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271st Annual Meeting Featuring Victoria Johnson

January 15, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Join us for the 271st Annual Meeting of the Charleston Library Society. This year’s guest speaker will be author and educator Victoria Johnson, who will discusse her recent book, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. The biography tells the story of Hamilton and Burr’s personal physician, whose dream to build the nation’s first botanical garden inspired the young republic. RSVP Necessary – SEATS ARE LIMITED. TO RSVP, CALL 843-723-9912 or EMAIL dreutter@charlestonlibrarysociety.org

ABOUT THE BOOK When Dr. David Hosack tilled the country’s first public botanical garden in the Manhattan soil more than two hundred years ago, he didn’t just dramatically alter the New York landscape; he left a monumental legacy of advocacy for public health and wide-ranging support for the sciences. A charismatic dreamer admired by the likes of Jefferson, Madison, and Humboldt, and intimate friends with both Hamilton and Burr, the Columbia professor devoted his life to inspiring Americans to pursue medicine and botany with a rigor to rival Europe’s. Though he was shoulder-to-shoulder with the founding fathers―and even present at the fatal duel that took Hamilton’s life―Hosack and his story remain unknown. Now, in melodic prose, historian Victoria Johnson eloquently chronicles Hosack’s tireless career to reveal the breadth of his impact. The result is a lush portrait of the man who gave voice to a new, deeply American understanding of the powers and perils of nature.

“From the first moment I learned of David Hosack and his lost botanical garden—today the site of Rockefeller Center—I’ve been working to reconstruct his dramatic and moving life story. I’ve followed him through a vanished New York City, up the Hudson to his beautiful estate at Hyde Park (now home to the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site), and across the Atlantic to England and Scotland, where he studied medicine and botany as a young man in the late eighteenth century. I’ve also followed Hosack through more than thirty archival collections in the US and Europe as I researched and wrote American Eden.” -Victoria Johnson


A former Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, Johnson currently is an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College in New York City, teaching on the history of philanthropy, nonprofits, and New York City. She holds a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale.


January 15, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm