MARSHALL, Humphry (1722-1801)
Arbustrum Americanum: the American Grove, or, an alphabetical catalogue of forest trees and shrubs, natives of the American United States, arranged according to the Linnæan system ... also, some hints of their uses in medicine, dyes, and domestic economy
Philadelphia: printed by Joseph Crukshank, 1785. 8vo. (7 7/8 x 4 5/8 inches). 174pp.
Later vellum, spine flat, black morocco lettering piece, endleaves renewed.
The first work on trees to be both written and published in America: "the first truly indigenous Botanical Essay published in the Western hemisphere" (DAB).
Marshall, a cousin of John Bartram and a Quaker who shared the family interest in flora, describes a number of American trees never before noted. This work was thus of considerable interest not only to America but in Europe as well, to botanists as well as gardeners. This first edition is dedicated to Benjamin Franklin and the members of the American Philosophical Society. The work takes the form of an introduction (including a note that the author was contemplating publishing a similar work on herbaceous plants), a 5pp. view of the Classes of the Sexual System of Linnaeus, a 6pp. glossary of the botanical terms used, followed by the catalogue proper. This is broken down alphabetically, then by class and order number, then by species: e.g. a general description of the Acer or Maple tree, followed by six entries for the species that grow in the United States. A French edition was published in 1788 which demonstrated the interest abroad and carried Marshall's statement that he was willing to be an agent to ship American seeds to Europe. According to the preface in the French edition, customers already included the gardens of Louis XVI.
DAB XII, pp.311-312; Evans 19068; Hunt 674; Johnston Cleveland 558; Meisel III, p.354; Norman 1444; Oak Spring Flora 16; Pritzel 5834; Sabin 44776; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 5457; Federal Hundred 7.