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
February 10, 2003

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

[1864]    May 1. After dinner walked out, on Delaware St., to the wood beyond the creek. In the edge of swamp behind the house, a maple with yellow flowers, stamens very long & no pistils, took specimen & put string on the tree, & also on 2 others next mentioned. A little back of it 3 trees with reddish flowers, but not so red as those of A. rubrum I think, from the one farthest from swamp took specimen, staminate only. A little back of it a similar flowered tree, but pistillate with short & included stamens, took specimen & put the string round a bough. Got some Claytonia Caroliniana, for self, & some, with Erythronium Americanum, for wife. Back to Delaware St. Just this side of the Creek, Mr. O'Brian took me into his buggy & drove me home.

 

[Maples produce their flowers before their distinctive leaves and seeds.]

 

[1864]    May 2. By 7 A.M. train to LeGrange (Irving), took the old railroad track to the dunes, planted on the road, & in the dunes & below the two old houses, sometimes whole capsules & sometimes shelled seeds of the Glycyrhiza, and behind the houses & on the dune above, shelled seeds, near the upper end of the dunes, sowed seeds. Walked up the shore to where the railroad approaches it, to & up the r. r., to the woods & into the wood on the right, then crossed the r. r. & through woods & fields to the road leading straight through the village, in the gulph, on the hillsides, the early, narrow leaved Carex abundant. Up to depot, then in the field on the right above the woodhouse, found some stalks of the Euphorbia lathyris had  survived the winter, but most of them had perished. On the bank, right side of the r.r., found in flower (as well as elsewhere) Cardamine rhomboidea var. purpurea, Dentaria laciniata, Trillium erectum & grandiflorum, Viola cucullata, rostrata, pubescens, Claytonia Caroliniana. Went all through the wood on the left. The Dicentra cucullaria, in blossom, on the hill side where I got the Carices last year. Went to the tavern & dined. After dinner walked through the first wood on the right of the stage road, found in it Viola rotundifolia, & took 3 specimens. Commenced raining, & rained the rest of the day. Took, long after 5 P.M. the train due at 4 P.M., &, the engine being partially disabled, got home at about 7 3/4.

 

[Note that in 1863:Sept. 7 the Irving train was also disabled.].

 

[1864]    May 3. Received letter from Gray asking for living Claytonia Caroliniana, & one from Prof. Porter. At Chambers, W. W. Mann told me, he, 14 years ago, had a farm on the Mohawk opposite the Frankfort Station, & that Cypripedium arietinum grew there. The directions are, get out at Frankfort, cross the bridge, & walk down the right bank of the river, to a wood, a white cedar swamp, & the C. arietinum grows there on the edge of the swamp, between the swamp & the river, & that it will be in flower in about 3 weeks, which would bring it about May 24. Before dinner went to Grove, & got 3 or 4 Cardamine rhomboidea v. purpurea, &, this side of the creek, Claytonia Caroliniana, with the roots, packed them in paper boxes, & expressed them to Gray. Received a package from Dr. Clarke, looked over it, on the whole, rather a disappointment. 

 

[1864]    May 4. My Ulmus racemosa not yet fully in flower.

 

[1864]    May 5. Thursday. With Day, went, by 7 A.M. train, to Silver Creek, there hired a team & wagon ($2.50) went to Forestville, there took in Lucius Jones, & down to his farm (2 1/2 ‑ 3 miles off) in the town of Hanover, very kindly received, dined, went out & collected Viola Selkirkii & rotundifolia in the gully on his farm, this side of the Big Ravine, then to Big Swamp, & collected Myrica gale, Cassandra calyculata, & found a currant, probably Ribes prostratum, then to the [Mud] Lake, the little swamp, & home. No discoveries. Day tells me Lychnis dioica (afterwards sd. [sic], L. diurna) is in a yard opposite the inclosure on the terrace below (northerly of) the Cathedral.

 

[ See earlier passage 1863:June 26. In Wood's 1870 Botany there is a Lychnis diurna L., "rare in cultivated grounds." adventive from Europe, blooming in June through August (hence a little early for May 5). According to Mitchell and Tucker (1997) Lychnis dioica L. and L. diurna Sibth. are synonyms of Silene dioica (L.) Clairy, Red Campion. The "Lake" probably refers to the Mud Lake of the June 26 reference of the previous year].

 

[1864]    May 6. After breakfast, Albert G. [Jones] drove in to Forestville, took mail train, left trunk at Salamanca, went in to Big Valley (the conductor a son of Wm. Blossom who kept the Hotel at Canandaigua.) Walked to Solomon Porter's. Mr. P. & the little dog glad to see us. Ate bread & milk, &c. & Mr [s?P. Porter accompanied us to & through Rock City. A small tree there, which, he says, no one has been able to tell him the name of (See post, Ilex monticola). Vegetation very backward. Nothing hardly in flower. From Solomon's Porch, W. P. lead in to the table rock (picnicing place) then up the stair, & we were (he said) in the path to Salamanca. By following his directions and bearing to the right at the top of the hill we fell into the wood road we passed last year, & came out 2 1/2 miles above Salamanca (Collected Epigaea repens on the way). Walked there. On the hill side Houstonia coerulea abundant. Took the mail to Dunkirk. After about 2 hours delay, took train to Buffalo & got there at about 10 P.M. All well!  Thank God! 

 

[1864]    May 7. Went to the Grove, found there John Dambach, with a lad, whose name I did not get. Walked, with them, through Forest Lawn & the fields to the wood on Delaware St., back to the stone quarries & grove near toll gate west of Williamsville road. The Viola tricolor v. arvensis just budding into flower. 

 

[This Williamsville road is probably the Main St. extension north of where Scajaquada Creek crosses Main (Buffalo & Williamsville McAdam Road).]

 

[1864]    May 8. After dinner, went to the Grove, & in Forest Lawn, took a few specimens of a Carex in flower, probably the C. varia. Also some specimens of Ulmus racemosa from my tree on the Creek. 

 

[1864]    May 9. 2 beautiful big poplars, before E. Grey's house, on Ellicott St., just flowering. Must get specimen. Mr. Sweeney wishes to go to Tonawanda to get what he calls "the Adder's tongue" for his garden, & I promised to go with him. Can it be Erythronium?  2 P.M.  took train to Suspensn. Bridge.  Cut across lots to the Whirlpool Woods, & took 3 or 4 specimens of a poplar at head of 1st gully. In the wood, found Oryzopsis asperifolia (culm leafy below, but awn long & dead leaves longer than culms) in full flower, its leaves, as yet, shorter than the culm. Took a little Saxifraga virgs. & Cardamine purpurea. Walked up to Goat Island, & collected Dentaria laciniata & Dicentra canadensis, and, by the River side, above the Bridge, a willow or two, Betula papyracea, Shepherdia. A very pretty little Carex (=C. aurea) coming forward on the rocks there. 

 

[The gorge of the Niagara River has a complex conformation along its length, one feature of which are numerous gullies or ravines in the talus caused by seepage or minor streams, some of which are no longer visible but may exist beneath the talus rubble. The bridge on Goat Island was probably where the present pedestrian (stone) bridge is and the north shore of the island was a favorite collecting haunt of Clinton's. Clinton would then be going upstream toward the head of Goat Island. When the fruit of Carex aurea is ripe it supports a series of little orange spheres on a stalk].

 

[1864]    May 10. Took 6 A.M. train to Portage, took brow of hill & walked down to & under the aqueduct, & across bridge to W. Letchworth's. He not there, house not open. His maid offered to drive me, declined. Weather threatening, walked through his grounds, & across bridge to Station where I just caught the mail, & got home at about noon. Collected willows, Tussilago, a little Lonicera ciliata &c. 

 

[The aqueduct may refer to the Genesee Valley Canal: see 1863:Oct. 16.]

 

[1864]    May 11. [Received packet from Prof. Porter ‑ either this day or May 10. Expressed packages to Miss Shattuck & Dr. Thurber. 

 

[1864]    May 12. Before Breakfast stroll. Could not get at Mr.  Grey's poplars in Ellicott St. Took a specimen of Acer saccharinum from tree in N.W. corner of Washington & Mohawk St., and one of Populus balsamifera from N. E. corner of Huron & M[ichigan] Sts.  Chatted with Day. He says Populus balsamifera is on head of Squaw Island. 

Went by 9 A. M. train to Lewiston. On the bank of the River found the shrub mentioned Ap. 25, 1863 (p.6 ante) in flower, & it is Rhus aromatica. Upon the rocks some after passing the road beyond old Scoville place, found, just coming into flower a Turitis, which does not look to me like the glabra. Found it also in continuation of the same hollow after crossing the rail‑road (+ T. stricta). Picked up a Carex & divers other things, including Ostrya in flower, & Betula papyracea (populifolia crossed out) beautifully in flower. In the middle of the pond, on right of R. R., some ways before reaching the tunnel, a patch of yellow flowers. My chest being sore with a cold, I did not dare to wade, but think it was Ranunculus Purshii, having noticed it there last year. Walked up the R. R. & ascended the Bank just north of St. Xavier's College, kept the road till opposite the Whirlpool Woods. On the bank beyond the Whirlpool House found a very little of Arctostaphylos in flower, & a beautiful flower it is, a white ball constricted at the mouth, & the neck & mouth pink (Rhus aromatica commonish in the edge of the wood by the bank). Walked to the Falls. On the Island [Goat Island] collected some Equisetum variegatum in fruit or nearly so, & found a few specm. of Dicentra cucullaria in seed. Took the 6*20 train at the Falls. It rained some after & all the way up. Had a delightful day. Among other things collected, at the old Scoville place outside of the wall, Prunus domestica? On the cars was a Mr. Mabon, who formerly kept a tavern at Black Rock, and is now a farmer at Pekin. He urged me to come & see him if I passed that way. 

 

[The 'old Scoville place' is at Lewiston. "The wall" is the retaining wall that crowns the top of the mound on which the old foundations exist. ]

 

[1864]    May 13. Friday. Rained, steadily, all day. Fussed over my plants in my leaky garret. Met Everard Palmer in Day's office, and, upon his recommendation, wrote to "Mr. Bingham, Supert. of Copper Smelting Works, Hancock, (Lake Superior) Mich," and sent him a corrected Prelim. List.  Wrote also to Mr. Eaton. 

 

[That is Daniel C. Eaton, not Amos Eaton or "Mr. Eaton" of Buffalo (see Miscellaneous Index).]

 

[1864]    May 14. Saturday. After dinner, went to Squaw Island. The last two trees by the path across it are poplars, not in leaf, picked up 3 sterile catkins from the ground. Walked up to & upon the head. Took specimen from the willow by the Sycamore, & some from willows at the head. The small trees at the head are poplars, neither in flower nor leaf. 

 

[1864]     May 16. Monday. Wrote to W. Bebb & Mr. E. Hall [=Elihu Hall], & expressed the letter or package. Before Breakfast walked out to St. John's Thal & got some Sedum acre which I put into Mr. Hall's package. Took some aments from Day's poplars & close to it, specimen of a birch. Also got specimen of the birch in the Grove at foot of hill & edge of Swamp ['Lithospermum arvense in flower' written above].  After Breakfast went to the Dam rowed to Beaver Creek, nothing on head of Strawberry. On Grand Island the plum tree bearing metamorphosed fruit just coming into flower, took specimen and collected some Dentaria diphylla [var.?] ['and Lonicera ciliata, bank of Falconwood' written above]. Explored Beaver Island, nil, except, gathered some Floerkea. Heavy showers all day, & the ground everywhere, soaked with the great rain we have had recently. Got of Mr. Johnson's boys two mud‑turtles, one smallish, & on returning home, stopped at E. P. Doors and gave them to his wife. At my instance, Mr. Johnson caught two water snakes, swimming in the Creek, with a scalp net, & persuaded them to enter a large mouthed pickle bottle & put in the cork which had a hole in the centre & filled it up with water. I brought them home.  Mr. King, the druggist, the water being turned out, filled up the bottle with alcohol, without charge, & I took it to the Society's rooms. 

 

[1864]   May 17. Tuesday. About 3 o'clock took car to Grove. E. R. Jewett on it, with his nephew's wife. We 3 walked on to his farm (the old Chapin place) in the left side of the Road, corner of 1st cross road beyond the Gate.  Found Mr. Jewett very busy fixing up, walked to the stone quarry in the rear of the farm. Then crossed the road to Night Hawk quarry & Grove.  Collected 3 specimens Aronia botryapium, 3 of Ranunculus fascicularis, and a little Viola arvensis. I can't believe it is a mere variety of V.  tricolor. 

[Perhaps the same Col. E. Jewett of Albany? See 1863:Dec. 1.]

 

[1864]    May 18. Thursday. Went by 9 A. M. train to Suspension Bridge, crossed [to Canada], walked down to the Whirlpool, gathered some Camptosorus & some Dentaria diphylla, & Lonicera ciliata, ascending the little stream, found a prostrate birch in flower, & took specimens and collected 3 specimens of Asarum. Ascended & went to Foster's Flat. On the plateau, this side of it, collected Cerastium arvense. On the Flat, Viola Canadensis, and a remarkable Trillium, resembling the grandiflorum, but the leaves are petioled, & the petals are more or less green. 

 

[1864]    May 19. On examining the green‑flowered Trillium am satisfied it is the T. grandiflorum. Wrote to Gray last night, not expressing an opinion, send him some, by Express, this morning. 

 

[1864]    May 20. Walked out to old Burt Scott Tavern. Went through the fields, by the Sherwood vault & graveyard, through the wet meadow, (in which I collected some Cardamine pratensis), into the wood. Returned, crossed the road, & through the fields & groves to the Schanzlin Road, & so home. Collected some Phlox divaricata & Ranunculus fascicularis. Took 3 specimens of Prunus Pennsylvanica from the very little grove near the Ulmus racemosa grove.

 

[1864]    May 21. After dinner, walked on R. R. to Sandytown. No sign of anything, except that the little Eleocharis is opening its little black heads, & found, on the sandy side of the R. R., some Lithospermum arvense in flower, & took 3 or 4 rather than bring home nothing.

 

[1864]    May 22. After dinner, walked on S. Line R. R. At Wheelbarrow Point collected some Floerkea, Trillium erectum v. album, Mertensia, Polemonium, & 1 specimen of Erigenia in fruit. In dark wood, collected some Trillium erythrocarpum and a shrub which bothers me, may be Prinos, if Nemopanthes, the peduncles are very short. By the track beyond, collected some Cardamine pratense and Cerastium nutans. In the wood, also, 4 specimens of green var. of Arum triphyllum.

 

[Erigenia bulbosa, Prinos (Ilex) monticola in Bot. Index: Ilex monticola. 1864. May 6. June 10. Sept. 24.]

 

[1864]    May 23. DeWitt being on his way to join Gen. Canby, I accompanied him, in the 6*30' A. M. train, so far as Westfield. Walked to Barcelona, then along the Chautauqua creek nearly to Westfield, & then took the road to W [sic]. The Hydrophyllum common along the creek is H. Canadense. Gathered 2 specimens of an Arabis, probably Canadensis, 2 Poplars, Ribes rubrum, Galium aparine, & Poa alsodes, also Nepeta glechoma. Could not find Asimina. Got to Westfield House at 11 A.M. Walked up the Creek, & back at M. nil. Mr. Farnsworth told me there was a clump of the custard apple on or near Geo. Patterson's place. Walked to Geo. P.'s, saw a lady in the Court Yard (probably, Mrs. P.), who granted me permission to go through the grounds, but told me that the clump was cut down two years ago. (Note. In the summer of 1866, I met Geo. Patterson on the Central Railroad. He told me that this lady was Mrs. Patterson, & that the clump had been cut down, but that it had sprung up again and was as luxurient as ever). So I walked back to the Tavern, dined, walked to R. R. station, took the 2*57' train, & went home. 

 

[DeWitt Clinton was one of George Clinton's sons. The 'M' may refer to Mayville in the town of Chautauqua. The Creek at Westfield is Chautauqua Creek.]

 

[1864]    May 24. Walked on Squaw Island. On head Populus balsamifera, small trees, very abundant, took leaves, some willows, a grass (        ). The Alnus opposite the lock is the serrulata, took leaves of it & of the incana. Also willow opposite & below Sycamore, & from the marked willow opposite the upper tree on the Island, and leaves of the poplar by the ditch, which is, I am confident, P. monilifera.

After dinner, rode to Poorhouse, with Dr. Gay, who went out to assist in an amputation. In the wood, behind the house, Poa alsodes, & 1 Orchis spectabilis. Along the quarry, nil!

 

[1864]    May 25. After dinner, to the Grove, found in just this side of the new Catholic School house to right, & went to Grove where Day says there are some bushes of Populus heterophylla, could not find them, stuck to cross road & came out just beyond the Gate, & went to the Grove on the left, collected Myosotis verna & Viola arvensis, & found a fine Carex just coming in, at the southerly edge of the grove, in the field, took cross road to Delaware St., & so to Day's Sphagnum, collected some Cardamine rhomboidea & Rhamnus alnifolius, could not find Ribes rubrum. Then to woods along Swartz's ravine, took leaves of Day's poplar, Populus grandidentata in fruit, &c, & so to Main St., & home.

 

[1864]    May 26. Went to Lewiston, collected some  Turritis stricta, a Carex, grass, Oldenlandia ciliolata, & crabapple blossoms for my wife. Took the train back to the Falls. Walked to LaSalle. On the way, stopped at the Schlosser Landing, Mr. Thompkins fishing there, had caught a very fine perch, he gave it to me, & another person gave me another. Took them home for my wife. The tree between the old tavern & the landing is a fine Populus monilifera, took specm. of it. At La Salle, went to Burdett's landing & hollared, he heard & came & ferried me over. Recd. me very kindly.  Has a fine Tulip Tree &c., &c. Home by the Train. 

[Turritis stricta Graham. flowers in May.]

 

[1864]    May 27. After dinner, to about Swartz's Ravine, found 2 Viola palmata?  collected some Prosartes, and also, for Mr. Bebb, Viola rostrata & Waldsteinia. 

 

[1864]    May 28. Morning, walked in Canada. Woods very wet, mosquitoes abundant & savage, nil. P.M. Took Lily native to the Grove. Collected 4 or 5 Viola rostrata.

 

[According to Clinton's Miscellaneous Index this walk took place in Fort Erie ‑ Waterloo, Ontario.]

 

[1864]    May 29. Took 10*25' P.M. train for Utica.

 

[1864]    May 31. Arrived at Utica at 5* A.M., or thereabouts, John A. Paine, Jr., met me on alighting. Took me to his father (Dr. John A. Paine)'s house, had breakfast, & took 6 A.M. train to Frankfort. Searched the swamp on other side of Mohawk, below the bridge, for Cypripedium arietinum. Found some. I collected in them some Clintonia borealis & Mitella nuda (Beautiful) and two specimens Cypripedium pubescens & one C. parviflorum. Took train to Little Falls, & crossed the River & went up some little way. Paine, by a hard & dangerous effort, scaled the precipice ( or first bench), & near the top found a little Woodsia glabella in immature fruit, some Asplenium ruta‑muraria, and a smallish Carex which looks singular to me (=C. eburnea, Boott). I went up to where the hill sinks more gradually to the plains & toiled up. Ascending, found Linnaea borealis in flower, one of the most fragrant of the good God's floral gifts. The top of the hill semms to have been roughly cleared within a few years, & Platanthera Hookeri was sprinkled in the clearing, in flower. Paine took a large number. Descended & crossed the river. On the rocks below the first cutting Woodsia Ilvensis abundant, & plentiful, Paine, says, everywhere below. Though not mature enough, took a little. Back to Utica. Enjoyed Dr. Paine's hospitality.

 

[Bench is used here to indicate a terrace or ledge, a narrow area of level ground in the context of a steep slope.]

 

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.