Correspondence of Elizabeth Atwater and G. W. Clinton
Edited by P. M. Eckel
Res Botanica
Missouri Botanical Garden
August 6, 2003
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The Correspondence of

Elizabeth Atwater (1812‑1878) and

George William Clinton (1807‑1885)


Edited by P. M. Eckel, P.O. Box 299, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, 63166‑0299; email:




Vol. 6 no. 176 [L 36]

Clifton House, Chicago

March 16th, 1870 Hon. G. W. Clinton,

Dear Sir,


Many thanks for your courteous enquiries pertaining to my health. I regret not being able to give you a more satisfactory account of myself. I have been a prisoner within the walls of our rooms since the 13th of Decr. and, for the most part, suffering severely. If I can emerge with the Epigaea repens I shall be only too grateful.


I regret to know that you also, are on the invalid list. You are out of your element when the brown earth is obscured by snow. I wish it might be perpetual verdure wherever your lot be cast.


I know I shall tell you something cheering ‑ that is ‑ if the lady in question has not anticipated me ‑ when I say that Miss Stevens has in store for you some South American plants. She is, at present, in Brooklyn, N.Y. ‑ and may not forward them until she reaches Chicago ‑ a few weeks hence. She has sent me a package, consisting chiefly of ferns. Two of them are especially rare ‑ the Gleichenia dichotama, and Trichomanes pinnatum. The latter will charm you with its exquisite delicacy of structure ‑ its home underneath the spray of a waterfall. But I will leave to Miss Stevens the pleasant task of giving you the particulars of their habitats.


On the 29th of Decr. Mr. Atwater acknowledged your kind note of "compliments of the season" and enquiry ‑ to me, (I being confined to a sick bed,) and enclosed therein a lovely and rare little Alpine flower,


Gnaphalium leontopodium. (You are doubtless aware of the rarity of the plants, as also of the difficulty attending their procurement, growing as they do in the most inaccessible clefts of the Swiss Mountains. ‑ I thought the little specimen, in its wooly garment for glacier atmosphere, would gratify you. As your letter of yesterday did not mention its receipt, I fear it failed of its destination ‑ if so please advise me. I also enclosed an Achillea ‑ of a roseate tint from Trenton Falls.


Miss Mary H. Clark in a letter of a few days since writes that she has the promise of two or three hundred species of plants from the Rocky Mts. She, in a complimentary way adds that my "charming elasticity of mind must be of inestimable value in my present condition". She little knows how impatient I am of this restraint.

Trusting this may find you convalescing ‑ and with my apology for its prolixity


Believe me, Sir,

Respectfully yours

Elisabeth E. Atwater

Recd March 17 ansd 21st


[The Achillea is noted in the specimen list at BUF, the Gnaphalium has most likely not yet been entered into the computer.]




Vol. 6 no. 192 [L 19] 

[Printed monogram: an "A" made of branches from a tree or shrub.]

Clifton House. Chicago

March 30th, 1870 Hon. G. W. Clinton,

Dear Sir,


In response to your note of the 21st I give you the present address of Miss Stevens, viz. Miss E. P. Stevens, Wilson St., E. D. (meaning

East division) Brooklyn, New York. I feel assured she will be most happy to hear from you.


Relative to my photograph for the Society, I am too ill to sit for one and were I not, it would be a most unsatisfactory effort ‑ I have such an inexplicable face that artists cannot portray it. However, should I recover, I will yield to the solicitations of friends, and make one more attempt.


Believe me, Sir

Very respectfully yours ‑

Elisabeth E. Atwater

Recd March 31