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74 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 NATHAN COLEMAN, MICHIGAN�S MYSTERY BOTANIST Thomas G. Lammers Department of Biology University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI 54901 lammers@uwosh.edu ABSTRACT Rev. Nathan Coleman (1825�1887) produced a catalogue of Michigan�s flora in 1874 under the auspices of the Kent Scientific Institute in Grand Rapids. In this work, he validly published 31 new varieties and four new species from Michigan and effected two new combinations at varietal rank. Because little is known of his life and work, Internet searches of nineteenth century newspapers, pe- riodicals, and books were undertaken to discover additional biographical data. Coleman spent most of his career as a teacher. This included basic education for former slaves in Virginia during the Civil War, employment at a public grammar school in Grand Rapids, founding a private high school in Iowa, and serving on the faculty of an African-American college in Texas. His botanical output, aside from the 1874 Michigan catalogue, comprised a series of short notes in Botanical Gazette during 1876-1878, most of which dealt with �variations� (as he termed them) observed in Connecticut and Iowa. He also provided specimens to other botanists, including Alphonso Wood and James Nathaniel Bishop. KEYWORDS: Botanical history, botanical nomenclature, Alfred Oscar Coffin, Nathan Coleman, Freedmen�s Aid Society, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Kent Scientific Institute, Wiley College, Alphonso Wood. INTRODUCTION The earliest efforts to compile a catalogue of Michigan�s flora were under- taken by the state government, specifically the state geological surveys. During the initial survey of 1837�1845, Wright (1839) published a list of the plants of the Lower Peninsula (McVaugh 1970); a second survey in 1859�1862 added to the list (Winchell 1861). A dozen years later, another list was produced, this time under the auspices of a private organization. In this list, Coleman (1874) added another 275 species and varieties to the Winchell list, nearly three dozen of which were named and described as new by him. The author of this last list is something of a mystery (Voss 1978). Nathan Coleman seems to have appeared out of the ether just long enough to produce his catalogue, and then disappeared again. Compared to other pioneer Michigan botanists (e.g., Capt. David Bates Douglass, 1790�1849; Dr. Zina Pitcher, 1797�1872; Dr. Douglass Houghton, 1809�1845; Dr. John Wright, 1811�1845), virtually nothing is known of Coleman�s life and work. General biographical compilations (e.g., Drake 1872, Wilson and Fiske 1900, Goodrich 1928) do not mention him, and even the botanical ones (Barnhart 1965, Stafleu and Cowan 1976) give him short shrift. The objective of this study was to learn more about Page  75 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 75 this mysterious botanist in order to better understand this seminal piece of botan- ical work. METHODS Over the past decade, a wealth of nineteenth century newspapers, periodicals, and books have been digitized and made available to researchers via the Internet. Information scattered throughout the world�s libraries and once all but impossible to locate may now be seen with but a few keystrokes while seated at one�s desk. I have previously utilized this marvel of electronic engineering to exca- vate biographical information for other poorly known Midwestern botanists, including Dr. John Henry Rauch (Lammers 2013, in press a), Dr. Moses Cousins, Jr. (Lammers, in press b), and Dr. Edwin James in the years after the Long expedition (Lammers 2016). The case of Nathan Coleman presents a special challenge. First, he resided in Michigan for only a short period. In contrast to a life-long resident of a locale, he had few opportunities to appear in the local press of the day. Information must therefore be sought on a national basis. Second, a number of other gentlemen of some prominence in that era were named �Nathan Coleman� or �N. Coleman.� Thus, one must be certain that a particular datum actually refers to the author of the 1874 catalogue of Michigan plants and not to some homonymous contemporary. For these reasons, Coleman�s biography will be presented here in an unorthodox fashion. Rather than the chronological or thematic approach commonly employed, I will begin with his time in Michigan and trace his life both forward and back from there. In this way, we can connect the metaphorical dots with confidence and avoid the embarrassment of unfounded assumptions. MICHIGAN YEARS The starting point for our quest to learn more about Coleman is his one major botanical publication (Coleman 1874). This was issued as Miscellaneous Publi- cation No. 2 of the Kent Scientific Institute and was that organization�s �most ex- tended and ambitious publication� (Strong 1918: 26). According to Coleman (1874: 3), he compiled the catalogue �at the earnest request of [the Institute�s] members.� Kent Scientific Institute first took form on November 25, 1854 when a group of collections-based amateur naturalists organized the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History. The Lyceum lapsed into inactivity during the Civil War (Strong 1918), but at war�s end, several similarly inclined students at the West Side Union School formed the Grand Rapids Scientific Club (Garfield 1918). In January 1868, this student organization merged with the lapsed Lyceum, creating the Kent Scientific Institute (Anonymous 1868a). The avowed mission of the orga- nization was �the increase and diffusion of scientific knowledge by a museum, library, lectures, the reading of original papers, and other suitable means� (Bax- ter 1891: 250; Goss 1906: 939). The Institute entered into a mutually beneficial agreement with one of the local school districts (Strong 1918). The Institute was allocated space for its mu- seum and library at the new Central School, located on Lyon Street between Bar- clay and Ransom Avenues (Anonymous 1873a, 1874). In return, the Institute�s specimens and books would be available to faculty and students for use in their courses. Over the years, Kent Scientific Institute developed into the Grand Rapids Public Museum of today (Claus 2012). Page  76 76 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 Coleman�s catalogue was dedicated to A. L. Chubb, �one of the patrons of the Kent Scientific Institute� (Coleman 1874: 2). Archibald Lamont Chubb (1830�1887) was a manufacturer of agricultural implements, President of the Grand Rapids Board of Education from 1871 to 1874, and one of the founding members of Kent Scientific Institute (Baxter 1891). Reading between the lines, one might postulate that it was Chubb who made the �earnest request� for a cat- alogue of Michigan plants. Coleman (1874) used Winchell�s (1861) earlier catalogue as the basis for his own, following its arrangement and adding 275 taxa to it. Among these were al- most three dozen taxa that Coleman named and described as new, most at vari- etal rank (see below). In the introduction, Coleman (1874: 3) informed us that he �had only a few months in which to make observations and explorations.� These few months ap- parently fell largely between August 31, 1872 (Coleman 1874: 22) and October 25, 1873 (Coleman 1874: 36), the only two collection dates mentioned in the cat- alogue. Most of his field study was conducted in Kent County, where Grand Rapids lies, �though a little observation was made in Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties� (Coleman 1874: 3). Those taxa to which he had �given personal at- tention� during this period were denoted in the catalogue with an asterisk. Whether Coleman�s �personal attention� included the preparation of voucher specimens is not clear. Baxter (1891: 250) stated that the Institute�s herbarium contained �some 725 species of plants, collected by N. Coleman, a former mem- ber,� a claim paraphrased by Goss (1906: 941). However, 725 is the total number of species in Coleman�s catalogue, a coincidence that suggests a faulty assump- tion. The Institute did have an herbarium, the existence of which apparently pre- ceded Coleman�s work: �Plant collecting was begun very early and continued vigorously in the early years of the Institute. The herbarium became extensive� almost complete for the flowering plants of the region�and was much used for reference� (Strong 1918: 25). This herbarium today resides at the University of Michigan (MICH). No specimens collected by Coleman are found there, not even the type material of his new taxa (Voss 1978). It is quite possible none were prepared. This is all the information on Coleman that can be gleaned from his cata- logue. In fact, from that source, we do not even know his first name. The title page and introduction both were signed simply �N. Coleman,� and he was iden- tified in the same fashion in the directory of botanists published by the Torrey Botanical Club (Anonymous 1873b). Contemporary city directories (Anony- mous 1873a, 1874) listed but one N. Coleman in Grand Rapids: Nathan Cole- man, a teacher in the grammar division at Central School. Note that it was this building that housed the Kent Scientific Institute and that the president of the Board of Education was one of its founding members (see above). As noted by Voss (1978), Coleman�s name appeared in only the 1873 and 1874 city directo- ries, which (in light of his occupation) suggests that he lived in Grand Rapids for little more than the 1872�1873 and 1873�1874 school years. Page  77 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 77 NEXT STOP: CONNECTICUT An 1876 update of the Torrey Botanical Club�s directory of botanists showed Coleman residing in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and noted, �Removed from Mich.� (Anonymous 1876: 3). In the years that followed, his name was mentioned occa- sionally in floristic accounts for Connecticut. For example, the Berzelius Society (1878) and Graves et al. (1910) each cited a few Coleman specimens, and Bishop (1885: 3) acknowledged �Nathan Coleman, Esq., Berlin� for information. In a series of brief notes in the Botanical Gazette (denominated Botanical Bulletin in its first volume), Coleman during 1876-1877 gave his residence as Bloomfield, and in 1878 as Berlin. These two towns are both situated in Hartford County, the former northwest of the city of Hartford, the latter southwest of it. The first of these articles (Coleman 1876a, 1876b) appeared in the Septem- ber 1876 issue, and a third appeared in December 1876 (Coleman 1876c). Of interest in the last is his comment that, �in 1872�3�4, I very frequently found Polygonum amphibium with salver form stipules . . . I also found P. Careyi with salver form stipules.� Although he did not give localities for this observation, the indicated span of years is exactly that for which we can document his resi- dence in Michigan. Furthermore, these were two of the variants he had named and described in his Michigan catalogue (Coleman 1874: 32�33), although in this paper he did not use the names he had given them in the catalogue. Addi- tional connections to his Michigan catalogue in the March 1877 issue (Cole- man 1877a) included plants of Ranunculus purshii Richardson around Grand Rapids with doubled flowers (cf. Coleman 1877a: 90, Coleman 1874: 5); a late-fruiting Salix (cf. Coleman 1877a: 91, Coleman 1874: 36); pubescent Arc- tostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (cf. Coleman 1874: 25, Coleman 1877a: 91); and two species of Liatris seen at Grand Rapids in 1873�1874 (cf. Coleman 1874: 19, Coleman 1877a: 90). Coleman was still living in Berlin on June 16, 1880, when his household was recorded in the tenth national census (Bureau of the Census 1880). From this source we learn that he was engaged there in farming, that he was 54 years old, that he was born in Massachusetts, and that he was married. His wife Sarah, born in Connecticut, was also 54 years old. As it turns out, Sarah Coleman belonged to a family of some prominence. From published genealogies of its various branches (Dwight 1871, 1874; Hoagland 1990), we learn that Sarah Childs Clark was born on November 16, 1825 in Seymour, Connecticut, a town in New Haven County about 40 miles southwest of Hartford. The couple wed on November 24, 1859 and had no chil- dren. As for Nathan Coleman, these sources indicated that he was born on Au- gust 13, 1825 in Cheshire, Massachusetts, the son of Rufus and Wealthy (n�e Russell) Coleman. At the time the information was gathered for the first of these (Dwight 1871), he was a teacher in Albia, Iowa. Page  78 78 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 THE IOWA YEARS On August 23, 1870, Nathan and Sarah Coleman were enrolled in the ninth national census at their home in Albia, Iowa, the seat of Monroe County (Bureau of the Census 1870). He was then 45 years old, listed as a native of Massachu- setts, and a teacher; she was 44 years old and a native of Connecticut. Her brother, John Clark, and their uncle, Wareham Grant Clark, also lived in Albia (Dwight 1871, Hoagland 1990), where they achieved considerable prominence in local affairs (Anonymous 1878, Hickenlooper 1896). A widowed aunt, Rosella Clark Bailey, also resided there (Dwight 1871). In one of the botanical articles that Coleman penned while living in Con- necticut (Coleman 1876c), he mentioned in passing a �form of Polygonum, very frequent in southern Iowa.� His botanical work in the latter state was discussed more fully in a subsequent pair of articles. In the first of these articles, Coleman stated that his observations in Iowa were made �for the most part in July and August, 1873� (Coleman 1877b). Note that this was during the period he was living in Michigan. Localities mentioned were Albia (Monroe County), Chariton (Lucas County), and Moulton and Unionville (both Appanoose County). As he did in previous notes, he mentioned several of the �variations� that he had named and described in his Michigan catalogue, though once again he did not call them by the names he coined there. These in- cluded a roseate form of Verbena hastata L. (cf. Coleman 1874: 28, Coleman 1877b: 106), a distinctive Rudbeckia (cf. Coleman 1874: 22, Coleman 1877b: 106); and Quercus macrocarpa Michx. with corky-winged twigs (cf. Coleman 1874: 34, Coleman 1877b: 106). The second note (Coleman 1877c) was written in response to an earlier arti- cle in which Burgess (1877) reported a number of recent additions to Arthur�s (1876) catalogue of Iowa plants. Coleman, seeming miffed, asserted that in fact he himself had collected most of these in Iowa as early as 1867�1869. He went on to declare that during the 1873 collecting efforts mentioned in the previous article (here said to have taken place during his �summer vacation�), he �sent nearly three hundred names of species and varieties, not then catalogued, to the State Botanist, many of them seen for the first time in Iowa, that summer� (Cole- man 1877c). I can only assume that by �State Botanist,� Coleman meant Prof. Charles Edwin Bessey (1845�1915) at Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State Uni- versity), and that �not then catalogued� meant species not in Bessey�s (1871) checklist of Iowa plants. Joseph Charles Arthur (1850-1942) was Bessey�s stu- dent at Iowa Agricultural College (Cummins 1978). His catalogue of Iowa plants (Arthur 1876)�prepared in conjunction with the state�s exhibit at the Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia�was an avowed expansion of Bessey�s earlier list. Addenda sent to Bessey would indeed have been turned over to Arthur for inclusion. The omission of the names sent by Coleman in 1873 likely was due to Arthur�s aversion to listing taxa not substantiated by voucher speci- mens (cf. Arthur 1878). Coleman also communicated some of his 1867�1869 botanical results from Page  79 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 79 Iowa to Alphonso Wood (1810�1881). Among contributors acknowledged in The American Botanist and Florist for �new and rare plants, and for valuable infor- mation concerning them,� Wood (1870: 2) mentioned �N. Colman [sic], Iowa.� Fifteen taxa were cited from Iowa in that work, eleven of which were carried over from his earlier work, Class-book of Botany (Wood 1861). Of the four new re- ports, only one, Rhamnus lanceolata Pursh, was explicitly credited to Coleman (Wood 1870: 77). �Colman� also was credited for reporting that Linaria cym- balaria (L.) Mill. [. Cymbalaria muralis Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb.] was �nat- uralized in Iowa� (Wood 1881: 830). Coleman�s name appeared with some frequency in the Albia newspapers of that period. He was indeed a teacher there, but not in the public schools. Rather, he had opened a private high school, called the Albia Academy, on September 30, 1867 (Anonymous 1867a, 1867b, 1868b); the school�s curriculum was in- tended particularly for �those designing to teach� (Anonymous 1867c). Coleman was lauded in the press as �a thorough and competent teacher [who] should be generously sustained in his praiseworthy efforts to establish a first class school� (Anonymous 1867c). A year after his academy opened, Coleman presided over a week-long profes- sional-development institute for the teachers of Monroe County (Coleman and Mark 1868, Spectator 1868). Sessions on geography, orthography, arithmetic, reading, and �Teaching the Alphabet� were conducted by him personally, and one evening he delivered a lecture on physiology. In addition to his educational activities, Coleman served on the committee that arranged the town�s Fourth of July festivities in 1868 (Anonymous 1868c), delivered a temperance lecture at the First Presbyterian Church on September 1, 1868 (Anonymous 1868d), and represented Troy Township at the Republican Convention on August 14, 1869 (Richey & Robb 1869). Coleman was styled �Reverend� in some sources (e.g., Anonymous 1867b, 1868b, 1868d; Coleman and Mark 1868; Dwight 1871, 1874). This referred to his status as a deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church (a forerunner of today�s United Methodist Church). The Iowa Conference of that denomination met in Ottumwa during September 18�23, 1867 (Anonymous 1867d), with Bishop Levi Scott, D.D. (1802�1882) presiding (Mitchell 1885). At this convocation, Cole- man was one of six men who �were represented and elected to deacon�s orders� (Anonymous 1867e). It is of considerable interest that Coleman was not the only botanist residing in Albia in those years. Dr. Moses Cousins, Jr. (1827�1868) lived there from 1850 until his death (Lammers 2013, in press b). Cousins had sent Alphonso Wood the plants of Iowa that were included in the latter�s Class-book (Wood 1861), and it may have been at his suggestion that Coleman did the same. The two men must have been acquainted, as both were members of the Monroe County Agricultural Society. At that group�s October 1868 fair (Anonymous 1868e), Cousins served with Coleman�s brother-in-law, W. G. Clark (see above) as a judge of �seeds and vegetales [sic],� and Coleman was a judge of fruits with Cousins� father, Moses Kellogg Cousins (1804�1888). Coleman�s interest in veg- etable gardening is reflected in a newspaper ad (Coleman 1868) offering for sale plants of Sweet Potato �Yellow Nansemond� (Starnes 1894). Page  80 80 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 THE FIRST FORTY YEARS Beyond Coleman�s birth and marriage (see above), the first forty years of his life are a total mystery. He was presumably one of the two white males under the age of five living in the home of Rufus Coleman at the time of the fifth decen- nial census (Bureau of the Census 1830). Ten years later, only one child under the age of 15 remained in the house (Bureau of the Census 1840). Whether this was Coleman or his brother is not known, as only heads of households were recorded by name at that time. I could not locate Coleman or his parents in the 1850 and 1860 censuses. Nothing is known of Coleman�s education, nor of how he became interested in botany. As for his occupation in those years, it appears to have primarily in- volved teaching. When he opened Albia Academy, local newspapers described him as �a teacher of long experience, a thorough schollar [sic], and well recom- mended from the east� (Anonymous 1867a). He was a �teacher of long experi- ence in the best schools and academies of the east� (Anonymous 1867c) and had �an experience of more than twenty years in teaching� (Anonymous 1868b). The schools and towns at which he taught are not known. FINAL YEARS IN TEXAS Wiley University (known today as Wiley College) was established in Mar- shall, Texas, in 1873. This institution was an effort by the Methodist Episcopal Church to educate the recently emancipated (Culver 1887, Brooks and Starks 2011). The Professor of Mathematics and Natural Science at Wiley was �N. Coleman� (Anonymous 1884, 1886; Webb 1884, 1885, 1887a), �a zealous and truly reliable teacher� (Webb 1886) who first joined the faculty of five men and women in the fall of 1883 (Webb 1887b). We are able to equate this Texas gentleman with the botanical Nathan Cole- man of Michigan, Connecticut, and Iowa via his obituaries (Webb 1887b, 1887c). These said nothing of his time in those three states or of his botanical in- terests, but they did state that he was born on August 13, 1825 in Cheshire, Massachusetts, and that he was ordained a deacon in September 1867 by Bishop Scott (see above). The President of Wiley University, Rev. Nathaneal D. Clifford (1854�1887), died on March 10, 1887 (Webb 1887d). Even though his wife Cora Knight Clif- ford was appointed acting president for the remainder of the term (Anonymous 1887), the small faculty�s workload nevertheless increased markedly. When the academic year ended on June 2, an exhausted Coleman �took to his bed . . . and never rallied� (Webb 1887b, 1887c). He succumbed to typhoid fever on June 21, 1887 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Marshall (Webb 1887a). He was survived by his wife. Coleman evidently retained his botanical interests after moving to Texas. At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Booker T. Washington (1856�1915) and W. E. B. Du Bois (1868�1963) organized the Exposition N�gres d�Amerique Page  81 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 81 to highlight positive societal contributions by African-Americans. Part of the ex- hibit was �Books and Pamphlets by Negro Authors.� The catalog for this exhibit (Murray 1900) included an entry for an undated work entitled �Coleman, N. and Coffin, A. O., Native Plants of Marshall, Texas.� Coleman�s co-author was Alfred Oscar Coffin (1861�1933), the first African- American to hold a doctorate in the biological sciences. After earning his Ph.D. from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1889, he became Professor of Mathematics and Modern Languages at Wiley University (Mather 1915, Greene 1946). Be- cause Coffin did not arrive at Wiley until after Coleman�s death, one suspects this was a post-mortem collaboration, a manuscript that Coleman left unfinished, which Coffin brought to fruition. In fact, it may only have been a manuscript and never effectively published; the exhibit catalog (Murray 1900) gave no place or date of publication for the work. Although Coleman and Coffin did not overlap at Wiley, there is a slight pos- sibility they had met earlier. Coffin was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi. In one of his botanical papers, Coleman (1877b: 106) mentioned two plants found �in one locality in Mississippi near Pontotoc.� He gave no time frame, and it was the only time he alluded to botanical work outside Michigan, Connecticut, and Iowa. Had the two met in Pontotoc, Coffin would have been 16 years of age or younger. THE CIVIL WAR The obituaries by Webb (1887a, 1887b) provide one final bit of biographical information not documented elsewhere. Here it was stated that Coleman �en- tered the services of the Freedmen�s Bureau in 1863, taught in Norfolk, Va., and on the fortifications near Petersburg.� The phrase �Freedmen�s Bureau� usually denotes the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands within the Department of War. However, that agency was not established by Congress until March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 507). Given Coleman�s affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal Church, his eulogist likely meant that he had belonged to the Freedmen�s Aid Society, a private agency within that denomination (Beard 1909, Boone 1909). During the Civil War, this society opened and operated schools for former slaves in areas occu- pied by federal military forces. Norfolk, Virginia, fell under federal control in May 1862 and became the initial locus from which these efforts spread (Richard- son 1986). Petersburg, Virginia, was the site of prolonged trench warfare be- tween federal and secessionist forces during 1864�1865, and, again, schools were established there for freedmen (Field 2009). Thus it seems likely that at least part of Coleman�s experience in education prior to coming to Iowa (see above) involved teaching the recently emancipated to read and write. Perhaps Coleman�s experience with plants at Pontotuc, Missis- sippi, (see above) came about in this connection. In 1866, the Freedmen�s Aid Society established Rust University (today known as Rust College) in Holly Springs, just 60 miles from Pontotoc. It was at Rust that A. O. Coffin (see above) received his college preparatory education (Mather 1915, Greene 1946). Page  82 82 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY Nathan Coleman was born on August 13, 1825 in Cheshire, Massachusetts, to Rufus and Wealthy (n�e Russell) Coleman. On November 24, 1859, he married Sarah Childs Clark of Seymour, Connecticut. He was a teacher by vocation and during the Civil War taught former slaves to read and write at schools operated in Norfolk and Petersburg, Virginia by the Freedmen�s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By August 1867, he was in Albia, Iowa, where his wife had relatives. Here he opened a private high school, the Albia Academy. He was ordained a deacon of the Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Levi Scott at the September 1867 meeting of the Iowa Conference in Ottumwa and was active in civic affairs, in- cluding the county agricultural society and a county-wide teachers� institute. During this period, he provided information on Iowa plants to Alphonso Wood. He was still in Albia as late as August 1870. During the 1872�73 and 1873�74 school years, Coleman taught at the Central Grammar School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He spent the intervening summer vacation back in Iowa. At the behest of the Kent Scientific Institute, he compiled a catalogue of the plants of Michigan. From 1876 to 1880, he was a farmer in Hartford County, Connecticut, some 40 miles from his wife�s hometown. For the academic years 1883 through 1887, he was Professor of Mathematics and Nat- ural Science at Wiley University, a school for African-Americans founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Marshall, Texas. There he died of typhoid fever on June 21, 1887. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Marshall. BOTANICAL LEGACY The corpus of Coleman�s botanical work consists of his catalogue of Michi- gan plants (Coleman 1874) plus seven brief notes in the Botanical Gazette (Coleman 1876a, 1876b, 1876c, 1877a, 1877b, 1877c, 1878). The last of these addressed seed-sources in ecological succession: soil seedbank vs. colonization from outside areas. The other six were concerned with �variations.� As used by Coleman, the term meant plants that failed to conform in some fashion to their published descriptions. Some of these may have had a genetic basis, while others may have been mere developmental aberrations or environmentally induced anomalies. Coleman named and/or described many �remarkable variations� (Coleman 1874: 3) in his Michigan catalogue. I say �and/or� because sometimes he pro- vided a name but no validating diagnosis, e.g., �Menispermum canadense var. lobatum� (Coleman 1874: 6). Other times he gave a serviceable diagnosis but no epithet, e.g., �a variety of this has membranous, purple-edged, glandular pu- bescent scales� under Aster macrophyllus L. (Coleman 1874: 19). In 31 cases, however, Coleman provided both epithet and diagnosis, thereby validly pub- lishing a name. He also described four species as new. As noted by Voss (1978), type specimens are not extant for any of these 35 novelties. Because Page  83 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 83 most have been overlooked by taxonomists and indexers through the years, all valid names published by Nathan Coleman are listed here, including two new combinations he made at varietal rank. The taxon to which each name most likely belongs is suggested. In the absence of type specimens, these identifica- tions must be regarded as speculative, particularly those to which a question mark is appended. Anacharis canadensis var. rosea N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 38 (1874).� Diagnosis: �re- sembling the [typical variety], but the flowers beautifully rose-colored.� = Elodea canaden- sis Michx. Aster novi-belgii var. pr�altus (Poir.) N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 20 (1874).� Basionym: Aster pr�altus Poir., Encycl., Suppl. 1: 493 (1811). . Symphyotrichum pr�altum (Poir.) G. L. Nesom. Campanula rotundifolia var. dentata N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 24 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Stem lvs. narrow to broad lanceolate, sinuate dentate.� = Campanula intercedens Witasek. [C. rotundifolia of American authors, not L.]. Cenchrus tribuloides var. multiflorus N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 47 (1874), as �multi- flora.�� Diagnosis: �Stem purple, florets 18 to 30.� = Cenchrus longispinus (Hack.) Fern. Chelone glabra var. linifolia N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 23 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Leaves long, linear, sparingly toothed, . to of an inch wide.� . Chelone glabra subsp. linifolia (N. Coleman) Pennell. Cirsium lanceolatum var. album N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 23 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Pure white; not common.� = Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Equisetum arenarium N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 47 (1874), as �arenaria.�� Diagnosis: �Stem slender, usually simple, sometimes irregularly branched at base, 13 to 18 furrowed, sheaths green with a white margin, teeth often marked with brown, stem 10 to 24 in. high, growing in sandy soil near Grand Rapids.� = Equisetum �mackaii (Newman) Brichan? Equisetum lacustre N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 47 (1874), as �lacustris.�� Diagnosis: �Stems 18 to 30 inches high, irregularly branching at base � branches few; generally about 15 furrowed; sheath green tipped with black teeth. Found growing in Reed�s Lake.� The follow- ing comment pertains to both this and the preceding: �These are so unlike any described species in form and habit, that after watching them for two years, I considered them species instead of varieties.� = Equisetum fluviatile L.? Euphorbia pilosa N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 33 (1874), nom. illeg. sub Art. 53. Non Eu- phorbia pilosa L., Sp. Pl.: 460 (1753).� Diagnosis: �A n. sp. or a very marked variety. Leaves scattered, entire, revolute on the margin, very hairy, as well as the stem.� = Euphor- bia commutata Engelm.? Fagus sylvatica var. ferruginea (Dryand.) N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 35 (1874).�Ba- sionym: Fagus ferruginea Dryand., Hort. Kew. 3: 362 (1789). = Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. Galium boreale var. roseum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 18 (1874).� Diagnosis: �quite small, with rose colored petals.� = Galium boreale L. Geranium maculatum var. parviflorum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 10 (1874), as �parvi- flora.�� Diagnosis: �occurs frequently, flowers quite small.� = Geranium maculatum L. Page  84 84 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 55 Hypericum mutilum var. minimum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 9 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Stem three to six inches high, lvs. three nerved � Grows near Grand Rapids.� = Hypericum mutilum L. Krigia virginica var. pilosa N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 23 (1874).� Diagnosis: �About the size of the [typical variety]; quite hairy, and branched.� = Krigia virginica (L.) Willd. Lithospermum lutescens N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 29 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Leaves large, ovate, lanceolate, nearly sessile, rough on the upper side; fls. yellow, larger than in L. arvense; seeds white, sometimes two � generally but one; st. from 1. to 3. ft. high.� = Lithospermum latifolium Michx. Lobelia cardinalis var. glandulosa N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 24 (1874).� Diagnosis: �lvs. glandular serrate, calyx lobes auriculata [sic].� = Lobelia cardinalis L. Lobelia siphilitica var. rosea N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 24 (1874).� Diagnosis: �with leaves large and smooth.� = Lobelia siphilitica L. Mentha arvensis var. aquatica N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 27 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Coarser than M. arvensis, more hirsute, and growing in the water.� = Mentha canadensis L. Mentha canadensis var. borealis N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 27 (1874).� Diagnosis: �smoother than M. canadensis.�= Mentha canadensis L. Panax trifolius var. roseus N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 17 (1874), as �rosea.�� Diagnosis: �A P. trifolium, flowers perfect, styles three, leaves smooth, and petals rose color; is often found growing with the other near Grand Rapids.� = Panax trifolius L. Parnassia caroliniana var. cordifolia N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 9 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Frequent near Grand Rapids � leaves distinctly heart shaped, sterile filaments only three in a set � sometimes with no leaf on the scape.� = Parnassia glauca Raf. Polygonatum giganteum var. pubescens N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 40 (1874).� Diag- nosis: �Quite pubescent.� = Polygonatum pubescens (Willd.) Pursh. Polygonum amphibium var. stipulaceum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 32 (1874).� Diag- nosis: �with leaves and flowers like P. amphibium; the leaves, possibly a little narrower, and with salver form stipules, like P. orientale, found growing in sandy soil, near Gd. Rapids.� � Persicaria amphibia var. stipulacea (N. Coleman) H. Hara. Cf. Coleman (1876c). Polygonum aviculare var. gracile N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 32 (1874), as �gracilis.�� Diagnosis: �Very slender, erect, leaves linear.� = Polygonum aviculare L.? Polygonum careyi var. punctatum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 33 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Leaves smooth, punctate.� = Persicaria careyi (Olney) Greene. Polygonum careyi var. stipulaceum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 33 (1874).� Diagnosis: �With salver form stipules � presenting all stages of change from broad, salver form stipules to those merely truncate.� = Persicaria careyi (Olney) Greene. Cf. Coleman (1876c). Polygonum virginianum var. maculatum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 33 (1874).� Diag- nosis: �Resembles the [typical variety], but has a dark, triangular blotch on the leaves, which are very large.� = Persicaria virginiana (L.) Gaertn. Quercus macrocarpa var. alata N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 34 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Branches strongly cork-winged.� = Quercus macrocarpa Michx. Cf. Coleman (1877b: 106). Page  85 2016 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 85 Rudbeckia speciosa var. glabra N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 22. (1874).� Diagnosis: �In two localities near Grand Rapids. Plant very smooth except margin of leaves.� = Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. var. speciosa (Wender.) Perdue. Cf. Coleman (1877b: 106). Sagittaria graminea var. elliptica N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 38 (1874).� Diagnosis: �With lance elliptic leaves.� = Sagittaria graminea Michx. Schollera graminea var. minima N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 41 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Found growing in the mud near Gd. Haven. Stems 1. to 2 inches high.� = Heteranthera dubia (Jacq.) MacMill. Sium latifolium var. grandifolium N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 17 (1874).� Diagnosis: �A variety occurs with very large leaves, which might well be called �� = Sium suave Walt. Tofieldia glutinosa var. longifolia N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 40 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Leaves long and narrow.� = Triantha glutinosa (Michx.) Baker. Trillium grandiflorum var. minimum N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 40 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Very slender, growing with the [typical variety]; flowers white, petals narrow.� = Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.) Salisb. Verbena hastata var. rosea N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 28 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Fls. a beautiful rose color.� = Verbena hastata L. Cf. Coleman (1877b: 106). Veronica americana var. hirsuta N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. Mich.: 27 (1874).� Diagnosis: �Plant quite large, 24 to 30 inches high, very hirsute.� = Veronica scutellata L. Viola striata var. lutescens Alph. Wood ex N. Coleman, Cat. Fl. Pl. 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