On February 28 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford is welcoming author Victoria Johnson for a lecture and book signing. “American Eden” – the untold story of Hamilton’s. and Burr’s personal physician, whose dream to build America’s first botanical garden inspired the young Republic.
About the Book
When Dr. David Hosack tilled the country’s first public botanical garden in the Manhattan soil more than two hundred years ago, he didn’t just dramatically alter the New York landscape; he left a monumental legacy of advocacy for public health and wide-ranging support for the sciences. A charismatic dreamer admired by the likes of Jefferson, Madison, and Humboldt, and intimate friends with both Hamilton and Burr, the Columbia professor devoted his life to inspiring Americans to pursue medicine and botany with a rigor to rival Europe’s. Though he was shoulder-to-shoulder with the founding fathers―and even present at the fatal duel that took Hamilton’s life―Hosack and his story remain unknown. Now, in melodic prose, historian Victoria Johnson eloquently chronicles Hosack’s tireless career to reveal the breadth of his impact. The result is a lush portrait of the man who gave voice to a new, deeply American understanding of the powers and perils of nature.
From the meadows of Manhattan and correspondents around the world, Hosack collected over two thousand species at his twenty-acre botanical garden. He used these plants to conduct some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States and to experiment with new crops. In his enormous conservatory, Hosack introduced New Yorkers to ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees from as far away as Japan, Madagascar, and the Cape of Good Hope. He had coffee trees, tamarind trees, and banana trees. Flame lilies, bird-of-paradise flowers, and sweet-scented daphne greeted visitors to his American Eden. Today, Radio City Music Hall sits on the footprint of Hosack’s conservatory. His land is home to Rockefeller Center.
This lecture is free and will be held in the Silver Education Building on the grounds of the Bartlett Arboretum.