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“G” is for Garden, Alexander (1730-1791)

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“G” is for Garden, Alexander (1730-1791). Physician, naturalist. A native of Scotland, Garden attended the University of Edinburgh where he studied medicine and botany but did not graduate. In 1752 he immigrated to Charleston to become an assistant in the medical practice of an established physician. Garden was fascinated by the vast number of plants that he had never seen and began to collect specimens. He corresponded regularly with well-known American, English, and European naturalists, including the renowned Carolus Linnaeus. By 1760 he had his own medical practice and was among the Charleston physicians who supported smallpox vaccinations during an epidemic. During the Revolutionary War, Garden remained a Loyalist and after the war was banished from South Carolina. Alexander Garden is best remembered today for the plant Gardenia jasminoides named for him in 1760.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.