonian of substantial family to 
take up the subject professionally" (Dupree 1959, p. 326). Gray encouraged him to visit the 
Hawaiian Islands and was grooming Mann to take over his classes and his duties as curator of the 
herbarium at Harvard (J. Gray 1893, 2: 566-567; Dupree 1959, pp. 337; 341-342). Mann 
graduated from Harvard in 1867 but his health declined and in 1868, at the age of 24, he died of 
tuberculosis, possibly contracted from Thoreau. Mann had been Charles J. Sprague's successor as 
curator of botany for the Boston Society of Natural History from 1865 until his death. His 
herbarium was bought for Cornell University (Rhodora 3: 256 & 288. 1901). 

'^'^^Not Mackinaw City, despite the interpolations of Harding. There was no dock or settler at 
Mackinaw City, at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, in 1861 -nor until 1870. 
Mackinac Island (never called "city") had been settled 90 years previously and the fort was moved 
there in 1781 from the site of Mackinaw City, which was then abandoned until 1870. Both areas 
have been included in the term "Michilimackinac." 



but his eyes were sharp 1^^"^ In the early 1850's he had started giving more serious 
attention to natural history and making collections (perhaps influenced by Louis 
Agassiz). His herbarium of over 1000 pressed specimens was presented after his death 
to the Boston Society of Natural History, whose library he frequently patronized after 
being elected a corresponding member in 1850.^^ It might also be noted here that 
Charles T. Jackson's brother-in-law, Ralph Waldo Emerson, had urged Jackson in 1847 
to include Thoreau as an assistant on his survey of Michigan mineral lands for the U.S. 
government. Despite Thoreau's eagerness for the position, politics decreed other 
appointments and so he did not visit the Great Lakes until 14 years later. 326 

E. J. Hill (1833 1917),327 clergyman, teacher, and noted Illinois botanist, spent 
many of his summer vacations on extended trips, during which he visited northern 
Wisconsin, Minnesota, and several places in Michigan, beginning around 1870. A native 
of New York state. Hill graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1863 and then 
accepted the pastorate of a Presbyterian church in Homewood, Illinois. For 18 years 
before retiring in 1888 because of poor health, he taught at high schools in 
northeastern Illinois. One of his excursions northward was to Emmet and Cheboygan 



324x1^6 Cynoglossum noted at Mackinac Island by the Agassiz expedition in 1848 (L 

1850, p. 23) was probably the same. Norton Miller has kindly looked for me at 1 

herbarium, now at the Gray Herbarium, and found no Cynoglossum boreale; indeed, 

apparently no specimens from the Great Lakes trip, after which Thoreau was probably 1 

prepare or label them (if any were actuaUy collected). 

325see Harding (1965, pp. 268-269; 290) on Thoreau's botanical collections. See al 

(1961), who avers that Thoreau considered himself a botanist as well as a writer after abo 

326see Harding (1965, p. 197). 

327The most complete account of Hill is by Agnes Chase (1917). 




Present known distribution of PotamogeU 
The westernmost dot represents the original * 
where this pondweed was discovered by Hill 
1880, near Manistee, Michigan, revisited 



counties, at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, in 1878, when, 
among other plants, he collected pondweeds along the "inland route" between 
Cheboygan and Crooked Lake-the second year that route was open. 328 in 1880, in 
Manistee County, Michigan, he collected the type material of a pondweed which was 
later named for him, Potamogeton hillii— still considered an uncommon species. ^^9 i^ 
1881 he pubhshed botanical notes from numerous places where he had been along the 
Lake Michigan shore of Indiana and Michigan, Mackinac, and Sault Ste. Marie. In 
1883, he was exploring the Menominee iron region in Michigan and Wisconsin, 
"clambering over rocks and fallen timber . . . making headway through cedar swamps 
and thickets, with only a path traced by deer and bear"330_j-uggg(j activity for a man 
long afflicted with lameness! His report stressed comparisons between the southern end 
of Lake Michigan and the northern region. In 1889, Hill explored the Marquette iron 
region in Michigan and the VermiUon Lake region of Minnesota where Arthur, Bailey, 
Upham, and Holway had explored only three years previously and whose report, cited 
by Hill in his own account published in 1890, may even have inspired the Illinoian to 



328see Voss (1956, pp. 31 & 40). 
329see Mich. Bot. 4: 13-14 (1965). The s 
105. 1977). 
330Hill (1885). 



Chapter 9. 

TO BRING IT ALL TOGETHER: 
CATALOGING THE LOCAL FLORA 



Some of the first efforts to list all the plants (at least the vascular plants) of the 
states of Wisconsin and Minnesota have already been mentioned in discussing early 
work in those states. I. A. Lapham was the author of the first floras of Wisconsin 
(1853), Minnesota (1875-but written in 1865), and also Illinois (1857), although the 
latter is excluded from the present history. In all these states, most of the area covered 
in any statewide flora is beyond the Great Lakes basin and information is not always 
sorted geographically in the earliest hsts. 

The first extensive list for Michigan did not attempt to cover all plants, but was an 
original annotated account of nearly 600 indigenous and naturalized species of reputed 
medicinal quality, published in 1858. Its author, Frederick Stearns (1831-1907),331 
had been employed in the drug business in New York and arrived in Detroit on New 
Year's day of 1855, walking across the frozen river fiom Canada. In April he 
established a retail drug store and the next year he added a manufacturing enterprise. 
His list of medicinal plants, pubhshed only three years after his arrival in Michigan, was 
based on information obtained from "very many of the medical gentlemen of our 
State, who, upon application, cheerfully afforded me the knowledge required." 
Evidently he circularized physicians throughout Michigan, and the resulting list is full 
of locally used remedies. Under a juneberry {Amelanchier sanguinea), for instance, we 

This beautiful shrubby tree is in full tlower in our wet, swampy woods around 
Detroit, early in May, before the trees are in leaf, and it forms a striking and beautiful 
sight. The flower is white and nearly scentless; they are, in their freshly dried state, 
highly recommended by Dr. [Ira M.?] Allen, of our city, as a powerful anodyne in 
various nervous affections, in uterine diseases, and to assuage the after-pains of labor. The 
flowers are exhibited in infusion. 

Many other interesting observations are in Stearns' hst. Of the wintergreen 
(Gaultheria procumbens), he reported: "Large quantities of the berries are annually 
offered for sale in Detroit, and are simply eaten as a relish." A frankly unbelievable 
figure is given for the red raspberry (Rubus strigosus) at the St. Mary's River: "A Mr. 
Church, living upon Sugar Island, in that river, made in the year 1857, over 80,000 
pounds of jam and jelly from the fruit he collected in his vicinity; the plants are 
plentiful in every portion of the State, of which the fruit, leaves, bark, and roots 
possess medicinal value." It is odd that this list is not cited by any of the later 
catalogers of the Michigan flora [N. H. Winchell, Coleman, Palmer, Smith, Wheeler, 
BeaI]-not even by A. B. Lyons (see chapter 7 above), who unquestionably knew 

33l0n Frederick Steams (not to be confused with his son, Frederick Kimball Steams, nor his 
grandson, Frederick Sweet Steams), see Stanley (1907) and Burton (1922, 3: 804-810). There is a 
long obituary on p. 1 of the Detroit News Tribune for January 13, 1907, and an editorial tribute 
on p. 4 the next day. 



Stearns personally and whose report on medicinal plants in Michigan was presented in 
1877,^^^ nor by Volney M. Spalding, who also presented a paper on native medicinal 
plants of Michigan in 1877, to the annual meeting of the Michigan Pharmaceutical 
Association where he acknowledged "suggestions kindly given by Ottmar Eberbach, by 
Mr. Stearns, and Dr. A. B. Lyons." (Spalding's Hst is essentially unannotated, with at 
most very general statements of abundance and distribution, but he does acknowledge 
the work of E. C. Allmendinger and E. Palmer.) 

Before lea\'ing Stearns' pioneering compilation on the local flora, it should be 
noted that he was one of the first three curators (Henry Gillman was another) of the 
Detroit Scientific Association in 1874. Some specimens collected by him are in the 
herbarium of that Association (see chapter 7). In 1881 he disposed of his retail drug 
business; the manufacturing operation was incorporated as Frederick Stearns & 
Company in 1882 a large and successful pharmaceutical manufacturer in Detroit. 
Stearns was a world traveler and collector in many fields, including conchology; in 
1899 he presented to the University of Michigan an extraordinary collection of musical 
instruments and in 1901 he was awarded an honorary A.M. degree by the University. 

The earliest extensive lists for Michigan not restricted to medicinal plants were, 
however, restricted largely or entirely to the Lower Peninsula: those of N. H. Winchell 
(1861) and Nathan Coleman (1874). The first hst purporting to cover all of Michigan 
was a curious 16-page pamphlet published in 1877 by Elmore Palmer (1839-1909), ^^3 
of Dexter, Michigan: "Catalogue of Phaenogamous and Acrogenous Plants Found 
Growing Wild in the State of Michigan." It is a mere list, with no annotations at all 
and no statement of its sources except for an acknowledgment of Winchell's catalog of 
1861 and a reference to the author's "travels throughout the State." Erwin F. Smith 
wrote of Palmer's list to Miss E. C. Allmendinger: "Have you seen Dr. Palmer's 
Catalogue of Mich. Plants? Quite as remarkable for the 'commissions as for the 
omissions.' The Dr. writes [apparently to Smith] that he is in active correspondence 
with nearly all the leading botanists in the U.S., and has received letters in regard to 
his Cat. from every state in the Union except Texas, Georgia, & one other."^^"* 

Elmore Palmer was born in Albion, Michigan, December 17, 1839, descended from 
Pilgrim stock who had landed in Massachusetts in 1629. He spent his childhood on a 
farm, attended what later became Albion College, and began to study the drug business 
at the age of 14. At 20, he commenced to read medicine in a physician's office and 
the next year entered the medical department of the University of Michigan. After a 
year (1861-1862) he entered mihtary service and in December 1862 passed the Board 
of Medical Examiners and was appointed Medical Cadet, U.S.A. Until December of 



332Messrs. Nelson and Baker, founders in 1889 of the firm with which Lyons was later associated, 
had formerly been in the same business with Stearns, but this could not have inhibited Lyons from 
citing Stearns in 1877, which was even before Lyons was associated with Parke, Davis (organized in 
1867)-yet another of the prominent Detroit pharmaceutical houses. Their contributions to pure 
botany should some day be written up more fully! 

333Long accounts about Elmore Palmer are in Mich. Alumnus 14: 24-25 (1907) and 16: 143-144 
(1909); the file of the Alumni Records Office includes an obituary from a Buffalo newspaper. 
Palmer was serving as secretary of the class of 1864 at the time of his death and had attended a 
class reunion in Ann Arbor as recently as 1907. There is said to be an account of his life, with 
photograph, in ne National Odd Fellow of February 15, 1896. Palmer was an active Odd Fellow 
and a 33rd degree Mason. 

334Letter of August 30, 1877, in Allmendinger papers. University of Michigan Herbarium. Smith at 
the time was 23, had lived in Michigan for seven years, and had just completed his first year of 
high school; but he was already a discriminating student of the local flora! 



1863 he served at hospitals in Louisville, Kentucky. He then re-entered the University 
of Michigan and received his M.D. in 1864. He served a year as surgeon with the 29th 
Michigan Volunteer Infantry until mustered out September 6, 1865. He practiced his 
profession for 13 years in Dexter, Michigan, and also practiced briefly in Kankakee, 
Illinois, and in Colorado before moving in 1886 to Buffalo, New York, where he spent 
the rest of his life, prominent in medical and fraternal affairs. In 1886 he was a charter 
member of the Western New York Medical Society, which he served as president in 
1891. He died in Buffalo October 23, 1909. I have found no evidence of any activities 
in botany or other branches of natural history except for his Michigan catalog, and can 
recall seeing no specimens collected by him. 

The first work which attempted to supply an annotated list for the whole state of 
Michigan was Wheeler and Smith's "Michigan Flora," published in 1881 in the report 
of the State Horticultural Society of Michigan, thanks to endorsements by William J. 
Beal and his banker friend, Charles W. Garfield, a member of the State Board of 
Agriculture and active in horticultural circles. The authors gave due credit to their 
predecessors: to the work of John Wright for Douglass Houghton, to Burt and Whitney 
and Cooley, to the lists by Winchell and Coleman and Allmendinger and others, to 
Daniel Clarke and Henry Gillman and E. J. Hill for specimens or unpublished lists; 
they also paid tribute to several others who had "been connected, more or less, with 
the botanical interests of the State, either as teachers or collectors," not all of whom it 
has been possible even to mention in the present account, but including O. B. Wheeler 
and Rev. D. R. Shoop (as "J. Shaup"). 

The authors of this pioneering flora were, at the time of its publication, self-made 
naturalists from Hubbardston, some miles northwest of Lansing. Erwin Frink Smith 
(1854-1927)335 moved in 1870 with his parents from near Syracuse, New York, to a 
farm his father had bought near Hubbardston. He was already interested in botany and 
other branches of science, and pursued these (as well as other) studies diligently 
whenever farm chores would permit. Largely self-taught, in 1880 he graduated from 
high school in Ionia and spent the summer attending the Agricultural College in East 
Lansing. But he could not afford further study, and became a keeper at the Ionia State 
Reformatory. From 1882 to 1885 he was employed by the State Board of Health in 
Lansing and then, having saved enough money for a year at the University of Michigan, 
he continued his formal education, receiving his B.S. with honors in 1886 after a year 
of residence. He then began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (doing 
most of the work for his doctorate, received from Michigan in 1889, in absentia); his 
fame as a plant pathologist needs no elaboration here. 

Soon after moving to Michigan, Smith began his long friendship with Charles F. 
Wheeler (1842 1910),336 who was the village druggist, bookseller, and postmaster in 
Hubbardston. Already recognized as the state's leading "amateur" botanist, Wheeler 
finally gave himself fully to botany and in 1891 received his bachelor's degree from 
the Agricultural College, where he remained on the staff until going to the Department 
of Agriculture in 1902. Like Smith, Wheeler was originally a native of New York state, 
but he settled in Michigan to regain his health after the Civil War, attending one year 



87 

(1866-67) in the medical department of the University of Michigan. It was natural 
that the two promising botanists of the Hubbardston area should collaborate as they 
did. With a deadline for copy the next January, Smith began a letter to Elizabeth 
Allmendinger May 2, 1880: "Charles & I have begun work on our 'Flora' & we wish 

you to help us We wish to make it as complete & rehab le as possible. Prof. Beal 

will help us, & if you & Dr. Lyons will also lend a helping hand, there is no reason 
why it should not be the best Michigan Flora yet pubhshed."^^^ Indeed, this first 
annotated flora for the entire state did receive wide acclaim. It was the first major 
published work of each of its authors, although each had pubUshed short notes on 
Michigan plants in the Botanical Gazette 1878-1880. 

In 1892, a new edition of the "Michigan Flora" was pubHshed, in which Wheeler 
collaborated with WiUiam J. Beal (1833-1924).338 Many new names of collectors 
appear among the acknowledgments. Beal, a native of Lenawee County, Michigan, 
received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, where he 
was a student of Alexander Winchell's. A gifted teacher in the best tradition of Asa 
Gray and Louis Agassiz, with whom he studied at Harvard, Beal built a strong and 
practical program in botany at the Agricultural College, where he went in 1870 as 
professor of botany and where he remained for the rest of his professional life. The 
Beal Botanic Garden, established in 1873, and the Beal-Darlington Herbarium at what 
is now Michigan State University are tangible monuments to his labors there for 40 
years. Beal and Wheeler collected at many places around the state, and maintained 
contact with many local collectors. 

Beal is too well known and too "modern" to require extended discussion here, as 

337Letter in Allmendinger papers, University of Michigan Herbarium. Quite possibly similar letters 
were sent by Smith or Wheeler to other correspondents in the state. 

338on Wmiam James Beal, see Baker & Baker (1925); Voss & Crow (1976, pp. 3-4 et passim); 
Jones (1977, pp. 272-274). 



Charles F. Wheeler (18 




is another great name in the history of the Agricultural College, Liberty Hyde Bailey 
(1858 1954).339 a native of South Haven, Michigan, where he collected plants as 
early as the 1870's, Bailey graduated from the College in 1882. His freshman year, he 
visited Wheeler and Smith in Hubbardston and he continued to offer them encourage- 
ment in their work.^'^O ^fter serving as a special assistant to Asa Gray at Harvard, 
Bailey returned to his alma mater in 1885 as professor of horticulture and landscape 
gardening-a highly effective teacher and lecturer as well as a prolific author. He was 
also a collector. Among the better known plants of his Michigan days are sets of Carex 
exsiccatae, provided with printed labels headed "North American Carices." These were 
collected soon after he returned to the College to teach. While he was a student, he 
had published several short papers, including partial lists of beach and dune plants in 
the vicinity of South Haven and comments on ranges of plants in Michigan and 



(1833-1 
birthday. 




In 1888 Bailey accepted an offer to go to Cornell University, where his success is 
legendary. In the same year, he accepted an invitation from Sereno Watson to revise 
the sedge genus Carex-our largest genus of vascular plants in temperate North 
America-for the forthcoming sixth edition of Gray's Manual. In 1888, Bailey and Beal 
and Wheeler also engaged in another enterprise, in which they were joined by two 
senior students, Lyster H. Dewey (1865 1944) and Daniel A. Pelton (1865-1926) an 
exploring expedition across the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. ^^^ Lumbering 
was in its heyday at the time; railroads were stretching northward (having first reached 
the Straits of Mackinac in 1881); stagecoach roads were creeping through the 
wilderness. A full and detailed account of this expedition having been pubHshed in 
1976, it is necessary only to stress here that the two-week trip by covered wagon from 
Harrisville to Frankfort, along sandy roads (some of them brand new), was a 
productive one for specimens and a major effort to explore the interior of northern 
Michigan as transportation by means other than boat (or foot) became feasible. 



By the dawn of the 20th century, there were people all over Michigan and 
adjacent states interested in plants and making collections, both along the shores and 
in the interior. These included students and schoolteachers, clergymen and lawyers, 
physicians and bankers, and they often had the encouragement of botanists in the 
colleges and universities.343 geal revised the "Michigan Flora" for the last time in 
1904 and noted on the first page of his introduction: "Within the past few years a 
delightful department of botany has attracted much attention. It is emphatically 
outdoor work and is known as Ecology . . ." While much remained to be done (and 
still does) regarding details of the occurrence and distribution of plants in the Great 
Lakes region, many additional aspects of botany were coming to the fore after nearly a 
century of initial explorations. It has taken several lines of thought, sometimes tangled 
or intertwined, for us to survey those explorations and the foundations they laid for 
the present century. But in pursuing these various directions, the purpose has been to 
share some of the spirit of the pioneer century for the new science of botany in this 
portion of the Old Northwest. 



342The contemporary newspaper ace 


ounts o 


personnel, lists of plants, and commeni 


ts on the 


343At least a dozen such institution; 


5 which 


1900 (in fact, before 1890), although, 


to be su 



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Canada II 3 (sect. IV): 3-56. 



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INDEX OF PERSONS AND INSTITUTIONS 



Agassiz, Louis, 34, 39, 41-44, 75-76, 87 
AUmendinger, Elizabeth C, 67-69, 79-80, 86-87 
American Journal of Science, 7, 29, 73 
Ann Arbor Scientific Association, 67-68 
Arthur, Joseph C, 38 



, E. P., 



Bailey, Liberty Hyde, 38, 88-89 

Barnston, George, 42 

Barton, Benjamin Smith, 4-5 

Beal, William J., 73, 80-81, 86-89 

Bell, John, 60-61 

Bell, Robert, 59-61 

Bigelow, John M., 56-58, 78 

Billings, B., 59 

Boston Society of Natural History, 77, 81-82 

Botanical Gazette, 73 

Britton, N. L., 74 

Bruhin, T. A., 33, 78 

Bull, George, 22, 24-25 

Burt, WiUiam A., 19, 25-27, 76, 86 

Cabot, J. Elliot, 41-42 

CadiUac, [A. de la Mothe] ,1-2 

Canada, Geological and Natural History Survey, 

Cannon, George H., 26 

Cass, Lewis, 6-7, 10-12, 14-16, 19, 29 

Charlevobc, [P. F. X.] , 2 

Cheney, L. S., 29, 33 

Clark, Mary H., 49, 67-70 



Drummond, Thomas, 41,61 

Eastwood, John F., 55 

Eaton, Amos, 12-18,22,25 

Eaton, AmosB., 13 

Eaton, Daniel C, 13 

Engelmann, George, 56, 58, 75-76, 78 

Fallass, Charles W., 66 

Farquhar, Francis U., 54 

Far well, Oliver A., 70, 73, 76 

Fink, Bruce, 38 

FUnt, A. R., 56 

Flint Scientifc Institute, 62-63 

Folwell, Nathan W., 78 

Folwell, W. W., 35 



Foster, John W., 27, 42, 76 

Garden, Alexander, 1 

Geological Survey, Canada, 44, 59-61 

Geological Survey, Michigan, 22-28, 34-35, 7 

Geological Survey, Minnesota, 35-38 

Gibson, John, 61 

Gillman, Henry, 47-50, 52, 61-62, 64-65, ' 



Goldie, John, 60-61 

Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History, ( 
Grand Rapids Public Museum, 64, 66 
Grand Rapids Scientific Club, 63 



,Thoi 



,35 



Clarke, Daniel, 62-63, 86 

Cole, Emma J., 66-67, 70 

Coleman, Nathan, 63-64, 85-86 

Connor, Leartus, 65 

Cooley, Dennis, 19, 26-27, 86 

Cowles, H. C, 75 

Daneau, Jacques Pierre, Sieur de Muy, 1-2 

Davis, Charles A., 71-73 

Detroit Academy of Medicine, 65 

Detroit Medical College, 57, 64 

Detroit Review of Medicine and Pharmacy, 

Detroit Scientific Association, 62, 64-66, 

Dewey, Lyster H., 89 

Dodge, Charles K., 69-71 

Doty, James Duane, 10-11 

Douglas, David, 61,74-75 

Douglass, David Bates, 7, 10-12, 35 

Drake, Daniel, 56 



21-22, 24, 41-42, 47, 55, 73, 78, 



Hale, Thomas J., 31 
Hall, Isaac H., 80 
Harrington, Mark W., 35, 



, Clarei 






Hollick, Arthur, 74 

Hoi way, E. W. D., 38 

HoLzer, Lawrence, 78 

Holzinger, John M., 37 

Hooker, WiUiam J., 61 

Houghton, Douglass, 15-31, 76, 86 

Hubbard,Bela, 19, 26-27 

Jackson, Charles T., 26-27, 42, 76, 

James, Edwin, 14-15, 17,40 

Johnson, Asa E., 39 



Jones, Sarah Van Hoosen, 54 

Juni, Benedict, 36 

Kalm, Peter, 2 

Keating, William H., 40 

Kent Scientific Institute, 63-64 

Kent Scientific Museum, 64 

Kneeland, Samuel, 77 

Kumlien, Thure, 33 

Lake Survey, U.S., 36, 45-57 

Lapham, Increase A., 20, 29-33, 35-36, 57, 84 

Lincoln, Almira Hart, 68 

Long, Stephen H., 14,40-41 

Loring, Charles G., 41 42 

Lyons, A. B., 24, 58, 62, 64-67, 84-85, 87 

MacMiUan, Conway, 37 

Macoun, John, 42, 44-45, 61 

Mann, Horace, Jr., 81 

Marr.G. A.,51 



Mason, Stevens T., 10, 21 

Michigan Academy of Science, 72-73 

Michigan Geological Survey, 22-28, 34-35, 71 

Miles, Manly, 62 

Milwaukee Public Museum, 32-33 

Minnesota Academy of Science, 39, 72 

Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey, 

35-38 
Morong, Thomas, 74, 82 

Muy, Jacques Pierre Daneau, Sieur de, 1-2 
Naturhistorische Verein von Wisconsin, 32-33 
Nelson, Baker & Co., 65,85 
, Frederick C, 73 



Nuttall, Thomas, 3-5, 10-12, 29,40-4 

Palmer, Elmore, 85-86 

Parke, Davis & Co., 65, 71, 76, 85 



Porter, Thomas C, 59, 74 
Raynoids, W. F., 48, 53 
Rhodes, Daniel H„ 52-53 
Richardson, John, 41 
Robbins, James W., 77 
Roberts, Thomas S., 36 
Sager, Abram, 22-24, 34 
Sandberg, John H., 37 




9,73 

Smith, Erwin F., 72, 85-87 
Sones, George D., 66 
Spalding, Volney M., 35, 51, 61 

Stearns, Frederick, 84-85 
Sullivant, William S., 42 
Thoreau, Henry D., 49, 81-82 
Todd.C. C, 61 



Torr 



13-1 



I Academy of Scien( 



U.S. Lake Survey, 36,45-57 
Upham, Warren, 35,38-39 
Wheeler, Charles F., 72-73, 80-81 
Wheeler, O. B., 50-56, 58, 66, 86 
Whipple, A. W., 56-57 
Whitney,J. D., 27, 76 
Whitney, W. D., 27-28, 86 

Winchell, Alexander, 34-35, 46, 62 
Winchell, N. H., 34-39, 46-47, 58, 
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, / 

ters, 32, 72 
Wisconsin f 
Woolsey, 

Wright, John, 22-2 
Young Naturalists' ! 



! Associati 



CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HERBARIUM 



Rusts from British Honduras 

Edwin B. Mains 
Notes on Agarics from British I 

Alexander H. Smith 



i Longworth Lundell 



April 1940 
pp. 3-32 



Studies of Ameri 



Cyn 



Lundell 



Studies of American Spermatophytes-ll 
Cyrus Longworth Lundell 
No. 8. 

Flora of Eastern Tabasco and Adjacent Mexican / 

Cyrus Longworth Lundell 
Studies of American Spermatophytes-III 
Cyrus Longworth Lundell 
Title page and cumulative index, Numbers 1-8 
Vol. 9, No. 1. 



30 September 1942 

. 5-74, pi. 1-IV, map 

pp. 75-88 

1966 

30 September 1966 



Vol. 9, No. 2. 

Notes on the Distribution of West Indian Marine Algae Particularly 
in the Lesser Antilles 
Wm. Randolph Taylor 
Vol 9, Nos. 3-7. 

Botanical Exploration in Nueva Galicia, Mexico from 1790 to the 
Present Time 

Rogers McVaugh 
Compositarum Mexicanarum Pugjllus 

Rogers McVaugh 
North American Counterparts of Sigesbeckia orientalis (Compositae) 

Rogers McVaugh & Christiane Anderson 
The Genus Trigonospermum Less. (Compositae, Heliantheae) 

Rogers McVaugh & Chester W. Laskowski 
The Oaks (Quercus) Described by N6e (1801), and by Humboldt & 
Bonpland (1809), with Comments on Related Species 
Cornelius H. Muller & Rogers McVaugh 
VoL 9, No. 8. 

Preliminary Studies on the Dothideales in Temperate North America 

Margaret E. Barr 
Index Volume 9, numbers 1-8. Errata. Title page. 





pp. 


127- 


-203 




30 M 


arch 


1972 


pp 


.207- 


-357, 


map 




PP. 


361 


-484 




pp. 


487. 


-493 




pp. 


497- 


-506 



'1. 10. 18 September 1973; corrected p 

Mosses of the Great Lakes I'orcst 

Howard Crum 

(N.B.: A revised edition was independently publislied in 1976.] 
1. 11, No. 1. 
New and Reconsidered Mexican Umbelliferae 

Mildred E. Mathias & Lincoln Constance 
I 11, No. 2. 
Marasmius Section Chordales in the Northeastern United States 
and Adjacent Canada 

Martina S. Gilliam 
The Taxonomy of Acrmnthera (Malpighiaceae) 

William R. Anderson 
Notes on Banisteriopsis from South-central Brazil 

William R. Anderson & Bronwen Gates 
Mexican Species of Pedicularis (Scrophulariaceae) Hitherto Confused 
with P. tripinnata Mart. & Gal. 

Rogers McVaugh & T. Lawrence Mellichamp 
Rediscovery of Lobelia dielsiam Wimmer, and a Related Species New ti 

Rogers McVaugh & Michael J. Huft 
Antiphytum parryi (Boraginaceae) Confused with Heliotropium limbatu 

Rogers McVaugh & Audrey S. Delcourt 
A Pelagic Sargassum from the Western Atlantic 

Wm. Randolph Taylor 
A Noteworthy Variant Caulerpa 

Wm. Randolph Taylor 
A New Species of Halimeda from Malaysia 

Wm. Randolph Taylor 
Notes on the Distribution of Sphagnum tenellum 

Howard Crum 
Comments on Sphagnum capillaceum 

Belonia americana, Scoliocarpon pupula, and Robergea 



tanical Results of the Sessd & Mociiio Ex] 
. Summary of Excursions and Travels 
Rogers McVaugh 



Rogers McVaugh 
I. 13. 
Botanical Beachcombers and Explo: 
in the Upper Great Lakes 
Edward G. Voss