Fall Chrysanthemum Show Opening Lecture 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018
Campus Center Carroll Room

AMERICAN EDEN: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic

Presented by Victoria Johnson, Phd.

7:30 pm Campus Center Carroll Room - free and open to the public
Followed by a reception, book signing and view of the Chrysanthemum Show at the Lyman Plant House.

Family doctor and friend to both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and attending doctor at the famous duel, David Hosack is today a shadowy figure; the great achievements of his life forgotten. In this lecture featuring her book, American Eden, Johnson rescues Hosack from obscurity and highlights his significant contributions to botany and medicine.

In 1801, on twenty acres of Manhattan farmland, Hosack founded the first botanical garden in the new nation, amassing a spectacular collection of medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental plants that brought him worldwide praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander von Humboldt. Hosack used his pioneering institution to train the next generation of American doctors and naturalists and to conduct some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States. Today, his former garden is home to Rockefeller Center.

Victoria Johnson is an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City.  She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale University and her PhD in sociology from Columbia University.  Before joining Hunter College, she taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for thirteen years.  Her first book, Backstage at the Revolution, a history of the Paris Opera under the Old Regime, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2008.  In the 2015-2016 academic year, she was a Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and in the summer of 2016 she was a Mellon Visiting Scholar at the New York Botanical Garden, where she conducted some of the research for her new book, American Eden.

New York Public Radio talks with Victoria Johnson about her book: American Eden

Chrysanthemum Show information

Victoria Johnson portrait