Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PLUMIER, Charles, French botanist, born in Marseilles, France, in 1646, died in Santa Maria, near Cadiz, Spain, in 1704. He entered the order of Minimes in 1662, and devoted himself to the physical sciences, mathematics, and painting. He attended botanical lectures in Rome, and was selected by the government in 1689 to accompany Surian to the French possessions in the Antilles. The two botanists quarrelled at the end of eighteen months, and Plumier published his results separately on his return to France. Owing to the interest that was excited among scientists, the king sent him on a second mission to the same colonies. Its success induced him to make a third voyage, on which he visited Guadeloupe and Santo Domingo, as well as Martinique. He also went to the neighboring coast of the main-land, where he made many valuable collections. He sailed for Santa Maria, intending to embark at that port for Peru, but was attacked by pleurisy shortly after landing. Plumier rendered great services to the natural sciences, and particularly to botany. His works are "Description des plantes de l'Amerique" (Paris, 1693) ; " Nova plantarum Americanarum genera " (1703); and "Traite des fougeres de l'Ameriques" (1705). Plumier also published some other works, and left an immense collection of manuscripts, which are in the library of Paris and in that of the Jardin des Plantes. Among them are "Botanographia Americana," "Descriptiones plantarum ex America," "De naturalibus Antillarum," "Solum, salum Americanum, seu plantarum, piscium, volucrumque insulis Antillis et San-Dominicana naturalium icones et deseriptiones," "Poissons de l'Amerique," and " Ornithograpbia Americana, quadrupedia et volatilia continens." Thereare altogether more than 4,300 designs of plants and more than 1,200 of other objects in natural history, drawn by Plumier, probably a larger number than were executed by any other artist. Several dissertations by Plumier were published in scientific periodicals. In the "Journal des savants" of 1694, and in the "Memoires de Trevoux" of September, 1703, he gave the first correct accounts of the origin of cochineal. The name Plumeria was given by Tournefort to a class of trees in the West Indies.
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