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

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 [1866.]    November. Funds having been provided for the purchase of Herbarium paper, I went to New York City to select it, and spent about one week, & got back on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, or the Tuesday before that, i.e., on 20th or 27th. I passed a very pleasant evening at Dr. Torrey's. He showed me his Herbarium, promised, voluntarily, to make me a platinum spoon, & to give me a share of some western specimens he was examining. He is one of the kindest & most genial of men. I don't wonder that he & Gray so love each other. By his advice I called (with a note from him) on Mr.  Priestley, 46 Maiden Lane, to select the paper, & ultimately selected & bought it there. While in New York, I called a Mr. Bower, maker of stamps, 53 Fulton St., a good local explorer, and an assiduous cultivator of ferns.  Also on Dr. T. F. Allen, 964th Avenue, and on Mr. H. Leggett, at his school, 1214 Broadway. Stirred all of them up. With my George, spent a pleasant evening with Grote & Robinson, at their room, where they keep & study their moths & butterflies, Room No. 11 of 907 Broadway. Being so advised by Torrey, wrote to Gray to order me Genus paper, i.e. to add my order to one he had made or was about making. Gray did not, it seems, get my letter in time to increase his order, but, afterwards, with his usual kindness, spared us a share of his own. Coleman T. Robinson, very courteous & good, took me to look up books for the society, in the stores on Nassau St. On my recommendation he bought two, small vols., which I brought home with me, and he promises to complete one set of DeCandolle's Prodromus &c. &c. Called also on Dr. George Thurber, & had a pleasant chat with him. 


[1866.]    Nov. 30. Wrote to Prof. E. Tuckerman, Amherst College, as to the title of his works on lichens, & where they could be bought. In answer he gave us his works, & promised us his assistance. See his kind letter, No. 180. 


[With this visit to New York City the actual construction of the collections of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences begins. Clinton will spend the coming winter months in putting specimens to paper.


[Tuckerman's letter is as follows:

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑Vol.3 No. 180 [M 44]


3 Dec. 1866 Dear Sir


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 ths 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 abe 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 N. York booksellers. I do not own it or I wd give the title.  Acharius, "Lichenographia Universalis, 4to 1810, & Synopsis, 8vo 1814 are general works, & Fries, Lichenographia Europea, 1831, the most important since.


It has given me pleasure to communicate these hints, which I hope may prove of service.


Yery respy & truly yours

Edw. Tuckerman

Hon. G. W. Clinton

Recd. Dec. 5 wrote to Coleman T. Robinson the 6th, ansd 11th




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.