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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DARLINGTON, William, scientist, born in Birmingham, Pennsylvania, 28 April 1782; died in West Chester, Pennsylvania, 23 April 1863. His parents were Quakers, and ills early education was received in the country school, he began the study of medicine at the age of eighteen, and was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1804. He studied languages and botany two years, and in 1806 went to India as a ship's surgeon, for which (joining a military organization) he was disowned by the Society of Friends. A sketch of his voyage, under the title of "Letters from Calcutta," was published in the "' Analectic Magazine." He returned to the United States in 1807, and for several years practiced medicine in West Chester. Here he entered into politics, wrote in defense of the policy of President Madison, and at the beginning of the war of 1812 aided :in raising an armed corps in his neighborhood, and, after the destruction of Washington in 18i4, was chosen major of a volunteer regiment. He founded an athenaeum, and a society of natural history, of which he became the president. In 1813 he began a descriptive catalogue of plants growing around West Chester, with the title "Florula Cestrica" (1826), afterward enlarged as the "Flora Cestrica" (1837; new ed., 1853), containing a complete description and classification of every plant known in the County. He was a member of congress from 4 December 1815, till 3 March 1817, and from 6 December 1819, till 3 March. 1823. In 1843 he edited the correspondence of his friend, Dr. William Baldwin, with a memoir, entitling the work " Reliquiae Baldwiniana." In 1853 the name of Darling-tonica California was given, in his honor, to a new and remarkable variety of pitcher plant found in California, in addition to which a number of rare plants were named in his honor by naturalists in Switzerland and America. The degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Yale in 1848, and in 1855 that of Doctor of Physical Science, by Dickinson College. He was a member of forty learned societies in America and Europe. In addition to the works noted above, he published "Mutual Influence of Habits and Disease" (1804) and "Agricultural Botany" (Philadelphia, 1847).
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