Correspondence of Asa Gray and G. W. Clinton
Edited by P. M. Eckel
Res Botanica
Missouri Botanical Garden
October 13, 2005
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The Correspondence of

Asa Gray (1810-1888) and

George William Clinton (1807‑1885)


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



Photographs of Asa Gray: 1, 2, 3, 4




It was thought prudent, for a variety of reasons, to electronically publish my transcription of and notes to the following letters by Asa Gray of Cambridge, Mass. to George W. Clinton of Buffalo, New York. These letters constitute most of those Mr. Clinton retained of his correspondence with Gray during the years between and including 1865 and 1877. Some letters, although listed as present in a catalogue to the letters compiled by the research librarian at the Buffalo Museum of Science some ten years ago, were absent when the present writer first began to transcribe the Clinton archives. The missing letters are noted in the manuscript below. Note also that at some point in the Gray-Clinton correspondence, Gray passed the burden of this labor on to Sereno Watson, who inherited some of Gray's research projects. Toward the termination of correspondence, Gray resumed his contact, but Clinton's presence as a letter writer seems to have faded not only with Gray, but with others among the extensive number of botanists with whom he communicated during the period when Clinton was developing the herbarium for the citizens of the City of Buffalo. That herbarium was to become the Clinton Herbarium of the Buffalo Museum of Science (BUF). As of this time, the botanical specimens referred to in these letters still reside in the cabinets at this institution, but, unfortunately, some of the books referred to are gone.


I have included certain of the notes I have made while transcribing this collection and await more leisure to complete my annotations of the letters. However, I see no reason to withhold the content of these letters from the public at this time.


I thank the following sequence of research librarians of the Buffalo Museum of Science during the decade the correspondence was transcribed: Lisa Seivert, who, with her volunteers, constructed the excellent original digital index and catalogue to these letters, her successors Rachael Brew, David Hemmingway, and Kathy Leacock, the present research librarian.


P. M. Eckel, St. Louis


The Letters





The proper citation of this electronic publication is:


"Eckel, P. M. 2005. Correspondence of Asa Gray and G. W. Clinton. Res Botanica, Missouri Botanical Garden Web site. [and lastly cite the date you actually read the publication]."