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 – October 1864

[1864.]    Oct. 1. Received Engelmann's letter of Sept. 29, deciding that the Callitriche collected Sept. 23d, is the true C. verna, & the Cuscuta collected at Salamanca on the 24th, is Cuscuta inflexa.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 2. Mailed to Engelmann, the water plant found Sept. 24, near Liverpool, the Cuscuta found in the swamp in the Grove, Sept. 6 and 2 specimens of Ilex monticola. Mailed to Gray & to Bebb the Juncus found at Salina, Sept. 24, & which I now think is, probably J. bulbosus. Observe fruit (2 or 3) on the water plant of Sept. 29, like that of Naias.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 3. Took train 6*15' A.M. & breakfasted, with Mr. Rich, at his Octagon. Walked about 1 mile east of Akron, & then turned at the 4 corners, down the north road to about 3/4  or 1 mi. [= mile] to the wood in which the Counterfeiter's Ledge commences, &, keeping easterly so reached it. Along its foot found Asplenium angustifolium, finely in fruit, & a splendid fern it is, also Aspidium Goldianum, with marginal [=Aspidium marginale], and am now satisfied that these two & the cristatum are wholly distinct. Nothing like seeing the living plants. Found Asplenium trichomanes, on the face of the rocks. At the foot noticed 2 dwarf Aster acuminatus? & took one. Took also some Polymnia canadensis in fine condition, and a grass which has passed, but looks familiar. Had collected, in the wood, two (to me) singular looking Lycoperdons. Came out on the next north & south road, when Mr. Rich brought Day & myself on our visit to the ledge, & found the Adlumia, by the side of it, still flowering, & took one specimen. Walked south to the E. & W. [=East and West] road, & went East, by Fenner's white house, & past the road to Richville, being the first road East of Fenner's, & turned to the left & then to the right, to the famous swamp. Found it so full of water as to be scarcely recognizable. Took 1 specimen of Aster Novae‑Angliae. Came out & walked almost to Council House, found men, with wagons, come to buy chestnuts. [Seems a person's name] had bought one tree (its chestnuts) of the Indian women, for 50 cents, & were threshing the burs off with poles. Met my Indian friend John Miller, & walked with him to his house, & tasted his abominable whiskey, &, of course, he wanting money, gave him $1. Gave 50 cents to the nice little Indian girl, who, when I was last here, seeing that I was gathering flowers, ran off & brought me a handful of lilies. To the Spring by the Council house, on the way to the East & West road, collected 3 specimens of Polygala verticillata, Aster simplex, a middle sized blue Aster. On the E. & W. road found 1 plant of Viola rostrata in flower & took it. Got to Richville Station early, walked on the r. r.  easterly to the first wood. In the ditch collected a Sium in fruit, in the edge of the wood a smallish white Aster and, with wood, some cones of Pinus strobus.  Train came along at about 5 P.M. & took cars to Tonawanda, & so home. 

 

[Akron is in Erie Co., Richville in Genesee. On the Canandaigua & Niagara Bridge Branch of the New York Central there were stops at Richville and at Akron (stations), 3.2 miles between them (French 1860, p. 70).]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 4. Took 5 A.M. train to Port Byron & walked back on the track to the Cayuga Marsh. Bidens chrysanthemoides ? very showy ‑ at first, at a distance, thought it was a Coreopsis ‑ achenium 4 awned (Note, 1866. Am not satisfied that this is not a distinct species). Ilex verticillata in full berry, & very showy, Rumex verticillatus & R. hydropiperoides (pinkish), Hibiscus moscheutos all gone to seed. Crossed the railroad bridge, just as I got to the west end a train came on the east end. In the marsh in the east side took some fruit of Peltandra, and collected Cladium. Walked on to Savannah, 2 1/2 miles from the bridge, which (the west end) is 5 miles from Port Bryon. Took freight train to Clyde. There picked up 2 species of Cyperus, phymatodes and strigosus. Express came along at 3*40' P.M. Took it & home!

 

[Note: Port Byron is in Metz Township, Cayuga County; Clyde is in Wayne County, town of Galen, and Savannah is today both an unincorporated place in Wayne County, and also a township.] 

 

[1864.]    Oct. 5. Wednesday. Took 5 A.M. train & arrived at Syracuse at 10. Walked down the R. R. towards Gidder, across the Canal, then to the Lake, & along shore, & by the road, to Salina, & thence, by street car, to the Syracuse House. Collected some Chenopods & 2 specimens of Polygonum aviculare. Took train for Oswego at 2*30', fare 1.20, stopped for a train at Fulton, 12 miles from Oswego, walked from the Station to the Oswego River, & examined it, on both sides, below the Falls, a nice little rapid, for the Isoetes, in vain. Linum usitatissimum, abundant, on the right bank. Walked back to Station which is close to Lake Neustewanta, a pretty sheet of water. In grove, just above the Fairground, found one plant of Nabalus       , a Panicum, probably only latifolium, but decumbent & spreading from the root (=clandestinum), and one Aster, which looked strange to me, but is, probably, only A. macrophyllum! Took the 6*30' train & put up at the Revenue House, close to the Station at Oswego.

 

[Lake Neustewanta is not mentioned by French, 1860.]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 6. Walked down the Lake, on the east side of the River, perhaps 3/4 mile to a distillery. Returning, found, in the city, Artemisia biennnis. Walked up the Lake, on the west side of the River, to the place given by Paine, in one of his letters, as the Station of Erythraea centaurium & walked up the dead stream, & through the dry fields, to the road, & beyond it, exploring for the Erythraea, no sign of it. Found Proserpinaca palustris. Back to Revenue House. Up left bank of the River to & beyond the dam, & back, nil. Took 2 P.M. train to Syracuse & arrived at 3*30' & took train to Chittenango Station, & thence, by the Cazenovia Stage, to James Walrath's, near the Chittenango Falls. He accommodates travellers, for a compensation, but doesn't keep tavern. Supped, slept, & breakfasted there for $1. Fare from the station 50 cents. From the Falls to Chittenango 5 1/2 miles, from Chittenango to the Station, 2 1/2 miles.

 

[Erythraea Centaurium Pers. (Centaury). "Oswego, New York, near the old fort. ... Adv. from Eu." p. 343‑344 Gray, 1862. The Oswego River drains northward in Oswego County into Lake Ontario. The mouth of this river has received much attention in pre‑colonial and colonial history, beginning with the French Jesuits "who established missions here for the conversion of the Iroquois." Since then there have been numerous trading houses and forts constructed, variously destroyed during the French, Indian, British and Revolutionary conflicts. The British finally succeeded in constructing Fort Ontario there in 1760 and it stayed in their hands until surrendered to the new United States in 1796. (French 1860 p. 519). ]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 7. After breakfast, descended right bank of the creek below the Falls, & collected some Camptosorus, Asplenium trichomanes, and the Scolopendrium. The Scolopendrium is on the talus, & is in no danger of extirpation, No! not even if Paine, as he  writes he will, visits it. Botanized down to the River, & walked up it to the road & thence down to the Spring House, closed a month ago, taking some leaves of the Tussilago by the way. The hill grounds at the Spring House must be very pretty. Took, on the hill, 3 specimens of Muhlenbergia sylvatica, &, by the creek, two of Helianthus. Walked on, through the village to the Station, & so was in time for a train which took me to Syracuse in time to dine & take the 2*5' P.M. train for Buffalo.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 8. Cold, a few flakes of snow, no rain.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 10. Received letter from Dr. Engelmann, announcing that the water plant found at Liverpool, on the 29th Sept., is Naias major, Allioni, an addition to the North American Flora, & that the Cuscuta sent him 2d instant is a form of C. Gronovii. 

 

Dark, cold day. At 5*45' took train for Syracuse.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 11. After breakfast, & at about 7 A.M., walked through Syracuse & Salina to the beach at Salina & walked down it to the creek in which I found Naias major on the 29th Sept. Along the beach found fragments of it, & 2 or 3 good specimens also a green, pollen like dust, floating in patches at the edge of the beach, & took some of it in newspaper. Also a Chara, quite different from the common one, thrown up in masses, & took some. In the Creek, on both sides, found the Naias, but scarce, 1 specimen was over 2 feet long. In the water, a grass like plant, of which I grabbed up a little & threw it in my box. On examination today (Oct. 12th) find it has fruit in the axils, 2‑4, must be a Naiad, and sent some to Engelmann. It is, probably, Zanichellia palustris, but a very small form, does not float. On the edge of the water below the creek, fragments of the Naias. There were three shallow pools on the beach, below the creek, near the bank of the Canal. In the lowest, the Naias abounded.

 

Walked up tow path to Salina, struck into the marsh & collected Panicum proliferum. Back to  Syracuse House, dined, took 2*5' train & got home about 8*. Wrote to Engelmann, & inclosed the Chara & also the green powder.

 

Mem. Noticed in the swamp, at Salina, stems of Typha latifolia with two fertile spikes separated by an interval.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 13. Went, by 6*30' train to LaGrange. Cloudy & quite cold. Went over to the dunes & collected some Artemesia canadensis & fruit of Magnolia acuminata, of which there are several trees on the dunes, noticed there Lathyrus maritimus. Walked to the station, & got there just in time for the mailtrain, & was at home by 10*30' A.M. Saw no sign of Glycyrrhiza, afraid it won't come up.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 14. Took 5 A.M. train to Batavia, thence, by 7 A.M. train to Caledonia, got there about 8 A.M. & put up at Shaw's (the stone) tavern. Found thin ice on the puddles. After breakfast, walked to the ponds, observed no vegetation therein except Conferva, a Chara, a water moss? [x] and, in the lower or fish ponds, and in the stream, the mysterious grass, which I have never yet found in flower or seed. Walked in the wood below the ponds, and gathered Galium lanceolatum in seed, Laportea, do [=ditto]. In the stream, Nasturtium officinale, bigger than I ever saw it before. Crossed, at the mill, to the right bank of the creek, wet, bushy ground, formerly a cedar [x] swamp I suppose, and walked down 1/4‑1/2 mile, exploring it, & then, on the outside of it, to the road, & then to the railroad. Found in this swamp, a bush which looks Caprifoliaceous (Lonicera oblongifolia). Potentilla fruticosa ?! very abundant, a narrowish leaved willow very downy beneath (=Salix candida), one low bush looking like Kalmia, &, if so, must be glauca (Note, 1866. Have not found this plant there since) Cirsium muticum, the Solidago I found in the swamps near Utica, with Paine [x], & which I suppose to be S. neglecta. Linnaea borealis, & a Muhlenbergia glomerata. On the land edge of the swamp, took fruit of Rhus venenata & Rosa Carolina, & some Gentiana crinita. Walked east down the r.r. about 2 miles to the swamp, & then about 1 mile further to a cross road. The swamp is wooded, some white cedar & hemlock, but, mainly, other trees. It is a wet wood rather than a swamp. From 1/2 to 1/3 of a mile after entering the wood, a small brook crosses the rail road from the south & winds easterly through the wood, never, so far as I observed, very far from the railroad. I went a little way, northerly, on the cross road, & then entered the wood & worked my way through it (easy walking.) Some after entering collected Conioselinum Canadense in seed, &, deeper in, and among the evergreens, Equisetum scirpoides. Polymnia canadensis commonish in the more open ground & along the railroad [x] ditches. Observed Azalea nudiflora. Took another barren Equisetum, thinking it looked like palustre but, probably, is arvense. Found common in the swamp, a large Aspidium which troubled me & collected several specimens of it, the fruit dots nearer the midrib than the margin, & yet very unlike, in shape & appearance, the A. Goldiana I collected near Akron [x] (Eaton [x] says, A. cristatum, var. major.) Got back to Shaw's [x Tavern] about 3*, dined, & by 5*25' train to Batavia, & so home.

 

Found there a letter from Gray [x], seems to think the Juncus from Salina [x] is bulbosus, says the Rhynchospora from Windmill Point [x] is capillacea, &c. The next station east of Caledonia is Rush, then H... [illegible] Falls, not much of a Fall, about 15 feet I was told. Seth Green []x has bought, on the creek, just below Caledonia, & is breeding trout for market &c. [x Commercial].

 

[Perhaps Clinton is refering to "Caledonia Spring, in the N. part [of Caledonia twp. in Livingston Co.] covers an area of about 2 acres; and the outlet forms a good water‑power, a few rods N. of te spring." (French 1860 p. 383).]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 15. Received from Dr. Woolworth specimen Amaranthus polygonoides collected by C. H. Peck, of Albany, at that place, and also a very pretty specimen of Phlox subulata. P.M. Strolled to Sandytown & collected some Cyperus Schweinitzii, and Corispermum & Chenopidium botrys.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 17. P.M. Walked as far as the cattle stand on Lake Shore R. R. Took a little Artemesia biennis, & 2 specimens of Xanthium spinosum which seems desirous to flower. Found 1 plant of Sida spinosa & took it, no use of leaving it, the hoe is in too frequent use there. In the ditch, on the left of the track going out, between the railroad bridge over the creek & the first farm bridge, found a submerged Callitriche, very little of it, took most all & mailed some to Dr. Engelmann (who pronounced it C. verna). On the left side, close to the track going out, between the roundhouse & Elk Street, is a building put up this year by the r. r. Co., probably a store house. Immediately behind it, saw several plants of Chenopodium glaucum, & took one. Also took, at the railroad bridge, a Muhlenbergia. Took also a Nitella? from the same ditch & sent some to Dr. E. [Note that if the ditch is on the left side, then Clinton is facing south (the ditchwork being on the east side of the track.]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 18. Went by 5 A.M. train to Syracuse, &, by street car, to Salina, & walked on road to Liverpool. On the way, took 2 common ferns from an alley in a solar salt work, & some Calamintha clinopodium from the way side. Examined the stream above the Canal, & found no Naias, but plenty of the Zannichellia. Probably, before the canal was made, the stream ran swiftly to the Lake. The Lake is very shoal so far as I could see from the beach, & the Naias is so fragile that it cannot stand the wind & waves in the shoals. It probably grows further out. The [?wells, mills] of the culvert would prevent its being driven farther up the stream than to the canal, & when last here, I found fragments at the beach both above & below the creek. Did not see the Z. in the Lake. My conclusion is that the Z. is a Creek, & the N. a Lake plant. The bridge at Liverpool is gone, was ferried over the canal, took 3 specimens Triglochin maritimum saw more Naias from the pool, walked to Salina, there took some small specimen of Abutilon. Street car to Syracuse, took 5*30' train home.

 

["The solar works consist of shallow vats, constructed of wood, and placed upon posts 2 to 3 1/2 ft. above the ground. Each vat is 16 ft. square, or 16 by 18, and 9 inches deep. Movable roofs are so constructed that the vats can easily be covered in wet weather, and exposed in dry. An acre of ground contains about 60 vats and covers, and an evaporating surface of more than 15,000 sq. ft. The vats are usually arranged in three different grades, the water being drawn down at different times, and the salt being allowed to crystallize only in the lowest one. In this process the impurities nearly all crystallize before the brine is drawn into the last series of vats, leaving pure salt. It is found that, on an average, the covers can be taken off only 70 days in a season. More than 500 acres are now covered by solar works, and the aggregate number of covers is 30,786, and the amount of evaporating surface is 8,403,840 sq. ft. The solar salt is much coarser than that produced by boiling. Large quantities of both kinds are ground for dairy and table purposes." (French, 1860 pp. 480‑481 ftnt 1).]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 22.  P.M. Rowed from the Dam to Little Bay in Strawberry Island, looking for water plants. Water roiled. Found none. Took Potamogeton natans in fruit, & from the head of the Island, 2 specimens of Cirsium discolor, & a few of Parnassia in seed. Left my spectacles in the boat. After tea went back to the Dam & recovered them ‑ Col. Lincoln having found them in the boat & put them by for me.

 

[1864.]  Oct. 24. Having, on Thursday or Friday, written to Col. Bliss, that I would this Monday, take the early train for Erie, & requesting him, if he could not meet me at the Station, to bear a note for me, at the Morton House, containing instructions for reaching the Peninsula, I started accordingly. The Col. was, and had been for some days, shooting ducks at Monroe; but Mrs. Bliss met me at the Morton House, took me to her house, made me at home, went off after a fisherman to take me to the Peninsula, gave me dinner at 12 1/2 P.M., and, the fisherman (whom she had engaged on receiving my letter) having gone after drift wood, the weather being rainy in the morning, her daughter Anna, 13 years old next December, took me to the Col.'s boat house, & we took her own little boat, and I rowed her over to the Peninsula, & she rowed me back. We landed about 1 mile from the Light House, & walked down the beach a ways, & then into the Peninsula to and up the ridge. Myrica cerifera and Arctostaphylos abundant. Collected them, a Cyperus, two Junci, one of them J. debilis, Artemisia Canadensis, Lithospermum hirtum, Panicum virgatum, Sorghum nutans, & leaves of Populus monilifera & of 2 willows. In Erie, took pod & leaves of Asclepias cornuti, & some Euphorbia helioscopia. Mr. Dash, the fisherman, called in the evening, & I engaged him for the morrow.

 

The Peninsula is of sand, about 8 miles long, & 1 or two miles broad. The upper, or western half, is naked beach, the rest is wooded up to about 1/4 or 1/2 a mile of the Light House, which is at the eastern end. No one lives on the Peninsula, except the Keeper of the Light, & he not in winter. The wood is white (& they say some yellow) pine, red cedar, juniper, red oak, poplars, willows. Directly opposite the main street of the city, is a little opening from the Bay, leading into a chain of ponds, which, extend nearly across to the Lake. The Bay is from 1‑1 1/2 miles wide.

 

Mrs. Bliss told me that The Rev. Lemuel Olmstead, now seldom at home, is a geologist & botanist, & has collected the plants of the Pa. [=Peninsula], &c & that a letter to him, to the care of Elihu Ma... [Marim?], Esq., Erie, would reach him.

 

Promised Anna to send her some dried plants.

 

[The Peninsula is today called Presque Isle, presque in French meaning peninsula. It is a narrow strip of land extending into Lake Erie in the vicinity of Erie, Pennsylvania.]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 25. Breakfasted, & then started with Mr. Dash, in his big sailboat, with a skiff attached, at dawn, & sailed first around the Light House, & landed on the beach. Found thereabouts Utricularia cornuta, a plant, leafless & in seed, which I did not recognize (think Gerardia, probably tenuifolia), Lathyrus maritima, Euphorbia polygonifolia (withering), Aster ericoides?, Calamagrostis arenaria, Juncus Balticus, Astragalus Cooperi, Cakile Americana. Back into the Bay, & entered the first (or the Big) pond, left the big boat, & Mr. Dash poled the little one up the ch... [chain? illegible], keeping to the left. Collected Potamogeton Robbinsii?, Naias? & a grassy plant growing in the water, = Scirpus subterminalis. Landed & walked over to the Lake, nil there. Near our landing place found Lycopodium complanatum & another one with spikes & leafy to the spike, = Lycopodium annotinum. Returning, landed on the right bank. Found Corallorhiza odontorhiza, & a small plant, like a Galium, which bothered me. Think it must be a Galium, though some of it seems to have fruit which is not that of Galium, probably effect of disease or insect puncture. Returned nearly to the boat, & then turned to the left, & went through other ponds same way, & landed at a path, coming down a ridge of sand, on the left, & the path, in a few rods, brought me to another very long [big?] pond, the marshy sides of which had cranberries in. There was no Sphagnum. Picked a Scirpus or Cladium, perhaps both. Picked also specimen of a bush, with red berries, may be Pyrus arbutifolia! Also a willow, & 1 specimen of Pycnanthemum lanceolatum. Back to the big boat & crossed & got to the Col.'s house at 3 P.M. Walked down to the shore & found Marrubium vulgare, Euphorbia platyphylla & Artemisia biennis. After tea, walked to the Station, & took 6*42' train, and got home at 9 P.M.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 26. Sent the Erie plants, by express, to Prof. Porter. Received a letter from Dr. Engelmann, with 4 specimens of Callitriche.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 27. Father Holzer called, & showed me the Xannichellia, which he found in a pool, in or near the quarry, between ...[?] & the bank, north of the stables of Niagara St. R. R. Co.

 

Received packet of plants from Dr. Engelmann. Also letter from Mr. Adee with some plants.

 

The plants collected by me at Erie, & sent to Prof. Porter, which are not in his Catalogue (according to the marked list from Gray he sent me) are the following

‑ 1. Cakile Americana. 2. Astragalus Cooperi. 3. Lathyrus maritimus. 4. Artemisia Canadensis. 5. Artemisia biennis. 6. Arctostaphylos uva‑ursi. 7. Lithospermum hirtum. 8. Euphorbia polygonifolia. 9. Euphorbia helioscopia. 10. Euphorbia platyphylla. 11. Asclepias Cornuti. 12. Myrica cerifera. 13. Populus monilifera. 14. Calamagrostis arenaria.

 

It is not probable that there is any other. The fruitless Potamogeton may be P. Robbinsii. I think it must be.

 

Mem. Father Holzer's Barbarea praecox is an addition to Flora of the State. Write him. Done.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 28. Find that of the species and varieties described in Torrey's Flora of New York I am deficient in 214.

 

[It is to be remembered that Judge Clinton is undertaking to build a reference collection of plants for the natural history collections of the City of Buffalo, for the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. Duplicates were to be sent on exchange with other individuals and institutions, but also to build the natural history collections of the State of New York in Albany.]

 

[1864.]    Oct. 30. Left in 5*20' P.M. train & reached New York at about 1 A.M.

 

[1864.]    Oct. 31. Called on Dr. T. F. Allen, 682, 12th St. He wishes Juncus nodosus? v. megacephalus. Ranunculus cymbalaria, Cypripedium arietinum, Zizia integerrima in fructu.

 

Also a list of correspondents.

 

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.