Asa Gray Correspondence files of the Gray Herbarium

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This collection, approximately 1820-1904, includes the personal correspondence of Asa Gray and Sereno Watson, official correspondence of other Herbarium staff, and a small amount of correspondence of noted botanists who were not affiliated with Harvard. Gray correspondence contains letters from several of the most distinguished European and American scientists of the 19th century, including George Bentham, Charles Darwin, Joseph Henry, Joseph Dalton Hooker, William Jackson Hooker, and John Torrey. Letters include important biographical information and also document the early history of botany in the United States. The Darwin correspondence contains a letter to Gray establishing Darwin's precedence in developing a theory of natural selection.