Correspondence of Charles Mohr and G. W. Clinton
The Correspondence of
Charles (Carl) Theodore Mohr (1824‑1901) and
George William Clinton (1807‑1885)
Vol.5 no. 56 [B 173]
Mobile January 21st, 1868 My dear Sir!
Your kind letter of 4th December did come duly to hand; I can well
excuse the delay in replying to my last, knowing fully by my own experience hard after those matter we love best, have to give a way before the demands of a laborious calling and the severer dutys of an active live. In the same degree as it has been difficult to snatch the few moments, devoted to your correspondence with me, from the pressing demands upon your time, the will be appreciated by me. [omnia sic]
I have been busy during the evenings of the past week to make up a set of duplicates for you, from my herbarium, wich [sic] I hope you will find of interest. I have yet to add the Orchideae, Xerideae, Cypereae & Gramineae. The later families particularly have gained some very interesting additions by an excursion, wich I made in the first week of last July to the Bayou called "fowliver[??]" wich in due direction from east to west separates Island BonSecour [?] from the main land. It west in (about 10 miles opposite Fort Morgan; I found many rare and interesting Plants as v. Sarrasenea Drummondii, Sabbatia corymbosa, macrophylla, Melanthium virginicum, Asclepias paupercula, A...tis longifolia et.ct. beside many Glumaceous plants, of all of wich you will find good specimens in the collection I send.
Our friend Mr. Lesquereux is quite delighted by the results of the examination of my collection of mosses from this vicinity. He arrived as he says at splendid and startling discoverys wich reveal some strange unexpected facts in regard to the distribution of mosses on this continent. He will publish his report upon that subject as soon as time will allow, in the annals of the Philada. Academy. I hope to get through with my selections for you by the first of next month, and if not directed otherwise I will send you the package for Express. Particularly acceptable to me are the more rare and obscure as well as the more frequent species of the generas of numerous species, v. Aster, Solidago, of the Chenopodiaceae Atriplic[ium?], Salix, Quercus, Cyperus, Rhynchospora and particularly of Graminea. Also of Cryptogamia plants particularly Hepatica, of Filices and Musci, of N. Americ. I have thanks to the kindness of Mr. Lesquereux & others a pretty full collection. If you take a interest in a nearer acquaintance with our south. flora it will be always great pleasure to me to send you in future specimens of all I might collect in future, and to interchange views and ideas as the suggest themselves by the investigation of those plants wich present doubts & difficultys. I will send a fine specimen of the ... & the Marsilea; Salvinia natans and Philalaria [?] I have only european specimens, if possible I will send you some of it; I really can not recollect at this moment if I have any duplicates or not.
Hoping to hear from you soon again I remain truly and respectfully
P.S. I just wrote on for Grays latest edition. Recd. Jan. 27
["Salvinia natans, L., was said by Pursh to grow floating on the surface of small lakes in Western New York, and has more recently been said to occur in Missouri," Gray's 6th. p. 701, apparently not yet verified. Sarracenia drummondii Croom is presently S. leucophylla Raf.]
[Between this letter and the next, Leo Lesquereux wrote to George Clinton the following lines: March 24th 68:
"Carl Mohr is an excellent man and fine collector: though not very clean and careful in specimens making. He wrote me that he had sent a package to you. He may come this way in the summer time. Could we not meet once here. Have you never anything to do in Ohio and if you were coming this way would you accept the hospitality of your old deaf friend who could not do much to make you pleased but would do his best to have you comfortable at least.
When living in Swizerland, it was one of my greatest enjoyments to have every year quite a company of my botanical friends stopping at my house. It was small as is my own now. There was Schimper and Schaerer and Desmazieres and many others unknown to you and we had splendid excursions among our mountains. How pleasant it is to remember when one is old. If hope is eternal in the human breast, remembrance is still more strongly anchored there and more pleasant still at least after fifty years of age when beyond eternity we have not much left to be hopefull for. It is the good time to be thankfull at least." ]
[Another note to Clinton from Lesquereux reads: April 27th 68:
"Mohr writes me from Mobile a very long letter of which there is a paragraph which reads as follows "I received to day (Date April 12th) a package of plants from Juge Clinton, which in interest and the beauty of the specimens excells anything I have ever seen. I find myself richly rewarded indeed and have to be thankful to you for it too as it is through your kind interference that my corresponding with Mr. Clinton was brought about."]
Vol.5 no. 156 [B 72]
Mobile July 10th 1868 My dear Sir!
Having received no news from you since my last lines of April 18th or 20th, in wich I shortly acknowleg'd thankfully the receipt of your package of plants, I infer that the same have never reached you; as such failures in mail matters are rather of frequent occurrence. I come by the present again to tender to you my best thanks, than really as regards the beauty of the carefully prepared specimens as well as the large number of most interesting and to me new species of our northern Flora. I never did receive a package wich did give me more pleasure, than yours. I am just busy now to incorporate your plants with others with my herbarium of the north Amer. flora and during the progress of these operations I have frequent occasions for delight caused by the interesting objects of your collection. I feel deeply how poorly a great many of the specimens are, wich I did send you. A fact only excusable by the circumstances that by your particular request I did send authentic specimens collected by a race of zealous botanists of the south, now almost extinct.
I was not able since 11 years to get up a correspondence or exchange with a botanist within the borders of the southern states. In consequence I can offer only that what I can collected within my limited neighbourhood, or on a occasional hurried business trip in the interior of Ala. Your last letter found my health greatly impaired; by the advise of my physician I made a short stay in the country to recruit my health and gain strength. I did spend a couple of weeks at and on a plantation 14 miles from Montgomery. I found several very interesting plants, it being the first time that I spent some time in that region in the vernal season. I shall be happy to send you at the close of the season a full set of all the specimens collected by me during the same. I have only to regret that the number of the same will be much smaller as anticipated, as there is scarcly any time allocated to me for excursions. I am afraid the summer will pass over, without my projected exploration of the flora of the Gulf shore and Gulf Islands as [e.g.?] Dauphin island [et cet.?] wich I have much at heart, since many years.
The specimens wich as indicated by your labels have been prepared by the lamented Mr. Joseph [S. Lewis?], show the love wich this unfortunate gentleman had for the science, it is the loss of such a one deeply to be deplored. I certainly shall keep his specimens as mementos of his devotion and zeal in the cause of botanical science. ‑ The idea to visit the north had to give away to the more necessary demands of my business; and so again I have to defer the pleasure to spend a happy week with our amiable friend Mr. Lesquereux for another year, and it would give me great pleasure if I could be so happy to make your personal acquaintance.
I found here plentifully the Isoetes florida [sp.?] of wich I will get some nice specimens for you.
I remain most respectfuly
G. W. Clinton Esqu.
Recd July 18
[A Joseph S. Lewis does not occur in the Index Herbariorum Collectors series. The City of Mobile sits on the northwestern shore of Mobile Bay. The mouth of Mobile Bay opens southward into the Gulf of Mexico. All along and parallel to the Gulf coast here occur linear barrier islands. The Intracoastal Waterway is the protected watercourse between these islands and the mainland. The mouth of Mobile Bay is protected by barrier islands on the east and west. Dauphin Island is the western island on the eastern tip of which is Fort Gaines. The western tip of the barrier island facing it across the mouth supports Fort Morgan. Entrance to the Bay is guarded by both forts ‑ a formidible obstacle in the taking of Mobile Bay by the Union naval commander David Glasgow Farragut during the Civil War. Mobile Bay was the chief source of Confederate blockade‑running out of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the two forts, Mobile Bay was defended by a line of mines, called torpedoes. In Farragut's successful engagement with the Confederate navy in 1864 he issued the famous cry "Damn the torpedoes" and full speed ahead.]
(from AAA Road Atlas for 1987)