Biography of Asa Gray
Celebrated American Biographies





ASA GRAY was recognized throughout the scientific world as one of the ablest and most eminent of botanists. He was born at Paris, Oneida county, New York, November 18, 1818. He received his medical degree at the Fairfield College of Physicians and Surgeons, in Herkimer county, New York, and studied botany with the late Professor Torrey, of New York. He was appointed botanist to the Wilkes expedition in 1834, but declined the offer and became professor of natural history in Harvard University in 1842. He retired from the active duties of this post in 1873, and in 1874 he was the regent of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, District of Columbia.

Dr. Gray wrote several books on the subject of the many sciences of which he was master. In 1836 he published his "Elements of Botany," "Manual of Botany" in 1848; the unfinished "Flora of North America," by himself and Dr. Torrey, the publication of which commenced in 1838. There is another of his unfinished works called "Genera Boreali Americana," published in 1848, and the "Botany of the United States Pacific Exploring Expedition in 1854." He wrote many elaborate papers on the botany of the west and southwest that were published in the Smithsonian Contributions, Memoirs, etc., of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which institution he was president for ten years. lie was also the author of many of the government reports. "How Plants Grow,' Lessons in Botany," "Structural and Systernatic Botany," are also works from his ready pen.

Dr. Gray published in 1861 his "Free Examination of Darwin's Treatise" and his "Darwiniana," in I876. Mr. Gray was elected July 29, 1878, to a membership in the Institute of France, Academy of Sciences. His death occurred at Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 30, 1889.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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