Garden tools in front of hardware store, Eudora, Arkansas, 1939. Photo by Russell Lee.

I’m making this site public pretty much as I create it, and I expect it will be a long time (years, not weeks) before I consider the first draft done. I plan to talk here about what I’m doing and planning; comments are welcome.

June 30, 2022: ALICE HENKEL is up now. A public servant who, working for the US Department of Agriculture in the early years of the twentieth century, researched and wrote about medicinal herbs.

June 26, 2022: I’m back at it, and have posted GLADYS TANTAQUIDGEON in PEOPLE. An amazing life — check her out!

May 18, 2020: Somewhere in there I posted HENRY HURD RUSBY in PEOPLE.

April 9, 2020: I’ve just posted DOMESTIC MEDICINE in TOPICS. There’s still technical and design stuff to deal with, and each article I post poses new issues for me to figure out, but so far that’s still fun.

April 1, 2020: I’m tempted to regale you with April Fools jokes and coronavirus comments, but suffice to say I’ve just posted BLACK COHOSH in the PLANTS category, and am back on the case.

December 7, 2019: I’ve just posted BELLADONNA in the PLANTS category, and HERBSTORY BACKSTORY AND THEMES in TOPICS. I’ll be traveling during much of the next 6 weeks, so don’t hold your breath, but I hope to be able to devote more time to this project, and add more pages, in 2020.

September 24, 2019: Once again, HELLO WORLD! I’m delighted to be back to this project after a hiatus of several months, and grateful to Prof. Arlene Tuchman, Prof. Catherine Molineux, and their students and colleagues at Vanderbilt University, for their interest, which has done much to inspire me. See LYDIA PINKHAM for my first post in the PEOPLE category.

March 20, 2019: OVERALL STRUCTURE: There are currently 4 menu categories: ABOUT, PEOPLE, PLANTS, and OTHER TOPICS. ABOUT will contain this blog; a page about me and one about the site, both now up; and maybe some other stuff — legal matters, acknowledgments, etc. PEOPLE will contain articles and links related to individuals; my list currently includes Martha Ballard, John Uri Lloyd, Lydia Pinkham, and Henry Hurd Rusby, among others. PLANTS will contain articles about individual medicinal plants, chosen for their historical importance and as exemplars of historical themes. OTHER TOPICS currently include medicine shows, the Shaker herb industry, domestic medicine, Native Americans as herbalists and as industry symbols, and botanical Big Pharma.