Alexander Anderson (botanist)

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Alexander Anderson FRSE FLS (1748 in Aberdeen, Scotland – 1811 on St. Vincent Island, Caribbean) was a Scottish surgeon and botanist.

Anderson studied at Edinburgh University. Fellow Aberdonian William Forsyth briefly employed him at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, prior to Anderson's emigration to New York in 1774, where he stayed with his brother John, a printer.[1]

He was appointed in 1785 superintendent of the government botanic garden at St. Vincent, where he showed much activity. He was a correspondent of Sir Joseph Banks, through whom he contributed to the Royal Society in 1789 an account of a bituminous lake on St. Vincent, which was afterwards published in the Philosophical Transactions for that year.

In January 1791 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, proposed by Daniel Rutherford, John Walker and William Wright.[2] In the same year he went into Guiana on a botanising expedition; the plants he obtained being sent to Banks, are now in the herbarium of the British Museum.

The Society of Arts voted him a silver medal in 1798 for a paper upon the plants in the garden at St. Vincent. He contemplated the production of a flora of the Caribbean islands, some sheets of which he sent to Banks; but this project was never carried out. He resigned his post in July 1811, and died on 8 September in the same year (the Royal Society of Edinburgh gives his date of death as 10 May 1811).

Anderson was succeeded as superintendent by his friend, the surgeon William Lochhead.

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