Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest

Overview

Between 1824 and 1834, Scottish naturalist David Douglas wandered from New York to Hawaii in quest of promising nursery plants for the London Horticultural Society. He was a complex character whose dogged perseverance delivered a flood of both flora and fauna from the New World.

Douglas made forays both on and off the main river routes in the Pacific Northwest, displaying a remarkable zeal as he gathered everything from minerals to mammals and horned lizards to band-tailed ...

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The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest

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Overview

Between 1824 and 1834, Scottish naturalist David Douglas wandered from New York to Hawaii in quest of promising nursery plants for the London Horticultural Society. He was a complex character whose dogged perseverance delivered a flood of both flora and fauna from the New World.

Douglas made forays both on and off the main river routes in the Pacific Northwest, displaying a remarkable zeal as he gathered everything from minerals to mammals and horned lizards to band-tailed pigeons. Along the way, he forged relationships with fur trade agents, mixed-blood voyageurs, and a succession of native tribes who understood the species that he sought. In telling Douglas's story, Nisbet evokes a lost world of early exploration, pristine nature, ambition, and cultural and class conflict with surprisingly modern resonance.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Botanist David Douglas (1799-1834) was born a commoner in a tiny Scottish village, but his exceptional talents as a plant hunter and collector won him early notice in high places. In 1824, he was dispatched by the Royal Horticultural Society to America's Pacific Northwest to find plants for the English and European markets. The society obviously made the right choice: Douglas collected over 200 species during his herculean 10,000-mile walk between the Pacific Coast and Hudson Bay. Jack Nisbet chronicles Douglas's astonishing life and mysterious death in this richly detailed biography.
From the Publisher
"Jack Nisbet’s brisk, thrilling accoun allows us to walk, ride, and paddle along with David Douglas, the tireless nineteenth-century Scotsman whose name is attached to Cascadia’s iconic fir. Nisbet takes us on the ultimate naturalist’s tour of a largely
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570616679
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 785,540
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Nature's Hand ix

I Fruits of the New World: 1823-24 1

II The Rites of Neptune: 1824-25 23

III Between the Desert and the Sea: Spring-Summer 1825 37

IV Taking the Smoke: Summer-Winter 1825 53

V The Interior Year: Spring 1826 73

VI Sleeping on Shattered Stones: Summer 1826 91

VII The Perfect Enthuslast: Fall 1826-Spring 1827 117

VIII Crown of the Continent: Spring-Summer 1827 143

IX "A Scientifick Naturalist": Fall 1827-Fall 1829 167

X Breathing New Climates: Fall 1829-Fall 1832 191

XI The Canyon: Winter 1832-Summer 1833 211

XII Craters: 1834 229

Epilogue: Nourishment Beyond Names 251

Acknowledgments 256

Bibliography 257

Chapter Notes 265

Index 275

Maps

David Douglas in North America: 1824-34 vii

The Northwest Coast: 1825-33 36

The Interior: 1826-27 72

The North Country: 1833 212

Hawaiian Islands: 1834 228

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