American Eden – Book Launch

Event Details

Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy
present a book launch, signing and a Herbal Tour;

American Eden: David Hosack, Botany,
and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic

American Eden was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in history

In 1801, a young New Yorker named David Hosack—soon to be chosen as attending physician at the duel between his friends Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr—founded the first public botanical garden in the new nation. Hosack was inspired by his botanical studies in the 1790s both at the Linnean Society and with William Curtis, former Demonstrator of Plants at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Hosack studied with Curtis at his Brompton Botanic Garden and in the countryside around London, learning how to identify and experiment on medicinal plants. Hosack took these lessons back to New York, where he decisively shaped the future of American medicine and botany.

Historian Victoria Johnson will share the story of Hosack’s time in London and of his pioneering American garden, which is today the site of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York. She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale in 1991 and her Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia in 2002. Her book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic has won numerous prizes in the United States. It was also a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Nonfiction, a finalist for the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018.

For more information, please see

American Eden poster Competition 2019

6:30pm -Tour
7pm – Talk in Great Hall
7:30pm – Book signing & Sparkling wine reception

Tickets: £8 (£5 students)

Contact: Maria Ferran, Faculty Manager & Webmaster
Telephone number: 020 7236 1189

Sparkling wine reception sponsored by Jon Baines Tours