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Thomas Nuttall
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Explorer
    (January 5, 1786-September 10, 1859)
    Born in Long Preston, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    English botanist, naturalist, and zoologist
    Conducted an expedition in the Great Lakes region (1810)
    Conducted the Astor Expedition of territory in and around the Missouri River (1811)
    Explored the territory of Arkansas and the Red Rivers (1818-1820)
    Traveled territory comprising Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, and territories along the Snake River (1834)
    Collected over 300 samples of previously undiscovered North American plants and flora for the British
    Wrote 'The Genera of North American Plants' (1818), 'Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory' (1819), and 'Manual of the Ornithology of the United States and of Canada' (1832-1834)
    His author abbreviation is just 'nutt.'
    He generaly sucked as an explorer, frequently getting lost on his expeditions.
    He ruined his rifle by trying to use it as a shovel.
    He harbored an irrational, xenophobic terror of Native American 'savages.'
    He is frequently profiled in compilation books about notable failures and 'famous losers.'
    He once was lost for a period of 3 days, because he evaded his search party (apparently mistaking them for bloodthirsty Indians).
    On either the same occasion, or a different one, he passed out from exhaustion while lost in the woods. In a twist of cruel irony, he was found by an Indian hunter.
    The 'bloodthirsty Indian' apparently found him, took pity on him, carried him 3 miles to a river, and brought him back to his camp by canoe.
    He lectured about natural history at Harvard despite having no formal degree.
    There are 44 registered marine genera and species named after him with the epithet nuttalli.
    His writings are valued as primary sources on frontier settlements and early Arkansas history.
    He is the basis for the character of 'old curious' in Richard Henry Dana's 'Two Years Before the Mast.'
    His work, 'North American Sylva: Trees,' which was the first book to include all the trees of North America.
    Many of the specimen he brought back to England had initially been discovered by Lewis and Clark, but they had been lost en route.
    He was called 'one of the most indefatigable and judicious of the botanists who have studied the North American flora' to whom all other American botanists are indebted to.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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