Vasey, George, 1822-1893

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George Vasey (1822-1893), a physician and botanist, was born near Scarborough, England. In 1828 his parents emigrated to the United States, settling in Oneida County, New York. Vasey became interested in botany as a youth, reading Almira Hart Lincoln's Elements of Botany, and meeting the German botanist, P. H. Kneiskern, who subsequently introduced him to John Torrey and Asa Gray. In 1872, Vasey was appointed Botanist of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Curator of the National Herbarium; and in 1889 he became Honorary Curator of the Department of Botany, United States National Museum. Vasey held these positions until his death. At the USDA, Vasey built up its collections of North American grasses, and was instrumental in establishing the Grass Experimental Station at Garden City, Kansas. Vasey's most important botanical study was on the agricultural grasses of the United States, published in 1884. In 1891 he began preparation of his work on North American grasses for publication. The first part of his work was issued in 1892, but he died before the second part could be published. Vasey graduated from Oneida Institute in 1841 and the Berkshire Medical Institute at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1846. After spending a few weeks of training at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, Vasey left to practice medicine in New York and Illinois. Vasey collected botanical specimens while practicing medicine and helped form the Illinois Natural History Society. In 1864 he received an M.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University. Vasey was a member of the Geographical Society of Washington; the Biological Society of Washington; a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and an associate fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1892 he was one of the vice-presidents at the Botanical Congress at Genoa, representing the USDA and the Smithsonian.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Field Book Project: Person : Description : rid_575_pid_EACP572

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Webber, Herbert John, 1865-1946. Herbert J. Webber papers, 1886-1946. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 33: Office Of The Secretary, Outgoing Corres..
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 26: Office Of The Secretary, Incoming Corres..
referencedIn Eaton, Daniel Cady, 1834-1895. Daniel Cady Eaton (1834-1895) papers, 1854-1897 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Dorothea Lynde Dix papers, 1798-1893 (inclusive), 1827-1887 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Papers of James Franklin Collins, 1884-1935 Botany Libraries
referencedIn Daniel Cady Eaton papers, 1854-1897 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. Correspondence, 1865-1913, "Tabor" to "Vanni". Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 52: Assistant Secretary, Incoming Correspondenc.
referencedIn Rolla Kent Beattie Papers, 1899-1956 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn Letters to Thomas Morong, 1874-1888 Botany Libraries
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Direct Relationships
Relation Name
correspondedWith Baird, Spencer F. person
associatedWith Beattie, R. Kent (Rolla Kent), b. 1875 person
correspondedWith Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887 person
associatedWith Eaton, Daniel Cady, 1834-1895. person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith J. W. Powell Survey - Colorado River Exploring Expedition (1868) corporateBody
associatedWith Powell, John Wesley person
correspondedWith Reis, J. B. (Prof.) person
correspondedWith Rhees, William J. person
associatedWith United States National Museum. Division of Plants corporateBody
associatedWith Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. person
associatedWith Webber, Herbert John, 1865-1946. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
National Museum
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Ethnology Archaeology Anthropology
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Birth 1822-02-28

Death 1893-03-04





Ark ID: w62f9sv2

SNAC ID: 75032390