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The Missouri Botanical Garden

Nature volume 44, pages 101102 | Download Citation



THE Missouri Botanical Garden is situated at the city of St. Louis, and was founded by the late Henry Shaw. He was born at Sheffield in the year 1800, and emigrated to Canada with his father at the age of eighteen, and a year later moved southward to St. Louis, which was then small isolated French trading post. He established himself in business as a dealer in cutlery, made a fortune of 250,000 dollars by the time he was forty years of age, and then retired from business. In 1840 he visited Europe for the first time, and in 1842-45 made a three years' tour in the Old World. In 1851 he visited Chatsworth, and particularly admired its garden and conservatories. This led him to entertain the idea of forming a large garden at home. One of the best American botanists, Dr. Engelmann, lived at St. Louis, and Mr. Shaw sought his help and advice. In 1857 he opened a correspondence with Sir William Hooker. He engaged from the Royal Botanic Garden in Regent's Park Mr. James Gurney to superintend the carrying out of his plans. He died in 1889, and bequeathed to his trustees 760 acres of land, situated partly within and partly outside the limits of the city of St. Louis, to be kept up as a Botanic Garden open to the public, containing a museum and library.

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