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September 2019

A Talk by the Author: Victoria Johnson's American Eden

  • 01 September 2019
  • 4 Maude Adams Road, Tannersville, NY 12485

$10, Free to Members.  No reservations or pre-purchase of tickets necessary. 

5-6 pm

A post-talk reception will be held for Arboretum Members.

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. Hosack’s story remains largely unknown. Now historian Victoria Johnson chronicles Hosack’s tireless career to reveal the breadth of his impact: a portrait of the man who gave voice to a new, deeply American understanding of the powers and perils of nature.

From the meadows of Manhattan and correspondents around the world, Hosack collected over two thousand species at his twenty-acre botanical garden.  In his enormous conservatory, Hosack introduced New Yorkers to ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees from as far away as Japan, Madagascar, and the Cape of Good Hope.  Today, Radio City Music Hall sits on the footprint of Hosack's conservatory. His land is home to Rockefeller Center.

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



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