Torrey, John, 1796-1873

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Biographical History

John Torrey (1796-1873) was a physician, botanist, chemist, and geologist. He was born August 15, 1796, in New York. Torrey co-founded the New York Lyceum of Natural History (now the New York Academy of Science) in 1817. Starting out as a medical doctor, Torrey entered the army as a surgeon in 1824 and became a professor of chemistry and geology at West Point military academy. He taught botany, chemistry, geology, and mineralogy in professorial positions at Columbia University and University of the City of New York. Torrey was appointed botanist of the state of New York in 1836. Torrey published several works including: A Catalogue of Plants Growing Spontaneously within Thirty Miles of the City of New York (1917), Flora of the Northern and Middle Sections of the United States (1824), and Flora of the State of New York (1843). He published portions of Flora of North America with Asa Gray, who was then a student.


  • John Torrey. In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 9, 2012 from
  • Library of Congress. NACO. Control Number: n 84075762
  • John Torrey. (2012). In Encyclop√¶dia Britannica. Retrieved from

Related entities

  • Gray, Asa: Co-published portions of Flora of North America
  • Columbia University: He taught at Columbia University.
  • City university of New York: He taught at University of the City of New York.

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Physicians
  • Botany
  • Chemists


Personal name


  • Botanists
  • Physicians
  • Chemists