Correspondence of Charles Peck and G. W. Clinton
Edited by P. M. Eckel
Res Botanica
Missouri Botanical Garden
February 22, 2011
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The Correspondence of

Charles Peck (1833-1917) and

George William Clinton (1807 1885)


1866 Part 1



Vol. 2 (129) [D98]


Albany, Jan. 2d 1866


My Dear Sir,


Yours of yesterday is at hand. Shall be glad to see you in Albany.


I have specimens of Phascum crassinervium from Sand Lake. The fruit however is scarcely as mature as it should be ‑ the specimen being collected in Nov.


I have written nearly all of the List of N.Y. Mosses, giving name, habitat and time of perfecting fruit; and in those less common, the station. I inquired of Mr. L. concerning the propriety of describing the species not described in the Manual. He says "I do not know what to say about your purpose of publishing some descriptions in your catalogue. This is not customary, except for new species; for any one reading a Cat. of Mosses is expected to have some work where he may find a description of any one of the species. On the other hand, the only American book where we find descriptions of Mosses is Gray's Manual, and it can be remarked with truth that in your Catalogue you put descriptions of species not in Gray's Manual, as a kind of help for those who desire to study mosses." In this connection he says that it would be necessary to describe all the species, without exception, that are not in the Manual, and that scientifically, the List would be better without the descriptions, and generally speaking it might be better with them; and finally that I may do as I like. Should I decide to insert the descriptions he kindly consents to prepare them for me as I have no work containing them; also to review the manuscripts before they are given to the printer, and to aid me in any way he can in making the thing good and complete.


I distrust my own judgment. Shall we put in the descriptions or not? All the following species would require it, viz.


+Seligeria calcarea


Trematodon ambiguus


Blindia acuta


Trichostomum fragile


Grimmia ovata


+Schistostega osmundacea


Bryum acuminatum


+Bryum cyclophyllum


Mnium lycopodioides


Hypnum Blandowii


+ Hypnum tenellum


Hypnum giganteum


Hypnum fertile


Hypnum velutinum


Hypnum confervoides


Hypnum Sprucei


Hypnum pulchellum    




+These four species are new to this country, having been first discovered here during the past season, two by yourself, two by me.


Besides the following which are described in "Additions and Corrections" to the edition which I have of Mosses of United States, but which I believe are not in the general edition of the Manual; viz.


Campylopus viridis (sterile)


Fontinalis antipyretica var. gigantea


Fontinalis Novae‑Angliae


Pterigynandrum filiforme


Hypnum piliferum  




And perhaps Climacium dendroides and Leskea nervosa (sterile) which last two are mentioned but not described fully in the Manual. This would make a total of 24 species to be described which rather inclines me to think that descriptions better be entirely omitted, as it is scarcely the purpose to issue a new edition of Bryology. Still I would defer to your greater experience and better judgment. Of the species here enumerated, three are described in Icones, but that work is in Latin and not within the reach of many.


Truly yours


Chas. H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Jan. 3



Vol. 2 (150) [D75]


Detroit, Jan 17th 1866


My Dear Sir:


Herewith I send you a list of plants, marking those which I have thus, X, from which my "desiderata" may be infered, as it includes anything that I have not at present. I do not know as I am any more anxious for one than for another. I do not think that I shall attempt to do much with the mosses & liverworts as my collections take more of my time than I ought to give to them.


May thanks for your advise. I will try to profit by it.


Very truly yours


Lewis Foote


Received 19th Jan.



Vol. 2 (151) [D74]


Albany, Jan 18th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Your letter of yesterday was received today. Prof. Pickett's mosses are Platygyrium repens, Bryol. Europ. and Hypnum acuminatum, Beauv.


I suppose the paper for mounting the mosses need not differ in any respect from that of the other plants, except the extra paper for the little packets. I think light flatcap would be the neatest for that, but any good white paper would do.


I have written out a List of my Phaenogams, which I will mail to you with this. Of course anything not named in it, and of which you have plenty will be most thankfully received, though I do not know how I shall ever repay you for what you may let me have, for my chances of finding anything desirable to you are very few.


I have completed the List of Mosses of the State of New York and sent the Manuscript to Mr. Lesqx. for such final additions and corrections as he may make. I make out a little more than (260) two hundred and sixty species. Some of these were collected by Mr. Lesqx. on the Adirondack Mts. and of them we have no specimens; but the state will doubtless get them in the Musci Boreali &c.


Very truly yours


Chas H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received & answered Jan. 20



Vol. 2 (161 [D63]


Albany, Jan. 22d 1866


My Dear Sir,


Yours of the 20th is at hand. Inclosed specimens as follows: "Mastigobryum trilobatum" ‑ right.


1 Dicranum scoparium var. pallidum


D. heteromallum is smaller, more slender.


2 The larger tuft with fruit just mature, is Orthotrichum Ludwigii, Schwaegr. The deoperculated capsules show the pyriform shape mentioned in the description in the Manual.


The smaller tuft is Orthotrichum crispulum, Hornsch. Best distinguished from O. crispum when the capsules are jsut mature, or by soaking the dried capsules, when they show the shorter form and more delicate texture in O. crispulum


3 Hypnum triquetrum, L.


4 Atricum undulatum, Beauv. The specimen is rather smaller than the usual size of the plant, but distinguishes from A. angustatum by the rather larger leaves with more narrow ridges on the costa, and by the usually paler pedicels; the leaves are also more undulate.


"Yea"; Rev. Mr. Fowler and Prof. Pickett will be, I imagine, most acceptable correspondents.


The specimens of the latter, which you brought with you to Albany are at your dispsal. Excuse my neglect in not returning them the next day.


Yours very truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Jan. 23



Vol. 2  (198) D24]


Albany, Feb. 28th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Your note with specimens is at hand.


No 1 I can scarcely decide without fruit. From all that can be seen it is H. rutabulum, slender, suberect form.


2 Hypnum Haldanianum, Grev. I also return a specimen of this species which you sent me last season, since you wrote that you could find none of it among your retained specimens


3 Hypnum cordifolium, Hedw.


4 Hypnum uncinatum, Hedw. Returned.


5 Hypnum crista‑castrensis, L.


6 Climacium dendroides, Web. & Mohr


Beautiful and rare. Capsules and operculum shorter than in C. americanum; leaves less auricled at base. Returned.


7 Sphagnum acutifolium, Ehrh.


8 Aulacomnion palustre, Schwaegr.


9 Neckera pennata, Hedw.


10 Madotheca platyphylla, Dumort.


Your need not take the trouble to send the Hypnum revolvens now, but I shall be glad to see it when you come to Albany. Will you be here soon? The List of Mosses of N.Y. is completed. It numbers 269 species. The List of the Liverworts is not qute completed for I have been somewhat perplexed as to what is the best course to pursue with it. My observations and collections not having been espceially directed to them I can give but 50 ‑ 60 species as known natives, while we probably have nearly as many more. These might be brought out and the List made much more complete another year, still you have desired them included now and if you still think it best, included they shall be. Mr. Austin, to whom I sent for such communications of species as he could make, even suggests that it would be much better to include all the known North American species with the descriptions of new species (he claims to have several as yet undescribed) but this to me scarcely seems appropriate in a State List published at the expense of the State; but perhaps it may appear differently to you. He would gladly communicate his material, descriptions &c for such a Catalogue.                   


Sincerely yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received March 1



Vol. 2 (202) [D20]


Albany, Mar. 3d 1866


My Dear Sir:


Having looked through Mr. Fish's specimens I would report as follows;


Hypnum crista‑castrensis, L.


2 Mastigobryum trilobum, Nees


3 Dicranum undulatum, Turner


4 Trichocolea tomentella, Nees


5 Bryum pyriforme, Hedw.


6 Hypnum orthocladon Beauv.


7 Mnium affine, Bland.


8 appears to be sterile plants of 7


9 Leucobryum vulgare syn. glaucum


10 Dicranum flagellare, Hedw.


11 Jungermannia curvifolia, Dicks.


12 Polytrichum formosum & sterile 9


13 Polytrichum juniperinum & sterile 9


14 Aulacomnion heterostichum, Br. & Sch.


15 Bartramia pomiformis, Hedw.


16 Mnium affine, Bland.


17 Hypnum cuspidatum, Hedw  2 sterile Hypna mixed


18 Hypnum orthocladon, Beauv.


19 Radula complanata, Dumort.


20 Atrichum angustatum, Beauv


21 Bryum argenteum & apparantly Bryum caespiticium intermixed


22 Pogonatum brevicaule, Brid.


23 Lichen name not known


24 Lichen name not known & sterile Hypnum laetum, Brid.


25 Marchantia polymorpha L.


I have today written out the List of NY hepaticae The number is 63. Three of these are named and described by Mr. Austin as new species, viz. Jung. sullivantiana, J. lescuriana and J. peckii ‑ rather a formidable array of personal names, when we consider that there are only three species to be named.


Truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received March 6



Vol. 3 (13) [M216]


Albany, March, 24th /66


My Dear Sir,


I received the package of mosses last night and have been looking them over to day. But to begin back a little. Mr. Austin is probably correct in regard to the Preissia commutata. I have recently changed my views entirely concerning Reboulia and now consider all my specimens which I before called Reboulia, Preissia commutata, so that I am entirely ignorant of R. hemisphaerica, though Mr. Austin assures me that it is found in the State. The P. commutata is not uncommon here.


I have called at Mr. Hickox's store twice, but he was absent both times. The clerk considers the paper all right and says they are only waiting for orders to cut it to the proper size.


I have received the "Musci" from Mr. Lesquereux. Am delighted with it past measure. I have learned more from it concerning difficult species in three days than I could learn from the Manual in three months. It enables me to correct the errors of the Manual, which are by no means few, and makes me feel safe in my determinations, where before I was distrustful, because I had learned that I could not rely on the descriptions.


I have found among your specimens Orthotrichum leiocarpum and Hypnum cuspidatum, which I do not remember to have received from you before. I find also two very distinct varieties of Hypnum revolvens and four of Hypnum filicinum, every one of which appears quite different from our most common form. This clears up some points which before were not well settled in my mind and makes me feel as independent as a Yankee. So much for the help which the Musci Boreali Americani has already afforded me. I know Mr. Lesqx. would feel at least partly repaid for his long labor if he knew how much good these specimens are doing me. But I fear I shall not be able to separate your Seligeria. I looked long for some distinguishing mark but could find no satisfactory one. At  length I moistened the plants named by Mr. L. "S. calcarea" and alas! nearly all of them dropped their heads in shame, giving the pedicel a graceful curve, thereby showing how much they would prefer to be called S. recurvata.


V truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received March 25. Wrote him 27th



Vol. 3 (21) [M208]


Albany, March 28th /66


My Dear Sir,


Yours is at hand. I have looked through all your packages, and separated, reexamined, corrected, compared, &c. Most of them were quite well labelled, but the Hypnums were in some confusion. For some of the errors I myself must be answerable, but with the new light furnished by the Musci I think they are now reliable. I have, to night, put in water all your Seligeria and really hope that in the morning I may be able to recognize the different aspect of the two species and the essential characters as given in your extract. Even should I fail to do this I shall be slow to think there are not both species present, for it is more probable that I lack sharpsightedness than that both you and Mr. L. should have been deceived.


I return the specimens from Chicago, with names.


We are expecting you here soon. In the mean‑time, as I am now very busy, I prefer to wait your coming before commencing operations with the State Herbarium. They say they can have the paper ready in one hour after the order is given so that no great delay will be incurred by waiting for your supervision. My idea is to have the paper for the moss the same as you have for the other plants, and I do not wish to take any steps which might by any possibility be wrong, or in any way diverge from your plans.


Yours truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received March 30



Vol. 3 (22) [M207]


Columbus O. March 28th [18]/66


Hon: G. W. Clinton


My dear Sir. I wrote you (not a pretty letter) but a pretty long one yesterday. This morning I have a letter from Gray concerning the price of the Musci and he says that at $35.00 currency it is ridiculously too low. He wants us to sell at $50.00. But we agree with Mr. Sullivant that $35.00 in gold will be just right. I do not write this to change the price for you. I owe you contributions and many kindnesses which I would be happy to acknowledge, but I will charge the Albany Cabinet the price in gold and wish you to mark it thus if you mention it to some of your acquaintances. I have just sent your sets to the express.


Very respectfully your friend


L. Lesquereux


Received March 30 and wrote to him to draw on Mr. Sweeney, for $35.00 gold.



Vol. 3 (29) [M200]


Albany Apr. 3d, [18]/66


My Dear Sir,


More good luck! The moss from Caledonia, near Green's, which I last summer called a large form of Hyp. orthocladon, is Hyp. noterophilum. This species is not in the Musci, whence we are to conclude that it is very rare and therefore valuable. I wonder at my stupidity in misnaming it last summer.


I have mentioned my difficulty in the Seligeria matter to Mr. Lesqx.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck Judge G. W. Clinton


Recd. Ap. 5



Vol. 3 (35) [M194]


Columbus O. April 6th [18]/66


Hon. G. W. Clinton Buffalo


My dear friend


Do not fear. He's all right with that Seligeria pusilla. I have had so much trouble in getting acquainted with it that this acquaintance can not be repudiated now. I wrote you, I think, that I had found this S. pusilla only in one or two of your last packages of Seligeria and this in very small quantity. As I have also a letter of Mr. Peck on the subject, I will write him the characters and send him separated specimens. I kept some for me, though very few and he can have them if I should not find any more in your packages. But I think that there are some left yet. I can not come to that examination till after to morrow. As soon as it is made, I will report and return specimens.


Many many thanks for your very kind and very good letter of March 30th. As you say, I will never be rich but happily I can afford to live poor and die poor also.


Yours very affectionately


L. Lesquereux


April 8



Vol. 3 (36) [M193]


Albany, April 9th 1866


My Dear Sir,


No. 1 is Hypnum rutabulum; No. 2 Bryum argenteum; No. 3 Ceratodon purpureus.


It is now a very good time to look after such mosses as fruit late in Autumn or during winter. You will now find some capsules without the operculum e.g. No. 1 But it is too early yet to find good specimens of such as fruit in the spring. Hypnum piliferum would now be good if you could find it, though some of the capsules would be deoperculated. Look for it in deep moist shades, or in woods along thebanks of streams on the ground, or rotten logs.


Hypnum velutinum is now good. It grows on the ground in rather dry woods under hemlock on pine trees. Hypnum blandowii is now good or will be soon I judge from the condition of your last year's specimens. I wish you could find this again. You ought to collect more H. stellatum, H. nitens, H. revolvens (both forms), H. noterophilum and Bryum cyclophylum. It is very doubtful whether you will find these in fruit at any season.


I find Bryum capillare among your mosses. I have looked through all  your packages. Shall I return them at once or wait till you come.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Received April 10



Vol. 3 (42) [M187]


Albany, April 12th /66


My Dear Sir,


The two specimens of Orthotrichum appear to me to be Orthotrichum anomalum. The calyptra is much more hairy in O. Hutchinsiae.


The mixed spceimen contains Barbula unguiculata, Weisia viridula and Pottia truncata.


We now have some fine weather which I improve by collecting insects in the absence of anything better.


Most truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received April 15  [some pencil writing on back]



Vol. 3 (43) [M186]


Albany, March 30th /66 [[note out of order]]


My Dear Sir,


After soaking all your specimens of Seligeria, I find a very few plants which have the pedical straight or nearly so, even when moist. I also see that some plants are larger than others. I have selected out those with straight pedicels and send them to you in white papers. These I suppose to be S. calcarea if calcarea is present at all. I am not able to find any satisfactory difference in the leaves, either of these straight pediceled ones, or of those named "S. calcarea" by Mr. L. And I lack confidence in the character on which I have separated these few plants, for Mr. L.'s "S. calcarea" have curved pedicels when moist as you may see by moistening them. I am forced to the conclusion that I lack the necessary keenness of sight and ability to separate these species; or else there is really but one species present. I dislike to adopt the latter conclusion, neither would I like to admit the former if the pedicel is always straight in S. calcarea. Acknowledging my inability to settle this matter I mail to you all your Seligeria, except a little reserved for myself, and would suggest that you send the specimens to Mr. L. for reconsideration and separation. I hope you will come to Albany soon. Miss Waterbury anxiously inquires if I have received a specimen of Polemonium caeruleum sent by her in the packet for the state. I am obliged to tell her "No". "I cannot get it till Judge Clinton comes to Albany."


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received March 31



Vol. 3 (45) [M184]


Albany, April 18th, 1866


My Dear Sir,


No 1 Hypnum imponens


2 Aulacomnion heterostichum


3 Mnium cuspidatum


4 Mnium cuspidatum   


5 Hypnum rugosum. He will not fruit. I have never found him in fruit, nor heard of his fruiting with us. The specimen in the Musci is also sterile.


6 same as 2


7 Leskea rostrata


I regret to hear of your indisposition, and hope it will not last long. I am not very lively myself this spring. The weather does not seem to be very stimulating.


Truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Received April 19th



Vol. 3 (47) [M182]


Columbus O. April 15th 66


Judge Clinton Buffalo


Hon. friend,


Say that I merit a good scolding for having kept you waiting the separation of those specimens of Seligeria. But do not scold too hard. I wrote your that, for a while at least, I would give only part of my Sunday to the dear mosses. And as one of my sons who lives at New York came here with his wife to pay us a visit, I had to spend with him the whole part of my leisure time of Sunday past. I have separated today as many specimens as I could find of Seligeria calcarea. It was found especially in two packages which I mark No.1 & No.2. The others have none of it or little if any. I have closely compared it with Schimper's specimens and it agrees exactly with it. Schimper himself says that it is distinguishable from Seligeria recurvata, only by its shorter leaves scarcely sharter more open capsules and straight pedicel. I have had much trouble to find this species and to admit that there were two, as well you know. And if you had not insisted on a reexamination of some small specimens which you sent me separately I would have passed this species unnoticed. It is to your sharp eyes and admirable perspicacity that we owe its discovery. If you find apportunity to collect it again, try to get some scarcely ripe, with operculum and calyptra. As both species grow together it is useless to look for one separately.


I sent bill according to your direction but it has not been returned yet. It will come in good time. The setts of the Musci are going out much quicker than I supposed.


Your friend most respectfully


L. Lesquereux


Received April 18



Vol. 3 (48) [M181]


Albany, April 20th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I return Mr. L's letter and the specimens of Seligeria according to your request, having reserved paper No 2 of S. calcarea separated by Mr. L., so that I may have an authentic specimen for future comparison. I had previously taken out sufficient of the S. recurvata for myself.


I think I can now begin to see the difference between the two species, after having had it all marked out for me. Especially do I see the difference in aspect by comparing specimens in the paper marked with a cros + with those specimens separated by Mr. L. as S. calcarea, and were it not for the intermediate or rather less distinct specimens I should think my ideal of the two species pretty well formed. But I am pretty well satisfied that the "straight pedicel" character can not be relied on for the separated specimens of S. calcarea when soaked curve the pedicel more or less.


Part of the pencil marks on the papers are by Mr. L. part by myself. Those by Mr. L. are underlined.


Have you any entomologists in Buffalo or vicinity? I want specimens of insects from Western New York.


Most truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received April 22



Vol. 3 (49) [M180]


Albany, April 23d 1866


My Dear Sir,


Moss from Delaware St. Wood;


No 1 Orthotrichum strangulatum


2 Pylaisaea intricata and a bit of Orthotrichum strangulatum


3 Mnium cuspidatum


4 Bryum intermedium. It is barely possible that this may be B. cernuum which is separated from intermedium chiefly by the mature capsule. B. intermedium is most common, whence in the absence of ripe capsules I have considered it B. intermedium.


5 Ceratodon purpureus


6 Bartramia pomiformis


7 Hypnum radicale


The names so far as given by you in this packet are correct.


Yours sincerely


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received April 24



Vol. 3 (54) [M175]


Albany, April 26th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I was glad to get a specimen of Orthotrichum anomalum with the calyptra. The specimen of Orthotrichum strangulatum sent with it is rightly so named by yourself.


I have written to Mr. Sprague. Do not think the Mosses are losing any of their charm, or I any interest in them. I shall find time to look at all I can get. But I have a restless habit, an insatiable longing to be doing something, and I can not find moss enough here about to keep me busy, so I collect insects. Being poor as dirt and somewhat given to "Castle building" I sometimes imagine that I may in course of time get together a collection that will be saleable. However that may be I do enjoy the companionship of the little creatures and regard them as only second in interest to the mosses.


Yours most truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received April 30



Vol. 3 (56) [M173]


Albany, April 30th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I consider the Rev. Mr. Fowler's mosses thus:


1 Bryum wahlenbergii, Schreb.


2 Bartramia fontana, Brid.


3 Ceratodon purpureus Brid.


4 Dicranum scoparium var. pallidum


5 Leskea polycarpa Hedw.


6 Sphagnum squarrosum, Pers.


7Sphagnum cymbifolium, Dill.


8 Climacium americanum, Brid.


I shall be glad to hear directly from Rev. Mr. Fowler. He need have no fears that the correspondence will be profitless to me, for it I can be of any assistance to him the pleasure I shall feel in aiding him will be a sufficient compensation for any trouble it may cost me. Moreover it is scarcely probable that he will send me a half dozen packets of mosses without sending some new variety or species which I shall be glad to have. His location is such that he ought to find something new to us.


Have you relinquished the idea of visiting Albany this Spring?


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 1



Vol. 3 (58) [M171]


Albany, May 8th 1866


My Dear Sir,


The moss sent by you from "Smoke's Creek, May 5th" is Timmia megapolitana Hedw. The tardy calyptra is very characteristic.


I return a specimen of your moss which I think is fertile Hypnum aduncum. The card accompanying it is marked "Water (Marsh) F. Lawn, April 30" It I am not mistaken in the species, and I think I am not, this will be a good acquisition, for H. aduncum is manifestly scarce in fruit. All the specimens of it in the "Musci" of Sulliv. & Lesqx. are sterile. I wish you would try to get more of it in fruit. It will doubtless be good soon. It was rather young April 30.


I find among your specimens also Hypnum aduncum var. gracilescens. The form from Big Bay is var. giganteum         


Truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 10



Vol. 3 (67) [M 163]


Albany, May 14th, [18]/66 My Dear Sir,


The Mosses of May 5th are


1. Hyp. curvifolium, sterile


Hypnum Muhlenbeckii fertile but fruit too young. I would remark besides that the leaves are unusually strongly serrate and I would like to see it again with mature fruit.


2. Dicranum virens. Not abundant here


3. Hypnum curvigolium


4 Hypnum serpens var. with a few sterile stems of Mnium and Hypnum laetum.


5 Ceratodon purpureus


6 Funaria hygrometrica






9 Pleuridium alternifolium mostly: some Pottia truncata and young growth of Ceratodon purpureus, septd and retd.


10 Bryum caespiticium


11 Mnium cuspidatum


12 Bryum nutans.



Mosses of May 11th Forest Lawn &c.


1. Contains the little Bryum of last year with his conspicuous male flowers ‑ the little puzzler.


2 Weissia viridula in fruit; with some of the same Bryum


3 Here  is the key to the others:


a capsule! oblong‑oval uniting abruptly with the pedicel, indicating unmistakably Bryum. atropurpureum Web. & Mohr. This species has been regarded as southern. It was found by Mr. Lesqx. among the Lookout Mts. of Alabama. It is a precious addition to our mosses. Please not take all the fertile specimens now ‑ let them get nearly ripe so that they may ... the other plantand are not distinguishable from those of Bryum caespiticium. But the protuberant male flowers, less compact growth and especially the form of the capsules I think will be good distinctive marks between the two species. I would like more of it if you can get it ‑ especially with capsules more ripe ‑ say in two or three weeks.


4 Pleuridium alternifolium fine specimens 5 = 4


I received this morning a letter from Mr. L. He writes thus concerning Hyp. noterophilum of which I sent a specimen to him. "It is indeed Hypnum noterphilum Sulliv. & Lesqx. in Musci exsiccati Ed. 1. No. 348. We left aside this species in the 2d Ed. on acount of the polymorphous aspect of it according to its station. As we did not find it in fruit and as I am absolute against the publication of any Hypnum spec. nov. from mere sterile specimens, I could not but advise the omission of this species."


I however think it should not be omitted from our Catalogue.


Yours truly


Chas H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


P.S. The Hyp. aduncum is the true moss which I hoped you would find plenty in fruit. The Bryum is not B. Wahlenbergii, but I can not tell satisfactorily what species it is. Perhaps B. bimum.


C. H. P. Recd May 15.


[Part of this letter is faded.]



Vol. 3 (68) [M162]


Columbus O. May 14th, 1866


Hon. G. W. Clinton.


My dear Judge


No. 1 Pleuridium alternifolium Br. Eur.


var. fol: brevioribus


2 Same with longer leaves


3 a few leaves of Desmatodon arenaceus Sull. & Lesq. 4 Bryum caaespiticium   male flowers


5 Same as No. 1


Very glad to see you're writing again but very sorry indeed that you are not quite well. I worked for you the whole of yesterday (Tuesday) morning. Hope you were at church praying for me. You would have much to do in that line if you would undertake my case. The chinese praying machine would not ever be sufficient. Send more mosses. But if you do not hear immediately from me do not believe me careless. I must go to Pennsylvania next Monday for a week or so.


Faithfully yours,


L. Lesquereux


Received May 16



Vol. 3 (72) [M158]


Albany, May 17th 1866


My Dear Sir,


You really have Climacium americanum in fruit.


No 1 Orthotrichum crispulum probably. This is best separated from crispum when the fruit is just mature.


2 Fissidens adiantoides


3 Hypnum denticulatum


Hickock & Co. had the mosses only in connection with Gray's Manual. There was, however, only (50) fifty cents difference in the price of the two before the war. The mosses above being $2, the Manual and Mosses, $2.50 What they are now I do not know.


Yours truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 19



Vol. 3 (73) [M157]


Columbus O. May 17th 1866


My dear Judge,


This is indeed H. aduncum, No. 466 of the Musci. I can see no difference except in the leaves being somewhat longer pointed. I would like to see a ripe capsule and examine the annulus. May be you can get the species new or two weeks later. If you get it please send a ripe operculate capsule.


Your letter pains me much. I wish you were quite well. That kind of depression saddens our life far more than any sickness of the body. It is a consequence but where to be given the cure I can not help you for I am most of the time suffering in the same way and can not help myself. They say a true & strong faith in something gives this strength which takes us to happiness. Yes! or to a lunatic asylum also. Nothing will do but mens sana in corpore sano and here is the rub. [Ha?!] me. I could preach a long time on the subject but that could not help. Nothing can help. My friend Lesley is low, very low of the same kindness. He is going to spend the summer among our Juran mountains and our Swiss friends. But there also he may carry the distemper with him.


Who told you that I was going to [?Tennessee ..., Hennessee Le.]: I will go for one week or so, in the way of relaxation, to Pennsylvania to examine some interesting sections of the coal measures; but I do not know that I will go elsewhere. I am better at home than anywhere else for here at least I can live quite alone and by myself. If you come this way, do not forget me and pay me a visit. I will give you the best I have and it is not much. 


Your friend


L. Lesquereux


What is your microscope worth? Do you want any directions for anatomy of the mosses. Shall I send you two sharpened needles with handles as I use them? I never use anything else in the way of tools except small [s]cissors for cross sections.


Received May 19th



Vol. 3 (74) [M156]


Albany, May 19th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Mosses from Caledonia:


1 Hypnum radicale Brid.


2 Hypnum polymorphum, Bryol. Europ


3 Hypnum Muhlenbeckii Bryol. Europ.


4 Bryum pyriforme Hedw.


5 Bryum nutans Schreb.


6 Hypnum radicale, Brid.


7 Hedwigia ciliata, Ehrh.


8 Hypnum radicale, Brid.


9 Hypnum Muhlenbeckii, Bryol. Europ.


10 Hypnum curvifolium, Hedw.


11 Tetraphis pellucida, Hedw.


12 Hypnum radicale Brid.


Bryum bimum and a very little Hypnum aduncum (sterile)


13 Mnium serratum probably, but shall need more specimens to determine it,


14 Hypnum rivulare, Bryol. Europ.


I found a small tuft of Hypnum salebrosum the other day on the dock at Bath. It is not a common species with us as is implied in the Manual. I must try the insects today.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 20



Vol. 3 (75) [M155]


Albany, May 21st, 1866


My Dear Sir,


"A" is Ceratodon purpureus ‑ a very slender growth; the leaves though distant have the shape costa, areolation &c. of that species


"B" is also as you say C. purpureus.


"C" is mostly Funaria hygrometrica var. calvescens. There is a stem of Bryum with it, also a bit of Ceratodon sterile.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 22



Vol. 3 (77) [M153]


Albany, May 22d 1866


My Dear Sir,


The two specimens of May 20th are,


1 Seligeria recurvata


2 Mnium serratum with sterile Leskea rostrata


yours truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received May 24



Vol. 3 (84) [M146]


Albany, May 31st 1866


My Dear Sir,


Of the mosses of May 26 from Cazenovia Creek &c., thus.


1 Ceratodon purpureus Brid. with some Bryum caespiticium L.


2 Mnium affine Bland.


3 Bryum  bimum Schreb.


4 Bryum bimum with male flowering plants of Mnium affine.


5 Polytrichum commune L. The serrate leaves separate it from P. juniperinum


6 Polytrichum formosum Hedw.


7 bryum bimum Schreb.


8 Bryum bimum


9 Physcomitrium pyriforme. Brch. * Schp.


You will probably be a little incredulous when you see so many of your specimens of Bryum lumped together as Bimum: but if we follow our authorities so it must be. In the "Musci" specimens of this species I find the long and short capsules and the long and short pedicels, which are shown in your specimens 4 and 7, 3 and 8. I formerly thought the longer capsule was a good mark by which B. bimum might be separated from B. intermedium, but it seems to fail.


Dr. Howe has jsut sent me five fruiting specimens of Hypnum nitens from Fort Edward.


Mr. Paine was here yesterday. He is on a botanical trip west.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received June 1



Vol. 3 (87) [M142 & 143 ‑ two papers]


Albany, June 4th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Mosses from "Forest Lawn, May 31":


1 Weissia viridula


2 Bryum argenteum; also a single sterile plant of Bryum ‑?


3 Bryum argenteum


4 Physcomitrium pyriforme


5 Bryum caespiticium


6 Bryum caespiticium? I find no male flowers but suspect the inflrescence to be dioecious: still there is some discrepancy in the leaves and appearance which makes it doubtful, and a peculiar form of Bryum caespiticium if it is really that species.


7 Bryum caespiticium


8 Bryum argenteum and what I have called Bryum atropurpureum with a doubt, chiefly because the capsule is inclining to a yellowish color instead of dark red and the operculum is rather smaller than I would like to see it. This is the species that I before called Br. atropurpureum and of which you sent the male flowers last Autumn. The stem and leaves agree well with those of specimens of atropurpureum in the Musci and all that is wanting is agreement in capsules. Your suspicion that it may be a form of Bryum argenteum is by no means a laughable one and even if it were, it would ill become me to laugh at it, since I have made so many much more ridiculous mistakes. Bryum atropurpureum and Br. argenteum are closely related by capsules and inflorescence and when they grow together it is not strange that they should be confounded by the natural eye. But the leaves will serve to distinguish them, generally by color, always by shape and other peculiarities.


[two drawings:] Lvs. of Br. argenteum Lvs. of Br. atropurpureum


In argenteum they are broader, more concave, more suddently or abruptly pointed, not reflexed on the margin, with a fainter costa not excurrent, etc., also generally more closely imbricating.


If our species of Bryum atropurpureum should not be correctly named, it will probably prove to be a form of B. caespiticium which it most closely resembles and which appears to be quite variable.


Should you not find it with reddish capsules and rather large operculum perhaps it would be well to ask Mr. Lesqx.'s opinion of it as it is, sending himalso the male flowers. If you should be fortunate enough to get such capsules I should not doubt its being Br. atropurpureum. I can not tell where you can find directions for using the microscope and its accompanying apparatus. I have never seen any, but have gradually fallen into a homely style of procedure which I will state so that if there is any good in it you may obtain it.


If I wish to examine a peristome; with my hand glass I select one which appears to be as perfect as possible and with the forceps or in any convenient way, break it from the plant and place it (capsule with it) on the glass plate, two of which plates should be with every microscope [little drawing of the seta and capsule on the slide] Then put a drop or two of water on it, either by dipping the point of a knife blade in water and quickly carrying the adherent drop to the capsule or by dipping a small glass tube open at both ends in water and with the finger over the top or upper end of the tube carry the water to the capsule. the water quickly softens it. Then if the capsule is a small one I place the other glass plate over it and press them gently together so that the water may spread over the neighboring space, and make a clear view. It may sometimtes be necessary to put an additional drop or two on the edge of plates when it will immediately flow between them by capillary attraction. Should the capsule be large and an accurate inspection of the peristome be desirable, as soon as it is moistened on the glass plate cut the peristome off by placing the knife blade carefully across the capsule just below the mouth and as close to it as possible [another drawing showing this procedure] Then press only the peristome between the plates. If the operculum has not yet fallen but is nearly ready to, I cut the capsule as above and by a slight lateral movement of one glass upon the other gradually work the lid from the peristome. If the capsule is not ripe or nearly so a good view of the peristome is out of the question, so also if the capsule is too old and the peristome broken off.


For examining leaves: I select a stem or branch as free from dirt as possible and with the forceps place it on the glass plate, then moisten it as above with clear water. Then with some sharp pointed instrument (e.g. a shoemaker's pegging awl or any such thing) in my left hand and my penknife in my right I scrape from the stem a half dozen or more leaves.  [drawing of this procedure] Throwing aside the stem and putting a drop or two more of water on the leaves and then the other glass plate above them they are ready for inspection under the microscope. The instrument ought to be of sufficient power to show the areolation and costa distinctly. Sometimes I moisten a specimen by putting it entire in a glass of water. Some species as Orthotrichum and Racomitrium spread their leaves almost instantly under the influence of water; others may require two or three minutes or more.


I return No 8 which contained two species: also A & B received this morning: also A & B of May 18th with their names. If you have enough of "A May 18" I would like it again as it is as you think "a remarkable form."


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received June 5



Vol. 3 (89) [M140]


Albany, June 6th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I consider the two specimens of "June 2, Devils Hole" as Mnium serratum No 1 and Hypnum orthocladon No 2.


With the last there is some other (sterile) species intermixed, probably Ceratodon, though I have not examined it carefully as I suppose the fruiting one is what you especially wished.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


P.S. Mr. Adee was here last Friday. He expects to collect plants, moss and insects in northern and eastern Vermont, during the next three months. C.


H. P.


Received June 7



Vol. 3 (92) [M137]


Albany, June 12th 1866


My Dear Sir,


You send No. 1 Trichostomum pallidum Hedw. & No 2 Dicranum heteromallum Hedw.


Mr. Paine sent me a little Hypnum blandowii in fruit, from So. Herkimer Co. collected in his recent botanical excursion. I regret that he did not visit the locality of Hypnum scorpioides.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received June 14



Vol. 3 (93) [M136]


Painesville, Ohio


Friday, June 15 [1866]


Dear Judge C.


I shall leave here on Monday at four P.M. and will leave at the station in Buffalo a very small package to remain till called for


Your most grateful


Lydia W. Shattuck


Received June 17




Vol. 3 (96) [M133]


Albany, June 22d 1866


My Dear Sir,


I do not hesitate to pronounce this specimen you send Bryum  atropurpureum. The shape and color of the capsule is entirely satisfactory, and agrees with the authenticated specimens of that species in the Musci as you may see by comparing them. To my mind this is an interesting discovery and reveals the species much farther north than heretofore.


Dr. Howe has sent me from Fort Edward both Bryum crudum and Bryum capillare in fruit. You have B. capillare sterile in your large package, brought last winter.


From July 1 to Sept. 1 address me at Sand Lake, N.Y.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received June 24



Vol. 3 (99) [M130]


Albany, June 26th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I am glad to know that Mr. Lesqx. confirms our Bryum atropurpureum. It adds another to our List of N.Y. Mosses, which now numbers 274 species. Dr. Howe has recently added Meesia tristicha. I can not forbear sending to you a specimen of this fine moss, with two or three others which I think will be interesting to you.


I expect to leave the city on the 30th inst. to spend two months in Sand Lake. It is possible you may be in Albany before my return. If so would you like to have me leave your large packets of specimens at Dr. Woolworth's office or the curator's office or somewhere where you could get them?


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received June 28