THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON
Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
Missouri Botanical Garden, Res Botanica
www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/
March 20, 2003

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THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON – August 1864

[1864.]    Aug. 1. Went fishing with George, nil, except a Potamogeton & the Ceratophyllum, besides a mess of perch. In the evening it commenced raining. Thank God! 

 

[1864.]    Aug. 2. 7 A.M. It rained all night, & still it rains. Thank God! The Potamogeton collected yesterday is, probably, the compressus. P.M.  Sandytown, Juncus megacephalus, &c. The Chenopodium botrys not extirpated, plentiful yet. 

 

[1864.]    Aug. 3. For wife's sake, walked out to opposite Smith's or Whittmore's Tavern in Res'n [=Reservation]. Then up to Sulphur Spring House, then back & across the creek, & home on Seneca St. On that street, stopped at a Mr.  Thompson's & begged of his wife 2 specimens of Carthamus tinctorius. During the (rainy) walk, picked up some familiar things, including Glyceria pallida?! Lactuca sativa, Sonchus asper. 

 

[Carthamus tinctorius is the Saffron, also Safflower. "Of much commercial value. Seeds source of two kinds of oil, Poli Oil which is derived by cold expression and Roghum Oil obtained by the dry, hot process. Poli Oil is much used as luminant, as food and in the manuf. of Macassar Hair Oil. Also used as water proofing in the manuf. of oil cloths, tent cloth and tarpaulins. Roghum Oil is used in the manuf. of Afridi Waxcloth .... (Uphof 1968). It has never existed in New York State outside of gardens.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 4. Fast Day.  P.M. Walked with Day, on Squaw Island. Nothing new, unless it be the Myriophyllum in the ditch crossing the Island. The smaller‑headed Juncus now about flowering, resembling the one Mr. Bebb thinks is articulatus, seems to have but 3 stamens. 

 

[1864.]    Aug.  5.  Went with wife &c., to Sheenwater.  In rowing wife on Canada side, just below  Black  Creek,  noticed  here  &  there,  a Potamogeton  with  cordate floating leaves,  but did not examine it. Just before we started, the Rev.  Mr. Holzer, of Rochester, called. Seems a nice gentleman. 

 

[Sheenwater, according to the miscellaneous index is on Grand Island. The present site of this location is on the western side of Grand Island at the west end of Love Road just east of its junction with River Road.]

 

[1864.]     Aug. 6. Rowed round Strawberry Island & through the Bay. On the west side, below & above Little Bay, in the wet edge of the Island, & sometimes 2 or 3 inches under the water, small matted running stems or rootstalks rooting ‑ seemingly no leaves, made me think of Ranunculus reptans, can't imagine what it is [= R. reptans written in].

In Big Bay Myriophyllum heterophyllum, apparently bearing utricles ‑ (spawn of some kind).

On west side found Polygonum amphibium v. natans. Collected Potamogetons.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 7. Day tells me he has found Mimulus alatus in the Scajaquada, in the rear of French Paul's place.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 8. Rowed to Rattlesnake Channel, examined the marshes  on the River before coming to it, but found Scirpus Torreyi only near the mouth or entrance. Collected 3 specimens when I might to have taken 20. Rowed thence to head of Grand Island, & collected a little Hypericum pyramidatum (just going out), Pycnanthemum lanceolatum, and Rhysostegia virginiana, then to Beaver Creek. Walked to Falconwood & back, & then home.

 

[Note the references to riverside marshes along the Niagara River.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 9. Took 11*10' train to Dunkirk, & walked down the Erie R.R. 1 mile, or so, to get my (instect sting?) viviparous Juncus, noticed last year, & got it.

 

[1864.]    Aug.  10.  A.M.  Went with George [Clinton] to the Scajaquada, & rowed up it to get some lobsters for him,  got them.  The creek full of Schollera,  Eel grass,  &c.  In the Vallisneria,  can't see the 3 linear petals in the fertile flowers. 

P.M.  Rowed, with my wife & George, to Sheenwater [Grand Island] & slept there. 

 

[Lobsters are perhaps craw‑ or crayfish.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 11. Rowed my wife into Black Creek, Canada, and found there Potamogeton hybridus, also, not in flower, Brasenia peltata abundant. Returned home in the afternoon, by oar.

 

[1864.]    Aug.  12.  Floated down to Sheenwater with George [Clinton].  Caught  5 black bass (he 3 of them) would have caught more,  but for the loss of one of the lines (it not having been tied to  the  reel) and  poor tackle.  George returned in the River Queen, & I slept at Sheenwater. 

 

[1864.]    Aug. 13. Early, rowed over to Mr. Gander's, opposite Sheenwater [Grand Island],  found Dill (Anethum graveolens) in his garden, & took specimen. Rode with him up the river, a short way, to the first road running back into the country, & followed it almost 3 miles to a narrow swamp, which Mr.  G. says extends from Black Creek to Chippewa Creek.  It was wooded when we examined  it,  principally with  Spruce  &  white pine,  some spruce.  Found in it Saracenia purpurea & Cypripedium acaule in seed,  Calla  palustris,  Andromeda polifolia,   Cassandra  calyculata,   Sedum  latifolium,   Chiogenes hispidula,  Drosera rotundifolia,  a tall,  coarse Juncus,  a  Carex (Dewey's  trisperma)  Nemopanthes canadense,  in fruit,  Gaylussacia nervosa,  one of the Cranberries,  without  flower  or  fruit.  Also Eriophorum  Virginicum,  with  the wool sometimes rusty,  sometimes white. 

Returned & dined with Mr. Gander, & then rowed up to the Dam, & so home. Woodwardia Virginica very abundant in the swamp. Collected there also a tall, brittle Juncus. 

Mr. Gander gives his Canary birds the spikes of Plantago major, they are fond of its seeds.

He says that cattle will get at the (standing) water in a  boat, if  they can,  & he supposes that the water is saline,  more likely, sulphurous or bilge‑water like.  Thereupon he tied my  boat  to  his dock‑(let), rather than leave it close in shore. 

 

[No reference to a Sheenwater in two old gazetteers, it is on  Grand Island according to Clinton's miscellaneous index.  In index under Gander, Mr.  Canada "1/4‑1/2 mile below Black Creek, on the river." Apparently this swamp was divested of its tree cover not long after it was visited. Clinton's use of the term 'Spruce' may be misleading as the only native spruce in the Niagara Frontier region is Black Spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP, a dominant tree in the boreal forests of northern Canada), although a bog with Black Spruce in it here would be very interesting. A Black Spruce relictual bog exists as far south as Alleghany County and a tree of this species was reported as occurring in Niagara Glen (Foster's Flats) at Niagara Falls, Ontario by George H. Hamilton (1943).  Note the Cedar Swamp of Aug. 15, just below, is also in Canada.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 14. P.M. Walked, with Day, to the first wood on the left after passing Smoke's Creek, on Buffalo and State Line Railroad. Saw there one plant of Viola rotundifolia.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 15. George and I took a boat, & rowed into the little creek opposite Falconwood, left the boat there, took the first road above the creek & walked back into the country about one mile, & then struck off to the right to the cedar swamp. Found it very thickly timbered with tall white cedar. Too late to find much, but did find Mitella nuda, Smilacina trifolia, Chiogenes hispidula, a Carex, like trisperma, but wanting the long bract, & too far gone in seed. Also a Platanthera in seed.

Near the edge of the cedar swamp, found a girl culling the culms of the Glyceria fluitans, taking the lower joints, stripped. I asked what for: She said "to make straw bonnet."

 

[This swamp was in Canada, not Grand Island, as is indicated in Clinton's Miscellaneous Index under "Cedar Swamp. Canada". It is not associated with Black Creek Swamp, Canada, of Aug. 13 just above. Another reference to this Swamp (1865, Aug. 6) indicates that the 'little creek opposite Falconwood' seems to be Miller's Creek.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 16. Rowed Day round Strawberry Island & into the bays thereof. He found one flower of the creeping plant mentioned Aug. 6. it is a Ranunculus, must be R. reptans.

 

[1864.]  Aug. 19. Took 10 20 P.M. train to Utica, arrived there next morning about 5*, put up at Bagg's, remained there until afternoon, of Friday the 19th, in attendance, on [as?] a delegate, upon the Diocesan Convention. Had no opportunity to botanize. Then took the cars to Syracuse, and put up at the Syracuse House.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 20. Saturday. Botanized all I could, it raining part of the day, until I took the 2*5' train for home, when I arrived at about 7 P.M. Collected Ranunculus cymbalaria, Triglochin maritimum, Salicornia herbacea, Scirpus maritimus, Cyperus phymatodes (tuberiferous), Atriplex hastata (?are then 2 species, one with naught but entire leaves?) Chenopodium glaucum (not in condition) and, perhaps, a Chenopod not collected before ([written later:]=Blitum maritimum, perhaps. Think I collected it this day first.)

 

[Salicornia herbacea L., Glasswort, Samphire "Salt marshes of the coast, and at Salina, New York, and other interior salt springs. Aug. (Eu.)." p. 366, Gray's Manual 1862.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 22. 2*15' P.M. ran down to Goat Island, to collect Hypericum Kalmianum, & found it, as I anticipated, in seed. On the American side of the Island, by the river, & above the Bridges found, all out of season, Carex eburnea.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 23. P.M. walked on the Plains. Took specimen of Maclura aurantiaca from a hedge. Has never been noticed in flower, in this vicinity.

The Ipomoea pandurata behind Mochel's has spread considerably last year, & think it may have seeded last year late in the autumn. Flower buds on it, here & there, apparently not far from opening. What I call Physalis viscosa has Yellow anthers & blue filaments. Got 3 or 4 indifferent specimens of Medicago sativa from the Poor House orchard. The very small & narrow‑leaved Polygonum aviculare (?) of the fields, long in the joints, & diffusely branching, has reddish flower, fruit smoothish & shining & somewhat protruded from the calyx.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 24. Off Big Bay on Strawberry, near & outside of the upper 2 stakes, in the bed of weeds, collected Potamogeton perfoliatus seu [or] praelongus, also a Myriophyllum? with pectinate verticillate leaves, & as yet, wholly submerged. On the easterly side of [Frog?] Island, a few inches under water, fruit of a Chara? 

 

[1864.]    Aug.  26.  With George  &  Spen dropped  down  the  River,  in  a small boat,  in west side of Grand Island,  floating for bass,  wind so bad,  could do nothing,  landed Spen at Sheenwater & kept on.  Floated, on Canadian side, to foot of Navy Island.  George caught one bass, the only one caught during the expedition, rowed up the easterly side,  then crossed to  Grand Island,  looked into Burnt Ship bay,  then rowed round Buckhorn & up Grand Island from 1/2 to 1 mile, to Marshall Fales's,  & stopped at  his father's.  Jones's (formerly Kent's) then, on Grand Island, Thomson's [Munson's? (tenant of Hoyt?)  then  Marshall  Fales.  Mr.  Fales (the Father),  then Frederick Fales.  They have,  I think they said, an orchard of 800 peach trees,  & this year,  not a peach to a tree.  We got safely housed between 6 & 7 P.M.  & then a magnificent storm with thunder & lightning burst upon us & it rained & blew  all night. 

 

[Spen was Spencer, who, with George Jr., were Clinton's sons. See July 21 and 22 for an earlier expedition. This is perhaps a geneology of ownership of this plantation on Grand Island with 800 peach trees.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 27. Breakfasted very early & started, fished opposite & below Fales's, nil. Entered the passage to Burnt Ship bay, through the marsh lying between Buckhorn & Grand Island in the American side, got along, without much difficulty, perhaps 1/2 a mile, though troubled occasionally with floating logs, then came to a narrow pass so jammed with them that we could not get through, but went close to Grand Island, & cleared a way there so that by driving the boat over some logs for from 4‑8 roads , we got to Burnt Ship. Before passing to that difficult place, found, floating, Azolla caroliniana. Riccia fluitans, see below. Lemna polyrhiza & another (?) many rooted Lemna. Riccia natans. Rowed over to Navy, noticed,  on  the  bank,  near  the head,  Aster ericoides abundant. Tried, in vain, to fish, wind pretty much down the River. Rowed over to Grand Island,  & tried to coast up,  but  the  wind  too  strong, crossed to Canada,  & found a lee, & by dint of rowing & towing, got up opposite Sheenwater, & then crossed, & were towed up by the River Queen, & got home between 6 & 7 P.M. 

 

[Burnt Ship embayment faced Canada. The inlet on the American side is the outlet of Wood's Creek.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 28. On looking at plates &c. of Marchantiaceae, by Sullivant, in a former edition of Gray, am satisfied that the Lemna looking plant is Riccia natans, & that the Riccia?   ? is Riccia fluitans.

Memorandum Add these & Marchantia polymorpha to the Preliminary List. Must get a microscope if I can, & take up the Marchantiaceae, Algae, Mosses, &c. 

 

[Note this passage is an indication of Clinton's initial interest in the cryptogams and erhaps the start of his interest in Charles Peck. By next year (1865) Peck would be identifying specimens of mosses and liverworts sent to him by Clinton. Sullivant is William Sterling Sullivant.]

 

[1864.]        Aug. 29. With Day, took 9 A.M. train to Lewiston, & walked from Lewiston, by the River Road to Dr. A. G. Skinners at Youngstown. On the way, on the river bank, found 1 pear tree & one Gleditsia. Took a leaf of a Betula with darkish bark. By the road side, inside of the fence, found Solidago canadensis, approaching v. procera. Dr. Skinner received me very kindly, & introduced me to his brother in law, Alphonso Wood (Author of the Botanical Class Book) Mr. Wood, their daughter & his own wife & daughter. In the afternoon, the Dr. W. , Mr. W. & me, visited Fort Niagara. Collected there a Cyperus. There Lactuca sativa had escaped. The Dr. has a little wooded dell by his house in which is much botany. The Gaura biennis, Lactuca elongata with lobed, & with wholly entire leaves grow there side by side. Also a Cuscuta which Mr. Wood calls the C. arvensis. It is Cuscuta inflexa, Engel. (See Sept. 7  inst. [=instant?], & his letter of Sept. 3). I took specimen of all but the Gaura on starting for home. A Lophanthus grows abundantly hereabout, & is, I suspect, the nepetoides. Collected also a pig‑nut, Carya amara.

 

[1864:Sept. 7. Received letter from Dr. Engelmann, dated 3d, stating that the Cuscuta from Youngstown (Aug. 29 supra) is his C.  inflexa, formerly called by him coryli, & called by him, in Gray's manual, C. umbrosa, Bayrich. In Gray's Manual, 1862 P. 206 there are two varieties of Solidago Canadensis: var. procera and var. scabra.]

 

[1864.]    Aug. 30. We four went back into the country, no wonderful discovery. After dinner, we bade them all good bye. The Doctor & his amiable wife had entertained us very kindly.  Walked to Lewiston, took, at about 6 P.M. a way freight train to Suspension Bridge, where we just connected with a train to Lockport, & there took the 8 P.M. to Buffalo, and got home between 9 & 10. The true white‑flowered Datura stramonium was beautifully in flower in Youngstown, & I regret that we did not take specimens. About Buffalo I have observed only the var. tatula, a distinct species probably.

 

[1864.]    Aug. 31. John A. Paine, Jr. made his appearance, & left, for Utica at 10*30' P.M. Day & I walked with him, in the afternoon, as far as the cattle station on the Lake Shore Road, & there, through the wood on Elk St. & home. Day found, at the Cattle Station, 2 plants of Sida spinosa. Also found there one or two of Solanum caroliniense, & several of Physalis philadelphica angulata. Could not find any Bidens tripinnata. In the wood, Muhlenbergia and Bromus ciliatus v. purgans.

 

[Sida spinosa L. in the Malvaceae. There is a Physalis philadelphica Lam. and a P. angulata L.].

 

 

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.