Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JAMES, Thomas Potts, botanist, born in Radnor, Pennsylvania, 1 September, 1803; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 22 February, 1882. He was a wholesale druggist in Philadelphia for forty years, devoting his leisure to botany, for which he showed a fondness from early youth. While in Philadelphia He made himself familiar with the phaenogamous vegetation of that vicinity, and subsequently became a proficient and an accepted authority on bryology, or the study of mosses. He shared the reputation of Coe F. Austin, Leo Lesquereux, and William S. Sullivant as authorities on that branch of botany in the United States. In 1867 he settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the advantages of association with Asa Gray and the use of the Harvard collections facilitated his investigations. He was a member of scientific societies, and one of the founders and long the treasurer of the American pomological society. His scientific papers were contributed to the "Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences" and to the "Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences." The article on "Musci" in the volume on "Botany" of the reports of Clarence King's "Exploration of the 40th Parallel" is by him, and to other government reports he contributed similar articles. He was joint author with Leo Lesquereux of the "Nahum of American Mosses" (Boston, 1884).
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