Synopses & Reviews
As we approach the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2004, attention will inevitably turn to the nineteenth-century explorers who risked life and limb to interpret the natural history of the American West. Beginning with Meriwether Lewis and his discovery of the bitterroot, the goal of most explorers was not merely to find an adequate route to the Pacific, but also to comment on the state of the region's ecology and its suitability for agriculture, and, of course, to collect plant specimens. In this book, Williams follows the trail of over a dozen explorers who botanized the Rocky Mountains, and who, by the end of the nineteenth century, became increasingly convinced that the flora of the American West was distinctive. The sheer wonder of discover, which is not lost on Williams or his subjects, was best captured by botanist Edwin James in 1820 as he emerged above timberline in Colorado to come upon a region of astonishing beauty.
As we approach the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2004, attention will inevitably turn to the nineteenth century explorers who risked life and limb to interpret the natural history of the American West.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-201) and index.
Table of Contents
Lewis and Clark in the Rocky Mountains (1805-1806) -- Edwin James and the long expedition -- Thomas Drummond in the northern Rocky Mountains -- The ascendancy of Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859) -- George Engelmann: a link between East and West -- John Charles Frâemont (1813-1890): an unresolved enigma -- Geyer and Burke: two gardeners abroad -- Concluding the 1840s: Wislizenus, Fendler, and Stansbury -- The new era of intensive botanizing: Charles Parry in Colorado -- Joseph Dalton Hooker: Darwin's confidant -- Sereno Watson: botanist by inadvertence -- The Hayden survey: botanical opportunity -- Edward Lee Greene: botanist-historian -- Marcus E. Jones of Utah -- The heightened attention to grasses -- The indomitable Alice Eastwood -- Three notable collectors: Purpus, Cockerell, and Osterhout -- Per Axel Rydberg: the gentle botanist -- Aven Nelson: the great teacher.