Upon the death of his father in 1828, David took over management of his father's seed business. David took an active role in horticulture and became one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He eventually became president of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture and was vice president of the United States Agricultural Society. In 1832 he began publishing Floral Magazine which was not financially successful and ceased after only a few years. He edited an American edition of George W. Johnson's A Dictionary of Modern Gardening published in Philadelphia in 1847.
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