When Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on a dueling ground in July 1804, they chose the same attending physician: David Hosack. Family doctor and friend to Hamilton and Burr, Hosack is today a shadowy figure at the edge of a famous duel, the great achievements of his life forgotten. In 1801, on 20 acres of farmland, Hosack founded the first botanical garden in the new nation, amassing a spectacular collection of medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental plants that brought him worldwide praise from the likes of Jefferson and Humboldt. Hosack used his pioneering institution to train the next generation of American doctors and naturalists and to conduct some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States. Today, his former garden is home to Rockefeller Center. Praised as a captivating biography by The Wall Street Journal, American Eden was also included in Amazon’s Best Books of the Month.
Victoria Johnson holds degrees from Yale and Columbia University. She works as an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College in New York City.
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