John Torrey Papers (PP)

Archives, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10458-5126
Phone: 718-817-8604

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This finding aid was produced in English.

Finding aid produced using NoteTab Pro

Collectors: Torrey, John, 1796-1873.
Title: John Torrey Papers (PP)
Dates: 1768-1888
Dates: bulk, 1806-1871
Quantity: 5.5 linear feet; 11 boxes
Call Phrase: Torrey (PP)

Biographical Note

John Torrey was born in New York City on August 15th, 1796, and as a youth collected and observed the plants of the area. When he was 15 years old, his father was appointed fiscal agent of the State Prison at Greenwich, in what is now Greenwich Village. There he met Amos Eaton, a pioneer in natural science education, who was at the time incarcerated on charges of forgery. Eaton encouraged Torrey's interest in botany, mineralogy and chemistry. In 1815 Torrey began medical studies at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1817, while still a medical student, he prepared "A catalogue of plants, growing spontaneously within thirty miles of the city of New-York" for the newly-formed New York Lyceum of Natural History, of which he was a co-founder. He received his medical degree in 1818 and briefly opened a medical practice in New York, continuing to spend his leisure time with other scientific pursuits, particularly botany and chemistry.

In 1824, the newly-married Torrey accepted a position as professor of chemistry, mineralogy and geology at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was also assistant surgeon. That same year he published "A flora of the northern and middle sections of the United States." Three years later, he left West Point for a position as professor of chemistry and botany at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

As his reputation grew, renowned botanists entrusted their specimens to him for identification. His own investigations extended to the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains on their Western boundary having been furnished with the collections of Dr. Edwin James, botanist of Major Stephen H. Long's 1820 western expedition. As early as 1823, Torrey reported descriptions of some new species from the expedition to the Lyceum of Natural History. He took an early interest in the genus Carex and was asked by Schweinitz to edit his "A monograph of the North American species of Carex."

Growing dissatisfied with the accepted Linnean system of classification, Torrey became one of the first American botanists to apply John Lindley's new "natural system" in a paper entitled "Some account of a collection of plants made during a journey to and from the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1820, by Edwin P. James, M.D. Assistant Surgeon U.S. Army" in 1826. In 1831, Torrey supervised the publication an American reprint of the first edition of Lindley's "An introduction to the natural system of botany," bringing Lindley's work to a wider American audience, and appended a catalogue of North American genera arranged in accordance with it.

Torrey began perhaps the most important professional relationship of his life in 1832, when he met Asa Gray, a young doctor with a keen interest in botany. They had been exchanging specimens for almost two years, beginning while Gray was still a medical student, before meeting face to face. After a joint collecting trip to the New Jersey pine barrens Torrey engaged the younger man as an assistant and, in many ways, a surrogate son. Their close personal and professional association lasted for the rest of Torrey's life, through their joint work on "A flora of North America," and Gray's appointment as professor of botany at Harvard.

Because of his early interest in the plant life of New York State , Torrey was appointed State Botanist for the newly-created New York Natural History Survey in 1836, which required him to prepare a comprehensive flora of the state. "A flora of the state of New York" was published in 1843 and was the largest single work of its kind to date. In addition to his duties as State Botanist and at the Medical College, Torrey had, in 1830, accepted an appointment as professor of chemistry at Princeton, which he held until 1854.

Despite his many professional engagements, Torrey's work on the "A flora of North America" occupied a prominent role in his life, including identifying and describing the hundreds of plants collected during the government-sponsored surveys for the Pacific Railroad and the Mexican Boundary Survey. Torrey also prepared botanical reports for the expeditions of Stephen Long, Joseph Nicollet, John Frémont, William Emory, Lorenzo Sitgreaves, Howard Stansbury, Randolph Marcy, and Charles Wilkes.

When the United States Mint established an Assay Office in New York in 1854, Torrey was offered the position of assayer based on his skills as a chemist and the recommendation of his close friend Joseph Henry. After some consideration Torrey accepted, and the steady work allowed him to retire from academia and devote his free time solely to botany. He was to hold this position until his death on March 10th, 1873.

Scope and Content

The collection largely consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence pertaining mostly to Torrey's work as a botanist and professor. Much of the scientific correspondence is in regard to identification of plants from the vast interior of the North American continent collected during government sponsored expeditions. Unrelated letters to and from other correspondents, some of which pre-date Torrey's birth, are also in the collection. It is unclear how Torrey came into possession of these letters.

The collection also contains plant lists, botanical notes, and correspondence with Asa Gray, all from John Frémont's expeditions of 1842 and 1843.

Unpublished Torrey manuscripts titled "Florula Princetoniana" and "Calendarium florae for the vicinity of New York" have been cataloged separately and now reside in the Rare Book Room. The collection also contains artwork drawn by Isaac Sprague, D'Jurco V. Knevels, and John Torrey himself, among others; and other drawings Torrey used as a reference for his identification work. The collection's artwork is located in the Mertz Library's Art and Illustration collection, Collection #60. Two artifacts, John Torrey's vasculum and his family coat of arms, are also contained in the collection.


The collection is organized into seven series:
Series 1: Incoming and outgoing correspondence, 1816-1879, n.d. (Boxes 1-8)
Series 2: Unrelated correspondence, to and from others, 1768-1886, n.d. (Box 9)
Series 3: Botanical miscellany, 1830-1888, n.d. (Box 9)
Series 4: Material related to the Frémont expeditions, 1843-1853 (Box 9)
Series 5: Manuscripts and Artwork, 1816-1820, n.d. (Box 10)
Series 6: Artifacts, n.d. (Box 10 and 11)


Access restrictions

This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bailey, Jacob Whitman, 1811-1857.
Buckley, S.B. (Samuel Botsford), 1809-1884.
Darlington, William, 1782-1863.
Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867.
Durand, Elias, 1794-1873.
Eaton, Amos, 1776-1842.
Emory, William H. (William Hemsley), 1811-1887.
Engelmann, George, 1809-1884.
Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890.
Gray, Asa, 1810-1888.
Greene, B. D. (Benjamin Daniel), 1793-1862.
Greville, Robert Kaye, 1794-1866.
Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878.
Hitchcock, Edward, 1793-1864.
Holton, Isaac F. (Isaac Farwell)
Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Knieskern, Peter D., 1798-1871.
Parry, C. C. (Charles Christopher), 1823-1890.
Rafinesque, C. S. (Constantine Samuel), 1783-1840.
Schweinitz, Lewis David von, 1780-1834.
Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864.
Sullivant, William Starling, 1803-1873.
Torrey, John, 1796-1873.
Tuckerman, Edward, 1817-1886.
Botany -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
Darlingtonia californica.
Lyceum of Natural History (New York, N.Y.)
New York (State). Natural History Survey.
Smithsonian Institution.
Torreya taxifolia.
Troy Lyceum of Natural History.
United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842)
United States Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel (1867-1881)
United States Military Academy.
United States North Pacific Exploring Expedition (1853-1856)
United States Pacific Railroad Expeditions and Surveys.
United States and Mexican Boundary Survey.
West (U. S.) -- Discovery and exploration.

Related Material

The New York Botanical Garden Archives

William Baldwin Papers (PP) (1811-1819)

Lewis David von Schweinitz Papers (PP) (1800-1833)

William Henry Leggett Papers (PP) (1862-1883)

Torrey Botanical Society Records (RA) (1844-2013)

The New York Botanical Garden Library

Art and Illustration Collection-(drawings from the Pacific Railroad Reports)

Missouri Botanical Garden Archives

George Engelmann Papers (1831-1914)

Library and Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University

Asa Gray Papers (1830-1953 (bulk 1830-1888))

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Joseph Henry Collection (1808, 1825-1878, and related papers to circa 1903)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Archives

Directors' Correspondence Collection (includes Torrey correspondence from 1824-1871)

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University

Silliman Family Papers (1717-1977 (bulk 1717-1911))

D. Cady Eaton Papers (1853-1914)

Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

William Hemsley Emory Papers (1823-1886)

American Philosophical Society Library

John Torrey Papers (1819-1864)

Charles Wilkins Short Correspondence (1813-1867)

C.S. (Constantine Samuel) Rafinesque Papers (1808-1840)

Asa Gray Papers (1838-1887)

Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Chester Dewey Papers (1800-1877)

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

John Torrey Papers (1818-1859)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Torrey Papers (PP), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the collection was transferred to NYBG from Columbia University when the Torrey herbarium and library were transferred. Additions were incorporated over the years by purchases by Nathaniel Lord Britton and John Hendley Barnhart, and donations from the collection of John J. Crooke. A few items were donated by Raymond Torrey and others letters were removed from specimens in the NYBG Steere Herbarium and incorporated into the collection.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Susan Fraser, NYBG Archivist, October 2000, with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (NEH-PA 23141-98). Converted to EAD in August 2006 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA 50678-04). Revised in 2019 by Lenge Hong as part of "Digitizing and Transcribing the John Torrey Papers: Natural Science and Exploration in the 19th Century," funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PW 234827-16).

Container List


Series 1. Incoming and outgoing correspondence. (Boxes 1-8)

Scope and Content:

Incoming correspondence:

Correspondence of botanical interest from over 350 correspondents. Notable correspondents include George Bentham, Jacob Bigelow, John Carey, A.W. Chapman, William Cooper, Moses Ashley Curtis, William Darlington, Chester Dewey, Andrew Jackson Downing, Elias Durand, Amos Eaton, William Emory, George Engelmann, Asa Gray, Joseph Henry, William Hooker, Peter Knieskern, C.C. Parry, John Riddell, Lewis David von Schweinitz, Benjamin Silliman, and Edward Tuckerman.

Outgoing correspondence:

Correspondence from John Torrey to friends and colleagues pertaining largely to botanical topics, including publications and plant identifications from botanical explorations of the Southwestern and Western United States.

Folder Title Date
Incoming correspondence:
Abbott, Austin 1822
Abert, J.W. (James William) 1847
Agardh, C.S. 1870-1871
Agardh, Carl Adolf 1819
Agardh, Jacob Georg 1839
Aiken, William E.A. 1830-1862
Alden, Bradford Ripley 1832-1834
Alioth, Friedrich Sigmund 1872
Alvord, Benjamin 1842-1854
Andrews, Timothy Langdon 1850-1855
Antisell, Thomas 1853-1861
Bache, A.D. (Alexander Dallas) 1843
Bachman, John 1840
Bailey, Jacob Whitman 1836-1857
Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1851-1860
Baldwin, William 1816-1818
Baltzell, George F. 1838
Barratt, Joseph 1827-1846
Barrows, Egbert S. 1834
Bartlett, W.H.C. (William Holms Chambers) 1842-1843
Beardslee, H.C. (Henry Curtis) 1843-1879
Bebb, M.S. (Michael Schuck) 1871
Beck, Lewis C. 1819
Beckwith, E.G. (Edward Griffin) 1854-1855
Bennett, Alva 1836
Bentham, George 1823-1857
Bigelow, Artemas 1855
Bigelow, Jacob 1820-1824
Bigelow, John M. 1840-1865
Binder, Nicolaus 1836
Birdsall, Egbert B. 1827
Blake, William P. 1855-1856
Blodgett, John Loomis 1845
Bloomer, Hiram G. 1861
Bogenhard, Carl 1852-1853
Bolander, Henry N. 1865-1871
Bolton, James 1852
Boott, Francis 1821-1851
Boott, William 1842
Bory de Saint-Vincent, Jean Baptiste 1846
Boykin, Samuel 1835-1847
Brace, John Pierce 1821-1841
Brackenridge, William D. 1847-1855
Brereton, John A. 1834
Bromfield, William Arnold 1850
Brown, Robert 1833
Buckley, S.B. 1838-1883
Bull, Buckland Watson 1852
Burke, Joseph 1853
Canby, William Marriott 1864-1869
Candolle, Alphonse de 1863
Carey, John 1835-1854
Carey, Samuel Thomas 1836-1853
Carpenter, William Marbury 1839-1840
Carson, Joseph 1864
Case, Loyal 1851
Caspary, Robert 1858
Cattell, William Cassiday 1852
Chapman, A.W. (Alvan Wentworth) 1835-1851
Cheney, T. Apoleon 1862
Chilton, James R. 1853
Choisy, Jacques Denys 1840
Christy, William, Jr. 1833-1837
Clapp, Asahel 1836-1840
Clarke, Benjamin 1859
Clarke, Walter 1861
Clinton, George W. 1828-1869
Colby, Isaac 1840
Coley, Charles H. 1853
Collins, Zaccheus 1817-1819
Conover, V.F. 1852
Cooper, J.G. (James Graham) 1865-1868
Cooper, William 1821-1830
Coultas, Harland n.d.
Cozzens, Fred. S. 1825
Craighead, Robert 1852 or 1853
Crawe, I.B. (Ithamar Bingham) 1836-1837
Croom, Hardy Bryan 1834-1837
Currey, Richard O. 1839
Curtis, M.A. (Moses Ashley) 1833-1851
Curtiss, Allen Hiram 1869
Dall, William Healey 1866
Darby, John 1841
Darlington, William 1817-1853
Daubeny, Charles 1837-1858
Davis, Emerson 1825
Davis, Nancy Jane 1869
Decaisne, Joseph 1842-1868
Desvaux, Auguste-Nicaise 1826
Dewey, Chester 1818-1862
Dix, Dorothea Lynde 1832, n.d.
Dix, John A. 1836
Douglass, David Bates 1821
Downing, A.J. (Andrew Jackson) 1833-1847
Drayton, Joseph 1847-1850
Duby, J.É. n.d.
Dunlap, Thomas (Nurseryman) 1841
Durand Elias 1832-1866
Eaton, Amos 1816-1840
Eaton, Daniel Cady 1856-1860
Eaton, H.H. (Hezekiah Hulbert) 1831
Edgar, John 1849
Edwards, Lewis Allison 1848
Eights, James 1838
Elliott, Stephen 1818-1823
Emmons, Ebenezer 1828-1846
Emory, William H. 1847-1857
Endicott, George 1842
Endicott, Wm. & Co. 1850
Engelmann, George 1841-1862
Featherman, A. (Americus) 1870
Fischer, F.E.L. (Friedrich Ernst Ludwig) 1836-1842
Fitch, Augustus n.d.
Forbes, Sarah Swain Hathaway n.d.
Foreman, Edward R. 1852
Forward, Walter 1843
Freedley, Samuel 1827
Frémont, John Charles 1842-1848
Frémont, Jessie Benton 1847-1849
Gale, Leonard D. 1853
Geyer, Karl Andreas 1843
Gibbes, Lewis Reeves 1838-1854
Gibbs, George 1854
Gilliss, J.M. (James Melville) 1854-1856
Gingins-La-Sarra, Frédéric de 1827
Girard, Charles 1853
Gould, John Stanton 1869
Graham, J.D. (James Duncan) 1852
Graham, Robert 1836
Graves, Charles W. 1853
Gray, A.B. (Andrew Belcher) 1856
Gray, Asa 1831-1871
Gray, H. 1831
Gray, Jane Loring 1849-1850
Green, Caleb 1853
Green, Jacob 1832
Greene, B.D. (Benjamin Daniel) 1829-1844
Greene, Edward Lee 1872
Greene, Thomas Arnold 1827-1832
Greville, Robert Kaye 1820-1849
Griffith, R. Eglesfeld 1847
Guyot, A. (Arnold) 1854
Hadley, James 1841
Hale, Josiah 1838
Hall, James 1870
Halsey, Abraham 1825-1836
Halsted, M.B. 1844-1854
Harvey, William H. 1850
Hearsey, Isaac P. 1831
Henry, Joseph 1834-1861
Henry, T. Charlton 1854
Hilgard, Theodore C. 1857
Hincks, William [1847 or 1848]
Hitchcock, Edward 1819-1848
Hochstein, Anthony 1857
Hogg, James 1836
Holmes, A.F. 1827-1857
Holt, Joseph 1857-1858
Holton, Isaac F. 1840-1870
Hooker, Charles [between 1838 and 1849]
Hooker, Joseph Dalton 1866
Hooker, William Jackson 1821-1857
Hopkins, Albert 1838
Houghton, Douglass 1832-1839
Hulse, Gilbert White 1836-1841
Humphreys, A.A. (Andrew Atkinson) 1855
Hunter, Cyrus L. 1843
Ingalls, Thomas Russell 1834
Ives, J.C. 1857
Jagaer, B. (Benedict) 1837-1842
James, Edwin 1854
Janin, Louis 1828
Jardin, Edelestan 1862, n.d.
Jarvis, Nathan Sturges 1834
Johnson, Ezekiel Porter 1831-1842
Johnston, John 1839-1857
Jussieu, Adrien de 1836-1852
Kellogg, A. (Albert) 1856
Kinnicott, John A. 1827
Knevels, John W. 1836
Knieskern, Peter D. 1836-1858
Laning, Enoch 1851-1859
Lapham, Increase Allen 1838-1842
LaTaste, Lucian [1838]
Lawrence J.J. 1836-1845
Lawson, George 1863
Lea, Thomas G. 1839
Leavenworth, Melines Conklin 1836-1845
Le Conte, John Eatton 1852
Le Conte, John 1857
LeConte, John L. (John Lawrence) 1866
Lehmann, Johann Georg Christian 1836-1840
Leitner, Edward Frederick 1832
Lenormand, Sébastian René 1862
Lesquereux, Leo 1852
Lindley, John 1834-1837
Lindsay, W. Lauder 1866
Locke, John 1854
Long, Stephen H. (Stephen Harriman) 1819
Loomis, Harris 1834-1836
Loudon, J.C. (John Claudius) 1841
Lowrie, Reuben 1852
Lundgren, J.H. 1852
Maclagan, Philip Whiteside 1843
Macgowan, Daniel Jerome 1853
Mackay, James Townsend 1838
McMinn, J.M. 1843-1869
McMurtrie, Henry 1829
McRee, James Fergus 1833
Mann, Horace 1866-1869
Marcy, Randolph B. 1852
Marcy, William L. 1836
Martius, Karl Friedrich Philipp von 1839
Maximowicz, C.J. 1867
Mead, Samuel Barnum 1841-1847
Meigs, Return J. 1858
Meissner, C.F. (Carl Friedrich) 1872
Menand, Louis 1841-1842
Mercier, Philippe 1826
Merriam, Edward D. 1853
Miers, John 1856
Mitchill,Catherine Akerly Cock 1834
Moore, Thomas 1859
Müller,Johann 1873
Murray, Amelia M. 1855
Naudin, Charles n.d.
Nees von Esenbeck, C.G. (Christian Gottfried) 1837-1854
Neisler, Hugh M. (Hugh Mitchell) 1853-1854
Newberry, J.S. (John Strong) 1856-1862
Nicol, William 1837
Nicollet, J.N. (Joseph Nicholas) 1841-1843
North, Nelson L. (Nelson Luther) 1853
Nuttall, Thomas 1820-1838
Oakes, William 1823-1841
Olney, Stephen T. 1845-1871
Paddock, Jonathan Roberts 1838-1840
Paine, John A. 1860
Paine, Martyn 1856
Palmer, Edward 1867
Parry, C.C. (Charles Christopher) 1846-1868
Parsons, Samuel Bowne 1853-1858
Pearson, Jonathan 1844
Peck, Charles H. (Charles Horton) 1870
Perceval, Anne Mary [circa 1838-1840]
Perrine, Henry 1832-1838
Peter, Robert 1836
Pickering, Charles 1833-1836
Piper, R.U. (Richard Upton) 1854
Pitcher, Zina 1829-1834
Pope, John 1854
Porcher, Francis Peyre 1847
Porter, C.H. 1863
Porter, Jacob 1832-1834
Porter, Thomas C. (Thomas Conrad) 1869-1870
Prestele, Joseph 1845-1858
Prince, William Robert 1849-1861
Prior, R.C. Alexander 1855
Rafinesque, C.S. (Constantine Samuel) 1819-1840
Ravenel, Henry William 1848-1869
Rawolle, Charles 1858
Redfield, John Howard 1850-1872
Regel, E. (Eduard) n.d.
Reichenbach, H. G. (Heinrich Gustav) 1852
Riddell, John Leonard 1833-1838
Riley, Henry Augustus 1850
Riocreux, A. (Alfred) 1855
Robbins, J.W. (James Watson) 1828-1830
Rogers, J. Smyth 1827
Rowland, E. (Edward) 1839
Ruffner, Henry 1837
Rugel, Ferdinand 1847
Russell, John Lewis 1838
Sagot, P. (Paul) 1866
Samples, John 1839
Sartwell, H.P. (Henry Parker) 1837-1853
Schanck, John Stillwell 1855-1857
Schott, Arthur 1851-1869
Schultz, Carl Heinrich 1853-1860
Schweinitz, Lewis David von 1820-1832
Scouler, John 1849
Shepard, Charles Upham 1829
Short, Charles Wilkins 1834-1859
Silliman, Benjamin 1819-1848
Silliman, Benjamin, Jr. 1843-1859
Sitgreaves, Lorenzo 1853
Smith, Buckingham 1850-1868
Smith, Daniel B. 1827-1865
Smith, James Edward 1821
Smith, Oliver 1835
Smith, William Manlius 1846
Solms-Laubach, Hermann 1868
Sprengel, Kurt Polycarp Joachim 1820
Stansbury, Howard 1850-1852
Steinhauer, Daniel 1839
Steinhauer, Henry 1816
Stenhammar, Carl 1825
Steudel, Ernst Gottlieb 1844
Stevenson, Matthew 1818-1825
Stillman, J.D.B (Jacob Davis Babcock) 1850
Stokes, Jonathan 1823
Stretch, Richard H. (Richard Harper) 1865
Stuart, George 1852
Sullivant, William Starling 1838-1869
Teschemacher, James 1840-1842
Thiébaut de Berneaud, Arsenne 1823
Thurber, George 1851-1869
Townsend, John Kirk 1841
Trecul, Auguste 1848
Trinius, Carl Bernhard 1834
Troost, Gerard 1824
Tuckerman, Edward 1838-1856
Tully, William 1840-1846
Van Cleve, John W. 1838
Vasey, George 1844
Walker-Arnott, George Arnott 1832-1849
Ward, N.B. (Nathaniel Bagshaw) 1836
Watson, Sereno 1869-1870
Webb, Philip Barker 1841
Whipple, Amiel Weeks 1855
Whipple, Charles W. 1831
Whippo, Charles T. 1823
Wilkes, Charles 1847-1858
Williams, S. Wells (Samuel Wells) 1836
Willis, Oliver R. (Oliver Rivington) 1843-1862
Wilson, Nathaniel 1862
Wislizenus, F.A. (Friedrich Adolph) 1848
Wolle, Christian Jacob 1838
Wood, Alphonso 1868
Woodhouse, S.W. (Samuel Washington) 1852
Wright, Charles 1849-1869
Wright, John 1840-1841
Wright, Samuel Hart 1870
Young, Aaron 1847-1848
Outgoing correspondence:
Benner, Robert 1844
Brackenridge, William D. and Wilkes, Charles – (Photostats only; originals at the Smithsonian) 1847-1854
Carey, John n.d.
Eaton, Amos 1818
Engelmann, George – (Photostats only; originals at the Missouri Botanical Garden; includes one letter from Asa Gray and one letter from Margaret Torrey) 1844-1873
Gibbes, Lewis Reeves 1838-1872
Gray, Asa
Halsey, Abraham 1834
Miller, E.H. 1871
Ogden, Gouverneur M. (Photostats only) 1873
Ravenel, Henry William (Photostats only) 1849
Redfield, John Howard (Photostats only) 1840
Silliman, Benjamin 1822-1839
Silliman, Benjamin, Jr. 1862
Various correspondents (A.D. Bache, Jacob Whitman Bailey, S.B. Buckley, Parker Cleaveland, Zaccheus Collins, Edward C. Delavan, Amos Eaton, John Fries Fraser, Asa Gray, John L. LeConte, Samuel Gordon Morton, Edward Palmer, C.S. Rafinesque, Charles Wilkins Short, John Kirk Townsend, W.W. Treadway, John Vaughn, Charles Wilkes; plus John D. Clifford to Robert Wickliff; mss gift note from Christine Robbins) [Photostats; originals in the American Philosophical Society.]

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Series 2. Unrelated correspondence to and from others (Box 9)

Scope and Content:

Letters to and from individuals other than John Torrey, which were found or deposited in the Torrey collection. There are 43 folders with letters from 40 authors.

Folder Title Date
Aublet, Fusée, to Lambere 1768
Bonpland, Aimé, to Charles DeForest Fredricks 1850
Brickell, John, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1808
Brisseau-Mirbel, C.-F., to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1828
Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de, to Francis Boott 1836
Claret de La Tourrette, Marc-Antoine-Louis, letter 1788
Darlington, William, to William Baldwin 1817-1819
Darlington, William, to Asa Gray 1848-1853
Darwin, Charles, to Asa Gray 1859?
Gray, Asa from Charles Darwin 1859?
Delarbre, Antoine, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1797
Delessert, Benjamin, to Asa Gray 1841
Drake, Daniel, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1820
Duchesne, Antoine-Nicholas, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu n.d.
Duvau, Auguste, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1828
Eaton, J.H., to Jacob Whitman Bailey 1845
Gilibert, Jean Emmanuel, letter n.d.
Gouan, Antoine, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1807
Gray, Asa, to George Bentham [mss copy] 1849
Lamouroux, Jean Vincent Félix, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1814
Lettsom, John Coakley, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1806
Lowell, John Amory, to Asa Gray 1846
MacBride, James, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1817
Mertens, Franz Carl, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1820
Michaux, François André, to Michel Saunier n.d.
Mitchill, Samuel L., to David Hosack 1825
Mougeot, Jean-Baptiste, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1828
Mueller, Ferdinand von, to Asa Gray 1871
Pavon, Jose, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1806
Picot de Lapeyrouse, Philippe de, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1785
Plowright, Charles B., to Elizabeth G. Britton 1886
Poiret, Jean Louis Marie, to Adrien de Jussieu n.d.
Pourret, Pedro Andres, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1789
Sellwood, Henry, to Sophia Cracroft 1853
Shecut, John L.E.W., to Samuel L. Mitchill 1816
Silliman, Benjamin, to Charles Babbage 1833
Silliman, Benjamin, to Michael Faraday 1833
Silliman, Benjamin, to Edward Turner 1833
Sweet, Robert, to George Charlwood n.d.
Thunberg, Carl Peter, to W.G. Tilesius von Tilenau 1811
Valentin, Louis, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1823
Villars, Dominique, to Antoine Laurent de Jussieu 1781
Vleck, Jacob Van, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1809-1820
Waterhouse, Benjamin, to Samuel L. Mitchill 1826
Zuccarini, J.G., letter 1840

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Series 3. Botanical miscellany (Box 9)

Scope and Content:

Notes, drafts, obituaries and ephemera pertaining to botanical subjects. Of particular interest is a page of notes on "On the origin of Herbaria" by Ernest H.T. Meyer; Elizabeth G. Britton's mss "Notes on the Gray letters to Dr. Torrey"; and a partial mss of Torrey's 1853 publication "On the Darlingtonia californica."

Folder Title Date
Blume, C.L., signature n.d.
Britton, Elizabeth G., mss "Notes on the Gray letters to Dr. Torrey" 1888
Commerson, Philibert, mss notes n.d.
Cutler, Manasseh, article mss (partial) 1784
Eliot, Charles W., death notice for Asa Gray 1888
Gray, Asa, mss C.F. Meissner obituary [1874]
Mss notes on Ernst H.F. Meyer's "On the origin of herbaria" [1863]
Rousseau, B.A., John Torrey lecture ticket 1830
Schlectendal, D.F.L. von note n.d.
Torrey, John, article mss (partial) "On the Darlingtonia californica, a new pitcher-plant from northern California" n.d.
Torrey, John, "On the Darlingtonia califonica, a new pitcher plant from northern California" (published pamphlet) 1853
Typescript copy "Minutes of the Trustees of Columbia College, 5 November 1860" n.d.
Four unidentified images of botanists n.d.
One empty envelope (contained drawings now in series 5) n.d.

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Series 4. Frémont expedition. (Box 9)

Scope and Content:

Plant lists, notes and letters relating to the 2nd and 3rd Frémont expeditions (1843-1844, 1845).

Folder Title Date
List of plants for 1843 1843
Localities of plants for 1844 1844
Plant lists and notes, 2nd expedition, 1843-1844 1843-1844
List of plants of Fremont's collection 1845-1846 sent by Torrey to Engelmann 1848
Numbers corresponding to labels on the plants … (3rd expedition) 1845-1846
List of explorers and travelers who have collected plants in California, Oregon, Washington Territory and Nevada n.d.
List of camps from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to San Pedro, California by J.M. Bigelow 1853
Asa Gray lists and letters regarding Fremont's expeditions n.d.

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Series 5. Manuscripts and Artwork. (Box 10)

Scope and Content:

Torrey manuscripts "Florula Princetoniana" and "Calendarium florae for the vicinity of New York" now reside in the Mertz Library's Rare Book Room. Artwork bears art collection numbers (NYBG collection number 60). Drawings include "Figures of Hepaticae...; a manuscript title page "Genera of fungi"; original watercolors of fungi by John Torrey and D'Jurco V. Knevels; a lithograph of Samuel L. Mitchill; and other miscellaneous drawings. Of particular note is the original drawing of Darlingtonia californica (cobra lily, or California pitcher plant) by Isaac Sprague.

Box Title Date
10 Mss "Florula Princetoniana" (in RBR; call number QK130.T6) n.d.
10 Mss "Calendarium florae for the vicinity of New York" (in RBR; call number QK129.T58) [1818-1820]
10 Miscellaneous botanical pencil sketches and notes (92 pieces; numbers 60-01 to 60-92) 1817, n.d.
10 Pencil drawings (by Torrey?) of liverworts titled "Figures of Hepaticae…" (6 pieces; numbers 60-93 to 60-97) 1818
10 Mss title page "Genera of fungi" (1 piece; number 60-98) n.d.
10 Unsigned watercolors of assorted fungi, referencing Persoon, with notes on verso (8 pieces; numbers 60-99 to 60-106) 1816
10 Watercolors of assorted fungi painted by D'Jurco V. Knevels (4 pieces; numbers 60-107 to 60-110) 1817
10 Unsigned watercolor of fungus (possibly a truffle or tuckahoe)(1 piece; number 60-111) n.d.
10 Unsigned pen drawing of a "truffle," with notes (1 piece; number 60-112) n.d.
10 Unidentified botanical drawing (1 piece; number 60-113) n.d.
10 Watercolor of Amaranthus pumilus (1 piece; number 60-114) n.d.
10 Pencil drawing of wasp (?) (1 piece; number 60-115) n.d.
10 Pen and ink drawing of marine invertebrates (1 piece; number 60-116) n.d.
10 Pen and ink drawings of chemistry equipment, signed by Torrey (2 pieces; numbers 20-117 and 60-118) n.d.
10 Lithograph of Samuel L. Mitchill (1 piece; number 60-119) n.d.
10 Pencil drawings of Darlingtonia californica (2 pieces; numbers 60-120 and 60-121) n.d.

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Series 6. Artifacts. (Box 10 and 11)

Scope and Content:

John Torrey’s vasculum (cylindrical metal box for collecting plants) and one hand painted Torrey family coat of arms.

Box Title Date
10 Torrey Family coat-of-arms n.d.
11 John Torrey’s vasculum (cylindrical metal box for collecting plants) n.d.

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