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Simpson, Charles T. (1846-1932) | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Simpson, Charles T. (1846-1932)

Historical Note: Charles Torrey Simpson was a naturalist, responsible for many classifications and discoveries in both flora and fauna, and author of many scientific articles. Simpson was born near Tiskilwa, Illinois on June 3, 1946. At seventeen, he enlisted as a private in company F of the 57th Ill. infantry for the Civil War. In 1870 he enlisted in the US navy and served three years on the "Shenandoah" on the European station, where he made collections of natural history material. In 1882 he moved to Bradenton, Fla., where he conducted a building and contracting business and studied botany. In 1889 he went to the Smithsonian institution, department of mollusks, and remained on the institution's staff until 1902. In 1903 he established his home on Biscayne Bay, near Miami, Fla., and devoted his studies to the flora and fauna of south Florida. He had a collection of 20,000 species of shells, of which he personally collected 4,000. Simpson introduced a number of foreign plants into this country and aided in developing other species indigenous to Florida and the tropics. From 1914 on he was a collaborator with the U.S. department of agriculture. In 1923 he was awarded the Meyer medal for plant introduction by the American Genetic Association and in 1927 Miami University conferred on him the honorary degree of Sc.D. Simpson died at Miami, Fla., December 17, 1932.

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