UNION — The author of a book about a physician who did much to nurture the cultural development of New York City in the early years of the United States of America enjoyed a successful visit to the Piedmont Physic Garden earlier this month.
Victoria Johnson, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City, is the author of “American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Early Republic.” In her book, Johnson tells the story of David Hosack, who, while now forgotten, was once a highly influential figure in New York City in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Hosack was the physician to both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr at the time of the duel in which Burr mortally wounded Hamilton. Beyond this, Hosack also founded America’s first botanical garden on a plot of land on which now sits the Rockefeller Center. In addition, Hosack played a great role in other aspects of New York City’s cultural development by co-founding its first art museum, first natural history museum, and the New-York Historical Society.
Johnson brought her American Eden book tour to the Piedmont Physic Garden on Thursday, July 19 and spoke about her book and its subject. Her presentation was followed by a reception featuring wine and cheese.
PPG Board Member Toccoa “Coie” Switzer said Wednesday that the event was very successful with those in attendance enjoying Professor Johnson’s presentation and purchasing nearly all the copies of her book that she brought with her.
“We felt honored to have Victoria Johnson visit our beautiful town of Union on her national book tour,” Switzer said Wednesday. “Everyone was really pleased with her presentation. She sold out two boxes of books. She had brought a second box of books just in case and she sold out of one and nearly the other as well.”
Switzer said that plans are for there to be more activities and special events at the PPG this fall and that these would be announced at a later date.
Piedmont Physic Garden, 301 E. South Street Union, is a local botanical garden focused on health and wellness. PPG hosts private tours, workshops, and garden parties. Founded in 2014 by the Switzer and Flynn families, the garden highlights the historical medicinal use of plants, with a specific interest in those from the Piedmont and Southern Appalachian corridor.