Boston: Dutton & Wentworth, 1846. 4to. xv, 547 pp. FIRST EDITION. With 17 engraved plates (plate 8, Black Oak, Quercus tinctoria, repeated). Original printed wrappers, rebacked, front wrapper with stains from where tape was removed on bottom and edge. A nearly unsophisticated, uncut copy, the interior absolutely exquisite, withdrawn from Middlebury College Library with their bookplate and from the library of Jerry Stannard. Item #10640
First edition of this important work on the botanical natural history of Massachusetts, published by the Commissioners of the Zoological and Botanical Survey of the State. The author "chose to make a study of the trees and shrubs and devoted ten or twelve weeks of nine successive summers to an exploration of the state." He provides detailed descriptions of most species of tree and shrub life then found in the state, including location of each specimen examined. Emerson's report "became the standard reference work for future studies of the Massachusetts ecology."
Emerson (1797-1881) was an educator, ultimately becoming a state and national leader in education. He always maintained an interest in natural history, and was a founder and the first president of the Boston Society of Natural History.