Rendered by P. M. Eckel
Editor, The Clinton Papers
Buffalo Museum of Science
Missouri Botanical Garden, Res Botanica
July 17, 2003

Return to Home


[1866.]    Aug. 2. Received letter from Gray.


[This letter is probably the following:]


Vol. 3 (111) [M 118]

Cambridge July 31, 1866

My Dear Clinton


Yours of 24th greeted me on my return from little voyage down coast to Isles of Shoals & P[ortland] from which I am just returned.


The Utica Sagina must be either S. procumbens, very [] in dry place, or S. Linnei. No time to see which now ‑ will see soon.


Polemonium caeruleum [L. Jacob's Ladder] is a great find ‑ to mortify Paine ‑ to whom I have just read your letter ‑ and myself. Paine's Mud‑Lake is in Warren. Nothing there at this season. I advise you to explore the Tamarack  Swamp between you and [  anville]: there & elsewhere ‑ in cold bogs, you will find a Spiranthes in flower just now ‑ a sort of large S. cernua. It is S. Romanzovii ‑ and you must make a lot of good specimens of it, and I will tell you all about it when we meet.


Collect any Spiranthes you see in flower at this season ‑ a dozen specimens for A. G. Pray see, if you can, if the Nymphaea there is tuberiferous.


I mean to be in Buffalo about Wednesday or Tuesday (16 or 15) ‑ and with Mrs. Gray. But on the way I mean to try to see this N. tuberosa at some [L. Antonio] station, along with Paine ‑ and then to your meeting.


Would you kindly secure us a lodging at Buffalo ‑ where I suppose there will be a crowd.

In great haste.

Ever Yours

A. Gray

Mrs. Gray sends best regards.



Recd Aug. 2 at Richfield Springs

[Paine's Nymphaea tuberosa, Paine, became N. reniformis, DC. (Tuber‑bearing Water‑lily) in Gray's 6th edition. Today it is back to Nymphaea tuberosa Paine ‑ rare in western New York (Zander & Pierce, 1979). In August, 1866, the American Association for the Advancement of Science met with the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences in Buffalo, New York, the first resumption of the meetings of the AAAS since the Civil War.]



[1866.]    Aug. 3 [Richfield Springs.] Took Mr. Aurelius Tunnicliff's boat, & rowed across Weaver's Lake & walked up to Tamarack Swamp, easterly of the inlet, all grassed up, nil.  The Nymphaea of the Lake, smallish & very odorous, & I presume, the N.  odorata, has tuber (?) bearing roots. 


[1866.]    Aug. 4. [Richfield Springs.] Before breakfast walked to Tamarack Swamp about 1 mile north of Col. Crain's place, & westerly of the Little Falls road. Found Chiogenes in fruit. 


P.M. George tells me he noticed Sonchus arvensis on a cross road, it is commonish hereabouts. On the southerly corner of the book store & telegraph office on Lake Street, in the street & adjacent courtyard, a large patch of Atriplex hastata, the narrow leaved variety, very likely a distinct species. 


[See Aug. 26. for the Crain place.]


[1866.]    Aug. 6. [Richfield Springs.] Explored, somewhat, the more northerly of the Little Lakes, the Nymphaea is odorata, & the rhizome is tuberiferous. Got a Sparganium similar to the one of Smuggler's Run. Riccia fluitans in the marsh at the head of the Lake. Sonchus arvensis is rather common about the village. Some Phalaris canadensis growing on the south side of the Main & just east of the corner of Lake St. 


[Smuggler's Run was a north‑west bearing creek on Squaw Island in the Niagara River close to the mainland at the foot of Ferry St. in the City of Buffalo.]


[1866.]    Aug. 10. [Richfield Springs.] By stage & rail, to Buffalo. 


[1866.]    Aug. 11. Saturday. P.M. with Day, walked a little in "Germany"

i.e.  northerly of E. Genesee St. The Orache, Atriplex hortensis, commonish in German gardens, & called Spinach. 


[1866.]    Aug. 12. The narrow leaved Atriplex, 3 or 4 plants, on the corner of 9th & [unspecified] Streets. Also, on the northerly side of Niagara St., nearly opposite Howland's, by a gate in the Street, & on the alley by the side of the house. 


P.M. Walked through the cemetery, White's Grove & Delaware St. wood (north of Scajaquada Creek) with Day. The single bush of Rosa setigera still there in (near) the easterly corner of the wood, northerly of the old house & swamp. On the southerly side of that swamp Day called my attention to quite a number of Nyssa multiflora trees which he had discovered there. 


[1866.]    Aug. 17. I believe it was. Gray & I in one and Paine & Fish in another boat, left the Dam & went down to Strawberry Island. Showed them, off Little Bay, Isoetes [Braunii] and Ranunculus reptans growing under the water & on the edge of the shore. In Big Bay, Paine's Nymphaea tuberosa, the Spongilla. All along shore the big Eleocharis palustris &, at the mouth of the Rattlesnake Channel, Scirpus Torreyi. 


[This appears to be George T. Fish of Rochester with Asa Gray and John Paine, Jr. together with George Clinton on the Niagara River. Here Clinton has no trouble acknowledging Paine's Nymphaea tuberosa. See Gray's letter transcribed in full of July 31, 1866 above under the entry for August 2. This expedition was probably close to the meetings of the AAAS held in Buffalo of this year when Asa Gray and other dignitaries were in town (see Gray letter at the top of this file.]


[1866.]    Aug. 19. Sunday. Left on 6 P.M. train.


[1866.]    Aug. 20. Monday. Reached Utica at 2 P.M. & went to bed at Bagg's Hotel.


The Sagina is on Whitesborough Street, northerly side, on the 2d corner from Genesee St. Engelmann writes it is S. procumbens. Took 6*30' train to Herkimer, & took private conveyances thence to Richfield Springs.


[Note that his son George was accompanying him. See Engelmann letter below.]     


[1866.]    Aug. 22. [Richfield Springs.] Riccia fluitans in the first Little Lake, at the head.


[1866.]    Aug. 24. [Richfield Springs.] For first time, saw Scirpus subterminalis in fruit. Found it on the west side of the Lake, opposite Lewis's, Hippuris abundant.


[1866.]    Aug. 26. [Richfield Springs.] With George, walked, on Little Falls road to Page's Corner, & the Crain place. Collected Blitum Bonus‑Henricus & its seed. Found the Centaurea cyanus (?)(!) in rubbish by the road side.


On the road, near the Springs, on the 20th found a poppy (Papaver dubium) and collected Ligusticum levisticum, a garden scape at Denniston's. 


On the road, east side, about 1/4 mile south of Paige's Corners, a largish tree of Ulmus racemosa. Bidens Beckii very common in this region.


[The Springs are Richfield Springs. See Aug. 4 for Col. Crain place. See July 18 entry above.]


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.