Archives and Manuscript Collections
DANIEL T. MacDOUGAL PAPERS (1896-1905)
3 linear inches (1 box)
Trembly MacDougal (1865-1958) began working at The New York Botanical Garden
in 1899 as Director of the Laboratories and was promoted in 1904 to an
Assistant Directorship. He was recognized as the leading American authority
on desert ecology and was one of the first botanists to research chlorophyll.
He is also known as the inventor of the MacDougal dendrograph, an instrument
used for recording changes in the volume of tree trunks.
Born in Liberty, Indiana in 1865, MacDougal attended DePauw University,
where he received his masters degree in 1894. He went on to receive a Ph.D.
from Purdue University and to pursue post-doctoral studies in Leipzig and
Tubingen. He was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture
to collect specimens in Idaho and Arizona during the summers of 1891 and
1892. He taught plant physiology at the University of Minnesota from 1893
until he left in 1899 to come to The New York Botanical Garden. After seven
years at the Garden, MacDougal left to become Director of Botanical Research
at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. He remained at the Carnegie
Institution until his retirement in 1933.
While at The New York Botanical Garden, Dr. MacDougal served on a committee
to establish a tropical research laboratory. This led to the establishment
in 1905 of the Plant Desert Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona. He was appointed
its first director and it would later become part of the Carnegie Institution.
In 1907, MacDougal organized the Pinacate expedition, to study the lava
fields of Mexico with Godfrey Sykes and William T. Hornaday, who published
a book on the expedition. In 1909, he established a coastal botanical lab
in Carmel, California and became known as an expert on the Monterey pines.
He teamed up with Godfrey Sykes once again in 1912 to cross the Libyan
Dr. MacDougal received many honors in his lifetime and was a member
of several scholarly organizations. Among these were the Hollandsche Maatschappe
d. Welenschappen, Societe d'Acclimation de France, American Philosophical
Society, Explorers Club, American Society of Plant Physiology, and the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was an honorary member of the
California Academy of Sciences and the Botanical Society of Edinburgh,
as well as a life member of the Torrey Botanical Club and the Botanical
Society of America, from which he received a merit award in 1956. He was
the recipient of two honorary degrees, one in 1912 from DePauw and one
in 1915 from the University of Arizona. In 1950 MacDougal was elected honorary
president of the International Botanical Congress in Stockholm and was
awarded the first Certificate of Distinguished Service from The New York
Botanical Garden in 1956.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Daniel T. MacDougal collection consist mostly of correspondence.
After Dr. MacDougal left the employ of The New York Botanical Garden in
1905, no further papers were deposited with the Garden. The bulk of this
collection is concerned with the attempt to establish a botanical research
station in the tropics. It should be noted that Dr. MacDougal was employed
by the University of Minnesota at the time of the creation of this Tropical
The Garden also owns six of Dr. MacDougal's field notebooks in the Collectors'
Field Notebooks series. Numbers 7 through 10 are dated 1892-1900 and are
concerned with Idaho. Numbers 11 and 12 are dated 1901 and are concerned
with Nebraska and Montana.
Series 1: Tropical Laboratory Commission, 1896-1898
Series 2: General Correspondence, 1899-1905
Series 1 Tropical Laboratory Commission,
2 lin. in. Arranged chronologically.
This series includes correspondence written and received while at the
University of Minnesota concerning the establishment of a tropical botanical
research station. The letters deal with appeals for support, and background
information and arrangements for site exploration trips. Jamaica seems
to be the top contender for a site but no mention is made of Arizona, which
was eventually chosen.
Series 2 General Correspondence, 1899-1905
6 folders. Arranged by date.
Contained in this series are several letters from Alexander P. Anderson
discussing his patents for the creation of puffed rice cereal, a process
which he discovered while at the Garden.
The New York Botanical Garden
RG4 The Alexander P. Anderson Records
CFN Numbers 7-12
The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Plant Biology
Processed May 1999 by Stephen Sinon under a grant from
the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-23141-98 and a grant
from the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation.
For more information and a complete description contact:
Susan Fraser, NYBG
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
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