North American Silvaor
#OTD Today is the birthday of François-Andre Michaux.
He was the son of the botanist, Andrea Michaux. His father named an oak in his honor.
Michaux's mother died a few weeks after he was born. His father was so depressed, and he turned to botany to deal with his grief. His mentors just happened to be some of the top gardeners in the Royal Gardens.
When François-Andre was 15 years old, he accompanied his dad to North America.
His father established a botanical garden in 1786 on the property that’s now occupied by the Charleston Area National Airport.
As you leave the airport, you’ll notice a stunning mural that pays tribute the Michaux's - from the rice fields along the Ashley River to the Charleston Harbor, where he introduced one of the first camellia plants. Andre-François and his father are depicted in the potager or kitchen garden. The mural was installed in 2016.
François-Andre stayed in America, where he established a nursery in Hackensack, New Jersey, and also in Charleston, South Carolina.
France was still eager to obtain trees from North America to replenish their forests, and François-Andre grew them in his nursery.
He returned to France briefly in 1790 and participated in the French revolution. By 1801, he returned to the United States because the French government wanted him to get rid of the nurseries in Hackensack and Charleston.
François-Andre did as instructed and also explored the United States as far north as Maine, as far south as Georgia, and as far west as the Great Lakes. After his explorations, he returned to France. He had enough material and experience to prepare his masterpiece, North American Silvaor North American Forests.