[AMERICAN BOTANISTS]. GRAY, Asa (1810-1888). Autograph letter signed ("A. Gray") to Leander Wetherell, Cambridge, Mass., 6 March 1848. One page, 4to, written on the blank integral leaf of a printed prospectus for the Lowell Scientific School, where Gray taught.
"IT NEEDS PATRONAGE TO SUSTAIN AND CONTINUE SO FORMIDABLE AN UNDERTAKING."
Gray was the preeminent American botanist of the 19th century, and an important ally of Darwin. He arranged for the first American publication of Origins of Species. Here he announces the publication of his great work, Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States. This book "provided the United States with a single-volume, natural flora. The high standards of accuracy, scientific rigor, inclusiveness, and user-friendliness it modeled set new standards for regional flora as well" (Dictionary of American National Biography Online). Gray also mentions the success of "The 1st vol. of my Genera of the U.S. Flora Illustrated." He says it "is printing fast & will be out on the 1st of April (100 plates, large 8vo). It needs patronage to sustain and continue so formidable an undertaking." Gray notes that copies of Manual of Botany are available at discounted prices when purchased for classes.
[Also with:] GRAY. A.L.S. ("A. Gray") to Janet Williams, Cambridge, Mass., 11 October 1882. 1p., 8vo, on Herbarium of Harvard University stationery. Answering a bibliographic query: "There is no Manual of N. American Botany. When my Flora of N. America is done it will include N. Mexico..." -- GRAY. A.L.S. ("Asa Gray") to Edward L. Youmans (1821-1887), editor of Popular Science Monthly. 1½pp., 8vo, on Herbarium of Harvard University stationery, laid down. Plans to meet a visiting dignitary: "Sir Joseph [Hooker] is, I presume on the Parthia due here Monday. But there is still a little uncertainty..." -- EMERSON, George B. A.L.S. ("Geo. B. Emerson") to E. E. Bourne, 3 Pemberton Sq., 27 March 1873. 2pp., 8vo. Emerson (2d cousin of Ralph W. Emerson) thanks Bourne for his "speech upon Am. Early History" and asks for more works by Bourne. Emerson was author of A Report on the Trees and Shrubs growing naturally in the Forests of Massachusetts. (4)