The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Botanical Garden at Cambridge Massachusetts

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862. The Botanical Garden at Cambridge, in the state of Massachusetts, was commenced, in 1801, by subscription. The object of the establishment is the promotion of knowledge in native and foreign plants useful in agriculture, horticulture, and medicine, as well as the encouragement of the sciences of botany and entomology. There being no competent knowledge in the country as to what were the wants of a botanic garden, the professor, Peck, was sent to Europe, and returned with plans, and a collection of books. This garden suffered for some time from want of funds, and would long since have followed the fate of the Charleston public garden, founded by Dr. Hosack (which was purchased by the state at the price of 70,000 dollars), and would, like it, have been converted into a wilderness, had not the visitors applied for and obtained the aid of the legislature;-of a very enlightened legislature, who, not mistaking false maxims of economy for true ones, saw, in the destruction of a great public work, great loss; deeming that the riches and prosperity of a state are as much promoted, to say nothing of its reputation, by wise and generous establishments for the promotion of knowledge, as by any financial measures. (New York Farmer, vol. i. p. 185.)