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Freedom's GardenerJames F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America$
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Myra B. Young Armstead

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814705100

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814705100.001.0001

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A Horticultural Community

A Horticultural Community

(p.41) 3 A Horticultural Community
Freedom's Gardener

Myra B. Young Armstead

NYU Press

This chapter describes how the popularity of gardening within the nation's upper class helped shape the identity of James F. Brown. The Verplancks participated in a rising national horticultural movement and cultivated a wide range of produce including salsify, okra, spinach, rhubarb, and asparagus. By the time Brown became a Verplanck family servant in 1828, the range of cultivating work at their estate was substantial. He eventually took over as master gardener in 1836. The successful performance of his work not only aligned Brown with the Verplancks' gardening interests, but it also attested to his participation with them in the burgeoning national horticultural community. This community was defined by the formal establishment of horticultural societies, regular society meetings, society publications, and society exhibitions. Brown was linked to practically all of them.

Keywords:   James F. Brown, gardening, horticulture, family servant, head gardener

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