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Cutler, Manasseh, 1742-1823. Dandridge-Thorndike annotated Manasseh Cutler article, after 1785: A Guide.

Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: gra00065
Repository: Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Cutler, Manasseh, 1742-1823
Title: Dandridge-Thorndike annotated Manasseh Cutler article
Date(s): after 1785
Quantity: 1 collection (1 volume in shared box AM)
Language of materials: English


The annotated article was given to the Gray Herbarium by Henry Jacob Bigelow. The gift was likely made after 1873 as the attribution on the gift label appears to be in Sereno Watson's handwriting. Bigelow died in 1890.
An envelope labeled "Drawings and specimens of mosses taken from Manasseh Cutler's Account of some of the vegetable productions, naturally growing in this part of America" in Mary Anna Day's handwriting was added to this collection in January 1983 with an additional note "found in MC 101 Jan. 1983." Day's envelope was discarded at that time.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact botref@oeb.harvard.edu for additional information.

Preferred Citation:

Dandridge-Thorndike annotated Manasseh Cutler article, Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Manasseh Cutler papers.


Manasseh Cutler was born in Killingly, Connecticut in 1742. He graduated from Yale University in 1765. Following graduation he became a teacher in Dedham, Massachusetts where he met and married Mary Balch. The couple moved to Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard in 1767 so Cutler could take over the business of his wife's deceased uncle. The following year Cutler decided to go into the ministry. In 1769 he and his family returned to Dedham where he studied with his father-in-law, Reverend Thomas Balch. He completed his studies at Harvard in 1770 and was ordained minister of Ipswich Hamlet (now Hamilton) in 1771. He kept this post, with some interruption for other activities, until his death in 1823.
Cutler's interest in botany may have started with his medical studies. When the local physician was called into service as an army surgeon during the Revolutionary War, Cutler took up the study of medicine so the people of the Ipswich Hamlet would not be without medical care. His major botanical work, entitled "An Account of Some of the Vegetable Productions Naturally Growing in this Part of America, Botanically Arranged," was published in the first volume of the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1785.
Cutler WP, Cuter JP. 1888. Life, Journals and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL.D. Cincinnati (OH): Robert Clarke and Co.
Felt JB. 1834. History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton. Cambridge (MA): Charles Folsom.
Humphrey JE. 1898. Manasseh Cutler. Amer. Naturalist 32(374):75-80.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of an extensively annotated printed copy of Manasseh Cutler's "Account." The handwritten title page bears the name "Dandridge" in ink in the upper right corner and the title "Dom. M - Cutleri Flora Massachusettensis." Lines have been drawn through Dandridge and the name "I Thorndike [2nd]" written underneath in pencil. A note, "Species 364" is written in pencil below the title.
A handwritten index to plant names precedes the article. A list of errata is inserted at page 493. Annotations and inserted or tipped-in notes are found throughout. Notes and annotations are primarily in Latin; most are written in ink, a few are in pencil. The handwriting does not appear to be Manasseh Cutler's.
A note beginning "I have been examining specs of the plants I brought from Hamilton..." is tipped-in at page 407. Ipswich Hamlet was incorporated as the Town of Hamilton in June 1793, which suggests at least some of the annotations were made after that time. It also suggests the annotator may have been acquainted with Cutler, since Hamilton was Cutler's home. "I. Thorndike" may be Israel Thorndike, the son of Colonel Israel Thorndike (1755-1832), a prominent Boston merchant who was a friend of Cutler.
There is a possibility that Dandridge may be a relation of William Dandridge Peck, professor of natural history at Harvard, and another friend of Cutler's.

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