Torrey, John, 1796–1873, American botanist and chemist, b. New York City, M.D. College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1818. He was professor of chemistry (1827–55) at his alma mater and professor of chemistry and natural history (1830–54) at Princeton. From 1853 he was chief assayer in the U.S. assay office in New York City. His herbarium was presented (1860) to Columbia, and in 1899 it was transferred to the New York Botanical Garden. He was a founder of the New York Academy of Sciences and of the Torrey Botanical Club. A genus of evergreen trees, Torreya, is named for him. He wrote A Flora of the State of New York (1843) and, with Asa Gray, A Flora of North America (2 vol., 1838–43).
See study by A. D. Rodgers (1965); catalog of Torrey's manuscripts in the New York Botanical Garden Library, comp. by S. Lenley et al. (1973).