Ohio History Journal

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Meeting the name Bigelow in botanical publication the reader

is sometimes confused. The name of John M. Bigelow, the sub-

ject of this paper is close to John Bigelow a journalist and news-

paper correspondent of New York City of the same period and

also to a Dr. Henry Jacob Bigelow interested in anesthetics of

whom this paper will make no further mention, as well as to Dr.

Jacob Bigelow of Massachusetts.

Dr. Jacob Bigelow1 requires a brief notice here since he is

more frequently mistaken for John M. Dr. Jacob Bigelow in

1814 published a list of the plants growing in the vicinity of Bos-

ton under the title Florula Bostonensis. It became a popular

work for all those persons wanting a small guide book to the

plants of the area and it passed through three editions. It fol-

lowed the Linnean Sexual System for naming plants. The 1824

edition is sometimes offered for sale as a literary curiosity, having

the reputation of being the last work published in the United

States which followed the Linnean system. Dr. Jacob Bigelow

also authored the American Medical Botany, a recognized fore-

runner of the modern American pharmacopoeia establishing the

standard practice for the current Food and Drug Acts. Three

volumes of this work were published between 1818 and 1820. As

a result of this great editorial labor Dr. Jacob Bigelow was the

correspondent of a number of scientific men in European coun-

tries. The Swiss botanist, De Candolle, honored and commemor-

ated his name by applying it to a newly discovered golden rod.

Dr. Asa Gray of Harvard described several American species in


* Papers from the Department of Botany, Ohio State University, No. 449.

1 Howard Kelly, Some American Medical Botanists (Troy, New York, 1914).