Plant Trivia TimeLine: 1700 – 1800

Tull through Banks

1701 Jethro Tull introduced his horse-drawn seed drill, a mechanism he devised while working on the family farm (named Prosperous) that he had inherited. Tull later wrote Horse-hoe Husbandry, relating his invention of a mechanized hoe. His work began an agricultural movement called New Husbandry that assumed all plant needs were provided by soil, thus hoeing or working of the soil was requisite for good production. A main thought was that working soil would eliminate need for application of manures and fallowing. (Wikipedia, 2015)

1704 Michel Sarrazin transported roots of American ginseng to Paris. A paper he presented on this topic was published in the Memoirs of the French Academy in 1714, the same year in which a missionary to China, Father Jartoux, published an article on Asian ginseng in a London journal. (Emboden, 1974) (Note: Wikipedia, 2019, states Sarrazin introduced Ginseng to the Jardin du Roi in 1701) PS: Sarrazin was the earliest collector of American pitcher plants, and Linnaeus named the genus Sarracenia in his honor.

1706 Coffee trees were sent to the botanical garden in Amsterdam from Sri Lanka (where the Dutch had only recently managed to establish plantations, breaking an ancient Arab monopoly). A single tree survived, which was the parent of a tree at the conservatory in Paris. In 1723, de Cliey carried a single offspring from the Paris tree to Martinique, which yielded thousands of trees there by 1777. The Martinique plantations became the source of the first plants to be taken to the various coffee-growing regions of South America. (Simpson, 1989)

1708 Michel Sarrazin’s collections, shipped from Canada to the Jardin du Roi in Paris, were described by Sebastien Vaillant in Histoires des Plantes de Canada, the first French book on North American plants.

1709 Famine struck Europe, affecting Prussia on a great scale. (Ponting,1991)

1709 At his death, Godfrey Copley (2nd Baronet) left a bequest of £100 “in trust for the Royal Society of London for improving natural knowledge.” The Society responded through establishing its Copley Medal, the oldest prestigious international award for scientific achievement. The first award was made in 1731 to Stephen Gray for his studies of electricity. Many subsequent awards went to scientists who contributed to botany as part of their broad studies, including William Watson, Stephen Hales, Joseph Priestley, and Charles Darwin.

1709 Anthony Ashley Cooper, in The Moralists, expressed the growing appreciation of the natural landscape, as contrasted with formal order in a garden. His character, Philocles, converts to a love of the “primitive state,” of “the horrid Graces of the Wilderness,” and “the Genius of the Place.” (Thacker, 1979)

1711 Louis Crommelin, a Huguenot and linen weaver fled France in 1865, relocating to Ulster, in Ireland. His success in weaving fine linen there improved the local industry, with the result that the Board of Trustees of the Linen Manufacturers nurtured and controlled the Irish Linen Industry, leading to the reputation of Irish linen.

1712 Engelbert Kaempfer published Amoenitates Exoticae, the first western description of the Japanese flora (as well as other information). Kaempfer was a physician with the Dutch East India Company at Deshima from 1690 to 1692. Other Kaempfer notes, published by Hans Sloane as History of Japan, include the first western description of ginkgo.

1712 Mark Catesby made his first trip to America, traveling first to Virginia. He returned to England in 1719, but his time in the New World included travels to Jamaica in 1714. (Meyers & Pritchard, 1998) [See 1729]

1712 Captain Frezier introduced the Chilean strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, to France. It arrived in Britain a few years later. This plant, along with the North American species taken to France by Jean Robin in 1624, is in the ancestry of today’s commercial strawberries.

1715 At the age of 71, Stradivari created a beautiful violin, today called Il Cremonese, using a single piece of strikingly patterned maple for the back. (Finlay, 2002)

1716 The first certain report of plant hybridization was provided in a letter written by Cotton Mather, discussing the “infection” of Indian corn planted alongside yellow corn. The following year a British hybrid dianthus was described [See 1717]. In 1721 a hybrid cabbage was reported. By 1750 the controversy of sex in plants was in the news. By 1760 plant hybridization was a professional occupation. The study, hybridization, and selection of corn continued. By 1969 scientists understood more about corn genetics than the genetics of any other flowering plant. (Zirkle in Ewan, 1969) [See 1761]

1717 Nurseryman Thomas Fairchild (of Hoxton, England) produced a hybrid pink (called ‘Fairchild’s Mule’) through crossing a sweet william and a carnation. This may be considered the first purposefully-created artificial hybrid. At his death, Fairchild bequeathed £25 to the Hoxton parish to provide annual support (of £1) for a sermon on “the wonderful works of God in the Creation” – a series delivered on Whit Tuesday (the Tuesday of the first week of Pentecost) and now called the “vegetable sermons.” (Thompson, 2010)

1717 Having opened Tom’s Coffee house in 1706, Thomas Twining followed that success in opening the Golden Lyon, the first real English tea shop. Women were welcome at Golden Lyon, and by 1725 Quaker Mary Tuke became the first woman licensed to merchandize tea. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1718 Sébastian Vaillant was one of the earliest supporters of Camerarius’s ideas concerning the sexual nature of plants. He contributed to the development of terminology necessary to discuss flower structure and function (some of which shocked his contemporaries, such as his comparing stamens to animal testicles and penis). Originally Vaillant delivered his information in a talk at the Jardin du Roi in Paris. By 1718 he had published the remarks as Discours sur la structure des fleurs…  (HNT) (Morton, 1981) [See 1694]

1718 The initial shipment of American ginseng (sent from Canada) arrived in China (Canton). In 1773 shipment began from Boston, with a load of 55 tons on the Hingham. That shipment is said to have earned nearly three dollars a pound, which would have made for substantially profitable cargo. The potential of monetary gain created a strong supply network of North American “seng diggers.” Philadelphia records from 1788 indicate that Daniel Boone sold 15 tons of ginseng root to merchants there. Given such levels of harvesting, the American ginseng (Panax quinqefolium) became rare in nature. By 1885 George Stanton had founded his 150-acre Ginseng Farm in New York. (Emboden, 1974)

1720 In reference to production of cacao, Jean-Baptiste Labat (a Jesuit priest) noted: “Several experiments have convinced me that twenty Negroes can tend and cultivate fifty thousand cacao trees…These fifty thousand well-tended trees will yield a hundred thousand pounds of almonds (seed) which, selling at seven sols and six deniers per pound…will earn thirty-seven thousand francs, a sum which is all the more appreciable because of the fact that almost all of it goes directly into the owner’s pocket, due to the low cost of keeping the slaves who tend the trees. They constitute the one and only obligatory expense… A cacao plantation is a veritable gold mine.” (Bailleux, et al, 1996)

1722 Mark Catesby journeyed to America, leaving England in February, arriving in South Carolina on 23 May. Prior to his return to England in 1726, Catesby traveled to the Bahamas. (Meyers & Pritchard, 1998) [See 1729]

1722 Philip Miller began management of the Chelsea Physic Garden.

1725 The first in a series of laws was passed in England, with the goal of prohibiting adulteration of tea. High cost and limitations on import meant that countless materials were explored in order to bulk up or illicitly replace the product sold as tea. Overarching control came with he 1875 Food and Drug Act. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1727 Stephen Hales’ work in his Vegetable Staticks represented the first significant publication in plant physiology. He explained some aspects of water uptake by roots, movement of liquid through plants, and evaporation of water from leaves. His work advanced the prospect that air provides food for plants (that plants are “probably drawing through their leaves some part of their nourishment from the air”, and even suggested that light might be involved. Hales was one of the first to use the equipment and methods of the physical sciences to study plants. (Morton, 1981) (HNT)

1729 China banned opium. That ban on importation would be seriously compromised by the British East India Company until 1839.

1729 Mark Catesby published the first of ten parts of his Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands. He completed the work in 1747. Second and third editions followed in 1554 and 1771 respectively. One of Catesby’s significant patrons was Quaker Peter Collinson; another was the influential Hans Sloane, doctor to George II and founding donor of the botanical garden at the Society of Apothecaries in Chelsea. (Meyers & Pritchard, 1998)

c1730 By this time Ginkgo biloba was in cultivation in the botanical garden at Utrecht. [See Kaempfer, 1712]

1730. This year is loosely associated with widespread adoption of what is often called Norfolk Four-Course Rotation. British farming methods had a certain prescription about them, with two years dedicated to different grains (wheat or rye one year, followed by barley or oats, and then a fallow third year). With origins in Holland, a more intensive system became associated with Norfolk, and most particularly with Charles Townshend, owner of Norfolk’s Raynham Hall. The four-course crop rotation system ran in sequence from clover to wheat to turnips through barley, with no “fallow” period (though we might think of clover as being a fallow crop.) Implications and fallout of the 4-rotation system seem broad.  Provision of turnips  (which had been growing in popularity since the previous century) to feed livestock over winter was changing behavior, moderating the annual, autumnal culling of livestock. According to Shah, the change in year-round density of livestock in the landscape contributed to another impact. Because livestock do not harbor the malaria Plasmodium, livestock density dissipates spread of malaria in the immediate human population (mosquitos prefer biting cows, sheep, and pigs). Changes in livestock to human ratios in England are given credit as contributing to decreases in human infection rates. (Shah, 2010) From Shah: “Years later, when malariologists realized what had happened, some took to calling for “a pig under every bed” as an effective substitute for a mosquito net.”

1732 By 1732 the black slave population of South Carolina numbered about 32,000 as compared to approximately 14,000 whites. Slavery at this time in South Carolina was driven by rice cultivation. Rice seed imported from Madagascar was grown and harvested by black slaves from rice growing zones of Africa. Thus the early success in rice production in North America was possible due to a skilled, slave labor force. (Thomas, 1999)

1732 J. S. Bach completed his Coffee Cantata. He stages a daughter making the humorous request: “Dear father, do not be so strict! If I can’t have my little demi-tasse of coffee three times a day, I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat! Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine! I must have my coffee, and if anyone wishes to please me, let him present me with – coffee!” By this time coffee had been available in Germany for six decades, showing increasing popularity. By 1777 Frederick the Great began a campaign to control the beverage. (Pendergrast, 1999)

1733 In Lyons, Jesuit Father Sarrabat set plant roots in the red juice from Phytolacca fruit and observed the colored liquid rising to leaf tips, and even stamen filaments. He noted the root cortex was red.  This is considered the first example of vital staining.  (Clark & Kasten,1983)

1733 John Bartram of Philadelphia began correspondence with Collinson, Miller, and others. Their exchange is the likely source of pawpaw, sourwood, and other American plants introduced to cultivation in Europe. (Spongberg,1990)

1733 James Oglethorpe established the Trustees Garden in Savannah. The ten acre plot was dedicated to botanical and agricultural studies, mainly involving experimental plantings of potential crop plants, such as tea, coconut, and cotton. (L.P. Neely in Slosson, 1951) Initially, land was dedicated to mulberries, which were to feed silkworms in order to establish a silk industry. Olive plants were soon sent, as were capers and grapes. In anticipation of the garden, funds from investors were used in 1732 to send two botanists to gather suitable esculent, drug, fibre, dye and ornamental’ plants for trial. One botanist died during the search, while the other was seemingly unsuccessful. Few plants were ever delivered. (Hedrick, 1950)

1733 John Kay patented the fly-shuttle, which quickened the weaving of cloth, thus mechanizing weaving – while the generation of thread through spinning remained a cottage industry. In 1764, James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny made the thread generating process more efficient. Further improvements in bleaching and dyeing as well as the steam-powering of looms would change the British textile industry – with production soaring from 2.5 million pounds in 1760 to 22 million pounds in the 1780s. (Milestones, Twilight, 1974)

1735 Linnaeus arrived in Holland (for a 3-year stay), visiting the Amsterdam Hortus botanicus on his first day. In Holland Linnaeus would gain the respect and support of three important botanists: Herman Boerhaave, Jan Frederik Gronovius, and Johannes Burman. Through Burman he gained the acquaintance and support of George Clifford, wealthy banker and owner of de Hartecamp. Since purchasing that estate in 1709, Clifford had transformed it into a botanist’s paradise of exotic plants. During his three years in Holland, Linnaeus published 14 books, laying the groundwork for his entire career. (Stafleu, 1971)

1737 Linnaeus authored Hortus Cliffortianus, with illustrations by Ehret. This record of plants cultivated by George Clifford in his garden at Hartekamp (Holland) is the forerunner of Species Plantarum. The illustrations demonstrate Linnaeus’ belief that botanical drawings should be of superb detail and must result from close collaboration between botanist and artist. In his introduction, Linnaeus waxed “I gazed at Your garden in the very center of Holland bright with flowers, between Haarlem and Leiden, a charming spot between two thoroughfares, where boats, where carts pass by; my eyes were captivated by so many masterpieces of nature…” (Stafleu, 1971) (HNT)

1737 The magnificent Southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora (introduced from Southeastern North America to Europe by 1730) flowered inAugust at the London home of Charles Wagner, First Lord of the Admiralty. Georg Ehret immortalized this event with a sumptuous and justifiably famous illustration. Ehret, an apprentice gardener, had learned his artistic skills from his father during his youth in Heidelberg, Germany. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1737 Johannes Burman published Thesaurus zeylanicus, using plant specimens from Ceylon that were collected by Paulus Hermann and Jan Hertog. In the following two years Burman published Rariorum africanum plantarum decades I-X based on drawings made at the Cape of Good Hope by Hendrik Claudius. (Stafleu, 1971)

1737 Elizabeth Blackwell began publication of her Curious Herbal, a portfolio of approximately 500 botanical illustrations serialized over 125 weeks, and published in two volumes, in 1737 and 1739. (Madge, B., 2001, “Elizabeth Blackwell—the forgotten herbalist?”. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 18: 144-152.doi:10.1046/j.1471-1842.2001.00330.x) The accompanying text seems to have been paraphrased from Joseph Miller’s 1722 Botanicum Officinale.

1737 John Belchier received the Copley Medal, recognizing his novel introduction of madder (a red stain derived from Rubia tinctorum) to animal diets as a successful method to color bone as an aid to study of skeletal development. (Wikipedia, 2019)

1738 J. A. Külbel began his work on soil quality, stimulated by the offer of a prize onthis subject by the Royal Academy of Bordeaux. One of his conclusions (that was cited in the work of Linnaeus) was that humus content is important to soil fertility. (Morton,1981)

1738 John Bartram discovered populations of American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolia) growing near the Susquehanna River. The discovery added to the 1704 collections by Sarrazin and 1714 exportation of Canadian ginseng. It was sufficiently important to be announced by Bartram’s friend Benjamin Franklin in the 27 July edition of Pennsylvania Gazette. (Johnson, 2018) “We have the Pleasure of acquainting the World that the famous Chinese or Tartarian Plant, called Ginseng, is now discovered in this Province [colony], near Sasquehannah, from whence several whole Plants with a Quantity of the Root have been lately sent to Town,and it appears to agree most exactly with the Description given of it in Chambers’s Dictionary, and Père du Halde’sAccount of China. The Virtues ascrib’d to this Plant are wonderful.” (extracted from website, National Humanities Center Resource Toolbox Becoming American: The British Atlantic Colonies, 1690-1763)

1738 Dr. Thomas Bond (of Maryland, with a practice in Philadelphia) travelled to Paris to study with Jussieu at the Jardin du Roi. The Jardin’s living collection of North American plants was rich in American plants, such that Bond wrote to John Bartram: “My friend Jussieu tells me that I shall feel myself at home, by being amongst so many of my native plants, as brought from America by himself, in quest whereof he was sent by the King.” (Gilbert Chinard, 1957. “André and François-André Michaux and Their Predecessors. An Essay on Early Botanical Exchanges between America and France”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 101(4): 344-361)

1739 Gronovius published the first part of Flora virginica (the second part came in 1743). His work was based on collections made by John Clayton, an amateur botanist who moved to America in 1705 and served as Clerk of Gloucester County, Virginia. Flora virginica appears to be the earliest work by an author other than Linnaeus that followed the sexual system. Gronovius died in 1762; sixteen years later his herbarium was sold at public auction. (Stafleu, 1971)

1739 Eliza Lucas (later Eliza L. Pinckney), at the age of 16 and having moved to Charlestown, SC from Antigua only a year before, received a packet of indigo seed from Antigua, sent by her father. Persisting through a fascinating four seasons of disappointment because of crop failure and processing setbacks, Eliza produced South Carolina’s first commercial indigo in 1744. Within six years, the Carolinas were a significant source of indigo for English dyers. (Finlay, 2002)

1739 Buffon (Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon), at age 32, was appointed to oversee the Jardin du Roi, which was under the direction of Antoine de Jussieu. By this year the Jardin was in deplorable financial condition, Jussieu was forced to spend his own income to purchase and ship plants. Given his stature and goals, Buffon would lead the transformation of this garden and the creation of the Cabinet du Roi, all destined to become elements of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle. During redevelopment of the grounds, Jussieu began his famous rearrangement of plantings to reflect the natural order of the vegetable kingdom. (Duval, transl. 1982)

1739 An historical cultural tract was published by “Joseph Fume” entitled A Paper: – of Tobacco; Treating of the Rise, Progress, Pleasures, and Advantages of Smoking. With Anecdotes of Distinguished Smokers, Mems. on Pipes and Tobacco-boxes, and a Tritical Essay on Snuff. Dedicated to “ The Candid and Benevolent Smoker” the book proposes: “Though much has been written both for and against the use of tobacco, yet in no treatise on the subject that I am acquainted with, have the rise and progress of smoking been distinctly traced, or the real pleasures and advantages of the custom sufficiently set forth. To supply this defect is the object of the present paper ; which, though it also contains a few tritical observations on Snuff, is yet chiefly intended for the use and entertainment of smokers.” https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=NwoXAAAAYAAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP11

1739 About 500,000 people died in Ireland due, by one account, to widespread crop failure of potatoes. (Ponting, 1991) A more thorough account contends that the 1740-41 famine resulted from failure of the oat crop, accompanied by extremely cold weather during which stored potatoes were lost because they froze in outdoor storage pits. Ten years previously, the 1729 oat famine had engendered Jonathan Swift’s famous pamphlet entitled “A Modest Proposal.” The potato dry rot, cause of great famine a century later, did not appear in Ireland until after 1830. (Zuckerman, 1998) [See 1845]

1741 The President of the First Continental Congress, Henry Middleton, began creating his gardens at Middleton Place, South Carolina. (McGuire in Punch 1992)

1742 From Rio de Janeiro, the mango was introduced to the Barbados. (Sauer, 1993)

1742 From 1742-1745 Pehr Kalm explored North America, collecting plants for introduction to Sweden. His work resulted in a three volume publication, En Resa till Norra America, issued 1753-1761. (Stafleu, 1971)

1744 Rules were established for the game of cricket. Although several kinds of wood have been utilized to manufacture bats for this game, a variety of white willow (Salix alba var. caerulea) has proven to provide the best wood. Trees of this cricket bat willow are about 15 years old and around 20 meters tall when harvested. (Lewington, 1990)

1745 Pierre Poivre, recovering in Batavia from the loss of his right arm as result of injuries received when English seamen captured the French vessel on which he sailed from China, first conceived his plan to create a French spice trade. The plan involved cultivating stock plants of valuable tropical crops on two islands controlled by France, Mauritius and Reunion (which was called Bourbon Island), from whence they could be used to supply material around the world. His idea was supported in France, leading to establishment of the Jardin des Pamplemousses (the Grapefruit Garden) on Mauritius, at the former site of the Jardin de Montplaisir. By 1749 Poivre had begun sending material to the garden, everything from sweet peas to cacao. Under perilous circumstances, he eventually obtained his most important material, nutmeg from Manilla and clove trees from Timor. Poivre returned to France in 1757. (Duval, 1982) [See 1767]

1745 J. T. Needham observed that pollen grains burst open when placed in water. Seeing similar exploded grains on the stigmas of flowers he was examining, Needham concluded that the globular substance emitted by the pollen fertilized the ovules. Botanists had observed that the style is often filled with tissue, suggesting that a liquid, analogous to animal semen, would be necessary for fertilization from stigma to the ovules buried inside the pistil. Needham’s conclusions were accepted and promoted by Linnaeus. (Morton, 1981)

1746 John and Helen Mitchell boarded a ship for England, leaving their Virginia home, where John had become an important collector and expert in the North American flora. Their ship was raided en route and John’s extensive plant specimen collection was stolen and lost. Though discouraged, Mitchell remained active and productive in many realms. His 1755 map of British and French Dominions in North America was utilized as aprimary source in negotiating the Treaty of Paris. Linnaeus named the Rubiaceous genus Mitchella in his honor. (Reveal, 1992; Wikipedia)

1747 Bernard de Jussieu received seed of Sophora japonica from d’Incarville in Beijing, via Moscow. This shipment probably also included Koelreuteria paniculata.

1747 A process to extract sugar from beetroots was developed by Andreas Margraff. It was not until 1877 that a highly productive process would be devised. At the end of the 19th century, sugar beet production expanded greatly in the US. Through selection by specialists, the sugar content of beets increased from just 2% in the 19th century to over 20%. (Simpson, 1989)

1747 Dr. James Lind experimented with 12 sailors who had scurvy and discovered that consuming lemons and oranges for 6 days effected great improvement. Nearly 50 years passed before the British admiralty required that sailors receive daily lemon or lime juice. Scurvy is understood now to be a nutritional disease caused by lack of adequate Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of this vitamin. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996) [See 1937]

1747 In The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, Mark Catesby records the prevalence of fire as a management tool by native Americans: “In February and March the inhabitants have the custom of burning the woods, which causes such a continual smoke, that not knowing the cause it might be imagined to proceed from fog, or a natural thickness of the air.” (Williamson, 2006)

1748 Michel Adanson, a student of Bernard de Jussieu, arrived in Africa to collect until 1754.

1749 A near century old female specimen of the Mediterranean fan palm, Chamaerops humilis, had flowered for years in Berlin without fruiting. By 1751 Gleditsch reported that in 1749 he had applied pollen from a male plant grown in Leipzig to the flowers that remained fresh on one branch of the female plant. The seed produced proved viable, thus further confirming the male role of pollen. (Morton, 1981)

1750 Slaves from Africa were traded for gold and rum. At the African source, one hundred gallons of rum would purchase a male slave, 85 gallons an adult woman, and 65 gallons a child. At the same time, the average selling price for a slave delivered to the West Indies was £20 sterling. (Schlebecker, 1975)

1751 Given as the publication date for his Philosophia Botanica, this year marked the coming together of various lines of thought that Linnaeus had outlined in numerous earlier publications, beginning with Fundamenta Botanica and Bibliotheca botanica in 1736. The first chapter dealt with the development of botany as a study, denoting various sorts of people who had contributed to the science. Categories included every kind, from phytologists (authors) and botanophili (amateurs) to adonides (professors), ichniographi (illustrators), commentators, describers, monographers, methodici (systematists), institutores (textbook authors), sexualists (himself, alone), and eristici (the controversial ones). The fifth chapter explained his understanding of sex as an essential basis for understanding plant life. Fundamental opinions of his were expressed in such statements as: “We hold that in the beginning there were created a single sexual pair of every species of living beings” and “Omne vivum ex ovo” (all life springs from eggs). At one point Linnaeus compares the floral calyx to a nuptial bed, the corolla to its curtains, but also, “the calyx might be regarded as the labia majora or the foreskin; one could regard the corolla as the labia minora.” (Stafleu, 1971)

1751 Philip Miller (of the Chelsea Physic Garden) planted tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) seed received from French Jesuit Father, Pierre Nicholas le Cheron d’Incarville, stationed at the mission in Beijing. Once introduced to North America (the first time by William Hamilton in 1784), this tree would escape and become quite common – even invasive. In popular culture, it is the “tree that grew in Brooklyn.” (Spongberg, 1990) [For Hamilton, see 1770]

1751 Pehr Kalm, a Linnean student and botanical explorer, noted that Native Americans treated eye diseases with a concoction of water in which witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) had been boiled. The common name for this plant, however, did not arise from that connection. In England, an elm (Ulmus glabra) is called the witch hazel tree because its branches are used for dowsing, also called witching. The wood of that tree also serves for the manufacture of bows. Once settlers learned that the American Indians used Hamamelis for making bows, they began to call it by the same common name as the English elm. Transferred along with the name were the associated traditions, so that the American plant called witch hazel is today the popular choice for dowsers in this country. (Connor, 1994) [See 1866]

1751 First printed record of Chinese cabbage and Chinese mustard in England.

1752 Joseph G. Kölreuter (a medical student in Tübingen) published his survey of studies of sex in plants that had been reported since Camerarius first suggested plant sexuality in his Epistola. Kölreuter had almost certainly been a student of S. G. Gmelin (a professor at Tübingen), who had republished Camerarius’s work and appended his own lectures calling for increased dedication to experimental work on this subject. (Morton, 1981) [See 1760; 1761]

1753 Linnaeus’ Species Plantarum established a new standard for plant classification as well as nomenclature. This treatise eventually became recognized as the beginning point for today’s binomial nomenclature.(HNT)

1754 To protect wheat crops from rust, the Province of Massachusetts enacted anti-barberry legislation: “to prevent damage to English grain arising from barberry bushes in the vicinity of grain fields.” This could be the earliest American legislation established to control plant diseases. (Hedrick, 1950)

1755 Henrietta Saint-John Knight issued a magnificent rebuke to poet William Shenstone concerning his failure to visit her and her garden: “The elms are green in vain: in vain the cucumbers are large, and as vainly the Shrubbery shoots out, and the Coppice has a carpet of primrose, cowslips, &c. Let them reproach you.” Their communication, over a period of several years, details developments in the landscape at his garden, The Leasowes, and in hers at Barrels. Shenstone is given credit for coining the terms “landscape garden” and “shrubbery,” the latter appearing frequently in correspondence relative to Knight’s garden. (Laird, 1999)

1756 The British government purchased the right to export 600,000 Russian trees each year to supply the Royal Navy. (Ponting, 1991)

1757 Elizabeth Blackwell’s Curious Herbal (1735-1737) was republished. One of the plates (and accompanying description) detailed a ginger, Amomum verum, which Joseph Miller held in his apothecary and had included in his 1722 publication, Botanicum offinale. Because 1753 (publication of Linnaeus’s Species Plantarum) is the starting point for botanical nomenclature, the first valid publication of A. verum was with Blackwell’s 1757 reprint. Description of A. verum, therefore, appears to constitute the earliest valid publication of a plant scientific name by a woman author.

1758 John Bartram wrote to Philip Miller, appending a list he had composed of pernicious weeds that had been introduced:  “A brief account of those Plants that are most troublesome in our pastures and fields in Pennsylvania, most of which were brought from Europe.”  It begins:“The most mischievous of these is, first, the stinking yellow Linaria. It is the most hurtful plant to our pastures that can growin our northern climate. Neither the spade, plough, nor hoe, can eradicate it, when it is spread in a pasture. Every little fibre that is left, will soon increase prodigiously; nay, some people have rolled great heaps of logs upon it, and burnt them to ashes, whereby the earth was burnt half a foot deep, yet it put up again, as fresh as ever, covering the ground so close as not to let any grass grow amongst it; and the cattle can’t abide it.” Also: “The common English Hypericum (H. perforatum, L.) is a very pernicious weed. It spreads over whole fields, and spoils their pasturage, not only by choking the grass, but infecting our horses and sheep with scabbed noses and feet, especially those that have white hair on their face and legs.” And: “The Scotch Thistle (Cirsium horridulum) is a very trouble-some weed, along our sea-coast. The people say, a Scotch minister brought with him a bed stuffed with thistledown, in which was contained some seed. The inhabitants, having plenty of feathers, soon turned out the down, and filled the bed with feathers. The seed coming up, filled that part of the country with Thistles.”

In this same note, one could also qualify Bartram with early observation and documentation of ecology and dispersal. Read the following account: “We have another weed, called Cotton Groundsel (Erechtites hieracifolia, Raf.), which grows with us six or seven feet high, and the stalk at bottom, near as thick as my wrist, in our new cleared land after the first ploughing, in the spring, or in our marshes, the year after they are drained and cleared. It grows there all over, so close that there is no passing along without breaking it down, to walk or ride through it ; but in old fields, or meadows, there is notone stalk to be seen. Now, if we put the question, how comes this to grow so prodigiously on the new land ploughed ground, and perhaps not one root growing within several miles, the answer is very ready: it is natural to new land and not to old. But our philosophers say, that every plant is produced from the seed of the same species  but how came the small seed of this plant there, in such quantities as to fill a field or meadow of one hundred acres as full of plants as they can stand?

One day when the sun shone bright, a little after its meridian, my Billy was looking up at it, when he discovered an innumerable quantity of downy motes floating in the air, between him and the sun. He immediately called me out of my study, to see what they were. They rose higher and lower, as they were wafted to and fro in the air, some very high and progressive with a fine breeze, some lowered, and fell into my garden, where we observed every particular detachment of down, spread in four or five rays, with a seed of the Groundsel in its centre.carried by that breeze, can’t be known ; but I think they must have come near two miles, from a meadow, to reach my garden. As these are annual plants, they do but little harm in the country.” (William Darlington, 1849. Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall, with Notices of their Botanical Contemporaries, Philadelphia)

1759 The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was established on the property belonging to the Dowager Princess of Wales. This institution was to remain a private activity of the royal family for 82 years.

1760 In the decade following 1760, over 20,000 Irish workers emigrated from seaports at Ulster. Most of these people moved to North America, voyaging on the same ships that had brought flax from the new world to linen mills in Ulster. Many of the emigrants were skilled linen weavers. A sharp decline in the linen market in 1770 exacerbated the situation, and led to emigration of over 30,000 more Irish in the next few years. (Zuckerman,1998)

1760 Kew received one of its first tropical orchids Epidendrum rigidum; Kew received Vanilla sp. by 1765

1760 Governor Arthur Dobbs discovered Venus Fly-trap in North Carolina and sent a description to Collinson, in England. (Ewan, 1969) [See 1768]

1760 Joseph Kölreuter began his numerous experiments in hybridization, using Nicotiana paniculata and Nicotiana rustica. His thorough and detailed studies using many different plant groups created the basis for much of our modern understanding of plant biology, from phenomena of pollination to the nature of inheritance. (Morton, 1981)

1760 Daniel Carl Solander, a student of Linnaeus, arrived in England to work in the British Museum, later to serve as librarian to Joseph Banks. Solander attended Banks on Cook’s first voyage in the Endeavor. (Stafleu, 1971)

1761 Kölreuter reported his work on the role of insects in pollination. His detailed descriptions of insect activity and floral structure instructed botanists on the mechanisms and significance of insect pollination, and led directly to the work of Sprengel. (Morton, 1981) (HNT) [See 1716 & 1877]

1761 John Hill established an association between tobacco snuff and malignant (and fatal) nose polyps. (Lewis & Elvin-Lewis, 1977)

1761 By this year British land grants in New England had long required that pine trees, most notably white pine, that were suitable as ship masts be conserved – to be cut only under license by the crown. Appointed surveyors marked trees to be protected with the “king’s broad arrow,” a triangular scar. This decree, among many others, greatly perturbed American colonists. The first flag used by Revolutionaries bore the image of a single white pine – representing the state of Massachusetts. [See 1652 & 1792] (Rupp, 1990)

1763 Michel Adanson’s Familles des plantes represented the first general attempt to group plants based on their relatedness, a “natural system.” The entry for each of his natural families presents a variety of characters common to the group. Much of Adanson’s work provided important foundation for Genera plantarum, published in 1789 by his associate Antoine Laurent de Jussieu. (Morton, 1981) (HNT)

1764 The spinning jenny was invented by James Hargreaves. [See 1733]

1765 The Bartrams discovered the Franklin tree. Not until another trip, in 1773, would the younger Bartram collect seed in the only known population, near Fort Barrington, GA. In 1774, the supporter of this trip, John Fothergill, presented seedlings to Kew. Publication of William’s travel accounts was completed by 1781, but awaited identification of plants from specimens he had sent to Fothergill. At Fothergill’s death in 1780, his herbarium was purchased by Joseph Banks. (Spongberg, 1990)

1765 Samuel Bard (of Philadelphia) completed his thesis at The University of Edinburgh, defending his thesis: Bard’s thesis, ‘De viribus opii’, in May. Bard’s study considered opium’s effects on humans, having studied this through personal experimentation and examination of the impact of opium on his college roommate. Returning to the US, Bard became George Washington’s personal physician, and later one New York’s most prominent doctors. He founded the King’s College (now Columbia University) school of medicine. (Johnson, 2018; Wikipedia, 2019; Our History, the University of Edinburgh website.)

1766 Joseph Banks explored Newfoundland and Labrador, charting waters and making collections.

1766 A colonial garden was established on St. Vincent, receiving mango trees as well as East Indian spice trees. (Sauer, 1993)

1766 Peonies and iris are said to have been first planted in Missouri by the Chouteau family, who brought the plants from Illinois. French settlers were the first to establish permanent settlements in Missouri (in St. Genevieve in 1755). (Edith Sinclair in Slosson, 1951)

1767 Pierre Poivre again was sent by France to Mauritius, as general intendant. The following year Poivre brought over his nephew, Pierre Sonnerat, who became a notable botanical explorer. Early in his career Sonnerat collected and transplanted the famous double coconut to the Mauritius garden from the Seychelles. Over the following two decades, Sonnerat contributed to our understanding of many tropical plants (such as dragon’s blood, breadfruit, banana, and cavalam), but his greatest energies were dedicated to the study of palms. (Duval, 1982)[See 1745]

1768 John Ellis published Dionaea muscipula, the full scientific name and an account of the Venus Flytrap (also dubbed Tipitiwitchet) in the 1 September issue of The St. James Chronicle, a London newspaper. With its scientific name having been translated as Aphrodite’s mousetrap, one might expect a larger plant that the flytrap, but this magical plant inspired great admiration, observation, and conjecture over the years. (Mabey, 2015)

1769 Sweet oranges were established at San Diego mission. In 1804 the first sizable citrus orchard in California was established at the San Gabriel mission.

1769On 3 August, Portola’s Sacred Expedition had reached the Los Angeles basin, causing Father Juan Crespi to record in his journal: “After crossing the river we entered a large vineyard of wild grapes and an infinity of rosebushes in full bloom.  All the soil is black and loamy, and is capable of producing every kind of grain and fruit which may be planted.” (Pinney, 2017) By 10 October, Portola’s exploration of the California coast reached low hills forested by very tall trees that were red in color. This became the first recorded siting of the coast redwoods. [See 1784] (Rupp,1990)

1769 An early North American newspaper, the Boston Newsletter, published encouragement for people to recycle their rags for the manufacture of paper, including the poem:

Rags are as beauties, which concealed lie, 
But when in paper how it charms the eye,
Pray save your rags, new beauties to discover,
For paper, truly, everyone’s a lover.
By the pen and the press such knowledge is displayed,
As wouldn’t exist if paper was not made.

American paper manufacturers would rely on importation of rags until the use of wood pulp became common. Most of the rags were likely linen, since production of paper using cotton did not become a common source of paper fiber until the following century. (Connor, 1994; McCrady, 1992) [See 1840]

1769 On receiving plants of Venus Flytrap from introductions collected the same year by British botanist William Young, John Ellis sent a description to Linnaeus. The following year, Ellis published Directions for bringing over seeds and plants, from the East Indies, documenting his work on the Venus Flytrap, which he named Dionaea muscipula., providing the earliest known illustration. (Wikipedia, 2019; see also Oak Spring Garden Foundation website: From the Library, 25 August 2017, which library holds the manuscript letter from Ellis to Linnaeus)

c1770 William Hamilton built his magnificent 300 acre estate, The Woodlands, near Philadelphia. His interest in importing exotic plants made the grounds, landscaped in European style, a center for future plant introductions to US gardens.

1770 Australia was “discovered” by the British (though the Dutch had already named the area New Holland and had experienced at least 15 landings since 1606.) James Cook set out in the Endeavor on a scientific mission in 1768, with the young naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Charles Solander (a pupil of Linnaeus), as well as artists. On 29 April 1770, the ship stood into Botany Bay (an oceanic embayment 13 km south of Sydney), which Cook originally called Sting Ray Harbor – until the great collection of new plants by Banks and Solander provoked him to change the name.

1770 An entire year’s supply of nutmeg and cloves was destroyed in Amsterdam with the goal of maintaining high prices. Beginning in the 17th century Dutch traders had gained control of spice production in the Moluccas (at the expense of the Portuguese). Short supply kept prices high enough to create fortunes. (Root, 1980) [See 1602; 1605]

1770 Joseph Priestly coined the name “rubber” for the natural latex of the South American tree Hevea brasiliensis, noting it is “a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper the marks of a black lead pencil.” Rubber was first introduced to Europe in 1744 by Charles Marie de la Condamine. (Lewington, 1990)

1770 John Hill published The construction of timber, from its early growth: explained by the microscope.  Hill’s work is recognized as constituting the most serious application of microscopy to plant material in the 18th century. He is said to be the first researcher to systematically use stains, and to employ clearing techniques. (Smith, 1915) Hill isalso remembered for his cantankerous relationship to members of the Royal Society, which resulted in many scathing responses. One injured party, David Garrick penned: “For physics and farces, his equal there scarce is; His farces are physic, his physic a farce is.” (Wikipedia,2018)

1771 By this year the Prince Nursery on Long Island offered 42 varieties of pear.

1772 Carl Pieter Thunberg and Francis Masson arrived in South Africa independently (though they often collected together). Masson would send over 500 plant species to Kew. Thunberg’s study was mainly scientific, but he sent such specialties to Sweden as the strelitzia. [See 1652]

1772 Joseph Banks was appointed scientific advisor for the royal gardens by George III.

1772 An uprising against British authority in New England, the Pine Tree Riot, resulted from the levying of fines on a New Hampshire man for cutting what were determined to be the King’s pines. (Connor, 1994) [See 1772]

1773 Americans were displeased by a 3% tax imposed by the English Parliament on tea and other products. That small tax added to a 100% import duty that all English subjects already paid on tea, and led to an increase in smuggling of tea from Holland. Loss of business for the London-based John Company resulted in the Tea Act of 1773, which eliminated the 100% tax – meaning the Dutch would be undersold. Even though this change represented a savings for American tea drinkers, the monopoly granted to the John Company continued to carry a 3% tax for colonists who had no representation in Parliament. The uniting of American colonists resulted in some ships being turned away at their ports, but for others (in Boston, Greenwich, Charleston, Philadelphia, New York, Annapolis, and Edenton), boarding parties threw consignments of tea into the sea. (Pratt, 1982) On the evening of 16 December, American colonists boarded the ships Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver, which were docked at the harbor in Boston, and threw 120,000 lbs of tea into the bay. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1773 French explorer Pierre Poivre’s plan to take propagation material of spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper) from the Dutch controlled Molucca Islands to Mauritius and Reunion succeeded in breaking the Dutch monopoly. [See 1770] (Root, 1980) [For earlier dating, See 1745, in which Duval notes that Poivre returned to France in 1772, where he remained at La Freta (his estate) until his death in 1786]

1773 Through the following decade, Maarten Houttuyn published his 37 volume Natuurlijke Historie of uitvoerige Beschr ving der Dieren, Planten en Mineraalen, volgens het Samenstel van der Heer Linnaeus. Fourteen volumes (8600 pages with 125 copperplate illustrations) were dedicated to plants. The compilation was an elaboration of Linnaeus’s Systema natura. (Stafleu, 1971)

1773 Antoine-Agustine Parmentier published Examen chimique des pommes de terre, dans lequel on traite des parties constituantes du froment et du riz [Chemical examination of potatoes dealing with the constituting parts of wheat and rice.) Continued interest in, and promotion of potatoes meant that Parmentier’s name became synonymous with these tubers. [See 1789]

1774 Joseph Priestley reported (Experiments and observations on different kinds of air, HNT) that burning a candle in a closed container changes the quality of the atmosphere so the flame is extinguished. Animals placed in that environment quickly die. A living sprig of mint renews the air so a candle will once again burn. Today we know that the non-flammable air is carbon dioxide; growing a plant in such an environment replenishes the oxygen which is necessary to sustain life. On learning of his results, Benjamin Franklin, a correspondent of Priestley’s, commented in a letter: “I hope this [rehabilitation of air by plants] will give some check to the rage of destroying trees that grow near houses, which has accompanied our late improvements in gardening from an opinion of their being unwholesome.” [See 1604]

1774 In October of this year, Priestley and his employer met with Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, perhaps the most famous chemist of all time. Priestley described a new gas he had discovered (through heating mercuric oxide) that supported a brighter flame than normal air. He termed this new gas dephlogisticated air. Lavoisier would soon give this new gas the name oxygen. (Cobb and Goldwhite, 1995) [See 1777] Though Priestley receives credit for describing the gas that would become known as oxygen, Polish alchemist Michael Sendivogius produced the “elixir of life” in 1604 by heating Chilean saltpeter (potassium nitrate – note there is much confusion in the internet as to whether Chilean saltpeter is potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate) – a reaction that liberates oxygen. (Schwarcz, 2005)

1774 Thomas Jefferson planted olive cuttings at Monticello – unsuccessfully. In 1791, he sent several hundred cuttings from France to South Carolina, only to be disappointed by the lack of commercialization. He was unaware that the Padres who established missionsin California had planted olives there by1769.

1774 The bleaching effect of chlorine was discovered. This replaced much more complex and less effective methods previously used to eliminate the natural color of plant fibers used for yarn and cloth. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)

1775 Carl Pieter Thunberg arrived at Nagasaki harbor to work at Deshima with the Dutch East India Company. Thunberg received medical training in Sweden, and had been a student of Linnaeus. He was surprised to learn he had considerable freedom to collect dried specimens of plants on the Japanese mainland around Nagasaki. There he collected Hovenia dulcis and Rosa rugosa. Thunberg returned to Europe in 1776, having essentially smuggled his specimens out of Japan. He published Flora Japonica in 1784. (Spongberg, 1990)

1775 Frenchman Mathieu du Tillet studied agricultural problems as a serious avocation. In one study, he examined the wheat smut disease that caused problems for local farmers. In this year he published field experiments through which he demonstrated that the black smut (a dust) could infect new wheat plants. Once the fungus was identified, researchers described the genus as Tilletia. Clear proof for the fungal source of smut came in 1807 through the work of Swiss researcher Benedict Prevost. Prevost’s work was rejected and ignored for forty years, partly due to the lack of understanding that plant diseases could be caused by microorganisms. (Arthur Kelman, lecture 4 inFrey, 1994)

1775 With the death of physic gardener Ephraim Potter, the family business was assumed by his son James and daughter Anne. James Potter eventually took his nephew James Moore (son to Anne Potter Moore and her husband Benjamin) into partnership, establishing the familiar firm of Potter and Moore. By the end of the 18th century Potter and Moore had 250 acres under cultivation in Surrey, England. (Sanecki, 1992)

1776 Juan Bautista de Anza (Spanish explorer) arrived at a river in the Santa Clara Valley (near Half Moon Bay), which his party named the Guadalupe River. Confirming the site as good for a mission, de Anza made his 30 March journal entry: “To this arroyo or river we gave the name of Guadalupe [sp. Gaudalupe??]. It has abundant and good timber of cottonwood, ash, willow, and other kinds. In all directions there is a great abundance of firewood, and likewise agricultural lands for raising crops by natural humidity, or by irrigation if the river is permanent, as we conjecture, in which case it would make possible a large settlement.” (Quote from the ULISTAC Natural Area Restoration Project website, Santa Clara University Environmental Studies Institute, 04.02.29)

1777 Lavoisier published his conclusion that all acids include the purist portion of air, which he called oxygen, adapted from Greek to imply the substance makes acids. (We know today that not all acids contain oxygen.) Oxygen was the gas that Priestley had earlier isolated and studied, and named dephlogisticated air. Lavoisier would later demonstrate that phlogiston does not exist, which means that reduction (metals losing weight upon heating) does not result from the combination of metal with phlogiston, rather from the driving off of oxygen. (Cobb and Goldwhite, 1995) [See 1774]

1777 Carl Peter Thunberg, who eventually would occupy Linnaeus’s chair at Uppsala, was appointed botanical demonstrator at the botanical gardens. This followed seven years of travel and collecting in Europe, South Africa, Ceylon, Japan, and the East Indies. His work in Japan, because it was with Dutch merchants who held sole access to that country, required a stay in Java to learn the Dutch language. (Stafleu, 1971)

1777 After his arrival in Paris, Benjamin Franklin contacted his friend John Bartram concerning wartime interruption in the capacity to send seed to Europe: “My old dear Friend, The communication between Britain and North America being cut off, the French botanists cannot, in that channel be supplied as formerly with American seeds, etc. If you, or one of your sons, incline to continue that business, you may, I believe, send the same number of boxes here that you used to send to England; because England will then send here, for what it wants in that way. Inclosed is a list of the sorts wished for here. If you consign them to me, I will take care of the sale, and return, for you. There will be no difficulty in the importation, as the matter is countenanced by the Ministry, from whom I received the list. My love to Mrs. Bartram, and your children. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately. B. Franklin.” (Gilbert Chinard, 1957. “André and François- André Michaux and Their Predecessors. An Essay on Early Botanical Exchanges between America and France”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 101 (4): 344-361)

1778 Joseph Banks began his 42-year stint as president of the Royal Society.

1778 John Fothergill brought Cymbidium ensifolium andPhaius tankervilliae to England from China. These are the first Asiatic orchids to appear in England.

1779 Jan Ingenhousz’s Experiments upon vegetables… (HNT) demonstrated that plants produce oxygen in sunlight and carbon dioxide in darkness. These observations added to studies by his friend Priestley, but unlike Priestley, who was interested primarily in the nature of gases, Ingenhousz was concerned with the physiology of plants.

1779 From his jail cell, in a letter dated 9 May, the marquis de Sade wrote to his wife: “I asked…for a cake with icing, but I want it to be chocolate and black inside from chocolate as the devil’s ass is black from smoke. And the icing to be the same.” (Coe and Coe, 1996)

1779 Opposing Austrian and Prussian armies came to a stalemate in Bohemia when both armies consumed the local potato stores to depletion. The resulting lack of food combined with cold weather forced a retreat of both sides. Today this War of Bavarian Succession is still sometimes called “The Potato War.” (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)

1779 Ned Ludd is said to have destroyed a stocking frame, and by that action initiated uprisings among textile workers against machination of textile processes that were significant changes allied with the industrial revolution. The rejection of industrialization led to the term “Luddites”, which was later adopted as a catch-phrase for people who are not early adopters of technologies.(Wikipedia)

1780 John Hannon, financed by Dr. James Baker, started the first chocolate factory in the US in Dorchester, Mass. (Fussell, 1986) James Baker later founded Baker’s Chocolate.

1780 John Fraser traveled from England to Canada to collect plants; he entered US territory in 1785, receiving financial support from William Forsyth (Curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden), William Aiton (Head Gardener at Kew) and James Smith (President of the Linnean Society). He returned to America in 1788 and again in 1796. Fraser (and son) returned yet later as collectors for the Russian Czar and Czarina. Their work was commemorated through plant names, Fraser fir and Fraser magnolia.

1780 Thomas Minton, a potter’s apprentice, originated the pattern we call Blue Willow. (Rupp, 1990)

1780 Englishman Philip Luckombe commented concerning Ireland that: “landlords first get all that is made of the land, and the tenants, for their labor, get poverty and potatoes.” (Zuckerman, 1998)

1782 Oliver Evans contracted to build a flour mill on Red Clay Creek, north of Wilmington, Delaware. His “improvements” produced the first automated mill. One person could run an automated mill and produce 20 barrels of flour in a day. Ordinary mills required one person for ten barrels. (Storck & Teague, 1952)

1783 Lavoisier verified conclusions by Cavendish, Priestley, and Watt that water is the sole product when an inflammable air (hydrogen) is burned in oxygen. Though he failed to give full credit to other workers, Lavoisier was indeed the first to see that water is not an element, rather a combination of oxygen and another element. That second element was the inflammable air, which he named hydrogen, the producer of water. (Cobb and Goldwhite, 1995)

1783 José Celestino Mutis (a Spanish citizen who had moved to Bogota, Colombia in 1761 to serve as a physician) was successful in gaining support for a new “expedition” – an enterprise dedicated to documenting the region’s flora. Over the next three decades, Mutis was employed and trained local peoples to paint several thousand spectacular and botanically-realistic paintings of local plants. The collection is held by the Real Jardín Botaníco de Madrid. (Bleichmar, 2017; Wikipedia)

1784 William Hamilton introduced ginkgo, Acer platanoides, and tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) to his garden near Philadelphia (the tree of heaven had first been planted in Europe by Miller at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1751). Tree of heaven is now a major weed tree for eastern North America, and is “The Tree” that grew in Brooklyn. (Spongberg, 1990) [See 1770]

1784 David Landreth, along with his brother Cuthbert, established North America’s first substantial seed house in Philadelphia. D. Landreth & Co. was the country’s most important seed merchant for many years. (Hedrick, 1950)

1784 Thunberg published Flora Japonica. [see 1775]

1784 Junipero Serra died and was interred beneath the floor of Mission San Carlos Borrome in Carmel – in a redwood coffin. [See 1769] (Rupp, 1990)

1784 England’s Commutation Act reduced duty on tea from 119% to 12.5%, effecting an immediate change in both smuggling and adulteration. Tax revenue was replaced through a new tax on the number of window panes in the owner’s house. Revocation of that tax,in the next century, figured into the growth of greenhouses for exotic plants. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1784 Antoine-Agustin Parmentier sent his contribution, Memoire sur le Maïs, to the Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts of Bordeaux. Publication by the Academy (in 1785) greatly increased interest in Corn (Zea mays) cultivation in Europe.

1785 Thomas Jefferson visited the Jardin du Roi and presented seed from North America to André Thouin. The two men became lifelong correspondents. Over the next four decades Thouin sent packages of seed to Jefferson yearly. Following this visit, American authorities allowed the French botanist André Michaux to explore their newly settled country. (Duval, 1982)

1785 André Michaux arrived in Manhattan to begin his botanical journeys for the King for France. (Gilbert Chinard, 1957. “André and François-André Michaux and Their Predecessors. An Essay on Early Botanical Exchanges between America and France”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 101(4): 344-361; See Also: http://www.michaux.org/michaux.htm)

1785 While in the Southeastern US, André Michaux encountered wild populations of Cherokee rose, which he believed to be native. The plant appears to have come to North America with early Spanish explorers or settlers, as it is native to China, and had been cultivated in Moslem countries. Similarly, when William Penn acquired Penn’s Woods from the Indians, he found they were already cultivating the peach (another China native) in their gardens. [See 1663]

1785 Culminating four years of study and collection in Peru for the Jardin des plantes in Paris, Joseph Dombey began his return journey. In Cadiz his material was confiscated by the Spanish under demand that it be shared. By the time Dombey arrived in Paris, most of his collections and notes were lost. Material confiscated by Spain was incorporated into the scientific production of Ruiz and Pavon. Dombey fell victim to French revolutionary fervor. Imprisoned by counter revolutionaries upon his arrival on the remote isle of Guadeloupe, he died of maltreatment. (Duval,1982)

1785 William Withering, an English country doctor, published An Account of the Foxglove and Some of Its Medical Uses: With Practical Remarks on Dropsy and Other Diseases. His study began in 1775 when asked to investigate a home remedy for dropsy. The active principals, digitoxins, in foxglove both slow heart rate and increase the strength of each heart beat. This improves circulation and therefore alleviates edema – which is the basis for dropsy. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)  Withering had learned about digitalis as a component of herbal treatments from herbalist Mother Hutton, a Shropshire resident. As a result of trial and error in treating his own patients with the different plants in the herbal tea, he deduced that Digitalis leaves provided the active ingredient. One patient, who had been referred by Physician Erasmus Darwin, improved. Darwin reported results of that treatment to the London College of Physicians in his paper “An Account of the Successful Use of Foxglove in Some Dropsies and in Pulmonary Consumption”. The outcome of the collaborations proved unfortunate, with each professional accusing the other of impropriety. This was particularly awkward, since Darwin had, in 1775, been the person to recommend Withering assume his successful medical practice – and both men were among the very few members of London’s Lunar Society. (Wikipedia, 2015) http://www.historyofscience.com/articles/jmnorman-william-withering.php

1785 For powering spinning operations, the Robinsons of Papplewick, Nottinghamshire, installed the first steam engine made for a cotton mill.

1785 Dr. Edward Bancroft was awarded exclusive rights by the British Parliament to use the yellow coloring agent which he had extracted from black oak (Quercus velutina) and named quercitron, for the dyeing and printing of fabrics. Taken from the inner bark of the tree, this dye remained commercially available for over 200 years. (Rupp, 1990)

1785 Benjamin Franklin returned to the US after serving as ambassador to France for over nine years. Chaptal (in his 1823 book, see TL 1835) reports, perhaps apocryphally: “The use of plaster, or gypsum, which has become common in Europe as a source of manure, is one of the most important improvements that has ever been made in agriculture. It has even been introduced to America, where it was made known by Franklin upon his return from Paris. As this celebrated philosopher wished that the effects of this manure should strike the gaze of all cultivators, he wrote in great letters, formed by the use of ground plaster, in a field of clover lying on the great road to Washington, “This has been plastered.” The prodigious vegetation which was developed in the plastered portion led him to adopt this method. Volumes upon the excellences of plaster would not have produced so speedy a revolution. From that period the Americans have imported great quantities of plaster of Paris.” Whether true or not, it is a great story.

1786 On 3 November, André Michaux purchased a plot of land, 111 acres, 10 miles from Charleston, SC, to collect and grow plants. Over 8 years, Michaux would ship 60,000 plants and 90 boxes of seed to France for distribution. (Gilbert Chinard, 1957. “André and François-André Michaux and Their Predecessors. An Essay on Early Botanical Exchanges between America and France”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 101(4): 344-361)

1787 Publication began for Botanical Magazine by William Curtis, the world’s longest- running journal, dedicated to introducing exotic plants to an avid audience. Curtis resigned his position as Demonstrator in Botany for the Chelsea Physic Garden to produce this series.

1787 Spencer Turner established his Holloway Down Nursery in Essex, England. Among his earliest inventories was a seedling oak, an apparent hybrid he had cultivated since1783. It isn’t clear how this plant, now called Quercus ×turneri, was determined to be a hybrid between Quercus robur and Quercus ilex (though oaks are noted for their infidelity); but the account in The Trees of Great Britain and Ireland (Elwes and Henry, 1906-1913) describes it as a found seedling while Willis and Fry (2014) state the seedling was “bred” by “Kew nurseryman” Turner in 1783.  Regardless, the Turner Oak gained notoriety when a grafted specimen was planted at Kew in 1798. In the great windstorm of 16 October 1987, the oak was lifted from the ground, after which it fell back, vertically, meaning itwas not one of the 15 million trees lost during that storm – rather the experience proved curative. Following the storm the uprooted tree was mulched into place while other, more pressing cleanup moved ahead. The result was that Kew’s Turner Oak, which had been in decline actually improved. Kew arborist Tony Kirkham suggests the newly-provided aeration and drainage for it root system rescued the tree from two centuries of soil compaction caused by the tens of thousands of visitors. The incident also instigated changes in how Kew’s trees are planted and the forest soils maintained. (Willis and Fry, 2104; see also the website monumentaltrees.com, which documents locations for other grafted examples)

1788 Jean Senebier, in his Expériences sur l’action de la lumi re solaire dans la végétation (HNT) established the relationship between the presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the production of oxygen by plants. His studies built on the work of Ingenhousz. [See 1779]

1789 Captain Bligh was relieved of his authority on the Bounty shortly after water-starved sailors cast 1,000 breadfruit plants (that required fresh water to survive and were being transported from Tahiti to provide a food crop for slaves in the West Indies) into the ocean. By 1793 the Providence had accomplished delivery.

1789 Aiton’s Hortus Kewensis recorded 15 exotic species of orchid at Kew. They were:

Bletia verecunda, Epidendrum fragrans, Epidendrum cochleatum, Phaius grandifolius (syn. P. tankervilliae), Cypripedium spectabilis, Cypripedium acaule, Liparis liliifolia, Calopogon pulchellus, Habenaria fimbriata, Arethusa bulbosa, Satyrium carneum, Satyrium coriifolium, Bartholina pectinata, Serapias lingua, and Nigritella angustifoliaEpidendrum cochleatum was the first epiphytic orchid known to have bloomed at Kew, in 1789. (Reinikka, 1972)

1789 Antoine Laurent de Jussieu achieved a workable system of naming and grouping plants in his Genera plantarum, by combining Linnaeus’s nomenclature with Adanson’s natural system of classification. His treatment provided the basis for the system of classifying plants we use today. The book was published in Paris – during the same year as the beginning of the French Revolution.

1789 Antoine-Augustin Parmentier published his Traité sur la culture et les usages des Pommes de terre, de la Patate, et du Topinambour – confirming his most active support for use of potatoes sweet potatoes, and sunchokes. In France today, his name remains associated with the culinary importance of potatoes. [See 1773]

1789 An impressive topographical map of France, 33 by 34 feet in size, was completed through work of the Paris Observatory, using astronomical methods. Its production relied on the dedicated genius of three generations of the Cassini family. (Jardine, 1999)

1789 Lavoisier published his important treatise, Traité élémentaire de chimie, in which 33 elements were listed and much terminology proposed. In 1794 Lavoisier was executed, one of the many phenomenal tragedies of the French Revolution. (Cobb and Goldwhite, 1995)

1789 A chewy resin, a mastic, extracted from Pistacia lentiscus from the Greek island of Chios off the Turkish coast, was used traditionally for varnishes, and even for chewing.But by the 1760s artists had begun to use a new formulation called megilp, which was a mastic jelly made from combining the extract with linseed oil. Joshua Reynolds, who had become an ardent supporter of the new varnishing compound used this to increase the sense of thick layering of oil paints on a painting commissioned by Noel Desenfans, a copy of his famous portrait of Sarah Siddons completed five years before. The compound was found to degrade over time, discoloring paintings on which it was used, and was soon abandoned as a varnish. (Finlay,2002)

1789 Persistent is an appropriate word for Thaddeus (Tadeáš Peregrinus Xaverius Haenke) Haenke. Destined to become the first Ph.D. research professional to investigate the California flora, the journey began when he missed the boat (the Malaspina Expedition) that left Cadiz, Spain on 30July. Hoping to catch up with the expedition, he boarded another ship to Uruguay, a ship that wrecked near land. Swimming ashore, Haenke managed to preserve only his collecting equipment and copy of Linnaeus’s Genera Plantarum. Having again missed Malaspina, Haenke journeyed the 800 miles across Argentina and Chile, encountering Malaspina in Chile, where (along with the 1,1000 specimens he had collected in South America) he set sail with the expedition for the Arctic. On those travels, Haenke was the first person to collect herbarium samples of the Coast Redwood (which he called a Red Cypress) in 1791. Viable seed from his collections made the trip back to Spain, and a Coast Redwood recorded at the Alhambra in 1926 was validated as originating with seed from the Malaspina Expedition.  On the return journey, in 1793, Haenke decided to repeat his land crossing of South America, walking from Chile to Uruguay, determined to reunite with Malaspina for the expedition departure to Spain. Missing that sailing (on 21 June 1794), Haenke remained in South America. Living in Bolivia and continuing field work until his death in 1816, Haenke made important finds, including the 1801 first scientific documentation of the Giant Water Lily, Victoria amazonica. (Beidleman, 2006; Aniśko, 2013)

1789 Baptist Reverend Elijah Craig of Scott County, Kentucky, is given credit for first aging Kentucky corn whiskey, thus creating America’s first bourbon whiskey.(Fussell, 1992)

1789 Ginkgo was planted at Pierce Arboretum (now part of Longwood Gardens) in Kennett Square, PA. By 1968 that tree was 105 ft. tall and about 13 ft dbh. (Ewan, 1969)

1789 Thomas Jefferson, newly arrived in Philadelphia as Secretary of State, began a career of plant introduction that included vanilla, tea, and tomato.

1790 The soybean was grown at Kew, but had no crop significance at that time for Europe.

1790 Tea imports from China to England reached 20 million pounds a year, up from about 1 million pounds imported in 1730. But Chinese merchants insisted on payment in silver.(Hohenegger, 2007)

1790 Archibald Menzies journeyed as surgeon-naturalist on Captain George Vancouver’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest (until 1795.) (Vancouver had sailed with James Cook on his second and third voyages of discovery.) Menzies collected some dried herbarium material.

1790 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his interpretation of plant structure, providing one of the earliest statements concerning the similar origins of leaves and floral parts. His book provoked numerous commentaries by botanists and served as a catalyst in the development of modern morphological theory. (HNT)

1790 Because it is present in nitrates and nitric acid, John Antony Chaptal [see 1835] suggested the word Nitrogen for the atmospheric component Lavoisier had Azote (because it does not support life, i.e. zoeis Greek for life).

1791 Jacques-Julien Houtton de Labillardière, appointed botanist on the journey of the vessel Recherche (with its major aim being to recover information on the disappearance of French explorer La Pérouse), began his 4-year saga. The results of his travels and studies were published in his Relation du Voyage la Recherche de La Pérouse, giving information on both breadfruit and kava. The kava (Piper mephisticum, a relative of black pepper) he noted could also serve as a drink, but “it was better not to see the drink prepared if one wanted to accept the invitation of these honest folk.” He went on to describe how native peoples chewed the roots and spat the pellets plant tissue into a container to create tissue from which the “sharp and stimulating” infusion was prepared. (Duval, 1982)

1791 A US excise tax on whiskey (to help retire debts from the Revolutionary War) prompted the Whiskey Rebellion that peaked in 1794 near Pittsburgh. The tax was repealed 8 years later. [See 1862] (Fussell, 1992)

1791 Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, while returning from their botanical tour of New England, stopped at the Prince Nursery, in Flushing. Inspired by conversations with Benjamin Rush regarding the future potential of Maple sugar and fresh from having seen the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) tree “in vast abundance” in Vermont, Jefferson purchased the nursery’s entire stock of saplings. (Johnson, 2018)

1791 William Cowper celebrated the Yardley Oak, which grew near the village of Olneyin Buckinghamshire. The poem, complete with handsome and romantic references, is readily available on the web. The first stanza is given here:

SURVIVOR sole, and hardly such, of al,  
That once lived here, thy brethren, at my birth
(Since which I number threescore winters past,)
A shattered veteran, hollow-trunked perhaps,
As now, and with excoriate forks deform,
Relics of ages! Could a mind, imbued
With truth from Heaven, created thing adore,
I might with reverence kneel, and worship thee.

1792 English explorer George Vancouver visited the Santa Clara Valley (CA). On seeing the large California White Oaks (Quercus lobata), with their massive and beautiful forms, he wondered if the valley had been planted to English Oak (Quercus robur). (Arno, 1973: his text gives date of Vancouver visit as 1796)

1793 Kurt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel was the first researcher to publish detailed descriptions of the manner in which different flowers are pollinated. He made the original drawings himself. Sprengel’s discoveries would be ignored by botanists until Darwin. (HNT)

1793 A new edict in China made both importing opium illegal. Smoking opium had been officially banned in 1729. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1793 On his second voyage, Captain Bligh carried mango trees from Timor to British gardens in Jamaica and St. Vincent. (Sauer, 1993)

1793 On the Vancouver Expeditions, Archibald Menzies recorded presence of an iceplant (most likely Carpobrotus chilensis, the Sea Fig) at Point Loma, California. A native of South Africa, one notes how early exotic plants were arriving in coastal North and South America. (Beidleman, 2006)

1793 David Hosack, who would come to found one of the earliest botanical gardens(Elgin Botanical Garden) in the US, was studying medicine in Scotland. His son, in an 1861 biography, notes Hosack’s growing realization of the importance of plant study   ”Having, upon one occasion (while walking in the garden of Professor Hamilton at Blandford, in the neighborhood of Edinburgh) been very much mortified by my ignorance of Botany, with which his other guests were familiarly conversant, I had resolved at that time, whenever an opportunity might offer, to acquire a knowledge of that department of science.” (Alexander Eddy Hosack, 1861, A memoir of the late David Hosack (available free as an ebook)Johnson, 2018)

1794 Ely Whitney invented the cotton gin (a machine that pulls cottonseed apart from the hairs i.e. the cotton fibers) in 1793. (Simpson, 1989) Patented in 1794, this machine changed American life dramatically. By 1807 the US supplied 60% of Britain’s cotton, becoming the world’s largest producer by 1820 – with production rising from 3,000 bales in 1790 to 4.5 million bales by 1860. The plantation production of cotton and the manner in which cotton exhausts nutrients from its soil meant that between 1790 and 1860 over 800,000 slaves were moved to the new cotton growing territories of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. (Ponting, 1991) With increased production, cotton came to underwrite so completely the economy of southeastern states that sentiment against slavery slowly disappeared in the South.

1795 British colonists planted clove trees in Panang. By 1796 the English had gained control of all Dutch East Indian possessions except Java. [See 1824] (Rosengarten, 1969)

1795 In support of military needs, a prize of ƒ12,000 was offered by the French government for the devising of a method for preserving food. The award was made in 1809 to Nicolas Appert for preserving food in glass bottles. (Busch, et al, 1995)

1795 Clergyman Samuel Henshall was granted the first patent for a corkscrew on 24 August (he added the apron, or button, that stops the screw from further entry). Corks had been used to seal bottles of wine and other substances for over a century, and corkscrews had been around as one method of extraction. But Henshall gets credit for the first related patent. (Taber, 2007)

1797 The Rajah, out of Salem, MA, returned to New York with full cargo of bulk pepper from Sumatra. Investors made 700% profit, spawning investment by other Salem merchants. This Salem-based trade flourished until 1856, creating some of the first great fortunes in the US. (Rosengarten, 1969)

1797 In Burlington, New Jersey, Charles Newbold was awarded a patent for America’s first cast-iron plow. Cast in one piece, this plow did not become remarkably successful. (Schlebecker, 1975)

1797 Membership in the Royal Society was highly prized and controlled , as explained by President Joseph Banks in response to another of William Patterson’s persistent pleas for consideration: “…your chance of receiving that and other Literary honors must depend upon the benefit Science has received from your Labors while abroad, and, as the Elections into that body are carried on by Ballot, I shall have no doubt of your success, provided the Members (Numbers?) are convinced that you deserve their White Balls.” (Webb,2003)

1798 Thomas Malthus’s discussion of the potential for increase in the size of a population (An essay on the principle of population…, HNT) as compared to the available resources provided important ideas for Darwin and others.

1798 Frenchman Nicholas Robert invented the first machinery to manufacture paper. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)

1798 A Franciscan botanist native to Brasil, José Mariano de Conceição Vellozo, began publishing his 11-volume encyclopedia (O fazendiero do Brazil) on the natural and agricultural circumstances in Brasil. His major taxonomic work, Flora Fluminensi, was published posthumously beginning in 1825. (JSTOR: The Text of Vellozo’s Flora Fluminensis and Its Effective Date of Publication, J. P. P. CarautaTaxon Vol. 22, No. 2/3 (May, 1973), pp. 281-284 Published by: International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) DOI: 10.2307/1218138 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1218138Page Count: 4) According to Frodin (see his Guide to the Standard Floras of theWorld…), Martius criticized the work as duplicative and lacking citations.

1798 A chance encounter between Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland (while both men were staying at Paris’s Hôtel Boston) resulted in their amazing journey of exploration in South America [see 1799], leading to significant developments in our understanding of natural history, biodiversity, biogeography, and ecology. (Aniśko, 2013)

1798 Nicholas Louis Robert patented a papermaking process that involved a loop of wire screening fabric, which allowed production of a continuous sheet of paper. The machine, a Fourdrinier, (named for London financiers Sealy and Henry Fourdrinier), has been greatly improved through variations, but remains the basic means of paper production today..

1798 Napoleon (still a General) launched the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, a massive endeavor that included a staff of 167 scientists. Among the expedition’s savants was 20-year old botanist Alire Raffeneau Delile, whose work proved valuable. Not only did Delile collect a large number of botanical specimens and describe new algae, he is credited with taking the first cast of the Rosetta stone. After being one of the French researchers stranded in Egypt, Delile returned to Paris with his specimens – having been credited with successfully persuading British forces to relinquish the material and allow him to return. Delile was assigned by Napoleon (in 1802) to the United States, where he continued his collecting and plant study. and eventually entered medical practice. Delile eventually resided and taught in Montpellier, where one of his responsibilities included managing the botanical garden. (Johnson, 2018; Wikipedia, 2019, Phycological Trailblazer No. 26, Phycological Newsletter 200743(1))

1799 John Lyon began collecting North American plants, at first for William Hamilton,and later for collectors in Europe. He followed the trails of Catesby, the Bartrams, Michaux, and the Frasiers. Lyon may have contributed to the extinction of the Franklin tree by his aggressive and successful collecting. He sent quantities of oakleaf hydrangea to England, a plant introduced by Hamilton in 1803.

1799 Agriculturists described sweet corn, long grown by Iroquois. Its value was not immediately recognized, but by 1980 sweet corn was the #1 canned “vegetable” in the United States. (Root, 1980) Botanical Note: Each grain of corn is a one-seeded fruit, the product of a single grass flower. The female corn flowers are very small organs that form along the length of the future corn cob – completely hidden by the special leaves we call husks. The only evidence of so many flowers along the cob would be the corn silks – each silk is the style and stigma from a female flower. If you trace one of these long silks to its origin, it will become obvious that every silk was formed by a different female flower and remains attached to the base of the fruit (the grain) that formed. If no pollen grain lands and grows successfully on the stigmatic surface of a corn silk, fertilization will not occur and that grain will fail to develop…

1799 The Dutch East India Company fell bankrupt. (Rosengarten, 1969)[See 1602]

1799 Marcello, a Yuman Indian convert at Santa Clara Mission (CA), worked with 200 other native Americans to plant willows and poplar trees in three rows – forming the alameda (a tree-shaded path, typically bordered with cottonwood poplars) that connected Santa Clara to San Jose. (From the ULISTAC Natural Area Restoration Project website, Santa Clara University Environmental Studies Institute, 04.02.29)

1799 The first apple orchard of record in Iowa was planted along the banks of the Mississippi River, in Lee County. The 100 seedlings were packed in on ponies and planted by French-Canadian Louis Honoré Tesson. (R.S. Herrick in Slosson, 1951)

1799 Thomas Knight published ‘An Account of the Fecundation of some Vegetables.’ This included observations of his hybridization studies using peas – presaging issues of inheritance related to dominant and recessive characters that would be documented in the works of Gregor Mendel nearly a century later.

1799 Alexander von Humboldt andAimé Bonpland began their 5-year exploration of Central and South America. Among the six thousand plant specimens Bonpland had collected, scientists named 4500 new species. (Aniśko,2013)

1800 As science entered the 19th century, much had been accomplished. The Royal Society, in existence for nearly 140 years, had fostered the works of people such as Newton, Boyle, Hooke, Grew, Malpighi, and Ray. Descriptive botany was entering its heyday, based on the new Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature. Banks was at the height of his prestige and influence. Kew had flowered its first tropical orchid only a decade earlier, in 1789. In that same year, at the beginning of the French Revolution, Jussieu (having organized plantings at the Jardin du Roi, later termed the Jardin des plantes, in Paris to reflect his thoughts on plant relationships) published the first natural system of classification (Genera Plantarum). Though scientists clearly appreciated the unfolding richness of world flora, biogeography and ecology were yet to develop. Physiology was, in its infancy, a pure outgrowth of experimentation in early chemistry and physics. Priestley, whose iconoclastic religious beliefs meant he would be forced to flee England to live in Pennsylvania, had established a remarkable relationship between the effects of plants versus animals on the nature of air. But his work (Experiments and observations on different kinds of air, 1774) referred to phlogiston and dephlogisticated air, not to oxygen or other elements. The periodic table did not exist; indeed, oxygen was not named until 1777 and hydrogen in 1783.

1800 Per capita consumption of sugar in England reached 18 lbs, up from an approximate per person consumption of 4 pounds in 1700. Much of this rise in sugar consumption seems related to increase in tea drinking. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1800 The soybean was known in Philadelphia, but gained little widespread attention. The bean would be introduced to California agriculture in San Francisco by direct importation from Japan in 1850.

1800 The population of Philadelphia had surpassed 40,000 inhabitants, making it the most populous town in North America. Until the late 18th century, Cahokia (the population center for Mississippian people, located east of St. Louis, in the Illinois flat lands) was the largest settlement north of Mexico and Central America. (Williams, 2006; Wikipedia, 2019)

1800 See entries for 1892 and 1908, John Burroughs, referencing this often quoted stanza from A Poet’s Epitaph, by William Wordsworth: Physician art thou? one all eyes, Philosopher! a fingering slave, One that would peep and botanize Upon his mother’s grave?

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Resources:

WWW: USDA, Agricultural Research Service – ARS Timeline https://www.ars.usda.gov/oc/timeline/chron/

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WWW:plantexplorers.com

http://ricepedia.org/culture/history-of-rice-cultivation                                                                                The Online Authority on Rice

OTHER TIMELINES:

www:allaboutwheat.com. The History of Wheat.

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