Correspondence of Elizabeth Atwater and G. W.
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: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Vol. 10 no. 21 [A 319 & 318, two sheets of paper.]
Sept'r 18th 1873. Hon. G. W. Clinton,
Mr. Atwater forwards to you, by today's express, some of
the results of my wanderings in
Relative to the specimens I have nothing to say, save that I did my best under the circumstances in which in which [sic] I was placed. Some were snatched from over hanging branches as we journeyed by stages, many snatched from the railroad track where we had barely time for jumping from the cars and directly scrambling back again; others were unavoidably broken from the stalk where the dry‑baked earth was so tenacious as not to receive the action of the trowel, others, gentlemen plucked for me, and so on. ‑
You can scarcely imagine the delight with which I
appropriated the tiny ferns from cavities in the rocks at
equally well pleased to
find the Calycanthus occidentalis for I had not seen it growing save under
cultivation. The orange call'd
Poppy from Alum Springs I send in no other locality in
on examining packages kindly sent me to find rare plants thoroughly disorganized in the transportation.
If you chance to find but one plant of a kind please retain that. I have not the opportunity for examining my collection attentively. Should I find others, differing from those sent, I will remit from time to time as I may have the chance to look them up. If you desire another and a larger bulb of the Soap plant I will with pleasure furnish one. I should like to tell you my experience in discovering the first one!
On taking up my pen this morning I sought to be concise inasmuch as my "remarks" in the box were so profuse.
Did you receive a "Catalogue of the Plants in the
Thanks for your kind note enclosed in Miss Wilson’s, which
followed me to
With kind regards to Miss Wilson to whom I hope to write as soon as I have a more settled feeling.
Believe me, Sir, with esteem and sympathy your friend,
[On September 29, 1873, Charles Mohr of Mobile, Alabama wrote to George Clinton: "It is with feelings of deep regret and heartfelt sympathie with your great sorrow, that I pen these lines to you, after having heard through the kindness of Mrs. Atwater of the heavy affliction which has befallen you in the loss of your son; May He the dispenser of all our pleasures and sorrows give you comfort and strength to bear up under such a blow, that your vigor and health might be spared for many many years to come."
Miss Mary L. Wilson was an associate of George Clinton’s in the developing herbarium of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. Her special study was of the lichens, which must be the “special pets” alluded to].
Vol. 10 no. 30 [A 309]
Gardner & Gould, Proprietors.
I have but one moment in which to say that the enclosed sp'm of the Malva tree I had supposed I forwarded to you with the other plants, the seeds of which I sent. I will, at some future time send you a more acceptable specimen, meanwhile retain this.
The pretty pink flowers enclosed have just come to me
With kind regards to Miss Wilson to whom I hope soon to write,
E. E. Atwater
Rec'd Oct. 5.
Vol. 10 no. 54 [A 281]
Nov'r 8th, 1873 Hon. G. W.
Prior to the receipt of your last kind letter on Nov'r
3'd I had taken another look at my huge collection of
My husband has deposited a box of plants in the express office to day, bearing your address. Enclosed within it you will find some duplicates of those formerly sent ‑ and some, if I recollect perfectly, not included in the former package. The family of Lupines is so comprehensive and the distinguishing features of each, being only observable to a practiced eye like your own, that I may not, even now, have sent you all the varieties that I called (sic). Their names and [varieties?] are legion. I regret I could not have been more successful in preserving their colors. I wish you could look at my collection of which I feel quite proud. I have many exceedingly beautiful plants of which there are no duplicates. These of course, I would not trouble you to name; and now I have to regret that I have troubled you in this way at all. I well knew the difficulties you would have to contend with ‑ devoid of proper books for reference ‑ and yet, at the time the fact did not occur to me. You will pardon me for subjecting you to so much labor. Inasmuch as I am boarding, and cannot satisfactorily arrange my plants for permanencey, I am losing the desire to have even a portion named at present, and in my future collections, if I am spared to make any, I shall send specimens for you to retain, but none to be named for myself. The plants sent to day I desire you all to retain. I have kept duplicates of all, and have found duplicates of the Nutmeg tree, so that you will not presume to return that.
I hope these will give you some pleasure. The ferns are nothing rare, still I send them. I trust I have forwarded to you at least a few not inthe collection you have received from another source.
I enclose for your personal [sic] some little items copied from an interesting book of which I had a perusal in San F'r. You can return them at your leisure.
I beg you to retain all the plants which I forward to day, and all the others if you desire them.
My husband desire kindest regards to you. Our plans for
the winter are not matured. We both desire to go back to
Very respectfully your friend
Elisabeth E. Atwater Rec'd Nov. 10.
Vol. 10 no. 68 [A 265]
Garden House, Chicago
Nov'r 14th 73 Hon. G. W.
I have forwarded by to day's mail a sp'm of the
beautiful plant found growing on the
Again I beg of you to retain all the plants you desire. I shall not feel at all complimented should you fail of doing so ‑ and threaten not to call any more for you if these fail of pleasing you.
In exceeding haste,
Very respectfully yours,
Elizabeth E. Atwater. Rec'd Nov. 28, Dec. 12 ‑ Exp'd package ‑ & wrote to her.
Vol. 10 no. 77 [A 257]
Chicago, Dec'r 20th, 1873. Rec'd Dec. 22.
Hon. G. W. Clinton,
Your kind letter and the package of
I feel assured that I unwittingly imposed a great task upon you, and I shall not do so again. The few plants sent you will, by no means compensate for all the perplexity they have occasioned you. A thousand thanks for all your kindness. I only hope there were some plants worthy your acceptance.
Pray do not chide me for returning the am't of express charge ‑ I could not permit the Society to pay it.
My husband has been on the invalid list, but is convalescing. He begs his continued regard for you to be expressed herein.
Believe mr, Sir, your obliged friend
Elisabeth E. Atwater.
Rec'd Dec. 22.