Harbison, T. G. (Thomas Grant), 1862-1936

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Biographical History

Thomas Grant Harbison was born in Union County, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1862. He had an unconventional education that included correspondence courses offered by the University of the City of New York. He earned a B.S. and an A.M. and a Ph.D. from the National University (Chicago) in 1888. During Harbison's youth, he set out on walking tour of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. While visiting Highlands, North Carolina, on this trip, he was said to have been quite fond of the area’s natural beauty that he accepted a position as principal at Highlands Academy in August 1886. In 1896 he married Jessamine Cobb. The following year, George W. Vanderbilt employed Harbison as collector of plants for the Biltmore Herbarium. The herbarium closed in 1903, and in 1905, Harbison began two decades of work for Harvard University as a field botanist for Arnold Arboretum. He traveled extensively between the period of 1905 and 1926 collecting and writing. In 1933 Harbison helped establish a herbarium at the University of North Carolina. The following year, he was named curator of the herbarium where he remained until his death in 1936.


Gilmour, Ron. (2004). "Thomas Grant Harbison." The University of North Carolina Herbarium. http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/collectors/harbison.htm

Related entities

Arnold Arboretum: Harbison worked for Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum.

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