Gray, Asa, 1810-1888

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Biographical History

Asa Gray (1810-1888) was a botanist and probably best known for his work in systematic botany at Harvard University. He developed the herbarium at Harvard University that would later bear his name and wrote several influential botanical texts including Gray's Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States became the standard field guide. He was born November 18, 1810 in Sauquot, New York. He earned a degree of doctor of medicine in 1831 from College of Physicians and Surgeons, Fairfield, New York. Early in his botanical career he collected and traveled with John Torrey. In 1836 he became librarian of the New York Lyceum of Natural History. Soon after he became a professor at University of Michigan in 1838, and was appoint professor at Harvard in 1842. He married Jane Lathrop Loring, May 4, 1848. He collected plant specimens on the J. W. Powell Survey (1871-1894). He died January 30, 1888.


  • Library of Congress. NACO. Control Number: n 50032053
  • Harvard University Herbaria. Finding Aid for Asa Gray (1810-1888) Papers. Retrieved July 30, 2013 from

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