Page:A memoir of Lewis David von Schweinitz.djvu/23

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14
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF

About the period of their final embarkation, the United States had declared war against Great Britain; the seas swarmed with privateers, and to try their firmness still more severely, a tempestuous voyage ensued, terminating in a tremendous storm, by which their vessel was dismasted, and a horrible suspense for a time hung over their destiny.

A journal kept on this voyage manifests, however, the fervent and patriotic feeling which cheered the heart, and buoyed up the hopes of Mr. Schweinitz, in the near prospect of extensive usefulness in the land of his nativity.

The immediate scene of his duties was the establishment at Salem, Stokes county, North Carolina, where amidst the secular and ecclesiastical duties of his office, he found time to prosecute the study of botany, in a dominion, scientifically speaking, all his own. The first fruits of this labour were given to the world in 1818, through the commentaries of the Society of Naturalists at Leipsic, under the editorial care of his learned friend Dr. D. F. Schwaegrichen, and is entitled "Synopsis Fungorum Carolina Superioris." In the same year his duties required him to attend a meeting of his religious brethren at Herrnhut. On bis way thither, he visited England, France and Holland, where he established correspondencies which were afterwards of great service, when, on his return, he began the formation of a regular herbarium.

In 1821 Mr. Schweinitz published, at Raleigh, N. C. a pamphlet containing a description of seventy-eight