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Mann, Horace, 1844-1868. Manuscripts by Horace Mann, 1860?-1868: A Guide

Archives, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Herbaria
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

c. 1998 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update 2016 June 7

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Botany Libraries
Call No.: gra00039
Title: Manuscripts by Horace Mann, 1860?-1868
Quantity: 1 box

Processing Information:

Processed by Lynn McWhood
December 1982

Acquisition Information:

Judging by a letter from Mary Mann (Horace Mann's mother) to Gray, dated April 7, 1869, Horace's flora of Hawaii manuscript was in her possession after his death and was being prepared for publication by W.T. Brigham. Mary Mann's letter requested advice on whether to postpone publication and talked about alternatives to publishing in installments in the Bulletin of the Essex Institute. It would seem that things became bogged down after this and that Brigham gave up trying to publish the Flora.
On April 18, 1903, George C. Mann, a brother of Horace, wrote to G.L. Goodale saying that he had come across papers which he assumed to be notes for Horace's flora of Hawaii. It seems likely that they were sent to the Gray Herbarium shortly after this letter, although there is no record that this was done.


Horace Mann was born in Boston on February 25, 1844, the oldest son of the well-known educator. He seems to have received a good part of his education informally from his father, who fostered an interest in nature study. The exact course of his schooling is somewhat unclear, but he eventually enrollled in the Lawrence Scientific School, where he took courses in zoology with Agassiz and in botany with Gray. On Gray's advice, he accompanied William T. Brigham to the Hawaiian Islands in 1864. On his return to the Scientific School, Mann specialized in Hawaiian plants and prepared an "Enumeratio of Hawaiian Plants" for his thesis. He received his degree in 1867. Gray apparently hoped to develop Mann as a successor in botanical work at Harvard, and he placed Mann in charge of the botanical garden and the botany department when he left for Europe in September 1868. Unfortunately, Mann, who had never been especially healthy, died of tuberculosis on November 11, 1868.
In addition to his "Enumeration of Hawaiian Plants" (published in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences), Mann is said to have published some dozen articles in the Proceedings of the Boston Natural History Society and other scientific journals and to have written reviews in The American Naturalist. His magnum opus was a Flora of the Hawaiian Islands, which was left unfinished at his death. Part of the Flora was published in the Proceedings of the Essex Institute.
"Horace Mann." Proc. Amer. Acad. 8:129-131.
[Brigham, W.T.?] "A Sketch of the Life of the Late Horace Mann." Bull. Essex Inst. 1: 25-31, 41-50.
Dupree, A. Hunter. Asa Gray. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959
Stafleu, Frans A. and Cowan, Richard S. Taxonomic Literature. 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1981.

Scope and Content:

The Horace Mann papers consist primarily of drafts and notes pertaining to the partly published Flora of the Hawaiian Islands. There is an incomplete draft of the section that was published, and drafts in varying degrees of completeness of sections that were not published. The section on monopetalous exogenous plants seems largely complete; that on apetalous exogenous plants is partly complete, with notes apparently added by William T. Brigham in the second half; and there are only general notes for the endogenae.
There are also some miscellaneous notes and a draft of Mann's article "Analysis of the Hawaiian Flora" (Memoirs Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist. 1: 532-541).
Note: There are five letters from Mann to Gray, written in Hawaii,1864-1865, in the Historic Letters file.

Container Listing:


Indexed in main file under:Mann, Horace 1844-1868Brigham, William Tufts 1841-1926