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Biography of Charles H. Peck

CHARLES H. PECK There is a lesson in each flower, A story in each stream and bower; In every herb on which you tread Are written words, which, rightly read, Will lead you from earth’s fragrant sod. To hope, and holiness, and God.” Allan Cunningham. AN ALBANIAN who has manifested a high order of genius in a special department of science, and whose devotion to the study of the beauties and sublimities of nature is supreme, is Professor Charles H. Peck, the present botanist of the New York state museum of natural history. He was born in the town of Sandlake, Rensselaer County, N. Y., on the 30th of March, 1833. His father, Joel B. Peck, operated a saw-mill at that place, and when but fourteen years of age young Peck assisted him in running the mill during the summer months. In the winter he attended the district school – a much more congenial work for him than that of handling lumber. But this manual exercise was at the same time greatly beneficial to him in strengthening his naturally delicate constitution and fitting him for future usefulness in his later scientific researches. In 1851, at the age of eighteen, he entered the state normal school at Albany, where for a year he pursued his studies with the closest application and the most absorbing interest. It was here that he first took up the special study in which he has always since been so deeply interested, and for which he seems to have been naturally inclined from early youth. An extra class in botany, taught by Professor J. H. Salisbury,...

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