Correspondence of Rhoda Waterbury and G. W. Clinton
Edited by P. M. Eckel
Res Botanica
Missouri Botanical Garden
May 10, 2006
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Correspondence of

Rhoda Waterbury and G. W. Clinton

1865 - 1867


Edited by P. M. P.O. Box 299, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, 63166‑0299; and Research Associate, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York, 14204. Email:


April 1867

Vol. 4 no. 119 [G 101] 


                    Gloversville Sem. Apr. 7th, 1867


My Dear Mentor,


I feel that I have been very very ungrateful, when I see you say in your last of Oct. “write, write, write,” but you will pardon me when I tell you our school was so full I did extra teaching during the whole winter with the promise of having an extra hour for Botany during the summer. And my class has just commenced, no wonder I remember my friend, but I have never forgotten him for one week of all this time and more if I do not weary you. I wish very much to receive those welcome letters once more and to be allowed to talk to you. And first how do you do this spring? I remember how you dread winter and I do not wonder. I wonder how I can endure it so well, such terrible confinement and all our pretty beauties covered, it does make me homesick, and how you who know nature so much more intimately can endure it I do not know.


I looked last fall for your little friends all about the little ponds that are near here but did not succeed in finding any. Will I be able to find them early in the spring if they are here do you think? We have not a single flower yet, the woods are still deep in snow and great banks all about over the hills we must be later than many other parts of the State.I received not long since the Regents Report on the State Cabinet with all my mosses mentioned, foolish creature! I feel very tenderly toward them, (which the Regents or the Mosses) as you please, I shall not be misunderstood I am sure. I wish you would tell me how you find time to accomplish so much, but, then you never feel it is your duty to take the needle of a spare moment, that is one place where you mankind have the advantage but it seems to me I should do more with the time I have, I have been devoting all my spare time for the past two months to a class in oil painting and doing up some little pieces for my friends, I must stop it for it is not healthy business, and I must get out doors or I can never go through this school year which does not end until the middle of July. It is Sabbath evening. I do not usually indulge myself in letter writing on the Sabbath but in a boarding school it is all the time we have without interruption, and it does not seem to me so very bad only I enjoy keeping the Sabbath just as any puritan ancestor did, or as I fancy they did though I presume I should shock them terribly sometimes with my liberal views. I want to ask you if you are positive there will be a resurrection of the body, and that the soul is immortal? have you strong faith that never doubts? I wish I had. I am so afraid I have lost those little children we buried last year, and I shall myself in turn be forgotten by the Great Father and the wonder of creation go on through all eternity and I - all inanimate, it is terrible. I see times when I believe in the resurrection as fully as I believe you exist whom I have never seen, but this terrible questioning do tell me something about it.


I know you will rejoice with me when I tell you another little light has come to my sisters stricken household, a little boy to partly take the place of the three that have left. I was so sorry you could not visit us while I was with her last year. As soon as the summer comes we intend to take another Saturday at Canada & Garoga Lakes and to go in time to have the whole day for searching for whatever may be found. I shall try to improve the season. It was rather late last fall when I came to do much, but I shall spend every moment with my class, I ought to find something new. I know you will pardon me for writing my joys and sorrows hopes and fears to you, you always have, and in these little home joys I know a grandfather will indulge an aunt.


Do let me know of your health and happiness immediately. I do hope you have no terrible court to preside over just now, selfish you see as usual.


Your disciple


            Rhoda Waterbury


Hon. G. W. Clinton


Recd Ap. 10




As mentioned above in March, 1866, on April 2, 1866, the 19th Annual Report of the Regents of the University of the State of New York came out and Charles Peck enumerated the bryophytes Rhoda had contributed to the State's bryological collections. She was among a distinguished company,