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David Douglas

Birthdate: (35)
Birthplace: Scone, nr Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
Death: July 12, 1834 (35)
Laupahoehoe, Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States (trampled by an animal)
Place of Burial: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Douglas and Jean Douglas
Brother of John Douglas; Jean Douglas; Anne Douglas and George Douglas

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Immediate Family

About David Douglas

David Douglas

Birth date: 25 June, 1799

Birth Place: Scone, a few miles north-west of Perth, Scotland



Date of Death: 13 July 1834

Place of Death: Hawaii

Buried at Kawiaihoa Church at Honolulu


Father: John Douglas, Stonemason




Occupation: Scottish botanist. Plant Collector. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died.

Honours and Awards:


From the age of 7 to 11, he attended Kinnoul School, three miles from Scone but was often late as he studied the flora and fauna on Kinnoul Hill, a well-known local beauty spot. When he left school in 1810, aged of 11, he was employed as an apprentice gardener in the estate of the Earl of Mansfield at Scone Palace.

The young apprentice spent seven years at Scone under the head gardener William Beattie who discouraged any formal education. When he had finished his apprenticeship Douglas moved to Valleyfield and the estate of Sir Robert Preston. Here he tending a diverse variety of plants from around the world - both those grown indoors and out. He also had access to Sir Robert's library and began again his education among these garden and botany books. [1] He went to college in Perth to learn more of the scientific and mathematical aspects of plant culture, and worked in Fife (where he had access to a library of books on botany and zoology.) in 1820 he moved to the Botanical Gardens at Glasgow University. Whilst there he attended botany lectures at Glasgow University. He made acquaintance with William Jackson Hooker, the Professor of botany who took him on plant-finding expeditions in the Highlands. In 1823 Professor Hooker recommended that he move to the Royal Horticultural Society of London who were looking for a suitable gardener and collector to send to America..

One of the collections he sent to England was dried branches and needles of what he would call "Oregon pine" or what is know today as Douglas-fir. On his return from his travels in 1827 he travelled to Scotland to see his mother, at that time a widow, and a seed of the Douglas Fir was planted in the grounds of Scone Palace - which is still growing there.


1823 - sailed from Liverpool in June of 1823, bound for New York. Visited Philadelphia and South Eastern Canada looking for seeds and cuttings. A trip to China that he had hoped to join was cancelled and this trip replaced it.

25 July 1824, Douglas boarded the William and Ann, bound for Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, reached his destination in April of 1825. He began to collect at once. [1]

1826 found Douglas deep inland, climbing the tall mountains of northeastern Oregon

He returned to England in 1827, having visited the Rocky Mountains.

1829 - he headed back to Columbia to collect in the Northwest Pacific.

In 1830 - went to California where he stayed for almost 3 years, collecting over 500 new species of plants.

1833 - he went to Hawaii where he tragically died in a bull trap, having fallen into a trap which had captured a bull. The bull mauled him to death. He was found on 12 July 1834. Publications:

Other Notes:

References, Sources/Links, Family Trees etc.


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David Douglas's Timeline

June 25, 1799
Scone, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, United Kingdom
nr Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
July 12, 1834
Age 35
Laupahoehoe, Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States
Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States