American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
0207 434 4479 ext 211

EVENING MEETING 18:00–19:00 Thursday 20 June 2019

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Image © Liveright Publishing Corporation

This illustrated lecture by historian Victoria Johnson features her new book, American Eden (W. W. Norton UK), which was a finalist in the United States for the 2018 National Book Award in Nonfiction and the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. In 1801, a young New Yorker named David Hosack—soon to be chosen as attending physician at the duel between his friends Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr—founded the first public botanical garden in the new nation. Hosack was inspired by his botanical studies in the 1790s at the Linnean Society with Sir James Edward Smith and Sir Joseph Banks. In 1794, the Society promoted Hosack from Foreign Member to Fellow. He corresponded with Smith and Banks for the rest of their lives, exchanging books and sending over students. Hosack’s connection to the Linnean Society decisively shaped the future of American botany. Today, his former garden is the site of Rockefeller Center.

Dr Victoria Johnson is a former Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and currently is an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College in New York City, where she teaches on the history of philanthropy, nonprofits, and New York City. She holds a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale.

American Eden book

  • This event is free and open to all.
  • Registration is essential. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Doors will open at 17:30. Please note that the meeting room will open at 17:45, 15 minutes prior to the start of the talk.
  • Tea will be served in the Library from 17:30 and the event will be followed by a white wine reception (cash bar).
  • Please note that Fellows-only tickets are limited to two tickets per Fellow (one for themself and a guest).