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"R" is for Ravenel, Henry William [1814-1887]

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"R" is for Ravenel, Henry William [1814-1887]. Botanist, diarist. After graduating from the South Carolina College, Ravenel acquired Northampton plantation in Berkeley County. He settled into the life of a lowcountry planter and began a life-long collaboration with the country's leading botanists. He was fascinated with mycology—the study of fungi--and published two works: Fungi Caroliniani Exsiccati  [in five parts, 1852-1860] and Fungi Americani Exsiccati [in eight parts, 1878-1882]. Together these works offered mycologists in Europe and America a unique opportunity to see the fungi of the southeastern United States. In his honor several genera bear the species name ravenelii and one genus of fungal rust was named Ravenelia. Another of Henry William Ravenel's legacies was the daily journal—begun in 1859 and maintained faithfully until fifteen days before his death in 1887.

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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.