Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14




"Noble Fellow": William Starling Sullivant. By Andrew Denny

Rodgers, III. Foreword by Dr. Adolph E . Waller (New

York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1940. xxii. 361p. Illustrations,

maps and appendix.)


An Abstract by FRANK C. CALDWELL


This is a remarkable book, centered about the accomplish-

ments of a remarkable man. He lived and worked in an almost

frontier town hundreds of miles from the early eastern centers

of science, and before the days even of stage coach and federal

mail communication. He was already in his thirties and had be-

come a leading member of the commercial and industrial groups

of his town, when he first became interested in the science in

which, during the next 30 years, he came to be an international

leader. Much detail of William Sullivant's scientific accomplish-

ments gives an especial interest to the historically-minded botanist.

Throughout the narrative also many interesting episodes have to

do with the founding of Franklinton, the locating of the Capitol

on the "high bank opposite Franklinton," and the growth of

Columbus to about the time of the opening of the Ohio State

University in 1873. Many of the notable pioneers of Kentucky

and Ohio and of botanical science in America and Europe come

into the picture. Conspicuous among these are the members of

the Starling and Sullivant families themselves.

This brief abstract lays no claim to originality. Interest in

Mr. Rodgers' book led to the starting of a series of notes, and

this led to the writing of the following story:

Lucas Sullivant was born in 1765 in Lunenburg County

near the center of the southern boundary of Virginia. It was a

fairly well settled and prosperous region, but the pioneering

spirit was still strong and Kentucky was the next step toward

the West. Four families with which Lucas Sullivant's career in