The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
a handful of vascular plant specimens collected by Abbé
Langlois – all are from Louisiana and were
collected in 1878-1893. NCU also has
about twenty fungi and one lichen collected by Langlois – all from Louisiana. It is possible that as our collections are
databased we will discover more specimens collected by Langlois.
Langlois was born on 24 April 1832 in Chavaney
in southeastern France, was educated in Montbrison. In 1855 he moved to the United States, and
lived for two years in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He was a pastor in Point-al-la-Hache in Placquemines Parish, Louisiana for thirty years, then moved to St. Martinville in
St. Martin Parish, Louisiana in 1887.
He died in St. Martinville at age 58 in the
summer of 1900. (1) He is interred at
St. Martin de Tours Church.3
Herbarium (LCU) at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. was
named after l’Abbe August Barthelemy
“His herbarium, which was received at the Catholic University of
America in 1896, numbered approximately 20,000 specimens, but his duplicates
were widely distributed to several herbaria.” (2) LCU was dispersed by sale in 1985-1986;
institutions that received portions of LCU included CAN,
CM, DOV, F, NA, TEX, US, WIS, and HUDC.
Lamson-Scribner (1893) Southern Botanists. Bull. Torrey Bot. Cl. 20(8): 315-334.
pp326-328 deal with Langlois:
Louisiana is at this time the fortunate possessor of a
most industrious and acute botanist in the person of Rev. A. B. Langlois, of St. Martinville. Mr. Langlois was
born in France in 1832, and he began his botanical studies in that country,
for before coming to America in 1855, he had made an
herbarium of some 1200 species. He
spent nearly two years in Cincinnati completing this ecclesiastical
education, and then located at Pointe-a-la-Hache,
La., where he remained for 30 years.
The locality being near the delta of the Mississippi was one of
peculiar botanical interest, and Mr. Langlois
succeeded in discovering many rare and some new species of plants. Langlois has
carried on his botanical studies under circumstances which would have
deterred many from undertaking them.
He has been entirely cut off from botanical associates, and the climate
of his region is so moist as to render the drying of specimens most
difficult. Upon going to Point-a-la-Hache, he at once renewed his botanical work, but being
entirely without books and wholly unacquainted with any American botanist he
sent his first collections numbering some 300 species, to France to be named,
but he never heard from them or received one word of encouragement. Evidently disheartened he dropped the study
of plants for 20 years, a period which he now looks upon with deep regret. In 1878 he began again the study, first with
only Wood's "Manual," and then with Chapman's "Southern
thus relates his progress from this time, "By accident I learned that
there was a botanist, Dr. Puissant, at the Ecclesiastical Seminary of Troy,
N.Y., and I immediately wrote to him offering Southern plants for Northern ones, and I received from the doctor about 500
species. Soon after I found out there
was published here a "Botanical Gazette," for which I immediately
subscribed. From this journal I
learned many things unknown to me before; through its advertisements I got
plants from Eggert, of Missouri, Pringle, of Vermont, and a check-list from
Patterson, of Illinois. Then I began
to know and appreciate the advantages of having correspondents. The ones who have been of greatest service
to me in Phanerogams are Morong,
of Massachusetts, Wibbe, of New York, and later, J.
Donnell Smith, of Baltimore. In
grasses I have been assisted by Dr. Vasey, of Washington, and in Cyperaceae by Connant.
1884, through the kindness of Mr. Lehnert, of
Washington, I began the study of mosses, liverworts and lichens, and in the
latter part of 1885, at the suggestion of Mr. Scribner, I began the study of
fungi. I soon acquired a deep interest
in these plants, and have been greatly aided in their study by Prof. Ellis,
of New Jersey. The mycological flora
of Louisiana being so rich and at the same time so poorly known, I have for
the past three years given almost my entire attention to it. Every day I make new discoveries, and I am
yet far from having exhausted this intensely interesting part of the
Louisiana flora." Mr. Langlois has now an herbarium
containing some 5000 species of North American plants, including 1214 species
of Phanerogams and vascular cryptogams of his
State. So far as his State is
concerned, this work has been done single-handed. About a year ago, Langlois
published a catalogue of Louisiana plants which embraced the fungi he had
found, now numbering 1200 species. Langlois' collections are widely distributed in the
herbaria of this country and in France, and his specimens are highly valued
by all who possess them.
I have been thus particular
in speaking of Mr. Langlois, not only to show the
interest that may be acquired in the study of botany, but also to show what
may be accomplished under conditions most adverse. Mr. Langlois is
rector of St. Martins' church, St. Martinsville, La.
Tucker, Shirley C. (1970)
Langlois's collection sites of Louisiana
lichens. The Bryologist 73(1): 137-142.
Tucker, Arthur O.,
Muriel E. Poston, and Hugh H. Iltis (1989) History of the
LCU herbarium, 1895-1986. Taxon
LANGLOIS, Auguste Barthelemy. Louisiana Historical Association. Web.
Accessed 21 November 2012.