Victoria Johnson, an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City and author of American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, leads us on an investigation of the life of Dr. David Hosack and the many organizations he founded, including the Elgin Botanical Garden.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Victoria Johnson, an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City and author of American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, introduces us to the life of Dr. David Hosack and the many philanthropic organizations he founded.
As Victoria helps us investigate David Hosack’s life, she reveals who David Hosack was and information about his training as a medical doctor; Why Hosack worked to build a botanical garden in New York City, which was the first of its kind in the United States; And, How David Hosack’s personal relationships with the likes of DeWitt Clinton, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr helped him establish philanthropic institutions like the Elgin Botanical Garden.
What You’ll Discover
- David Hosack
- Victoria’s approach to biography
- Hosack’s childhood during the British occupation of New York City
- Hosack’s medical training
- Early Americans’ preference for European trained doctors
- Botany and the medicinal purposes of plants
- David Hosack’s study of botany
- Hosack’s return to New York City
- Philanthropic institutions of early New York City
- The first botanical garden in the United States
- New York State’s purchase of the first botanical garden
- Philanthropy and philanthropic institutions in the early republic
- Hosack’s personal life
- Hosack’s relationship with DeWitt Clinton
- Hosack’s involvement in the Hamilton-Burr Duel
- The legacy of David Hosack
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Victoria Johnson
- American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic
- Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opera Survived the End of the Old Regime
- Rockefeller Center
- The Papers of Alexander Hamilton
- Joanne Freeman, Affairs of Honor
- New-York Historical Society
- Eric Sanderson, Manahatta: A Natural History of New York City
- Episode 203: Joanne Freeman, Alexander Hamilton
- Episode 209: Considering Biography
- Episode 210: Considering John Marshall, Part 1
- Episode 211: Considering John Marshall, Part 2
- Episode 212: Researching Biography
- Episode 237: Nora Doyle, Motherhood in Early America
- Episode 263: Sari Altschuler, The Medical Imagination
In your opinion, what might have happened if David Hosack had been aware of germ theory during his lifetime? How do you think this knowledge would have impacted his innovations and experiments with the medicinal uses of plants?
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