Collins, Zaccheus, 1764-1831

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Zaccheus Collins was a merchant and botanist.

From the description of Botanical correspondence of Zaccheus Collins of Philadelphia, 1805-1827. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 86165422

From the guide to the Zaccheus Collins botanical correspondence, 1805-1827, 1805-1827, (American Philosophical Society)

Zaccheus Collins (1764-1831) was a plant collector and herbarium owner from Philadelphia. Collins was an esteemed botanist and was often consulted by a majority of botanical writers, though he never published anything himself. He was also an avid collector and his herbarium contained a nearly complete collection of the plants from the vicinity of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His correspondents also sent him various specimens from their research in the southern states, particularly South Carolina and Georgia.

Collins, born in 1764, was a Quaker merchant and an active philanthropist. He was particularly interested in botany, and especially cryptogamic plants (organisms that do not produce seeds and include algae, fungi, mosses, and ferns). Throughout his career, he “accumulated a large herbarium primarily through his own collecting in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, by exchange and as gifts from other leading botanists of the day,” (Stuckey). Through his extensive network of prominent botanists, gifts of specimens arrived from South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, the Mississippi River and westward.

His professional relationships with other collectors and botanists included William Baldwin, W. P. C. Barton, Jacob Bigelow, Isaac Cleaver, Caspar Wister Eddy, Stephen Elliot, Eli Ives, Henry Muhlenberg, Thomas Nutall, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, H. Steinhauer, and John Torrey. Both Dr. William Baldwin and Henry Muhlenberg accumulated herbariums (collections of preserved plant specimens) and their shared interests resulted in a great deal of correspondence between them and Collins.

He was highly esteemed by his contemporaries, and, according to [], “the letters of the most eminent botanists of that time show how highly they valued his knowledge and how eagerly they sought his advice upon all doubtful questions in their science,” (Redfield). Thomas Nutall honored him by naming Collinsia for him and is described “to have been a sort of lifetime achievement award,” (Yosemite National Park).

During his lifetime, Collins was a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society and the Philadelphia Linnean Society. Collins die on June 12, 1831 after spending more than six months incapacitated by paralysis. At the time of his death, he was serving as a vice-president of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia.

Bibliography:

Redfield, Mr. “Botanical Correspondence of Zaccheus Collins.” Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Vol. 28 (1876), pp. 81-82.

Stuckey, Ronald L. “The First Public Auction of an American Herbarium including an Account of the Fate of the Baldwin, Collins, and Rafinesque Herbaria.” Taxon, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Aug., 1971), pp. 443-459.

Yosemite National Park. “Tincture Plant ( Collinsia tinctoria ),” http://www.yosemitehikes.com/wildflowers/tincture-plant/tincture-plant.htm (accessed November 30, 2011).

From the guide to the Zaccheus Collins correspondence, 1805-1827, (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Rafinesque, C. S. (Constantine Samuel), 1783-1840. Correspondence and writings, 1808-1840. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Zaccheus Collins correspondence, 1805-1827 Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
referencedIn Parker family. Papers, 1787-1904. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Zaccheus Collins botanical correspondence, 1805-1827, 1805-1827 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Torrey, John,. Autograph letters, 1744-1894, of naturalists. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn C. S. (Constantine Samuel) Rafinesque correspondence and writings, 1808-1840, 1808-1840 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIb, 1807-1825 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Miscellaneous letters, 1744-1894. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Collins, Zaccheus, ca. 1764-1831. Botanical correspondence of Zaccheus Collins of Philadelphia, 1805-1827. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Parker, Daniel, 1782-1846. Papers, 1761-1838. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Samuel Coates account and memoranda books, 1785-1830, 1785-1830 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Samuel George Morton Papers, 1819-1850 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Coates, Samuel, 1748-1830. Account and memoranda books, 1785-1830. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Miscellaneous letters, 1744-1894. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIc, 1826-1836 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Collins, Zaccheus, d. 1831. Papers, 1760-1847. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn John Vaughan papers, 1768 - Circa 1936, 1768 - Circa 1936 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Autograph letters of naturalists, 1744-1894, 1744-1894 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives, 1743-1984 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. corporateBody
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Baldwin, William, 1779-1819. person
associatedWith Barton, William P. C. (William Paul Crillon), 1786-1856. person
associatedWith Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. person
associatedWith Cleaver, Isaac. person
associatedWith Coates, Samuel, 1748-1830. person
associatedWith Collins, Stephen, d. 1794. person
associatedWith Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen, 1760-1844 person
associatedWith Eddy, Caspar W. person
associatedWith Eddy, Caspar W. person
associatedWith Elliott, Stephen, 1771-1830. person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Hembel, William person
associatedWith Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859 person
associatedWith Ives, Eli, 1778-1861. person
associatedWith Keating, William Hypolitus, 1799-1840 person
associatedWith Mease, James, 1771-1846 person
associatedWith Morton, Samuel George, 1799-1851 person
associatedWith Muhlenberg, Frederick Augustus Conrad, 1750-1801. person
associatedWith Muhlenberg, Henry, 1753-1815. person
associatedWith Muhlenberg, Henry, 1755-1815 person
associatedWith Nuttall, Thomas, 1786-1859. person
associatedWith Ord, George, 1781-1866 person
associatedWith Parker, Daniel, 1782-1846. person
associatedWith Parker family. family
associatedWith Pickering, Edward C., (Edward Charles), 1846-1919 person
associatedWith Rafinesque, C. S. (Constantine Samuel), 1783-1840. person
associatedWith Silliman, Benjamin, Sr., 1779-1864 person
associatedWith Steinhauer, Henry, d. 1818. person
associatedWith Torrey, John, person
associatedWith Torrey, John, 1796-1873. person
associatedWith Vaughan, John, 1756-1841 person
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
Subject
Decedents' estates
Herbaria
Botanists
Botany
Real property
Natural history
Occupation
Executors and administrators--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Botany
Function

Person

Birth 1764

Death 1831

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