American Eden by Victoria Johnson
David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic

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This was accepted practice, and Johnson gives his healing efforts perhaps more credit than they deserve, but she provides an engaging tale of an important life in early America.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The untold story of Hamilton’s―and Burr’s―personal physician, whose dream to build America’s first botanical garden inspired the young Republic.

On a clear morning in July 1804, Alexander Hamilton stepped onto a boat at the edge of the Hudson River. He was bound for a New Jersey dueling ground to settle his bitter dispute with Aaron Burr. Hamilton took just two men with him: his “second” for the duel, and Dr. David Hosack.

As historian Victoria Johnson reveals in her groundbreaking biography, Hosack was one of the few points the duelists did agree on. Summoned that morning because of his role as the beloved Hamilton family doctor, he was also a close friend of Burr. A brilliant surgeon and a world-class botanist, Hosack―who until now has been lost in the fog of history―was a pioneering thinker who shaped a young nation.

Born in New York City, he was educated in Europe and returned to America inspired by his newfound knowledge. He assembled a plant collection so spectacular and diverse that it amazes botanists today, conducted some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States, and introduced new surgeries to American. His tireless work championing public health and science earned him national fame and praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander von Humboldt, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

One goal drove Hosack above all others: to build the Republic’s first botanical garden. Despite innumerable obstacles and near-constant resistance, Hosack triumphed when, by 1810, his Elgin Botanic Garden at last crowned twenty acres of Manhattan farmland. “Where others saw real estate and power, Hosack saw the landscape as a pharmacopoeia able to bring medicine into the modern age” (Eric W. Sanderson, author of Mannahatta). Today what remains of America’s first botanical garden lies in the heart of midtown, buried beneath Rockefeller Center.

Whether collecting specimens along the banks of the Hudson River, lecturing before a class of rapt medical students, or breaking the fever of a young Philip Hamilton, David Hosack was an American visionary who has been too long forgotten. Alongside other towering figures of the post-Revolutionary generation, he took the reins of a nation. In unearthing the dramatic story of his life, Johnson offers a lush depiction of the man who gave a new voice to the powers and perils of nature.

16 pages of color illustrations
 

About Victoria Johnson

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Victoria Johnson, CFRE, is a successful grant writer, fundraising professional, and author who is one of only a few hundred in the country to hold the designation Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), practice-based credentials that demonstrate a proven mastery of the standards set for core knowledge and skills required of fundraising executives after at least five years of experience. In addition to her current role as Development Director for a major metropolitan city, Johnson has twenty years of professional experience in grant writing and research, grant management, public relations, donor cultivation, fundraising, capital campaign readiness, corporate sponsorships, special event planning and implementation, press releases, collateral material design, budget monitoring, and contract administration. She is also on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Library, Los Gatos, CA. She is an acting member for her local Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapter, has been a featured speaker at the Silicon Valley chapter of AFP, and served on an "Ask the Experts" panel in June 2009. Her article on fundraising, "What's Working," was published in the July/August issue of Philanthropy magazine. She holds a BS from San Jose State University with a major in Business Administration, and served in the US Air Force Reserve and the California Air National Guard.
 
Published June 5, 2018 by Liveright. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nature & Wildlife, War, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Below average
on Apr 03 2018

This was accepted practice, and Johnson gives his healing efforts perhaps more credit than they deserve, but she provides an engaging tale of an important life in early America.

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