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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/494

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

American trees as might be of economic importance. In the autumn of 1785 he embarked for New York, accompanied by his young son; here he spent a year and a half collecting plants and starting a botanical garden in Bergen County, New Jersey; he found, however, that the southern climate was more suitable for many of his plants, and he accordingly removed to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1787, where he established another garden, about ten miles from the city. During this year he explored the mountains of the Carolinas; the next he journeyed through the swamps of Florida, and the next he visited the Bahamas, and again searched the mountains for plants of economic importance—especially ginseng. In 1792 he collected around New York and in New Jersey; thence he went up the Hudson to Albany and along Lake Champlain, reaching Montreal June 30, 1792. From Montreal he went to Quebec, and thence by way of the Saguenay to Hudson's Bay. He then returned to Philadelphia, where he proposed to the American Philosophical Society an exploration of the great western territory, by way of the Missouri River. A subscription was begun for the purpose, and Thomas Jefferson drafted detailed instructions for the journey. Michaux, indeed, is stated to have started west and to have proceeded as far as Kentucky when he was overtaken by an order from the French government to relinquish the journey for a political mission. This mission seems to have had for its object the control of Louisiana by the French, through the aid of the trans-Allegheny Americans. In carrying out this plan Michaux made a journey in 1793 to Kentucky by way of the Ohio River, and returned over the "Wilderness" road, and through the valley of Virginia. Early in 1791 he made another extensive tour in the southern states and the North Carolina mountains. In 1795-6 he made a much longer journey, going from Charleston to Tennessee, thence through Kentucky to Vincennes, Indiana, where he stayed from August 13 to 23. From here he went to Kaskaskia, and from there he visited Cahokia and the vicinity. Upon looking over his "Flora Boreali Americana" we find several species of plants mentioned therein as coming from the Missouri River. It seems quite probable then that he must have visited some locality near this river during this trip, as this is the only visit to this section of which we find any mention in his journal. He mentions St. Louis as being in a prosperous condition, but makes no further allusion to it. Except for the evidence of these few species as given in his "Flora," we should not know that he had gone west of the Mississippi River, and this, of course, is somewhat uncertain, as it is very possible that some person at Cahokia, who may have been on the Missouri River, had out of curiosity picked up some strange plants and happened to bring them to Cahokia at the time Michaux was there. He made a short visit here and then Went to Fort Massac, near the mouth of the Tennessee River, and from