I was delighted to see the PAW call attention to the physician David Hosack, Class of 1789 (“The Duel Doctor in Weehawken,” by Harrison Blackman ’17, March 18). Hosack was a leading pioneer in the scientific medicine and natural history of his day, long engaged with Jefferson, Burr, and the Peales, among others, a civic as well as medical and botanical builder in post-Revolutionary New York. Your readers might want to savor his full life in Victoria Johnson’s American Eden: Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic (Liveright, 2018), a rich, compelling biography (and obviously an indispensable source for Blackman) that was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize in history. 

Daniel J. Kevles ’60 *64
Professor of history emeritus, Yale University; New York, N.Y.