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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/497

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493
BOTANY AT ST. LOUIS

ton. Meriwether lost his father early in life, and one of his uncles acted as his guardian. At the age of thirteen he was sent to the Latin school, where he remained until he was eighteen, when he returned home to help run the farm. At the age of twenty he entered as a volunteer a body of militia which was called out by General Washington to quell troubles in the western states, and from the militia he entered the regular service as a lieutenant. When twenty-three years old he was promoted to a captaincy and made paymaster of his regiment. He was personally well known to Thomas Jefferson, and when the latter proposed that two persons should be sent up the Missouri River, across the Rockies and down the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, he eagerly offered to go. A few years later Jefferson, remembering the eagerness of Captain Lewis to make the trip, made him leader of the expedition, which successfully carried out the plans, and is now known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Captain Clark was made the leader in the absence of Lewis. The expedition started in 1803 and returned in 1806. Congress gave both leaders grants of land, and Lewis was made governor of the territory of Louisiana, while Clark was made a general of militia and agent for Indian affairs. Upon assuming his duties as governor, Lewis found many factions and parties, but his even-handed justice to all soon established respect for himself, and eventually removed animosities. While on a trip to Washington he suffered a temporary attack of insanity, and committed suicide on October 11, 1809.

Pursh has named a genus of the Portulacacæ Lewisia, in his honor.

During the early part of the nineteenth century it was much the fashion for botanists to collect living plants and cultivate them in gardens, these gardens sometimes being quite extensive. Sometimes they were but temporary resting places for the plants until they could be sent to European countries as novelties to be introduced there because of some desirable quality. André Michaux had such gardens into which he gathered his plants, and when opportunity offered sent them to France. Many of our early botanists had their own gardens in which they cultivated all of the different plants they could find, and thus became acquainted with every detail concerning them. The Bartram and Marshall gardens near Philadelphia were good examples of these early collections of living plants.

Among many persons sent from Europe to this country for the purpose of collecting new and rare plants was one John Bradbury,[1] who was commissioned to act as the agent of the Liverpool Botanical So-

  1. Bradbury, John, "Travels in the Interior of America in the Years 1809, 1810 and 1811," 1-346, 1819, 2d edition.

    Short, C. W., Transylvania Jour, of Med., etc., 34: 12-13, 1836.

    Britten, Jas., and Boulger, G. S., "Biographical Index of British and Irish Botanists," 21, 1893.