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

Leo Lesquereux (1806-1889) and

George William Clinton (1807‑1885)


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



Leo Lesquereux




It was thought prudent for a variety of reasons to electronically publish my transcription of and notes to the following letters by Leo Lesquereux of Columbus, Ohio to George W. Clinton of Buffalo, New York. These letters constitute most if not all of those Mr. Clinton retained of his correspondence with Lesquereux during the years between and including 1865 and 1877. There is no evidence that letters are missing from this sequence. Lesquereux was one of a number of prominent botanists with whom Clinton corresponded as Clinton was developing a herbarium for the citizens of the City of Buffalo, as well as for the citizens of New York State, with authentic material in the state's natural history collections in Albany, the state's capitol. 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, unhappily, some of the other material transmitted by Lesquereux to the herbarium have not been so fortunate either at the time of the correspondence or during the century intervening between 1865 and the present time.


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. Presented here today is the first of seven files of transcriptions. Much reference has also been made to entries in Clinton's collecting journal, presenting Clinton's activities in the field where he was collecting mosses for the first time, and the fruits of this activity in the form of identifications, verifications and so on, among various correspondences, of which that with Lesquereux was only one (as the letters will reveal).


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 image displayed above is from the original photograph album of George W. Clinton archived in the Research Library of the Buffalo Museum of Science. It is a carte de visite or visiting card format photograph, made popular during the Civil War era and must be contemporary, approximately, with his letters, if not the actual image sent as part of the correspondence.


The proper citation of this electronic publication is:


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