Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MICHAUX, Andre (me-she), French botanist, born in Satory, near Versailles, France, 7 March, 1746" died in Madagascar in November, 1802. He studied botany, and visited different countries in Europe and Asia with the view of increasing his knowledge of this science. On his return from Asia in 1785 he was commissioned by the French government to establish a nursery in the neighborhood of New York for the cultivation of trees and shrubs, which he was afterward to forward to France, where they were to be naturalized at Rambouillet. He landed in New York on 1 September, and, after establishing his nursery in Bergen county, New Jersey, travelled through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and sent his first cargo to France in the following year. In 1787 he formed a similar establishment near Charleston, South Carolina, sailing up Savannah river and its tributaries with Indian guides. The influence which he always exercised over the Indians was of great help to him in all his explorations. He crossed the Alleghanies, returned to Charleston in July, 1788, and in the beginning of 1789 spent some months in Florida. He then visited the Bahamas and Lueayes islands, which, with Hudson bay, were to be the limits of his explorations in North America. After his return to Charleston he made a careful exploration of the Carolina mountains. Meanwhile the French revolution had begun and Michaux ceased to receive remittances from the government, but he did not abandon his project of visiting Hudson bay, and readily found merchants to advance funds for the purpose on the security of his property in France. He started in April, 1792, and, after inspecting his garden in New Jersey, reached Quebec on 10 June. Thence he sailed up the St. Lawrence in bark canoes and ascended Chicoutimi (now Saguenay) river, reaching Lake Mistissinny, but his guides refused to follow him any farther and he was obliged to retrace his steps, he returned to Philadelphia, 8 December, 1792. The two gardens that Michaux had established had already done much for the improvement of arboriculture in the United States.) l[e now laid before the philosophical society of Philadelphia a plan of travel and discovery in the west, which was favorably received, especially by Thomas Jefferson, and everything was ready for its execution when the French ambassador charged Michaux with a mission relative to the occupation of Louisiana. This was afterward given up. He went again to Charleston early in 1794. After making a difficult journey of 1,200 miles through Kentucky, he sailed for France in August, 1796. The vessel was wrecked off the coast of Holland, and Michaux lost everything except his collections. He was received with great honor by the French government and by scientific men, but this did not compensate him for the loss of his nurseries at Rambouillet, which had been ruined by neglect. Out of 60,000 plants that he had sent from America only a few remained, He set about repairing the loss, but the government gave him little help, and he devoted his time to preparing his materials for publication. In 1800 he accompanied an expedition to New Holland, and landed at Madagascar, where the zeal with which he set about clearing ground for a nursery produced an attack of fever, of which he died. At the time of his death he intended to return to the United States to complete his discoveries. His works are "Histoire des chenes de l'Amerique septentrionale" (Paris, 1801). The "mindium " of aussieu, belonging to the Campanula family, is called the "Miehauxia" by some botanists in honor of Michaux.--His son, Francois Andre, botanist, born in Versailles. France, in 1770" died in France, 23 October, 1855, studied botany and forestry under the direction of his father, and took the diploma of doctor of medicine. He was sent by the minister of the interior in 1802 to study the forests of America that had ah'eady been explored by his father, and travelled through a great part of the United States, publishing, on his return, " Voyage g l'ouest des Inonts Alleghanys" (Paris, 1804; English translation, London, 1805). He then collected, in a work that laid the foundation of his reputation as a botanist, the results of his observations on different trees of North America under the title " Histoire des arbres fo-restiers de l'Amerique du Nord" (4 vols., 1810-'13), of which an English translation, "North American Silva," also appeared (4 vols., 1817-'19; 3 vols., translated by Hillhouse, with notes by John J. Smith, Philadelphia, 1830); three supplementary volumes were added by Thomas NuHall (q. v.) (1842-'9), and the whole work is now published in five volumes. He also wrote "Memoires sur la naturalisation des arbres forestiers de l'Amerique Septentrionale" (1805) ; "Notice sur les iles Ber-mudes, particulierement sur File St. George" in volume viii. of the "Annales des sciences natu-relies" (1806) ; also, in connection with C. L. Richard, a "Flora Boreali-Americana" i1803). He was a member of several societies of the natural sciences in the United States.
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