Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club/Volume 35/Professor Underwood's relation to the work of the New York Botanical Garden

Professor Underwood's relation to the work of the New York Botanical Garden *

Nathaniel Lord Britton

  Through his appointment as professor of botany in Columbia University, Professor Underwood became by virtue of this office a member of the Board of Scientific Directors of the New York Botanical Garden in 1896. He has thus been a member of the Board of Managers of the Garden throughout its entire period of development.   He has been fertile in advice and suggestion concerning all the educational and research work of the institution, and has been indefatigable in the building up of its collections, especially the museum and herbarium series of cryptogamic plants!   The voluntary curatorial work on the collections of ferns and fungi accomplished by him has been of unusual value owing to his intimate knowlege of these groups, and students under his direction have greatly increased the value of the cryptogamic collections, both by the addition of specimens and by the critical determination of collections already secured.   He kept the Garden in touch with students of ferns all over the world, and it will be long before the institution has the advantage of the presence of an authority such as Professor Underwood on ferns and fern allies, his chosen field.

  The herbarium collections accumulated by Professor Underwood during his busy life are already in part the property of the Garden, he having presented all his flowering plants, and his Pteridophytes and Hepaticae having been purchased, the latter being bought in 1907.   His collections of fungi and of mosses are at Columbia University.

  In recognition of Professor Underwood's services to the Garden and of his contributions to botanical science, the Board of Managers have resolved to designate the entire fern herbarium of the Garden "The Underwood Fern Herbarium," and to place a suitable tablet on one of the cases containing these collections.   The Scientific Directors of the Garden have adopted the following preamble and resolution:

Whereas, Death has removed from this Board Professor Lucien Marcus Underwood, our associate from the commencement of our organization, and our chairman since the year 1901,
  We therefore desire to record an expression of our profound sorrow at the severance of such happy personal relations as have always existed between the deceased and the members of this Board, and at the untimely ending of a career of such present value and of such great promise.
  We desire also to place upon record our appreciation of the great value to the New York Botanical Garden of the services rendered by Professor Underwood, both in his official capacity, and by virtue of his high and broad scholarship.
  As our chairman, Professor Underwood has always performed his duties in a prompt, studious, and efficient manner, and has shown rare wisdom in conserving the higher interests of the institution and of those served by it.
  As an original investigator in those lines of research which it is the object of the Garden to promote, Professor Underwood has displayed untiring energy, combined with independence and originality, and his work has been fruitful in many important contributions to science.
  As an advisor and guide in the investigations of others, here and elsewhere, Professor Underwood has exerted a wide influence, and has displayed unselfish devotion and a generous regard for the interests of those so engaged.
  The cheerfulness and general good-fellowship of Professor Underwood in his personal relations with us, and with the members of the Garden staff, has been such as to combine the most pleasant recollections with the most sorrowful regret that we are to enjoy him no more.
Resolved, That a copy of this memorial be transmitted to the family of Professor Underwood, and that the same be entered upon our minutes and published in the Garden Journal.

* Read at a memorial meeting of the Torrey Botanical Club, January 29, 1908.