Archibald Menzies ( // MING-iss; 15 March 1754 – 15 February 1842) was a Scottish surgeon, botanist and naturalist. He spent many years at sea, serving with the Royal Navy, private merchants, and the Vancouver Expedition. He was the first recorded European to reach the summit of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa and introduced the Monkey Puzzle tree to England.
In modern medicine, a surgeon is a physician who performs surgical operations. There are also surgeons in podiatry, dentistry maxillofacial surgeon and the veterinary fields.
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment; leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is called a naturalist or natural historian.
Menzies was born at Easter Stix (or Styx) in the parish of Weem, in Perthshire, Scotland. Nonsuch. Present at Battle of the Saintes (12 April 1782), in peacetime Menzies served on Halifax Station in Nova Scotia.While working with his elder brother William at the Royal Botanic Gardens, he drew the attention of Dr John Hope, professor of botany at Edinburgh University, who encouraged him to study medicine there. Having qualified as a surgeon, Menzies served as assistant to a doctor in Caernarvon, Wales, then joined the Royal Navy as assistant surgeon on HMS
Weem is a village on the B846 near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, Scotland. The name Weem is derived from the Gaelic uamh, meaning 'cave'.
Perthshire, officially the County of Perth, is a historic county and registration county in central Scotland. Geographically it extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south; its borders the counties of Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire to the north, Angus to the east, Fife, Kinross-shire, Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire and Dunbartonshire to the south and Argyllshire to the west. It was a local government county from 1890 to 1930.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland—Edinburgh, Dawyck, Logan and Benmore—each with its own specialist collection. The RBGE's living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species, whilst the herbarium contains in excess of 3 million preserved specimens.
In 1786 Menzies was appointed surgeon on board the Prince of Wales (Captain James Colnett), on a fur-trading voyage round Cape Horn to the northern Pacific.This ship, in company of Princess Royal (Captain Duncan), visited North America, China, and Hawaii (the Sandwich Isles) several times; Menzies collected a number of new plants on this voyage, and also ensured that none of the crew died of illness. Menzies returned to Great Britain in 1789. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1790.
James Colnett was an officer of the British Royal Navy, an explorer, and a maritime fur trader. He served under James Cook during Cook's second voyage of exploration. Later he led two private trading expeditions that involved collecting sea otter pelts in the Pacific Northwest of North America and selling them in Canton, China, where the British East India Company maintained a trading post. Wintering in the recently discovered Hawaiian Islands was a key component of the new trade system. Colnett is remembered largely for his involvement in the Nootka Crisis of 1789—initially a dispute between British traders and the Spanish Navy over the use of Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island that became an international crisis that led Britain and Spain to the brink of war before being peacefully resolved through diplomacy and the signing of the Nootka Conventions.
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America, Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage and marks where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.
Princess Royal was a British merchant ship that sailed on fur trading ventures in the late 1780s, and was captured at Nootka Sound by Esteban José Martínez of Spain during the Nootka Crisis of 1789. Called Princesa Real while under the Spanish Navy, the vessel was one of the important issues of negotiation during the first Nootka Convention and the difficulties in carrying out the agreements. The vessel also played an important role in both British and Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. In 1790, while under Spanish control, Princesa Real carried out the first detailed examination of the Strait of Juan de Fuca by non-indigenous peoples, finding, among other places, the San Juan Islands, Haro Strait, Esquimalt Harbour near present-day Victoria, British Columbia, and Admiralty Inlet.
In 1790, Menzies was appointed as naturalist to accompany Captain George Vancouver on his voyage around the world on HMS Discovery. When the surgeon fell ill, Menzies took over his duties.
Captain George Vancouver was a British officer of the Royal Navy best known for his 1791–95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of what are now the American states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, as well as the province of British Columbia in Canada. He also explored the Hawaiian Islands and the southwest coast of Australia.
The Vancouver Expedition (1791–1795) was a four-and-a-half-year voyage of exploration and diplomacy, commanded by Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy. The British expedition circumnavigated the globe and made contact with five continents. The expedition at various times included between two and four vessels, and up to 153 men, all but six of whom returned home safely.
HMS Discovery was a Royal Navy ship launched in 1789 and best known as the lead ship in George Vancouver's exploration of the west coast of North America in his famous 1791-1795 expedition. She was converted to a bomb vessel in 1798 and participated in the Battle of Copenhagen. Thereafter she served as a hospital ship and later as a convict ship until 1831. She was broken up in 1834.
In 1794, while Discovery spent one of three winters in Hawaii, Menzies, with Lieutenant Joseph Baker and two other men, made the first recorded ascent to Mokuaweoweo, the summit of Mauna Loa. Menzies used a portable barometer to measure the height of the mountain as 13,564 feet (4,134 m) compared to its currently known height of 13,679 feet (4,169 m).
Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state geographically located in Oceania, although it is governed as a part of North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean. The largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, Mauna Loa has historically been considered the largest volcano on Earth, dwarfed only by Tamu Massif. It is an active shield volcano with relatively gentle slopes, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3), although its peak is about 125 feet (38 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor and very fluid, and they tend to be non-explosive.
A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure in a certain environment. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather. Many measurements of air pressure are used within surface weather analysis to help find surface troughs, pressure systems and frontal boundaries.
It would be forty years before another European, fellow Scotsman David Douglas, would reach the summit on 29 January 1834.
David Douglas was a Scottish botanist, best known as the namesake of the Douglas-fir. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died.
In 1795, Menzies was served the seeds of the Chile Pine, Araucaria araucana , as a dessert while dining with the Viceroy of Chile. He was able to pop some seeds into his pocket and grow them on board ship on the way back to Europe, and returned to England with five healthy plants, the first seen in Britain.Known as the Monkey Puzzle tree, the Chile Pine became a favourite in most formal gardens of the nineteenth century.
After the voyage, Menzies served with the Navy in the West Indies. He received the degree of M.D. at the University of Aberdeen in 1799. After retiring from the Navy he became a doctor and surgeon at Notting Hill, London.He became the father of the Linnean Society upon the death of Aylmer Bourke Lambert.
Menzies's wife died in 1837. They had no children. Menzies himself died in London on 15 February 1842 and is buried in Kensal Green cemetery.
Menzies' name is commemorated in the scientific names of several of the plants he discovered, including Menziesia , a genus of shrubs in the Ericaceae, and the Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii, the most commercially important tree in western North America.The Pacific madrone, an evergreen tree and largest of the Ericaceae, was named Arbutus menziesii in his honour by Friedrich Pursh.
Also named for Menzies, in a corrupted form as adapted by the Nuxalk people of the Bella Coola area of the Central Coast of British Columbia, is "Bensins Island", as recorded by Alexander Mackenzie during his visit there shortly after Vancouver's ship visited the area.
The Ainapo Trail he used to climb Mauna Loa is also known as "Menzies Trail".One of the principal streets surrounding the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Victoria, British Columbia is named Menzies street.
Many of the specimens collected by Menzies are planted in London's Kew Gardens. He also brought back to London 112 separate collections of artefacts, which are housed at the British Museum. A comprehensive catalogue of these collections was not published until 1951.
Pseudotsuga menziesii is an evergreen conifer species in the pine family, Pinaceae. It is native to western North America and is known as Douglas fir, Douglas-fir, Oregon pine, and Columbian pine. There are two varieties: coast Douglas-fir, and Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir.
Arbutus menziesii, the Pacific madrone or madrona, is a species of tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the western coastal areas of North America, from British Columbia to California.
John Meares was a navigator, explorer, and maritime fur trader, best known for his role in the Nootka Crisis, which brought Britain and Spain to the brink of war.
Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 12 miles (19 km) south of Kailua-Kona. Settled over a thousand years ago, the surrounding area contains many archeological and historical sites such as religious temples (heiaus) and also includes the spot where the first documented European to reach the Hawaiian islands, Captain James Cook, was killed. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii in 1973 as the Kealakekua Bay Historical District. The bay is a marine life conservation district, a popular destination for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Joseph Baker (1767–1817) was an officer in the Royal Navy, best known for his role in the mapping of the Pacific Northwest Coast of America during the Vancouver Expedition of 1791-1795. Mt. Baker is named after him.
Towereroo was the first Hawaiian to visit Europe. He returned to the Hawaiian islands on the Vancouver Expedition in 1792. Although during his time the British spelled his name "Toweroo", it would probably be Kualelo with modern Hawaiian language spelling.
The plant Tolmiea menziesii is a member of the genus Tolmiea. It is known by the common names youth on age, pick-a-back-plant, piggyback plant, and thousand mothers. It is a perennial plant native to the West Coast of North America, occurring in northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and southern Alaska. It occurs as a naturalised plant or garden escape in Scotland, parts of Wales, Northern Ireland and northern and western parts of England.
Banks Island is an island on the coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is located south of Prince Rupert, on Hecate Strait, east of and opposite the Queen Charlotte Islands. To the east of Banks Island is Pitt Island and McCauley Island, both across Principe Channel. To the west is Bonilla Island. To the south lies the archipelago of the Estevan Group, beyond which is Caamaño Sound.
The Ainapo Trail was the primary route to the summit of Mauna Loa from prehistory to 1916. The trail began on the southeast flank at 2000 feet of elevation and reached Mokuaweoweo, the summit crater, at 13,200 feet (4,000 m). It was sometimes called Menzies Trail after Archibald Menzies who was the first recorded outsider to climb the mountain in 1794. The Ainapo Trail was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974.
The King George's Sound Company, also known as Richard Cadman Etches and Company after its "prime mover and principal investor", was an English company formed in 1785 for the Maritime Fur Trade on the northwest coast of North America. The company had nine partners in 1785: Richard Cadman Etches, John Hanning, William Etches, Mary Camilla Brook, William Etches, John Etches, Nathaniel Gilmour, Nathaniel Portlock (captain), and George Dixon (captain). No change in the list of partners after 1785 has been found.
John Scouler, was a Scottish naturalist.
James Johnstone was a British naval officer and explorer. He is noted for having served as sailing master of the armed tender HMS Chatham and later acting lieutenant during George Vancouver's 1791–1795 expedition to the Pacific Northwest. Johnstone Strait in British Columbia is named after him.
Vicia menziesii is a rare species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common name Hawaiian vetch. It is endemic to Hawaii, where it is known only from the island of Hawaii. It is threatened by habitat loss and exotic plants. It has been federally listed as an endangered species of the United States since 1978. It was the first Hawaiian plant to be placed on the Endangered Species List.
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