Log In | Account Info
Cart | Checkout
André Michaux in North America, Andre Michaux in North America, 081732030X, 0-8173-2030-X, 978-0-8173-2030-0, 9780817320300, , , Andre Michaux in North America, 0817392440, 0-8173-9244-0, 978-0-8173-9244-4, 9780817392444,

André Michaux in North America
Journals and Letters, 1785–1797
Translated from the French, Edited, and Annotated by Charlie Williams, Eliane M. Norman, and Walter Kingsley Taylor

Trade Cloth
2020. 608 pp.
124 color figures / 18 B&W figures / 16 maps / 2 tables
Price:  $54.95 s
E Book
2020. 608 pp.
124 color figures / 18 B&W figures / 16 maps / 2 tables
Price:  $54.95 d

Journals and letters, translated from the original French, bring Michaux’s work to modern readers and scientists
Known to today’s biologists primarily as the “Michx.” at the end of more than 700 plant names, André Michaux was an intrepid French naturalist. Under the directive of King Louis XVI, he was commissioned to search out and grow new, rare, and never-before-described plant species and ship them back to his homeland in order to improve French forestry, agriculture, and horticulture. He made major botanical discoveries and published them in his two landmark books, Histoire des chênes de l’Amérique (1801), a compendium of all oak species recognized from eastern North America, and Flora Boreali-Americana (1803), the first account of all plants known in eastern North America.
Straddling the fields of documentary editing, history of the early republic, history of science, botany, and American studies, André Michaux in North America: Journals and Letters, 1785–1797 is the first complete English edition of Michaux’s American journals. This copiously annotated translation includes important excerpts from his little-known correspondence as well as a substantial introduction situating Michaux and his work in the larger scientific context of the day.
To carry out his mission, Michaux traveled from the Bahamas to Hudson Bay and west to the Mississippi River on nine separate journeys, all indicated on a finely rendered, color-coded map in this volume. His writings detail the many hardships—debilitating disease, robberies, dangerous wild animals, even shipwreck—that Michaux endured on the North American frontier and on his return home. But they also convey the soaring joys of exploration in a new world where nature still reigned supreme, a paradise of plants never before known to Western science. The thrill of discovery drove Michaux ever onward, even ultimately to his untimely death in 1802 on the remote island of Madagascar.
André Michaux (1746—1802) was a French botanist and explorer most noted for his study of North American flora.

Charlie Williams is retired librarian at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina. He is chairman of the André Michaux International Society (AMIS).
Eliane M. Norman is professor emerita of biology at Stetson University. She is coauthor of André Michaux in Florida: An Eighteenth Century Botanical Journey.
Walter Kingsley Taylor is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Central Florida. He is coauthor of André Michaux in Florida: An Eighteenth Century Botanical Journey and author of several field guides to Florida biota, including Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities, A Guide to Florida Grasses, and Florida Wildflowers: A Comprehensive Guide.

“This work is a significant contribution to the history of American natural history. The journal entries offer fascinating accounts of traveling in colonial North America in search of plants, and the footnotes provide useful elaboration. Readers interested in natural history, whether professionally or as an avocation, will find much of value here. Highly recommended.”

“The triumvirate of Charlie Williams, Eliane M. Norman, Walter Kingsley Taylor have brought the French botanist, Andre Michaux (March 8, 1746-October 11, 1802) to life again. From the first paragraph of the fine Foreword penned by James E. Mc­Clellan III, readers will eagerly dive into the sumptuous years of Michaux’s expeditions in North America. Sumptuous, not because of riches and finery, but because of the botanical wealth of the land he explored more than two centuries ago.”
Bartram Trail Conference Newsletter

"An important contribution to the history of botany, gardens, forestry, and 18th-century exploration of North America."
—judges' citation, 2022 Award of Excellence in History from The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

“Michaux is fascinating but largely unknown. . . . All of the available works on Michaux are valuable for scholars seeking to understand him as well as the early environment of the South. Yet all have limitations. . . . The present effort—translations with annotations—will remedy the lack of a solid edition of Michaux’s work. The editors have done an excellent job in gathering material and presenting their work.”
—Kathryn E. Holland Braund, editor of Tohopeka: Rethinking the Creek War and the War of 1812

André Michaux in North America brings together a wealth of material from the many worlds of early American natural history. This book is a massive undertaking, invaluable and sure to serve as a lasting resource on the transatlantic culture of scientific discovery.”
—Thomas Hallock, coeditor of Travels on the St. Johns River: John Bartram and William Bartram

“This book offers a precise English translation of Michaux’s notebooks, letters and papers. The letters build up to give a detailed representation of the professional cooperation between such botanists as Michaux and Thouin. Michaux’s notes and letters from America also show us how botanical research was involved in diplomatic and political affairs of the time. It is interesting to note that it was the French government who funded Michaux’s expedition in the USA, and his work clearly had political significance. This book on Michaux also illustrates how important research in natural history was for the French government, starting as it did under royal patronage and, following the Revolution, continuing under the nascent French Republic.”

“His name was André Michaux and we should all remember his name, for he was one of the most remarkable human beings of the 18th century.”
—Charles Kuralt, 1994


Also of Interest

Maria Martin's World
Debra J. Lindsay

Charles Valentine Riley
W. Conner Sorensen, Edward H. Smith, and Janet R. Smith, with Donald C. Weber

John Abbot and William Swainson
Janice Neri, Tara Nummedal, and John V. Calhoun

Fields of Vision
Edited by Kathryn E. Holland Braund and Charlotte M. Porter