Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
Missouri Botanical Garden, Res Botanica
July 1, 2003

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[1865]    Aug. 1. On the Plains, Gerardia quercifolia just beginning to flower, G. flava in flower 2 or 3 weeks ago. 


[1865]    Aug. 6. George rowed me to Miller's Creek, Canada, & I walked back into the country 1 1/2 ‑ 2 miles, to & explored the Cedar Swamp, nil, except Goodyera pubescens, of which I collected some specimens. Returning, in Big Bay [= Strawberry Island], found, on Chara, &c, a moss like vegetabile? in strings = Spongilla. See Dr. Schaeffer's  letter, received Aug. 23, & in the water on the shore of Strawberry, took some of the gelatinous excrescences? which grow on Chara &c, = Batrachospermum, & (8th Aug.) mailed some of each to Dr. Baird, Associate Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In cleaning our perch, found small shellfish in their stomachs. The shells not broken, but the mollusks digested out. Physa probably in one, caught off Little Bay. I found the 2 hind feet of a frog, probably they had been thrown into the water by a frog hunter. 


Found Zannichellia in Beaver Creek, it seems to be common everywhere in our waters. 


[Big Bay is on Strawberry Island. Note that George probably went fishing while his father botanized, then they fished together. Beaver Creek is on Grand Island and divides Beaver Island from Grand Island on the south extremity of Grand Island.]


[Dr. Schaeffer's letter is as follows:


No. 128 [I 85]


Washington D. C.   Aug. 20th, 1865 Dear Sir,


I received yesterday a letter from Prof. Baird of the 16th inst. from Eastport, Maine enclosing your of the 7th, and two specimens, with a request to answer directly to you.


At first I had a doubt as to what was desired, not knowing whether purely microscopic objects were referred to or not, but examinations of the specimens which were singularly free from mixture soon resolved my doubt. 


No. 1 is an animal ‑ fresh water sponge, Spongilla, the mass indistinguishable from frying but clearly and unmistakebly to be recognised by its siliceous spicules, of this shape [small drawing] on burning the dry chara to which they adhere, the resultant ash will be found entirely made up of these. Too high a heat should not be used or else the lime which is apt to be present in chara may operate as a flux & fuse them ‑ but when incinerated without admixture, the remains are even .... clearer than before, as the organic matter destroyed in the internal cavity becomes evident [another tiny drawing]. I have often found these spiculae in bog earth, but have never before seen the mass itself ‑ there is a somewhat different character of the spiculae from those I have generally seen & this may be a distinct species, but little is known of our fresh water sponges.


No. 2 is totally different, it is a Confervoid alga ‑ a plant and is undoubtedly a species of Batrachospermum. From its gelatinous coating, it is difficult to display it after drying but its character is easily made out.


The Nostocs have a similar gelatinous & botryoidal structure, but they are not branched as this is & have other differences. The Batrachospermum has stalks of large cells and dense whorls of branches [another tiny drawing].


If you are microscopically inclined, I should be happy to correspond with you and glad to get specimens, also to furnish others in exchange. Washington is somewhat remarkable in this line, and we can show some things not seen elsewhere. Except for the Diatoms, however, I know of few person[s] interested in the minute algae & would be glad to welcome a new worker in the field.


Very respectfully yours

George C. Schaeffer


Hon. G. W. Clinton

Address "Dr. George C. Schaeffer

Box 816 Washington, D. C.

Recd. Aug. 23 & wrote him Sept. 4]



[1865]    Aug. 7. After 11 A.M., walked out, over the Gun Bridge, to A. T. Patchin's & dined with him, & thence to the wood on the Limestone Ridge.  Collected there Goodyera pubescens, not yet in really good condition, 2 or 3 specimens of Helianthus strumosus, some Brachyelytrum aristatum & Lobelia cardinalis. Crossed Smoke's Creek & down to the R. R. By the side of it, took up some Plantanthera hyperborea for Day. In the clearing & on the left of the R. R., coming in towards the City, collected some Gerardia quercifolia and a Desmodium like pan'm [=paniculatum], but very softly downy, & it is probably one not collected before by me (=D. Dillenii?). In the edge of the wood, approaching the Limestone Hill  road, Hieracium pan'm [=paniculatum]  abundant, also Phryma. Found one specimen of Lophanthus scrop's [=scrophulariaefolius]. In the clearing, Day's young Populus heterophylla abundant, the leaves so different from those of grandidentata! when, O honor! in the grove by the railroad, just by the bridge over the railroad, I found a fine P. grandidentata, and, not a foot from it, a young Populus heterophylla (of Day & Gray) which I have not a doubt sprang from the root of the tree, & on the other side, in a line, some feet from it, looking just like suckers, 2 more young P. heterophylla!  Must take Day out & make him dig & verify. 


This morning, Day gave me a specimen of a "thistle" from Hodge's  hort. On examination, it proves to be Echinops sphaerocephalus, L. (pigweed in Miller.)


[1865]    Aug. 8. By 12* 20' train to Niagara Falls. Followed top of talus a longish way down below American Staircase, nothing new. On wet, wettish rocks, at & above top of talus, everywhere here & on Goat Island, below Biddle Staircase, Preissia commutata, now past fruit, abundant. Near the water, a good way below the Staircase, on a large rock, a small moss in fruit, which may be new, not before collected by me [Gymnostomum crossed out]. Fissidens grandifrons does not extend far below the Staircase, nor have I found it on Goat Island. Collected some Lobelia Kalmii, & a birch in fruit, probably Betula papyracea. Descended Biddle Staircase. Gymnostomum curvirostrum everywhere common on wet rocks. On the talus, directly below the Cave of the Winds Shanty, Hypericum kalmianum in flower &  in profusion. Took [J..t. Suff.?]  On the other side took 4 or 5 specimens of Dianthera americana. 


[1865]    Aug. 9. Suspension Bridge by 12*20' train, & to Whirlpool woods.  Collected 4 Desmodiums, including Dilenii (acuminatum is evidenty earlier than nudiflora, Gerardia quercifolia (later than flava). Hieracium paniculatum abundant. Polypodium vulgare, Asclepias verticillata, Arctostaphylos uva ursi in (red) berry, and also Liatris cylindracea & Aster ptarmicoides. With reference to the two last, about 1 fortnight more would put them in better condition. On the road to the Bridge, met Dr. Van Rensselaer, in his carriage & he took me back to the Devaux College, when E. Ford was in his weekly visitation, gave us tea, & took us to the station. In the college ground, took a pink, cultivated Phlox. 


[Rev. Dr. Van Rensselaer was of DeVeaux College at Whirlpool Point (DeVeaux Point).]


[1865]    Aug. 10. Day tells me that, yesterday, he rode into Hamburgh, by a road east of the one to White's Corners, returned by that road, & found Melissa officinalis naturalized, by the roadsides, in the hilly country. By 12*20' train to Suspension Bridge & walked to & explored Devil's Hole for mosses.  Returned, through the fields & woods, to the station at the Bridge, & home by the 5*40' train. In a little brook, took a little linear leaved Potamogeton, with cristate fruit (=pauciflorus). 


[1865]    Aug. 11. By 5 A.M. train to Rochester, back to Bergen, & in the swamp by 10*. Collected the Zygadenus, Tofieldia, the Spiranthes cernua (fragrant), Parnassia Caroliniana, &c. In the field near the swamp, found Juncus tenuis with a white tube, like a corolla, springing, apparently, from the capsule (on subsequent examination, found these tubes to be pupa cases). Dined with Mr. Sackett, supped with Mr. Gillett. Home, at 9* P.M. by the 6*53' train. In the swamp, also, Triglochin palustre, Solidago     ?, Diplopappus umbellatus, Nabalus     .


[1865]    Aug. 13. After church, took short stroll about the Grove. Took some Equisetum hiemale, from 2 small shrubs of Populus grandidentata, twigs with the ordinary leaves & their twigs with their ... [?] hair ascribed to P. heterophylla, Hieracium scabrum, Eupatorium purpureum, Rudbeckia laciniata. From Day's Sphagnum, took Salix rostrata & Salix     , and, from a pool in one of the spring ditches which run into it, Riccia fluitans?, the fronds smaller than usual I think.


[1865]    Aug. 14. Canada. Collected Glycyrrhiza, almost too far gone in seed.


[According to Clinton's Miscellaneous Index the area collected on this date was in Fort Erie. References to this species in Clinton's Botanical Index: Glycyrhiza lepidota. 1862. Sept. 13. 1863. June 17. 30. July 10. Aug. 13. Dec. 3. 1864. Ap. 11. May 2. Sept. 25. Oct. 13. [crossed out: June 18. 30. July 10.] 1865. Aug. 14.]


[1865]    Aug. 15. By 12* 20' to the Falls, collected the Juncus near Terrapin Tower, stam's [=stamens] 3, also Dianthera, & Betula papyracea, whither we have the alba v. populifolia? ('1866 answer, we have not!' [written in]). On Goat Island, a little above, or opposite the head of Luna Island, in wet sand, the water having retreated, a Potamogeton. Above the Amn. Staircase, a small Eupatorium, like ageratoides, but leaves small & short petioled.


[1865]    Aug. 16. Walked up the Conjocketies [= Scajaquada Creek], nil.


[1865]    Aug. 17. By 5 A. M. train went to Rochester, with Dr. Grosvenor. With Booth, Fish & Pickett, went to the Irondequoit Bay. On the way, took one specimen of Sonchus arvensis, & 2 of an Artemisia (=A. vulgaris). Rowed about 6 miles down the Bay. Collected some Myriophyllum verticillatum, also, largely, of a Naias, quite prickly, & appropriately, by Pickett, called the water thistle, it may be Naias minor (is N. major). Landed at 3 different points, & collected Desmodiums, Lespedeza, L. hirta, Spiranthes gracilis, Pycnanthemum incanum, a Prenanthes, &c, &c. Got home by 9 A.M. At the Bay, caught a small snapping turtle & brought him home. 


[1865]    Aug. 18. By 5 A.M. train to Rochester, with Dr. Grosvernor, there joined by Fish & Pickett. Boott, who was to have joined us, failed to connect, and we left in the accommodation train for Bergen, & walked thence to Sackett's. Mr. S. gave us some breakfast, & then we went into the Swamp. Found there Solidago Houghtonii in good condition, also Solidago Ohioensis and S. neglecta? just beginning to flower. Also a small Scleria, perhaps verticillata (!), an Aster with small white flowers, makes me think of Aster dumosus, Lycopodium clavatum in young fruit, a Juncus, Rhamnus alnifolius in ripe fruit, Cirsium muticum, Monotropa lanuginosa (2 specimens). Pickett showed us one of the Hepaticaceae looking very much like one of the Hypnums, not in fruit, (= Trichocolea tomentella, Pickett says he never found it in fruit but once).


When we emerged & got to Smith's, found that Boott had come on in a later train, & had gone in to the swamp. We all dined at Mr. Sackett's, and then Pickett & Fish started off for the station, as their train was to leave at 5 P.M. Grosvernor & I walked, with Mr. Sackett, through the fields, to "The Cave" [Cove?], which was full of Nasturtium lacustre, thence to the Bridge over Black Creek, where we bade adieu to Mr. S., thence to the Station, & returned to Buffalo by the 6*53'train.


[Presumably the Smith is the Englishman, who lived at the end of the road to Bergen Swamp, beyond the "noble barn" of Mr. Alonzo Sackett (see July 19 of this year).]


[1865]    Aug. 19. Sunday. A little before 9 A.M. went to P.O., &, it not being open, walked on, and, in the court yard of No. 52 East Seneca St., and in the street along the fence & the fences of one or two of the houses next east, found a low, pubescent Hieracium? small flowered, on examination, turns out to be Lampsana communis.


After dinner, walked, on St. L. R. R., to Limestone Hill, & took the wood on the right just after going under the Bridge. Two Desmodiums, one pubescent & the other perfectly glabrous (paniculatum?) finely in fruit. A new sucker had come out of the tree of Populus grandidentata, & it has the leaves of Day's & Gray's heterophylla. Spiranthes cernua just blossoming in the ditches by the r. r. In the wood, found Smilax hispida running up trees, & another one with a long oval leaf.


[1865]    Aug. 20. Collected some of the Lapsana. Towards evening, went, with Day, to Mr. Harrie's garden, on Main St., & took specimen of (1) Ipomopsis, stand of the Echinops sphaerocephalus, and 1 of a pink with cut & fringed petals (Diathus plumarius) and the Asclepiad Cynanchum nigrum. From Hodge's, an Acacia twig, a cutleaved beech, Clematis (erecta?), in fruit. From Dr. Hauenstein's 2 specimens of a small Nicotiana (or, Day thinks it may be a Petunia) which, when we began botanizing here, were thought by Dr. Gay & Day to be N. rustica. From Eaton's, head of Pearl on Tupper St., 1 specimen of the Papaveraceous plant, Day calls it, Bocconia frutescens.


[Nicotiana rustica L. Wild Tobacco. Note the interest in distributing Lapsana seeds in the days following: note also that Lapsana can be a noxious weed, as I have personal experience from it growing, as at the Langdon's house a century ago, in my back yard on Humboldt Parkway near Delaware Park in 2003.]


[1865]    Aug. 21. P.M. At Sandytown, collected some Euphorbia polygonifolia, Tricuspis purpurea.


In the evening, saved a few seeds of Lapsana, on Niagara St., by the fence of the first park in the left side going towards Black Rock. Had sowed some in Day's garden.


Dr. Grosvernor was with me, in my garret, all the morning, and, after dinner, till 3 P.M., and made up a bundle from my duplicates.


[1865]    Aug. 22. Put a few seeds of Lapsana in the new Court House yard, by the fence on Batavia St., & in the west side of the Bell‑tower and under the window of the Superior Court Clerk's back office.


[1865]    Aug. 23. Gray having written for flowers, fruit & mature leaves of Ulmus racemosa, went out in the plains & got leaves of the only 3 trees we have noticed, none of which has borne fruit since its discovery. On the side of the road from the quarry to Ambrose's, took 2 specimens of Solidago rigida in flower. In the  wettish field below & this side of Pine Hill, found Epilobium coloratum, E. palustre, & E. mollis. I don't believe in Solidago patula, indistinct from S. altissima. In the wood beyond Reichart's found 2 specimens of Goodyera pubescens. Could find no sign of the Aplectrum.  Planted some seeds of Lapsana by Mr. Crocker (the milkman)'s fence beyond Robert Ambrose's. 


[In the 1862 entry for Oct. 14, Clinton wrote: "'Scajaquada Creek, on the Pine Hill Plank Road. Mr.  Jacob Reichart gave me a lift to his (brick) house on the other side of the Creek, & grapes & pears. A fine place he has made it! " Note that today Clinton received his first reply from Leo Lesquereux, the bryologist living in Columbus, Ohio, collaborator with William Starling Sullivant of that town. He would reply on the 26th of August and thus would start a correspondence that would enrich the young herbarium that Clinton was assembling, and further Clinton's interest in Bryology that was just beginning.]


[1865]    Aug. 24. Before breakfast, called at 52 E. Seneca St., Mr. Langdon lives there, but absent. Mrs. L. received me courteously, & I took 20 specimens of Lapsana. It is abundant & more thrifty in the back yard. Miss L. tells me that Mr. Ketchum lived there 20 years. She knows not how the Lapsana came there: He may. Mem. Call on him. Did. Nil, except that he built the house, at an early day &c. and that Joseph W. Moulton, the annalist, now of Roslyn, Queens Co., once had a garden there, including lot No. 52. Wrote to Mr. Moulton and inclosed him a specimen of the Lapsana (answered, did not know).


[According to Clinton's Miscellaneous Index, this is William Ketchum of Buffalo.]


[1865]    Aug. 25. Walked out, P.M., to Poorhouse, to see one Putnam, E. R. Jewett walked out with me from his farm. Stopped & supped there in my return, took from his garden specimen of Iberis umbellata and of Amaranthus hypochondriacus. In a stubble, on the northerly side of the road, beyond Jewett's some distance, the Delphinium consolida very abundant.


[1865]    Aug. 26. Mr. Ketchum tells me that, while he occupied 52 Seneca St., his wife had many flower seeds from Dr. Clark. Also that [Indian?] Conkling lived there some time, & that his wife had many flowers. Probably, the Lapsana came in with some of the flower seeds.


[1865]    Aug. 27. Sunday. Walked to the Rock, diffused some seeds of Lapsana and some of the Nicotiana? Petunia!, from Dr. Hauenstein's, in Mr. Clinton's garden.


[The Rock is Black Rock. See the entry for 1864, July 14 for Clinton's garden.]


[1865]    Aug. 28. Monday. Got a swad of Lapsana seeds from Mr. Langdon's, No. 52 E. Seneca St., and threw them into the inclosure of St. Paul's Church, all around it.


[According to the Webster's III Intnl. Dictionary a swad is slang for "a group of individuals: bunch, as in 'a thick swad of plants' ‑ Westralian Farmers Co‑Op Gazette."]


[1865]    Aug. 29. Looked at a weed, by side of entrance, on Franklin St., to the cottage on S. W. corner of Franklin & Mohawk St, at request of D. F. Day, & think it, probably a Linum. On Squaw Island, south of the old path across the Island, & between the Shiplock & the trees, noticed the plant (?) which I found near Caledonia, & took for a Calamagrostis. Can it be Phalaris? Yes! 


[1865]    Aug. 30. Minnie being about to visit Kate Mayhew at Jamestown, took, with her, the 6*30' A.M. train to Westfield (fare 1.75).


At Angola, noticed from the car window, by the steps of the tavern, 1 plant of Sonchus arvensis. Reached W. & put up at Farnsworth's tavern at 9*30'. Had to wait till about 5 P.M. for stage to Mayville, might better have waited for the 1*‑2* P.M. train from Buffalo, on the arrival of which the stage starts. In the m'g [= morning], Min sat in the tavern & read. I walked to Barcelona, & to the old gas spring, in the ravine of which they are boring for oil. They told me they had got down 940' & that the indications were excellent!! still in soft slate rock, their seed bag had dropped & they were raising the tubing. After dinner, called at Austin Smith's, he absent, but Mrs. Smith quite chatty. Gen. Camp, an old resident of Westfield, who was in Texas when the Rebellion [= Civil War] broke out, has returned. Had talk with him. At about 5 P.M. took stage to Westfield. Had to wait for Boat which did not leave till between 8* & 9*  P.M. Mrs. Mayhew came up in her to meet Minnie. Reached Mayhew's at about 11*P.M. All expenses so far $8.80.


[According to Clinton's Miscellaneous Index, this is General Camp of Westfield.]


[1865]    Aug. 31. [At Jamestown:] Before breakfast, peeped into the old cemetery. The Gillenia trifoliata did not show itself, very likely, wholly passed. Polygonum orientale abundant, naturalized ! on the bank of the ditch between the railroad depot & the outlet. After breakfast, called on Dr. Hazeltine, who was very kind, drove me, in his buggy, to & all over the new cemetery, & back to the village, where he got out, & made me keep the horse & buggy for my call on Miss Kinney, which I made.


Went to the station to take the 4*50' P.M. train, it did not come along till 7*. Supped & slept at the Salamanca Hotel (!!!). Total expenses since leaving Jamestown $2.65.

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.