and Mary Wilson (? - 1919): a Preliminary Review
September 30, 2012
Edited by P. M. Eckel, P.O. Box 299, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, 63166‑0299; email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
[1864.] Nov. 19. Wrote to Prof. Ed. Tuckermann,
the collection of letters comprising the
is unknown at this point what interest
next month, in December, 1864,
[1864.] Dec. 6. Received packet from Prof. Tuckerman, containing his Potamogeton Claytonii, Juncus Greenei, 2 Carices, and a very kind letter.
Edward Tuckerman was 48 years old in
1864. The reference to a specimen of Potamogeton
is a tribute to Tuckerman’s early “elaboration of our species of Potamogeton, then [in 1848 and 1849]
for the first time critically studied in the
lonchites Tuckerm. “I gathered in the Niagara rapids, near
Tuckerman found a species of Udora
growing in water in the type locality of and mixed with Potamogeton niagrensis
"near the brink of the Hog-back" at
This ‘kind letter’ of Tuckerman’s of December 6, 1864 is also not a part of those in the Research Library Clinton correspondence collection.
In 1840, Dr. Francis Boott (1792-1863) published his first treatment of North American Carices (the Sedges) presented in Sir William Hooker’s “Flora Boreali-Americana” (Gray 1886). A year later, in 1841, Tuckerman showed his own early interest in the Sedges, publishing a two page paper on “Notice of some Cyperaceae of our Vicinity.” He would also produce, in 1843, his 21 page publication, the Enumeratio Methodica Caricum quarundam, “in which he displayed not only his critical knowledge of the large and difficult genus Carex, but also his genius as a systematizer; for this essay was the first considerable, and a really successful, attempt to combine the species of this genus into natural groups.” (Gray 1886).
would describe Carex argyrntha, sp. nov.: “descr.
would continue to specialize in the genus Carex
for the remainder of his life. He produced “Illustrations of the Genus Carex” in four parts between 1858 and
1867, the fourth part being published by J. D. Hooker after Boott’s death in
1863. Although in the next few decades, Boott would go on to become the
formost expert in the genus, Tuckerman did not lose his interest in the
group. It was to Tuckerman that Gray sent the remainder of Boott’s Carex collections after Boott died in
1863, and from there to
He was working on a series of papers: Observations on North American and some other Lichenes, published in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1860, 1862, 1864 and then later in 1877. He was also working on the “Lichens of California, Oregon, and the Rocky Mountains” which would be published in 1866 and a preparation of the Lichens in the “Enumeration of Hawaiian Plants” by Horace Mann, to be published in 1868 (Farlow 1887). Tuckerman had been one of a number of American experts Asa Gray could rely on, his “team of experts” which included the mycologist M. A. Curtis and the bryologist W. S. Sullivant (Dupree 1959). It was due to Tuckerman’s productivity in American lichenology that Bruce Fink was to refer to the period from 1847 to 1888 as “The Tuckermanian Period” in North American Lichenology (Fink 1906), a time when “everything in American lichenology was colored by the views of Tuckerman.”
following is the first of Tuckerman’s letters to
Vol. 1. 27. I 201
5 June 1865 [European notation]
I am desired by Professor Gray to send to you a parcel of duplicate Carices from the Herbarium of the late Dr. Boott, & to say that he will write to you in regard to them, & have this evening delivered the parcel to the Agent of Thompson's Express & hope it will reach you safely.
I sent a parcel of [specimens] desired by you, last year & trust it reached you.
Your [af.. s..] [= affectionate servant?]
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd. June 8 & ackd.
The specimens sent “last year” were those
Vol 1. (25) [I 203]
It will be time, when you receive this, to collect the Scirpus Clintonii, a great lot of it. Some of it 10 days later, also.
Collinsia verna I chiefly want seeds of, sent fresh, when quite ripe.
I am arranging to have a lot of Carices sent you.
were to come from Edward Tuckerman to
May 30. P.M. Walked with [David F.] Day, turned into the wood east of & this side of the tollgate, & so, through the next copse, & by Ambrose's tavern, to Mr. Crocker's, collected more Fedia olitoria, a garden umbellifer, = anise. Chaenophyllum sativum. Viola tricolor, in his front yard, walked back a little way, & then turned to the right, into the fields & copses, found Scirpus Clintonii abundant. Then back, homeward, stopped in at Mr. Hodge's garden, & young Mr Hodge gave me specimens of Aesculus Pavia, &c., a Cytisus? Mem. In Mr. H.'s garden, to be obtained -
In June 11: In the field beyond, noticed Carex pallescens again, but in the plain, to the little wood east of the quarries, could not find Scirpus Clintonii, back to the bushy field, or copse, and found it almost gone [probably out of fruit - ed.], but got a number of (116) specimens.
1865, on June 7, two days after Tuckerman wrote his June 5 letter to
Received from Prof. Tuckermann (at Prof. Gray's request) a package of
duplicate Carices from Dr. Boott's herbarium.
Francis Boott had died in 1863. Boott,
also, with Tuckerman, a native of Boston, Mass., published in his lifetime
approximately 442 species and varieties in the genus Carex and other genera
in the Cyperaceae. He also contributed treatments to the Flora of California,
in the Proceedings of the Linnaean Society, the Flora of Boreal America, the
flora of Antarctica, species from a Voyage to Japan and other works - a
monumental contribution to science probably mostly overlooked in
During a brief sojourn in his native
Boott kept up a correspondence with Asa
Gray and his letters are in the Harvard Archives. Apparently, Asa Gray
received Boott’s Herbarium, from which 33 type specimens from the
Illustrations of the Genus Carex
were retained. Duplicates were sent perhaps to Tuckerman first, then on to
Ten days after Tuckerman sent his letter on June 5th, Tuckerman wrote the following:
Vol. 1. 45. I 181
15 June 1865
Your acceptable & friendly letter has
been received, & I am glad the Plants arrived safely. But I forgot to say
that Dr. Gray's wish was that you should select from the collection, &
then transfer the remainder to Mr. E. Hall, at
Will you permit me to add that one or two specimens of your Eleoch. Clintonii, such as will go conveniently in a letter envelope, will be very grateful [sic] - as I continue to study all the Northern Cyperaceae, though only rarely collecting.
With much respect
Your obt. servt.
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd. June 19 & ansd. ditto & 20th expressed him a very small
The Eleocharis clintonii is an error for Scirpus clintonii A. Gray.
Hall (1822 1882) of Athens, Menard Co.,
Eleven days after Tuckerman wrote his
letter of June 15, above, Tuckerman responded to another letter, sent during
the intervening time, from
Vol. 1. 62. I 163
26 June 1865
Thank you very heartily for the parcel of specimens by express. The new Scirpus Clintonii, will be valued not only for itself, but as coming from the botanist who discovered it. Shall I confess to you that I am more interested in a new Scirpus than I should be in a new Collinsia? But none the less are your elegant specimens of C.
verna acceptable, as I had only very poor representatives of the species before.
The large Herbm. [which] I once formed is now in Upsal; I sent it to my excellent friend & master, Prof. Fries; & the colln. [= collection] which I now possess has been formed only to illustrate & help me in the general knowledge of the small Flora of this immediate region - & having got rid of the business of exchange my plants - it is a small colln., with not a few gaps in it. For this reason I welcome also the specimens of Scirpus Torreyi, having detected it here.
Najas major is another plant which I have long desired. And Scolopendrium was not in my present Hermb. till you contributed it.
I wish you much success in the Cryptogams. I find the Lichens almost as puzzling & ...., as if it were not 25 years that I have sought to understand them. Mosses I fancy are easier. One soon learns the great genera - but I have got no farther, and fear I never shall - though I have considerable material in the way of Collns. to facilitate the study. As to Fungi, I shudder at the thought of encountering them!
Believe me, with respect
Recd. June 29
In 1841 Tuckerman travelled to Germany and then Scandinavia, “going as far north as Upsala, devoting himself, as in a subsequent visit, to philosophical, historical, and botanical studies” (Gray 1886).
as noted below, Tuckerman made quite a few collections of specimens of the
genus Carex from northern
It was perhaps a collection of North American lichen Tuckerman donated to Fries, but this seems unusual when Tuckerman’s life-work on the North American lichens was eventually to be prepared toward the end of his life, and so it was perhaps a collection of vascular plants given to Fries, not lichens.
1866 Tuckerman wrote “Menzies, who visited the North West Coast of America in
1787-8, and somewhat later, with [Captain]
In Tuckerman’s personal collections were specimens from the “coast north of California, and of the Rocky Mountains” given to him by Sir J. W. Hooker, as well as specimens Hooker gave him made “with the Oregon Boundary Commission by Dr. Lyall, and a smaller one, from Palliser’s British North American Expedition, by Bourgeau,” and a list of a host of other western collectors such as H. N. Bolander, Charles Wright, Elihu Hall, from a variety of expeditions fixing the boundary of the United States and Canada or Mexico (Tuckerman 1866)
returned to the
A further note on Tuckerman’s interest in Carex may be found in Henry Willey’s necrology of Tuckerman (1886). As a note to Willey’s comment on Tuckerman’s 1843 publication “Enumeratio methodica Caricum quarundam, Schenectady, Riggs, 1843), the editors of the Botanical Gazette wrote: “In a letter to Mr. Willey accompanying [this publication (Willey 1886)] the author (Tuckerman) says: “I send a brochure of mine upon Carex written some 20 years since when I was tolerably familiar with the common species both of Europe and America ... I collected in most parts of the north of Europe in 1841-2 and formed a large herbarium from my correspondents’ gifts and exchanges, the whole of which I gave afterwards to Boott of London. Since his death the greater part of this has been returned to me.” The editors wrote “This little work is quite remarkable for its keen insight into the relationships of the numerous species of this difficult genus” (editors of the Botanical Gazette in Willey 1886).
Note that in Tuckerman’s letter to Clinton above, it is to Fries that Tuckerman sent a plant collection, including exchanges - perhaps there is some confusion here, yet both accounts are by Tuckerman.
in the local flora would never leave Tuckerman. In 1875 he would publish the
lichenological flora of the area, with Charles C. Frost, in which he taught
In Upsala, he made the acquaintance of Prof. Elias Fries. This acquaintance made a profound impression on Tuckerman, and “he kept up a correspondence with him to the end of the venerable botanist’s life [i.e. Fries]” (Gray 1886). This influence was based on a deeply perceptive or intuitive apprehension of the form of major groups of species at the generic level. Tuckerman “cultivated to perfection, that sense of the value of the indefinable something which botanists inadequately express by the term ‘habit,’ which often enable the systematist to divine much further than he can perceive in the tracing of relationships” (Gray 1886). Neither Fries nor Tuckerman had access to the minute characteristics of the species, such as the spore, discernible by the use of the relatively modern “instrumental appliance” of the microscope, although this inference is belied by his letter to George Clinton below, in 1866 when he stated that Clinton required a microscope to study lichens - with a particular view to the spores.
must have appealed to the abstract and mystical side of thought that
Tuckerman embraced - as he took up studies in theology at the
assessment of the “Friesian System” is described in An Enumeration of North
American Lichenes ... to which is prefixed an essay on the natural systems of
Oken, Fries, and Endlicher. 1845.
1865, Tuckerman had given to Fries, in
example of a paper based on his local flora was, “The Vegetation of the
clear from Tuckerman’s June 26 response to a letter by
a year later, in
30. Wrote to Prof. E. Tuckerman,
This note in
Tuckerman letter referred to in
Vol.3 No. 180 [M 44]
3 Dec. 1866
I received to night your note of 30th ult. - & take pleasure in telling you what I can.
(Though [younger?], I too look with hopeless interest on the Mosses, Algae & Fungi of my neighbourhood - of which I have learned just enough to feel a regretting ignorance. It is otherwise with the Lichens, and I have studied these long enough to be able to say something about them. You will require a compound microscope to determine the characters of the spores. And with this and some convenient manual, the study may be a very pleasant and profitable one - to be pursued all through the year - and especially in moist weather in winter and spring when a botanist has no other out-door resource.
I shall take pleasure in determining sets of specimens (which can be sent by mail) so far as too great an exertion is not required of my eyes over the microscope - essential in the crustaceous group. And I think in this way, if you take it up as a scientific recreation, to be pursued slowly, I can always undertake to authenticate what is collected, so long as you desire it. If, however, a great collection were to be made at once I am not so sure that I could be able to grapple with it - so far as the microscope wd be required.
My publications are all in the form of memoirs in transactions - except one or two printed separately. I do not know that I ever had a publication properly speaking; & surely there is no public here for a lichenologist.
I am happy to be able to ask you to accept the very last copy (duplicate) of the Synopsis of North Amer. Lichens. published by me in 1848 - & also a smaller copy of a few years before. Since, I have been lost in the tropics & their wealth of curious types - but hope now soon to be able to publish a new work (approaching completion) on the Genera of North Amer. Lichens. How soon a "Species Lichenum" can follow this is to me obscure. I have my hands full. It is however a satisfaction to be able to say that the main outlines of my view of the System remain today, as they were presented in the Synopsis 10 years ago.
The Lichenes Amer. Exsiccati, of which three volumes have appeared, is the only work I have sold. But this is now in part exhausted, & I must wait for time to renew it before I can send out any copies. The first volume is gone entirely. You will gain however precisely the same benefit, from named series of specimens, which I shall be glad to do my part in.
The best Introduction is a small volume
by Dr. Lauder Lindsay, published during the last ten years, & for sale by
It has given me pleasure to communicate these hints, which I hope may prove of service.
Very respy & truly yours
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd. Dec. 5 wrote to Coleman T. Robinson the 6th, ansd 11th.
William Lauder Lindsay was nineteenth
century physician in
1845, Tuckerman published “An Enumeration of North American Lichens,”
described as a “little work” by
the “Observationes Lichenologicae” submitted to the Proceedings of the
As to Tuckerman’s exsiccat, Gray wrote that Tuckerman “much helped the study of his favorite plants by the preparation and issue of his “Lichenes Americae Septentrionalis Exsiccati,” in six fasciculi, or three volumes, highly valued by those who fortunately possess them” (Gray 1886).
November, 1866, just before he wrote his Nov. 30 entry in his journal,
Clinton had travelled to New York City to visit Dr. John Torrey and to
purchase, apparently species paper (paper for genera would be ordered from
Asa Gray by the advice of Torrey) for the new herbarium he was building for
the B.S.N.S. He visited a variety of people, all noted in his journal entry
for the month and year. Coleman T. Robinson, who was then living in
Coleman T. Robinson was fundamental in
the establishment of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences in 1862 in
It was Mr. Robinson who would purchase lichenological and other books for the new society of natural history, although in this instance Tuckerman himself freely sent along his own copies of his own works.
William Lauder Lindsey, M.D. 1856. A Popular History of British Lichens
comprising an account of their structure,reproduction, uses, distribution,
Erik Acharius. 1810. Lichenographia Universalis in qua lichenes Lichenes
omnes detectos adiectis observationibus et figuris horum vegetabilium naturam
et organorum carpomorphorum structuram illustrantibus, ad genera, species,
varietates differentiis et observationibus sollicite definitas.
1814. Synopsis Methodica
Lichenum, sistens omnes hujus ordinis naturalis detectas plantas, quas,
secundum genera, species et varietates disposuit, characteribus et
differentiis emendatis definivit, nec non synonymis et observationibus
"The father of Lichenology," Acharius did for lichens what Fries did for gilled fungi and Lamarck did for invertebrates: provided a coherent and productive classification system for a large group of organisms utterly mishandled by Linnaeus. He spent the energies of his entire life studying lichens, doing the first microscopic work on them, and providing them with meaningful genera (Linnaeus just stuck them all in the genus "Lichen", which is how we get the English word).” (website, 2012).
3. Elias Magnus Fries. 1831.
Lichenographia Europaea reformata: praemittuntur lichenologiae fundamenta;
compendium in theoreticum et practicum lichenum studium.
Note that collections of lichens had
already been made as well as the decision to study them.
1866, Tuckerman’s books would include “An Enumeration of North American
By 1858 and 1859, Tuckerman was identifying specimens from California (Col. Fremont, Dr. Parry), , the Bering’s Straits, the coast of Japan, Texas and Cuba (C. Wright), Alabama (Hon. T. M. Peters, Mr. Beaumont), Mississipi (Dr. Veitch), South Carolina (H. W. Ravenel), Florida (Dr. Blodgett), Louisiana (Dr. Hale), as well as Vermont (Mr. Frost), even in Pen Yan, New York (Dr. Sartwell) (Tuckerman 1858-1859).
Tuckerman’s work on the North American genera of lichens would not be published until 1872 (see below).
took no time at all for
Vol. 3 No. 206 [M 16]
15 Dec. 1866
It gave me pleasure to set down such hints as may enable one to collect Lichens. They are either fruticulosus,
The first two occur both on trees and rocks, and also on the earth. They require all of them moderate pressure when moist enough to yield. This can be brought about by sprinkling the newspaper in which they are wrapped & putting it into a tin collecting box. Then, if just limber, but not in the least wet - if taken but a short time, & only the most moderate pressure to give the requisite flatness for the herbarium - wch is done in this way without any injury to the specimen. If wet however they will not be worth much when dry - as the pressure will injure them.
Other lichens are crustaceous, growing also on trees, rocks and the earth. We get the species for the former, by taking thin slices of bark containing them, also to be laid between boards, or in books that they may not curl before drying. The rock-species require a hammer.
Specimens already dried can be restored to life by wetting them. Your Rock-tripe of the Catskills is probably either Umbilicaria Pennsylvanica or U. pustulata, both described in my Synopsis.
When prepared, they can be affixed to small or large squares of white paper [not?]ing place, kind of tree or rock or soil &c. - numbered & put away. By sending specimens with the same no. to a Lichenist, he can determine - keeping the specimens sent. I shall be very happy to be of service in this way.
As to Florida, if the collector goes to the extreme South, or to the Keys, everything lichenose will be worthy of note, the vegetation there touching that of Cuba - and if he will merely do up such species in scraps of paper & keep them in a bag or box, without pressing, they can all be made right, and turned to account, when he returns.
The North West of Florida is rather better known, but he will do well to collect, if he finds it convenient. @@@
It was grateful to me to know that you feel as I still do in regard to the materialistic dogmatic philosophers. Life would seem to me worth very little for ... ... of ..., if it were a true one. But I am sure it is not.
Respectfully & truly yours
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd. Dec. 19
receiving Tuckerman’s letter,
the first day of the new year (1867)
“ January 1. 9 1/2 A.M. I have just read
&c. my letters. Mr. Joseph S. (Stocking) Lewis, of
“January 2. Working at the Carices, find among mine, collected at
 “Jan. 5. This Saturday, finished editing the Carices, & commenced working on the grasses. Mr. Lewis has poisoned all the specimens.”
 “Jan. 7 Received a package from Gray, containing, among other things, some Australian plants from Fred Mueller, & a few Lapland ones from Christian Andersson.”
 “Jan. 9. 9*25' A.M. Still on the grasses.
Lewis has been away since Saturday evening, & writes that he will not be
able to be here until next week. I must go to
“Jan. 15. About 1 P.M. got back from
in the season
Feb. 9. “Now finished all the Monocotyledonous orders, as arranged in Gray's Manual, except Juncaceae, also Urticaceae, Betulaceae, Coniferae. Yesterday, Dr. Gay undertook to visit The Buffalo Female Academy, &c., and ascertain whether certain ladies would aid in putting the specimens on paper.”
On Feb. 23 “Yesterday, at about 2 1/2 P.M., Lily Chester, Lou Dole, & Miss Lindsay came in, went into the work room up stairs & went bravely to work fastening plants on their papers. They did quite a number, & promise to come again.”
the rest of 1867,
In 1868: “March 20. 8*15' A.M. The Herbarium has been finished some days, except a few undetermined species, and excepting the Lichens, Algae, Fungi, Mosses & Hepaticae, all the specimens I have selected for the Herbarium are poisoned, fastened on paper, arranged, incased, & roughly catalogued. I have just summed up the Catalogue, and find that the incased Herbarium contains representatives of 156 Natural Orders, of 1388 Genera, and of 4,759 species, displayed on 7, 443 sheets. quite a number, & promise to come again.”
On May 10:
“Some time ago, for want of anything else to do, I commenced on the Algae, & have set them up, & also the Mosses & Lichens.
The Algae represent 49 Genera 88 species on 99 sheets.
The Mosses represent 127 Genera 678 species on 733 sheets.
The Hepaticae represent 35 Genera 49 species on 52 sheets.
The Lichens not yet put in Genera paper & do not enter into the enumeration.
Since the computation of March 20, I have detected 4 duplications of species, and have added, besides Algae, Musci, Hepaticae, 16 species & 103 sheets. So that the whole enumeration now stands
159 Natural Orders 1599 Genera 5,586 species 8,430 sheets.
On June 1: Added to the Herbarium 12 sheets, 4 species.
The Lichens in the Herbarium occupy 115 sheets and represent 104 species of 26 genera.
The whole ennumeration now stands, with the additons made May 19.
162 Natural Orders 1,631 Genera 5,724 species 8, 595 sheets.
June 2 Added 0 1 Genus 2 Species 6 Sheets
June 3 2 2
June 4 1 43 78 84
June 6 3 43 45
June 6 5 8 8
June 17 1 6 17 21
June 17 5
June 18 2 2
 [1,689] [5,876] [8,768]
June 20 1 8 16
June 29 4 6
July 18 5 40 102
  [5,928] [8,892]”
is some time in June that
Vol.5 no. 145 [B 83]
28 June 1868
I have kept your kind letter of the 6th, by me, in hope that I might be able to do something in supplying your desiderata in autographs. But it seems hardly possible, from the very beginning of my scientific correspondence I have carefully preserved it, putting everything (of importance) into volumes, of which six are bound & two await binding. The latter I have gone through, without finding anything, either of Boott, or other, that I could bring myself to spare. Indeed I confess I feel reluctant to give up to a Society's inspection what was meant only to be private: though aware of course that this is no real objection.
As to the autographs themselves I have never tried to collect them, any more than pictures (photographs) - preserving only what chance to come to me, but never seeking to add to them. Study is too engrossing, & life too short. If we do our best - & who does - how very little it comes to!
I shall willingly go through the collection of lichens, but with your leave ... prefer to receive it at some later period; my hands being now full. Will it not serve you as well if you do not send it to me till next year? I am getting out a work which has occupied me some years, and try to escape from everythng that will take me off from it - & nowadays, a great part of any coll'n, however small, may require microscopical anlaysis, & in this way cost time.
Carex torreyi is indeed a species,
which exists, & cannot well be put under any other. My description was
based on 1, a specimen from Torrey (marked C. pallescens in Herb.
Hook. 2, a clump of good specimens from Arctic America, Richardson in Herb.
Hook. (refd to C. pallescens by Boott, when he went over Hooker's
duplicates) - & I afterw'd found the plant in Herb. Kunze at
Should anything turn up or an autographic char. of interest, I will lay it by: & am truly sorry not to feel able to send you anything herewith.
With respect truly yours
G. W. Clinton Esq.
Recd June 30.
torreyi Tuckerm. is today still an accepted species (synonym C. abbreviata
“Boott” is Dr. Francis Boott (1792-1863).
Note reference to Carex pallescens
Tuckerman’s publications at this time
(1868) have to do with the United States Geological Exploration of the
Fourtieth Parallel (1871; two page list) and in 1872, the lichens in the
Preliminary Report of the US Geological Survey of Montana (a list of eight
species, mostly from
It is now that explicit reference is made to the interest Miss Mary Wilson has had in the lichens.
Vol. 6 no. 157 [L 56]
[On blue paper]
29 Feb. 1870
I cannot but thank you for your pleasant letter of the 17th, & shall be happy to assist the lady to whom you refer - Miss Wilson - to the extent of my power. If she will lay aside specimens about which she is doubtful, & when enough is brought together send it to me by mail, I will examine the same at the earliest moment possible, & return her my determinations. It will be necessary to mark the specimens sent similarly to those which she retains, as I can hardly undertake (unless exceptionally) to return the specimens. It sometimes happens that I cannot examine such collections for some months after receipt. - but this will perhaps make no difference.
As to the handbook of Lichens, I
cannot take it up till I get my preliminary work on the Genera done. The
latter will hardly be of interest except to experts, but the former I shall
try to make useful to students - & my field is, as you would have it,
North America, excluding
I feel the same regrets that you express
that Dr. Gray's region is so sharply limited - & though my studies do not
take me often into phaenogamous Botany, it is distressing at times not to
know where to turn for the description of a plant, even with Chapman at hand,
to supplement Gray. This was the case lately with a tree of
Mr. Frost is remarkably acquainted with our Cryptogams generally,
I am, Dear Sir
with great respect
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd Feb. 20
Henry William Ravenel, 1814-1887, a botanist who suffered much after the American Civil War in Aiken, South Carolina.. He published the Fungi Caroliniani Exsiccati in five fascicles with 100 specimens in each one between 1852 and 1860. See Pfister, D. H. 1985. Mycotaxon 23:1-139.
Wentworth Chapman (1809-1899), a physician in
Christopher Frost 1815-1880 collected fungi and lichens in New England, in
is on March first, 1870, that another hand appears in
Oct. 12, the state of the herbarium was noted by
“Natural Orders. Genera Species, Sheets.
1 15 19 [different handwriting]
 Oct. 17. State of the Herbarium, including the additions of
Oct. 12, by Miss Wilson.
Natural Orders 160. Genera 1977. Species 7,257. Sheets, 11,200
Nov. 14. Added - " 9 " 9.
" 15-17. 18. " - " 9 " 50 " 151.
" 26. - Dec. 1. " - 8 " 29 " 40
" Dec. 3 -12. " - 4 " 48 " 54
" 10. " - 5 " 21 " 28
" " 14-17. " 2 52 " 113 " 142
" " 18-31. " 1 1 " 2 " 2
1871. Jan. 1-5. " - 14 - 42 - 111
" " 7. " - 8 - 58 - 60
" " 10. " 1 41 - 132 - 192
" " 14. " - 2 - 19 - 21
Buffalo Society began to collect photographs of notable botanists in a large,
leather-bound volume and both Clinton and the Society’s secretary sent notes
around to correspondents for this purpose. The book with photographs still
resides in the Archives of the Research Library at the Buffalo Museum of
Science. The book was evidently prepared by Clinton himself, for its
catalogue and numbering system were written on the first pages in
Vol.7 no. 153 [E 78]
7 Feb. 1871
I take pleasure in sending you the pictures - but cannot forbear, at the same time, the customary demand of a ... portrait of yourself.
My collection is as yet a small one, which has grown up by the voluntary gifts of scientific friends; but should I go abroad again, I think it likely that I shall make it an object to collect - & in that case, to complete also the American series, as yet very imperfect.
The Genera is in the printer's hands, and but for delay owing to deficiency of the kind of paper required, would now be well advanced toward publication. Thank you for your suggestion, especially as it puts one who never got beyond the baccalaureate in Legibus in the honourable seat of a judge. But let me say that the questions upon which the court has to pass are perplexing to a degree, and embarrassed [?] by no end of conflicting judgments. Add to this that there is a higher court with full jurisdiction, and a judge as bitter, and impatient of opposition as he is unquestionably equipped - if not always with wide views of great principles - at least with authorities and facts, - and I am sure you will allow that I should be careful in my decisions, and in the statement of them. They are certain to be received unfavourably in the quarter named; & to be overruled, if that is possible.
On reflection however I do not think I have erred in the case - if I have not gone too far the other way.
The book is rather a report to
Lichenographers of the results of my studies than a book for study. But Mr.
Willey has done some good work for students. You have seen his paper in The
Naturalist for January? And this reminds me to say how greatly I should prize
a card - picture of the excellent lichenist of
With great respect
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd Feb. 10 & ans inclosing photograph
“portrait” that Tuckerman sent
Again, Tuckerman gives a description of his herbarium and it is probable that he is mainly referring to his lichen collections. As yet without any particular insult to his overall health, Tuckerman was contemplating a trip abroad.
somewhat waggish tone to this letter probably matches the tone of the letter
Tuckerman’s reference to a “higher court” may be religious, but it seems more likely that it is to the scientists, great and the not so established, of his own day before whom he stands in judgment as a taxonomist. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was a corporate member of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington and “an honorary member of several of the learned societies and Academies of Europe” (Gray 1886).
Tuckerman’s judges were numerous and formidable. Farlow (1887) refered to “older experts [who] were too busy attempting to split up genera and species to an unendurable degree of artificiality, while the younger men, attracted by the writings of Schwendener, Bornet, and Stahl, were too much interested in developmental and physiological questions to care much for systematic works. The Genera Lichenum is a protest against the artificial classificiations based almost wholly on the spore characters without regard to other equally important characters, a method first advocated by the Italian lichenologists, with DeNotaris at their head, and adopted by the Germans and other continental botanists. Tuckerman advocated the systems of Fries modified by his knowledge of exotic forms.”
though, Tuckerman may be referring to conflicts with the European
lichenologist William Nylander, “the Finnish self-exile living in
Tuckerman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1868, was a corporate member of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington and “an honorary member of several of the learned societies and Academies of Europe” (Gray 1886).
The Genera Lichenum, considered to be Tuckerman’s greatest work, was “a hard book to read. It was addressed to experts, not to beginners” (Farlow 1887).
Willey (1824-1907), of
The “January” publication by Willey in Tuckerman’s letter pertains to these two papers, both popular accounts, one on the use of microscopic characters and the other on the diagnostic value of spores in lichen identification.
Willey, H. 1871“Lichens under the microscope.” American Naturalist 4:665-675 f. 139-153. Willey, H. 1871, “The spores of lichens.” American Naturalist 4:720-724.
earlier, on the 18th of January, 1871, George Clinton had made his first
contact with Willey, who replied to him on January 20 and Tuckerman seems to
have known of this contact. In
“American lichenography.” Proceedings of the Essex Institute 5:191-196. In Willey’s memoir by Bruce Fink (1914), Fink commented that this publication “Gives a fairly good list of publications on American lichens up to 1867.”
had been born in
1872, Tuckerman would finally publish the “Genera Lichenum: An Arrangement of
the North American Lichens.
portrait of a woman in the
Vol.7 no. 170 [E 58]
25 Feb., 1871
I am very happy to respond to your
inquiry. C. [Carex] glaucodea is a plant that I had not merely the
trouble of describing (appt. to "Botanical Contributions" by A.
Gray, 1868) but the great pleasure of discovering - & I enclose a poor
specimen from my original station. After publication, the plant proved to
exist in several herbaria, and I have it from N. J.,
Respectfully & truly yours
Hon. G. W. Clinton
Recd Feb. 28
Carex glaucodea Tuckerman, described pp.
395-396 in Asa Gray “Botanical Contributions,” pp. 345-402 issued July, 1868.
Proceedings of the
that the “poor specimen from my original station” sent to
1872 and 1873, quite a number of lichens were recorded in
in 1872, Tuckerman wrote the following letter to
Vol.8 no. 79 [H 142]
Your kind remembrance is most cheering. I was prostrated by sun stroke in September and though the case was not unfavourable, I am still denied the privilege of study and all continuous reading or writing. This will explain to you, why this reply reached you by another hand.
But I am very thankful, that withdrawal from work, and careful living have brought me into better general health, than I have enjoyed for a long time. Still, recovery in these cases is extremely slow, and months must yet pass before I can resume my work, indeed I look forward to a foreign tour before again taking up study.
The book I was carrying through the press (Genera of N. A. Lichens) is not delayed, and is approaching its completion. I shall hope to have the pleasure of sending you a copy before very long. The other work, which I was engaged in writing (Synopsis of N. A. Lichens) must necessarily be postponed.
Please to present my kind wishes for the New Year to Miss Wilson and accept the same
from your mo. respect'y & truly
Hon. Judge Clinton
Recd Jan. 7
Farlow (1887) indicated that as the years passed on, “[Tuckerman] was forced to become more and more secluded in consequence of a deafness which gradually increased, and at last reached a stage at which conversation became difficult.” Tuckerman’s succinct and involuted style of writing “... was yet all his own, and which ws the more pronounced in advancing years, when, owing to increasing deafness and delicate health, he led a more secluded life.” (Gray 1886) “A number of years before his death he suffered from a sunstroke [in September 1871, according to this letter], from which he probably never quite recovered, and this made it difficult for him to work continuously as had been his habit” (Farlow 1887). Some 15 years elapsed between the sunstroke and Tuckerman’s eventual death and during those last 15 years, Tuckerman managed to write both volumes of his Synopsis of the North American Lichens.
1872, Tuckerman intended to continue to “withdraw from work” and “live
carefully” for several more months before resumption of work - indeed, he
indicates in his letter above that it was written in another hand than his
own - perhaps by dictation. He also intended to take a foreign tour. His
necrologies do not mention such a tour (Farlow 1887, nor Culberson 1964), but
Fink (1906) wrote “Thus [Tuckerman’s] meeting with Fries was not merely an
incident of his first European trip, and his visits and excursions with this
greatest lichenist of his time must have been a great inspiration ...”. If Tuckerman had a first European trip, Fink seems to
indicate there was a second one. Gray (1886) hinted at a second trip in his
memorial to Tuckerman, where “In the year 1841 he [Tuckerman] went to
In a study of 58 patients suffering from heatstroke in 1995 conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center “nearly half of the patients admitted to Chicago-area [Intensive Care Units] for hear stroke died within a year - 21 percent before discharge and another 28 percent after release from the hospital. Many of the survivors suffered permanent loss of independent function; one-third had severe functional impairment at discharge, and none of them had improved after one year” (Wikipedia, “Heat-illness” viewed March 5, 2013).
there appear to be no published references to a second European trip by
Tuckerman, his friend Henry Willey refers to one in a letter to
“I was afraid he [Tuckerman] would not like the publication of the
List, though not aware of any good reason why he should not, and took the
pains to send a copy to him in
did not like it I would withhold it. However he spoke very kindly of it,
though he said there were things [in?] he should have wished otherwise.”
“I do not know when Tuckerman is coming home. He spoke of being away one
or two years. I wish he could come back and do up his manual. He seems to
be a very slow worker, and is I think rather afraid of the thunder of his
own reputation, or rather of the judgement passed on him by European
Tuckerman would return to
indication of what Tuckerman was doing in
is the final letter of Tuckerman’s preserved by
“Tuckerman returned [to the
Even, it seems, on the interrupted Synopsis.
any rate, Tuckerman was able to send no note to
The first of these was written from George Clinton to Edward Tuckerman in 1874, two years after Tuckerman’s last reply, and after Tuckerman became ill. The following are reproduced with permission from the Edward Tuckerman Botanical Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.
My dear Sir:
In reference to the scrappy specimens from Springville which I sent to Mr. Willey for determination & which he returned, with your remarks, not to me but to Miss Wilson, & which seem to be of some interest to you, they are, of course, yours. But, with your permission, I will retain them, for the present, to aid me in procuring more. Springville is 8 - 12 miles from any railroad, and therefore not easily reached. But I will revisit & explore it more thoroughly, so soon as I can. Miss Wilson, to whom you have been so kind, and who so well deserves & so highly appreciates your kindness, is, I am grieved to say, in ill health. For several months past she has been, and for a large part of this season expects to be absent under treatment. [word crossed out]. [crossed out: "She has"]
Her condition forbids study. [crossed out: "From"] She has always had & has the exclusive charge of our Lichenes.
I have tried to aid her by bringing [word crossed out] lichens to her - even as the barbarous inhabitants of a country and its botanical explorer by collecting & bringing to him its plants [??] Our collection is at Miss W's house, and I have access only to a few duplicates. I am no microscopist and have nothing that deserves to be called a knowledge of the lichens. The publication of our Botanical Catalogues will probably be commenced next Autumn; and I especially desire that the Catalogue of our Lichens should approach completeness.
I desire to do all that such an ignoramus as I can do, to assist Miss Wilson in adding to her Catalogue, which now embraces about 150 species. To aid her easily & effectually, it is necessary that I should have an eye-knowledge of our lichens. There is no one on this continent to whom I can apply for assistance in acquiring this knowledge but yourself. It will prevent me from overwhelming Miss Wilson, on her return, with loads of rubbish, and enable me to collect intelligently, and perhaps to augment, somewhat largely, our list. You can hardly imagine what a pleasure it would be to us to add something, however trifling, to your [ower] to elucidate & give to Science a knowledge of our lichens. If so good a thing should befall us, please to remember that I have nought to do with it, and that Miss Wilson, whose mere servant in such matters I am, must receive the sole credit. How very glad I should be to pick up a new lichen, were you to name it for her - Mariae Wilsoni. [this latin is incorrect]
But, my dear Sir! I know how much Science justly expects from you, and I would not, for the world, be so selfish, if I could, as to divert time due to the important matters you have in hand. I propose, you consenting, to send you specimens to be looked at named. The specimens may be quite numerous at first, but will very rapidly decrease in number.
I do not ask nor expect you to examine, microscopically, anything I may send, unless you deem it worthy of examination.
Such answers as these would serve all my purposes.
No. 1. Biatora rubella, a form. No.2. Lecanora subfusca - ...
3. An immature Lecidea. 4. Worthless. 5. No lichen.
In general, when I find anything which seems desirable, I collect largely; and, when there is little of it, I take all. But it must often chance that I can, at the time, get only a single specimen. In that case, I mark it "no duplicate", to the end that, if it be really good, I may be so informed & search for more. In every case, whatever I shall send you is yours, if you desire it, and to gratify a wish of you for "more" would be a pleasure indeed.
This, my dear Sir! is my situation. A decent self respect forbids my having anything to do with Mr. Willey. You are the best and my only resource. But I feel very loathe under any circumstances, to make a demand upon your time. Whether my request ought to be acceded to, you are the only judge and I shall be very far from taking offense at your decision, if adverse, because I know that you are a most liberal and kindly gentleman.
Very truly & respectfully,
Your friend & servant,
G. W. Clinton
Prof. E. Tuckerman
P. S. I
may visit the North Shore of Lake Superior,
There is no reply preserved or to hand.
in 1860 was a postal village in
seems also evident that Clinton and Willey had a falling out. Note that
is no record that I could find to explain
Willey presumed to intrude between an apparent arrangement between Clinton
and Wilson that she was to collect and inquire, and he, Clinton, was to
communicate with the experts is not tenable since in other letters from
other issue seems to have been that those were
the first months of 1874, Mary Wilson was so ill that she could no longer
early as January, 1874, Henry Willey knew of Miss Wilson’s illness, for he
“ I was sorry to learn by a recent letter
from Miss Wilson at [
that her health has given out and she is compelled to give up work. I hope
her illness is not likely to prove permanent. I have been much indebted to
her especially for rare specimens, which she is very fortunate in procuring
in abundance from almost all parts of the world. I almost envy her the
possession of Russell's collection.”
he discovered her illness from a letter from Miss Wilson herself. The source
of her ‘rare specimens ... [procured] in abundance from almost all parts of
the world.” One wonders a little whether some of these excellent specimens
came from Tuckerman during the year or so he was in
Willey attested to Miss Wilson’s expertise with lichens, in a letter written on January 28, 1874, Willey wrote:
Besides Tuckerman she is the only contributor to my herbarium, and she has an
excellent knowledge of Lichens.
Willey also had the temerity to write:
“May I ask what is the nature of Miss Wilson's illness. She has never
spoken particularly of it.”
wrote that “She has always had & has the exclusive charge of our
Lichenes,” which is perhaps the first express acknowledgement to another
person in writing that Mary Wilson occupied such an important position in the
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences - a sort of unacknowledged Curator of
Lichenology, an office that never existed in the Society. In the three
histories of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences,
“I suspect that I have been under a misconception in supposing that
Miss Wilson expected to give up all work in lichens, which I have gathered
from her letters. I hope there has been no falling out to disturb the
harmony of your Society. I had got the impression that her health was so
seriously affected as perhaps to endanger her life. I have had but one
letter from her this winter.”
letter seems to contradict the impression
It is also interesting that the Society’s lichen collections were housed ‘off-campus’ at Miss Wilson’s private residence on 78 Niagara St. in Buffalo. There, she could work on the lichens, even though apparently unable to use a microscope while doing other business at the Society’s public ‘rooms,’ such as arranging the Society’s other collections. As the collections were off site at her residence, the public could not view them.
if to underline Miss Wilson’s prostration, she appears to be unable to
venture into the field to make lichen collections in and around
is curious that Clinton, President of the Society and its chief botanist has
no access to the lichen collection - as if purposefully distancing himself
from his association with her, even though that association was close, as
It is also rather startling to see that Clinton was ‘no microscopist’ since he seems to have given the impression in his letters that he had some expertise in bryophytes and fungi, even publishing new fungus names, although in the publications of Charles Peck.
Willey, H. 1874. “Statistics and distribution of North
American lichens. Bulletin of the
When the Society issued its Bulletins, they had no items of local botanical interest, although full of articles in other branches of Natural History relating to other branches of the collections of the Society.
The actual publication of “our
Botanical Catalogues” would not occur until much later, in Volume four, April
1882 - after Clinton had left Buffalo in 1881, having apparently suddenly
taken an interest in editing the collected papers of George Clinton, his
great-uncle, in which there was probably little of natural historic interest.
Miss Wilson had 150 species in her list, as of April, 1874. In the next eight years she would add ten more. When her list was published by the Society, she was not listed as the author. David F. Day, to whom authorship of the Plants of Buffalo and its Vicinity in 1882 would be attributed, wrote in his introduction:
in the history of the Society, the investigation of our Lichens was
generously undertaken by Miss Mary L. Wilson, then of our city, now of
Somewhere in these issues the actual ownership of the collections may have arisen. The lichen collections at Miss Wilson’s house, as well as her lichen library, seem to have ended up in the Herbarium of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, as did Clinton’s masses of vascular plants - a fact which inspired the Society to name the Herbarium after Clinton (the Clinton Herbarium) after he exited Buffalo. This would include the copy of Tuckerman’s Genera Lichenum sent after publication and which bears Miss Wilson’s signature.
Harris (1987) gave a detailed accounting of the Museum’s lichen collections
which include specimens accumulated by
When Clinton avowed in the present letter that “There is no one on this continent to whom I can apply for assistance in acquiring this knowledge but yourself” it is ironical that in the last paragraph of the letter he stated that Henry Willey, to whom he had been routinely sending specimens for identification would no longer be his correspondent, as
. “A decent self respect forbids my having anything to do with Mr. Willey.”
Only doubtful identifications were sent on to Tuckerman, presumably as they
would assist in his completion of the final edition of the Synopsis that he
was assiduously working on after returning to Massachusetts from over a
an exquisite gallantry to Miss Wilson, not to “overwhelm” her in her delicate
condition by burdening her with a load of indiscriminately collected
specimens with “loads of rubbish,”
And, as if to add insult to injury, Clinton asks if Tuckerman might name a lichen which Clinton had inadvertently collected that was new to science with Mary Wilson’s name as an epithet, as Clinton was Miss Wilson’s ‘servant.’
Tuckerman, knowlegeble in Latin, would correctly formulate the epithet. The
incorrect Latin epithet, “Mariae Wilsoni,” is reminiscent of another species,
apparently published by
may be this request, and
letter some two months after
I find nothing from my apology to Judge C.
but I had a letter last week from
proceeded to give his views of
“As to the Judge’s knowledge of fungi I can say nothing. He named a species after me which I would much rather he would not have done; for I don’t think it right so to have species when the person complimented has nothing to do with either the species, genus or order under consideration. But I can’t think he knows much about lichens when he sends spm after spm of so commom a thing as L. [Lecanora] subfusca. However I hope the whole matter may [disappear].”
What seems particularly interesting is his advice to Mary Wilson:
“So far as I know anything about
It seems clear from this letter that Henry Willey played an avuncular role to Mary Wilson, identifying her difficult specimens, but also somehow made aware of Mary’s increasing difficulties. In the passage just quoted, there is or seems to be the premonition that Miss Wilson was about to become estranged from Buffalo, and indeed she and Clinton would both ultimately leave town, but, as for Clinton, not until 1881 when he relinquished his position as the President of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, a position he held continuously from 1861 to 1881 (Robertson and Barcellona, 1939).
note must be made that there appears to have been some justification to the
claims made by Tuckerman and Willey that Mary Wilson was an “excellent
description of the present lichen collection of the Clinton Herbarium at the
Buffalo Museum of Science, he indicated that 95% of the total collection was
made before 1885, when George Clinton died (Harris 1987). “Of this number
about one third were collected in the
data would represent the City of
indicated that in the Clinton Herbarium collections “For eastern
years later, Mary Wilson wrote the following to Tuckerman - she was still
living in the City of
12th Jan. 1878
Dear Prof. Tuckerman:
I am indebted to you for your letter of the 8th, and its correction of the Mexican lichen, which I remember well. If your specimen is so imperfect, you should surely have all that can be sent, so I take pleasure in enclosing ours, which is very fragmentary too.
Entomology I have never attempted, but some years ago finding that the state of my health would allow of only the most limited use of the microscope, and that it was needful that I should make a change of interest, and finding also, that by undertaking the management of a collection of "shell" that I could be of some use to our Society, I turned my attention to the Mollusca.
But I recall with peculiar delight the days when the wonders of the Lichen world possessed me, and I cherish with great affection my collections, and among my books I prize nothing more than "Genera Lichenum" and the "Synopsis" was such a friend when I was trying to grope my way alone, not imagining ever that I ought to ask for help, that I prize it too, well worn & marked as it is.
I am hoping from season to season for the quality of ability needful to enable me to incorporate with our Society's Lichen herbarium the collection which Mr. Russell left me, and also Lesquereux's which is now ours.
Mrs. Russell gave me your letters to Mr. R. with the Collection; I began to look them over and found some mingling of friendly with scientific talk, and laid them aside with the feeling that I ought perhaps to inform you that they were in my hands. You were then abroad, and since with frequent & long absences of my own, I have almost forgotten about them. I will send them to you if you desire them, but otherwise I should be pleased to keep them.
We have had no very cold weather as yet, our winters are hardly so severe as yours in Massachusetts, English Ivies flourish out of doors with us [?]
My lichen list of this region reached about one hundred and sixty species, and among them I believe you found but one that was new.
Very truly yours
Mary L. Wilson
Prof. Edw. Tuckerman
[[NOTE SHE WAS AWAY AT THE SAME TIME AS TUCKERMAN??
note by Harris (1987) on the composition of the lichen collections in the
Clinton Herbarium of the Buffalo Museum of Science, that one third of the
specimens (totalling 2600 collected before 1885), that the “second largest
block of specimens came from the herbarium of C. Leo Lesquereux (1806-1889),
noted bryologist and paleobotanist. They are all from Europe antedating his
emigration to the
mentioned above, Tuckerman probably sent
Note that by her letter to Tuckerman of January 12, 1878, the Russell lichen collection, which had been given to her, and the Lesquereux collection had not been incorporated into the Society’s botanical collections.
Mary mentions “My lichen list of this region reached about one hundred and
sixty species, and among them I believe you found
but one that was new,” it is perhaps one that was new to science, not to her
list. This may perhaps be associated with
the Appendix (p. 131) of Tuckerman’s Synopsis, Part II, of 1888, written by
Henry Willey who had seen specimens in Tuckerman’s herbarium, occurred a species “L[ecidea] glaucopsara Tuckerm. herb.
ad int., perhaps does not differ, except in the at
length blackening thallus. On rocks,
first four months of 1874,
[Miss Wilson described her situation as follows in a letter to Tuckerman on 12th Jan. 1878
some three years later:
“I have never attempted, but some years ago finding that the state of my health would allow of only the most limited use of the microscope, and that it was needful that I should make a change of interest, and finding also, that by undertaking the management of a collection of "shell" that I could be of some use to our Society, I turned my attention to the Mollusca.”
Working on the Society’s shells would, of necessity, remove her from the Herbarium. One of the collateral items in this arrangement is that she would also be removed from working with Clinton himself or working directly with him.]]
Miss Wilson’s reference to Entomology perhaps is in allusion to the collections of Coleman T. Robinson, who had died in the spring of 1872. Mr. Robinson was “the original curator of conchology” (Goodyear 1994). “... he was considered by his collaborators as the originator of the BSNS, its organization being due to his initiative. His generous donations, especially in the fields of conchology and entomology, were the beginning of the present collections. He continued to hold the position of curator of conchology until his death in 1872 ...” Upon Robinson’s death, “he bequeathed [to the BSNS] the sum of $10,000, plus his scientific collections and apparatus, and his splendid scientific library containing many rare books including valuable first editions. He had a world-wide reputation as a naturalist.” (Goodyear 1994). In 1872, The New York Evening Post wrote “Such men as the Baron von Humboldt, in consideration of his [Robinson’s] attainments, were pleased to accord him their friendship, and natural science acknowledges his extended researches in her domain.”
“In the report of the Director, Augustus R. Grote, dated March 3, 1876, we find Miss Wilson still actively interested in the shell collection and endeavoring to increase the number of species represented.” “Exchanges have been effected with Mrs. Agnes Stone and Mrs. Squier through Miss Wilson’s efforts.” The report on the shell collection indicates that 6,000 shells were present, but as Robertson and Barcellona write “This claim to species is modified in the report for 1877, the number being placed at 5,000. These Miss Wilson had been arranging in the cabinet, many of the smaller shells having been placed in glass tubes and labeled in accordance with the method adopted by the Smithsonian Institution” (quotes by Robertson and Barcellona 1939). “The story as told by Mr. Grote in his report of February 13, 1878, is much the same. Miss Wilson had completed the general arrangement of the Robinson Collection in the cabinet.”
Note that in Peck’s publication of the
fungi of western
June 5: /85.
Dear Dr. Tuckerman,
I am very sorry that you have been so ill, and I hope that you are now quite well again.
I would, on no account, have you ever taxed
to determine Lichens for me. You must know how well I have [fared?] for ...
since I have been here. I had when I came 81 of
The season in which I can collect here is brief: Heat, snakes & insects must ever deter me here usually after ... When I shall leave here next October, I shall send Mr. Sprague a List of all I have collected, and should it seem interesting then, and of account, I will send you a copy also.
There has been a narrow strip of land at
the river bordered on one side by a
But much more could be said of these
plants in their haunts, and the zest with which I am led to seek for them
heightens all charms of woods & scenery. No one here seems to have found
Probably I shall be obliged to remain
much of the time in
Your truly & gratefully,
Mary L. Wilson
In Tuckerman’s previous letter to George Clinton (15 Dec. 1866) he wrote advice to the novice collector, hence, to Mary Wilson: “As to Florida, if the collector goes to the extreme South, or to the Keys, everything lichenose will be worthy of note, the vegetation there touching that of Cuba - and if he will merely do up such species in scraps of paper & keep them in a bag or box, without pressing, they can all be made right, and turned to account, when he returns.
The North West of Florida is rather better known, but he will do well to collect, if he finds it convenient.”
James Sprague (1823-1903) was a correspondent of Tuckerman’s and some of his
letters are preserved in the Tuckerman Botanical Papers, 1816-1886, Amherst
College Archives and Special Collections,
Higginson was a correspondent of Tuckerman’s and some of his letters to
Tuckerman are preserved at
Edward Tuckerman died on March 15th, 1886, less than a year after Mary Wilson wrote this last letter to him. Part II of the Synopsis was finished and submitted to the printer by Henry Willey in 1888 (note in Preface): “I give his manuscript just as left by him.”.
In the Synopsis of the North American
Lichens: Part II (1888), Tuckerman wrote under Graphis leucopepla,
Tuckerm. (p. 126) “Trees,
I p. 210 Rinodina milliaria, “
J. Porter; Clinton Collema limosum “
W. L., ed. Reprint 1964. 2 Vols. The Collected Lichenological Papers of
Edward Tuckerman. Cramer. Weinheim. Wheldon & Wesley, Ltd.
David F. 1882. The Plants of
Doodell, H. H. 1886. see
A. Hunter. 1959. Asa Gray 1810-1888.
P. M. & N. Harby. 2011. Correspondence of John Hussey (1831–1888) and
George William Clinton (1807–1885). Notes on the early herbarium of
Ewan, Joseph. 1952. Frederick Pursh, 1774-1820, and His Botanical Associates. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 96(5), Oct. 15: pp. 599-628.
Joseph A., and Nesta Ewan. 1981. Biographical dictionary of
W. G. 1887. Memoir of Edward Tuckerman. 1817-1886, “Read before the
Bruce. 1904. Two Centuries of North American Lichenology. Proceedings of the
Fink, Bruce. 1906. Edward Tuckerman - a brief summary of his work. The Bryologist Vol. IX(1) pp 1-2.
Fink, Bruce. 1914. Henry Willey, - a Memoir. Mycologia vol. VI (2) pp. 49-53.
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.
Bulletin of the
Gray, Asa. 1863. Enumeration of the species of Plants collected by Dr. C. C. Parry, and Messrs. Elihu Hall and J. P. Harbour, during the Summer and Autumn of 1862, on and near the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado Territory, lat. 39* - 41*.
Asa. 1886. Edward Tuckerman. Proceedings of the
Harris, Richard C. 1987. The lichen collection of the Clinton Herbarium, the Buffalo Museum of Science (BUF). Evansia pp. 46-48.
Peck, Charles Horton.
1883. Fungi. in Day, David F. The Plants of
Imogene C. and Edmere C. Barcellona, eds. 1939. Seventy-five Years. A History
Thomson, J. W. 1965. review of “The collected Lichenological Papers of Edward Tuckerman. Volume I by Edward Tuckerman. The Bryologist Vol. 68(1):134-135.
Edward. 1843. 8vo. Pp. 21 [privately published, Gray 1886]. Enumeratio
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Tyler, Prof. 1886. Edward Tuckerman. I. Biographical Sketch. Botanical Gazette. Vol. II(4): pp. 73-74. Note that the author of this paper was actually H. H. Doodell (Culberson 1964).
William A. 1997. King of
H. 1886. Edward Tuckerman. II. Bibliographical Sketch. Botanical Gazette Vol.
II(4):pp. 74-78. “A sketch of Tuckerman’s life, the first two pages of which
are not written by Mr. Willey” (Fink 1914). Nor were they written by
The proper citation of this electronic publication is:
"Eckel, P. M. 2012. Correspondence of Edward Tuckerman and G. W. Clinton. Res Botanica, Missouri Botanical Garden Web site. http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/hist/corrauth/TuckermanClinton/1_TuckermanClinton.htm. [and lastly cite the date you actually read the publication]."