American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, by Victoria Johnson. 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. 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. 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.
The lecture, which will be held in the historic Stable, will be followed by light refreshments and book signing. The doors will open at 10:15 a.m.
Victoria Johnson is a former Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and currently an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City, where she teaches on the history of philanthropy, nonprofits, and New York City. She holds a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale. Johnson has been a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and a Mellon Visiting Scholar at the New York Botanical Garden. Her book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic (2018) received rave reviews, and was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in nonfiction, a finalist for the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018.
Refund requests will only be honored if made more than one week prior to lecture date.
Lecture Series books can be purchased in advance from The Mount’s Bookstore! Mount members receive a 10% discount. Everyone receives a 15% discount if all 9 books are purchased together. If you would like to order your book(s) ahead of the lecture, e-mail our Bookstore Manager Patricia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank Blantyre, a Relais & Chateau property, for their generous donation and support of this season’s Summer Lecture Series at The Mount.
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, email@example.com, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event. Caregivers are admitted free-of-charge.