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 2



Vol. 3 (112) [M117]


Sand Lake, July 16th 1866


My Dear Sir,


The most interesting of the four specimens is No. 1, although it is sterile. I think it is a form of Hypnum stellatum, but it does not fully agree with the description. It is less robust than usual, has the color green instead of yellowish and many of the leaves have a slight costa, either single or double, at the base. These differences, however, are so slight and the general appearance, except in color, is so like Hypnum stellatum that in the absence of fruit and more decided characters, we can do no better than regard as a form of that species. Have you been to Mud Lake collecting? If you should perchance visit Hidden Lake don't forget to look after Hypnum scorpioides. I have seen no specimen of that yet from this state.


No. 2 is one of the forms of our old and common friend Dicranum scoparium var. pallidum


3 Dicranum flagellare


4 Dicranum undulatum


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received August 12



Vol. 3 (130) [M99]


Albany, Aug. 31st, 1866


My Dear Sir,


I have returned from my annual rural retreat. I can report much success in my insect collections, but little in mosses. I have added but one species to our N.Y. mosses, viz. Hypnum sylvaticum, a rare one formerly found by Oakes on the White Mts., but, I think, not before found in this state. I have at last found Mastigobryum trilobatum in fruit, which to me is almost as much a source of gratification as the discovery of a new species would be, so rarely does it fruit with us. I send you a specimen. I also send a little branch of an Epilobium found on the east bank of Tivoli pond, above Albany. Is it E. histutum L.? The notice of it in Gray's Addenda is brief and he implies that the stigma is club shaped. In the specimen it appears to be 4‑lobed. In the same locality I found for the first time Parnassia Caroliniana. I expect some Hypnum scorpioides in a few days. Mr. Paine has been to Hidden Lake and collected some.


Mr. Austin sends me the names of five species of moss new to our State. He found them in Rockland Co. but has not yet sent specimens.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Sept. 3



Vol. 3 (139) [M90]


Albany, Sept. 19th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Prof. Gray, to whom I sent a specimen of the Epilobium says it is Epilobium hirsutum; that in making up the Addenda he had overlooked the matter of the stigma and that it would be all right in New Edition.


The plant appears to be perfectly naturalized and well established in the wet places on the steep hill or bank on the east side of Tivoli pond, just north of the city.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


I have a few specimens of Panicum xanthopysum for you. What shall I do with them?


Received Sept. 21



Vol. 3 (140) [M89]


Cambridge, Sept. 5, 1866


Dear Sir:


I have taken the responsibility of sending to your care a set of the printed Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which are intended for the LIbrary of the Natural History Society of Buffalo: a gift to it from the Association.


Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the interest you manifested in the recent meeting of the Association in your beautiful city, and for your many courtesies extended to its members: and especially for your cordial and eloquent words of welcome. I missed your presence on the last day or two of the session, and regretted to hear that you were not in your usual health.


With the highest regard,


Yours &c &c


Joseph Levering [Prof.]


Hon: G. W. Clinton


Received Spet. 21, answered Sept. 30



Vol. 3 (143) [M86]


Albany, Sept. 22d, 1866


My Dear Sir,


I find the following species in your "grab" from the Catskills. In Paper box


Dicranum interruptum


Ceratodon purpureus


Orthotrichum Hutchinsiae


Hedwigia ciliata


Pogonatum brevicaule


Pogonatum alpinum


Atrichum angustatum


Mnium spinulosum


Hypnum delicatulum


Hypnum splendens


Hypnum plumosum


Hypnum adnatum


Hypnum Muhlenbeckii


Hypnum denticulatum




Scapania nemorosa


Jungermania barbata


Jungermania saxatilis?


Anthoceros puncatus


Ptilidium ciliare


In the bundle left at the school building, besides some of the above I find:


Dicranum undulatum


Polytrichum juniperinum


Polytrichum piliferum


Bryum argenteum


Sphagnum cuspidatum


Hypnum uncinatum


Also Selaginella rupestris and Isoetes macrospora as you say. I am glad to get this ‑ it being new to me. Thanks for it. Of the two or three lichens only one is known to me ‑ the green one, Sticta pulmonaria. The peculiar appearance of Bryum argenteum of which you speak is due to the slender points of the leaves. The costa ceases before reaching the point. None of the mosses are new or especially remarkable as you will see by the list, but if there are any you would like, I will send them. The specimens of Hypnum plumosum are very fine but not rare.


I wish I had known you were going to the Catskills and directed you to the locality of Blindia acuta, but then you must have had such a stormy time that perhaps it is as well as it is ‑ the locality being beyond the Laurel House. In the wet grounds just beyond the Mountain House barn, towards the lake, is Sphagnum rigidum Schp. (S. compactum Brid.) and under the pines and spruces between the house and the lakes is Dicranum drummondi. On the ledge skirting the path leading to North Mountain is Andraea rupestris. And I would have been glad of some more Hypnum squarrosum which grows near the outlet of the lake. It is a very rare moss.


Have you got your specimens from the Curator's office? Lest I should forget it I will say that in the Norway specimens from Prof. Blytt I observed that the paper marked "Dicranum cerviculatum" appeared to contain nothing but Dicranum varium. Probably a mistake in putting up the specimens.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


P.S. Hypnum polygamum is to be added to our List of N.Y. Mosses. C. H. P.


Received Sept. 24



Vol. 3 (147) [M82]


Albany, Sept. 26th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I send the few things you desired from the Catskill Mt. installment.


I found but two or three stems of Pogonatum alpinum and have inclosed in separate paper enough from my own collection to make a viewable specimen. Jung. saxatilis and minuta are separaable only in fruit. Yours are sterile.


I say only a single plant of Jung. barbata in your specimens and kept no farther trace of it ‑ it being common. Will send specimens of my own collection if you desire it.


Yours truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


P.S. In a recent letter from Mr. Lesquereux he wished to be remembered to you.


Received Sept. 27



Vol. 3 (150) [M79]


Albany, Sept. 28th, 1866


My Dear Sir,


I have examined the specimens of the Reverend J. Fowler with much interest, and the following result.


No 1 Hypnum laetum


2 Bryum bimum


3 Mnium cuspidatum


4 Not determined. It comes near Hypnum fluitans but I can not regard it as that species. It is probably a species new to this country, and may be Hypnum attenuatum which Mr. Lesquereux indicated to me as being near fluitans, but which so far as I know has not before been found in this country. I have access to no description of H. attenuatum, but as the leaves of this No 4 differ especially from those of H. fluitans in having a long attenuated point (very slightly toothed) the name would seem to be an appropriate one at least. I will send this to Mr. Lesqx. for his opinion.


5 Hypnum schreberi


6 Hypnum adnatum


7 Dicranum flagellare & Campylopus viridis


8 Dicranum congestum? The fruit is not in good condition whence the doubt.


9 Mnium lycopodioides


10 Mnium cuspidatum


11 Trichocolea tomentella Hepat.


12 Mnium cuspidatum


13 This number was omitted I suppose


14 A Hypnum hispidulum & Hypnum serpens mixed.


B Hypnum laetum


15 A Hypnum haldanianum


B Ceratodon purpureus


16 Bryum nutans


17 seems also to have been omitted


18 Dicranum scoparium var. pallidum


19 Hypnum umbratum


Of the above Nos. 4, 9 and 19 are very desirable. 19 is sterile. I would like it in fruit if possible. I think I must write to Mr. Fowler after I receive Mr. L's decision concerning No. 4


I recently found Polygonum articulatum on the pine barrens toward Schenectady.


Yours very truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Sept. 29



Vol. 3 (177) [M47]


Albany, Dec. 1st 1866


My Dear Sir,


The package of mosses reached me safely. I will examine name &c. I see upon hastily looking through them that you have done well with Bryum atropurpureum and have it from Smoke's Creek ‑ showing that it is not confined to Forest Lawn.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Dec. 2



Vol. 3 (188) [M34


Albany, Dec. 7th 1866


My Dear Sir,


Yours of the 6th inst. received. I do not now remember about the specimens from "Devil's Hole Nov. 21", but the two slips of paper in one folio would signify that I found in the specimens therein, the two species Hypnum triquetrum and Hypnum giganteum for they are not synonymous. The species ought to have been separated if there was no mistake on my part.


Send them on again if there is any confusion among them and I will set them right.


Ephemerum crassinervium I found in Sand Lake. E. serratum I think has not yet been found in our state. Mr. Lesqx. recently sent me a specimens of it which same form California. It seems to be a rare species.


In letter of Dec. 5 you send "No 1 near Richfield, Aug. 1866" Hypnum  riparium,  (luxuriant growth) "No 2, Summit Lake" Hypnum giganteum (slender growth), "No 3 Summit Lake Hypnum aduncum, nearly the var. gracilescens.


The mosses found in your visit to "new station of Scolopendrium" are Anomodon viticulosus and an Orthotrichum probably O. anomalum (small)


I am almost through with the package. Will endeavor to finish it next week. I think Mr. Gilbert must be an unreliable botanist. He did not even send me some specimens of Hypnum scorpioides after Mr. Paine had collected them for me and brought them to Utica. He left them with Mr. Gilbert with directions to send to me, but they never came, neither did he deign to answer my letter sent concerning them; so I have made up my mind to go after Hypnum scorpioides myself next season.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


P.S. Went to the Helderbergs to day; found a few good things but nothing new. C. H. P.


Received Dec. 9



Vol. 3 (192) [M30]


Albany, Dec. 10th 1866


My Dear Sir,


The little fellow from Camden is Dicranum varium Hedw.


Dr. Howe is doing well. He has found Bryum uliginosum for us, also Hypnum diversifolium near Troy.


Please send me a bit of the Schistidium confertum from Portage. I neglected to take any of it.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Dec. 11. Dec. 12, complied with



Vol. 3 (197) [M25]


Albany, Dec. 14th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I return by Express the package of moss recently sent me, having separated and named so far as practicable.


In a few instances in which the species were so intermixed that I could not separate them without tearing the specimen all into shreds, I have left them as they grew. Two or three things I must leave in doubt. The large green Orthotrichum from French Creek I have called O.  affine, but must have mr. Lesqx's determination of it. The leaves are clearly papillose, but the capsule does not quite agree with that of the "Musci" specimens ‑ it being less long and slender. The Manual says the habitat of O. affine is "Rocks"; your specimens appear to have grown on trees, but we have seen of how little importance this is, in the case of O. anomalum. It is barely possible your specimens may be a large form of O. strangulatum, but my opinion is more in favor of O. affine. Please send a little to Mr. Lesqx, and inform me of his decision. Whatever it may be, I consider it as one of the good things of your package. Mnium affine var. rugicum, though in small quantity, is another; so also Mnium lycopodioides and fertile Hypnum aduncum. The specimens of Pleuridium alternifolium are beautiful. You have also Dicranum scoparium from 18 m. cr. [Mile Creek?] I have taken the liberty to take out a little of some of these for myself. 


I send the Panicum xanthophysum and Epilobium hirsutum you desired, also a few miscellaneous things which I dare not hope will be of any account to you who having collected so long and largely most probably have found them over and over again. But Mr. Paine gives Scirpus planifolius, Carex vestita and Alopecurus geniculatus the reputation of being rare. Cyperus filiculmis and Polygonum articulatum are from the sandy region toward Schenectady.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Dec. 15



Vol. 3 (203) [M19]


Albany, Dec. 15th 1866


My Dear Sir,


I think it makes but little difference whether the specimens are glued directly to the large sheet or first glued to a small piece of paper and then attached to the large one. By the first method some labor would be saved ‑ by the second, the specimens would be in better condition for removal, should it ever become necessary to transfer them from one sheet to another, for the small paper need only be glued at the corners slighty, so that it could be easily taken off. If the large sheets are good white paper it seems to me the specimens will show as well one way as the other; but if coarse and dark, perhaps the second method would look best. I scarcely think it worth while to poison the specimens. My own have never been so treated and yet the mites do not trouble them so far as I can see. but my specimens are comparatively recent, none being more than five years old, and I generally throw a little camphor [yarn? green?] about them in the spring. I do not htink moss is as liable to injury from this source as flowering plants are.


I put your Norwegian mosses in the Curator's room with the rest of your bundles. They were in a thin packet by themselves, tied up with the others. By your previous permission I had taken a part of such specimens as I desired, but in no case did I take all of any species. I do not know how to account for them if they are not with the others. The packet last sent me I returned yesterday by American Express.


In looking over some doubtful specimens collected by me two years ago on the Catskills, I find some Hypnum polygamum. I send you a specimen, deaming it a rare species with us. Mr. Paine found a little of it in South Herkimer Co.


I recently received a letter from Rev. J. Fowler, who says he has found an abundance of Climacium dendroides finely fruiting. I have also a hundred or more species of English mosses to examine for Mr. W. W. Denslow of New York with the privilege of taking a part of such as are desirable to me. I promise myself something new from this source.


I might add that in putting up my own specimens of moss I intend to separate a single plant from the tuft and glue it by itself so as to show the size, ramification, etc. clearly, thus: [two lovely little drawings]


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


P.S. Unless you are particular about giving a whole sheet to each species, I think in case of the smaller species it would be as well to put more than one on a sheet i.e. of the herbarium size; but in no case would I put species of different genera on one sheet. One sheet would hold nicely both of our species of Gymnostomum with the varieties, unless you put upon it large pockets for duplicates.


Received & answered Dec. 18



Vol. 3 (205) [M17]


Albany, Dec. 18th 1866


My Dear Sir,


The moss is Hypnum umbratum Ehrh. It is a good thing and was numbered "19" in the package of Mr. Fowlers mosses sent last summer. I have found it, only sterile; on the Catskill Mts. I sent to Mr. F. for specimens


This No "4" Mr. Lesqx. pronounced Hypnum uncinatum var. [gamma] I do not remember whether you have ever sent me H. uncinatum so will send you specimens of this rather variable species. I have it both from S. L. [Sand Lake] and the Catskill Mts. It is abundant in the latter locality growing generally on rocks.


Yours very truly


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


Received Dec. 19



Vol. 3 (208) [M14]


Albany, Dec. 19th 1866


My Dear Sir,


The two papers of "Hypnum rusciforme" you send are correctly named. The "Hypnum salebrosum" from Closter, N.J. is not salebrosum. It is Hypnum plumosum L. Mr. Austin sent me the same thing from the same place under the name "Hypnum salebrosum", three or four years ago, but I never would admit it to be that species. Although the tubercles or papillae of the upper half of the pedicel are not as fully developed as usual it is in every other respect good Hypnum plumosum, and very different from H. salebrosum.


In my recent trip to the Helderbergs I found a little H. salebrosum on an old stump. Though the specimens were not as good as I could like, being much overrun with other things which hindered their free growth and necessitated much labor in cleaning them, I was glad to get so rare a species and inclose a specimen for you.


If you are selecting mosses from your collections for an Herbarium you ought to have them all, and yet I do not see how it is possible for you to have them all and not have the Norwegian specimens which I tied up snugly in one of the two large packages which I made of your mosses. Did you get both packages? I put them side by side, thus; in the back room [a little drawing of two packages]


You may wonder at my ignorance of the contents of the Curator's office, but I have not been able to find any one there the whole fall, though I have been there at least a dozen different times; consequently could not gain admittance without inconveniencing others more than I was willing to do. I will go down again to‑morrow and see if I can get in long enough to satisfy myself concerning your specimens.


I regret very much to learn of Mr. Denslow's failing health. Though I had but just made his acquaintance I thought I observed an earnestness in him that I liked.


Buffalo is well blessed with species of moss, but I do not remember now whether you have ever sent me Hypnum uncinatum or not. It seems to me however that it ought to occur with you. Any species that may suggest itself to you as desirable, I will send if I have it and you will let me know of your wants.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck


Judge G. W. Clinton


P.S. I found some Hypnum salebrosum in your last winter specimens from Devil's Hole.


Received Dec. 20 & answered



Vol. 3 (210) [M 12]


Albany, Dec. 20th 1866


My Dear Sir;


The little "Fissidens on clay," which you sent I consider F. minutulus, Sulliv. F. exiguus has no pellucid border to the leaf: your specm. have. F. minutulus and F. bryoides both have the pellucid border but the former is dioecious, the latter, monoecious. F. bryoides generally grows on ground while F. minutulus is said to grow on rocks, but as I can not find a single male flower in your specims. I think it is F. minutulus in spite of its place of growth. The male flowers are generally plenty and axillary in F. bryoides, by which, with its rather larger size, I separte it from F. minutulus.


The little F. exiguus was collected in Schoharie and sent me by Miss R. Waterbury. My remark concerning it was made because I thought she might have sent you specms. under the erroneous name. I first gave it for her. I put the bit with your specimens that in case she had done so you might see to what I referred. I send a label for it, if there is enough of it to make a specm. Also a bit of F. bryoides.


Very truly yours


Charles H. Peck Judge G. W. Clinton


Recd Dec. 22