• Andre Michaux


    Histoire des chênes de l'Amérique, 1801, The Oaks of North America
    Flora Boreali-Americana, 1803, The Flora Of North America.

    André Michaux was sent to America in 1785 by the French government, which asked him to collect timber trees and plants useful as either food or medicine. Michaux was accompanied on this journey by his young son, François André, and a gardener, Paul Saulnier.

    A nursery garden was established in New Jersey, not far from New York, where Saulnier was to be in charge of a base for collections waiting too be sent back to Europe.

    During the next ten years, thousands of trees were collected by Michaux on his travels to the southern Appalachians, Spanish Florida, the Bahamas, and the Carolina mountains. These were taken to the royal nurseries at Rambouillet, Not many of the plants survived... 

    A second Michaux nursery was established at Charleston, South Carolina, Michaux.org see Drayton Hall Plantationunder the care of François André until 1790, when he went back to France to study medicine.

    Micheaux Sr. traveled from Hudson's Bay to Florida and west to the Mississippi in his search for new plants... Michaux returned to France in 1796. where he tried unsuccessfully to raise money from the government for further exploration of North America. 

    He eventually accepted a post on Baudin's expedition to Australia, leaving France in October 1800. This was the last time that François-André was to see his father (he died in Madagascar in 1802), and the younger Michaux was left to see the present work through the presses. However, he was more successful in getting official backing and visited America twice more: firstly from 1801 to 1803 and finally from 1806 to 1809. Great Flower Books (1990)