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“C” is for Catesby, Mark (1682-1749)

“C” is for Catesby, Mark (1682-1749). Naturalist, artist. Born in Essex, England, Catesby visited his sister in Virginia where he developed a keen interest in natural history. With the financial backing of members of the Royal Society of London, in 1722 Catesby traveled to South Carolina where he spent three years gathering specimens and notes for an illustrated work of the Carolina region. He left Charleston and went to Florida and the Bahamas before returning to England to prepare the plates and text for his publication, the richly illustrated The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands. The first extensively illustrated work on the natural history of any region of North America, Catesby’s volumes were used by Linnaeus for the inclusion of North American flora and fauna in his system of classification of plants and animals.

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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.