During the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Samuel Kramsh worked as a collector and supplier of native plants for horticulturists and botanists, including Humphry and Moses Marshall and Benjamin Smith Barton. This manuscript includes an exhaustive record of plant species collected in Pennsylvania and North Carolina during the years 1787-1789.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Samuel Kramsh
During the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Samuel Kramsh worked as a collector and supplier of native plants for horticulturists and botanists, including Humphry and Moses Marshall and Benjamin Smith Barton. Of German descent and probably a Moravian, Kramsh collected extensively in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina, however little else is known about his life. That he was apparently well trained in formal botany is suggested by his familiarity with botanical nomenclature and the Linnean system, and his circle of clients and correspondents places him at the center of American botanical enquiry. A Samuel G. Kramsh listed in the 1810 census for the Moravian town of Salem, N.C. may be the botanist's son.
Contents of Collection
Samuel Kramsh's manuscript includes an exhaustive record of plant species collected in Pennsylvania and North Carolina during the years 1787-1789, identified and arranged according to the new Linnean classification. The list includes both trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, but few grasses, on which Kramsh was still working at the time.
A note dated May 28, 1878, indicates that this volume was discovered after the sale of the effects of Humphry Marshall and was presented to Hooper of West Chester, Pa., who then sent it to George Thurber.
The Kramsh manuscript was accessioned by the Massachusetts Agricultural College Library, January 1919.
Processed by rsc, 2005.
Despite his apparent importance as a collector and purveyor of plants, Kramsh left little written record. Surviving letters can be found in the Humphry Marshall Papers at the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, the Benjamin Smith Barton Papers, American Philosophical Society, and the Henry Muhlenberg Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Cite as: Samuel Kramsh, A List of Plants Found in Pennsylvania and North-Carolina (MS 431). Special Collections and University Archives, W. E. B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.