Benjamin Smith Barton (Fig. 3) had great influence on the development of scientific botany.  Darlington in his “Progress of Botany in North America” pays tribute to his professor: (42)



Figure 3. Portrait of Benjamin Smith Barton, from the co1lections of The American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.



In the same year (1803), the first American elementary work on Botany was published, at Philadelphia, by the late Prof. B.S. Barton.  Though somewhat diffuse, it was a useful and respectable performance.  Prof. Barton, in those days, occasionally gave courses of Lectures on Natural History and Botany, to small classes in the University of Pennsylvania (one of which courses, in 1803-4, the writer had the privilege of attending); and there can be no doubt that he did more for the natural sciences, among the young men who then resorted to that school.

     Apparently Professor Barton presented one set of lectures on materia medica and another on natural history during the regular school year.  The lectures on botany were given in the spring and summer. (43) These courses, at first elective, (44) became the most popular in the medical school.  William P.C. Barton, the professor’s nephew and biographer, observes “the field of natural history and botany was virtually fallow in America.” (45) Professor Barton utilized Bartram’s garden as a living laboratory for his own instruction and that of his students.

     Barton devoted much time and effort toward compiling a vegetable materia medica of the United States.  He began the work soon after he succeeded Samuel P. Griffits (46) as Professor of Materia Medica at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania.  In an address given in 1798 before the Philadelphia Medical Society (the student-faculty medical society at the University), he first used the title “Collection for an Essay Towards a Materia Medica of the United States.”  Barton continued to add to this essay, producing editions and supplements until his death.  It remained for his nephew, William P.C. Barton, to complete his work.

     Barton was an active participant in the affairs of the American Philosophical Society, to which he had been elected in 1789.  He served the Society in a number of capacities, including that of vice-president (1802-1815).  Some of his contributions to the literature appear in the publications of that Society.

     In the dissemination of information contributing to the growth of the natural sciences, botany, agriculture, and medicine, he deserves special commendation for founding and editing The Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal. (47) The journal’s contents, somewhat bewildering in their variety, reflected Barton’s catholic interest in the sciences as well as his zeal for bringing new findings before the medical and scientific community.  Barton probably envisioned that the science of botany, by providing a complete vegetable materia medica, would eventually supply cures for the ills of man and beast.  Likewise, by equal diligence, botany, the parent of the agricultural sciences, could assure variety and abundance of food for all mankind.

     Barton was not only an enthusiastic teacher but also a generous supporter of all who were interested students of botany.  He “discovered”, taught, and helped support Thomas Nuttall, (48) and he and other members of the botanical community nurtured Frederick Pursh, the able gardener of William Hamilton’s “Woodlands” near Philadelphia in his botanical studies. (49)

     The Linnean Society of Philadelphia was another institution which fostered medical and agricultural botany.  Established first as the American Botanical Society, it changed its name to The Linnean Society.  Barton was elected its first president.  The group was described as follows by James Mease:

     A number of young gentlemen, desirous to promote a knowledge of the vegetable kingdom; and assured of the advantages to be derived from it, in a philosophical, medical and agricultural point of view met together and established a society, on the 6th of June, 1806,...(50)

Barton delivered the first anniversary oration in June 1807 (Fig. 4). (51)

Plagued by ill health-probably pulmonary tuberculosis and gout-Barton occasionally could not meet his lecture schedule.  Fortunately, the able botanist and diplomat, Jose Francisco Correa de Serra, (52) substituted for him.

     Benjamin Rush was probably the most famous member of the medical faculty. (53) Darlington, when he took his place as a student, certainly knew of some of Rush’s interests and accomplishments,  By the time Darlington was to defend hi medical thesis, Rush complimented him on his successful “application of Metaphysics to the Practice of Physic,” (54) and recommended his approval for graduation.


Figure 4. Title page of Barton’s address to The Linnean Society delivered in Philadelphia, 10 June 1807.  Original in the Historical Collections of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.


     Although a city dweller, Rush was interested in the development of scientific agriculture and contributed to it.  As early as 1770 he lectured on agriculture in his courses on chemistry. (55) At the American Philosophical Society he played important roles, especially in the preparation for the Lewis and Clark expedition to the West, when at the request of President Jefferson he advised Captain Meriwether Lewis concerning botanical collections, inquiries to be made of the American Indian, and specimens of their medicinal and food plants.  At another time Rush, again at Mr. Jefferson’s request, addressed the American Philosophical Society on the preparation of maple sugar. (56) In 1787 his friend John Coakley Lettsom of London sent Rush seeds of the mangel wurtzel or scarcity root, a beet-like plant, and urged him to interest his fellow Americans in this plant for food for their stock. (57) Rush even published a digest of the pamphlet that Lettsom had sent to him with the seeds.  It appeared in the Columbian Magazine. (58)

     In November 1807, Rush gave an introductory lecture to students and guests at the University, “Upon the duty and advantages of studying the Diseases of Domestic Animal, and the Remedies proper to remove them.”  The lecture gives an idea of what Rush thought was the scope of the medical sciences.  It began:

     The science of medicine is related to everything.  A mere physician, that is, a physician who knows nothing but the sciences which are supposed to belong exclusively to his profession, is a nonentity.  To deserve that title is its extensive import, it is necessary for us to know something of the principles and practice of every art, and pursuit of man... (59)

     While a student, Darlington would have met Professors Rush, Barton, Wistar, and other practicing physicians at the meetings of the Philadelphia Medical Society. (60) In November 1803, when Darlington was elected a member, Rush had presided over this society for more than ten years. (61) These societies afforded opportunity for the student to meet faculty members without the rigidity of classroom decorum.  The meetings were rather loosely structured, ample opportunity being provided for personal discussion as well as public debate.

     After taking his degree in Philadelphia in June 1804, (62) Darlington returned to his home in Chester County and commenced the practice of medicine.  Having learned French during his preceptorship in Wilmington, he next used his leisure to study Latin.  It was in the summer of 1805 that Darlington first devoted some of his time to experiment, for he repeated James Logan’s experiment with maize. (63) He was soon appointed physician to the Almshouse and surgeon to a regiment of militia. (64) In the Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal of December 1805 Darlington published an article on the medical properties of Eupatorium perfoliatum. (65) Being somewhat restless, he sought and obtained an appointment as surgeon to an East India merchantman registered in Philadelphia, which sailed to Calcutta and back during the years 1806-7.  Upon his return Darlington settled in West Chester, where he built a large and profitable practice.  In June 1808, he married Catherine Lacey of New Jersey.  Utilizing his leisure time, he then mastered German.

     In 1811, he was appointed a trustee and secretary of the West Chester Academy.  This marks the beginning of his active participation in general education.

     When the British burned Washington in August 1814, it was not known where they would next strike with their combined military and naval forces; therefore, the governor of Pennsylvania called out the militia in early September to protect the city of Philadelphia.  Darlington served with his regiment until it was disbanded.

     After this military service, Darlington began three terms in the United States House of Representatives (1815-1817 and 1819-1827). (66)  During the latter years of this public service he devoted his attention to the founding of the Chester County Cabinet of Natural Science.  He presented the address at its organization and was its first president (1826). (67)

     In the same year he published his Florula Cestrica, a catalogue of plants growing in the vicinity of West Chester.  It represented a contribution to the advancement of agriculture for it contained an appendix describing the useful cultivated plants of the area. (68) He continued to expand his catalogue to include all of Chester County.  The enlarged version appeared under a new title, Flora Cestrica, in 1837. (69) Always interested in the education of young people, he addressed a third edition in 1853 “to the young botanists of Chester County.” (70)

     Although he served as Canal Commissioner and later as Prothonotary and Clerk of the courts of Chester County, Darlington continued to practice medicine and exerted himself to increase the store of available knowledge and to improve the standards of medical practice.  With other practitioners he established the Chester County Medical Society in 1828, and served as its first president until 1852, when he resigned.

     Physicians have contributed to our welfare and our farm practice and income by introducing new species for cultivation.  The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), according to Thomas Jefferson, was introduced into America by Dr. Siccary (John de Sequeyra), a Virginia practitioner of medicine. (71) The Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea, subspecies cotulo rapa D.C.) was introduced into Chester County by Darlington’s fellow laborer in medicine, the skilled horticulturist, E.F. Rivinus. (72)

     Darlington’s crowning achievement for the farmer was the publication of his Agricultural Botany in 1847 (Fig. 5). (73) An examination of its contents reveal his thorough knowledge of farming practices and addresses the never-ending problem of all who grow plants for pleasure or profit - the encroachment of weeds.  Darlington focuses attention on the undesirable plants that disturb crops, but he does mention some useful ones, mostly trees.  He apparently sent copies of this book to friends.  Two Kentucky recipients of note were Charles Wilkins Short and the Honorable Henry Clay. (74) Later editions were enlarged and rewritten by George Thurber and published under a new title, American Weeds and Useful Plants. (75) An excerpted edition under Darlington’s name appeared in 1866 within the United States Department of Agriculture Report, 1865. (76)


Figure 5. Title page of William Darlington’s Agricultural Botany.  Original in the collections of The Library Company of Philadelphia.


It is interesting that other agriculturists in the Philadelphia area before and after Darlington also concerned themselves with weeds and their extermination.  John Bartram in a letter to Philip Miller of 16 June 1758 appended a copy of his work, “A brief account of those plants that are most troublesome in our pastures and fields in Pennsylvania, most of which were brought from Europe.” (77) Darlington thought it important enough to include this in its entirety when he published his Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall with notices of their Botanical Contemporaries.

     Similarly, others had examined the alien plants.  The Rev. Lewis David von Schweinitz prepared lists of English wild plants that had appeared in America. (78) Later Ezra Michener, (79) Darlington’s contemporary and fellow physician-agriculturist, published a small book, A Manual of Weeds, addressed to the young farmer. (80) This was derived in part from Darlington’s Agricultural Botany.

     Darlington was a devoted Christian gentleman and after the deaths of several neighbors and fellow laborers in botany and agriculture, he collected their scattered correspondence, edited, and published it that their over-all contributions to science would be saved for future generations.  The collected correspondence of William Baldwin was published in 1843, (81) and that of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall was published in 1849. (82)

     The whole story of physicians in the development of scientific agriculture has not been told; nevertheless, we can appreciate the great contributions of Darlington, his predecessors, and contemporaries to the present status of our 20th century agri-business that feeds the world.


*Presented at the “William Darlington Bicentennial Observance” held at West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania, on April 25-28,1982.



1.     Lyman Carrier, The Beginnings of Agriculture in America (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1923), p. 176.

2.     James Logan, colonial statesman scholar, completed the manor house, Stenton, of his country estate near Germantown in 1730.  He returned there to study and farm.  The home and outbuildings have been preserved.  There Logan in 1735 conducted his experiments on maize which were published in Leyden (1739) and in English in London (1747).

3.     Founded by John Beale Bordley, lawyer and agriculturist who served as its vice president (1785-93); Richard Peters, lawyer and jurist (president, 1805-28); George Clymer, merchant, singer of the Declaration of Independence and Congressman; and Samuel Powell, merchant (president, 1785-93).  A number of physicians were members in 1785: Adam Kuhn, Benjamin Rush, John Jones, and George Logan.  The Society was dominated by Federalists (especially Peters and Clymer).  Political animosities plus the disruption occasioned by the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 resulted in a suspension of activities from 1794 until the group was reorganized in April 1805. The Society is still active and flourishing.  See Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 1-3 (1808,1811,1814); Rodney H. True, “Sketch of the History of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture”, Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 6 (1939): 5-24; Olive Moore Gambrill, “John Beale Bordley and the Early Years of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture”, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 66 (1942): 410-39.

4.     Founded at Stenton in 1788 by George Logan and his neighbors.  See Frederick B. Tolles, George Logan of Philadelphia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 88-89.

5.     Founded by John Pennington, M.D. See W.D. Miles, “Benjamin Rush, Chemist,” Chymia 4 (1953): 37-77.  Other sources attribute its beginnings to James Woodhouse in 1792.  See Edgar Fahs Smith, Chemistry in America (New York: D. Appleton, 1914), p. 12.

6.     Benjamin Say was its first president; Isaac Norris its treasurer.  Jared Ingersoll, John Vaughan, James Mease, Fred Heiss, and Elisha Fisher were managers.  In Harry B. Weiss and Grace M. Ziegler, Thomas Say, Naturalist (Springfield, Ill.: Thomas, 1931), pp. 24-26.  The company had a vineyard of 3,000 plants in “the center of the ground plan of Philadelphia, on the line with Cherry Alley.”  In William S. Middleton, “James Mease,” Annals of Medical History 7 (1925): 23.

7.     Isaac Briggs, Secretary of the Board published an “Address...to the Citizens of the United States” in Medical Repository 6 (1803):465-69.  This address does not list the members of the board.  James Madison, while Secretary of State and known as “the best farmer in Virginia,” became the first president of the Board, which was an association of farm groups established in Washington (D.C.).  See Richard Beale Davis, Intellectual Life in Jefferson’s Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964), p. 161.

8.     James Mease, The Picture of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Kite, 1811), pp. 303-5.

9.     Established in order to improve the breed of cattle in Pennsylvania.  Lawrence Seckel was its first president.  See Mease, pp. 266-67.

10. Originally organized in January 1794, its proponents were unable to obtain a charter.  A revived effort in October 1822 was successful and it was incorporated in 1823.  No physicians were founding members.  See Memoirs of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society, 1823-1824 (Baltimore: Skinner, 1824), pp. v-ix.

11. Nathaniel Chapman and James Mease were elected as two of the society’s four vice-presidents.

12. The Academy was organized in the drugstore of John Speakman,Jr. Horace Mather Lippincott, Early Philadelphia, its People, Life and Progress (Philadelphia: Lippincott Co., 1917). P. 42. This society owes its success indirectly to William Bartram, through his influence on Dr. Joseph Gilliams, a dentist who became comptroller of the Academy in 1812 and in 1815 provided its first permanent quarters.  Joseph Ewan, ed., William Bartram, Botanical and Zoological Drawings, 1775-1788 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical society, 1968), pp. 8 & 42.

13. M. Ebert, “The Rise and Development of the American Medical Periodical, 1797-1850,” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 4 (1952): 243-76.

14. Eugene H. Conner, “Physicians and the Development of Scientific Agriculture, Empiricism to Science, 1731-1863”, Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia ser. 4,45 (1978): 316-335.

15. Deborah Norris Logan, Memoirs of Dr. George Logan of Stenton, ed. By Frances A. Logan (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1899).

16. The original manuscript notebooks “Memoranda in Husbandry on my Own Plantation,” are in the library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

17. John Hope was Professor of Medicine and Botany at Edinburgh from 1761 to 1786.  John Dixon Comrie, History of Scottish Medicine to 1860 (London: Bailliere, Tindall & Cox, 1927), pp. 184-85.

18. Dr. Logan believed that the Federalists betrayed the farmer when they voted in support of matters which favored foreign products in preference to local.  He especially opposed Alexander Hamilton and his report on public credit, which Logan thought surrendered the government to the city merchants. Tolles, p. 109.

19. George Logan, Fourteen Agricultural Experiments to Ascertain the Best Rotations of Crops; Addressed to the “Philadelphia Agricultural Society” (Philadelphia: F&R Bailey, 1797), idem, A Letter to the Citizens of Pennsylvania, on the Necessity of Promoting Agriculture, Manufacturers, and the Useful Arts, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Patterson & Cochran, 1800)

20. Published in American Museum 5 (1789): 161-63.

21. [J.L. Harrison], Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1949 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950), pp. 141-72.

22. The account of caring for calves appeared in American Museum 6 (1789): 102-3; the account of use of corn stalks, ibid., 9 (1792), p. 172.

23. Tolles, p. 93.

24. Reverend Joseph Doddridge, A Treatise on the Culture of Bees (St. Clairsville, Ohio: Armstrong, 1813); James Thacher, A Practical Treatise on the Management of Bees (Boston: Marsh & Capen, 1829); Benjamin Smith Barton, “An Inquiry into the Question Whether the Apis mellifica or true Honey Bee, is a native of America,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 3 (1793): 214-60; John Coakley Lettsom, Hints Designed to Promote Beneficence, Temperance and Medical Science (London: Manman, 1801; this “hint” concerning beekeeping does not appear in every copy of the collection.); James Johnston Abraham, Lettsom, His Life, Times, Friends and Descendants (London: Heinemann, 1933), pp. 311-12.

25. Deborah Norris Logan, pp. 44-45; Tolles, p. 98

26. Deborah Norris Logan, p. 50; Tolles, pp. 123-24.

27. Tolles, pp. 123-24.

28. Middleton, p. 23.

29. James Mease, The Domestic Encyclopedia, 1st American ed. (Philadelphia: Willich, 1804).

30. The Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, Volume 1, was issued in two variant forms, with differences in pagination, in 1808 and 1815.  Copies of Volume 3 are dated 1811 and 1814.

31. James Mease, Archives of Useful Knowledge (Philadelphia: David Hogan, 1811).  Only two further volumes were published  (1812 and 1813).

32. James Mease, Introductory Lecture at the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 1813: “Upon Comparative Anatomy and the Diseases of Domestic Animals,” Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 3 (1814): xix-lxix; idem, An Address on the progress of agriculture with hints for its improvement in the United States (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 1817).

33. Middleton, p. 26, note 19, a copy of a letter from Benjamin Rush to Dr. John Coakley Lettsom, London, 28 May 1792.

34. Howard A. Kelly and Walter L. Burrage, American Medical Biographies (Baltimore: Norman, Remington Co., 1920), p. 1020; Weiss and Ziegler, pp. 17-26.

35. Washington Townsend, Memorial of William Darlington, M.D. (West Chester, Pa.: James, 1863).

36. Kelly and Burrage, pp. 1180-1181; James Thacher, American Medical Biography (Boston, 1828; reissued New York: Millford House, 1967), pp. 154-56.

37. William Currie, a native of Chester County, Pa., was apprenticed to John Kearsley and attended medical lectures in Philadelphia.  He served as a surgeon in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and afterwards practiced in Chester, Pa.  He moved to Philadelphia in the early 1790s and continued to practice until 1816.  Kelly and Burrage, p. 267.

38. James Tilton, “Answers to Queries on the State of Husbandry in the Delaware State,” Columbian Magazine 5 (1790); idem, “Observations on the propriety of a Farmer living on the produce of his own land,” Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 3 (1814): 142-50; Thacher, pp. 129-41.

39. Edward Miller was born in Delaware in 1760.  He began medical studies under Dr. Charles Ridgely of Dover, and attended medical lectures at the College of Philadelphia.  After receiving the M.D. in 1789 he practiced in Frederica, Delaware.  In 1807 he became Professor of the Practice of Physic at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York.  Appointed physician to the New York Hospital (1809), he served until his death in March 1812.  Thacher, pp. 385-92.

40. The Medical Repository first appeared on 26 July 1797 and was edited by Samuel Latham Mitchill, Edward Miller, and Elihu Hubbard Smith.  The journal went through 23 volumes and ceased publication in 1824.

41. Francis R. Packard, History of Medicine in the United States (New York: Hoeber, 1931), pp. 373-77.

42. William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall (Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1849), p. 24.  He refers to Benjamin Smith Barton’s Elements of Botany (Philadelphia, 1803).

43. Benjamin Smith Barton, Collections for an Essay towards a Materia Medica of the United States, Part Second, 3rd ed. (Philadelphia: Earle & Co., 1810), p. 54.

44. William S. Middleton, “Benjamin Smith Barton,” Annals of Medical History n.s. 8 (1936): 477-91.

45. William P.C. Barton, “An account of the life of Benjamin Smith Barton,” Port Folio 1 no. 4 (1816).

46. Samuel Powel Griffitts was educated at the College of Philadelphia.  He studied medicine under Adam Kuhn and received the M.D. in 1781 from the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1786 he established The Philadelphia Dispensary, which he managed successfully for the next forty years.  He was Professor of Materia Medica at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Department from 1792 to 1796.  He assisted in the preparation of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.  Kelly and Burrage, pp. 468-69.

47. This was the third medical journal to be published in the United States.  It appeared irregularly from November 1804 until May 1809.

48. Thomas Nuttall immigrated to Philadelphia in 1808 as a young printer from Yorkshire, England.  Benjamin Smith Barton together with Jose Francisco Correa da Serra and Zaccheus Collins financed several of Nuttall’s collecting expeditions to the western parts of North America.  Curator of the Botanical Garden, Harvard University (1822-1832), Nuttall was later sent J.K. Townsend by the American Philosophical Society and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia to join the expedition under Captain N.J. Wyeth to the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia River (1834-35).  He published The Genera of North American Plants (Philadelphia, 1818), A Manual of Ornithology (Cambridge, Ma.: Hilliard and Brown, 1832), and numerous papers in scientific journals.  A competent botanist and ornithologist, he also made valuable contributions to the geology of the Mississippi Valley.  Witmer Stone, in Dictionary of American Biography, ed. Dumas Malone (New York: Scribner’s, 1934), vol. 13, pp. 596-597; Joseph Ewan, Rocky Mountain Naturalists (Denver: University of Denver Press, 1950), p. 273; Middleton, “Benjamin Smith Barton,” p. 481.

49. Frederick Pursh came to the United States from Saxony in 1799.  He was employed in Philadelphia first as a gardener.  His journeys of botanical exploration (1806,1807) were financed by Benjamin Smith Barton.  Pursh published the first complete flora of America north of Mexico: Flora Americae Septentrionalis (London: White, Cochrane & Co., 1814).  Middleton, “Benjamin Smith Barton,” p. 481.

50. Mease, The Picture of Philadelphia, p. 303.

51. Benjamin Smith Barton, A Discourse on Some Principal Desiderata in Natural History (Philadelphia: Denham & Town, 1807).

52. Abbe Correa da Serra, Portuguese Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, lived in Philadelphia from 1815 to 1820.  He was an able botanist and in the late spring of 1816 gave Barton’s lectures at the University.  Using Henry Muhlenberg’s Catalogus Plantarum Americae Septentrionalis (1816), he prepared a new arrangement based upon the “natural system” of Jussieu.  This may have been the earliest use of this modern system of arrangement in botanical lectures in America.  Jeannette E. Graustein, Thomas Nuttall, Naturalist (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 95&122; Richard B. Davis, “The Abbe Correa in America, 1812-1820,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society n.s. 45 (1955): 87-197.

53. Benjamin Rush, one of the five physician-signers of the Declaration of Independence, was an active and articulate practitioner.  He was well known to the general public for the controversies which appeared in the public press concerning his actions as a medical educator, politician, and hospital administrator during the Revolutionary War and as a vigorous bleeder and purger during the yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia, especially the first in 1792.  He served on the faculty of the Medical College in Philadelphia as Professor of Clinical Medicine; he made outstanding contributions to military medicine and the treatment of the insane.  George Washington Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1948); Nathan G. Goodman, Benjamin Rush, Physician and Citizen, 1746-1813 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1934).

54. Lyman Henry Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), p. 884, note 7.  This quotation appears in Darlington’s own copy of his thesis, A Dissertation on the Mutual Influence of Habits and Disease (Philadelphia: Rakestraw, 1804).

55. Benjamin Rush, Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry (Philadelphia, 1770).  This was published by Rush for the use of his medical students.  The outline was essentially that of his professor at Edinburgh, and several revisions were produced.  It contained a section, “Vegetable substances, fermentation, agriculture,” and in Rush’s public lectures on chemistry (1773-74) one lecture was entitled, “Of the elements or principles of agriculture.”

56. Benjamin Rush, “An account of the sugar-maple-tree of the United States, and the methods of obtaining sugar from it, together with observations upon the advantages both public and private of this sugar” (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson), Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 3 (1792): 54-79.

57. Benjamin Rush to John Coakley Lettsom, Philadelphia, 28 September 1787.  Butterfield, ed., pp. 441-45.

58. In vol.2, pp. 130-33.  Rush sent George Washington a copy of the pamphlet and some of the seeds of the mangel wurtzel.  Butterfield, ed., pp. 459-60.

59. Benjamin Rush, “An introductory Lecture to a Course of Lectures, upon the Institutes and Practice of Medicine,” Memoir of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 1 (1808), pp. xlix-lxv.  This address also appraises the need fro a veterinary school in the United States.

60. The Philadelphia Medical Society was begun in 1765 by John Morgan, but only after three years it was engrafted upon the American Philosophical Society and lost its identity and function.  It was revived in 1789 and was incorporated in 1792.  Rush, the first president, served until 1809.  He was succeeded by Benjamin Smith Barton, who served until 1816.  Samuel X. Radbill, “The Philadelphia Medical Society, 1789-1868,” Transactions and Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia ser. 4, 20 (1952-53): 103-23.

61. William Darlington’s proposal on 19 November 1803 and his introduction on 26 November 1803 are recorded as No. 109 in the membership list.  Minute Book, Philadelphia Medical Society, (6 Nov 1802-30 Nov 1806).  Manuscript original in the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

62. “Public Commencement held at the University of Pennsylvania 6th of June 1804,” The Philadelphia Medical Museum 1 (1805): 86-87.

63. Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall, p.21.

64. Townsend, pp. 214-15.

65. William Darlington, “On the Medical Properties of Eupatorium perfoliatum or American Thorough-Wort” (letter, 5 Dec 1805), Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal supp. 1 (1806): 10-12.

66. Darlington was elected to the 14th Congress, 1819-1823, and to the 17th Congress, 1823-1827.  Harrison, p. 1055.

67. William Darlington, Address to the Chester County cabinet of natural science (West Chester, Pa.: Siegfried, 1826).

68. William Darlington, Florula Cestrica: an essay towards a catalogue of the phaenogamous plants (West Chester, Pa.: Siegfried, 1826).

69. William Darlington, Flora Cestrica: an attempt to enumerate and describe the flowering and filicoid plants (West Chester, Pa.: Siegfried, 1837).

70. William Darlington, Flora Cestrica: an herborizing companion for the young botanist, 3rd ed. (Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1853).

71. Siccary, or de Sequeyra (d. 1796), was supposed to have been either Portuguese or Italian and is thought to have studied medicine under Boerhaave at Leyden.  He emigrated to Virginia, probably before 1759.  He practiced medicine in Williamsburg, and was the first physician to serve the patients in the Asylum for the Insane (1773-1795); his name appears on the journals of the House of Burgesses as early as 1767.  He is credited with introducing the practice of eating tomatoes in Williamsburg and Virginia.  Wyndham B. Blanton, Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century (Richmond: Garrett & Massie, 1931), pp. 86, 294-95, 320-21; Thacher, p. 74.

72. William Darlington, Agricultural Botany (Philadelphia: Moore, 1847), p. 8.

73. Ibid.

74. Charles Wilkins Short acknowledged his copy in a letter to Darlington from Louisville, Kentucky, on 9 June 1848 (original in the New-York Historical Society Library).  Henry Clay’s copy is dedicated to Clay on the front paste-down end paper and signed by Darlington.  This copy is in the Margaret King Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

75. William Darlington, American Weeds and Useful Plants, revised, with additions by George Thurber (New York: Moore, 1859).  The 1879 edition was published by Judd Co., New York.  George Thurber, botanist and horticulturist, served on the Mexican Boundary Survey (1850-53) and was editor of American Agriculturist (1863-65).  He was an early follower of the precepts of Darlington’s Agricultural Botany and an expert in the study of grasses.

76. Printed by the United States Government Printing Office, this digest of Darlington’s work on weeds is identified as “Weeds of American Agriculture.”

77. Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall, pp. 383-88.

78. The Rev. von Schweinitz was a Moravian clergyman, an excellent botanist, and one of the first mycologists in the world.  His publications appeared primarily in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society and Sillimans’ American Journal of Science and Arts.

79. Ezra Michener, of Chester County, Pa., attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania (M.D., 1818).  Here, in 1816, he attended the botanical lectures of William P.C. Barton.  Michener was a practicing physician, naturalist, botanist, early mycologist, and collector of plants and animals.  With William D. Hartman he published Conchologia Cestrica (1874); he also assisted Darlington in the preparation of Florula Cestrica (1826).  Michener was widely known for his expertness in obstetrics and was one of the pioneers in the obstetrical use of ergot.  He worked closely with Darlington in founding the Chester County Cabinet of Natural Science, and the Chester County Medical Society, Agricultural Society, and Horticultural Society.  Kelly and Burrage, p.789; John William Harshberger, The Botanists of Philadelphia and their Work (Philadelphia: Davis, 1899).

80. Ezra Michener, A Manual of Weeds, or the Weed Exterminator (Philadelphia: King & Baird, 1872).

81. William Darlington, comp., Reliquiae Baldwinae (Philadelphia: Kimber & Sharpless, 1843, reprinted New York: Hafner, 1969).

82. William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey Marshall (Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1849).