Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CLAYTON, John, botanist, born in Fulham, England, in 1686; died in Virginia, 15 December, 1773. In 1705 he immigrated to Virginia with his father, who was afterward attorney general of Virginia, and resided twenty miles from the City of Williamsburg. When quite young he entered the of-rice of Peter Beverly, who was clerk for Gloucester County, and, succeeding him in office, filled it for fifty-one years. He was educated as a physician, but became an enthusiastic botanist, and passed a long life in exploring and describing the plants of the country. His letters to the Royal society, giving an account of several new species of plants observed in Virginia, was embodied in Force's "Tracts" (vol. iii.). His essays on the natural history of Virginia were published in the " Philosophical Transactions" of the Royal society of London. He also sent dried specimens of the flora of Virginia to Gronovius, who with Linnaeus published an account of a portion of them (2 parts, Leyden, 1739-'43). After the death of Gronovius the remainder were described in a third part by his son (1762), who named a genus of herbaceous plant-Claytonia in his honor. He was a member of several learned societies in Europe. He left two volumes of manuscript almost ready for the press and a hortus siccus of folio size, with marginal notes and directions for the engraver in preparing the plates for the proposed work. At the beginning of the revolutionary war this work, which had been placed in the hands of William Clayton, clerk of New Kent, was burned along with the records of 646 CLAYTON CLEAVELAND the county. Several of his communications, treating of the culture and different species of tobacco, and also one containing an account of medicinal plants which he had discovered in Virginia, were published in the "Philosophical Transactions."
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