Colden was also one of the most learned men in the colonies. He wrote his own critique of Newton, The Principles of Action in Matter (1751). He became a botanist of the new Linnaean system of classifying flora and made significant contributions to medical literature. He also published his History of the Five Indian Nations (1727), a valuable source on the Iroquois tribes. His letter books (1877–78) and letters and papers (7 vol., 1918–23) were published by the New-York Historical Society.
See A. R. Raymond, The Political Career of Cadwallader Colden (1971) and biography by A. M. Keys (1906, repr. 1971).
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