This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Flower lovers will regret to hear of the death of Mr. Fendler, whose name is-attached to so many interesting plants. According to a note by Dr. Gray, in the Botanical Gazette, this occurred on the 27th of November last, and in the 71st year of his age. He was born near Konigsburg in Eastern Prussia, came to this country not far from 1840, and was employed by Drs. Gray and Engelmann to collect in northern New Mexico in 1846. For a number of years he remained in a measure secluded in a rural retreat near Allenton, Mo., and eventually was induced to accept the care of the Bernhardi Herbarium, after its purchase by Mr. Henry Shaw for the Missouri Botanical Garden. He soon after left the position, and, we believe, returned to his native land. In 1872, or thereabouts, he surprised the writer by a call, expressing a desire to settle in some little hermitage, where, by caring wholly for himself, he could, within his limited income, live only for his scientific pursuits. The facilities for scientific study in the vicinity of Philadelphia pleased him, and a great effort was made to find a small place, with but a room or two, and a garden, at a low rent, where he could live by himself, and not too far away from the hall of the Academy of Natural Sciences, where he loved to spend his days.
Philadelphia was found too expensive to combine all these things, just as he would like to have them, and a place more consistent with his means was found near Wilmington, Del., to which he subsequently removed. But even here the vicissitudes of climate entailed expenses which would not be called for in a milder region, and he removed to Trinidad in the West Indies, where he continued till his death. This departure was, the writer believes, hastened by the expense attendant on the publication of a curious book, "The Mechanism of the Universe," in which he proposed to elucidate the cause of gravitation and other problems. He had hoped to find a publisher, and tried very hard to induce some Philadelphia house to undertake it - finally, rather than believe his work useless labor, issuing it at his own cost. He was particularly sensitive to a reputation for strict accuracy. A remark he once made to the writer, gives the key-note to his whole character: "It is pleasant to think that my name may live in connection with some useful work, long after my body shall be committed to the earth, - but a thousand times would I prefer that my name should be utterly forgotten than that the truth should not prevail".