Correspondence of Asa Gray and G. W. Clinton
The Correspondence of
Asa Gray (1810-1888) and
George William Clinton (1807‑1885)
Vol. 2. (137) [D 89]
[An 1866 letter in CLinton's handwriting]. Oregon Boundary Commission, 1858
The name is something like Harpocarpus madarioides, Nutt. (Please write it for me in your best hand!
l Harpocarpus, see Torr. & Gray. Fl. N. Am.
l 2.p. 406.
Herb. Berland' m Texano &c. l Labiata near Scutellaria No. 2567. Brazoria truncata l
Plantae Cubensis Wrightianae
Plantae Cubenses l Drypetes Drypetis glauca l Euphorbiaceae
Pichinea, Nov. 15, 1855 l Ericaceae next Vaccinium Thibandia acuminata l
Pernettya parviflora, Benth. l near Arctostaphylos
Cambridge, Friday Evening
Here are your names. I should have given them before. Perhaps this will cross you en route hither.
Recd. Jan. 7. 
Vol. 2. (201) [D 21]
Cambridge March 2, 1866
My dear Clinton
So your visit here fell through ‑ to my sorrow. But you speak of coming yet ‑ which is hopeful.
I trust Dr. Torrey has sent you his photo. If not tell me, and I will send from some he left with me.
Fowler sent me direct, last year, Juncus stygius, and has written, & been answered.
You stirred me up about Manual. Now sub rosa ‑ for the publishers wish nothing said yet, I am going at a revision of it this summer (Deo favente)! So I await wise suggestions from you. Also, I solicit your confidential opinion upon a plan, being entertained by me. But I want to know if you think it will work well. In brief ‑ to separate the Garden Botany ‑ so as to leave the Manual, pure & simple, for wild plants ‑ and to annex to the Lessons a popular and easy account & analysis of Common plants, introduced and cultivated ‑ if we can draw the line anyway ‑ entitled "Field, Forest & Garden Botany." Might not this have a greater range of use, in schools &c. ‑ and scholars thus be furnished an easy road to a certain amount of knowledge ‑ not be bothered with Carices or the like, nor rare species ‑ and a good portion of them be led up to the spirituality of the Manual.
There, ponder it, like a judge, and respond to
[Recd. March 6]
Thomas C. Peters of Moulton, Alabama, of the letter of October 9 above (1865). Juncus stygius L. is written of, in the Fifth edition, as inhabiting the peat-bogs of Perch Lake, Jefferson County, New York, and a collection from New Brunswick by Mr. Fowler among others. Clinton had begun a correspondence with the Reverend James Fowler starting on Independence Day (July 4) of the previous year (1864) on a letter of introduction from Asa Gray. Fowler had known Gray before he had Clinton's acquaintence.
Vol. 3 (3) [M 226]
Cambridge 17 March 
Lucky man is Mr. Foote. What would not friend Paine have given to have made this discovery. Do you know, there is reason to think this is the original station of Pursh. "Near Onondaga on the plantations of J. Gedde's, Esq."‑ accords better far with this station than with that of Chittenango Falls.
Recd. March 20 & ans.
Lewis Foote was a correspondent of Clinton's from the United States Lake Survey Office in Detroit, Michigan. The following letter from Mr. Foote was received by Clinton:
Vol. 2 (214) [D8]
Office U.S. Lake Survey
Detroit Mich., March 12th 1866
I have just returned from a visit to New York. At Syracuse I had to wait several hours for the cars, so I walked into the country. I found Scolopendrium officinarum about two hundred feet from the track of the Syracuse & Binghamton R. R. about five miles from Syracuse & about one half mile from (towards Syracuse) Jamesville. I think it is in the town of DeWitt, Onondaga Co. It grows in a deep rocky ravine, along which runs a small stream which empties into the Butternut Creek. Where I found it the stream falls about fifty feet in one hundred & fifty.
I did not have much time to look around, but should think it quite common. I found it March 3d 1866.
I enclose a specimen
Very truly yours
To Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd March 14 ‑ ansd & wrote to Gray.
The locality is Chittenango Falls in Madison County, now a New York State Park. The Onondaga County line runs very close to the park on the west. Specimens at BUF. See Gray Vol.3(3) below.
Later in 1866, on December 4, Clinton wrote in his collecting diary:
"Took 8 A.M. train of Syracuse & Binghamton R. R. to Jamesville , 7 miles, walked back a mile or so on the track, & struck into the valley of the affluent of the Butternut Creek , in which Lewis Foote found the Scolopendrium in March last. Searched diligently, found it nowhere but at the very head of the ravine, where it is about entering the cleared lands. Collected some of it. Walked into Syracuse and left in the 2&10' train for Buffalo."
Vol. 3. (30) [M 199]
Cambridge April 2 1866
My Dear Clinton
I dislike public meetings extremely. But if the Association meets at Buffalo ‑ which I will advocate if opportunity is given ‑ and at a proper time, I will attend to do you honor.
I received the account of your public doings at the re‑opening. Good.
My wife sends best regards!
As soon as Anacharis shows his head this spring, pull him up by the roots, and send him to me, in some damp moss, by mail ‑ to raise in pond & my glass jar! What Paine sent me last fall died.
Do I infer from your letter that Paine complains of my notice of his Cat.? He wrote me to thank me 1st, I suspect somebody has put it into his head that he is not well used. Dear me: ‑ considering all the work I did for him and the trouble he gave me ‑ not to take the very mild flavoring of criticism in so kind a notice as I want mine to be. I like Paine. Therefore I [would] take pains to criticise & try to improve him.
Recd April 5
During the Civil War the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was suspended. It had otherwise met every year since the founding of the association in 1848, often meeting in southern cities, such as Charleston, South Carolina in 1850 where H. W. Ravenel led off the meetings with the first scientific paper (Haygood 1987). In August of 1866, the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences would host the association's first post-war meeting. In July of that year, a Horticultural Fair would be held by the people of Buffalo to raise money for the "entertainment of the visitors." (Goodyear, George F. 1994. Society and Museum, a history of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 1861-1993 and the Buffalo Museum of Science 1928-1993. Bull. of the Buff. Soc. Nat. Sci. Vol. 34). Such meetings were a chance for a city to display its civic pride in the intellectual achievements of its institutions. It was particularly compelling for scientists from far afield to attend to see and be seen, to meet colleagues whom it was difficult to meet or be introduced to, communication and travel being much slower and more expensive than today. The times, especially before the Civil War, made contact with European scientists (and other leaders in culture) particularly urgent. However, it is doubtful that many scientists from the south would attend the Buffalo meetings, as they had to deal with a defeat fresh across their shoulders, and the retributive legislation gathering force, becoming what was to be called Reconstruction. The victorious President of the new Union had so recently been buried after his assassination. The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences would host the AAAS in August of 1876, 1886 and 1896 (four meetings) (Goodyear 1994 p. 18).
Gray was perhaps unaware of the great damage to a career that may be had from a negative review - this was also to be the case with Ravenel, as well as young Paine.
Vol. 3. (61) [M 168]
Cambridge May 10, 1866
My dear Clinton.
I have not troubled you for a great while. It is time I did, tho' I have been too busy heretofore, and can hardly trouble you for as much as I would like to.
"Wanted." Imprimis. Fresh plants and some with roots & all that I may grow as well as examine them, and send some to Dr. Reichenbach in Germany ‑ of Spiranthes latifolia. Fresh leaves ‑ if anyone can get them ‑ of Cypripedium pubescens! Have to send some of these also, in spirits to Reichenbach ‑ who is the Orchid man.
You need not refer me to Paine to get them: for he is here ‑ studying botany like a good fellow ‑ concluding it is quite time he sat down to look into as well as look after plants.
Spiranthes latifolia should be in flower by 20th or 25th of the month, ‑ and grows at Niagara Falls.
Recd May 13
Reichenbach f. (1823-1889), of Leipzig, Germany, was the son of H. G. L.
Reichenbach, author of the Icones Florae Germanicae et Helveticae. The son
concentrated on the study of orchids and worked with John Lindley, who died
in the previous year (see letter November 20, 1865). Reichenbach became
Professor of Botany and Director of the Botanical Garden in Hamburg.
Vol. 3. (71) [M 159]
C[ambridge] May 15, 1866
I am 1/2 dead with work.
Anacharis came duly & safely ‑ thanks
Now remember Spiranthes if convenient.
[yellow label Paul Roessler, Optician, 251 Chapel‑street, New Haven, Ct. in a horizontal oval] [...] under Eaton's directions has perfected a simple microscope, with the two most useful powers (low) just what is wanted for Phaenogamous & Fern Botany ‑ as good as my French microscope simple Cost $15. If you take a fine dissecting knife $1 more. For a nice pair of forceps $1 more. But neither of these are necessities. Now this I can get for you at once, if you want it. But as to a compound microscope ‑ cheap but sufficient for mosses &c. I do not know at all. I wish you would write & ask Lesquereux. This any way does not take the place for work of the simple microscope. That you must have yourself. Your Society should own a really good compound microscope good for all work, diatoms, vegetable anatomy, cyc... &c. ‑ a good one of [G......] N.Y. might do nicely. Make 12 men in Buffalo, who [have money] subscribe $10 each to pay for the instrument. They will like to do it.
Herbarium paper, such as I use ‑ costs too high at present. And for your society's herbr. I advise a thinner paper ‑ thick printing, or log book paper ‑ & that you use smaller sheets, & fasten the specimens with gummed slips.
I cannot explain all by writing ‑ but could give you my ideas [only].
This is the season for making specimens: winter, for arranging & mounting them. If I had not a good stock of herbarium paper before the war, I should have been bankrupt long before this.
Ever dear Clinton
Recd May 18. wrote to Mr. Roessler 19th inclosing $20.
Vol. 3. (82) [M 148]
[letter head with small oval as described above from Paul Roessler]
May 26th 1866
G. W. Clinton Esqr.
Your note of the 19th this month I received with enclosed $20.00 Greenback.
I had to make your microscope as all I had ready are sold, all over the country.
The goods I send by [..d.] Express Co. as follows
1 microscope $15.00
extra knife 1.00
dissecting scissors 1.25
1 trowel & [base][glass?] 1.00
1 fine forceps 1.00
one folding fine pocket lens .75 [in margin] microscope leaves here to day
These are about the instruments used in botanic, except a tin box to put flowers in, but this would make too large packet.
Hoping that you will be satisfied with the goods sent, I remain very respectfully yours
The little pocket lense unfold thus: [drawing] of this kind the schools buy large numbers, Vassar female College bought 80 ‑ Prof. Clark (Amherst Mass) 42, etc. at $9.00 per [...]
Recd. May 28
Vol. 3 (97) [M 132]
Cambidge, June 23d 
I have the Spiranthes latifolia: for a wonder it came pretty well for examination ‑ but not for saving alive.
For either purpose, put in a pasteboard or tin box, e.g. a [Seidletz] ‑powder box ‑ with moss only damp ‑ with a paper wrapper. Then it won't break in pieces &c. Do not send [more] the Cypripedium, I have had plenty of it.
In too great haste
Ever Your obliged
Recd June 25
A Seidlitz box would most likely contain seidlitz powders which are "effervescing salts that consist of two separate powders with one of 40 grains of sodium bicarbonate mixed with 2 drams of Rochelle salt and the other of 35 grains of tartaric acid and that are mixed in water and drunk while effervescing as a mild cathartic - also called Rochelle powders" Webster's Third International Dictionary. The salts are named after the town of Seidlitz, Bhemia, Czechoslovakia "from the similarity of their effects to those of the water of the town." These salts may be similar in effect and composition to what we use today as "Alkaseltzer" to settle the stomach. At any rate, the commercial box these salts came in had other practical uses once their first contents had been consumed, as Gray indicates above. He also assumes Clinton had such boxes, and that he used such products, probably because it was a common househ0ld product.
Vol. 3 (107) [M 123]
Cambridge July 9, 1866
This Crucifer is a waif from the west ‑ Sisymbrium canescens Nutt. which again probably is not different from the Old World S. Sophia.
Well, my arduous College work is over for this summer ‑ (to recommence in Sept.) ‑ and I can now turn ... myself ‑ and I hope turn a little to some scientific work.
Recd July 12
Sisymbrium canescens Nutt. of the 5th edition of Gray's Manual is called Tansy Mustard. Today Tansy Mustard is Descurainia pinnata (Walt.) Britt., this divided into two subspecies, a northern and a southern taxon. As S. canescens Gray indicated it grew in "Penn. and New York (Lucifer Falls, Tompkins Co., J. W. Chickering) to Lake Superior, thence southward and westward. June - Aug." Sisymbrium sophia L. is now Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb ex Berth, Herb Sophia, Flixweed (Mitchell & Tucker 1997). Gray mentioned that this species "is nat. from Eu. in Canada East." Canada would become confederated in the next year, 1867, whereas eastern Canada, as a British colonial region was earlier designated Upper Canada (upstream in the Great Lakes) and Lower Canada (downstream).
On July 10th, Clinton wrote in his journal: "'P.M. On edge of Day's Sphagnum, collected Spiranthes latifolia. Picked it in morning, & 11th, mailed it to Gray & sent him 2 or 3 plants for determination.' David F. Day enjoyed exploring a sphagnous swamp that once existed in the area of what is now Forest Lawn, a cemetery in Buffalo, New York.
Vol. 3. (111) [M 118]
Cambridge July 31, 1866
My Dear Clinton
Yours of 24th greeted me on my return from little voyage down coast to Isles of Shoals & Portsmouth from which I am just returned. The Utica Sagina must be either S. procumbens, very [d...py] in dry place, or S. Linnei No time to see which now ‑ will see soon.
Polemonium caeruleum [L. Jacob's Ladder] is a great find ‑ to mortify Paine ‑ to whom I have just read your letter ‑ and myself. Paine's Mud‑Lake is in Warren. Nothing there at this season. I advise you to explore the Tamarack Swamp between you and Jordanville: there & elsewhere ‑ in cold bogs, you will find a Spiranthes in flower just now ‑ a sort of large S. cerna. It is S. Romanzovii ‑ and you must make a lot of good specimens of it, and I will tell you all about it when we meet.
Collect any Spiranthes you see in flower at this season ‑ a dozen specimens for A. G.
Pray see, if you can, if the Nymphaea there is tuberiferous.
I mean to be in Buffalo about Wednesday or Tuesday (16 or 15) ‑ and with Mrs. Gray. But on the way I mean to try to see this N. tuberosa at some [L. Antonio] station, along with Paine ‑ and then to your meeting.
Would you kindly secure us a lodging at Buffalo ‑ where I suppose there will be a crowd.
In great haste.
Mrs. Gray sends best regards.
Recd Aug. 2 at Richfield Springs
Isles of Shoals is a complex of seven rocky islands 10 miles SE of Portsmouth, New Hampshire ‑ a resort area.
On July 24th Clinton wrote in his journal: "' Wrote to Gray, inclosing the Sagina? from Utica."
Paine's Nymphaea tuberosa, Paine, became N. reniformis, DC. (Tuber‑bearing Water‑lily) in Gray's 6th edition. Today it is back to Nymphaea tuberosa Paine - rare in western New York (Zander & Pierce, 1979). Warren is a township in Herkimer County. Warren "lies centrally on the s. border of the co." "Mud Lake, in the e., and Weavers and Youngs Lakes, in the s., are small bodies of water." (French's 1860 Gazetteer of New York State). Jordanville was, in 1860, a postal village in Warren twp. with two churches and 125 inhabitants. Clinton visited Mud Lake in July 7 and July 18 of 1866 (see Clinton's Collecting Journal) . On July 7 Clinton preferred the name Summit Lake to Mud Lake; on July 18 he went to Mud Lake, more often called Sharp's Lake - this is Paine's body of water referred to in Gray's letter. In 1866 in Herkimer Co, on July 21 on Saturday, Clinton "Walked to Weavers (the nearer of the 2 Little Lakes) Lake, & walked up the southerly & easterly side to the Tamarack [x] (&c.) swamp at the head. Found there Pyrola secunda v. pumila & Polemonium coeruleum, both nearly out of flower. In a dryish swamp on the outer edge of the Lake, on the easterly or southerly side, Eriophorum alpinum very abundant. In the wet wood, at the head of the lake, a trailing Smilax, included, I suppose in Gray's herbacea, but very different from our erect Smilax herbacea of the Plains."
Richfield Springs, where Clinton received his letter, was a postal village "near the head of Schuyler Lake, in the n.e. corner of the town [of Richfield, Otsego Co.]." The Richfield Springs ... are celebrated for their medicinal properties in the cure of cutaneous disorders, and large numbers of invalids are annually attracted here." (French p. 537).
Vol. 3. (114) [M 115]
Cambridge 18 July 1866
Thanks much for the stock of Spiranthes roots & fruit.
As to yours of 11 inst. The Galium is G. trifidum ‑ me judice. The Grass from near Richfield Springs = Glyceria pallida.
We are melted with the heat, Mrs. Gray very much prostrated by it. She goes down to sea‑shore to‑morrow. I in a few days.
I am not sure she will be able to go with me to Sauquoit, and so on to Buffalo to your meeting. We had counted on it ‑ though I ought not to be away from here for more than a day or two, so much is to be looked after.
Recd. Aug. 12
Earlier, on July 6. Clinton wrote in his journal: " Swamp by Allen's Lake, Ritchfield Springs 'found a low grass (Gray writes = Glyceria pallida, Sed?) which I took for examination." Apparently Clinton had his doubts.
Vol. 3. (120) [M 109]
Cambridge Aug. 6 
My Dear Clinton
I wrote you last at Richfield Springs.
It is now pretty clear that Mrs. Gray will not accompany me to Buffalo next week: but I shall hope to be there. She is too feeble to bear crowded railway travel at this season ‑ having been reduced by a late ill turn, and she goes, instead, to her Fathers on the sea‑shore ‑ where she can be very quiet as well as cool.
I regret it much, for I dislike to go off anywhere without her. My very old friends the Hadley's have invited me to their house, where I go. Paine leaves here to‑day, for New Jersey.
Recd. Aug. 12
Apparently Clinton was not acquainted with these Hadleys of Buffalo, for they do not appear in his journal. While everyone was at the Buffalo meetings, a little crew went for a row in the Niagara River. Clinton's journal records: "Aug. 17. I believe it was. Gray & I in one and Paine & Fish [a Rochester botanist] in another boat, left the Dam [at what is Sqaw Island in the City of Buffalo] & went down to Strawberry Island [mid-channel in the river]. Showed them, off Little Bay, Isoetes [Braunii] and Ranunculus reptans growing under the water & on the edge of the shore. In Big Bay [a downstream inlet on Strawberry Island], Paine's Nymphaea tuberosa, the Spongilla. All along shore the big Eleocharis palustris &, at the mouth of the Rattlesnake Channel [on the east shore of the river, north of Squaw Island, now filled but once separating Rattlesnake Island from the mainland], Scirpus Torreyi.'
On September 19, Clinton wrote: "Explored Little Lake, the southerly one, collected Isoetes [macro?]spora? Gray writes (Letter 146) [see below] that it is I. echinospora."
Vol. 3. (146) [M 83]
Cambridge 26th [Sept. 1886]
I am delighted to hear from you, after so long, and am charmed with your [real, zeal?] as shown in your late excursion to Katskill, But ‑ alas, ‑ Mann[...] esquire ‑ to whom I turned over the examination of your Isoetes ‑ [which] such nice & ripe spores ‑ says that they are not remarkably large ‑ nor marked as [ ] [ ] his I. macrospora ‑ that in short your plant is, I. echinospora, like his of Concord and Mt. Mansfield ‑ Oh, dear!
I [ ] get to Sagina soon. But, if [...] yours of Utica = S. procumbens.
I am dreadfully [… med] up.
By the way. Mr. Hale, who escorted me to the photographer at Buffalo, promised to mail to me an (unmounted) copy of the result of my sitting. How was it? a failure? If not send one ‑ not mounted, it will roll up well & go by mail.
Everybody says the meeting at Buffalo was most successful & enjoyable.
Recd Sept. 26.
[On back:] 'Purple plant = Polygala sanguinea'.
In Clinton's collecting journal is the entry for 1866: Sept. 20, at Catskill: 'Descended in the 8 A.M. Stage, about a mile from the foot of the Mountain, in a meadow on the left side of the road, a pretty purple Polygala, P. sanguinea, Gray writes (letter 146) sed? stopped the stage & got a little, noticed it, in another meadow, left side of the road, a mile or two further on.' Catskill was the county seat of Greene Co. on the Hudson at the mouth of Catskill Creek. The Catskill Mountain House in Hunter township was a favorite spot for visitors and Clinton spent time there in September of 1866.
On September 21, a Friday, Clinton wrapped and mailed specimens to Durand, Gray and Engelmann from Little Lake (Sept. 19) where he collected Isoetes [maro?]spora? (sic). which Gray, in letter 146, identified as Isoetes echinospora.
Vol. 3. (162) [M 62]
Cambridge 22d Oct. 
My Dear Clinton
How I have neglected you and your letters!
But I am hard driven with the new ed. of Manual ‑ and am preparing copy by day (when not working in College) and reading proofs by night ‑ busy enough.
The heap of letters before me to answer is something frightful. And I rely so implicitly on your good nature & patience!
If you have any quiddities for new ed. of Manual, you should send them on pretty soon.
Braun of Berlin (Engelmann's own man) & Engelmann are at loggerheads about Isoetes. Let them work them out!
I have overlooked yours of 30th Sept. or I should have attended to it sooner. You are at liberty to call me lazy. Never mind what Engelmann says about it. He does not know as well as I do.
"Artemisia biennis branches much" does it. Well, it came by a branch rail‑road most likely.
I can settle your list of plants in a quarter of the time it [must] take Mann to do it, or me to tell him how.
Do not forget that photograph.
Fish has sent me a good ripe fruit of Paine's Nymphaea & I find a good character in the seed!
Ever dear Clinton
Recd Oct. 23
Vol. 3. (163) [M 61]
C[ambridge] Aug. 26 
[Cl.inton] dear, I wanted only the "original" label. You should not have sent the specimen.
It is as plain as day Hultheimia berberidifolia Dum: [=Dumortier]
And don't you see the [ ] "Rosa ____ Pallas" underneath; and that it is a Rose with the stipules & leaf all reduced to a single blade.
Rosa berberidifolia is the proper name
Recd. Oct. 30
The reader should notice that this is letter 163 in sequence (note how late Clinton received it: Oct. 30. It is not out of order.
Vol. 3. (175) [M 49]
C[ambridge] 22d Nov. 1866
Your package just came.
Did you not forget to put in it a specimen in flower of Nymphaea tuberosa ‑ of our gathering last summer ‑ of Scirpus Olneyi, of Isoetes Braunii ‑ obtained by so great exertion on your part ‑ & perhaps something else ‑ the memorials of that afternoon's excursion? I should really like the Nymphaea.
If ever you want genus paper, & will give me your ...., very soon, I could perhaps add to what I have just [...nd]
Sparganium of Katskill I thought was S. angustifolium.
Viola 1. blanda, of course, but very big!
2. Amaranthus hybridus by the character. I shall revise these next month.
3. Solidago. I should say S. gigantea ‑ is so smooth. But all these run into Canadensis.
4. S. Muhlenbergii
5. Carex straminea, I should say
6. C. granularis
7. Agrostis scabra (old story)
8. Campanula rapunculoides I will get it
9. Poa serotina Yes!
I will enclose this to Dr. Torrey ‑ to reach you the sooner.
Please come round this way, as you return & see your old friend.
Recd. Nov. 30 & wrote to him
Clinton wrote in his journal that during a trip in November of 1866, he spent some time with John Torrey: "'I passed a very pleasant evening at Dr. Torrey's. He showed me his Herbarium, promised, voluntarily, to make me a platinum spoon, & to give me a share of some western specimens he was examining. He is one of the kindest & most genial of men. I don't wonder that he & Gray so love each other. ... Being so advised by Torrey, wrote to Gray to order me Genus paper, i.e. to add my order to one he had made or was about making. Gray did not, it seems, get my letter in time to increase his order, but, afterwards, with his usual kindness, spared us a share of his own."
Vol. 3. (189) [M 33]
Cambridge Dec. 7, 1866
Please thank Mr. Chas. D. Marshall for sending me the big photograph, and a very kind letter.
Except that it makes me look rather hard and stern, not to say scornful ‑ I think the photograph not bad: but my wife dosen't like it ‑ what wife ever was satisfied? ‑ and scolds me for poking out a long neck, and all that.
The genus covers are kept back a bit ‑ waiting till the mill gets a first rate and perfectly clean stock in hand.
4 reams = 1920 sheets ‑ all I can possibly spare you out of present order, ‑ unless I send in a [new order for ....] But I will see first how it turns out. You can't always get what perfectly suits you.
It will cost rather much to collect or Express. I shall pay the bill, and you can have Evisard Palmer, Esq., send me [ ] on Boston or New York. Bentham & Hooker, Genera plantarum. Imp 8 London. Parts 1 & 2 only yet out. Pt. 3 about April. The three parts will make Vol. 1. Perhaps you had best have the order filled only when part 3 is out, and have it come bound. The Prodromus will have to come from Paris.
Sullivants Icones Muscorum you should order from Cambridge or [M..] [Appletons] ‑ Better order it direct form me ‑ I will give Mr. Robinson a small reduction.
I think ‑ if you can get it (out of print, but often in market) you should [ ] Endlicher's Genera Plantarum also. Will cost you 30 ‑ 40 paper dollars.
As soon as a Cat. comes to me with some good bot. books in it ‑ Linn.
Sp. Pl. & [...] I will [ ] & send to you. Lindley's [Vegetable Kindom] 1 vol. 8  cost $10 or $12 will be very valuable where a good library is not accessible.
Rec. Dec. 11 wrote to Coleman T. Robinson
Charles DeAngelis Marshall was Corresponding Secretary to the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences from 1863 to 1869. Coleman T. Robinson, one of the most important of the founders of the Buffalo Society, never held an office in the Society. His major contribution was as a donor, and at this time Clinton probably turned to his largesse for purchases as Gray suggested, for the new society. Coleman was perhaps rising to Gray's challenge in an earlier letter that some rich men in Buffalo shall purchase a microscope for the society.
Vol. 3. (209) [M 13]
Cambridge Dec. 19, 1866
I have mislaid your direction and address for sending you the genus‑covers. Please supply anew.
I have received a sample of the paper, which is made and in Boston.
The sample does not ever please me in all respects, but it may look better when I see the [lit] to‑morrow. It is very difficult to get exactly what you want.
Drop me a line by return of mail.
Recd & ansd. Dec. 21
Vol. 4 (1) [G 223]
Cambridge, Dec. 1866
Mrs. Gray desires to be very kindly remembered to you, and joins me in wishing you [imo pectore written in a different hand above the line, with caret] & yours all manner of blessings the coming year.
I know that you don't mean to bother me. Still you do [not is written above the line, with caret] very much (at times is crossed out but still plainly legible). I do like you, however & bear it, I hope, like a Christian.
The Rhynchospora from Hanover, Chautauqua Co. is, very plainly ‑ (how stupid you are sometimes!)
Rhynchospora alba, with perverse leaves. We will see to them, when we get so far.
I should have before this told you that the Maker agreed to discard the great lot of genus paper made for me and try again with a cleaner stock. He must watch his chance when the right stock is in hand ‑ so some delay may ensue.
You may put up at your leisure as many plants as you like for F. Mueller. You will be likely to get a fair return for them. He is hungry for American plants ‑ dead and alive.
With [reverend] and warmest good wishes for the New Year.
Recd Jan. 1, 1867
F. Mueller was Baron Sir Jakob Heinrich Ferdinand von Mueller, 1825-1896, Royal Botanist at Melbourne, Australia and Director for some years of the Royal Botanic Gardens in that city. He was the first Government Botanist of Victoria. He graduated as a young man from the University of Kiel before immigrating to Australia for his health. He was a correspondent of Sir. William Hooker of Kew, and probably Joseph Dalton Hooker as well, and also of Asa Gray. The Clinton Herbarium (BUF) has specimens from Australia with Mueller's handwriting.
G. W. Clinton is written on the front, lower left hand corner. There appear to be two handwritings in two different kinds of ink: a black ink like Clinton's and which looks like Clinton's handwriting, and another in what looks like Gray's in his usual pale ink. The remark on Clinton's stupidity is striking, although there are several instances of Gray's friendly rough‑housing in his letters (see above) ‑ Gray does get impatient as does Peck ‑ Clinton seems to have doted on attention sometimes over much. The format of the letter begins so formally one might wonder if it was dictated [note Gray has never put a semi‑colon after the salutation (Dear Clinton:), or Gray assumed a particularly proper hand for the Christmas season. At any rate, the letter is rather anomalous ‑ the answer lies in the next letter (Vol.4 no. 37.] [Recd Jan. 1, 1867]
Gray, Asa. 1864. New Scirpi of the Northern U.S. American Journal of Science (Series 2) Vol. 38:289‑290.
Long, E. B. & Barbara Long. 1971. The Civil War Day by Day: an Almanac 1861‑1865. Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York. Stafleu, Franz A. 1967. Taxonomic Literature. Utrecht‑Netherlands,
International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature. Stearn, William T. 1983. Botanical Latin. David & Charles, London.