US botanist, Professor at Harvard, 1842-72. First met Darwin
on visit to Kew Gardens in the 1850s, and later became a friend and supporter of a soft version of Darwin’s
ideas, i.e. Gray accepted natural selection
as a mundane principle secondary
to Design. Gray was the only individual known to have received correspondence detailing Darwin’s
ideas prior to 1858, in the famous letter of September 1857. Author of Manual of Botany (1848) and Darwiniana (1876).