THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON
Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211 USA
www.buffalomuseumofscience.org/botany/DiaryIntro.htm
January 8, 2003

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THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON – August 1863

[1863]     Aug. 1. A.M. On the grass plots in front of Workhouse, collected Lolium perenne, &, returning, Festuca elatior. 

P.M. Wheelbarrow Point, Juncus effusus and Juncus     , Elymus Virginicus, E. Canadensis, and E. striatus. Also a tall, coarse, oat‑like grass which may be Phragmites, though it seems to me, not.

 

[1863]     Aug. 2. Day started, for Toledo, late Friday evening. Evening. Took from his garden specimen of a pink Achillea millefolium, and of an [Iberis?]

 

[1863]     Aug. 3. 10*45' P.M. Started for Albany, in sleeping car.

 

[1863] Aug. 4. In the morning, found on board a number of principals of Academies,  among  them  Mr. Pratt of the Fredonia Academy & Mr. Love of  the  Randolph  (Cattaraugus  Co.)  Academy,  & Mr. Cochran of the Normal School. 

The Convention of Representatives of The Colleges & Academies met in the Albany Academy at 10*‑11* A. M. Mr. Pruyne, the Chancellor, explained the objects, &c., & it was  organized.

Mr. John V. L. Pruyn the Chancellor, extended his hospitality to me & Dr. Jackson, President of Hobart College. 

A.M. Collected in the Street the plant intended by the Euxolus deflexus, Raf. of Gray's Manual, but now, in the Manual, connected into Amarantus polygonoides or Amblogyria [?] polygonoides, Raf. On Elk Street, almost at its very (upper) end, Chenopodium glaucum.

P.M. Walked up Washington St. & took the road leading from it to West Albany. On the hills & in the fields west of that road, Lupinus perennis, seems common, but has perfected & shed its seed. Campanula rotundifolia very abundant & often tall & stiff. Platanthera psycodes, Veronica Virginica, Trifolium arvense, & T. agrarium, Origanum vulgare, Pycnanthemum incanum, Spiraea tomentosa. Struck the railroad & walked thereon into the City, & collected Euphorbia hypericifolia, Setaria glauca? (!), & another, similar, coarse grass, = S. viridis!

 

[1863]     Aug. 5. 4 P.M. delivered my remarks to the Convention, which adjourned sine die in the evening. 

6. P.M.  Mr. Van Benthuysen, junior, gave me a ride, in his natty wagon, & with his fine small horse Dollie Dutton, drove first to Botany Pond, east of Greenbush, collected there only an Eriophorum & a grass, probably a Glyceria (=G. Canadensis). Thence down the River Road, past head of Popschenay [?] Island to near where Clinton Norton [?] lived. Abutilon Avicennae common. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 6. After breakfast crossed in the Boston R. R. ferry boat, & walked up to Bath, & along the River 1/2 to 1 mile up it. Collected a Nasturtium, very much like & perhaps the N. palustre, but much humbler than that species is with us. On the river bank, above Bath, a very fine grass, Panicum virgatum, also a Spartina, with fewer spikes & shorter leaves than the Cynosuroides usually has with us (Note. = evidently S. cynosuroides), and Andropogon furcatus. My  old (1825‑8) locality of Sagittaria pusilla is covered by whatever, or rotten docks. Crossed at Bath & walked up the northern R. Road, 1 or 2 miles, found Scleranthus annuus. Took the Troy Road, & by the side of it picked what is, probably, Verbena officinalis, though the leaves are not pinnatifid or 3 cleft, I think, the specimens, at this writing, are in press (=V. urticifolia). On Maiden Lane, just above Pearl St., north side, found what, without examination, I suppose to be Eleusine Indica, also a Digitaria (sanguinalis).

3 P.M. Having missed the Omnibus, walked to Normans Kill, principally on the Rail Road track by the River. Could not find the Alatine. Walked on, say 1/2 mile, to  Mr. E. Corning's place, & examined his excellent collection of ferns. Mr. William Gray, his gardener, gave me very many specimens. I promised to send him seeds of Hypericum pyramidatum, and also, if I can get them, of Nelumbium. He is a very nice person, & pays much attention to Entomology, and has made a large & varied collection. He kills his insects with Cyanide of Potassium, mention this & him to Grote. His direction is Wm. Gray, care of Hon. Erastus Corning, Albany.

At 10*45' left for Chittenango Station.

 

[1863]     Aug. 7. About 4 A.M., arrived at Chittenango Station, & had to loiter there until 8 A.M. when I took the Stage & passed through Chittenango, passed Chittenango Springs, to the Falls of the Chittenango Creek. On the left Bank, below the Creek, found the Scolopendrium, but could nowhere find either Allosorus gracilis or Asplenium angustifolium, both of which Mr. D. C. Eaton wrote me were there, on the left bank. I did not examine the right one. Collected also Brachyelytrum aristatum. Walked back to the Springs (Cassia Marilandica on the way) & bathed & dined. The grounds are very pleasant, & it seems to be a nice country watering place. On the hill back of the house found Hieracium paniculatum. The Clerk is quite a friend of a correspondent Judge (Thomas) Barlow of Canastota, and thinks that the Sulphur water draws to this locality a very great variety of Butterflies & moths. Went on by Stage to the Station & took the train at 4*45' P.M. for Buffalo. The beautiful Hibiscus noticed last year, by the R. R. 1/2 mile east of the Cayuga  outlet, is commencing to bloom, & may be it is not the moscheutos, (!) At a station east of the Outlet, picked a slender, tallish Eleocharis. Got home at 10*‑11*, & found it raining finely.

 

[1863]     Aug. 8. The Digitaria is growing in my own yard.

 

[1863]     Aug. 9. Mr. Day has returned. He found, at Toledo, the Nelumbium, Bignonia ['Tecoma' written above] radicans, Lythrum alatum, Cacalia atriplicifolia, Coreopsis tripteris, a Rudbeckia, a Silphium, &c. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 10. Walked to Wheelbarrow Point & the 1st & 2nd dark woods. Found nothing new, unless it be 2 or 3 grasses, a broadish leaved Sium, and the big Rumex. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 11. P.M. Open field, a little way beyond the Scajaquada Bridge on road running E. from Schanzlin's, (cultivated, probably, last year, but not this) with the Setarias &c., a broad leaved, large seeded grass, in seed, the flowers in a closish,  heavy,  branched but close  &  nodding  panicle, spikelet,  apparently one flowered & with one glume (Panicum xalapense, Dr.  Thurber thinks).  In the wood,  near the Physa quarry,  a small flowered  & small  grass,  like an Agrostis.  On the Plains near the quarries,  a small Scirpus which Gray named S.  Clintonii.  On the plains,  in openings  in  a grove,  near  the  field  where  the  Ipomoea pandurata is,  the Andropogon furcatus is abundant,  found a tall & beautiful grass,  of which  I  cannot make anything (=Sorghum nutans.)

 

[1863]     Aug. 12. Down the river with George. In Big Bay, a large Scirpus. Near Rattlesnake Channel, a large, terete Eleocharis [= palustris written above], and a tall Scirpus, with a triangular culm [= S. Torreyi written above] (Could not find the E. quadrangulata [=S. palustris written above] and a tall Eleocharis, probably the palustris. Took some specimens of Zizania, the fertile [racemes?] not open yet, and yet many of the sterile flowers fallen. Collected some Potamogetons, all of which seem to be in seed. Head of Grand Island & home. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 13. Canada, in woods west of L. H. R. R. Collected 3 specimens of small Botrychium lunarioides, each with 2 barren fronds, and 1 or 2 grasses. Went down road, at first crossing beyond Fort Erie, to the shore. Inside of the Fence, north of crossing (down) bounding shore road, on sand blown over the fence, a grass, 3 feet high, looks like Sporobolus cryptandrus, but can't be (Is!). On the beach, Tricuspis purpurea [Sporobolus cryptandrus crossed out], depressed Euphorbias, = maculata & polygonifolia, and the compact round headed cyperus ‑ probably filiculmis. The Glycyrrhiza well in fruit, but, from the rear of the patch got 13 specimens in flower.

 

[1863]     Aug. 14. Miss Mary H. Clark has been here 2 or 3 days, & leaves tomorrow morning for Niagara Falls, & so home. Escorted her, this afternoon, to the Room of our Society. About 5 1/2* P.M. drove my wife out on Delaware St. &c. On the east side of the street, running from North Street past the old Black Rock Cemetery, noticed the nodding grass found, on the 11th, near Schanzlin (= Sorghum nutans). Also, nearer North St., a cultivated grass, like Setaria Italica, but, apparently, with a shorter & quite dark spike, or head. Must get them.

 

[1863]     Aug. 15. Before breakfast, walked out to get the grasses mentioned yesterday, & got them. A man in the field where the black bearded grass is cultivated, told me it was "Hungarian grass." It is evidently a Setaria. The other one is, probably, Panicum miliaceum.

Received a letter from Prof. Dewey, naming some of our Carices I had sent him. Hardly adding to the list of those before ascertained,

Carex disticha, var. Sartwellii, Dw.

C. Muhlenbergii, Schk.

C. sparganioides, Muhl.

C. scirpoides, Schk.

C. curta, Good.

C. straminea, Wahl.

C. stricta, Good.

C. hirsuta, Willd.

C. Pennsylvanica, Lam.

C. lupulina, Muhl.

C. retrocurva, Dew.

C. Crawei, Dew.

C. scabrata, Schw.

C. canosa, L.

C. trichocarpa, Muhl.

C. filiformis, L.

C. Tuckermanii, Boott.

 

Walked out on Turnpike, overtaken by a thunder storm & crawled under a barn, & lay there till the rain was, substantially, over. Walked on about a mile beyond Smoke's Creek. In a deserted garden, took specimen of Althaea rosea & Malva sylvestris. Struck through fields & woods to the Buffalo & Erie R. R. near Smoke's Creek. That Creek's two branches meet just at the R. R. Bridge, walked up between them. Noticed Hydrophyllum Canadense. On the edge of the Creek, Leersia Virginica. Walked home on Plank Road, across Iron Bridge. Nearly opposite Faber's tavern, a small cultivated patch of the grass found Aug. 11, 14 & this morning [Panicum xalapense written above]. Men there said it was Canary Birdseed. On the R. R., not far from the Round House, a Digitaria, which may be the filiformis. (No!). Brachyelytrum aristatum was in the woods on Smoke's Creek, &, I think, is commonish about Buffalo.

 

[1863]     Aug. 17. Think the Digitaria in my yard is the sanguinalis.

P. M. Smuggler's Run, very thickly grown up with water plants. Collected the Bidens Beckii, well in fruit as well as in flower. The Sparganium growing in the water is now pretty well in fruit. Last year I supposed it to be the natans or angustifolium, but now I begin to think it is merely a state of the Simplex. The Sagittaria growing in the Run, is very long stemmed, the fruit is red, the leaf small & lanceolate.

Collected in the City Polygonum aviculare, the variety (?) with erect stems, looks vey different from the prostrate one. Can it be the tennue? (No!).

 

[1863]     Aug. 18. P.M. Visited the Ipomoea pandurata on the Plains, no sign of a flower. Collected more of the 2 tall grasses, in returning, & doubt whether the one I took for Andropogon furcatus is the furcatus, though it seems it must be (And is, the other is Sorghum nutans). In a grassy field, by the westerly edge of the wood, 2d field from the Road (2 road [abbrev. for 'northerly'] of the Gate) found Spiranthes gracilis.

In the evening, Day showed me a Bromus, in fine condition, & a Helianthus collected in or near his Sphagnum. The Bromus, I find, on examination, is B. ciliatus.

 

[1863]     Aug. 19. At 6*20' P.M., left Buffalo, with my wife, for Suspension Bridge, & supped &c., at the Monteagh House. Hack 75 1/2.

 

[1863]     Aug. 20. Rose at 5*15'. Morning cloudy & foggy, but a good dew. Left for Lewiston at 9*20'. Bill at Monteagh $3.75, Porterage 50 cents. At Lewiston, took the Bay State (For about $12.) Captain Troup [sp.?], the Clerk, & everybody very polite. Gave us State Room No. 43. Bought "The Panorama of the St. Lawrence, 4/c. Eustaphieve & wife, & Sam. Welch & wife aboard going to Clayton, to fish. In the Lake,  found a Northern blowing lightly, in the considerable swell. Almost all the women & some of the men sick. Mr. Welch very sick, & so the whole of that party abandoned their trip & went ashore at Charlotte. Soon after leaving Charlotte it commenced raining, & the wind fell. In the height of the wind noticed butterflies in the air. Capt. Troop says the strength of this wind expends itself before reaching the South Shore, that it has been frequent this season. So that he has kept near that shore.

 

[1863]     Aug. 21. Got up between 4* & 5* A.M. & found we were just going into Sackett's Harbor. Touched at Kingston. Breakfasted at 7*20'. Arrived, at Alexandria Bay, & put up at Mr. (Charles) Crossmann's. His Hotel often called the house on the rock. It is built against a rock, so that the 3d story overlaps the rock, & the entrance for passengers is from the rock into the third story, where are the parlors & bedrooms. The dining room is in the second story,& the office & bar in the first story, which adjoins & faces the Street. All the guests out fishing, &c., & the house as quiet as the grave. The whole coast & the islands seem to be gneiss, which, sometimes, seems trap‑like. Noticed this day, Polypodium vulgare, Selaginella rupestris, Polygonum cilinode, Hypericum Canadense? Erysimum cheiranthoides, Aralia hispida, Epilobium angustifolium, Hieracium Canadense, Hypericum Canadense? a very delicate grass (Trichodium?) [Agrostis scabra! written above] gone to seed, Melampyrum Americanum, Diervilla trifida, Spiraea salicifolia, Gerardia purpurea? After dinner, rowed my wife among the Islands opposite the Bay & up the River, found Corydalis glauca, Silene antirrhina, & Aster acuminatus.

 

[1863]     Aug. 22. Wife sick all night. A. M. took a walk, nil! P.M. rained.

 

[1863]     Aug. 23. Sunday. Went to Church A. M. Rev. Wm. Howe of Brooklyn preached. He is the brother in law of 2 Mr. [Miss'?] Stewarts, of Brooklyn, & a Mrs. Lee, Cousin of the Sio [sp.?], of Chicago, with him compose a party staying at Crossman's. Mr. Rockwell (Dutch Reformed) is the resident Minister. The Church was founded, or established through the influence & exertions of the Rev. Dr. Bethune, who, for many years, resorted here every year, for relaxation. After dinner, took walk, on main road to Cape Vincent, & turned to the right at first road beyond the Church, so on to cross the Creek or Bay above the village, & thence,on the further side of the Bay down to & up the shore. At the Bridge, &c., noticed Bidens Beckii (It is very common in the marshes & shallow bays.) Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Ranunculus aquatilis. A Glyceria, probably the same I collected at the pond near Greenbush, is common (=G. Canadensis). On the Point found Ranunculus reptans. On the rocks along the shore, saw a few specimens of Hypericum Canadense, & Corydalis glauca, Diplopappus umbellatus. The Solidago lanceolata of this region is of a very slender growth. Walked up the shore 1/2 mile, and thence through the woods & fields to the crossroad, & so home. Mr. Thurber (Edward Thurber, 83 East Fayette St., Syracuse) & wife, who came in the same boat with us, are very nice people. Mr.  Thurber speaks of an Island near this called Baldtop. Says the view from it is fine, & that some of the rock of which it is composed is like marble. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 24, Monday. Before breakfast, found a small water weed, with axillary fruit, leaves undivided, growing entirely under water, in Alexandria Bay, on a rock just by Crossman's further barn or stable (Callitriche autumnalis. See Sept. 10).

Went fishing, rowed by Steve Griffin, with Mr. Thurber, I using one his brass rods & he the other. I caught 2 black bass, he, 4 & also 4 yellow perch, all with the fly. The rig is a long double or twisted gut leader with a string of 5‑6 flies. Dined on Van Buren Island, with the Stewarts, Mr. Lee & Dr. & Mrs. Howe. The oarsmen cook fish very well. Had fried fish, cold chicken, tea, pie, &c., &c. The weather threatening, we cut across to Grenadier Island, & ran our boats into a boat house, & made for a farm house a few rods off, & had hardly got the women in, when a very heavy squall of wind & rain came on. It did not last however more than 1*, & we got back to the Bay at 8 P.M.  Myrica Gale commonish on the Islands, here & there, Arbutus uva ursi.

 

[1863]     Aug. 25. Tuesday. Ms. Lee received a telegram announcing the, to her, very unexpected death of her father, of Philadelphia, & she & one of the Stewarts left in the evening boat. 

Fished with Mr. Thurber. I caught 2 black bass, 1 Oswego bass, 2 pickerel ["off the rocks, with grasshoppers" crossed out]. Went into The Lake of the 1000 Islands, Alexandria Bay], Dianthera Americana common. Passed through the Canal (an artificial shallow cut through Well's Island, saving a mile's row round the lower end), & in it found a plant, with the habit of Sagittaria but without flowers, with short, linear radical leaves, spread out on the bottom, like a rosette or star, and small floating leaves. Polygonum fluitans common. To our great regret, Mr. & Mrs. Thurber left this afternoon. He left me a rough common coat for fishing, to be returned by express, a real accomodation, as the woods are full of cobwebs, etc., & I had left my botanizing coat behind.

Afternoon, rowed with Rev. Mr. Howe, up the upper (Rockwell's) Bay, & across to Well's Island. In pulling up some Acorus calamus, found one Lymnaea gracilis.

 

[(Letter from Asa Gray, Sept. 10 below: 2. The Sagittaria with floating leaves & linear or lanceolate submerged ones, See Aug. 25, Aug. 31, Sept. 9, is, probably, S. calycina, Engelm. ]

 

[1863]     Aug. 26. Wednesday. My wife, at last, well enough to go a fishing. Went with her, rowed by Steve Griffin & dined on nothing but perch. Landed on Bald Island. The strange rock they speak of is a vein in the granite which some one blasted for specimens. So far as I could see, it was composed of silvery mica in largish plates, schist & feldspar & gray- quartz in large masses.

 

[1863]     Aug. 27. Thursday. Wife & I, rowed by Steve, went through the Lake & into the Cluster of Islands, & dined on an Island. I having caught 3 bass & she 1 pickerel. After dinner,, fishing from the rocks with a grasshopper, caught a chub, &, with a piece of the chub, a 2 1/2 or 3 lb. Oswego (big‑mouthed) bass & 1 yellow perch. Collected on the Island a sweet red currant, glandular bristly. Steve calls it the Skunk berry, & it is, undoubtedly, the Ribes prostratum, although its habit is erect. It looks very much like the one Day found in his Sphagnum & which we thought R. rubrum. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 28. Friday. Went up the river with wife, rowed by Steve. She caught 3, I 2 pickerel, & dined with Mr. Edward (Counsellor at Law), & Mr. Joseph Harris (Editor & proprietor of The Genesee Farmer), & their wives, on a point on the Main, on Chowder, Fried fish. Rev. Dr. Albert G. Hall & wife, parents of Mr. Edward H., are here with them, the daughter of the late Vincent Matthews. Mr Joseph Harris is a [... ?] They are all of Rochester. I added, by way of dessert, wild plums & mandrakes. Returning, I hooked a pickerel, which got into a submerged tree top, & so we had to break, & I lost spinner & all. Steve taken sick on the way down. The Pyrus arbutifolia v. melanocarpa very abundant on the rocky Islands, & its black berries are now ripe. There is no choke about them. The people call them bearberry. The true bearberry, Arctostaphylos, Steve calls Squawberry.

 

[Note "Mr. Edward" is actually Mr. Edward Harris (not Joseph). The mandrake is probably Podophyllum peltatum, whose fruit must be very ripe to be edible by this time of year, the plant had probably deteriorated except for the large, by now yellow fruit, the plants growing in conspicuous colonies in shady woods. Among the numerous news-publications in Monroe County mentioned by French (1860, p. 396), there are several early papers started and either ended or merged with other papers. The current periodical of that name was "successively edited by Henry Coleman, Daniel Lee, D. D. T. Moore, and James Vick, and is now edited and published by Joseph Harris."]

 

[1863]     Aug. 29. Saturday. Commenced raining at about 6 A.M., & rained until about 1 P.M., & continued squally through the afternoon. Wife, wisely, declined going out, & I took a 2 or 3 hours trip, with Henry Westcott (a real clever oarsman.) He & Steve Westcott are both drafted. Dr. Hall delights in still fishing, & I lent him my rod & put him on the larger of the 3 rocky islets opposite Crossman's, where, to his great delight, he caught an Oswego bass, seven rock bass. Brought him off & landed him at the Bay before the squall came on. I proposed calling it Dr. Hall's Island, but Henry says the ladies of the Village gave it another name (Pierce Island, he thinks,) some years ago. Mr. Stewart explained the mode of playing the flies on 2 rods at once, he holds the rods by the butts, overlapped to the reels, & by drawing back & then pushing forward the hands alternately, it gived the flies the proper motion.

 

[1863]     Aug. 30. Sunday. A.M. cool. Dr. Hall preached a most excellent sermon, from a text in the Psalms, the idea of which was "His domain, or the domain of his kingdom is over all."

P.M. Walked to the old mill pond, & up the bed of the creek some ways. Found Solidago squarrosa, & S. bicolor. In pools above the mill, the Nuphar advena very small flowered.

Mr. & Miss. Scriptor (pronounced Scripture) of Sandy Creek, Oswego County, at Crossman's. He a dealer in cattle & horses, & necessarily leaving her much alone. Mrs. C., seeing her lonely condition, took her up.  Miss. S. has a pony here, & took Mrs. C. a short ride. She seems a nice girl. 

 

[1863]     Aug. 31. Monday. A party of young men from Canada (including a son of Dean or Archdeacon or Bishop Trench of England, author of       ) having chartered a plaything of a steamer called the Gazelle, have been occupying the house on (Seth) Green's Island for some weeks. Dr. Hall & party went up the River today with them some 12 miles & picniced. Mother & I & Miss Scriptor went down the River, & had a chowder on Pitch Pine Point on Grenadier Island. Our oarsman one McCune, good as an oarsman, & intelligent, but a bad cold made him rather disgusting to Mrs. C. In a marshy place at the bottom of the bay on the upper side of the Point, found Hippium vulgaris, but not in flower. In a marsh or rushy bay just below the point, found the plant I found in the canal on the 25th, with flower. It is a Sagittaria, &, I am inclined to think the floating leaves become erect. Whether it differs from the small one growing on the mud of the shore?

 

[(Letter from Asa Gray, Sept. 10 below: 2. The Sagittaria with floating leaves & linear or lanceolate submerged ones, See Aug. 25, Aug. 31, Sept. 9, is, probably, S. calycina, Engelm.]

 

Scientific names may be looked up in the online checklist of Western New York plants. Find genus names beginning with  A - C  D - K  L - P  Q - Z.