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American Medical Biographies/Bradley, Samuel Beach

Bradley, Samuel Beach (1796–1880)

Samuel Beach Bradley, physician and botanist, son of the Rev. Joel Bradley and Mary Anne Beach, was born in Westmoreland, Oneida County, New York, August 14, 1796. He graduated at Union College, 1814, then studied medicine with Seth Hastings who had an extensive botanical garden for the special use of his students, and it was here that young Bradley became interested in botany and made a thorough study of the local flora.

He practised in Eaton, New York, and in 1820 moved to Parma, New York; in 1823 he settled in West Greece, Monroe County, which became his home the rest of his life.

As a botanist his reputation was more than local. He is cited as an authority in Gray's Botany (5th ed.); in Paine's "Catalogue of Plants of Oneida County and Vicinity" (1865) he is given as the sole authority for twenty-one species of plants found in the neighborhood of Rochester; and in the "List of Plants of Monroe County, New York and Adjacent Territory," published by the Rochester Academy of Science (1896), he was credited with eleven species not hitherto reported. A close and accurate observer, his work along the lake shore, inlets and ponds was particularly thorough.

Dr. Bradley was a noted linguist, a master of seven languages, and an indefatigable reader.

He was rather stout, with broad shoulders and a fine head, broad forehead, eyes dark and brilliant.

He was twice married, first in 1817 to Cornelia Bradley, who lived only a few months; second to Mrs. Sarah Bartlett Crane. His children were two daughters, and a son, William Bradley (1838–1907), who became a physician of Evanston, Illinois.

The last months were devoted to naming and rearranging the specimens in his herbarium; the greater part of which at his death was given to the Northwestern University, a part remaining in the Rochester Academy of Science.

He died at his home in West Greece, October 3, 1880.

Proc. Rochester Acad. Sci., 1894, vol. ii, 261–263; 1912, vol. v, 39–41.