Library of the Arnold Arboretum

Library of the Arnold Arboretum



Charles Edward Faxon was born on Jan. 21, 1846, in a part of Roxbury, Mass., that later became Jamaica Plain. He was educated in public schools there and at the Lawrence Scientific School, from which he received a B.S. in civil engineering in 1867. After college, Faxon worked in the family leather business for a while and traveled to Europe. From 1879-1884 he was instructor of botany at the Bussey Institution. C.S. Sargent appointed Faxon assistant director of the Arnold Arboretum in 1882, and Faxon retained that post until his death. At the Arboretum, Faxon was in charge of the library and herbarium and drew the illustrations for Sargent's Silva of North America, among other publications. Faxon is best known for his botanical illustrations, but he also knew how to read a number of modern foreign languages and published a few articles which gave evidence of that knowledge. He died in Jamaica Plain on Feb. 6, 1918.


American Men of Science, ed. 2.
Sargent, C.S. "Charles Edward Faxon." Rhodora 20 (1918): 117-122.


Scope and Content:

The Faxon papers consist of a set of translations made by Faxon of portions of Julius Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia. Milde's work was published in 1869, and Faxon's translations date from November, 1876. Faxon may have been in Europe at the time. Translated portions are:

1. Botrychium Ternatum
2. Botrychium Simplex
3. Botrychium Virginianum
4. Botrychium Matricariaefolium
5. Botrychium boreale
6. Botrychium Lanceolatum
7. Botrychium Lunaria

The numbering does not follow the original order of the text. The translation was apparently given to G.E. Davenport by Faxon.

Note: There are a number of other Faxon materials in the archives. Letters from Faxon can be found in the Historic and Semi-Historic Letters and in collections of individuals, including those of George G. Kennedy and George E. Davenport. There are also drawings and paintings (see pictures listing in Archives Guide).



The Faxon translations were given to Benjamin Lincoln Robinson by Mary Elizabeth Davenport in 1922.


Container Listing: (BOX AK)

Folder 1: [Note: Each section is enclosed in a yellow cover bearing a title.]

1. "Botrychium Ternatum from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 8 pp. at beginning in different handwritings; body is 55 pp. in Faxon's hand, includes illustrations on 2 pp.

2. "Botrychium Simplex from the Botrychiorum Monographia of Dr. J. Milde." 18 pp. in 2 different hands; 2 larger sheets and tracing of a drawing (now in separate folder); body is 28 pp. in Faxon's hand, includes illustrations on 2 pp.

3. "Botrychium Virginanum from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 27 pp. in Faxon's hand, with drawings on 2 pages.

4. "Botrychium Matricariaefolium from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 23 pp. in Faxon's

5. "Botrychium boreale from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 23 pp. in Faxon's hand, includes drawings on 1 page.

6. "Botrychium Laneolatum from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 16 pp. in Faxon's hand, includes drawings on 1 page.

7. "Botrychium Lunaria from Milde's Botrychiorum Monographia." 40 pp. in Faxon's hand, plus a sheet of drawings on tracing paper.

Folder 2: Two sheets of notes (not in Faxon's hand) and a tracing.


Indexed in the main file under:

Faxon, Charles Edward (1846-1918)
Milde, (Carl August) Julius (1824-1871)
Davenport, George Edward (1833-1907)


| Arnold Archives Home Page |
| Botany Libraries Home Page | Harvard University Herbaria Home Page |