Paul Laurence Dunbar botanical sketchbook   Save
Ohio History Connection Museum Collection
Description: A sketchbook titled "Plant Descriptions and Field-Notes. Season of '87," arranged by William Werthner of Central High School in Dayton, Ohio, and kept by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The volume contains forms for recording and sketching buds, trees, flowers, and field notes including experiments, distribution of seed, color and fragrance, cross-fertilization, etc. An introductory "Suggestions" section offers recommendations of how and why to study botany, and many pages include poems and quotes from notable figures about the value and beauty of nature. Notes are presumed to have been written by Dunbar while he was a high school student at Central High School. This item was part of Paul Laurence Dunbar's personal library at the time of his death in 1906. Paul Laurence Dunbar, the son of formerly enslaved parents, was one of the first African Americans in the United States to gain prominence as a poet. He was a prolific writer of dialect poems, standard English poems, short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs and essays. A native of Dayton, Dunbar attended high school with Wilbur and Orville Wright. His early literary work won the praise of notable literary and cultural figures such as James Whitcomb Riley, Frederick Douglass, and William Dean Howells. Dunbar travelled in the United States and to Europe to give readings of his work, but a worsening case of tuberculosis eventually limited his travels. He spent his last years living with his mother in Dayton, where he died in 1906 at the age of 33. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: H89725_001
Subjects: Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 1872-1906; Botanical illustration; Plants; Ohio History--Natural and Native Ohio; Students -- Ohio;
Places: Dayton (Ohio); Montgomery County (Ohio)