George Engelmann (1809-1884)

Thanks to Frédéric Pautz and Paul Cornier from Jardin Botanique de Lyon (http://www.jardin-botanique-lyon.com/jbot) who made this reproduction possible.

No copyright (public domain)

The US boundary commission was involved both in boundary demarcation and mapping and in natural sciences. From 1848 to 1853-55 the US-Mexican boundary territories were studied in details, and the results were published by one of the commissioners, William H. Emory, in a report entitled “United States and Mexican Boundary Survey” (Vol. I in 1857, Vol. II in 1859).

Volume II, part II of the report deals with botany, and one chapter is devoted to cacti. There were official plant collectors (Bigelow, Parry, Schott, Thurber, Wright) and some freelance collectors (Berlandier, Fendler, Le Conte, Lindheimer). George Engelmann had then to study the collected material and to write the chapter devoted to cacti. The result is made of about 70 pages of accurate cactus descriptions illustrated by 75 extraordinary B&W plates (read carefully “explanation of plates” and “corrections”).

Right: George Engelmann.
An original including the plates can be downloaded from Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)1) under the name mobot31753002545991.pdf2) (23.6 MB).

A map from Emory's survey is available as a high definition jpeg: Emory_Map.zip. (9.2 MB; 2009-1-10). This map comes from David Rumsey map collection where you can find many other maps as old as 1693. Please comply with the CC licensing rules of both sites when using our file.

No copyright (Public domain)

Various articles by Engelmann have been collected and republished together by Trelease and Gray in 1887 under the name The botanical work of the late George Engelmann. Unfortunately, this collection of reprints contains several errors. As a consquence we propose copies of the original papers. They were extracted from the following references available for free at the specified link:

No copyright (Public domain)

Same as Cacteæ series devoted to Yucca and Agave. References available for free at the specified link:

Right: Agave shawii. Probably one of the oldest photography of a succulent plant (From Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis).

George Engelmann & John Milton Bigelow

No copyright (Public domain)

From 1855 to 1861, the US government published the “Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, made under the direction of the Secretary of War, in 1853-4”. Besides the topographic considerations, this report conatins a lot of fascinating information about geology, zoology, botany and ethnography 3).

The 3rd item of Volume IV, part 5 is devoted to cacti. It was published in 1856 and contains 31 pages of descriptions and 24 B&W plates (mainly Opuntia). The text contains a lot of typographical errors, however there is a long list of corrections at the end. The proposed files are made from the material of Botanicus which is annotated by Engelmann himself who added further corrections. The Original file is a copy of the annotated original. The interpreted file is the corrected text.

The complete part 5 devoted to botany can be downloded from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)4) under mobot31753000823119.pdf5) (19 MB).

1) , 4)
You will find there for free other old documents concerning plants.
2) , 5)
If you use this file, you must comply with the rules of the BHL
You may learn more about the report here
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