Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
The following information was compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Assistant Curator, University of North Carolina Herbarium. 
Special Thanks to:
Sarah Hartwell & Joshua Shaw of Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library

Ferdinand Blanchard
(8 November 1851- 18 December 1892)

“Earth is so full of things to know and see
From Northern Lights to animanculae.”

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has catalogued over 220 herbarium specimens collected by Dr. Ferdinand Blanchard. Most of these specimens were received in 2002 as a gift from the Jesup Herbarium of Dartmouth College. A few of these specimens date from Blanchard’s days in Peacham, Vermont, but the vast majority were collected in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. between 1890 and 1892.

A document from the Rauner Special Collections of Dartmouth College Library claims that “a collection” of Dr. Blanchard’s herbarium specimens was given to the “St. Johnsbury Museum”. The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, holds several hundred of Dr. Blanchard’s specimens. Most, according to collections manager Raney Bench, are from New England.

Portrait of Ferdinand Blanchard
courtesy of Rauner Special Collections
of Dartmouth College Library

Other herbaria listed by the Harvard Herbaria database of collectors as holding Blanchard specimens are:


Dudley Herbarium at the California Academy of Sciences


University of Minnesota


Missouri Botanic Garden


New York Botanic Garden


Smithsonian Institution

Ferdinand Blanchard was one of five children born to Seth and Charlotte Bryant Blanchard.  Seth Blanchard, a farmer and carpenter, served in the Union Army and died February 2, 1864 in North Carolina.

Ferdinand Blanchard was educated at Montpelier Seminary, and then went to Dartmouth College.  He was the class poet, and graduated from 1874.  Ferdinand Blanchard and Alice G. White were married in West Windsor, VT in 1875. Daughter Mabel J. (31 January 1876 – 14 April 1880) and son Clair (16 November 1877 – 27 April 1880) were born while the family resided on Hammond Hill, Brownsville, Vermont. 

Ferdinand earned a medical degree in 1878 from Dartmouth Medical School. He practiced medicine in Union Village, Vermont for two years, and Peacham, Vermont, for ten years. Daughter Ida Wild (31 August 1879 – 19 May 1880) was born in Peacham, Vermont. 

Tragedy struck the family in the spring of 1880:  Mabel, Clair and Ida, all under the age of four, died within a month of each other from diphtheria, and were buried in Lot #5, Peacham Cemetery in Peacham, Vermont.  Ferdinand also got diphtheria, and though he survived, his health was impaired for the rest of his life.

Linn Rudolph Blanchard, named in honor of Swedish taxonomist Linnaeus, was born in Peacham, Vermont 17 June, 1881.  Linn married Sara Etta Johnston in 1911, and died in Washington, D.C. in 1944.

Seth Blanchard was born 1 January 1885 in Peacham, Vermont, suffered from hydrocephalus, and survived less than a year.

Helen Glee Blanchard was born 18 June 1888, and was named for the glee her parents felt upon her birth.  Glee married Harold Reed Washburn in 1916, and died 1 April 1970 in Springfield, Vermont. 

Ferdinand, wife Alice, and children Linn and Glee moved to Washington, D. C. in 1890, where Ferdinand practiced medicine and pursued botany.  Both a city directory and many of his specimens list his address in 1891 as “720 H Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C.”  

Ferdinand Blanchard died in 1892, at the age of 41, in Washington, D. C., and left his body to the Dartmouth College Medical Division.

Alice re-married after Ferdinand’s death.  Hugh White and Alice were married 14 May 1896 in Reading, Vermont, and had one son, Neal Dowd White (20 March 1897 – 8 May 1970).

Ferdinand Blanchard's Family History

Cady, Daniel L. (1930) Another W. Windsor Doctor Who Became Distinguished: Ferdinand Blanchard, with Literary and Medical Degrees From Dartmouth – Writer of Prose and Poetry. Journal [newspaper], Windsor, VT, issue of Friday, July 25, 1930.



University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931

Last Updated: 30 October 2012