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/
May 5, 2003

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

[1864.]    Nov. 1. Before Breakfast, walked to & along E. River, hoping to find R... [illegible], but did not. Collected on 8th St. near corner of Broadway, an Amaranthus (not hybridus) which seems to be the common one here. After breakfast, went to the Long Branch Boat, intending to go to L. B. ‑ to look after a plant which I observed, in marsh near Pleasure Bay, when I was there 5 or 6 years ago. I being uncertain whether I could go & return same day, gave it up. With Harry Morris, took 4 th Avenue car to Harlem, & crossed the River & walked to the Church, & along the creek this side of it. Observed an umbellifer which bothered me, probably Daucus carota, ! but could not find the central, abortive purple flower. Gray mentions [written above: "(Much more delicate & of ... us [a thinness? illegible], & with a pinkish hue.)"] Collected also Lepidium virginicum, leaves of an Oenothera, Spergularia? Pycnanthemum, Ligustrum vulgare, Cuscuta    , Solidago sempervirens, Alnus serrulata, Panicum sp. 

 

Also, at Harlem a weed much resembling Chenopidium ambrosioides, = odorless v. anthelminticum, but destitute of its odor, more of the Amarant. Also Scleranthus near Mt. Morris. Walked through Central Park. Home! 

 

[1864.]    Nov. 2 Before breakfast, explored The Battery. Nil.

 

After breakfast, crossed, by the South Ferry, to Brooklyn, and thence, by car, to Greenwood. Did not enter, but walked on 1/2 ‑ 1 mile. Took 1 specimen of an Eragrostis. The Daucus everywhere common. Zig‑zagged towards & to the Bay, &, through divers streets, to Atlantic Street, when I took the ferry. Collected some Xanthium spinosum, Chenopodium ambrosioides, = anthelminticum (erect, & habit different from ours) & Salsola Kali.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 3. After breakfast, by South Ferry to Brooklyn, & thence, by car, to Fort Hamilton, & walked back part way. Observed Clethra & Liquidambar. Back to New York & over to Jersey City, &, by car, to the marshy flat separating Jersey City from Hoboken, where I found a grass, Spartina juncea & polystachya, a very pretty specimen of Juncus bufonius? & two composites, probably Pluchea & Baccharis.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 4. Left, with wife & daughter [= Minnie], by Hudson R. R. R., at 5*30', i.e. in train advertised to start at that time. Dr. Allen had lent me his portfolio, & in it I had packed some plants he had given me, & my collections. We were to take the sleeping car at Poughkeepsie, but that car was not open when the train started from P., so I had to hurry wife & daughter into the 2d car behind it. After we had started, the conductor informed me that the car was open, so, when the train stopped at Rhinebeck, I passed them from platform to platform to it. In doing so, (I carried the portfolio by its handle) I stepped to platform of next car, & lay the portfolio down on it against the car, & a man came out of it, brushed behind me & got off, and, alas! when I had helped the folk over, the portfolio had disappeared, whether knocked off or stolen?

 

[1864.]    Nov. 5. On arriving at Syracuse, telegraphed the station master at Rhinebeck, to forward the portfolio, if found. Train behind, as usual, & did not get home till almost 3 1/2 P.M.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 12. Observing that Mr. Wood, in his Class Book of Botany, under Schizaea pusilla, says that fern was found in Western New York, by Mr. Timothy Westmore, (should have been Wetmore,) I wrote to Mr. W. on the 16 th of Sept. for information. His answer of Sept. 20, is No. 181 in my last letterbook. This led to my writing, Sept. 30, to Dr. Skinner, whose answer is no. 200, and to Dr. Woolworth. Dr. W.'s answer (No. 201) states that Wetmore is dead, & recommended writing to Mr. Charles S.  Halsey, "a nephew of mine and brother in law of Mr. Wetmore" & "Principal of the academy at Wilson." I wrote to Mr. Halsey at Wilson, Oct. 8. Mr.  Halsey was living at Macedon Center (Wayne Co.) (probably principal of the Academy there) and did not recieve my letter until Oct. 23. His answer of the 24th (new letter book No.1) stated that he had written to "Mrs. Charlotte Fowler, who lives with my father, the Rev. H. Halsey, at East Wilson, Niagara Co." Nov. 5 I received Mrs. Fowler's letter, of Oct. 28, (No. 17) and wrote to her. This morning the American Express man delivered to me Mr. Wetmore's Herbarium, consisting of one smaller book, and two largish ones, and Mrs. F.'s letter, No. 26. The Herbarium contains 3 specimens labeled, by Mr. W., Schizaea pusilla. Mr. Wood, in his letter (last book, no. 181) states, positively, that Mr. Wetmore showed him specimen of Schizaea, & these must be the ones. But, alas! they are Botrychium, similar to a specimen I found here, in the Smokes' Creek Wood, the last summer, & probably a mere depauperation of B. Virginianum. I have looked over the Herbarium with much interest, & taken a few notes of stations which may be of use. The Express Man, when he delivered the package, inquired whether I had reveived a portfolio, said that one for me "was on the bill" but had not come, so there is hope of its recovery.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 14. Wrote to Mrs. Fowler, asking permission to take the specimen labelled Schizaea & Mr. W.'s remarks. Wrote also to Mr. Wood, touching the mistake. Wrote also to A. A. Adee. Forgot to enter that, on Saturday. I had a very pleasant call from Coleman L. Robinson, who thinks & talks encouragingly of the prospects of the Society.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 15. Received from [J.] R. Greenwood (Station master at) Rhinebeck, dated Nov. 12, stating that he received my telegram (of Nov. 5) & forwarded my "satchel", as directed, by Express.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 16. Called at American Express Office, & gave them the Station Master's letter, and a written description of the Portfolio (Alas! It never came to hand).

 

[1864.]    Nov. 19. Wrote to Prof. Ed. Tuckermann, Amherst College, de Pursh's journal & map of his travel in the U.S. See Dr. Torrey's letter of Nov. 14 (Letter No. 35).

 

[Clinton's letter books in the research library at the Buffalo Museum of Science begin in 1865.]

 

[1864.]    Nov. 21. Have been looking over Lewis C. Beck's Botany of the Northern & Middle States, Albany, 1833. He was very kind to & must have had hopes of me as a botanist. I observe that he mentions me under 1. Ranunculus Clintonii, p. 9. 2. Cerastium pubescens (oblongifolium) Collected at Bellows' Falls, P. 54. 3. Onosmodium molle, p. 252.4. Sparganium natans, p. 380

 

Torrey, I believe, mentions me only once, & that in his Flora of the State, as an authority for the existence of Solidago Ohioensis in the Western part of the State.

 

I am very sure that I never saw Beck's Botany, (though I knew of this kindly notice of me) until a year or two ago, when I saw the book in O.H. Marshall's library.

 

[ On p. 9. of Beck's Botany, under Ranunculus clintonii (the author of the taxon is Beck) "Banks of the canal near Rome, Oneida co. N.Y." "I have named this species, which I must believe to be quite distinct, in token of my friendship for G. W. Clinton, Esq. It is undoubtedly the same plant which is described by Prof. Eaton in his Manual of Botany, (5th ed.) under the name of R. prostratus of Lamarck. But that species ..." etc. On P. 54, for Cerastium pubescens Beck wrote Bellows' Falls, N. H. "I have secimens of the same plant collected at Bellows' Falls, by Mr. G. W. Clinton." On p. 252, Onosmodium molle "It has been found by Mr. George W. Clinton, in the sand plains near Albany." P. 280, Sparganium natans "Found by Mr. G. W. Clinton, in a lake on Catskill mountains." Torrey (1943) mentioned, in Volume 1, p. 360 for Solidago Ohioensis "Moist meadows; rare. Western part of the State (Dr. Sartwell, Dr. Knieskern, Mr. G. W. Clinton). Niagara Falls (Mr. Macrae)."]

 

[1864.]    Nov. 22. Received package from Dr. Clarke, of Flint, Michigan.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 23. Received a package from Prof. Porter.

 

Wrote to Peter D. Knieskern, M.D., Shark River, Monmouth Co., N.J.

 

[1864.]    Nov. 24. I find, on looking over my checks in my copy of Gray's Manual, that of the species & varieties described therein, I have not, as yet, acquired or collected the following numbers thereof in the following Orders.

 

Ranunculaceae 18. No. brought forward 65 Magnoliaceae 3    Caryophyllaceae 11 Menispermaceae 1  Portulacaceae 2 Berberidaceae 2   Malvaceae 5 Nymphaeaceae 1    Tiliaceae 2 Sarraceniaceae 2  Camelliaceae 2  Papaveraceae 5    Linaceae 1 Fumariaceae 1     Geraniaceae 1 Cruciferae 21     Rutaceae 1 Resedeaceae 1     Vittaceae 2 Violaceae 3       Rhamnaceae 2 Cistaceae 1       Sapindaceae 3 Parnassiaceae 1   Polygalaceae 3 Hypericaceae 5    Leguminosae 40 65                 140 Brought forward 140   Brought forward 435 Rosaceae 30        Labiatae 20 Calycanthaceae 3   Borraginaceae 6 Melastomaceae 2    Hydrophyllaceae 6 Lythraceae 1       Polemoniaceae 2 Onagraceae 14      Convolvulaceae 7 Loasaceae 1        Solanaceae 1 Cactaceae 2        Gentianaceae 7 Passifloraceae 2   Apocynaceae 2 Cucurbitaceae 1    Asclepiadaceae 8 Crassulaceae 4     Oleaceae 5 Saxifragaceae 12   Aristochiaceae 3  Hamamelaceae 1     Chenopodiaceae 5 Umbelliferae 18    Amarantaceae 7 Arabiaceae 1       Polygonaceae 2 Cornaceae 2        Lauraceae 6 Caprifoliaceae 7   Santalaceae 1 Rubiaceae 6        Callitrichaceae 3 Valerianaceae 4    Euphorbiaceae 13 Compositae 120.    Empetiaceae 2 Lobeliaceae 5      Urticaceae 6 Campanulaceae 2    Juglandaceae 3 Ericaceae 5        Cupuliferae 6 Galacineaceae 1.   Salicaceae 16 Aquifoliaceae 4    Corniferae 5 Styracaceae 5      Typhaceae 2 Sapotaceae 2       Lemnaceae 1 Plantaginaceae 1   Naiadaceae 2 Plumbaginaceae 1   Alismaceae 1 Primulaceae 4      Burmanniaceae 1  Lentibulaceae 7    Orchidaceae 8 Bignoniaceae 2     Amaryllidaceae 3 Orobanchaceae 1    Haemodoraceae 1 Scrophulariaceae 18  Iridaceae 2 Acanthaceae 2      Smilaceae 6 Verbenaceae 4  Liliaceae 10 435             614 Brought forward 614   Brought forward 642 Melanthaceae 7     Cyperaceae 72 Juncaceae 11       Gramineae  63 Pontederiaceae 1   Equisetaceae 4 Commelynaceae 3    Filices 6 Xyridaceae 3       Lycopodiaceae 1 Eriocaulonaceae 3   Hydropterides (including Salvinia) 2. 642             790

 

Of these deficiencies, some will be found to be erroneous, when the undetermined species collected by myself & correspondents, shall be determined, & some specimens labelled by correspondents, but where labels are doubted by me, shall be settled. Gray's may be in the distinct [?] species & are not taken into account. 

 

P.M. Received letter No. 43, from Mrs. Charlotte Fowler, giving me permission to take and use the 3 specimens labeled Schizaea pusilla (Botrychium) from Mr. Wetmore's Herbarium and informing me that his "friend Reuben" was "Reuben B. Warren," who "died, 4 or 5 years ago, in the Village of Alabama, Genesee Co." was engaged in mercantile pursuits, "& probably did not carry his botanical pursuits any farther than Mr. Wetmore, if as far." She also informs me that Timothy Edwards Wetmore "was a descendent in the 5th generation, from the emminent theologian" Timothy Edwards. She also inclosed, for my perusal, an obituary notice of Mr. Wetmore, signed R. B. W. (Reuben B. Warren) and cut from The Rural New Yorker (of Rochester) of July 19, 1856. From it, I make the following abstract.

 

He was born, in Middletown, Conn., Feb. 17, 1821. He died, at East Wilson, Niagara Co., N.Y., at the residence of his father in law, Rev. H. Halsey [x], on Monday evening, June 30, 1856, after a brief but painful illness, aged 35 years.

 

Soon after his birth, his parents removed to Volney, Oswego Co., N.Y., and removed thence to Alabama, Genesee Co., in 1837. In May, 1844, he entered the Academy at Yester, Orleans Co. [?]. In the spring of 1845, he entered the Collegiate Institute at Wilson. After leaving the Seminary, he engaged in business, & remained in Wilson till the summer of 1850, when he removed to Kent Co., Mich., & devoted homself, mainly, to Agricultural pursuits, & resided there the residue of his life. At the time of his death he was Editor of the Agricultural Department of The Grand River Eagle, and a special contributor to Moore's Rural New Yorker. The obituary article is highly, and I doubt not, justly eulogistic.

 

He left "an aged & beloved mother, a kind brother, an affectionate wife, & four little sons."

 

Took out the Schizaea (Botrychium) 3 specimens & the notes touching the source. Mailed a letter of acknowledgement ot Mrs. Fowler.

 

[Timothy Edwards: probably erroneous for Johnathan Edwards (1703‑58), American theologian born in Connecticut whose preaching brought about the Great Awakening revival of religion in New England. Wilson is a township in Niagara Co. The then postal village of Wilson supported "3 churches and the Wilson Collegiate Institute. Pop. 666" (French 1860 p. 457). Moore's Rural New Yorker "was commenced in 1850 by D. D. T. Moore, its present publisher" in Monroe County, New York (French 1860 p. 397, ftnt 3).]

 

[1864.]    Nov. 25. Put Mr. Wetmore's herbarium in American Express directed as Mrs. F. prescribed, paid the charge, 30 cents. Received & answered letter from Miss Shattuck.

 

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.