Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
Missouri Botanical Garden, Res Botanica
June 12, 2003

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[1865]     July 3. P.M. Through the Grove, and explored Day's Sphagnum thoroughly, on both sides. Nil new, unless a water Cryptogam be so. The Chara (of which I took some) seems to me not to be C. vulgaris. On to the Delaware Street woods, nothing but a (probably) common Carex, 2 mosses, both of which, (I think,) have collected before. Then through White's Grove to the McAdam Road, & home. 


[1865]     July 4. After delivering my "oration", to the Elk Street woods, in the hope of finding a moss or two, but disappointed. The woods partly felled, one rendered difficult to travel in by tall & tangled common weeds &c. and are no longer inviting, especially so late as this. With old places just on State Line Bridge over the Creek, collected 3 or 4 specimens of Rumex altissimus. 


[This is Clinton's annual 'Fourth of July' oration. Note the immediate impact of habitat destruction here and the replacement by 'tall & tangled common weeds.' Walk around the brown‑fields around the Buffalo River today (= 'the Creek').].


[1865]     July 5. Before breakfast, Day showed me, growing, among rubbish, in the vacent lot on the N.E. corner of Delaware & Huron Sts, Phalaris Canariensis. 


On Monday, he left at my house some branchlets & leaves of what he thinks Populus heterophylla (Gray thinks so too ‑ June 27) grows in little clumps, he thinks, from polled trees, on both sides of the Buffalo & State Line R. R., between Limestone Ridge & Smokes' Creek. 


[1865]     July 8. Before breakfast, in the Canal Slip, behind, & west of the Erie St. Depot, found Zannichellia abundant in good fruit, & took some specimens. 


[1865]     July 11. As it may be scientifically desireable that the station of Mnium hornum, Hedw. (identified by C. H. Peck of Albany) discovered by me, should be described, I make this entry. 


From Buffalo go, by the Plank Road (cross the Buffalo Creek by the Gun Bridge & bear to the right at the Charter Oak House) to the Limestone Ridge, cross the road (heading from Rom'n Catholic Orphan Asylum to the Turnpike at the Lake) & go through the field to the wood, down through the wood, to the dead creek (perhaps an old channel of Smoke's Creek) and cross on a log. The Mnium is on the side of & on the top of the bank, just below (a few feet) the crossing ‑ perhaps some above the end of the log on crossing, have observed very little of it. Have searched pretty faithfully, but diligent search by a more capable person would, probably, lead to discovery of much more. (Turned out to be M. serratum).


Cystopteris fragilis is very abundant, here & there, on the top & sides of the banks of Smoke's Creek. 


[1865]     July 11th. At Noonday, a star was seen, nearly due West, & about 45* above the horizon. It looked like a silver point. I saw it about 1*P.M.


Received package from Dr. G. W. Grosvenor.


[1865]     July 14. Rowed to Strawberry. On the head, took a Juncus, & little Selaginella apus in good fruit. This little plant just above Little Bay, which bothered me last year, is in flower, and is Ranunculus reptans, but the leaves are very few & small, & fleshy, & look to me terete. The big Eleocharis [= palustris written above] is everywhere along the Island, in Big Bay, & in the marsh above Rattlesnake Channel. Took it from Big Bay, the inside of the Island. On the head of the Island took a Platanthera, probably small hyperborea. I crossed to the Marsh on the east side of the River & thicket nearly opposite Frog Island. In it the Scirpus Torreyi is commonish, but pretty near the shore. Took it up by the root, sends out red roots, like & probably a root stock. At Squaw Island in the harbor below the dam, Myriophyllum spicatum abundant.


Day makes the larger Malva, which I had found about Buffalo and elsewhere, which has not the musky odor to be Malva alcea, L.  & I think he is right. 


[This harbor seems to be where the ferries north to Grand Island terminated.]


[1865]     July 15. Last night mailed some heads of the big Eleocharis to Gray, & wrote him that it attained, I thought, a height of 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Got up at 2 3/4 A.M. and commenced changing the paper of the plants collected yesterday, and, it occurring to me that I had exaggerated the rascal's size, I measured some of him with a 1 foot rule, with the following results, 4*, 3* 8', 3* 1', 3*. Scirpus Torreyi measured 4*, 3* 8', 3* 7'. 


Last night, about 9*, Paine called, had just come from the Bergen Swamp, told me, among other things, that he had found down in [no county indicated] County, only one Calypso & that Dr. Booth had found only 1 in the Bergen Swamp, that, in the Bergen Swamp, he had found, Scirpus pauciflorus, and a Solidago (only 1 specimen, just in bloom) which Gray thinks is S. houghtonii. Also that the Tofieldia found there ment'd =[mentioned] by Holzer) is Tofieldia glutinosa. He also says he (or they) found there Carex sterilis, & that he found a Carex which Dewey thinks new, but has not yet definitely passed upon, one with a single staminate spike, &c. What he calls sterilis is, very probably, the C. stellulata which I sent Gray from this locality. 


Took the 5 A. M. train to Rochester, there took the Accommodation & returned to Bergen & breakfasted, & got off by 9 A. M. & reached the open swamp at 10 A. M. and entered it on a different road, to the left of the lane, from what I did before, being the one Paine, Holzer & others went in by. What they call Tofieldia glutinosa, but what is Zygadenus glaucus (see below) scattered generally, but just in bud, found only 1 specimen in flower, & 1 with a single open flower among its buds. Eleocharis rostellata common enough, think that, on the 23d June, it had not sent out its long rooting culms. Collected divers things. The Carices now noticable are flava, eburnea, stellulata, sterilis, hystricina. Did not come across Paine's new Carex nor his Solidago, &, of course, don't believe in either. Found Sphagnum acutifolium  in fruit, & a nice moss or two. The Veronica in the ditches by the roadside &c., near Bergen is not (see below), as Holzer thought it, V. anagallis, but Americana. 


[Note the time Clinton was up changing papers.]


[1865]     July 16. Last night found, on my return, a small packet from Holzer, on opening it find specimen of Tofieldia glutinosa from the Bergen Swamp, and his specimen labelled Veronica anagallis seems to be the genuine thing. 


Day reports that he was in the Swamp near Colb[orne] [= Port Colborne, Ontario], but from his attempting to take a short cut, got into an unproductive part of it. It runs from Black Creek 25 m. westwardly, & is probably the same one in which I was last year, running from Black Creek. It is said, to Chippewa Creek.  He met a Missasuga [sic = Rattlesnake] on the edge, as he was going in, & killed it, but knocked it all to pieces, very natural, though unscientific. He brought home nothing of consequence, but Atriplex hastata, the narrow leaved form, from Pt. Colb[orne], and a Fegatella in fruit, like one I brought from Bergen, a Sphagnum in fruit (like the one I got yesterday) and a moss in fruit.


[Note the name of this reptile is from a locality in Ontario. Clinton later spells this snake Mississauga below (July 19).]


[1865]     July 17. In the Sphagnum corner of the wood, just this side of the Pine Hill Wood, on the plank road, collected some Drosera rotundifolia, Equisetum scirpoides, and, probably, 2 species of Sphagnum in fruit.  Collected, in the wood, 2 mosses which I found in the Bergen Swamp on the 15th, & some others. In the field by Dr. White's Grove, Triticum repens & caninum? In the field approaching the Delaware St. wood, and in the wet part of the wood, Carices. 


[1865]     July 18. Whirlpool woods. Could not find Hypnum abietinum, (very likely it came from the Devil's Hole. Found, inside the enclosure, 7 specmens of Pterospora, in seed. At the Ferry Stairs, wet rocks at top of talus, collected Fissidens grandifrons, and a before uncollected (by me) moss, very delicate. Goat Island, searched it opposite to Luna Island & some way up, for Potamogeton niagarensis in vain. Near the Terrapin Tower, collected some Hypericum kalmianum. 


[1865]     July 19. Last evening, received a letter from Sylvester Gillett, stating that a Mississauga [= Rattlesnake] had been caught. By 5 A.M. train to Rochester, behind time, & barely caught the Accommodation and had to jump on while it was in motion. On arriving at Bergen, started immediately for Mr. Gillett's, on the way collected a few shells from the ditches. Mr. G. gave me some bread & milk &c., and Mr. G. harnessed up & drove me to Alonzo Sackett's, the house (with a noble barn) on the road to the swamp, the last except the Englishman, Mr. Smith's, where the road ends. Mr. & Mrs. Sackett plain, good people, glad to see me, had the Mississauga in a barrel, threw in white ash leaves  & they did not disturb him in the least (perhaps it is the black ash which, according to the old English traveller, Ashe, and common report, is so feared & disliked by the rattlesnake). Mr. G. tipped over the barrel, & held the Snake down with a rake, & Mr. Sackett stuck a sharpened white ash stick through his head, & lifted him up, over a fruit jar, provided by Mr. Gillett, containing whiskey, & pushed him off into it. He lived in it some time, his head moving & jaws snapping. Miss Sarah E. Sackett, a nice, tall, strong girl, perhaps 16‑18 years old, was berrying on the edge of the swamp, just above the entrance of the moss road ( a road put into the swamp, & by which the nurserymen of Rochester draw out large quantities of Sphagnum to pack their trees &c., which they send off.) with 2 children, when on stepping on a log, this beautiful Mississauga  sang, she stepped back, & made the children get some sticks. It had gone into or under the log, so as to leave only a part of the tail out. She poked it out, & while the children held it down with sticks, ran a pointed stick into the skin of the cheek, so as not to injure it, & carried it home, on the stick, a full mile or mile & a half. Brave girl! Mr. Gillett went back to his house with the snake, & I went off into the swamp. Had hardly got there when it began to rain, & rained till 2 or 3 o'clock, wetting me thoroughly.


In the wooded swamp, in a partial clearing, above the Moss Road, found an Agrostis which may be perennans. At a pool, the left side of the moss road going in, in the woods, noticed a few stalks of Equisetum scirpoides no fruit, collected some. Went on into the swamp. Scirpus caespitosus is common everywhere. Took the common willow (looks like lucida) & Pyrus arbutifolia of the swamp, in fruit &c. Took 3 specimens of Zygadenus, & two or three (in bud) of Tofieldia glutinosa. The Spiranthes of the swamp is quite small, ought to have taken it, but did not. Took a plant of the Parnassia in young bud, inclined to think it may be P. palustris, the stem leaf 1/2 way up & the leaves cordate, must give it to Day to pry into the Setae [sic], [=P. caroliniana written above]. Back to Mr. Sackett's, had to take a cup of tea, Miss S. is a nice girl. She gave me the rattles of a Mississauga. Mr. S. harnessed up & took me to Gillett's, & he & his good wife made me share their (early) supper, & then Gillett harnessed up & drove me, with all my treasures, to the Bergen Station. Got home about 9 P.M.


[1865]     July 21. Left, in 8 A.M. train, to act as referee in Richmond &. White's Ex'n. [=Exposition], at Syracuse. Arrived there & dined. Stole time for a short walk, &, on the Bank of the canal, found Plantago Major with leaves on the stalk just below the spike, and a Bromus which may be B. mollis. Porters [? seems OK] turning out not to be ready to proceed with the trial, I went to the marsh, on the right of the canal, just beyond Salina, & collected Juncus bulbosus. Strolled through the fields & wood & found nothing else. Started back with Dean Richmond & Mr. [Loring? illegible] in the 6*20' train, & got off at Rochester & put up at Congress Hall. On the train, going to Syracuse, had a long talk with G. W. Barker (61 Palmer St., Buffalo) local ed'r [= editor] of the Buffalo Christian Advocate, & he told me that the Tonawanda Swamp was accessible from Medina, that it was about 4 miles therefrom, on the road to Alabama Center.


[1865]  July 22. Took 3*20' A.M. train towards Lockport & stopped at Medina.


Walked across the Canal & went into the ravine of Oak Orchard Creek, took a Betula lenta and also a Carex which is, probably, only vulpinoidea. After breakfasting, at the Railroad House, walked 5 miles towards Alabama Center, & found the swamp [= Tonawanda Swamp]. It is wooded. On bank of a creek running through it, found Veronica anagallis vera [=the real thing]. Collected an Agrostis in the swamp. Got a chance back to Medina in a buggy, walked to Oak Orchard Creek ravine again & found Rosa setigera (Peck writes, Feb. 15, 1869 micrantha, Smith), probably native. Took the 12*27' train to Lockport. Explored there. nil. Went on, in 2*30' train to Suspension Bridge, & thence home.


[1865] July 23. Sunday. My wife & daughter being at the Falls, I went down in the 9 A. M. and returned by 5 P. M. train. 


Noticed, by the Cataract House, above it & between the race & the river, Atriplex hastata. think I noticed it there last year. On Goat Island, American side, above the Bridge, Dianthus armeria abundant & nearly accessible, will be in good condition in 2‑4 weeks hence. Fissidens grandifrons is abundant on the wet rocks above, as well as below, the American Staircase, above the talus. Took some of it, & of the Hypnum which grows with it.


[Perhaps the Hypnum is Cratoneuron filicinum in synonymy? Perhaps the Dianthus armeria was destroyed then or after dewatering during the 1950's as it no longer exists at this station. The daughter would be Minnie or Kate.].


[1865] July 24. Started in 6*15' train for Akron, but, on approaching Getzville, noticed what I supposed to be and was Corydalis glauca, in a field on the left. So got out & walked back & collected it. Then walked 1 mile or so towards the Tonawanda Creek  to where there's a boring for oil. They had lost their drill in the hole & work stopped for the present. Returned to Getzville & walked to Tonawanda. With Jo. Bush crossed to & explored Tonawanda Island, nil. Then rowed me up to his place on Grand Island, supped with him, & then crossed the Island. Walked up to, Falconwood where I found Bowen & Thomas with the Undine, & they gave me passage to Black Rock Dam, & so home by the street car.


[1865]    July 25. By 5 A.M. train to Batavia, & thence by 7 A.M. train to Caledonia. Walked to the swamp on the R. R., & collected Aspidium cristatum v. major, one specimen with a forked stem. When there last, was told that, in 1812 ‑ 14, a soldier was murdered on the road to Avon, & that he was buried on the left side of the road, a little this side of Mr. Hosmer's, on the descent of the hill, and that there sprang up on his grave a plant which was strange in the country, one that no one knew, & that it still grew there, & no where else. I, of course, had no faith in all this, but thought it right to investigate the matter. So, on returning to Shaw's Tavern, I walked to the spot, about 3 miles, and found there, what I have noticed nowhere else about Caledonia, Onosmodium caroliniana. I went on to Mr. Hosmer's. Only the old lady at home, & she did not know the strange plant, but had heard of it, & promised that her son should sent it to me, if it differed from the specimen of O. Caroliniana which I left with her. (Aug. 2. received letter from Mrs. S. Hosmer, with specimen showing that the plant is O. Caroliniana). On the way Dr. H. W. Wells of Caledonia introduced himself to me. We were together at the Democratic Convention of 1861, at Albany. Walked back to Caledonia & down to Seth Green's. His boy Willie, is to be called Willie Clinton Green. On the other side of the Creek, opposite his house, found Zygadenus glaucus, also a pretty little moss. While I was gone, Mr. Green shot a wood cock, and, on my return, boiled it for me, so that, with a cup of tea, I had a dinner too good for an emperor. Took 6*20' P.M. train to Batavia, & got home by 9.P.M. Veronica anagallis on the creek, by Seth Green's.


Also an osier‑like willow, like the purpurea, but yellow, in the swamp below & above Green's, perhaps planted, but now spontaneous. On the dry edge of the creek swamp, above, near the village, noticed Oenothera pumila? The Calamagrostis? by the railroad near the swamp, may be different from that of Buffalo (= Phalaris arundinacea!!!) In that swamp, collected some Carex scabrata.


[See letter  Name: Hosmer, William S.  V1:   1:111 [I 104.]


[1865]     July 26. Took 9* A.M. train to the Falls, where my wife is staying. Descending to the Whirlpool, turned off at the top of the talus, and, following it up along some rocks, under the guidance of the Keeper of the Whirlpool grounds, reached rocked wetted by springs. The little, delicate moss, which grows near the American Staircase, in similar situations was abundant. Noticed no other except a Bryum (?) in old fruit. Descended to the river bank & picked up a little of 2 or 3 small mosses, one very small, like a Hypnum, growing on stones. Found the same in Goat island, near the cascade. Gathered, on the Island a few more specimens of Hypericum Kalmianum. 


Gerardia flava has been in flower for some time, G. quercifolia has not commenced flowering.

xLeptochloa fascicularis.  Sept. 29      

Salina xPanicum proliferum        Sept. 29

xNaias minor?              Sept. 29

xJuncus bulbosus?          Sept. 29

Blitum maritimum           Sept. 29

Cyperus Mich's ?           Sept. 29

xNaias major, Allin ...[blot] Sept. 29

 xEquisetum scirpoides   x24.

Malva alcea, L. July 14, p. 67.

xAsplenium angustatum  x25 Zygadenus glaucus. July 15‑16 p. 68, 70.

xAspidium Goldianum  

x26. Tofieldia glutinosa  July 15‑16 p. 68,70

xLinnaea borealis. 

x27. Eleocharis rostellata  July 15‑16 p. 68, 70.

xPotentilla fruticosa 

x28. Veronica anagallis July 15‑16 p. 68, 71‑72

XRhynchospora capillacea 

x Atriplex hastata

x [Naias major crossed out]

x 29. Corydalis glauca July 24, p. 72

xZannichellia palustris  x30.

Salix ?  July 25, p. 73.

x Cirsium muticum    

xOenothera pumila?  p. 73

xChenopodium glaucum  xCalamagrostis?  p.73

xPotamogeton pectinatus L. may be miss'd  

xAgrostis  ?  p. 70 in the draft list, it is in the printed one.

xParnassia palustris?  p. 70

x Spiranthes ‑    p. 70

xCyperus Mich's  Goat Island

xAspidium cristatum v. major, Eaton, in ed. [an epithet?] v. perhaps in Akron.

xBotrychium simplex, a large form, only 1 specimen, Smoke's Creek wood.


New Discoveries, 1865.

x1. Salix purpurea (Prof. Porter says the  coll'd S. in head of Grand Island is this)


x2. Fedia olitoria May 28 p. 55. 11.

Geranium carolinianum June 5, p. 59

x3. Carex lax'a v. patulifolia May 29th. p. 55 No!

x12. Carex Grayii June 20, p. 63.

x4. Myrica cerifera Caledonia May 29, p. 55.

x13. Scirpus planifolius June 20, p. 64.

x5. Pimpinella anisum May 30 p. 56.

x14. Juniperus sabina, virg. v. humilis June 23, p. 64

x6. Rubus Canadensis May 31 June 1 p. 56, 57

x15. Valeriana sylvatica June 23, p. 64.

x6. Rubus Canad's May 31. June 1. p. 56, 57 

x6 Selaginella rupestris. Lewiston June 1 [2 crossed out] p. 57.

x16. Scirpus caespitosus June 23, p. 64

x7. Carex platyphylla, Whirlpool Grove June 5 [p.57]

x17. Carex gynocrates June 23 p. 64.

x8. Lonicera parvi[flora] v. Douglasii Niagara Falls June 5 p.57

x18. Carex folliculata June 25, p. 65.

x9. Carex pubescens. Smokes' Creek, May 22 

x19. Carex siccata ? p. 64

x10. Carex pallescens June 5  

x20 Carex teretiuscula, var. prairiea Dew. p. 64

x. 21. Phalaris Can's July 5, p. 66

x.22 [Populus heterophylla July 5, p. 66 crossed out]

x.23. Ranunculus reptans July 14, p. 67.


[Cyperus Michauxianus Schultes is C. Mich's. Phalaris Can's is P. Canariensis in botanical index. Pimpinella is not in Gray, 1862.]


[1865]     July 29. By 5*A.M. train to Batavia, determined to find & penetrate the open Tonawanda Swamp. Walked up to Moniter House [x], & breakfasted. Having received directions, started first for the peat [x] bed [x, Mosses]. You go about 1 1/2 miles north by road, & then easterly, 1/2 mile through fields, to the bed.  It is dry as a ... [illegible], a man told me it is not fed by springs. I noticed the utter absence of Sphagnum, & he says it was all burnt out. The bed is perhaps 50 ‑ 100 acres, & with little or no vegetation besides a few small poplars (P. tremuloides) bushes at the lower end, grasses &c. The only flowering plants I noticed was Epilobium angustifolium & Aralia hispida.  The mosses were, a small one which looked unfamiliar, & now with dry capsules (=Funaria hygrometrica) Aulacomnium palustris and a Polytrichum.  In the wet wood on the westerly side of the bog, took 2 or 3 other mosses.  The turf seems to be of an excellent quality. Went back to the road, followed it a mile or more to where it ends in an east & west cross road, then 1/2 mile west to the straight Oak Orchard Road (from Batavia to Albion) and was there told that it was 7 miles to the open Tonawanda Swamp, & that from this desc'r [=description], I apprehend, is a natural meadow rather than a Sphagnum swamp.  Thinking it too far, took the straight road to Batavia.  Stopped at the Monitor. There met George W. Miller, of Batavia, who claimed acquaintance, & introduced S. C. Abbey of Oakfield, Genesee Co. Mr. Abbey & his father live at Careyville, says his father will be happy, at any time, to go with me into the swamp, but thereabout, it seems, from his description, to be a wooded swamp. Went to the depot, & off towards Attica, on the railroads, to the first wood on the left, a beautiful one. Then back, & along the central to the marsh 1 1/2 ‑ 2 miles east. Did some miscellaneous collection, and, after all this, had to wait more than 3 mortal hours for the 7*35' train ‑x, Railroad] to Buffalo. 


At the corner on the Oak Orchard Road, noticed, what I have often noticed before, a big dog picked off my pants, & ate the sticktights, Cynoglossum officinale. Very likely, the nut is sweet & nutritious.


[This may be a 'kettlehole' bog, a glacial remnant fed water from atmospheric precipitation only. In a drought year or several years these areas could conceivably dry up.]


[1865]     July 30. Recieved a letter from Day, inclosing a specimen of Vicia Cracca, which, it is said, has overrun a field on a farm in Hanover, Chautauqua Co. 

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.