Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

JULY 12th

On this day in history in 1834, died David Douglas.

Douglas was a traveller and botanist who discovered many species particularly the Douglas Fir and the primrose, Dougalsia.

After a terse education ain the village of Scone, Douglas took up a gardening job at Scone Palace, the estate of the local laird. After seven years in this job, he attended college in Perth, in order to learn something of the science of horticulture. Douglas moved on to the Glasgow Botanical Gardens where he was employed as a gardener while attending lectures at Glasgow University.

The Professor of Botany at Glasgow was so impressed with his work that he recommended him to the Royal Horticultural Society whose director Sir William Hooker invited Douglas on a plant collection expedition. His first trip was to Oregon Territory. Next he went to British Columbia and travelled the North American continent from west to east. He introduced to cultivation numerous conifers, which transformed the British landscape as well as several shrubs and herbs such as the Flowering Current. He wrote to Hooker “You will begin to think that I manufacture pines at my pleasure”.

In 1834, whilst searching for specimens in the Hawaiian Islands, Douglas fell into a trap designed to capture wild bulls. Later, a bull fell into the trap and trampled him to death.

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