Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Mühlenberg (1753 - 1815)
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BiographyGotthilf's father was Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg, who did much to spread Lutheranism in North America and has several colleges named after him. Gotthilf himself was educated in Philadelphia and Halle, Germany, in preparation for the ministry. In 1780, to avoid capture by the British, he hid out in the countryside and developed a close relationship with the plants surrounding him. When he returned to Philadelphia, he started studying botany, corresponding with European botanists, and collecting plants in a serious way. By the time he published his Index Flora Lancastriensis, he had collected more than a thousand different plants within a three-mile radius of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (obviously it wasn't quite the heavily farmed and mined place it is today), focusing especially on grasses.
In the 1790s, Mühlenberg got the idea of publishing a definitive Flora for all North American plants. He wanted to execute this as a joint project between all the existing American botanists, each writing the section on their specialty. The idea was to eliminate conflicting names and descriptions and create a standard reference work for the United States. The other botanists took some convincing. But in 1809, Mühlenberg and his 28 correspondents completed the Catalogue of the Known and Naturalized Plants of North America, and it was published in 1813.
Humphrey notes that Mühlenberg left quite a bit of writing in manuscript when he died, and that other botanists incorporated these unpublished writings into their own work without giving him credit.
Harry Baker Humphrey (1961) Makers of North American Botany
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Selected PublicationsGotthilf Heinrich Ernst Mühlenberg (1791) Index Flora Lancastriensis (List of Plants near Lancaster)
This work lists 454 genera and over a thousand species of wild and cultivated plants. I'm not sure how many (if any) are mushrooms.
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