Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA


Short, Charles Wilkins, 1794-1863; Botanists--Kentucky--Biography


Charles Wilkins Short (1794-1863) participated in the evolution of a scientific community in the United States. His interests in botany began when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania (M.D. 1815). As a country doctor in western Kentucky (1817-1825), then as professor of materia medica at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky (1825-1838), and the Louisville Medical Institute (later University of Louisville, 1838-1849), and finally in retirement, Short devoted himself'to the classification of flora of his native state and region. In 1828 Short co-founded The Transylvania Journal of Medicine and the Associate Sciences, in which he published many of his findings, including a catalogue of Kentucky plants. His most significant contribution to the development of American botany, however, was his extensive correspondence and distribution of plants with naturalists in his country and abroad at a time of increasing scientific specialization and the rise of the professional botanist.