Charles Andreas Geyer

Charles (originally Karl) Andreas Geyer (1809-1853) was born in Dresden, Gemany, and was the botanist on the 1838 and 1839 expeditions of J. N. Nicollet. He met Nicollet originally in 1835 but declined the opportunity to accompany him on an 1836 trip to the headwaters of the Mississippi.

Geyer’s Botany Journal of 1838, housed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives, provides one of the best semi-quantitative descriptions of southern Minnesota and was certainly the source for much of the information in Nicollet’s The Rise and Fall of the Vegetation. Geyer collected over 400 plants in 1838 but unfortunately most of these were lost in transit from Ft. Snelling to St. Louis. Only 77 of the specimens he collected in 1838-1839 are thought to have made it to John Torrey at Columbia University of New York for cataloging and inclusion in the text that accompanied Nicollet’s map; but we have located over 600 so far. Geyer went on to further explorations in the western U.S.. Torrey's herbarium, along with the rest of the Columbia herbarium were deposited with the New York Botanical Garden in 1900.

Geyer also wrote, but never published a summary of work entitled Report of an agricultural botanical survey, as an addition to a general report of a geographical survey of the country between the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. This report (date unknown) and accompanying list of plants (date and author unknown, names are out of date in many cases) can be accessed below.

On-line article on Charles Geyer originally published in Minnesota Plant Press in 1989

On-line transcription of unfinished manuscript by Nicollet, originally published in MN Plant Press in 1999