Cyrus Guernsey Pringle was born on May 6, 1838 in East Charlotte, Vermont. His ancestry on his father's side was Scottish Presbyterian. His maternal grandfather, Asa Harris, was of Puritan stock.
|University of Vermont|
|Starksboro Village Meeting House, Vermont|
“Asking no military protection of our Government and grateful for none, [we] deny any obligation to support so unlawful a system, as we hold war to be, even when waged in opposition to an evil and oppressive power and ostensibly in defence of liberty, virtue and free institutions.”
~ Cyrus Pringle
Eventually they were sent into active service in Virginia, where each man was supplied with a gun. When they refused, the equipment was buckled about them and they were marched through country "made dreary with the war blight". The guns "slipped down and dragged painfully on our shoulders". At the camp, they refused to present arms and were tied up and left for several hours, before being released and left to sleep on the ground.
By this time, Pringle was quite ill and the journey home led to a "delirium from which I only recovered after many weeks, through the mercy and favour of Him, who in all this trial had been our guide and strength and comfort."
After recovering his health, Pringle again turned his energies to plant breeding, attempting to hybridize new varieties of fruit and corn, tomatoes, and grains such as wheat and oats.
In 1878, he displayed many of the Vermont specimens which he had been collecting, at the Paris Exposition. In 1880, he was named as botanical collector for the American Museum of Natural History. He was also an agent for the United States Census Department, to explore the forests and to collect data for a final report.
|American Museum of Natural History|
|Pringle collecting specimens in the field|
to a plant only to register a variation or a new habitat. He liked to boast that he could call over 10,000 plant acquaintances, and a few botanical friends, by their proper names—though he was not certain as to who the president in Washington might happen to be.
"But year by year I have learned with joy and pride of the achievements since made in this field of my youthful love by you, my associates, who began better prepared than I did (for I was only the first available man). Yet share the secret of success of an old collector, quit the broad plains of dull sameness, seek out every possible situation of exceptional character, and look to find amidst peculiar conditions rare and localized plants."
|Pringle at the University of Vermont|
In the last year of his life he talked of planning a trip to South America, but was unable to realize that dream.
He died on May 25, 1911 at the age of 73. He was buried in Morningside Cemetery, Charlotte, Vermont.