Botanist and Harvard University Professor, the first director of Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, whoserved the institution for over 54 years. He was the author of the monumental works, The Silva of North America and The Manual of the Trees of North America.
Sargent, as the nation's leading expert on trees, was the chairman of the National Forestry Commission to survey the timber reserves of the United States, recommend the creation of new reserves, and submit a permanent policy for governing them. Although Muir was not a formal member of the Commission, he accompanied it on several tours of forest areas.
Sargent traveled with Muir on several excursions, including Alaska, the western forest reserves, the U.S. South, and about half of Muir's 1903-4 world tour.
Sargent was a major cmpaigner with John Muir fighting against the flooding of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Muir tells this anecdote, about a trip with Sargent to Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, when Muir became enraptured by the spectacular view of autumn colors from the top of the mountain: "I couldn't hold in, and began to jump about and sing and glory in it all. Then I happened to look around and catch sight of Sargent, standing there as cool as a rock, with a half-amused look on his face at me, but never saying a word. 'Why don't you let yourself out at a sight like that' I asked. 'I don't wear my heart upon my sleeve,' he retorted. 'Who cares where you wear your little heart, man,' I cried. 'There you stand in the face of all Heaven come down to earth, like a critic of the universe, as if to say, 'Come, Nature, bring on the best you have. I'm from BOSTON!'" (sierraclub.org: http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/people/sargent.aspx)
Information on the John Singer Sargent sketch of Charles Sprague Sargent:
Charles Sprague Sargent ("Mug")
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 1920
Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927) A Harvard Grad. Was apponted director of Harvard's Botanic Garden in 1872. In 1873 he was appointed the first director of the Arnold Arboretum.
"The Arnold Arboretum is a research and educational institution. It manages a collection of hardy trees, shrubs, and vines located on 265 acres in Boston, Massachusetts and associated herbarium and library collections. The grounds were planned and designed by the Arboretum's first director, Charles Sprague Sargent, in collaboration with the landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted [whom Sargent painted in 1895 --thumbnail] as part of Boston's Emerald Necklace park system Founded in 1872 and named for its benefactor James Arnold, the Arboretum continues to collect woody plants from around the world and offer horticultural education in accordance with its mission.." (John SInger Sargent gallery: http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/Mugs/Charles_Sprague_Sargent_Mug.htm)