Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Horace Mann, Jr. Papers, 1864-1868

Finding aid created by
Emiko Hastings, July 2008

Summary Information
Title: Horace Mann, Jr. papers
Creator: Mann, Horace, 1844-1868
Inclusive dates: 1864-1868
Bulk dates: 1864
Extent: 56 items
Horace Mann, Jr. (1844-1868) was a noted American botanist and the eldest son of the well-known educational reformer, Horace Mann (1796-1859). His papers include two journals, a letter, and a draft of an article related to his botanical research in the Hawaiian Islands in 1864, a partial draft of a book review, clippings, nine maps, and 33 photographs.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1944. M-470.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Horace Mann, Jr. Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arranged chronologically. Maps and photographs housed separately.


Horace Mann, Jr. (1844-1868) was a noted American botanist and the eldest son of the well-known educational reformer, Horace Mann (1796-1859). He was born in Boston on February 25, 1844, and beginning in the early years of his childhood, his father fostered an interest in nature study. As a young man, he studied botany and became friends with Henry David Thoreau. They frequently consulted each other about the identification of plants and animals, and traveled together to Minnesota in the spring of 1861.

In the fall of 1861, he enrolled in the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard and took courses in zoology with Louis Agassiz and in botany with Asa Gray, both prominent American scientists. In 1864, he accompanied William T. Brigham to the Hawaiian Islands, where he studied Hawaiian plants for a year. On his return to Harvard, he specialized in Hawaiian plants and prepared "Enumeratio of Hawaiian Plants" for his thesis, later published as Enumeration of Hawaiian Plants. Mann received his degree in 1867 and accompanied Professor Agassiz to Brazil, where he developed pulmonary tuberculosis.

Mann served as the curator of botany to the Boston Natural History Society, and was curator of the Harvard herbarium and, beginning in 1866, assistant to Professor Gray. When Gray left for Europe in September 1868, he placed Mann in charge of the botanical garden and botany department, apparently intending for Mann to succeed him when the latter retired. However, Mann’s health rapidly declined and he died of tuberculosis on November 11, 1868, at the age of 24, on the same day that he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. During his lifetime, he published several articles and reviews, but his book, Flora of the Hawaiian Islands, was left unfinished at his death. His botanical collection of 7,500 species later formed the basis of Cornell University’s herbarium.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Horace Mann, Jr., papers include two journals, March 2-3, 1864 and May 5-July 28, 1864, a letter to Asa Gray, August 30, 1864, a draft of an article related to his botanical research in the Hawaiian Islands in 1864, an excerpt from a draft of a book review, and clippings related to the eruption of Mauna Loa in 1868. A manuscript copy of portions of a work by Jules Remy, translated by William T. Brigham and published in 1868, is also included. The collection includes 33 photographs of the Mojave Desert and Hawaii, ca. 1863-1864, and eight manuscript maps of Hawaii and one of California, drawn by Horace Mann, Jr., ca. 1864-1865.

His first journal describes two days he spent in California before embarking for Hawaii, during which time he called on several people, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, did some sight-seeing, and collected specimens. The second journal describes his first three months in Hawaii and contains daily entries from his arrival on May 5 through July 28, 1864. He wrote about the people he met, travels around the islands, and plant collecting activities. In a ten-page letter to his mentor, Asa Gray, on August 30, 1864, Mann described a five-week trip to the big island of Hawaii during the month of August. His letter includes a lengthy description of his explorations and the physical features of the island. He also wrote of his intention to send the specimens he had so far collected to the Boston Society of Natural History. He then intended to sail in the missionary brig Morning Star in September on a six-month cruise to the Caroline, Marshall, and Kingsmill Islands to collect specimens, although it is unclear whether or not he ever took this trip. A 31-page draft of an article titled "The Hawaiian Islands" chronicles Mann’s travels and the many sights he saw. The collection also contains a partial draft of a book review by Mann of Field, Forest, and Garden Botany, which was published in The American Naturalist, vol. 2, 1869. In addition, there are five newspaper clippings from the New York Tribune, May 26-June 12, 1868, regarding the eruption of Mauna Loa in April 1868.

A manuscript copy of portions of Jules Remy's Contributions of a Venerable Savage to the Ancient History of the Hawaiian Islands, translated by William T. Brigham, is also included in the collection. Two hundred copies of this translation were privately printed in 1868, and it was reprinted in the appendix of Charles Nordhoff''s Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands, 1875.

Thirty-three albumen photographs, ca. 1863-1864, depict the landscapes and vegetation of the Mojave Desert, soldiers and Paiute Indians at Fort Mojave, a volcano in Hawaii, and two Hawaiian plants photographed in a studio. Hand-drawn maps, ca. 1864, include one map of Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo Counties, California, and eight maps of the Hawaiian islands, particularly noting geographical features. The maps of Hawaii correspond to Mann's travels among the islands and his observations as recorded in his draft article, "The Hawaiian Islands."

The Horace Mann, Jr., papers were formerly part of the Hawaiian Islands collection at the Clements Library.

Subject Terms

    • Botany--Hawaii.
    • Botanical specimens--Collection and preservation.
    • California--Description and travel.
    • Hawaii--Description and travel.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Botanical specimens--Collection and preservation.
    • Fort Mojave (Ariz.)
    • Mojave Desert (Calif.)
    • Paiute Indians.
    • Volcanoes--Hawaii.
    • Remy, Jules, 1826-1893.
    • Brigham, William Tufts, 1841-1926.
    Genre Terms:
    • Albumen prints.
    • Diaries.
    • Manuscript maps.
    • Photographs.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   42, Small Collections  
    Correspondence and Writings [series]
    Folder   7  
    Journal kept in California,  1864 March 2-3
    Folder   8  
    Journal kept in the Hawaiian Islands,  1864 May 5-July 28
    Folder   9  
    Letter from Horace Mann to Asa Gray,  1864 August 30
    Folder   10  
    Draft of article, titled "The Hawaiian Islands,"  1864
    Folder   11  
    Draft of book review, excerpt,  1867
    Folder   12  
    Manuscript of portions of Contributions of a Venerable Savage to the Ancient History of the Hawaiian Islands,  ca. 1868
    Folder   13  
    Newspaper clippings regarding the eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, from the New York Tribune,  1868 May 26-June 12 (5 items)
    Photographs [series]
    Box   F.8.29 (Graphics Division)  
    Mojave Desert,  ca. 1863 [subseries]
    Box   F.8.30 (Graphics Division)  
    Mojave Desert and Hawaii, ca.  1863-1864 [subseries]
    Maps [series]
    Folder   A112 (Map Division)  
    Folder   A108 (Map Division)  
    [Crater on Oahu],  ca. 1864-1865
    Folder   A109 (Map Division)  
    Hawaii,  ca. 1864
    Folder   A110 (Map Division)  
    Kauai, ca. 1864
    Folder   A111 (Map Division)  
    Kauai, ca. 1864
    Folder   A113 (Map Division)  
    Maui,  ca. 1864
    Folder   A114 (Map Division)  
    Maui,  ca. 1864
    Folder   A115 (Map Division)  
    Oahu,  ca. 1864
    Folder   A116 (Map Division)  
    Oahu,  ca. 1864
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    Thirty-three photographs of the Mojave Desert and Hawaii are housed in the Graphics Division of the Clements Library. Nine maps by Horace Mann, Jr., are housed in the Map Division of the Clements Library.

    Related Materials

    The Clements Library also holds the papers of Horace Mann (1796-1859), educational reformer and father of Horace Mann, Jr. (1844-1868).

    Other papers of Horace Mann, Jr., are located in the following collections:

    • Horace Mann collection, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • Horace Mann papers, Bishop Museum Library, Honolulu, Hawaii.
    • Horace Mann papers, Archives, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    • Horace Mann, Jr., and family correspondence, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota.
    • Hawthorne-Mann family correspondence, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

    Mann, Horace. Enumeration of Hawaiian Plants. Cambridge, Mass.: Welch, Bigelow, and Co., Printers to the University, 1867.

    Mann, Horace. Catalogue of the phænogamous plants of the United States, east of the Mississippi, and of the vascular cryptogamous plants of North America, north of Mexico. 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass.: B. P. Mann, 1872.

    Mann, Horace. Review of Field, Forest, and Garden Botany. The American Naturalist 2 (1869): 553-554.

    Nordhoff, Charles. Northern California, Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1875.

    Straker, Robert L. "Thoreau’s Journey to Minnesota." The New England Quarterly 14, no. 3 (September 1941): 549-555.