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Rusby, Henry Hurd (1855-1940), pharmacognosist and botanical explorer  

John Parascandola

Rusby, Henry Hurd (26 April 1855–18 November 1940), pharmacognosist and botanical explorer, was born in Franklin, New Jersey, the son of John Rusby, a country storekeeper and a farmer, and Abigail Holmes. John Rusby was an ardent abolitionist who maintained a station on the Underground Railroad, with young Henry helping to pass provisions to escaping slaves. Henry acquired an interest in plants at an early age from his mother, and a village schoolteacher encouraged his interest in botanical collecting. Rusby studied at the Massachusetts State Normal School and the Centenary Collegiate Institute (N.J.) and then taught for several years in country schools in Massachusetts and New Jersey. He also undertook the first of his botanical explorations, a field trip to the Southwest, to study the flora of the region in 1880, under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution....