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The Scottish Nation

COLDEN, CADWALLADER, an eminent physician and botanist, the son of the Rev. Alexander Colden of Dunse, was born February 17, 1688. He studied at the university of Edinburgh, and in medicine and mathematics especially made great proficiency. In 1708 he emigrated to Pennsylvania, where he practised as a physician for some years. In 1715 he returned to Britain, and while in London acquired considerable reputation by a paper on Animal Secretions. He afterwards went to Scotland, but the rebellion which had broken out there induced him to recross the Atlantic in 1716. He settled a second time in Pennsylvania, but in 1718 removed to New York. After a residence of a year in that city, he was appointed the first surveyor-general of the lands of the colony, and at the same time master in chancery. In 1720 he obtained a seat in the king’s council, under Governor Burnet. For some time previous to this, he had resided on a tract of land about nine miles from Newburgh, on Hudson river, for which he had received a patent, and which he employed himself in bringing into a state of cultivation, though much exposed to the attacks of the Indians. In 1761 he was chosen lieutenant-governor of New York. During the absence of Governor Tryon he displayed his ability in the management of affairs, and formed several benevolent establishments. After the return of Governor Tryon in 1775, Colden retired to a seat on Long Island, where he died, September 28, 1776, in the eighty-ninth year of his age, a few hours before nearly one-fourth part of the city of New York was reduced to ashes. Governor Colden was distinguished for his acquaintance with botany. His descriptions of between three and four hundred American plants were published in the ‘Acta Upsaliensia.’ He paid attention also to the climate, and left a long course of diurnal observations on the thermometer, barometer, and winds. He sent a great many American plants to Linnaeus, with whom he corresponded, and who gave to a new genus of plants the appellation of Coldenia. His works are:

      The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada. 2d edition, London, 1701, 8vo. The same, 1747, 1750, 8vo. And 1755, 2 vols, 12mo.

      The History of the Five Indian Nations depending upon New York. New York, 1727, 8vo. Lond. 1752. 4to.

      The Principle of Action in Matter, the Gravitation in Bodies, and the Motion of the Planets, explained from their principles. New York, 1745, 8vo. Lond. 1752, 4to.

      Plantae Coldenghomiae in provincia Noveboracensi Americes sponte crescentes. Act. Societ. Upsal. 1743, p. 81, &c.

      Letter concerning the Throat Distemper. Med. Obs. and Inq. i. p. 211. 1755. Epidemic Malignant Sore Throat.

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