THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON
Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
Missouri Botanical Garden
, Res Botanica
www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/
July 16, 2003

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THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL OF G. W. CLINTON – July 1866

 [1866.] July 2. Monday. By 2*20' train, with wife, to Rochester, & thence to Charlotte, took the Bay State for Ogdensburgh. 

 

[1866.]    July 3. Arrived at Odgensburgh at about 10 A.M., received & escorted to the Seymour House by Col. Judson & Mr. Skeels.  On the N.W. corner of Main & Ford St. by the side door of the General Ticket office, opposite the Seymour House, about a dozen plants of a smallish crucifer with a leaf like southern [?] wood [?]. Next day sent one to Gray. Could find no more of it with the closest search I could make. [Written above the line: "Gray writes Sisymbrium canescens, Nutt. = probably S. Sophia."]

 

In the afternoon, went, in row boat, with young Mr. Judson, to Chimney Island, crossed to the main & explored the woods. On the Island, & along the shore, a very showy white Galium (=G. trifidum v. tinctorium) the flowers in cymose clusters. Poa serotina very common along the river, looks like a Glyceria. On r. r. track found one specimen of Thlaspi arvense. 

 

[As a Clinton, G. W. is treated rather like a celebrity. According to Clinton's Miscellaneous Index, Mr. Skeels was an Editor. Note the general proximity of inns and hotels to transportation facilities, such as the railroad ticket office.]

 

[1866.]    July 4. After breakfast, walked to the cemetery, pretty, on right bank of the Oswegatchie.  Rev. G. L. Hewitt of Ogdensburg tells me that the Rev. J. Anderson & Prof. Hamilton, of Oswego, are naturalists.  A heavy shower dispersed the procession when it was just formed by the Seymour House. Reformed when it was over (about 2 hours) and went direct to the church, orated. They left me to pay my own expenses, and gave me $75. had sent me $25 = $100 expenses.

 

[This is another example of Clinton's Fourth of July orations for which he was usually in demand. The Oswegatchie River is the main stream in Oswegatchie township in  St. Lawrence Co. where Ogdensburgh is situated on the St. Lawrence.]

 

[1866.]    July 5. At 7*45' A. M. wife & I left, by rail, for Rome, thence to Herkimer, which we reached at about 4*30' P.M., took tea, & hired a carriage ($10) which landed us safe. At the American, Richfield Springs, at about 8 1/2 P.M., found George, Lil & Minn well, Henry still in New York. 

 

[These are Clinton's children. Kate doesn't seem to be present.]

 

[1866.]    July 6. In the rear of the American, going to the stables, Sonchus arvensis, coming into flower.  (At Dennison's tavern, about 4 miles from Herkimer, where the stages water, the common lovage or smallage (Ligusticum Levisticum) was growing the the road. Caraway common all over). After breakfast, walked to the top of "Round Top" the highest hill in the region, &, in descending it toward's Allen's Lake, on the dry, wooded side hill, found Linnaea borealis. On the road side, in wood, by Allen's Lake, Lonicera hirsuta, the orange flowers quite showy. In the swamp meadow at the head of the swamp, found a low grass (Gray writes = Glyceria pallida, Sed?) which I took for examination. Took also the Nuphar of the pond, = N. advena. [Written later vertically on the left‑hand margin: "In the wood, at the head, abundant, a sterile Equisetum, with long, slender branches, far more delicate & graceful that those of E. arvense. Supposed at the time, it was E. syulvaticum, & preserved no specimens. Regret it now."] Got back to the village at 2 P.M. & found my dear wife comfortably settled at R. W. Tunncliff's on Lake St. Took a row on Schuyler Lake with George. 

 

[Ligusticum Levisticum, the genus "Named from the country Liguria, where the official Lovage of the gardens, L. Levisticum, abounds." p, 155 of Gray, 1862.]

 

[1866.]    July 7. [Richfield Springs] After breakfast, in buggy, rode to Little Lake, got the landlord to drive me to Mud, or rather Summit Lake (said to shed water to the Mohawk in high water, its outlet runs into Otsego Lake) where I took a  punt & circumnavigated the Lake & explored swamp woods at the head & on the easterly side. The Lake is very shallow. The Nymphaea is very small & fragrant & probably distinct from our big fellow, Nymphaea odorata v. minor. In the wood, west of the road, took a Carex or two, & a grass which may be, Anthoxanthum (!) also the moss of the swamp, Myrica gale common in this region. Walked back to Little Lake, explored the swamp of the lake west of the village. Platanthera dilatata abundant, Oenothera pumila. Henry arrived this afternoon.

 

[Little Lakes ("Warren p. o.)" of Warren township   in Herkimer County, is in the southern  part of the township with one church and 117 inhabitants (French 1860 p. 349].

 

[1866.]    July 8. Sunday. Walked to top of wooded hill which overlooks the mill pond, Chelidonium majus abundant in the wood. 

 

[1866.]    July 9. By 7 1/2 A.M. stage to Herkimer. On the r. road track one specimen of Vaccaria vulgaris. Reached Buffalo by 8 (7*40' P.M. 

 

[1866.]    July 10. 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. 

 

[1866.]    July 11. P.M. with Day, went out on Plains, & collected Anemone cylindrica. Frasera (will be better a week hence) and, in the northerly edge of the grove by the stone quarries, what he supposes is Geranium ch...ense [? not in Gray]  in seed (determined, by Gray, to be a form of Carolinianum).  In a rubbishy, old garden‑looking place, on the Scajaquada, south bank, a little above the old saw mill, the Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), Delphinium Ajacis & Apium petroselinum.

In the wood on the plains, where Day discovered the Geranium he found a few fronds of Asplenium ebeneum.

 

[Apium petioselinum is Parsley. The Geranium ch…ense may be Geranium chinense, also known as G. platyanthum, and currently as G. eriostemon. Other possibilities include G. chilense, G. chimborazense, G. chinchense, G. chamaense and G. chaparense, all names to be presently found on the internet.]

 

[1866.]    July 12. The Lampsana begins to blossom. The seeds I scattered, last Fall, about St. Paul's Church have taken, & the plants are vigorous. 

 

[1866.]    July 15. Sunday. Spent the day about Niagara Falls with D. F. Day. In the Whirlpool Wood, going up the bank, soon after crossing the first fence, found 3 plants of Cynoglossum virginianum, in seed. 

 

[1866.]    July 16. By 2 1/2* P.M. train to Utica, got there at 10*, supped & slept at Baggs'. 

 

[1866.]    July 17. [Utica] Before 6*30', spuked [?] about, found, on the bank of the Mohawk, opposite the depot & below the ridge, Phalaris Canariensis common. On the street, parallel with the railroad, running by Baggs' Tavern, about 1 (street) block & part of another west of the Main St., northerly side, growing freely among the cobblestones edging the pavement, what I at first supposed might be Scleranthus, but there are 4 sepals & 4 petals, &, very likely, is a Sagina (Engelman, Lit. 141, says S.  procumbens). By 6*30' train to Herkimer, & after breakfast, at about 7*30' A. M. started on foot for Richfield Springs. Walking through Mohawk, found Blitum bon‑ Henricus growing along the sidewalks. The Stage from the Springs reached Denniston's a few minutes after me. I walked on, stopped a few minutes at the Smith Columbia Hotel. By the roadside, shortly after leaving it, found Campanula rapunculoides, 3 growing freely by the roadside. Reached Mr.  Tunnicliff's at about 12 1/2. The day had been excessively hot. 

 

[This the "Denniston's" of July 6. Engelman's letter is 148 by Clinton's catalogue and is reproduced below (see entry for September 19, 1866.  W. Tunnicliff, among others, "settled at or near Richfield Springs in 1789 ...William Tunnicliff erected the first mill, at the same place." footnote number 4, p. 547   (French 1860).]

 

[1866.]    July 18. [Richfield Springs.] Before breakfast, walked to first wood going to the Lake [=Schuyler]. In it, Brachyelytrum aristatum, Viola pubescens v. eriocarpa, Clintonia borealis, in fruit, took a specimen with 3 leaves. Walking back, met Mr. Boone, & turned back with him, a carriage picked us up & took us to Lewis's.  Looking off his boat landing, noticed small fishes, very active & busy, with white‑tipped fins. A fisherman tells me they are called Silver‑fins.  Am pretty sure they are new to me, must get some for the Society. 

 

After breakfast, with Mr. Tunnicliff, in a buggy, started for Mud Lake (Sharp's Lake) in the eastern part of Warren, Herkimer Co., 5 1/2 miles. Down on the road to Little Falls (up Church St.) past Wetherby's mills, to Paiges' corners, & on one side of the late Mr. C. Crain's place, say 1/4 mile, on the road side, on the left, Blitum bonus‑Henricus abundant, & a little beyond the Onopordon acanthium, a few rods off, on the right side of the road, a natural sink in the limestone. Returned to Paige's corners & took the road to the east, & so on to Mr. McDaniel's house, by Mud Lake, often usually called Sharp's Lake, put up the horse & buggy, & went into the swamp at the head, partly cedar & partly tamarack, & on the edge of the lake, open bog, Salix candida. Found in the cedar & tamarack swamp only Pyrola secunda v. pumila, no Calypso &c., & plenty of Pyrola uliginosa, and in openings, Cypripedium spectabile, Calopogon, Calopogon. On the open bog, in abundance, Andromeda polifolia, Scheuchzeria, cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Pogonia ophioglossoides & on the edge of the Lake, Myrica gale. Platanthera dilatata everywhere. About 12 1/2, weather threatening, went to the house & soon it commenced raining & rained hourly until nearly 4 P.M. Mr. McD.  gave us a good dinner. In returning, in a dry meadow, grass field, on the left side of the road, a short way before reaching Paige's corners, found Symphytum officinale growing profusely. (The Blitum Bonus Henricus I found cultivated in the garden next north of Mr. Tunnicliff's, & I was told they called it spinach, & hence my mistake. Mr. Tunnicliff tells me the silver fin was imported from the Otsego Lake, about 40 years ago, as a bait fish and also a small, long fish, called the Otsego shiner, or pin fish, which lives in deep water, but runs up the creeks to spawn, in the spring, & is pellucid. 

 

[ Warren, a township in Herkimer Co. "The principal stream is Fish Creek, which flows S., and is bordered by steep banks 100 to 200 ft. high. Mud Lake, in the E., and Weavers and Youngs Lakes, in the S., are small bodies of water. The soil is a sandy and clay loam. There are 2 small sulphur springs in town. Jordanville (p.v.) contains 2 churches and 125 inhabitants; Pages [sic] Corners [postal village] a gristmill, sawmill, and 82 inhabitants; Little Lakes, (Warren p. o.,) in the S. part, 1 church and 117 inhabitants. Crains Corners is a hamlet." (French 1860, p. 349)."]

 

[1866.]    July 19. Before breakfast, brought a line & reel, towards fishing for silver fins, changed my plants, which I am trying to dry, in Mr.  Tunnicliff's barn. About 12* George & I were at Lewis'. Tried, from his dock for silver fins, but they would not bite (Mr. Tunnicliff told me because the water was roiley). George rowed me down the east side of the Lake to & into the outlet, as far down on the dam, which is not more than 1 ‑ 2 feet high, & has no race from it, & is intended merely, for the benefit of mills below, to increase the capacity of the Lake as a reservoir. A man fishing then caught, while we were looking on, 2 or 3 bullheads. The water below the dam was black with small fish, which Mr. Lewis & Mr. Tunnicliff told me was pin fish, or Otsego salmon [=Otsego shiner]. All the inhabitants who had come were off a berrying (red raspberry) so we could get no milk. I walked round the swamp on west side of the outlet to & across the creek which empties into the Lake at the foot of the Lake. George rowed up the outlet, collected upwards of 140 waterlilies, & took me in, & then completed the circuit of the Lake. We fished a little here & there, caught shiners (golden ‑ same as those of the Hudson River), bullheads, small perch. The waterlilies of this Lake seem to be the large kind of Nymphaea odorata, roots not tuberiferous (Error!). 

 

[1866.]    July 20. With the Boones, Tunnicliffs, Bonheydts [?], Mr. Gould

& Mr. Goodwin, rowed from Lewis's to the Island & pic‑niced there [sic]. On the Island took 2 specimens of a Salix. 

 

[This is Richfield Springs; they are on Lake Schuyler.]

 

[1866.]    July 21. Saturday. Walked to Weavers (the nearer of the 2 Little Lakes) Lake, & walked up the southerly & easterly side to the Tamarack (&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.  Took a short, one ...ed fish on the other little Lake, called Young's Lake, & collected water lilies, larger than those of [L?S?....t] Lake, roots not tuberiferous (mistake!) (The leaves of the Nymphaea collected, by George on Thursday, in the outlet of Schuyler Lake, were as big as those of the N. tuberosa of Buffalo. Paine's remarks as to our Nymphaeas, are  fishy.) In this Lake are 2 or 3 water weeds requiring examination. One seems to be a Ceratophyllum, but the leaves are pedunculate (?) & fanlike, not in fruit nor flower, on looking at it again, think it is Potamogeton pectinatus, the other are P. pusillus or pauciflorus & Naias flexilis. 

 

[Polemonium caeruleum [sic] L. is mentioned by Gray in his Manual (5th Ed. 1867(68) as being found "Head of Little Lakes, Warren, Herkimer Co., G. W. Clinton." It was considered a European species but grew "Wild far northwestward." In Fernald's 1950 edition of Gray's Manual (ed. 8), P. caeruleum is "Spread from cult. to roadsides and waste places, e. Can. and N.E. to Minn. and doubtless elsewhere. " It is presently considered to bePolemonium coeruleum Gray, not L. = P. van-bruntiae Britt. This latter is fully native, of "Wooded swamps, bottoms, sphagnous bogs andd mossy glades, Vt. and N.Y. to Md. and W. Va., often at high alts."]

 

[1866.]    July 22. [Richfield Springs.] Church &c.

 

[1866.]    July 23. Monday. [Richfield Springs.] Between 4 & 5 A.M. walked out to the 2 big springs, n w'y of the South Columbia Hotel, & piked there & in the stream issuing therefrom down to the millpond, & caught 3 trout for my wife's dinner. Got home at 10*, the day very light showery, wind not strong, but gusty. Spent the rest of the day on Schuyler's Lake, catching & dressing a mess of small fish. 

 

[1866.]    July 24. [Richfield Springs.] Wrote to Gray, inclosing the Sagina? from Utica. The Sonchus arvensis grows freely, by the side of the ditch just south of Mr. Tunnicliff's house. 

 

 

Scientific names may be looked up in the online checklist of Western New York plants. Find genus names beginning with  A - C  D - K  L - P  Q - Z.