Early America was explored for plants by hundreds of European botanists. AndrÃ© Michaux, France's most eminent botanist, was one of them. A world traveler, he came to America with his son in 1785, for what became ten years of exploration. He collected thousands of specimens, and his travels in North Carolina took him as far as the Black Mountains. He was the first white man to set foot in those mountains. In 1802, he journeyed to Madagascar, where he contracted a rare tropical fever and died.