Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Raffeneau-Delile, Alyre

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RAFFENEAU-DELILE, Alyre (raf-no-deh-leel). French physician, b. in Versailles, 23 Jan., 1778; d. in Montpellier, 5 July, 1850. He engaged in the study of plants under Jean Lemonnier, was in the Paris medical school in 1796, and, being attached in 1798-1801 to the scientific expedition that was sent to Egypt, became manager of the agricultural garden at Cairo. In 1802 he was appointed French vice-consul at Wilmington, N. C., and also asked to form an herbarium of all American plants that could be naturalized in France. He sent to Paris several cases of seeds and grains, and discovered some new graminea and presented them to Palissot de Beauvois (q. v.), who described them in his “Agrostographie.” Raffeneau made extensive explorations through the neighboring states, and, resigning in 1805, began the study of medicine in New York. During an epidemic of scarlet fever he was active in visiting the tenements of the poor, and in 1807 he obtained the degree of M. D. Returning to France, he was graduated as doctor in medicine at the University of Paris in 1809, and in 1819 appointed professor of botany in the University of Montpellier, which post he held till his death. His works include, besides those already cited, “Sur les effets d'un poison de Java appelé l'upas tieuté, et sur les differentes espèces de strychnos” (Paris, 1809); “Mémoire sur quelques espèces de graminées propres à la Caroline du Nord” (Versailles, 1815); “Centurie des plantes de l'Amérique du Nord” (Montpellier, 1820); “Flore d'Égypte” (5 vols., Paris, 1824); “Centurie des plantes d'Afrique” (Paris, 1827); and “De la culture de la patate douce, du crambe maritima et de l'oxalis crenata” (Montpellier, 1836).