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Title: Letters of Asa Gray; Vol. 1
Author: Gray, Asa
Language: English
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              [Illustration: Photo of Asa Gray (signed)]

                          LETTERS OF ASA GRAY

                               EDITED BY

                           JANE LORING GRAY

                            IN TWO VOLUMES

                                VOL. I.


                          BOSTON AND NEW YORK
                     HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
                    The Riverside Press, Cambridge

                           Copyright, 1893,
                         BY JANE LORING GRAY.

                        _All rights reserved._


It has been my aim, in collecting and arranging the “Letters” from Dr.
Gray’s large correspondence, to show, as far as possible in his own
words, his life and his occupation. The greater part of the immense mass
of letters he wrote was necessarily purely scientific, uninteresting
except to the person addressed; so that many of those published are
merely fragments, and very few are given completely. I have made no
attempt to estimate his scientific or critical labors, for they are
sufficiently before the world in various printed works; but something of
the personality of the man and his many interests may be learned from
these familiar letters and from even the slight notes.

Dr. Gray began an Autobiography, but went no further than to give a
brief sketch of his early life. This fragment is placed, with some notes
illustrative of the early conditions in which his youth was passed, at
the beginning of the work.

It is owing to the kind assistance of many friends that the
Autobiography and Letters are thus presented; among whom should be
especially mentioned Professors C. S. Sargent and Charles L. Jackson,
Dr. W. G. Farlow, Mr. J. H. Redfield, and Mr. Horace E. Scudder.


   _July 1, 1893_.


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

I. AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 1810-1843                                            1

II. EARLY UNDERTAKINGS. 1831-1838                                     29

III. FIRST JOURNEY IN EUROPE. 1838-1839                               85

IV. A DECADE OF WORK AT HOME. 1840-1850                              272

NOTE ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS. The frontispiece portrait of Dr. Gray is a
photogravure from a photograph taken in 1867. The portrait facing page
286 is from a daguerreotype taken about 1841. The view of the Botanic
Garden House, facing page 358, is from a drawing by Isaac Sprague.





My great-great-grandfather, John Gray, with his family, among which was
Robert Gray, supposed to be one of his sons, emigrated from Londonderry,
Ireland, to Worcester, Mass., being part of a Scotch-Irish colony.[1]
The farm they took up was on the north side of what is now Lincoln

Robert Gray, my great-grandfather, died in Worcester, January 16, 1766.
He married Sarah Wiley[2] about the year 1729. They had ten children;
the eighth was Moses Wiley Gray, my grandfather, born in Worcester,
December 31, 1745. About the year 1769, he married Sally Miller,
daughter of Samuel and Elisabeth (Hammond) Miller, of Worcester, and
removed to Templeton, Mass. About 1787 he removed to Grafton, Vermont,
where his wife died in 1793. In 1794 he removed to Oneida County, N. Y.,
and settled in the Sauquoit Valley,[3] where he died from injuries
received from the fall of a tree, May 8, 1803.

My father, Moses Gray, was the youngest of the (eight?) children of his
mother. There were three half-brothers and a half-sister by a second
wife, born in Oneida County, none of whom survived my father. He was
born in Templeton, Mass., February 26, 1786.[4] He was therefore in his
eighteenth year when his father died. He used to say that he had only
six weeks of schooling; whether before or after his father’s death I am
ignorant. But soon after that event he was apprenticed to a tanner and
currier (Mr. Gier) at Sauquoit, in whose employment he must have been
for a part of the time after he came of age, for I was born in a little
house which had been a shoe-shop on the premises of the tan-yard.

The fact of being born supposes a maternal ancestry. July 30, 1809, my
father married Roxana Howard. She was born in Longmeadow, Mass., March
15, 1789; was a daughter of Joseph Howard, who was born in Pomfret,
Conn., March 8, 1766, and of Submit (Luce) Howard, born at Somers,
Conn., April 3, 1767;[5] and he was the grandson of John Howard of
Ipswich,[6] Mass., and of Elisabeth Smith, of the same town. He was the
descendant of Thomas Howard, who, with his wife and children, came from
Aylesford (or Maidstone), Kent, in the year 1634.

My mother came with her parents to Oneida County and the Sauquoit Valley
when only a few years old.[7] Her father there joined a company which
set up an iron-forge. One of the early pieces of work of its trip-hammer
was to forge off three of my maternal grandfather’s fingers. This
appears to have qualified him to be the cleric in charge, or manager, of
the office and store of the Paris Furnace Company, which established a
small iron-smelting furnace on the Sauquoit, two and a half miles above
the village of Sauquoit, in a deep and narrow valley which had the name
of Paris Furnace Hollow, now called Clayville, the furnace long since
having disappeared, a natural consequence of the exhaustion of the
charcoal furnished by the woods of the surrounding hills. My earliest
recollections are of Paris Furnace Hollow, for not long after I was
born, as aforesaid, in Sauquoit, on the eastern or Methodist side of the
creek, on the 18th of November, 1810, my father and mother removed to
Paris Furnace with me, their first-born, and set up a small tannery
there. Of this I retain some vivid recollections, especially those
connected with the first use to which I was put, the driving round the
ring of the old horse which turned the bark-mill, and the supplying the
said mill with its grist of bark,--a lonely and monotonous
occupation.[8] I was sent to the district school near by when three
years old; and I either remember some of my performances of that or the
next year, or have been told them in such way as to leave the matter
doubtful.[9] My earliest distinct recollections of school are of
spelling-matches, in which at six or seven years I was a champion.[10]
There was a year or two of early boyhood in which I was sent to a small
“select” or private school, taught at Sauquoit, by the son of the pastor
of the parish; a year or two following, in which I was in my maternal
grandfather’s family, near by, as a sort of office-boy; and at the age
of twelve, or near it, I was sent off to the Clinton Grammar School,
nine miles away, where I was drilled after a fashion in the rudiments of
Latin and Greek for two years, excepting the three summer months, when
I was taken home to assist in the corn and hayfield. For my father,
buying up, little by little, lands which had been cleared for charcoal,
had become a farmer in a small way, an occupation to which he was most
inclined. So about these times he sold out the tannery and bought a
small farm nearer to Sauquoit, mainly of the land which my maternal
grandfather had settled on, including the house in which he had married
my mother. To it he removed, and there resided until he bought out an
adjacent small farm in addition, with an old house very pleasantly
situated, which he rebuilt and lived in until after I had attained my
majority. But soon after that he bought a small farm close to the
Sauquoit village on the western or Presbyterian side, hard by the
meeting-house the family had always attended. There my father indulged
his special fancy by rebuilding another old house, and the place, after
his death, and, much later, after that of my mother, fell to my eldest
brother, who still possesses it.[11]

I am not sure, but I think it was after two years of the Clinton Grammar
School that I was transferred to Fairfield Academy.[12] Fairfield,
Herkimer County, lies high on the hills, between the West and East
Canada creeks, seven miles north of Little Falls. I went there first in
October, 1825, the date I fix by that of the completion of the Erie
Canal. For that autumn, I think in November, I walked one afternoon,
along with some other students, down to Little Falls to see there the
arrival of the canal-boat which bore the canal-commissioners, with the
governor, De Witt Clinton at their head, on their ceremonious voyage
from Buffalo to New York city. It reached Little Falls near sunset, and
we walked to Fairfield that evening. The reason for my being sent to
Fairfield Academy was that the principal of the academy was Charles
Avery, uncle of my companion from infancy, Eli Avery, of our town, who
died two years ago, who had been educated by the help of Eli’s father,
Colonel Avery, one of the owners of Paris furnace. Charles Avery several
years later took the professorship of chemistry, etc., at Hamilton
College, lived to over ninety, I think, and through all his later years
seemed to be very proud of having been my teacher. I cannot say that I
owe much to him, even for teaching me mathematics, which was his forte.
My capital memory allowed me to “get my lessons” easily, and that
sufficed; and I had none of the sharp drilling and testing which I
needed. He lingers in my memory in another way. He was sharp at turning
a penny in various ways; among them, he for the first year and more
jobbed the board of his nephew Eli and myself, who were chums, paying
for it in cooking-stoves and the like from Paris furnace, in which
through his brother he had an interest, and boarding us round, from one
house to another (we had our room in the academy buildings) until the
stove which cooked our dinner was paid for. Sometimes our fare was good
enough; but one poor widow, who took us in her turn, fed us so much upon
boiled salt cod, not always of the sweetest, that the sight of that dish
still calls up ancient memories not altogether agreeable. I think it was
not at that time, but at a somewhat later date, and with less excuse,
that we mended our diet upon one occasion, one winter’s night, by
carrying off the principal’s best fowls from the roost, skinning them,
as the most expeditious and neatest way, and broiling them in our room
as the pièce de résistance, for they were tough, in a little supper we
got up.

I here recall a favor which Mr. Avery did me. A year or two after I had
taken my M. D., my dear old friend Professor Hadley, of Fairfield
Medical College, who had been filling the place at Hamilton College pro
tem., made me a candidate for the professorship there of chemistry, with
geology and natural science. But my old teacher, Mr. Avery, an alumnus
of the college, entered the lists and carried the day. I wonder if I
should have rusted out there if I had got the place.

I must go back to say something of my omnivorous reading, which was,
after all, the larger part of my education. I was a reader almost from
my cradle, and I read everything I could lay hands on. There was no
great choice in my early boyhood. But there was a little subscription
library at Sauquoit, the stockholders of which met four times a year,
distributed the books by auction to the highest bidder (maximum,
perhaps, ten or twelve cents) to have and to hold for three months; or
if there was no competition each took what he chose. Rather slow
circulation this; but in the three months the books were thoroughly
read. History I rather took to, but especially voyages and travels were
my delight. There were no plays, not even Shakespeare in the library,
but a sprinkling of novels. My novel-reading, up to the time when I was
sent to school at Clinton, was confined, I think, to Miss Porter’s
“Children of the Abbey” and “Thaddeus of Warsaw”--the latter a
soul-stirring production, of which I can recall a good deal; of the
former nothing distinctly. One Sunday afternoon, of the first winter I
was at Clinton, I went into the public room of one of the two village
inns, where half a dozen of the villagers were assembled; and one was
reading aloud “Quentin Durward,” which had just appeared in an American
(Philadelphia) reprint. This was my introduction to the Waverley novels.
The next summer, when at home for farm work, I found “Rob Roy” in the
little library I have mentioned, took it out and read it with interest.
In the autumn, when I went back to school, some college (Hamilton
College) students were boarding at the house where I boarded and lodged.
One of them, seeing my avidity for books, introduced me to the librarian
of the Phœnix Society of the college, which had a library strong in
novels, which I was allowed, one by one, to take home for reading. I
suppose that I read them every one.[13]

It was intended that I should go to college, and my father could have
put me through without serious inconvenience; but he was buying land
about this time, and he persuaded me to give up that idea and to go at
once at the study of medicine, which I did, in the autumn of 1826,
beginning with the session of 1826-27 in the medical college (of the
western district), then a flourishing country medical school at
Fairfield. I had already attended its courses in chemistry, given by
Professor James Hadley (father of Professor James Hadley of Yale
College, then a lad), my earliest scientific adviser and most excellent
friend. I had a passion for mineralogy in those days, as well as for
chemistry. The spring and summer of 1827 I passed in the office of one
of the village doctors of Sauquoit, Dr. Priest, and on the opening of
the autumn session returned to the medical school at Fairfield. That
year, in the course of the winter, I picked up and read the article
“Botany” in Brewster’s “Edinburgh Encyclopædia,” a poor thing, no doubt,
but it interested me much. I bought Eaton’s “Manual of Botany,”[15]
pored over its pages, and waited for spring. Before the spring opened,
the short college session being over, I became a medical student, after
the country fashion, in the office of Dr. John F. Trowbridge of
Bridgewater, Oneida County, nine miles south of my paternal home;
continued there for three years, except during the college sessions,
where I attended four annual courses before taking my degree of M. D. at
the close of the session of 1829-30.[16] The fact will appear, which I
did not reveal at the time, that I took this degree six or seven months
(I passed my examination, indeed, eight or nine months) before I had
attained the legal age of twenty-one. But I looked older, and was in
fact such an old stager in the school that no one thought of asking if I
was of age. That degree gives me my place high enough on the Harvard
University list to entitle me to a free dinner at Commencement.

I have mentioned my interest in botany as beginning in the winter and
out of all reach either of a greenhouse or of a potted plant. But in the
spring, I think that of 1828, I sallied forth one April day into the
bare woods, found an early specimen of a plant in flower, peeping
through dead leaves, brought it home, and with Eaton’s “Manual” without
much difficulty I ran it down to its name, Claytonia Virginica. (It was
really C. Caroliniana, but the two were not distinguished in that book.)
I was well pleased, and went on, collecting and examining all the
flowers I could lay hands on; and the rides over the country to visit
patients along with my preceptor, Dr. Trowbridge, gave good
opportunities. I began an herbarium of shockingly bad specimens. In
autumn, going back to Fairfield for the annual course of medical
lectures, I took specimens of those plants that puzzled me to Professor
Hadley, who had learned some botany of Dr. Ives of New Haven, and had
made a neat herbarium of the common New England and New York plants,
which I studied carefully that winter. At Professor Hadley’s suggestion
I opened a correspondence with Dr. Lewis C. Beck of Albany,[17] who was
the botanist of the region. The next summer I collected more easily and
critically. The summer after, I think, or probably the summer of 1830, I
had an opportunity to make a little run to New York, being sent by Dr.
Trowbridge to buy some medical books, driving in a one-horse wagon, with
my own horse, ninety miles to Albany, thence by steamer to New York over
night; one night there, and back next day by boat to Albany, and so
driving back to Bridgewater in company with a man of business who joined
me in this little expedition. I stopped to see Lewis C. Beck at Albany
Academy; there I first saw a grave-looking man who I was told was
Professor Henry, who had just been making a wonderful electro-magnet. I
had procured from Professor Hadley a letter of introduction to Dr.
Torrey, whose “Flora of the Northern United States,” vol. i., was our
greatest help so far as it went, and which on that journey I bought a
copy of. I took also a parcel of plants to be named. Finding my way to
Dr. Torrey’s house in Charlton Street with my parcel and letter, I had
the disappointment of finding that he was away at Williamstown,
Massachusetts, for the summer. It was not until the next winter that at
Fairfield I received a letter from Dr. Torrey, naming my plants, and
inviting the correspondence which continued thence to the end of his

In addition to Dr. Hadley’s summer course of lectures on chemistry, Dr.
Lewis C. Beck used to come and deliver a short course of lectures on
botany. He gave this up the year in which I received my M. D., so
Professor Hadley invited me to come and give the course instead. The
course was given in five or six weeks, beginning in the latter part of
May. I prepared myself during the winter, gave this my first course of
lectures, cleared forty dollars by the operation, and devoted it to the
making of a tour to the western part of the State of New York, as far as
Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Aurora,--a dozen or more miles off,--where I
visited an uncle, my mother’s brother, a well-to-do country merchant,
also a chum, Dr. Folwell, in Seneca County, high up between the two
lakes, where I passed a week or two; thence to Ithaca, and across the
country by a stage-coach back to Bridgewater. I hardly know what I did
the next autumn and winter, but in early spring a Mr. Edgerton, a pupil
of Amos Eaton, at Troy, the professor of natural sciences at the
flourishing school of Mr. Bartlett at Utica, died. I applied for the
vacancy, received the appointment, and for two or part of three years,
minus a long summer vacation, I taught chemistry, geology, mineralogy,
and botany, to boys, making with the boys very pleasant botanical
excursions through the country round. My first summer vacation, if I
rightly remember, was in cholera year, the disease being very fatal in
Utica. About the time it made its appearance in New York I started off
from Bridgewater, taking a little country stage-coach down the Unadilla
to Pennsylvania; visited Carbondale and made a collection of calamites
and fossil ferns; thence by stage-coach through the Wind Gap to Easton;
thence out to Bethlehem, where I passed a day with old Bishop
Schweinitz,[18] gave him a Carex which he said was new, but I told him
it was Carex livida, Wahl. (and I was right); back to Easton; thence up
to Sussex County, N. J., collecting minerals (Franklinite, etc.); thence
to adjacent Orange County, N. Y., collecting spinelles, etc., as well as
botanizing; thence down to New York early in September; there I met Dr.
Torrey for the first time, and we took a little expedition together down
to Tom’s River in the pine barrens, and back to New York in a

The next year, in the spring, Dr. Torrey went to Europe, sent to
purchase apparatus for the New York City University, then just
established. He engaged me to go that summer to collect plants in the
pine barrens of New Jersey, he to take the half of my collection, paying
what would be required to defray my very moderate expenses in the field.
I found afterwards that these plants went to B. D. Greene and his
brother Copley, then abroad and full of botany; and I have encountered
them, _i. e._, the specimens, in various places, especially in Herb. De
Candolle, as “Coll. Greene.” I got down, I hardly now know how, to
Tuckerton on the Jersey coast, botanized at Little Egg Harbor, Wading
River, Quaker Bridge, and Atsion. While at Quaker Bridge my loneliness
was cheered by the appearance of a fine-looking man, who came in a
chaise, looking after some particular insect. It proved to be Major Le

The next winter at Bartlett’s school. In the spring went north to
Watertown; visited Dr. Crawe, botanized on Black River, made
mineralogical excursions, and back to Utica via Sackett’s Harbor (lake
to Oswego, and canal to Utica). After the spring term of school there--I
think it was that year, but am uncertain--I took through the summer
Professor Hadley’s place at Hamilton College, Clinton; gave for him a
course of instruction in botany and mineralogy. This, I have reason to
think, was a ruse of my good friend, who wished me to succeed to that
professorship, which he was on the point of resigning. Fortunately,
Charles Avery, my old academic preceptor, became a candidate and secured
the election.

These years are a good deal mixed up, and I cannot settle their dates
nor the order of events. Only I know that the next autumn I got a
furlough from the school until toward the end of winter, that I might
accept Dr. Torrey’s invitation to be his assistant during his course of
chemical lectures in the Medical School, and at his house in the
herbarium, living with him, and receiving eighty dollars as pay. This I
can fix as the winter of 1833-34 or 1834-35. The first century of my
“North American Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ” was got out that winter, and it
bears the date of 1834.[20] In February or March I went up by stagecoach
from New York to Albany, thence to Bridgewater, and so to Utica, to do
my work at Bartlett’s school. That finished, made a second trip to the
northeast part of the State, collecting in botany and mineralogy with
Dr. Crawe, extending the tour to St. Lawrence County, where we found
fine fluor-spar and great but rough crystals of phosphate of lime,
idiocrase, etc. I wrote some account of these for the “American Journal
of Science,” the earliest of my many contributions to that journal.
Returning toward autumn to Bridgewater, I there received a letter from
Dr. Torrey, informing me that the prospects of the Medical College were
so poor that he could not longer afford to have my services as
assistant. Bartlett’s school I had resigned from on account of my
prospects in New York. And, in fact, the school was then going down, and
he [Bartlett] was transferred soon after to Poughkeepsie, where he
flourished anew for a time. I was in a rather bad way. But I determined
to go to New York, assisted Dr. Torrey as I could, got out the second
part of my “North American Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ.” I am not sure
whether I was in Dr. Torrey’s family or not, or for only a part of the
winter. But in the spring of 1835, I went up to my father’s house for
the summer, with some books, among them a copy of De Candolle’s
“Organographie” and “Théorie Elémentaire.” These or at least the former
came from Professor Lehmann,[21] of Hamburg, with whom for a year or two
I had corresponded and exchanged plants, or received books in exchange
for plants. I had made a still earlier exchange with Soleirol, a French
army surgeon, who had collected in Corsica. While at home I blocked out
and partly wrote my “Elements of Botany.” Returned to New York in the
autumn; went into cheap lodgings, arranged with Carvill & Company to
take my book. I think they gave one hundred and fifty dollars, which was
a great sum for me. We got it through the press that winter. John Carey
had then come down to New York, and was a great help to me in
proof-reading, and the little book was published in April or May, 1836.

I think it was in the autumn of 1836 that the Lyceum of Natural History,
New York, having with a great effort erected their hall, on Broadway
just below Prince Street, I was appointed curator; had a room for my
use, some light pay, proportioned to light duties, and this was my home
for a year or two. There I wrote my papers, “Remarks on the Structure
and Affinities of the Ceratophyllaceæ” (which dates February 20,
1837),--not a very wise production, and some of the observations are
incorrect; also the better paper, really rather good, “Melanthacearum
Americæ Septentrionalis Revisio,” published in 1837.

Dr. Torrey had planned the “Flora of North America,” but had not made
much solid progress in it. I, having time on my hands, took hold to work
up in a preliminary way some of the earlier orders for his use. This was
to pass the time for a while, for in the summer of 1836 I was appointed
botanist to a great South Pacific exploring expedition, which met with
all manner of delays in fitting out, changes in commanders, etc., until
finally, in the spring of 1838, Lieutenant Wilkes was appointed to the
command, the number and size of the vessels cut down, and the scientific
corps more or less diminished. The assistant botanist, William Rich, an
appointment of the Secretary of the Navy, was to be left out. I resigned
in his favor, having been about that time appointed professor of natural
history in the newly chartered University of Michigan. As I had thus far
done fully half the work, Dr. Torrey invited me to be joint author in
“Flora of North America.” The first part was printed and issued in July,
the second in October, 1838, at our joint expense, my share being
contributed from the pay I had been receiving while waiting orders as
botanist of the exploring expedition.

By this time we had come to see that we did not know enough of the
original sources to work up the North American flora properly, and as
Dr. Torrey could not get away from home, I was determined to get abroad
and consult some of the principal herbaria. On being appointed professor
in the University of Michigan, which had as yet no buildings, I made it
understood that I must have a year abroad. The trustees of the
university in this view gave me, in the autumn of 1838, a year’s leave
of absence, a salary for that year of fifteen hundred dollars, and put
into my hands five thousand dollars with which to lay a foundation for
their general library. I sailed early in November, 1838, in the
packet-ship Philadelphia, for Liverpool; went direct from Liverpool to
Glasgow; was guest of Dr. William J. Hooker till Christmas--his son,
Joseph D. Hooker, was then a medical student; went to Arlary, December
26-7, to visit Arnott; stayed till the day after New Year; thence to
Edinburgh for two or three days. Greville was the best botanist, but
Graham was the professor, Balfour then a young botanist there. Heard old
Monro, Wilson (Christopher North), Chalmers, Traill, Charles Bell, etc.,
lecture. On way south stopped at Melrose and Abbotsford; coach to
Newcastle, Durham (over Sunday), and through Manchester, where rail was
taken, to Birmingham and London. Took lodgings till some time in March.
Dr. Boott was of course my best friend there. But Hooker and Joseph came
up to London for a week. Hooker insisted on taking me in hand as of his
party, and so I was introduced to all his friends; took me to the Royal
Society, etc.; dined one day with Bentham, to whose house I often went,
and who gave me a full supply of letters to the botanists on the
Continent. I worked a good deal at the British Museum; Robert Brown was
very kind to me, and his assistant, J. J. Bennett, very useful, putting
me up to all the old collections and how to consult them. At Linnæan
Society, thanks to Boott, had every facility for the Linnæan herbarium.
Old Lambert too; he had the Hookers and myself at dinner, and gave me as
good opportunity as he could to consult the Pursh plants, etc., in his
herbarium, which, not long after, was scattered, but it was in his
dining-room, which was very much lumbered, and to be reached only at
certain hours. Lindley had me down for a day to his house at Turnham
Green, and a little dinner at the close. First visited Kew with the
Hookers; called on Francis Bauer, who lived in a house near the river;
found him at ninety making beautiful microscopic drawings to illustrate
the genera of ferns; and Hooker then arranged for their publication in
the well-known volume for which he furnished the text. Saw not rarely N.
B. Ward, who lived at Wellclose Square in Wapping, and whose cultivation
of plants in closed cases attracted much attention. Went with Ward one
day to dine with Menzies, then over ninety; he lived, with a
housekeeper, at Maida Vale, or somewhere beyond Kensington.

George P. Putnam, of the firm of Wiley & Putnam, was then resident in
London, and through him I managed the expenditure of the money placed in
my hands for the purchase of books for the University of Michigan, in a
manner that proved satisfactory.

There is still in my possession, but not in reach for ready reference, a
file of letters which I wrote home to the Torrey family while I was in
Europe. If I were to find them and refresh my memory by them, I should
make these notes quite too long. I will therefore trust to memory and
touch lightly here and there on my Continental journey. I think it was
early in March, 1839, that one morning I took passage on a small steamer
from London, Bentham coming to see me off, to Calais; thence diligence
for Paris. My lodgings, near the Luxembourg, were not far from the house
of P. Barker Webb, to whom I had introductions, and who was very useful
to me; he owned the herbarium of Desfontaines. At the Jardin des Plantes
were old Mirbel, who occupied himself only with vegetable anatomy,
Adrien Jussieu, with whom I corresponded as long as he lived,
Brongniart, Decaisne, then aide-naturaliste, and Spach, curator of the
herbarium. Jussieu had his father’s herbarium in his study. Besides
Michaux’s herbarium at the Jardin des Plantes, I had also to consult,
for a few things, the set taken by the actual writer of the “Flora,” L.
C. Richard. This I found at the house of his son Achille Richard,
botanical professor in the Medical School, living in the Medical Botanic
Garden, then occupying a piece of the Luxembourg grounds. The other
French botanists I recall were Dr. Montagne, the cryptogamist, a
pleasant man, Gaudichaud, whom I saw little of, Auguste St. Hilaire, who
I think spent only the winter in Paris. I had an introduction to
Benjamin Delessert, who lived in fine style in a hotel in the Rue
Montmartre. Lasègue, the librarian, acted as curator to the herbarium
(Guillemin had died not long before), which I found occasion to consult
only once. I should not forget Jacques Gay, with his large herbarium
very rich in European plants. I never dreamed then that so many of them
would find their way into our own herbarium. He lived close to the
Luxembourg Palace, then the palace of the House of Peers. Gay was the
secretary of the Marquis de Semonville, who was a high official there,
and so lived near by. He held a weekly reception for botanists, etc.,
and was a good soul. It was at the herbarium of the Jardin des Plantes
that I first made the acquaintance of a botanist of about my own age,
Edmond Boissier of Geneva, who was studying some of the plants of his
collections in Granada and other parts of Spain, soon after brought out
in his work on the “Flora of Granada,” etc.

I left Paris in early spring, by malle-poste to Lyons; passed a day with
Seringe; steamer to Avignon, diligence to Nîmes, and thence to
Montpellier, where I passed two or three days. Delile and Dunal were the
professors; saw Bentham’s mother and sister, then resident there.
Diligence to Marseilles, steamer to Genoa, Leghorn, a day at each; to
Civita Vecchia; a carriage to Rome, along with an English clergyman;
thence back same way to Leghorn, Pisa, Florence. Vetturino to Bologna,
Ferrara, Padua (Visiani at the garden), Venice; then steamer to Trieste;
a day with Biasoletto, including a botanical excursion, and Tommasini.
Fell in there with a young artist of New York, whose name I have
forgotten. We took places in the malle-poste together to Vienna, but
went on two days ahead to Adelsberg; visited the grotto on a fête day
when it was all lighted, and all the country people there in gala trim;
that night went on by malle-poste. At Vienna, Endlicher, and his
assistant Fenzl, but the latter laid up with lame knee. Never saw him
afterward, but we had a long correspondence. Steamer up the Danube to
Linz, tramway, etc., to the Gmunden See, and so to Ischl; climbed the
Zeimitz, all alone, picked my first Alpine flowers; traveled over night
to Salzburg, then to Munich; fine times with Martius and Zuccarini,
joined the celebration out in the country of Linnæus’ birthday,--but not
the 24th May; I think two or three weeks later. From Munich to Lindau on
Lake Constance; thence to Zurich; up the lake to Horgen; walked over to
Art; walked up the Rigi; descended the Rigi to take the boat up the
lake, missed it, got a man to put me across in Canton Unterwalden;
walked to Stanz, slept, walked next morning to Engelberg, and then over
the [Joch?] Pass, and down to Meyringen; next day to Interlaken and the
Staubbach, next over the Wengern Alp to Grindelwald, next over the Grand
Scheideck to valley of Hassli, up to the Grimsel, passed a Sunday in the
snow; walked down to the Rhone glacier and down to Brieg; thence partly
on foot, partly char-à-banc, to Martigny; made excursion to the Col de
Balme to get a good view of Mont Blanc; back to Martigny, down to
Villeneuve, and steamer to Geneva. I reached there, I think, July 4;
worked there ten days or so, very sharp; De Candolle, father and son,
and Reuter[22] the curator; saw again Boissier. Leaving boat at
Lausanne, diligence to Freiburg, Berne, Bâle. Got across country, I
hardly remember how, to Tübingen, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Frankfort;
thence to Leipzig; made excursion to Dresden, then to Halle, where was
Schlechtendal, and where I looked over old Schkuhr’s originals of his
Carex plates; thence through Wittenberg to Potsdam and Berlin; worked
diligently a week in herbarium. Willdenow, Klotzsch the curator; saw old
Link, Kunth, and Ehrenberg. Diligence to Hamburg, where was Lehmann, one
of my very earliest correspondents. Steamer from Hamburg to London, late
in September. Toward the middle of October went to Portsmouth, and came
back to New York in a London packet-ship. Steamers were then only just
beginning to make regular trips.

Returning, Michigan University was quite ready to give me a furlough of
a year or two, without pay; took hold sharp of “Flora of North America,”
and in beginning of next summer (June, 1840) we issued the parts 3 and 4
of vol. i. Then went at the “Compositæ;” was interrupted a while in
summer of 1841, when I went with John Carey, and James Constable for a
part of the time, on a botanical trip up the Valley of Virginia to the
mountains of North Carolina, getting as far as to Grandfather and Roan.

It was, I think, in the spring of 1841 that the first part of the
“Compositæ” was published, _i. e._, vol. ii. pp. 1-184; the second part,
to p. 400, was out the next spring. Sometime in January, 1842, I made a
visit of two or three days to B. D. Greene in Boston; the first time I
ever saw Boston. Came out one day to Cambridge, dined with his
father-in-law, President Quincy; the company to meet us was Professor
Channing[23] and Professor Treadwell.[24] Sometime in April, I received
a letter from President Quincy, telling me that the Corporation of the
university would elect me Fisher professor of natural history if I would
beforehand signify my acceptance. The endowment then yielded fifteen
hundred dollars a year. I was to have a thousand and allow the rest to
accumulate for a while. Meanwhile I was to give only a course of
botanical lectures, in the second spring term, and look after the
Garden. But more work was soon added. I came in July, in the midst of
vacation, before Commencement, which was then in September; got
lodgings, with room for my then small herbarium, in the house of Deacon
Munroe. Went late in September on an excursion to Mount Washington, by
way of the Notch, along with Tuckerman, then living at his father’s in
Boston. Worked away at “Compositæ,” and in the winter went to New York
and carried the remainder through the press. it was issued in February,

I must not forget that my little “Elements of Botany” had been sold out,
and the publishers, Carvill, had gone out of business or died. I
prepared in 1841-42 the first edition of my “Botanical Text-Book;” it
was in the course of printing when I was appointed to the Fisher
professorship, so that I could put that title on the title-page, and
have a text-book for my class.

My first session of college work was over about July 1, 1843. The
treasurer, Mr. Samuel Eliot, had given me leave to spend a small sum in
replenishing the Botanic Garden. I met my friend and correspondent,
William S. Sullivant, who had taken strongly to mosses, early in August,
on the Alleghanies beyond Frostburg, Maryland (the railroad went only to
Cumberland), he coming from Columbus, Ohio, I from Cambridge. There we
bought a span of horses and a strong country wagon, and set out on the
mountain expedition, some sketch of which is given in the “American
Journal of Science” for January, 1846. (The first journey is more
particularly detailed in the “American Journal of Science,” xlii., no.
1; 1842?) When Sullivant left me, at Warm Springs on the French Broad,
anxious to get home, I was left in a pretty lonely condition.




Dr. Gray’s autobiographical fragment closes abruptly, and is valuable
chiefly for the glimpse which it gives of his ancestry and his boyhood.
He kept no diary, but he carried on a voluminous correspondence, and his
letters thus contain a record of his hard-working, eager life. The
earliest tell of the struggle for position, his doubts if his loved
science could furnish him a maintenance, and his resolution to make any
sacrifice if he could devote himself to its study. His wants outside of
appliances for scientific investigation were few, and he had a hopeful
temper. He said in later life that when he was ready for anything it
always came to him, and he never dwelt upon the hardships of his early
years; indeed, he forgot them.

After leaving Fairfield Medical College he divided his years between
teaching in Bartlett’s school in Utica (some of his old pupils still
recall his field excursions with his class, and his eager delight in the
search after plants), in journeys botanical and mineralogical, and in
some shorter and longer stays in New York, where for a good portion of
the time he was a member of Dr. John Torrey’s family. Dr. Torrey was a
keen observer, a lively suggester of new theories and explanations,
most eminently truthful in all inquiries, and a devout Christian. Mrs.
Torrey was a woman of rare character, refined, of intellectual tastes
and cultivation, great independence, extremely benevolent, and with a
capacity for government and control. She was devotedly religious, not
only for herself and her own household, but for all who could possibly
come within her influence. It was a new experience to the country-bred
young man, and she saw in him many capabilities of which he was as yet
himself unconscious. He always said that in his development he owed much
to her in many ways. She criticised and improved his manners, his
tastes, his habits, and especially, together with Dr. Torrey, exercised
a strong influence on his religious life. His parents and family were
conscientious, good and faithful church members. But they were not
people who talked much, and indeed had little direct oversight of their
son after he was fourteen years old, when he left home. He never
returned to the family roof after that for more than a few months at a
time, and his youthful surroundings away from home were of very varied
influence; some of them, though never vicious, were of a decidedly
irreligious character. When he entered the Torrey family, the difference
in the life, the contrast in the way of meeting trials and sorrows
struck him forcibly, and the religious side of his nature was roused, a
serious interest awakened, which from that time on made always a strong
and permanent part of his character.

Dr. Torrey saw the ability of the young student, and writing to his
friend, Professor Henry, in February, 1835, to see if a place could not
be found for him at Princeton, says:--

“I wish we could find a place for my friend Gray in the college.... He
has no superior in botany, considering his age, and any subject that he
takes up he handles in a masterly manner.... He is an uncommonly fine
fellow, and will make a great noise in the scientific world one of these
days. It is good policy for the college to secure the services and
affections of young men of talent, and let them grow up with the
institution.... He would do great credit to the college; and he will be
continually publishing. He has just prepared for publication in the
Annals of the Lyceum two capital botanical papers.... Gray has a capital
herbarium and collection of minerals. He understands most of the
branches of natural history well, and in botany he has few superiors.”

His friend, Mr. John H. Redfield[25] recalling him in those early days,

“He had worked with Dr. Torrey in his herbarium in 1834 and in 1835, and
in 1834 read his first paper before the Lyceum, a monograph of the North
American Rhynchosporæ, which is still the best help we have for the
study of that genus. His bachelor quarters were in the upper story of
the building, and there he diligently employed the hours not occupied
with other duties in studies and dissections, the results of which
appeared in several elaborate contributions to the Annals. Dr. Gray’s
residence in the building and his position as librarian brought him into
frequent and pleasant intercourse with the members of the Lyceum, and in
this way began my own acquaintance with him. The interest which he
always manifested in making easy the openings to the paths of knowledge
for the younger men impressed me greatly. In describing his manner I
should use neither the terms ‘imperious’ or ‘impetuous,’ but
enthusiastic eagerness would better express its characteristic. He had
even then something of that hesitancy of speech which he sometimes
manifested in later years, a hesitancy which seemed to arise from
thoughts which crowded faster than words could be found for them, and I
associate his manner of speaking then with a slight swing of the head
from side to side, which my recollections of his later manner do not
recall. In person he was unusually attractive, his face, bright,
animated and expressive, lit up by eyes beaming with intellect and

Dr. Gray began in 1834 his contributions to the “American Journal of
Science.” His first paper, printed in May, was “A Sketch of the
Mineralogy of a Portion of Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, N.Y., by
J.B. Crawe of Watertown, and A. Gray of Utica, N.Y.,”[26] and from that
time until his death he was a constant contributor of original articles,
reviews, and notices of all botanists whose deaths occurred within his
knowledge, leaving an unfinished necrology on his desk.

In 1835 his first text-book was written, “Elements of Botany,” and he
returned to the same title for his last text-book in 1887. He spent a
summer at his Sauquoit home at work upon it; and he once gave a lively
account of the warm and noisy discussions which he held with his friend
John Carey over style and expressions when he was reading the proofs in
his boarding-house in New York, to the great interest of all within
hearing. He admitted that it was one of the best lessons in the art of
writing he ever had.

Dr. Gray, writing for the “New York World” an obituary notice of John
Carey, on his death in 1880, says of him, after a short sketch of his

“Mr. Carey was a man of marked gifts, accomplishments, and
individuality. His name will long be remembered in American botany.
There are few of his contemporaries in this country who have done more
for it than he, although he took little part in independent publication.
His critical knowledge and taste and his keen insight were most useful
to me in my earlier days of botanical authorship. He wrote several
valuable articles for the journals, and when, in 1848, my ‘Manual of
Botany’ was produced, he contributed to it the two most difficult
articles, that on the willows and that on the sedges....

“Being fondly attached to his memory, and almost the last survivor of
the notable scientific circle which Mr. Carey adorned, I wish to pay
this feeble tribute to the memory of a worthy botanist and a most
genial, true-hearted, and good man.”

It is to be regretted that Dr. Gray’s letters to his old friend are no
longer in existence.

His correspondence with Sir William Jackson Hooker, then professor at
Glasgow, Scotland, began in 1835.



DEAR SIR,--I received your letter, through Professor Hadley, a few weeks
since, and I embrace the earliest opportunity of transmitting a few
specimens of those plants of which you wished a further supply. I
regret that the state of my herbarium will not admit of my sending as
many specimens of each as I could wish or as would be desirable to you.
I shall be able to obtain an additional supply of most of them during
the ensuing summer, when it will give me pleasure to supply you with
those, or any other interesting plants which I may meet with. I send you
a few grasses; numbered; also a few mosses, etc. When you have leisure,
you will oblige me by sending the names of those numbered, and rectify
any errors in those labeled. If you should be desirous of additional
specimens, please let me know it, and I will supply you in the course of
next summer.

You ask me whether I am desirous of obtaining the plants peculiar to New
York, New Jersey, etc., or of European plants. I should be highly
gratified by receiving any plants you think proper to send me; and will
repay you, so far as in my power, by transmitting specimens of all the
interesting plants I discover. I know little of exotic botany, having no
foreign specimens. I am particularly attached to the study of the
grasses, ferns, etc. If you have any specimens to transmit to me, please
leave them with Mr. Franklin Brown, Attorney at Law, Inns of Court,
Beekman Street, who will forward them to me by the earliest opportunity.

During the next summer, I intend to visit the western part of this
State, also Ohio and Michigan. I shall devote a large portion of my time
to the collection of the plants of the places I visit. If you know of
any interesting localities, or where any interesting plants could be
procured, please inform me, and I will endeavor to obtain them for you.

Respectfully yours,

BRIDGEWATER, April 6, 1832.

Having a convenient opportunity of sending to you, I improve it to
acknowledge the receipt of your letter of October 6, and of the very
interesting and valuable package of plants which was duly received a few
weeks afterwards. In the course of the ensuing summer, I shall be able
to supply you with an additional supply of most of the plants mentioned
in your list. Many of these were collected during an excursion to the
western part of the State, and are not found in this section of the

I have given a copy of this list to my friend Dr. N. W. Folwell of
Seneca County, an industrious collector, who is situated in a section
rich in plants, and requested him to transmit specimens of these and
other interesting plants to you. I think he will be able to furnish you
with many interesting plants from that section of country, and I shall
be grateful for any favors you may have in your power to confer upon
him. I shall be engaged the ensuing summer at Fairfield and at Salina,
where I hope to make some interesting collections in natural history. If
it is not too much trouble and the specimen is within your reach, may I
ask further information with regard to No. 34, in my last package to
you. It is a Carex, from the shore of Lake Erie,--growing with C.
lupulina but flowering later. Is it not a var. of C. lupulina? from
which it appears to differ principally in its pedunculate spikes? It
flowers a month later than C. lupulina (August 6).

Will you excuse me for troubling you on another subject? I shall not be
able to remain much longer in this place, unless I engage in the
practice of medicine under circumstances which will altogether preclude
me from paying any further attention to natural history. My friends
advise me to spend a few years in a milder climate, our family being
predisposed to phthisis, although I am perfectly healthy and robust; and
such a course would be very agreeable to me, as I could combine the
study of natural history with the professional business which will be
necessary for my support. I have thought of the Southern States, but I
have for some time been inclined to prefer Mexico, both on account of
the salubrity of its climate, and of its botanical and mineralogical
riches, which so far as I know have never been very thoroughly explored.
My object in troubling you with all this is merely to obtain some
information with regard to the natural history of that country. Has the
country been explored by any botanist since Humboldt in 1803? And is
there still room enough in that branch to repay one for devoting a few
years to its investigations?

I am young (twenty-one), without any engagements to confine me to this
section of country, and prefer the study of botany to anything else.
Although I have not arrived at any positive determination, I have
commenced the study of the Spanish language, and find it (with the aid
of Latin and French) quite easy. I should be pleased to have your advice
on this subject, as you have many sources of information which are
beyond my reach. I should be highly gratified if you would state to me
what you think of the prospects in Mexico for a person under my
circumstances, and whether any other section of country or any other
situation presents greater inducements. Under whatever circumstances I
may be placed, it will be gratifying to me to continue a correspondence
which has, thus far, been so useful to me, and I shall always wish to
do all in my power to render it interesting to you. I shall be ready to
leave this place by 1st of September next, at which time I shall
probably visit New York. Will you write me on this subject as soon as
convenient, and very much oblige,

Yours truly,

P.S. There is within a circuit of some miles, and at this place, a great
variety of fossil organic remains, and I am collecting them as
extensively as possible. We find trilobites (Asaphus, and occasionally
Calymene), a variety of bivalve and a few univalve shells, etc., both in
lime rock and greywacke. The celebrated locality of Trenton Falls you
are of course acquainted with. Would a suit of them be acceptable to
yourself, or the Lyceum of Natural History, New York? And can they be
named, so that I can label my collection from them? There may few of
them be of any interest, but if you wish it you shall have a suit
containing specimens of all I find.

UTICA, January 2, 1833.

I received your letter of December 25, and have given the subject of
which you write a careful consideration. I may say that I have no
objection to the situation you propose, if a proper arrangement can be

The terms of my engagement here are these. This situation became vacant
by the death of Mr. Edgerton in April last. I was recommended by some of
my friends, and finally made an arrangement for one year; took charge of
a class in botany and mineralogy on 20th May; closed July 30. Have been
at liberty until now; have just commenced a chemical course, to
continue nine weeks, which will conclude my duties for the year. The
compensation is board, room, washing, fuel, and all other expenses of
the kind, for the whole year, or as much of the year as I choose to
remain here. All expenses of the laboratory are defrayed (which by the
way are not likely to be heavy), and in addition I receive $300. The
advantages of the situation are, leisure and the means of a comfortable
support. The disadvantages, the school is not incorporated and though
now flourishing may not continue so, the scholars are too young, the
principal wishes to retain too much of the Eatonian plan to suit me, and
they have not furnished the means for the chemical course which I had a
right to expect. No arrangement has been made for another year, but I
have reason to think I shall be requested to remain another year. I am
confident my leisure time would be employed to greater advantage if I
was situated so as to have access to good libraries and extensive

At present I can be satisfied with a moderate income, sufficient for a
comfortable support, for the purchase of a few books, etc.; but that
income must be sure; I cannot afford to run any risks about it. I would
willingly collect plants the whole summer, take on my hands the whole
labor of preparing and arranging them, but as the proceeds would be
absolutely necessary for my support, so they should be certain. I am now
advantageously situated for the collection of plants, etc., as, if I
choose, I can travel every year with a class who will defray my

If you still desire to make such arrangement, please to state more
explicitly the duties you wish me to perform; how much time can be given
to collecting plants; what compensation you can afford me, supposing
nearly the whole summer is devoted to making collections, and three
fourths of the whole to belong to you,--or propose any plan which would
be satisfactory to you, and I will let you know, very shortly, whether I
will accept it or not. I had rather leave it to yourself than to make
any definite proposition at present. I am confident we can make an
arrangement which will be mutually beneficial.

I need not say that I wish to hear from you again on this subject as
soon as possible, as I must soon make my arrangements for the ensuing
season. How large is the class at the Medical College? I have just
returned from a visit at Fairfield; they have a class of about 190. In

Yours very respectfully,

UTICA, January 23, 1833.

Excuse me for troubling you. I have this day received from Dr. L. C.
Beck a sheet of a work, now publishing, entitled a “Flora of the
Northern and Middle States,” arranged according to the natural system. I
have the sheet commencing the species; commences with Ranunculaceæ; it
is in 12mo.

As you mentioned that Beck has been very secret in all his proceedings,
it occurred to me that very possibly you have heard nothing of it, and I
thought it right to let you know. It appears to be after the fashion of
De Candolle’s “Prodromus,” condensed descriptions and fine print. He
still keeps his Ranunculus lacustris, and has added a new species to
that genus, which he calls R. Clintonii, from Rome, Oneida County, N.
Y.; the same as published in fifth edition Eaton’s “Manual” under the
name of R. prostratus, Lamk. I have never seen their specimens, but have
little doubt it is a form of R. repens, which flowers with us from April
to September and assumes many forms. Dr. Beck wishes me to send him any
undescribed or interesting plants, localities of rare plants, etc. I
feel somewhat interested in the work, as I wish it to supersede Eaton’s
entirely. (I hear Eaton is coming out with a new edition in the spring.
I see Beck means to anticipate him.) But all the undescribed plants I
have are in your hands, and it would be improper to send him such at
present. He has in his hands an imperfect specimen of Nasturtium natans,
De Candolle, which I sent him two years ago. He did not know it;
supposed it N. palustre, and I do not know whether he has determined it
or no. I will tell him what it is. He has that Ophioglossum and probably
will publish it. If you please you can publish this, that Scleria, etc.,
in Silliman, that is, if you think them new. I will send none of these
to Beck, but will give him the localities of some of our most
interesting plants.

I have not heard from you since I wrote you on the subject of your
letter, but hope you will write me soon. If we can make any arrangement
for a year, by its expiration you will know whether or not I shall be of
any use to you. I wish to be situated in such a manner as will enable me
to advance most rapidly in science, in botany especially.

I succeeded, some days ago, in making the chlorochromic acid of Dr.
Thomson (of which you spoke to me when at your house), with chromate of
lead, instead of bichromate of potash, which I was unable to obtain. It
set alcohol, ether, spirits of turpentine, etc., on fire. I did not try
it upon phosphorus. Shall prepare it again in a few weeks for class
experiments. I am, Sir,

Yours respectfully,


UTICA, March 22, 1834.

I thankfully acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st inst.,
and am delighted to learn that you contemplate giving a course of
botanical lectures before you leave the city. I hope the plan will
succeed, and that you will have a large and very fashionable class. My
journey was as tedious as rain and bad roads could make it. The first
night, being alone in the coach, I was upset by the carelessness of a
drunken driver. The top of the coach, striking against a stone wall, was
broken in; but I escaped, narrowly indeed, without any injury excepting
a few rents in my clothes. At the end of the route, I had the
satisfaction of seeing the driver dismissed from his employment. On my
arrival at Bridgewater I found a child of my friend and former medical
preceptor,[27] a favorite little daughter, dangerously, almost
hopelessly sick with inflammation of the brain. I was consequently
detained several days, and before I left had the satisfaction of seeing
the little patient convalescent. I am now in fine working order and
busily engaged in my chemical course.

Dr. Hadley called upon me yesterday and I gave him the little “notions”
you sent by me. He was much pleased, but was especially delighted with
the condensed sulphurous and anhydrous sulphuric acids.

The principal object of this letter is to consult you in regard to some
propositions made me by Professor Hadley. Besides his situation in the
Medical College, you are aware that he holds the professorship of
chemistry and natural science in Hamilton College. He has just concluded
his chemical course in that institution, but in the early part of summer
he lectures to the senior class upon botany and mineralogy. As they are
about to make some alterations in the college building at Fairfield, his
presence will be required there, and he wishes me to take his place for
the ensuing term at Hamilton College. I ought also to state that Dr. H.
accepted that situation with the intention of holding it but a few
years, until the college should have surmounted the trouble in which it
was (and is) involved, and from which we have pretty good reason to
hope, from the exertions now being made, it will soon be extricated, so
that the professorships may be properly endowed. He has given notice of
his intention to resign about a year hence; by which time, if ever, the
college will be able to place several professorships upon a substantial
foundation. Dr. H. has expressed to me a strong desire that I should be
considered a candidate for the place, and I strongly suspect that to
further that object is one reason for his wishing me to act as his
substitute during the ensuing summer. My presence there would be
necessary from the 1st of June to the middle of July. Dr. H. has been
acting under a nominal salary of $500, being engaged there but thirteen
or fourteen weeks. For the summer course I should receive $200. Dr. H.
insures me $100 immediately, even if he has to advance it himself, and
the whole if funds are in the hands of the treasurer; if not, the whole
would be received quite certainly within the year. I have only to say
further that the college has now one hundred students, is situated in a
beautiful village nine miles from Utica, has the best college buildings
of any in the State, has a good faculty, etc. I urged the promise I had
made of the visit to Georgia, which this plan would entirely frustrate,
but promised to give him a definite answer within a fortnight.

I can scarcely think of postponing my southern tour for another season;
but the question comes to this, whether, in the present state of my
finances, I had better expend $100 in that visit or earn $200 in the
same time. I could also, I think, continue my engagements here in July
and August, by which a little more of the trash might be pocketed, and
return to New York in time to make a September excursion to the dearly
beloved pine barrens of New Jersey, and spend the early part of fall in
botanical work, and the winter in your laboratory. The term closes here
the 23d of April (a little earlier than I supposed); so if the original
plan is pursued I shall be in New York by the 26th of that month. If
not, I shall be disengaged for a month, a portion of which I should like
to devote, with my friend Dr. Crawe, to the minerals of St. Lawrence
County. So rests the case. I told Dr. H. that I should write immediately
to you, and be governed in a good degree by your answer.

I have such a dislike to the appearance of vacillation which results
from changing one’s plans when fully formed, that were it not for
certain ulterior advantages, and that I wish to comply with the wishes,
as far as may be, of a person to whom I am much obliged, I should
promptly decline Dr. Hadley’s offer.

An idea just this moment strikes me which, in its crude shape, I will
communicate. In eight or ten days I can get to the metals. Suppose I
could then get excused, and finish my course here next summer in
connection with mineralogy, which for these youngsters would do pretty
well; reach New York early next month; set out immediately for Georgia,
and remain there until the latter part of May; return via Charleston;
examine Elliott’s herbarium, and return here by the first of June. I may
be quite sure that April and May would be healthy, but could there be
plants enough collected, especially Gramineæ, to make it an object?
Please say what you think of it. If you think it will do, I see no
insuperable objection to carrying it into effect.

A few days ago a letter reached me from Professor Lehmann, in answer to
my communication eighteen months ago. He is quite desirous of continuing
the correspondence. He is now particularly engaged with Hepaticæ, and is
anxious to obtain our species, and especially original specimens of
those described by the late Mr. Schweinitz, etc. He has sent a box
(which by this time I hope has arrived in New York) containing about
five hundred species of plants and several botanical books. He also
writes that he has applied to Nees von Esenbeck for dried specimens of
all the species of Aster cultivated in his garden in order to transmit
them with the monograph by that author; but not having arrived in time
they will be sent with his next package. I wish to be particularly
remembered to Mrs. Torrey and to Mr. Shaw, not forgetting my lively
little friends J----, E----, and M----, whom I very much long to see. I
had intended long before this to have written to Mr. Shaw, but have not
yet had leisure. Please say to him that I am much obliged for the papers
he has been so good as to send me. I wish to know whether he has yet
apostatized from the anti-tea-drinking society, of which Mr. S. and
myself were (“par nobile fratrum”) such promising members. Please say to
him that I have not yet drunk tea, but am doing penance upon coffee,
milk, and water.

May I trouble you for the very earliest possible answer to this, which
will much oblige

Yours very respectfully,


Your letter of the 13th ult., with the bundle of books, was in due time
received. Yours of the 2d ult. was received at the same time. I can send
you no more copies of “Gramineæ,”[28] etc.; all I brought up are
subscribed for and delivered. “Major Downing,” who subscribes for two
copies (one for himself and one for his friend the Gin’ral,[29] I
suppose), as well as the other subscribers, must wait until fall. I am
lecturing here to a small but quite intelligent Senior class, twenty-six
in number, just enough to fill three sides of a large table, and time
passes very pleasantly. The small fund for the support of this
institution will, I think, be secured, but the trustees do not act in
concert with the faculty, and it is rumored quarrel among themselves, so
that, unless some changes are effected in the board, I fear the college
will not be sustained. I shall remain here five weeks longer, and then
have a short engagement at Utica. I have promised to make a visit to the
north in August. I wish very much that I was able to remain there six or
seven weeks, to examine with attention the vegetation of the primitive
region in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. I cannot doubt that the
mountains and the banks of the large streams of that region would
furnish a rich harvest of plants. That range is an extension of one from
the far north, which, passing between the Great Lakes and Hudson’s Bay,
crosses the St. Lawrence at the Thousand Islands, and passes through St.
Lawrence, Franklin, and Clinton counties. Consequently many sub-alpine
plants, such as Anemone Hudsonica, Trisetum molle, Geum triflorum, etc.,
are found in this region farther south than elsewhere. The mineralogy of
the region, also, needs to be farther explored. The expense of such a
tour, divided between Dr. Crawe and myself, traveling in a conveyance of
our own, will be comparatively trifling.

I find, however, that further supplies of several New Jersey grasses are
absolutely required to enable me to make out the necessary number of
suits this fall of the first part of my “Grasses.” I see also by the
list before me that they (with few exceptions) are in good state as late
as the 8th or 10th of September, and that they can all be obtained
without proceeding farther south than Tom’s River; so that I have no
alternative but to hasten back to New York, and make a flying trip to
Tom’s River (or Howel Works at least) early in September. If you meet
with Panicum agrostoides, Poa obtusa Muhl., and Poa eragrostis, I shall
be much obliged if you will secure for me the needful quantity of
specimens. I am making arrangements for securing the bulbs, tubers, and
seeds of the rarer plants for Lehmann. I shall take great pleasure in
complying with your desire of securing as many as possible for your
little garden. Bulbs and tubers I take up after flowering, and place in
dry sand. Can you give some instructions as to the best manner of
preserving other perennial roots, such as Asters, etc.? If you will give
me the necessary instructions, I promise you to spare no exertions to
carry them into effect.

I have nearly finished De Candolle’s “Théorie Elémentaire.” I have
devoured it like a novel. It ought to be translated, that it may be more
generally read in this country, where something of the kind is much
needed. By the way, as soon as you receive Lindley’s new elementary
work, I hope you will set about preparing an American edition.

This immediate neighborhood is very poor for botanizing. Excepting
Cyperaceæ, it furnishes nothing of interest. I shall soon, however, make
more distant excursions, so as to include Oneida Lake and the “pine
plains.” When I return I shall bring with me a huge bundle of plants,
which will show that I have not been idle.


November 21, 1834.

The class at the Medical College is very small, so that I have no salary
here at present. But I have a comfortable and pleasant home, and fine
opportunities for pursuing my favorite studies, and for acquiring a
reputation that must sooner or later secure me a good place. I have work
enough thrown into my hands to support me, with my prudent habits,
through the winter. I spend my time entirely at the medical college and
at my home here at Dr. Torrey’s, and hold little intercourse with any
except medical and scientific men. I am writing two scientific articles
on a difficult branch of botany for a scientific journal or magazine,
which will give me a little notoriety. Dr. Torrey and myself went last
month to Philadelphia, where we stayed a week. We spent our time almost
entirely in the rooms of the American Philosophical Society, and of the
Academy of Science. We met most of the scientific and other learned men,
and spent our time very pleasantly. You shall hear from me again before
long. It is not probable that I shall be up before next summer.


Saturday Morning, February 7, 1835.

I do not know when I shall see you. I shall be up sometime during the
spring or summer if I live so long, but perhaps not until July or
August. It is very probable that I shall stay in the city the whole
time. I wish very much to spend a few weeks in Georgia, early in the
spring, but I see that I shall not be able to do so. My time is spent
here very profitably, and I am advancing in knowledge as fast as I ought
to wish, but I make no money, or scarcely enough to live upon. Just at
present I am rather behindhand, but think that by next fall I shall,
with ordinary success, be in better circumstances. It is unpleasant to
be embarrassed in such matters, for I should like much to be
independent, and this with my moderate wishes would require no very
large sum, and I have no great desire to be rich.

Tell father I am very glad he has brought home the remainder of those
boxes from Utica. The burning down of one of the buildings of the
gymnasium has broken up that school entirely, and it probably will not
be revived. I knew Mr. Bartlett would fail soon, and that accident has
only hastened the time a little. He has been insolvent for some time.
There was a very severe fire within a few rods of us last week; five or
six dwelling-houses and other buildings were burned to the ground.
Although it was so near us we were sitting at tea entirely unconcerned.
Everything is done by the fire companies, and people who crowd about
fires are only in the way, without doing any good.

Let me hear from you soon, and you will hear from me again in due
season. The lectures in the Medical College will be finished in about
three weeks, and then I shall be a little more at leisure.

I am very affectionately yours,



NEW YORK, April 6, 1835.

DEAR FATHER,--I have been waiting for some time to see what my plans for
the season would be, expecting as soon as that point was determined to
write to you. All my arrangements were upset last fall, and the
prospects for daily bread have been rather dark all winter--that is for
the present; for the future they look as well as I could expect. It is
probable now that I shall remain here during the summer; prosecuting the
same studies and pursuits in which I am now engaged, unless something
else turns up in the mean time....

Tell mother I have for her a copy of Barnes’s “Notes of the Gospels,”
but I want to read it myself before I send it up. Perhaps I can’t spare
it until I come up. I think you will all be very much pleased with it. I
wish I could also send you his “Notes on the Acts and Romans.” Please
ask Mr. Rogers, or any of your merchants when they come to New York this
spring, to drop a line in the post-office for me, that I may take the
opportunity of sending home by them. I wish I could come up this spring,
but I see that I shall not be able. Do you take a religious newspaper?
Please write to me soon. May the Lord prosper you and keep you all.

Yours truly and affectionately,



NEW YORK, April 4, 1835.

DEAR SIR,--Your kind letter of December 11, with the parcel of books you
were so good as to send me, were in due time received, for both of which
I beg you to accept my thanks. Perhaps you will do me the favor to
accept a copy of the second part of the “North American Gramineæ and
Cyperaceæ,” being a continuation of my attempt to illustrate our species
of these families, the plan of which, I am gratified to learn, meets
your approbation. I inclose in the same parcel the loose sheets of an
unpublished portion of the third volume of the “Annals of the New York
Lyceum of Natural History,” comprising an attempt at a monography of the
genus Rhynchospora. A more perfect copy, with a copy of the engraving,
now in the hands of the artist, will be transmitted to you by the
earliest opportunity. I also send a little parcel of mosses, nearly all
of which were collected in the interior of the State of New York. May I
ask you to look them over at as early an opportunity as may suit your
convenience, and to return to me the result of your determinations. I do
not venture to think that you will find among them anything of especial
interest. I very much regret that I am at the present moment unable to
forward to you a half a dozen copies of the work of “Gramineæ and
Cyperaceæ,” the number you so kindly offer to take charge of. A few
species are wanting to complete further suits of the first volume, but
these I hope soon to obtain. Not to permit your kind offer to pass
wholly unimproved, I hereby transmit to you three copies of vols. 1 and
2 which are at the disposal of any of your botanical friends who may
desire to possess the work. If an additional number of copies should be
needed they can in a very short time be furnished. With high respect, I
remain, dear sir,

Yours truly,

Regius Professor of Botany in the University at Glasgow.


SAUQUOIT, N.Y., July 9, 1835.

I am progressing a little with my rather formidable task; in fact I am
making haste quite slowly, and am now discussing the mysteries of
exogenous and endogenous stems. I have studied little this week, for I
found that close confinement was spoiling my health, so I have been
taking quite severe exercise almost constantly, by which I am
considerably improved already, although my bones ache prodigiously. I
have not yet botanized largely. When at Bridgewater I secured all I
could find of the new Carex; also C. chordorhiza, which, by the way,
Crawe has found in his region. I hope soon to collect more extensively,
but in this vicinity there are no plants of especial interest. I have
just now a mania for examining and preserving the roots and fruits of
our plants (I make notes of everything in a copy of your “Compendium”),
and I hope to bring you a collection in this way which will interest,
and perhaps be of some use to you. Fruits and ripe seeds are not often
to be obtained, at least in a proper state, in our herbaria. I have been
examining our Smilax rotundifolia. It is a regular endogenous shrub,
although it sometimes dies nearly to the ground, but always sends out a
branch from the uppermost node which survives the winter. It branches
just as any endogen would, because the terminal bud is killed; the
branches are cylindrical, and increase very little in diameter after
their production. A cross-section shows the same structure as the
rattan, i.e., the vascular and woody bundles are arranged equally
throughout the stem. But a great part of the stem is prostrate beneath
the surface, and it may be traced back, alive and dead, for several
years’ growth. In fact I have not yet succeeded in tracing the stem back
to the true root; all I have seen are adventitious roots sent of by the
nodes of the stem. This is the only endogenous shrub, I presume, in the
Northern States. By the way, the term rhizoma must be used much in
descriptive botany, and be extended so as to include all subterranean,
nearly horizontal stems, or portions of the stem, which produce roots
from any part of their surface and buds from their extremity. It occurs
in a great part of herbaceous perennials, and can always in practice be
distinguished from the root, although it is still described as root in
all the books; witness, Hydrophyllum, Actæa, Caulophyllum, Trillium,
Convallaria, and so on to infinity.

I am not yet perfectly satisfied about our Actæas; thus the red-berried
one is now perfectly ripe, while the berries of the white one are but
half-grown; all the red ones, so far as I have seen, have slender
pedicels also, yet the leaves and the rhizomata are exactly alike. By
the way, while I was botanizing this afternoon, I met with great
quantities of Orchis spectabilis, by far the largest and finest I ever
saw; their leaves emulating Habenaria orbiculata. If you care for them
in the slightest degree, I will secure a sufficient quantity to fill
your garden. O. spectabilis will, while in flower, be a very pretty

I remain cordially and truly yours,


NEW YORK, September 28, 1835.

I suppose I have been a little negligent in waiting so long before I
wrote home, but in truth I did not wish to write until I had something
certain to say, and even now I have very little. I met Dr. Hadley in
Utica just at dusk on the evening of the day you left me there, so I
stayed all night there, and went to Fairfield next day. I stayed at
Fairfield until Tuesday afternoon, then went to Little Falls, and
arrived in Albany just in time for the evening boat next day, and was in
New York at breakfast next morning.

Since my return I have been very busy, and on the whole very comfortably
situated. I have got back to my class in the Sunday-school; both
teachers and scholars have mostly returned, for they all get scattered
during the warm months of the summer; and we are now going on very well.
On my arrival here I found a very fine package of dried plants collected
by my friend the Rev. John Diell, chaplain for American seamen in the
Sandwich Islands. I set about them immediately, and it has taken me
nearly all my time this month to study them, but I have now finished
them. I shall send my notes about them to Professor Hooker of Glasgow,
Scotland, that he may, if he pleases, publish them in the “Journal of
Botany,” of which he is the editor. They are of more interest to the
people on that side of the water than to us. I have again sat down to
writing upon the work in which I have been engaged all summer, and I do
not mean that anything else shall tempt me from it until it is finished,
although a nice little parcel of weeds from China, sent by S. Wells
Williams[30] (son of Wm. Williams), lies at my elbow. As to my book,[31]
I am trying to make a bargain with two publishers; the prospects seem
pretty fair, and I shall probably get $300, which is the sum I insist
on. I shall have a definite answer in a few days. As to my course and
occupation for the winter I can say nothing, for I have not hit upon any
certain plan. One thing is pretty certain after thinking over the matter
quite seriously, and consulting with Dr. Hadley, who is my firm friend
in all these matters; I am determined to persevere for a little while
yet before I give up all hopes from science as a pursuit for life. I
have now, and expect to have, a great many discouragements, but I shall
meet them as well as I can, until it shall seem to be my duty to adopt
some other profession for my daily bread. I have several plans before
me, some of which you would think rather bold; but I have not yet
settled upon any of them. As soon as I take any steps at all I will let
you know....

I know little of what is going on in the town. I have not been down into
the business part of the city over five or six times since I have been
here. When Mr. Rogers comes down, if he will let me know where he stops
in season, I will see him. I shall write again to some of you in a very
short time. Let me hear soon from some of you, and though I have here
little time for writing letters, I will give punctual answers. I remain,
with love to mother and all the rest,

Very truly yours,

NEW YORK, November 17, 1835.

To-day when I go down town I shall subscribe for the “New York Observer”
for you, and pay for a year. The “Observer” and the “Evangelist” are
both excellent papers, and I hardly know which to choose. I would send
the “Evangelist,” did not Mr. Leavitt fill it up too much with
anti-slavery. One should if possible read both.

I am now boarding at 286 Bleeker Street, but when you write to me you
may direct as before, as I am at Dr. Torrey’s a part of almost every
day. I have a very comfortable and quiet place, for which I pay $4 per
week, and keep a fire besides, which I suppose will startle you a
little. I hope to obtain the situation of curator to the Lyceum of
Natural History in the spring, when their new building is finished. The
duties of the situation will take up only a part of my time. I shall
have under my charge the best scientific library and cabinet in the
city, a couple of fine rooms to live in, and a salary of about $300. But
although I can secure pretty strong influence, the best members of the
society offering me the place and wishing me to take it, yet it is not
certain that we shall bring it about, so I say nothing about it. I shall
let you know whenever any changes offer in my situation.


NEW YORK, July 11, 1836.

DEAR DOCTOR,--Since your departure several memoranda of more or less
consequence have accumulated around me, and (having not yet heard from
you) I will now communicate them, together with whatever intelligence I
think will interest you. To begin with the most important. I have now (5
P.M.) just returned from your house, where I found a parcel for you
(received by mail from Philadelphia, postage the mere trifle of
$1.14-1/2), with the Hamburg seal, and the handwriting of our old
correspondent, Professor Lehmann. Suspecting it to contain advice of
packages of plants or books, I took the liberty to open it. I found two
diplomas in high Dutch. Shade of Leopoldino-Carolineæ Cæsar. academiæ
naturæ curiosorum! Hide your diminished head, and give way to the
Königliche Botanische Gesellschaft in Regensburg!--which being
interpreted means, I imagine, the Royal Botanical Society of Regensburg.
Now I know as little of Regensburg and the Regensburg people who have
done us such honor as a certain old lady did of the famous King of
Prussia; but I ratherly think it means Ratisbon....

Box of plants and box of bones are here; the plants certainly look the
more antediluvian of the two. The specimens are wretched and mostly
devoid of interest. The bones will be served up at the Lyceum this
evening.... On the same day last week I received a letter from
Dewey,[32] and another from Carey, and according to both their accounts
they must have been in raptures with each other. Dewey sends love to
friend Torrey, and Carey kind regards to Dr. and Mrs. T. Dewey says
Carey is rather savage upon species, and where Carey has not given him a
favorable opinion upon any, it would amuse you to see how Dewey has
detailed them to me, in order if possible to save the poor creatures’
lives. Dewey has a good spirit and is altogether a most estimable man,
and I am sorry that we have to pull down any of his work. I must write
him a few things, that it may not come upon him all at once....

Yours truly,



NEW YORK, April 7, 1836.

DEAR SIR,--I take the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your
two kind letters, which reached me a few weeks since nearly at the same
time, one by the Liverpool packet and the other by the Lady Hannah
Ellice. Allow me also to thank you for the trouble you have taken in
naming the set of mosses, and especially for the beautiful parcel of
British mosses you were so good as to send me, which were truly welcome.
All British plants are so, as I have next to none in my herbarium; but
nothing could be more acceptable than such a complete and authentic suit
of the mosses of your country.

As to the Sandwich Island plants, I hardly know what to say. Supposing
they might be of some use to you in connection with other collections, I
copied the brief notes I made on studying them very hurriedly indeed,
and placed them at your disposal. I did not possess sufficient means for
determining them in a satisfactory manner, and fear I have committed
errors in many cases. You will doubtless detect these at once, and if,
on the whole, you think proper to publish them in the “Companion to the
Botanical Magazine,” may I ask you to revise the paper, and freely make
such corrections and alterations as you think proper. In that case, if
you think the notes worthy of publication, I should not object; yet you
are equally at liberty to use them in any other way. The parcel
contained a specimen of a Composita (from Mouna Kea) which puzzled me
extremely, and I was unable to ascertain its genus by Lessing. The
anthers are free, or slightly coherent, in all the flowers I examined.
Since the parcel was transmitted to you I have seen a specimen of Rhus
(from Sandwich Islands) resembling the one in the parcel, except in
having pubescent leaves. The latter is therefore improperly
characterized, and perhaps will prove to be a well-known species. I
shall hope to receive other and more complete specimens from Mr. Diell,
and if I am so fortunate will gladly share with so esteemed a
correspondent as Dr. Hooker. I hope to send you a parcel by the first
opportunity that occurs of sending direct to Glasgow: when I will put up
specimens of the mosses you desire, and will send a copy of the
“Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ” for the gentleman at Paris who wishes it.

It is so troublesome and expensive to get them bound that I should much
prefer, if any of your friends and correspondents should desire them, to
send the specimens with labels and loose title-pages, at $4 per volume,
each comprising, as you are aware, one hundred species. I may in that
way furnish larger and often more perfect or more numerous specimens
than in the bound copies. I hope to publish the third (and perhaps also
the fourth) volume early next autumn.

Allow me to express my thanks for your kind assistance in various ways,
and to say that I shall hereafter (D. V.) prosecute the study of our
lovely science with increased zeal. I remain, with sentiments of the
highest esteem,

Your much obliged friend,

October 10, 1836.

I also beg your acceptance of a copy of a little elementary botanical
work published last spring. I do not expect it to possess any particular
interest in your eyes; but in this country, unfortunately, no popular
and at the same time scientific elementary treatise has been generally
accessible to botanical students, and such a work was so greatly needed
that I felt constrained to make the attempt, since no better-qualified
person could be induced to undertake the labor.

A letter which Dr. Torrey has just received from Mr. Arnott gives me the
information that you have honored my attempt at a monograph of
Rhynchospora by commencing the reprinting of it in the “Companion to the
Botanical Magazine.” I might justly be proud that my first attempt
should be thought worthy such notice; but I wish it had been delayed
until you could receive the monograph “Cyperaceæ of North America” of
Dr. Torrey, in which I had occasion, in the revision of our
Rhynchosporæ, to make some important alterations and corrections, as
well as to introduce a new species and specify some additional
localities. The paper referred to I hope you will receive with this

Except a few extra copies, all the sheets of the monograph
“Rhynchosporæ” were destroyed by fire soon after being printed, and when
reprinted, about a year since, I added a few observations, notes of
additional localities, etc. But owing to a want of careful revision I
find there are several errors (several of which are quite material),
some of the pen and others of the types. I hope these have been detected
and corrected in the course of the reprint. I send herewith the sheets
of the paper as published here, with such typographical corrections as
now occur to me. Would it not be proper to append a reprint of the
revision of Rhynchosporæ in Dr. Torrey’s monograph, a copy of which I
hope will reach you with the present letter. If the specimens I send
please Mr. Webb I shall be glad. It is the last perfect set I have.
Please make no remittance, since the sum is too trifling, and moreover I
may soon have some favors to ask as to its disposal. Indeed, I know not
why I should not state that there is some probability that I may soon
visit the islands of the South Pacific Ocean as a botanist, in the
exploring expedition now fitting out under the orders of our government.
I am anxious to engage in this work, and I suppose may do so if I
choose, but I fear that the expedition, which, if well appointed and
conducted, may do much for the advancement of the good cause of science,
may be so marred by improper appointments as to render it unadvisable
for me to be connected with it. I therefore at present can merely throw
out the intimation that I may possibly accompany the naval expedition
which is expected to sail early in the spring, and to spend two years in
the southern portions of the Pacific Ocean. If so I hope to decide the
matter in time to procure many needed works, etc., from England and
France. I must here close by subscribing myself, with the highest

Your obedient servant,


NEW YORK, October 8, 1836.

You may recollect that I intimated to you that there was some
probability of my changing my situation before a great while. Matters
are now in such a state that it becomes proper to inform you that I
shall probably be offered the situation of botanist to the scientific
exploring expedition, now fitting out for the South Sea by the United
States government. This is to be a large expedition, consisting of a
frigate, two brigs, a store-ship, and a schooner; it is to be absent
about three years. It will sail possibly in the course of the winter,
but very probably not until spring. The scientific corps will consist of
several persons, in different departments of science, and the persons
who will probably be selected are mostly my personal friends: two of
them at least having been recommended at my suggestion. The quarters
offered us, and the accommodations, will be ample and complete, and the
pay will probably be considerable. We hope to obtain over $2500 per
year. Had I room here I would write you further particulars, but this
will do for the present. I ask whether, if everything is arranged in a
satisfactory manner, you are willing and think it best that I should go.
I think it not unlikely that the appointments will be made during the
present month. A few days ago I was offered the professorship of
chemistry and natural history in the college at Jackson, Louisiana (in
the upper part of that State, near the Mississippi River), with a salary
of $1500 per year. This I at once declined. I do not like the Southern

Yours affectionately,

NEW YORK, November 21, 1836.

No appointments are yet made in the scientific corps of the South Sea
expedition. The difficulties as to the naval officers are only just
settled. There are so many who wish to command that it is impossible to
please them all. Captain Jones, the commander, is now in town, and I had
the pleasure of seeing him this evening at the Astor hotel. He goes to
Boston to-morrow to look after the two brigs fitting out at the navy
yard there.

The Secretary of the Navy has written me that when the appointments are
made in the scientific corps, the chief naturalists will be called to
Washington for a few days, for the distribution of duties among them. If
the place for which I ask is given me, it is not unlikely that I may be
in Washington early next month. I think you cannot expect E. and myself
before about Thanksgiving Day, when if she should have recovered we
shall have one reason more than usual for returning thanks to the Author
of all good. You did not, it appears, think it a matter of sufficient
consequence to say anything about my contemplated voyage; or to offer
even an opinion about the matter. Perhaps you thought that, like most
people, I only asked advice after I had made up my own mind; and you are
not far from correct in this supposition. Still I should have been glad
to know that you take some interest in the matter.

As soon as anything is determined upon at headquarters I will let you

March 21, 1837.

Since I wrote you last I have been to Washington. I was there at the
inauguration and for a few days afterwards. We were not sent for by the
Secretary of the Navy, so we had to bear our own traveling expenses,
which were not small. When the secretary chooses to convene us, which he
seems in no great hurry to do, we shall probably be directed to meet at
Philadelphia, or perhaps at New York. There seems to be no doubt but
that we shall be here until July.

As they do not choose to advance us any pay yet, money will be very
scarce with me for a month or two at least. My engagement at the Lyceum
terminated at the close of their year, that is, on the last Monday of
last month. So, although I occupy my rooms here until the first of May,
I draw no salary.


NEW YORK, November 9, 1837.

DEAR DOCTOR,--Your letter and that of Mrs. T., dated November 7, reached
me this afternoon, to which I hasten to reply, as I have been just on
the point of writing you for a week past, but have waited from day to
day, in the expectation of being able to afford you more definite
information than I could have done. It is this, rather than want of time
or inclination, that often causes the delay in writing to my friends.
The intelligence which concerns us and interests our friends comes in
little by little, day by day. Thus, for instance, the scientific corps
were ordered to report here to Commander Jones nearly three weeks ago,
and they have been here waiting for a long time, for the secretary had
neglected to inform Jones of the fact, and he had come back to his home,
and only returned here this week. However, we have now reported and
shall take possession of our quarters in a fortnight. They are now
undergoing some alterations. We have appointed a caterer, advanced each
$120, and our stores will now be soon laid in. The purser of our
squadron to-day paid us four months’ pay in advance, a very seasonable
assistance. My bills having been approved by the government I am now
paying them off, and must see to getting all my materials packed up and
sent to the vessels, which are now lying at the navy yard, Brooklyn.

This will employ me for a day or two. It is impossible even now to tell
you the time of sailing with any certainty. My opinion is that we shall
get off about the first or before the 10th of December. It is certain
that the ships and stores will not be ready within three weeks, and it
would not surprise me, after what I have seen, if we should be kept back
longer than you expect. Let us once get to sea and you will not see or
hear of so much dilatoriness from us.

November 10. I was prevented from closing my letter last evening by the
calling of Professor Henry, who has just returned from a visit of nine
months to France and Great Britain. I have been very much engaged all
day, and sit down now for a little time, hoping to finish a few letters
which have been delayed too long already.

December 5.

I am here yet, and am like to be for a month or so. Commander Jones has
been sick for two or three weeks, and I am sorry to say there seems
little probability that he will be much better ever. He has a bad cough,
and raises blood--is of a consumptive habit. As he has been growing
worse, he this morning left for Philadelphia, on his way home. It is
thus most probable that we shall have a new commander, and a
considerable delay is unavoidable. I think the secretary will be put
right this winter by Congress.

Do let me know how Mrs. Trowbridge is. Please send this note to my
father, as it is a week or more since I wrote. As soon as anything
further is known I will let you know.

Yours very truly,

July 18, 1838.

DEAR TRO,--I find, by turning over some books that have been lying on my
table, four reviews which certainly ought to have been sent you long
ago, but which have been forgotten in my great hurry for the last week
or two. I will send them, with this, to-morrow: so look out for them. I
have not heard from you since I wrote you a pretty long epistle.

On the 10th instant I tendered my resignation, or rather requested to be
left out in the new arrangement. I supposed that it would have been
accepted and no words made; but instead Mr. Poinsett sends me word to
come on to Washington and have a talk with him, to learn more definitely
what their plans, etc., are, and thinks he will be able to remove my
present dissatisfaction, and if not says I may have leave to withdraw,
but urges me not to insist upon resigning without coming on to
Washington. Dana and Couthony are also invited to come on, Pickering
being already there. Though this request reaches me in such a form that
I cannot claim my traveling expenses, and probably shall not get them
(which is just like this nasty administration), yet I suppose I must go
on. The only difficulty is that I am afraid they will ply me with such
strong reasons as to prevail on me to hold my situation, particularly as
their new plan has the advantage of leaving home all the blockheads and
taking the best fellows; and moreover some other very promising offers
that I had have not been brought to bear very directly; in fact I see
that I should get nothing satisfactory from them for a year or two. I
intend to set out for Washington to-morrow afternoon. I shall endeavor
to make a very short stay, and if I come to any determination there I
will try to let you know.

I have scarcely time to write another letter; so please send this up to
my father, who has not heard from me in a good while.

Yours very truly,
A. G.


NEW YORK, August 6, 1838.

I have resigned my place in the exploring expedition! So that job is got
along with. I have been long in a state of uncertainty and perplexity
about the matter; but I believe that I have taken the right course. I
leave here to-morrow, and am obliged to travel as fast as I can go to
Detroit. I shall drop this note on the road somewhere: probably at
Utica. I must get as near to Detroit as possible by Saturday evening. I
hope to return in the latter part of the month; and intend to make you a
visit on my way back.


Friday morning, August 10, 1838.

MY DEAR MRS. TORREY,--The place from which I write is a very pleasant
and flourishing country village; the shire-town of Genesee County,
forty-four miles from Buffalo and about thirty-four from Rochester. Here
is your humble servant and correspondent “laid up for repairs.” This is,
you may say, my first stopping-place since I left New York, from which
place I am distant 418 miles. But I may as well begin at the beginning.
I left home, as you remember, on Tuesday evening; breakfasted in Albany,
dined at Utica, took stage immediately for Buffalo. We took our supper
at Chittenango, which Dr. T. will recollect as the Ultima Thule of our
peregrinations in the summer of 1826, and near which place we found the
Scolopendrium. Riding all night we were at Auburn (a lovely village) by
daybreak, and, passing through Geneva, arrived at Canandaigua in time
for dinner. We reached Avon, on the Genesee River, by sunset. Here is a
famous sulphur spring; and people crowd the dirty hotels and
boarding-houses to drink nasty water. We reached the next considerable
village, LeRoy, early in the evening; but our next stage, which brought
us to this place, only ten miles, was two and a half hours; so it was
about midnight when I arrived here, in a very pitiable plight, so
thoroughly exhausted I was obliged to leave the coach and betake myself
to rest. I was very unwilling to do this so long as I was able to ride,
as, had I continued with the coach, I should have reached Buffalo early
in the morning and in time for the steamboat, in which case I could
expect to reach Detroit Saturday afternoon, making only four days from
New York.

I find myself much better this morning, though weak, and so unstable
about the epigastrium that I scarcely dare take any food. I have been
debating with myself whether to go on directly to Buffalo to-day, and
take the steamboat of to-morrow morning for Cleveland, or some other
port in Ohio that I may be able to reach by Saturday evening; or to go
from this place directly to Niagara Falls, which I could reach before
evening, and remain there until Monday morning. I have pretty nearly
decided upon taking the former course, as I shall save some time
thereby. But I dread a tedious ride in a stagecoach. In either case I
hope to have an opportunity of writing again to-morrow evening.

I met Professor Bailey,[33] of West Point, on board the boat in which I
came up the river. He had called the evening previous, when both Dr.
Torrey and myself were out. He informed me that the professorship of
chemistry, etc., was now established by law on the same footing with the
other professorships at West Point, and that the pay of all was
increased, so that it is now equivalent to that of a major of cavalry;
and more than this: he has been successful in obtaining the place for
himself. The stage is nearly ready, and I must hasten. Did the doctor
meet Mr. Herrick? I have been thinking that, as they do not know each
other, the chance of their meeting at the Astor House is but slight. I
must have given both him and yourself no little trouble with my
expedition trappings; and if Herrick should conclude to stay at home
after all, which is not unlikely, we shall lose our labor. However, tell
Dr. T. that I will do as much for him whenever he fits out for an
exploring expedition!

CLEVELAND, OHIO, August. 12, 1838,--
the 4th day of my pilgrimage.

Ere this reaches you, a letter which I sent to the post-office in
Batavia, New York, will probably have come to hand. The coach called for
me before I had finished, and I was obliged to take my portfolio in my
hand, and finish, seal, and address the letter in the coach during a
moment’s delay at the stage-office. I arrived at Buffalo a few minutes
after sunset; stopped at a hotel not very munch smaller than the Astor
House, with accommodations scarcely inferior. Learning that a boat was
to leave for Detroit and the intervening ports that evening at eight
o’clock I secured a passage. The internal organization of the Bunker
Hill (and I believe the other boats on the lake are not materially
different) is rather odd, but very well adapted to answer the purpose
for which it is intended. All the boats carry large quantities of
freight, and the whole space beneath the main deck is occupied by
merchandise, and by the boilers and fuel. The deck is crowded with
boxes, bales, and casks, many of which are directed to places in the far
West yet so distant that they have hardly commenced their journey. The
after part is occupied chiefly by a sort of cabin for deck passengers
(equivalent to steerage passengers), in which men, women, and children,
Dutch, Irish, Swiss, and Yankee, are promiscuously jumbled. It is
infinitely better, however, than the steerage of packet-ships. The bow
of the boat is occupied by a different set of passengers, viz., eight or
ten horses, destined to draw sundry wagons which now occupy a very
conspicuous situation in front of the promenade-deck. You would suppose
there was no room left for cabin passengers. On the contrary, their
accommodations, though by no means splendid, are really very comfortable
and complete. They occupy what in a North River boat forms the
promenade-deck, which here extends nearly the whole length of the
vessel, has a ladies’ saloon entirely separate from the gentlemen’s
cabin, and three or four private state-rooms for families. The
gentlemen’s cabin is fitted up with state-rooms with three berths in
each, and as there was only a moderate number of passengers I was so
fortunate as to secure a whole state-room to myself, where I enjoyed
very comfortable rest. When I rose, we were approaching the town of
Erie, Pennsylvania. I made an attempt, while we were detained at the
wharf, to get on shore to botanize: but time would not permit, and I
consoled myself with the comfortable reflection that the dry and sterile
gravely banks of the lake were not likely to afford me anything worth
the trouble. We had a strong head wind nearly all day, so that our
progress was not very rapid: the surface of the lake was covered with
white-caps, and the boat pitched so as sadly to disturb the equanimity
of a great part of the passengers. Indeed, although I was at no time
sick, I found it the most prudent course to pass a large portion of the
time in a recumbent position; and I was heartily glad when, a little
before sunset, we came in sight of Cleveland. One or two passengers,
destined for Detroit, etc., landed to pass the Sabbath here, among whom
was Mr. Baldwin of Philadelphia, the machinist, a member of Mr. Barnes’
church, a very able and interesting man. We are both at the same hotel,
and it being much crowded we occupy rooms which open into each other. I
had a little time before night-fall to walk through the city (which will
ultimately be a very pleasant place, and is now flourishing, but like
most Western towns in a very unfinished state). The people show some
signs of civilization: they eat ice-cream, which is sold in many places.
I tried the article and found it very good,--nearly the same as what I
might just at this moment be enjoying at 30 MacDougal Street, were I now
there (as I wish I was), for it is more than probable that the notes of
the peripatetic vender are falling upon your ear. Returning to the hotel
I consulted the city directory, and read an account of the early
settlement of this portion of the State, which is the famous Western
Reserve once owned by Connecticut and settled mostly by citizens of that
State, who brought with them the heretical doctrines and measures which
caused the expulsion of the Western Reserve synod last year. But the
evening is advancing, and I must break off; and hoping that the
approaching Sabbath may be profitable to both of us and that you may be
blessed with comfortable health and strength to enjoy it, I bid you

Sunday evening.--I attended the First Presbyterian Church this morning,
expecting to hear Mr. Aikin, the pastor, formerly of Utica; but,
instead, we heard President McGuffey of Cincinnati College, who is quite
a celebrated man in this State.

Detroit, Tuesday noon.--I improve the first moment I could secure for
the purpose to continue my letter, hoping to fill the sheet in time for
the next mail.

On Monday (yesterday) morning I went botanizing, but found absolutely
nothing. I kept near the shore of the lake that I might see the first
steamboat that came in sight, and one was momently expected. It did not
arrive, however, until eleven o’clock, and it was a little after noon
before we were under way. The wind was very fresh, and the billows of
Lake Erie would not have disgraced the Atlantic. It was, however, in our
favor, and we made good progress; but for about two hours we had to run
in the trough of the sea, so that the boat pitched and rolled sadly. At
sunset we arrived at Sandusky in Ohio. The entrance to the bay is very
beautiful. The lake is studded with islands of various sizes, all
covered with trees, with here and there a house or a cultivated field
upon the larger ones. It was dark before we left; the water was still
rough. I went into the cabin and read until it was time to occupy my
berth. I am not sure whether I told you that I had lost Bishop
Berkeley. I left it behind at Avon, where I was too sick to think about
it, but the driver promised me faithfully, for value received, to look
it up and send it to the stage-office at Buffalo, where I may find it on
my return.

I was roused this morning just at daybreak. We were just at Detroit. I
established myself at a hotel, got my breakfast, and sallied forth to
survey the town, which is larger than I supposed and most beautifully
situated. As soon as I thought your friend, C. W. Whipple,[34] might be
at his office I called to pay my respects and deliver the doctor’s
letter. He was not in; but arrived in a few minutes. He is a
good-looking man, but I suspect rather older and a good deal fatter than
when you knew him. His black hair has a few silver threads mingled with
it, but his countenance is youthful and most thoroughly good-natured. We
had some conversation; then went to see Dr. Pitcher, but he was not at
home: thence to Dr. Houghton’s house, which is entirely occupied as a
store-house for the stuff collected in the State survey. It is
astonishing what a prodigious quantity of labor Dr. H. and his
companions have done and what extensive collections they have made. Dr.
H. is not now at home but is expected to-morrow. We went next to the
State-House, but did not find Governor Mason at his office. We looked
through the building, at their commencement for a State library, etc.,
where we met some of the dignitaries of the State. We ascended into the
cupola which crowns the building, where we have a most beautiful view of
the town and region round about, the roads all diverging from the
centre, the noble river, which we could trace from its commencement in
Lake St. Clair. The people are evidently very proud of the prospect. By
the way, I hear that the doctor’s protégé Dr. Fischer has been here, and
has gone on to Indiana to astonish the people with his new fashion of
blowing up rocks. He has performed wonders in this way between this
place and New York. Whipple thinks they will have some place for him
next winter. The university branch in this place has a vacation soon,
and a public examination is now going on; thither we next directed our
steps. I was introduced to the principal, Mr. Fitch, to whom they give a
salary of $1500 per annum. I am informed that they employ no teachers or
principals in any of the branches without first submitting them to a
thorough examination. We stayed until the examination suspended for
dinner, when I returned to my room, and here you see me
engaged.--Sunset. After dinner Mr. Whipple called for me, and we went to
see Governor Mason at his house. We were introduced to his sisters....
They live in a very good house, quite elegantly furnished. We stayed
only a few minutes, all going to Whipple’s office, where a meeting of
the board of regents was appointed to be held. It was known that there
would be no quorum, so they adjourned until Thursday, when Mr. Mundy is
expected back from New York, and a meeting of consequence will be held.
I was introduced to Chancellor Farnsworth (who wrote me from the
committee), Major Kearsley, Judge Brooks (Whipple’s father-in-law) and
others. We all went to the examination, which was, as usual, very
stupid, and as it closed we stopped in at the Catholic church--cathedral
as it is called--and saw the pictures, of which there are several, some
of them valuable. I was struck with a portrait of St. Peter, a stout
Paddy-looking fellow with a heavy black beard and mustachios,
bare-footed, lugging a pair of keys as large as he could grasp! We
expect nearly all hands to go to Ann Arbor on Friday. All speak in
glowing terms of the beauty of the location for the university. I had a
few minutes’ conversation with Whipple as to the plan of buildings,
etc., which satisfied me, but I wait for more information before I
attempt to write you about the matter.

I am, so far, pleased on the whole with the prospects here, and think
they are more promising than I had at first supposed. I must break off
again, as I see Governor Mason has come, as he promised, to give me a
call. I had hoped to conclude and fill the sheet ere this. I find that
we had the fortune to come through the lake in rather slow vessels.
There are several upon the lake which make the trip between Buffalo and
Detroit in twenty-six or twenty-seven hours. These are large and really
splendid boats, carrying little freight, with richly furnished cabins. I
will try to arrange matters so as to come down one of these boats.
To-morrow I hope to botanize a little.... Mr. Whipple has also asked me
to take a ride up to the foot of St. Clair Lake. Now I have nearly
filled this very large sheet, and it is so dark I can hardly see to
finish. I shall look at the office to-morrow for a letter from home.

I was asked to-day if I would stay here until toward winter! I said I
had rather on the whole be excused!

How are the girls? I must write to them specially as soon as I can. Does
the doctor go regularly to market every morning? I hope to get away from
here early next week. Best remembrances to the doctor. Adieu.

DETROIT, August 16, 1838.

My last letter left here, I suppose, in yesterday morning’s boat, and
will reach New York in four days. Since its last date nothing whatever
has transpired here of any interest. Dr. Houghton arrived here yesterday
morning, and as it was a rainy day I spent near the whole time at his
house. He is a very energetic little fellow, and the account of his
adventures in exploring the unsettled portions of the State is very
interesting. He has slept in a house not more than a dozen nights since
the commencement of his surveys this season. Mr. Whipple was somewhat
unwell, and. I saw him but for a few minutes. I am now going round to
his office to read the newspapers, as a mail from New York must have
arrived this morning.

Thursday evening.--I spent the whole morning with Mr. Whipple, who is
really a downright clever fellow in both the English and the Yankee
senses of the term. We compared notes fully about the university and
everything about the matter we could think of. I obtained all the
information he could afford me about what they were doing, and
contemplated doing. I told him fully what I wished to do, and in
everything I believe we understood each other and agreed wonderfully.
This is important, because Whipple, although secretary of the board, is
not a member; yet he is the moving spirit of the whole, and throws his
whole energy into the work. We owe the plan adopted as to the
arrangement of buildings, etc., to him, and he carried it over
considerable opposition. As I know it is just what will please the
doctor I mention it here. It is to have the professor’s houses entirely
distinct from both the university building and the dormitories of the
students. The grounds are nearly square, and are to be entirely
surrounded by an avenue. He proposes to have a university building for
lecture-rooms, library, laboratory, etc., but to contain no students and
no families; to have two lateral buildings for students and the tutors
who have the immediate charge of them. Then to build professors’ houses
on the other side of the quadrangle, fronting the main building, each
with about an acre of land for yard and garden, by which the houses will
not only be away from the students, but at sufficient distance from each
other to render them retired and quiet. It is quite a point with him
that the professors shall have retired, comfortable houses, so that they
shall be subject to no annoyance. By the way, Whipple informed me to-day
of something that had turned up quite unexpectedly. Your old friend is
about to be made a judge. The appointment is expected to be made by the
first of next month. He is induced to accept this place because it will
release him from the drudgery of professional business and give him
nearly six months of leisure each year: which leisure he wishes to
devote to the interests of the university. This will make him a member
of the board of regents, of which the judges are ex-officio members.

There was to be a meeting of the regents this evening; but as
Lieutenant-Governor Mundy had not arrived there was no quorum. It seems
that Mundy has not managed well, and has allowed the plans to be
delayed, and Davis, instead of sending the plan he promised, is coming
out here to see for himself. So it is probable the plans will not all be
in for a month or so. Chancellor Farnsworth, the chairman of the
committee appointed to confer with me, called to-day, but I was out. I
saw him this evening. Whipple had repeated to him the substance of my
conversation with him, and I am desired to commit my plans to writing,
that he may embody it in his report at the next meeting of the regents.
This I am to do to-morrow (D. V.) and to call on the chancellor
to-morrow evening, with Whipple, to talk over the matter. There is every
reason to believe that my propositions will be adopted. I say nothing
about the subject of salary, and avoid the matter’s being broached until
the rest is settled. I shall leave it for them to propose. If they
employ me, according to the plan I shall present, they can’t well avoid
offering to pay me handsomely. Prospective appointments will be offered
erelong (the coming fall or early in winter) to Professor Henry,
Professor Torrey, and perhaps one or two others. Whipple expressed a
desire to attempt to secure Professor Douglass[35] for the department of
engineering, etc. Everything looks well. The board are determined to
prescribe a course of studies and training which shall bring the school
up at once to the highest standard. I do not think that there exists
another board of regents in the country that will compare with this for
energy and capability. But I must break off, as I have a pretty
important lecture to prepare to-morrow. I am afraid that these long
letters, in which I set down everything that happens from morning to
night, will prove very tiresome to you; but I have nothing else to write
about. I am anxious to get through, when I will return as fast as
steamboats and railroads will carry me.

ANN ARBOR, August 20.

I snatch the few moments that are left me ere the arrival of the stage
that is to take me to Detroit to complete my journal. I broke off, I
think, late on Thursday evening. On Friday I kept close to my room until
I had finished my letter to Chancellor Farnsworth. I sallied out about 4
P.M., showed my letter to Whipple, who approved it altogether and
insisted upon our calling on the governor and showing it to him, in
order that he might drive the committee a little, if it should be
necessary. The servant told us his Excellency was not at home, but
Whipple insisted upon his looking into his private room, before he was
too confident. And there sure enough we found him. Mason will be down
erelong to take a wife. With his approval, the letter was sent round to
the chancellor. Whipple, Pitcher, Houghton, and myself spent the evening
at the chancellor’s residence, a very pretty place. Mrs. Farnsworth is
very ladylike and agreeable. Both the chancellor and his lady are from
Vermont, and are more than usually intelligent. In the morning I started
alone for Ann Arbor,--thirty miles by railroad, and ten (the road not
being completed) by stagecoach. I left Detroit at nine A.M. (after going
to the post office and being much disappointed and grieved to find no
letter,--please tell the doctor so), and reached this place about noon.
The location is really delightful, and in a very few years it will be
the prettiest possible place for a residence. But I must reserve all
particulars until I see you, if I am allowed that pleasure; for although
there is an attempt to keep me here until after the arrival of Mr.
Davis, the architect, who is to be here in about ten days, yet I am
anxious, deeply anxious, to get back again. If I wait his arrival I
shall necessarily be detained here until about the 10th of September. It
would be desirable on many accounts, but--I don’t mean to stay.

The grounds for the university are very prettily situated. The only
possible fault I can imagine is that they are too level. I have
contrived a plan for the arrangement of the grounds which gives
satisfaction to the members of the board here, and I think will suit
all. I brought letters to Chief Justice Fletcher and Judge Wilkins. I
spent the evening at Dr. Denton’s, one of the regents, with several
gentlemen and ladies, married and unmarried. It having been ascertained
that I was unmarried, it was suggested that I might possibly lose my
heart; but I assure you I was never in less danger. On Sunday attended
the Presbyterian church here. The pastor, an amiable and very pious old
man, was to preach his last sermon to-day, the people having grown too
wise for their teachers. His morning discourse from the text, “Christ
commended his love to us in that while we were yet sinners,” etc.,--a
very good sermon. In the afternoon his farewell discourse was from Acts
xx. 32, and did honor to his heart. (The stage is ready.) At twilight I
in fancy transported myself to 30 MacDougal Street, where yourself, the
doctor, and the children were singing your evening hymns. I sang to
myself, as well as I could, all the hymns you were singing, as I
supposed, and wished myself with you. This morning I have been
botanizing, and have cured for the doctor some specimens (clusters of
Eshcol) of this goodly land. So be prepared for a very favorable report.
My pen is abominable, and I have not another moment.

(DETROIT), 8.30, Monday evening, August 20.

A pleasant afternoon ride brought me back again to this place, where my
first care was to run to the post office, nothing doubting that I should
find a letter; but I was wofully disappointed, and yet it is the 20th of
the month! This is too bad. Do beseech the doctor to write; and
especially if I should be detained here until the fourth or fifth day of
next month, as I fear may be necessary, ask him to write every other day
until you hear from me again.

I am glad to get back here again on one account. The fare here, which is
no great matter, I assure you, is excellent compared with the hotel at
Ann Arbor. Indeed, I have not taken my place at a single dinner-table
for ten days without being reminded of Charles Lamb and his memorable
essay on Roast Pig. Here he might riot in his favorite dish (which is in
my opinion wretched stuff), as one of the aforesaid juvenile quadrupeds,
with a sprig of parsley in his mouth, has been regularly presented to my
eyes ever since I left the State of New York. I am sadly bothered as to
the course I should take. I suppose I might be able to leave here on
Thursday of this week, and, staying over Sabbath at Oswego (making no
stay at the Falls), arrive at my father’s Tuesday evening, and at New
York on Friday morning. But before I could reach New York, Mr. Davis,
according to his appointment, would be at Detroit, and it is possible
that a very few days would enable us to settle almost everything about
the arrangement of the grounds, the internal disposition of the
university building, and the plan of professors’ houses. I feel so
strong a hope that the doctor will be persuaded to take a professorship
that I have fixed upon the place for his house, should my plan for the
arrangement of the grounds be adopted. And I am very desirous to return
to you with the plans in my hands, that I may submit them to Dr. T.,
Prof. Henry, etc., in time to correct our mistakes and suggest
improvements. I see also that if I leave now (although I have explained
that I made arrangements on leaving to be back by the first of
September, and that it is very necessary I should return by that time),
I should lose much of the influence I have acquired, and it is more than
probable that some error would be committed that we should not see in
time to rectify.

I am anxious that the proper means should be adopted to supply the
university and houses with water in abundance, and at such a level that
it can be taken into the second story of the professors’ houses; I think
you may imagine one reason why I am so solicitous about this matter. I
was pleased to find on my arrival here that this subject had already
received much attention, and there is a determination, on the part of
nearly all the regents I have conversed with, to effect this object at
whatever expense. Of the different plans in contemplation only one, I
think, will effectually answer the purpose. I have some hope that the
subject will be acted upon at the first meeting after Mr. Davis arrives.
Before that time I suspect we shall not be able to secure the quorum
necessary for the transaction of this and other matters of business. I
hope also to secure an appropriation for the library, and philosophical
and chemical apparatus. I feel pretty confident of accomplishing this
result by early autumn.

This is my last entire sheet of large paper, so you may expect no more
such tedious letters, unless I find more like it. But if I do not hear
from you, and that speedily, I shall be very unhappy. Ask Dr. T. to open
any letters that may have come from Norfolk or Washington, and apprise
me of the contents, or take any steps that become necessary. Adieu, my
dear friend. May our Heavenly Father bless and keep you and yours is the
sincere prayer of your attached,



NEW YORK, October 1, 1838.

DEAR DOCTOR,--My arrangements are now so far completed that I may say,
with as much confidence as we may speak of any event subject to ordinary
contingencies, that I hope to sail for London on the first of next
month. I am of course hard at work; there is no need to tell you that.
The second part of “Flora” we hope, by hard work, to have published
about the 20th inst.

Yours truly,


NEW YORK, November 7, 1838.

I expect to sail to-morrow for Liverpool in the packet-ship
Pennsylvania, unless the weather should prove unfavorable, which is not
unlikely. The sailing has already been postponed one day, much to my
relief, as, although I have not taken off my clothes for two nights, I
am not yet quite ready. I hope to get everything in order before I
sleep. You can write to me readily at any time.

I have worked very hard for a few weeks past, but I shall now have a
fine time to rest. I am in very good health and spirits.

Mrs. Torrey has a fine boy a few weeks old, and is doing well. Kind
remembrances to all, in haste,

A. G.


SHIP PENNSYLVANIA, 9th November, 1838.

MY DEAR MOTHER,--These few lines will be sent on shore in a few minutes
by the pilot, and will soon reach you. We shall be out of sight of land
in less than two hours more, with a fine breeze. The ship has some
motion, but I am not at all sick yet. We have a fine ship and every
prospect of a speedy voyage. I shall write at once from Liverpool.
Good-by again to all. Letters are called for. Good-by; remember me in
your prayers.

Your affectionate son,




It has been deemed expedient to give a somewhat fuller narrative of Dr.
Gray’s first visit to Europe than of his subsequent ones. It was then
that he formed many personal acquaintances which ripened into lifelong
friendships, and received his first impressions of scenes in nature and
art which were to become very familiar. His letters home took the form
of a very detailed journal, and it is in extracts from this journal,
supplemented by letters to other friends, that this narrative consists.


ADELPHI HOTEL, LIVERPOOL, 12 M., December 1, 1838.

We came up the Channel with a gentle breeze, and anchored at half-past
nine. At ten minutes past ten I set my feet on the soil (or rather the
stone) of Old England. We were very fortunate in our ship, having made
our voyage in twenty-one days; while the England (in which, you may
remember, I once had intended to sail), which left New York on the first
of November, came to anchor just ten minutes before us (thirty days).
The Garrick, which sailed on the twenty-fifth of October, arrived here
only on Saturday. I must close this letter early in the morning....

Evening.--This short English day has been occupied in good part in
getting my luggage from the ship and through the custom house. I sallied
out a little past nine in the morning; went first of all to a tailor and
ordered a coat (which is to be finished and delivered this evening);
then dispatched my letters for home by the United States; found our own
ship just going into dock (what docks they are! but as we have always
plenty of water we do not so much need them in New York); arranged my
luggage, and then proceeded all hands to the custom house (a large new
building, rather imposing in appearance), where I was detained until
past three o’clock. I had fifteen pounds of books to pay duty upon
(fifteen shillings), and nothing to complain of as to the manner of the
examination.... After dinner, visited the market, which on Saturday
evening is full and busy. It is about twice the size of all the New York
markets put together, and a sight well worth seeing. I examined
everything scrutinizingly, but will not trouble you with my

Sunday evening, December 2.--Went this morning to the chapel of the
school for the blind. The chanting and singing was very fine, and the
sight an interesting one. But to me the solemnity of the church service
is by no means increased by being chanted; heard a tolerable sermon. In
the evening heard Dr. Raffles.[36] His chapel is a gloomy structure
externally, but very neat and comfortable within. Dr. R. preached the
first of a series of discourses “On the most remarkable events in the
early history of the Israelites,” commencing with the bondage in Egypt,
which was the subject this evening; a very good sermon, delivered in an
impressive (but rather pompous) manner. I am very anxious to get to
Glasgow. I have been living in society, for the last three weeks, by no
means to my taste, and most of them are still here. It is not very
pleasant to spend a Sabbath alone at a hotel; but I suppose I must needs
become accustomed to it.

I was not fully aware, until yesterday, how much cause we had for
thankfulness at our safe arrival. The gales which we encountered off the
Irish coast have caused a great number of shipwrecks, and it is feared
that many lives are lost. The England escaped most narrowly.

Feather’s Inn, Chester, Monday evening.--I have, my dear friend, the
singular pleasure of writing and addressing to you another leaf of my
journal from a city which was founded, according to the directory which
lies before me, “in the year, 917 B.C., at which time Jehosaphat and
Ahab governed Israel and Judah,”--the only walled and fortified city in
England of which the walls are yet in a state of preservation. The city
was rebuilt by Julius Cæsar, and was an important Roman station; and
there yet remain many vestiges of Roman occupancy; a hypocaust is still
to be seen under the hotel in which I am now staying,--so it is said,
for I have not yet seen it, having arrived here after dark. But I expect
to be very much interested in this queer old town, for which I owe
thanks to Dr. Torrey, since it was his recommendation that induced me to
come here. I have scampered about the streets this evening, bought some
lithographic views, studied the directory, and am prepared for a busy
day between Chester and Eaton Hall, should I live till to-morrow. But
it is time I should tell you briefly how I got here. This morning soon
after breakfast I walked out to the Botanic Garden, delivered a note of
introduction to Shepherd,[37] who received me rather politely, inquired
after Dr. Torrey, and showed me through the greenhouses. The
establishment is not where it was when Dr. T. was here, but was removed
further out of town, two or three years ago. The garden occupies eleven
acres; the site is well chosen; but being newly planted there is of
course little to see. The hothouses are very well, but not extensive;
the collections not particularly interesting, except for some old plants
that have belonged to the establishment many years.

I took my cloak and umbrella (necessary articles these!), and at 3 P.M.
crossed the Mersey in a small uncomfortable black steamboat, about as
much inferior to our Hoboken or Brooklyn ferry-boats as a Barnegat
wood-schooner is to a packet-ship; and at Birkenhead took an outside
seat for Chester (ten miles), though it rained often and blew hard and
cold; had a good view of the country until about five miles from
Chester, when it grew dark; saw little villages, farm-houses and
cottages, cows, etc., all of which is much more interesting to me than
the smoky town of Liverpool. I have seen several little things that are
new to me. Let us see what I can recollect at the moment. Hedges of
holly--those I am pleased with, particularly when sheared and clipped.
The prettiest fence is a stone wall over-topped with a close hedge of
holly. Ivy in profusion covering great walls, trees, etc., etc.,--we
have nothing to compare with it; a flock of rooks,--very like crows,
but larger; an English stagecoach,--more of that anon; a coach and four
with postilions,--fine. But I must stop here.

P. S.--Liverpool again, Tuesday evening.--I have accomplished a good
day’s work to-day. Rose early, made the circuit of the city of Chester
on the walls before breakfast, explored all about the town; visited the
cathedral, walked to Eaton Hall, four miles and back again; and then,
finding there was no coach in the morning until nine o’clock, took an
evening coach, and returned here ten P.M., much gratified, but a little
fatigued; so good-night. A. G.


I do not just now feel like a traveler. I have been for almost a week,
if not at home, yet the next thing to it, in the truly hospitable
mansion of our good friends here, where I was received with that cordial
kindness which you, having experienced before me, can well understand.
Indeed I owe it chiefly to you, who I assure you are not forgotten here.
Ecce signum. Both Sir William and Lady Hooker call me, oftener than
anything else, by the name of Dr. Torrey. I answer to the name promptly,
and am much flattered to be your representative.

I have just stuck fast here, busy among the plants from morning till
night. I have been out of the house but twice (except to church on
Sunday): once a walk into town with Mr. Hooker, Senior (kind and amiable
old man, who insists upon taking me about, and showing me whatever he
showed you), and once with Sir William to the Botanic Garden. I am
anxious to improve every moment here, where there is so much to be done
and such ample means. Arnott has written, inviting me to spend some time
with him, which I hope to do, visiting him from Edinburgh, there being
now no coach to Stirling or Kinross, from Glasgow direct.... Sir William
has given me many interesting plants; we have settled many points of
interest. He had our new Nuttallia all figured for the Supplement to
“Flora Borealis Americana” as a new genus, and we have recently found it
among plants from the Snake country, which, with Douglas’s and other
Californian plants, he is publishing as a supplement to “Beechey’s
Voyage.” I begged him to adopt the name Nuttallia. He offered at once to
publish it as of Torrey and Gray, but I would not consent to this, and I
am sure you would agree with me. He has in different ways a great share
of Nuttall’s so far,--Pickeringia for instance (which is a shrubby
Baptisia), Kentrophyta, etc. I shall be kept here ten days longer, I
think; no one else abroad is so rich in North American botany or takes
so much interest in it. I am requested to study all his Sandwich Island
plants (including my own parcel here), and make an article for the
“Annals of Natural History” while here. I think I will, if on looking
over the parcels I think I can do the subject justice. Can’t
Knieskern[38] safely make the excursion to Sante Fé in the coming
spring? If he can, and will work hard, he will make $1000 clear of
expenses! All the collectors make money. Hooker is very anxious about
it. I hope to find the fifty copies of “Flora” at Wiley & Putnam’s on
reaching London. I hope you have seen the partner at New York on the
subject, and that the “Flora” will be advertised fully in London before
I reach there. But I must close. Don’t fail to write very often. Sir
William and Lady Hooker and all the family, old, young, and middle-aged,
all send their most affectionate regards. I sit over against your
portrait at dinner. It is very like you....


KINROSS, Wednesday evening, January 2, 1839.

My journal will inform you of all my movements and doings, and also of
the arrival of your welcome letter by the Liverpool, while I remained at
Sir William’s. I am much distressed at the thought of your anticipated
engagements with Princeton, and wish very much that you could have felt
yourself warranted in delaying until after the expected meeting of the
regents of the Michigan university, which was to take place on the 10th
of December. While there is the slightest hope remaining I do not like
to relinquish the thought that we may hereafter work together and live
near each other. The fear that this may not be the case has of late
rendered me much more anxious to obtain books and specimens, in order
that I may get on by myself in case I shall be compelled to work alone.
I need not attempt to tell you how much I have enjoyed my visit to
Hooker. He is truly one of Nature’s noblemen. We worked very hard for
twenty days, and I would have been glad to have stayed as much longer;
for as yet I have looked into few books. All the collections of Carex
placed in Boott’s hands have been returned to Hooker, and I assisted
him in arranging them and selecting for his herbarium; in the course of
which I have obtained specimens of nearly all the Northern and Oregonian
ones, including one or two which have come in recently, of which I have,
when there were duplicates, specimens also for you. The return numbers
of those sent you were in many cases strangely misplaced, and Boott has
often been sadly confounded. He has studied the genus very critically,
hypercritically I may say; for he makes new species where we should
think there were too many already. We went over Hooker’s Grasses in the
same way, and I have obtained numerous specimens and much useful
information which we shall presently require. On Christmas day Joseph
Hooker selected from a large Van Dieman’s Land collection a suite of
specimens as far as they have been studied (to Calycifloræ), in which
there is in almost every instance a specimen for each of us....

In looking over the recent collections from the Snake country, and
Douglas’s Californian, I recognized a great portion of Nuttall’s,[39]
but by no means all. There was a single specimen of Kentrophyta in
excellent fruit; another of Astrophia, with neither flower or fruit,
collected long ago by Scouler and mixed in with a species of Hosackia,
to which genus I am not sure that it is not nearly allied. Nuttall has
made too many Hosackias! The copy of “Flora,” with my notes, has gone
round to London, so that I cannot now communicate many curious things
noted in the second part. But how did we overlook the Hosackia
crassifolia twice over! I am glad you have the fruit of Chapmannia. I am
a little afraid of Stylosanthes, of which there is a sort of monograph
by Vogel in the current volume of the “Linnæa;” but no plurifoliate ones
appear. Hooker has a curious new genus of Chenopodiaceæ, from the Rocky
Mountains, figured for the “Icones,” which he wishes to call Grayia! I
am quite content with a Pig-weed; and this is a very queer one.

At Glasgow, although my stay was prolonged to twenty days, I was unable
in that time to accomplish all I wished with Hooker; and you may be sure
we lost no time, and that I could spare very little to visit those
objects of interest passing by. I did not omit, however, as you may well
suppose, to visit the High Church (the old Cathedral), where I spent an
interesting hour, having contrived to go there alone that I might enjoy
myself in my own way. From this I visited the new cemetery, which
occupies the summit of a hill adjacent to and overlooking the Cathedral.
On the very summit, raised on a tall column, is a colossal figure of old
John Knox in the attitude of preaching, but ever and anon he seems to
cast a scowling look down upon the Cathedral, as if he were inclined to
make another attempt to demolish its walls. And well he might, for if
what I hear be true, I fancy he would find the preaching now heard
within its walls almost as destitute of savor as when the shrine of the
Virgin Mary occupied its place in the chapel which bears her name. The
Cathedral is now undergoing some repairs; the seats, etc., for the
church which occupied the nave are taken away, so that the fine nave
presents nearly the original appearance. But the crypt, said to be the
finest in the kingdom, is now closed and the key in the possession of
an architect at Edinburgh, so that I could not obtain admittance. It was
in this place, perchance you may recollect, that the first meeting of
Rob Roy with Osbaldistone took place. My Scotch reminiscences have been
greatly revived to-day. To-day I have for the first time seen and
tasted--only tasted--the two Scotch national dishes, viz., singed
sheep’s head and a haggis!

I had arranged to leave Glasgow on the morning after Christmas, when Sir
William insisted on my staying at least over Wednesday to sit for my
portrait! I contrived, however, to sit on Tuesday (Christmas day), when
I was done in about four hours, in the same style as Sir William’s other
botanical portraits, and with so much success that it was unanimously
proclaimed to be a most striking likeness; in fact the most successful
of all the artist’s attempts are said to be this and that of Dr. Torrey,
by whose side, it seems, I am destined to be suspended!--a compliment
with which I may well feel highly gratified. I believe it is a capital

I dined out only once at Glasgow, at the house of Mr. Davidson, a very
rich don who has made all his money in business here.

Late in the day I went into town to secure a place in the early coach
for Stirling and also a bed for the night, as well as to select some
little Christmas presents for the Misses Hooker. In the evening Sir
William had several friends to dinner, and soon after the breaking up of
the evening party I took my leave of these kind friends with no small
regret; my contemplated visit of ten days has been prolonged to just
twice that number. And now, as we have fairly bid adieu to the old
year, I must also bid good-by to you for the present, wishing you, not
as the mere compliment of the season, but with all my heart and soul,--a
happy New Year. The last New Year I well remember; several of its
predecessors also I have had the pleasure of spending with you. I pray
God we may be preserved and have a happy meeting before another new year


KINROSS, Wednesday Evening, January 2, 1839.

I left Glasgow at seven o’clock A.M. on the morning of the 26th
December, on the top of a stage-coach bound for Stirling, so famous in
song and story,--distant about thirty miles from Glasgow. I arrived
about half past ten, in the midst of a heavy rain.

On leaving Stirling for Perth, I took an inside place, as the storm
still continued, but it shortly cleared up, and I rode on the outside
nearly the whole journey. The only place worth noticing, or rather which
I have time to notice, through which we passed was Dumblane, which is
just one of those dirty Scotch villages which defy description. If
“Jessie the flower of Dumblane” lived in one of these comfortless and
wretched hovels I’ll warrant her charms are much overpraised in the
song. Here I saw for the first time a genuine ruin; that of the large
and once important Cathedral, founded in 1142. During the short-lived
establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland I think that the good Leighton
was for a time rector of Dumblane. Just beyond Dumblane we passed the
field of Sheriff-muir, and beyond this, at the little village of Ardoch,
I passed, without being aware at the time, the finest and most entire
Roman camp in Britain; we passed some fine country-seats on the road;
had a long way the distant Grampian Hills, on which “my father fed his
flocks,” in full view; and somewhat late in a fine moonlight evening, I
arrived at Perth. As the stage which passed Arlary left Perth at nine
o’clock in the morning, and I could not afford to spend a day here, I of
course saw little of this famous town.... A pleasant ride brought me to
Arlary at eleven o’clock A.M., and Arnott was by the roadside awaiting
my arrival. I was sorry to learn that he is not a general favorite among
his brother botanists; but although most of them possess greater
advantages, he has but one superior in Great Britain, and in most
departments very few equals. He received me with great kindness, and I
have spent a few days with him very pleasantly indeed. He is a hearty,
good fellow, and improves vastly on acquaintance. I was exceedingly
pleased with Mrs. Arnott, who is exceedingly amiable and lively. On
Sunday it stormed terribly, so that we were unable to leave the house.
On Tuesday I dined with Mr. and Mrs. Arnott, Mr. Wemyss, the clergyman
of the parish, another clergyman, etc., at Mr. Barclay’s, Arnott’s
father-in-law, about six miles from Arlary. About one o’clock to-day,
taking leave of Mrs. A. I rode with Arnott to Kinross, and leaving
Arnott to write some letters at the hotel in the mean time, I took a
boat to Loch Leven Castle,--the prison of the lovely and ill-fated Mary
Queen of Scots....

On returning to the hotel I found that Arnott had picked up the dominie
of his parish, and had our dinner in readiness. The expected coach
arrived soon after, but was crowded. I am consequently obliged to wait
for the mail which passes about two o’clock in the morning, and by
which, if I am so fortunate as to obtain a seat, I may expect to reach
Edinburgh before daybreak.

Thursday evening, January. 3, 1839.

This is my first day in Auld Reekie; and my first business, on sitting
down by my quiet and comfortable fireside, shall be to give you a brief
account of this day’s work. After taking a reasonable modicum of tea I
spent the whole of last evening at Kinross in writing, until two
o’clock, at which hour the mail-coach punctually made its appearance;
and there was fortunately room inside. We drew up at the post office at
Edinburgh at half past six in the morning (raining as usual). I took
possession of a very comfortable, even elegant room, very different from
the six feet by nine bedrooms of most hotels. This is the finest hotel I
have yet seen; the Adelphi at Liverpool is not to be mentioned in
comparison. I threw myself on the bed and slept for an hour or two. On
waking I drew up the curtains of my windows, and had all at once a
magnificent view of this picturesque city, which startled me. From
descriptions and a few prints I have somewhere seen I find I had formed
a very correct view of this city, as far as it went. It is the finest
town I have seen or expect soon to see. It owes much of its beauty to
its peculiar site, and to the manner in which the old town acts as a
foil to the new. Immediately after breakfast I sallied forth, walked
down the street, uncertain which of my letters of introduction I should
first attempt to deliver; decided for Greville;[40] so I crossed the
North Bridge, which is thrown not over a river but over a part of the
town, into the old town, crossed High Street, passed the huge block of
buildings occupied by the university, plain and heavy without, but the
spacious court within very imposing; and a few minutes’ walk brought me
to Dr. Greville’s residence, which looks in front upon a large public
square, and on the other the green fields extend up almost to the
house,--a complete rus in urbe. Dr. Greville received me very kindly,
and seemed well pleased to receive Dr. Torrey’s letter; made many
affectionate inquiries, and urged me to stay with him while I remained
in town. I was predetermined to decline all invitations of this kind in
Edinburgh, but found I could give no reasons for doing so that would not
seem strange. Dr. Greville said he well knew I should be obliged to stay
either with him or Dr. Graham,[41] who would never let me off; so, as I
thought Dr. Greville would prove the most useful and edifying
acquaintance, I accepted his invitation and promised to send my luggage
sometime to-morrow. We set out to call on Professor Graham; walked over
into the New Town, the squares, rows, terraces, and crescents all very
fine; called at Professor G.’s, who was as usual out; left Dr. Torrey’s
letter and my own card. Left to myself again, after promising to meet
Dr. Greville at dinner at the house of a friend of his, I directed my
steps to the Castle, which, crowning a high cliff much like that of
Stirling, nearly or quite perpendicular except on one side, is visible
from almost every part of the city.... Walked far away to Inverleith
Terrace to leave my letters for Mr. Nicoll;[42] returned, dressed for
dinner, passed an agreeable humdrum evening at a small family party;
returned to the hotel, read two American newspapers (little news), found
a good fire in my room, and sat down to make these desultory notes. As
to all the rest of what I have seen I may have more to say another day.

ST. GEORGE’S SQUARE, 12 M., January 4, 1839.

Before I retire to rest I must hastily and very briefly record my doings
to-day, just by way of keeping in good habits; as I am engaged to
breakfast at an early hour with Dr. Graham I must soon go to bed. Rose
at half past nine (recollect I had not slept the previous night),--a
snowstorm. Sight-seeing being out of the question, went to the
university, just in time to hear the latter part of Dr. Hope’s lecture
(Light Carburetted Hydrogen and Safety Lamp); fine-studied and rather
formal manner,--did not wear his gown or ruffles at the wrist!
Experiments few but rather neat. In cutting off flame with wire gauze he
varied the experiment in a way I had not previously seen, viz., by
throwing a jet of ether upon the gauze, which burnt below but did not
kindle above,--a very pretty effect. He looks to be not above
sixty-five, although he must be ten years over that age. Next heard
Professor Forbes,[43] a handsome man of very elegant appearance; a most
elegant and lucid lecturer; delivered my note of introduction from
Professor Silliman; received me very kindly, but I was obliged to leave
at once to hear a lecture from Professor Wilson, the famous Christopher
North, one of the most extraordinary men living, very eccentric, a
gifted genius, and a man of the most wonderful versatility of powers.
The subject to-day was the Association of Ideas. The lecture was rather
striking, original in manner, with a few flights of that peculiar
eloquence which you would expect from Christopher North. Next heard Dr.
Monro (Anatomy); very prosy; the class behaved shockingly, even for
medical students! Lastly I heard Professor Jameson[44] a stiff,
ungainly, forbidding-looking man, who gave us the most desperately dull,
doleful lecture I ever heard. It was just like a copious table of
contents to a book,--just about as interesting as reading a table of
contents for an hour would be; I may add just as instructive! Dined in a
quiet way with Dr. Pardie, a young physician to whom I brought a letter
from James Hogg; his wife is a cousin of James; went from the table to
the college to hear a botanical lecture from Professor Graham; returned
to tea and spent the evening. I found I had quite unexpectedly met with
profitable acquaintance, as Dr. and Mrs. Pardie were active and ardent
Christians, of the Baptist persuasion, and people of a very delightful
spirit. They were well acquainted with Mr. Cheever of Salem, who spent
some time in Edinburgh previous to his journey to Palestine. I passed a
very pleasant evening, and promised to call on them again before leaving
town. Returned in the midst of a violent snowstorm to Dr. Greville’s,
where I am now domesticated, having sent up my baggage from the hotel.

Saturday evening.--Rose this morning at half past seven; and at half
past eight, according to engagement, went over to the other side of the
town with Dr. Greville, to breakfast with Dr. Graham, and then visit the
Botanical Garden (deep snow). We looked about the garden, or rather the
greenhouses, until afternoon; much gratified with the splendid
collections; but the Sabbath draws nigh, and I cannot go on to tell you
more about it now. Called on Mr. Nicoll on my return; made a provisional
engagement to meet him at breakfast on Monday and examine his sections
of woods. Ran about the streets; left a note at the house of Arnott’s
brother, to make arrangements (as we have done) for visiting Parliament
House, etc., on Monday; returned to Greville’s, dressed for dinner, and
looked over books, etc., until Professor Graham and Dr. Balfour,[45]
secretary of the Botanical Society, arrived; dined; passed a pleasant
evening; after family worship had a little conversation with Dr.
Greville, retired to my room, and now, as I am at the bottom of the page
and my watch says ten minutes to twelve,--to bed. Adieu.

Monday evening.--Two days have passed since I have taken up my pen to
communicate to you my little diary. I still remain domesticated at Dr.
Greville’s, where I am received with the greatest kindness, and am as
happy as I can be away from home. I like Dr. G. and family much, there
is so much true Christian feeling and simplicity. Dr. G. seems much to
regret that he was unable to meet Dr. Torrey in Edinburgh. Yesterday was
the first Sabbath of the new year, and I heard two sermons adapted to
the season; one in the morning, in an Episcopal chapel (the one to
which this family belong) from Mr. Drummond, the text being the latter
clause of Hebrews viii. 13; a most excellent, faithful, and godly
sermon. In the afternoon I occupied a seat Dr. Greville was so kind as
to secure for me in the Old Greyfriars (Scotch) Church, which is so
crowded that without this precaution you can hardly expect to get into
the church when Dr. Guthrie preaches. He is the most striking preacher I
ever heard. I could not help comparing him with Whitfield. The text was
the first clause of Eccles. ii. 11. I dare not attempt to give you any
idea of the discourse. I wish you could have heard it. In this
church-yard the remains of the early martyrs of Scotland repose, not far
from the Grassmarket, where they were mostly offered up. I stood upon
the very spot to-day where they suffered. We had a terrible wind all
last night, which, with the rain, carried off nearly all the snow. The
morning was so stormy that I could not fulfill my conditional engagement
to breakfast with Mr. Nicoll and look at his curiosities. So I repaired
to the university at ten; heard Sir Charles Bell,[46] the professor of
surgery,--a decent lecturer, but not remarkable. At eleven I heard the
celebrated Dr. Chalmers, the professor of divinity. The old man has a
heavy, strongly-marked Scotch countenance, which, however, brightens
very much when he is engaged in his discourse. His manner is rather
inelegant and his dialect broad Scotch and peculiar. But the matter is
so rich that he carries all before him. Every word is full of thought,
and he occasionally rose to a very powerful eloquence. He is much
beloved, and is considered by all parties, perhaps, as the strong man of
Scotland. The subject of his lecture this morning was the advantage (and
the abuse) of Scripture criticism. It was a treat to hear him. He paid a
high compliment, in the course of his remarks, to our Moses Stuart.

The weather growing by this time more tolerable, I walked about
town,--visited the Parliament House, the Library of the Writers to the
Signet; passed through the Grassmarket, returned here, looked at plants
with Dr. Greville; dined; received a parcel from Sir William Hooker
containing a few plants I had accidentally left (a few he had given me).
A very kind letter informed me that he would be in London about the same
time with me (which I had in part expected, and about which hangs a tale
I must write soon), and also a fine parcel of letters of introduction
for me, both to persons on the way to London, and also on the
Continent,--to Delessert, De Candolle, Martins, Endlicher, Humboldt,
etc. Truly he is a kind man; he has laid me under lasting obligations.
He asks me to say to Dr. Torrey that his Grace of Bedford is anxious to
receive also the Hudsonia ericoides from New Jersey, and he will be
greatly obliged if he will send a box of it to Woburn early in the
spring. Attended this evening a meeting of the Royal Society, Dr.
Abercrombie[47] (author of “Intellectual Powers,” etc.) in the chair.
Dr. A. is at the head of the profession here; is greatly esteemed, and
is a most exemplary Christian. An interesting paper was read by
Professor Forbes, of whom I have spoken before; a man whom from his
very youthful appearance you could never have imagined as the successful
candidate to the professor’s chair against Dr. Brewster. But Dr.
Brewster is no favorite in Edinburgh. Other distinguished men were
there. I was introduced to Professor Christison,[48] had some pleasant
conversation; promised, if practicable, to hear him lecture to-morrow at
nine A.M., and look at his museum of materia medica. We had tea after
the adjournment, according to the usual custom here, which is a very
pleasant one. I only count upon two days more in Edinburgh, and have yet
much to do. I am anxious to reach London, where I hope there are letters
for me. Good-night. May God bless you all, and keep you.

MELROSE, January 10, 1839, Thursday evening.

On the 8th inst., Tuesday, I went immediately after breakfast to the
university and heard Professor Christison’s lecture, Materia Medica. He
is an excellent lecturer. I spent a half hour with him, in looking over
his cabinet of preparations, which contains a large number of fruits,
etc., preserved in strong brine instead of spirits. I acquired some
useful information concerning the best way to close the jars, for which
he has some very neat plans. Then I heard Professor Forbes again;
elegant as usual, but he did not succeed very well in his experiments.
The next hour I had a rich treat. I heard another lecture from Professor
Wilson, on the Association of Ideas, which on this occasion he noticed
in a more practical view than before. He recited, in his glowing
manner, several passages from Virgil, and a long one from Milton, and
gave a long and most eloquent analytic commentary upon each, far
exceeding anything of the kind I ever heard before. After visiting the
library of the university--a most magnificent room--I set out for
Holyrood House.... I bought one or two poor prints, a cast of the
seal-ring of Mary, plucked a bit of holly from a bush standing by the
place by the altar before which Mary was married to Bothwell, and
reluctantly took my leave. There was yet some time remaining, so I set
out to climb Arthur’s Seat, which rises abruptly behind Salisbury Crags
to the height of eight or nine hundred feet. I attained my wish, and had
a beautiful view, from the summit, of the city beneath my feet, and the
wide country around. I descended more rapidly than I went up, though at
some risk to my neck. Returned to Dr. Greville’s, where I dined and
spent all the evening.

I had engaged yesterday to breakfast with Dr. Graham. I therefore set
off early for that purpose; afterward accompanied him to the Garden,
examined the grounds, etc., passed some time in the splendid palm-house.
I spent some portion of the morning also with Mr. Nicoll, examining with
the microscope his beautiful collection of recent and fossil wood in
thin slices; learned how to prepare them. Then arranged my affairs to
leave Edinburgh in the morning. In the evening Dr. Greville and myself
dined with Mr. Wilson (gentleman naturalist), the brother of the gifted
Professor Wilson; himself almost equally gifted, but with a more healthy
tone of mind. He interested us so much that our stay was prolonged until
nearly the “wee short hour ayont the twal,” when we parted, after a
pressing invitation to visit him at his country residence in case I ever
visited Scotland at a more pleasant season. Taking leave of my kind
friends the Grevilles, I was early this morning on my way to Melrose. I
have been received with the utmost kindness, not only by this agreeable
and most excellent family, but among all the acquaintance I have made in
Edinburgh. I had purchased for you a collection of hymns, etc., edited
by Dr. Greville and his pastor, Mr. Drummond, with which I was very much
pleased, and doubt not you would like them much. But Dr. Greville saw
it, and afterwards insisted on sending a much handsomer copy to Dr.
Torrey, which was accordingly placed in my hands for him. Melrose is
about thirty-six miles from Edinburgh, on one of the routes to
Newcastle. We came upon the Tweed among a rugged range of hills, at
first a very small stream; followed it along the sinuous valley for a
long way, until it became a pretty considerable river, for Great
Britain; at length the valley grew wider, softer, and in the proper
season, doubtless very beautiful. A smaller stream joined it at some
distance before us, and as its opening vale came into view, the
driver--I beg his pardon, coachman--pointed with his whip to the
opposite side and said, “Abbotsford; “ and true enough the turrets of
this quaint castellated house were distinguishable, in the midst of a
grove mostly of Scott’s own planting, near the banks of the Yarrow. We
soon after crossed the Tweed, at the place where the White Lady
frightened the sacristan in “The Monastery; “ the scene of which, you
know, was laid at Melrose and in the neighborhood. The fine old ruin of
Melrose Abbey now came into view, half surrounded by a dirty little
Scotch village. Here I abandoned the coach until to-morrow, secured a
gig, and was soon on my way to Abbotsford.... I walked back from
Abbotsford, noticing more particularly the beauty of the valley, and the
fine Eildon Hills which rise behind Melrose, from whose summit, it is
said, a very beautiful prospect may be obtained. I then spent the
remainder of the afternoon about Melrose Abbey, the most beautiful ruin
I have ever seen or expect to see; more beautiful than I had imagined,
and just in that state of dilapidation in which it appears to the
greatest advantage as a ruin, for were it entire it would be indeed
magnificent. I feel now as if I should never care to see another ruin of
the kind; and therefore I shall not visit Dryburgh Abbey (where Scott is
buried), as I had intended; although I suppose we shall pass by nearly
in sight of it to-morrow. I wish I could bring you some sketch or print
that would give you some idea of Melrose, but I fear this is impossible.
The exquisite carvings in stone, especially, cannot be appreciated until
they are seen. It is said (I forget the lines) that Melrose should be
seen by moonlight, and this I can well imagine; but this evening there
is neither moonlight nor starlight....

DURHAM, Saturday evening, January 12, 1839.

Soon leaving the Tweed we crossed a range of hills, and came down into
the fertile Teviotdale, so famous in border story. Again leaving this
valley, we wound our way up the Jedwater, a tributary of the Teviot,
rising high up in the Cheviot Hills, just on the line between England
and Scotland. We passed Jedburgh, a Scotch village of considerable size
and importance, dirty and comfortless of course. Here is an old abbey,
which I should have been loth to pass by had I not seen Melrose; thence
we ascended the Jed for many a weary mile, until we reached its source
high among the Cheviot Hills. Our course was literally “over the
mountain and over the moor,” for after a tedious ascent we crossed the
boundary line at an elevation of fifteen hundred feet above the level of
the sea. We were by this time thoroughly drenched with mist and rain;
the wind forbidding the use of our umbrellas. We immediately commenced
our descent, and just at dusk stopped for a hasty dinner at Otterbourne,
so famous in the history of the border warfare as the place of the
memorable Chevy Chase. It was too dark to see the cross erected to mark
the spot where Percy fell. Pass we over the ride from this to Newcastle,
as we saw nothing, though we passed near some places of
interest,--Chillingham, the residence of the Earl of Tankerville, for
example,--and arrived at Newcastle about nine o’clock in the evening. In
the morning I delivered notes of introduction from Hooker and Greville
to George Wailes, Esq., one of the active members of the Newcastle
Natural History Society; visited their fine building and really splendid
museum, especially rich in fossil remains and also in the British birds;
made arrangements for correspondence and exchange with the Michigan
State Survey; was introduced to a botanist or two; visited the castle
built by Robert, brother of William the Conqueror, if I recollect
aright, which has stood firmly for many a year, and may stand for
centuries more, or as long as the world standeth.... Arrived at Durham
at eight in the evening. I called almost immediately upon Professor
Johnston[49] and delivered Doctor Torrey’s letter and parcel, when we
recognized each other as fellow-passengers in the coach from Newcastle,
he being a Scotch gentleman,--looking very like my friend Couthouy of
the exploring expedition,--whom I was far from imagining would prove to
be the professor in the Durham University; took my tea and spent the
greater part of the evening with him. He told me he was just about to
send a parcel to Doctor Torrey by a friend going next week to America. I
must embrace this opportunity to send my letters, now forming a somewhat
bulky parcel....

Spent Monday with Professor Johnston in his laboratory, witnessing the
progress of some analyses of resins, etc., in which he is now much
engaged; also went through the old castle, now used for the university;
dined with Professor Johnston at four clock; returned to the hotel....
Took my tea with him, and he accompanied me at half past nine to the
coach office whence I took coach for Leeds. I have little to say about
Durham University, promising as it is in some respects, because they
have adopted the monkish system of Oxford and Cambridge to the fullest
extent; the professors and tutors except Johnston are all clergymen; the
curriculum includes nothing but classics, a little mathematics, and less
logic; their professor of natural philosophy never lectures; they give
their professor of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology just fifty pounds
a year (nothing for his experiments), and require no one to attend his

But now I must record some painful news, just learned to-day, which has
shocked me exceedingly, but which you will have heard of long ere this
reaches you; viz., the loss of the noble ship Pennsylvania, the death
of Captain Smith, the first and second mate, and some of the passengers,
I hardly yet know how many. I had grown much attached to this ship, and
thought highly of its officers, who had been kind to me....

LONDON, January 17, 1839, Thursday evening.

This is dated at this modern Babylon, where I arrived about nine o’clock
last evening. I stopped at the White Boar, Coventry Street, Piccadilly;
had a quiet night’s sleep; rose early this morning, and had breakfasted
and was on my way to Dr. Boott’s[50] (24 Gower Street) before ten
o’clock. I found Doctor B. at home; was kindly received and was
introduced to his wife, mother, children, and a brother from Boston who
is now with him; spent an hour or two with him; heard that Hooker was in
town. Though not a public day went to the British Museum; inquired for
Brown (Mr. Brown, for he does not like to be called Dr.), and was so
fortunate as to find not only the man himself I was so anxious to set my
eyes on, but also Hooker, Joseph Hooker, Bennett,[51] and Dr.
Richardson.[52] Passed an hour or two. Brown invited Hooker and me to
breakfast with him on Saturday morning; went out with Hooker; first to
the Linnæan Society; introduced to David Don,[53] a stout Scotchman,
and looked through the rooms of the society. Don offered to give me
every possible facility in my pursuits, but of course I said nothing to
him about Pursh’s[54] herbarium at Lambert’s, of which he was formerly
curator; for since he married Lambert’s housekeeper, or cook, I forget
which, Lambert will not allow him to come into the house. From here
Hooker took me,--stopping by the way at Philip’s, one of the most
eminent painters, whose gallery we saw,--to the house of Lambert[55]
himself, the queerest old mortal I ever set eyes on. But Carey’s
description of the man was so accurate that I should have known him
anywhere. I was of course invited to breakfast with him any morning at
nine; he showed us his Cacti stuffed with plaster of paris, among others
a very curious one called muff-cactus, which really looks just like a
lady’s muff and is not much smaller. Lambert’s specimens are the only
ones known, and he gave for them something like a hundred guineas,--the
old goose! A woman has the care of his collections in place of Don. She
stuffs the cacti and seems quite as enthusiastic as old Lambert himself.
We went next to the Horticultural Society’s rooms in Regent Street in
hopes to find Mr. Bentham; but instead we met Lindley, who received us
very politely; he asked me to send him my address the moment I was
settled in lodgings.... Here I parted from Hooker for the present,
declining an invitation to join him at the dinner of the Royal Society’s
Club, for which I was afterwards almost sorry, as I should have met
there Hallam, the historian, and some other distinguished men, as also
Brown, whose peculiar dry wit is said to have abounded greatly. Hooker
seems as anxious to serve me and aid me here in London as at his own
home. He is the most noble man I ever knew. Thence I took a cab and
drove into the City, through Temple Bar, down Fleet Street; drove round
St. Paul’s, to the office of Baring Brothers & Company, who are to be my
bankers and to whom my letters here may now be addressed; thence to the
office of Wiley & Putnam in Paternoster Row; did not see Mr. Wiley, but
learned that the copies of our “Flora” had not arrived, which I am very
sorry for, and don’t know how to account for it; called at C. Rich’s,
but found no letters, which was a sad disappointment indeed; thence back
here to dinner. At eight o’clock went to Somerset House to attend a
meeting of the Royal Society, where again I met Hooker and Dr.
Richardson. Brown was also present, for the first time in eight years.
Royle[56] was in the chair, at which the botanists present sneered much,
as they evidently think him too small a man to fill the seat occupied by
Newton, etc. I don’t know how he happened to be one of the
vice-presidents. I was introduced to him after the meeting, as also to
many others. J. E. Gray,[57] who was very polite, gave me and Joseph
Hooker tickets for Faraday’s lecture of to-morrow evening, invited me to
dine with him to-morrow, etc. I was glad to make the acquaintance of Mr.
Criff[58] (or Clift) the curator of the Hunterian Museum, the man who
exposed Sir Everard Home, who invited us to come and see that museum.
While we were conversing, a gentleman, whom Hooker did not at the time
recognize, addressed us, and after some conversation with me asked me if
I would like to be introduced to Sir Astley Cooper, and see his museum.
I answered of course that it would be a great gratification, when he
introduced himself as Bransby Cooper, the nephew of Sir Astley,--of whom
I have heard formerly not a little,--gave me his address, and Joseph
Hooker and myself are to call on him on Monday next. I was introduced
also to Dr. Roget,[59] but saw not so much of him as I could wish; so
you see I have met more distinguished men in one day than I might
elsewhere meet with perhaps in a whole life. But I must break off; I am
engaged to breakfast in the morning with Hooker, to meet also Dr.

WHITE BEAR, PICCADILLY, 18th January, 1839, Friday evening.

I am not yet in private lodgings, but hope to be so to-morrow. You must
not expect me to mention half the things I see in a day here in this
busy metropolis, where as yet everything I have seen has been viewed in
the most desultory manner. I breakfasted with Hooker and Richardson, who
left me for a half hour at the Adelaide Gallery, where I saw very many
things to interest me, which we will not stop to talk of now, as I hope
to be there again; among other things, a live Gymnotus or Electrical
Eel, which gives powerful shocks, they say, for I did not choose to feel
it myself. Thence we visited the Museum of the Zoölogical Society, for
which Dr. Richardson not only procured us free admittance, but procured
for us an order to visit the Zoölogical Gardens; made calls with Hooker,
whom Joseph and I left with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Downing
Street, while we passed by Westminster Hall and Abbey down to Bentham’s,
who has a beautiful residence as retired as the country. Found Bentham
an exceedingly pleasant and amiable man; spent an hour or two, till
Hooker came in; accepted an invitation to dine with him to-morrow; went
into the City; introduced to Richard Taylor,[60] at his printing-office;
were all invited to breakfast on Tuesday morning next; went to Longman’s
famous bookstore and warehouse; one of the young Longmans politely
showed us over the building, showed us room after room filled with solid
literature,--a most surprising quantity; went by St. Paul’s again, saw
the Bank, etc.; took an omnibus again to West End; passed by the London
University, etc. Joe Hooker and I went to dine with J. E. Gray, who has
taken it into his head to show us no little attention; he has lately
married a rich wife, a widow, much older than himself; I was quite
pleased with her. Went to the Botanical Society,--poor concern; and then
to hear Faraday give the first lecture of the season at the Royal
Institution, Mr. Gray having kindly offered us tickets. I was
unexpectedly introduced to Faraday just before the lecture; pleasant
man, with a very quick and lively expression of countenance. The lecture
was on Electrical Eels, etc.; most elegant lecturer he is; brilliant and
rapid experimenter. I hope to hear him again.

Saturday evening, January 19.--I am now in lodgings, No. 36
Northumberland Street, near Northumberland House, Charing Cross, in the
room just vacated by Dr. Richardson; sixteen shillings a week, and a
shilling for my breakfast when I choose to take it here. It is half past
eleven. I have just come in; no fire, but fortunately my occupation for
to-day is soon told. Hooker, Joe, and I breakfasted with Brown at his
house, and stayed with him until four o’clock in the afternoon! I have a
good deal to say about him, but not here. He is a curious man in other
things besides botany. He has a few choice paintings, and a few
exquisite engravings he has picked up on the Continent. I coveted them
for you. They are just what we should be delighted to have. I dressed
for dinner, then drove with my luggage to my present lodgings, and then
took up Hooker and Joe for Bentham’s to dinner at half past six, where
we met Lindley and Mr. Brydges; the dinner was just the beau ideal of
taste and simple elegance. In the drawing-room coffee was served up, and
in a half hour Assam tea. I am greatly pleased with Bentham, and
delighted with Mrs. B. But more of this anon. We are to breakfast with
him on Monday, and then make up a party to Kew and the Horticultural
Gardens. The house he lives in, a pleasant place, plain but tastefully
furnished and arranged, was the one where Jeremy Bentham lived....

Tuesday evening, January 22.--I have to account for myself for two days
past, but fortunately this can be done in general terms in few words.
Were I to enter very fully into particulars I should fill several
sheets. Yesterday Sir William Hooker, Joseph, and I breakfasted
according to appointment with Bentham, and set out, although the day
was rainy, for a visit to the Horticultural Gardens at Chiswick. We went
in an omnibus, and I noticed on the way Apsley House (Duke of
Wellington), and the monument to his Grace in Hyde Park, near his house
(what is the good of honors, indeed, if one cannot see them?), Holland
House, which I saw from some distance, etc. We found Lindley at the
Gardens, and looked through the grounds. They have very few hothouses as
yet, but have just dug the foundation of a very splendid one, which is,
however, to form one wing merely of the general plan. We went to Kew,
about two miles farther, and looked through those fine old grounds and
gardens. The hothouses and the collections in them were much larger and
more interesting than I had anticipated. They are particularly rich in
New Holland and Cape plants. There is a new conservatory for large
plants, a fine one certainly, which cost six thousand pounds, and the
roof was taken from the greenhouse at Buckingham Palace, and therefore
cost nothing. It seems an extravagant job, and Mr. Bentham feels sure a
much better one of the same size could be built for four thousand
pounds. While here we paid a visit to Francis Bauer,[61] now eighty-five
years old, and much broken down, but still hard at work, and making as
beautiful drawings as ever (beyond comparison excellent), and as
delicate microscopical examinations. He has lately been working at
fossil Infusoria, and showed me figures of Bailey’s plate in “Silliman’s
Journal” which he had copied. He was greatly pleased when I offered to
send him specimens of the things themselves. He showed me the original
red snow from arctic America, and also his splendid drawings. Returned
to town, and dined with Bentham.

This morning we breakfasted with Richard Taylor in the City; and went
afterwards to the College of Surgeons, by appointment Hooker had made,
to see Professor Owen, and the fine museum of the college under his
charge (John Hunter’s originally); a magnificent collection it is, in
the finest possible order; and the arrangement and plan of the rooms is
far, very far better and prettier than any I have seen. I shall make
some memoranda about it. We there met Mr. Darwin, the naturalist who
accompanied Captain King in the Beagle. I was glad to form the
acquaintance of such a profound scientific scholar as Professor
Owen,--the best comparative anatomist living, still young, and one of
the most mild, gentle, childlike men I ever saw. He gave us a great deal
of most interesting information, and showed us personally throughout the
whole museum. I am every day under deeper obligations to Sir William
Hooker, to whom I owe the gratification of forming so many acquaintances
under such favorable circumstances. Hooker stays over night often at his
brother-in-law’s, Sir Francis Palgrave, the great antiquarian and Saxon
scholar, Keeper of the Records, of whom I have read so much in the
“British Review.” His eldest daughter, Maria, is spending the winter
there. On Hooker’s return on Monday he was so kind as to bring me an
invitation from Lady Palgrave to dine with them on Saturday, which will
be the last I shall see of Hooker, as he is to set out on Monday for
home. In the afternoon we spent an interesting hour in looking through
the vast halls of the British Museum, particularly through the
sculpture, the Elgin marbles, Egyptian antiquities, etc. These last are
much more grand than I had supposed. Indeed, I was struck with wonder. I
hope sometime to spend a day or two in looking through these rich
collections. Called on Lyell the geologist.

We dined with Dr. Roget, the secretary of the Royal Society, where we
met Sir Francis Staunton, a great Oriental scholar and traveler,
Professor Royle, Dr. Boott, and two others whose names I forget. But
best of all Dr. Boott brought me a letter from Dr. Torrey, dated
December 25 (Christmas), and I soon contrived to get into a quiet corner
to read it; right glad I was to hear from home once more; I will answer
it to-morrow. We left very early, as Hooker was to go to Hampstead,
where Sir Francis Palgrave resides. Joe and I walked with him, till he
should find a stage; but as none overtook us and the night was fine we
walked the whole way, three or four miles, and having left Sir William
safe and sound, and seen Sir Francis Palgrave for a moment, the
remainder of the family having retired to rest, Joe and I walked back
again to town. I confess I am a little tired, and am quite willing to go
to bed. A Dieu.

Wednesday, January 23, 1839.--Breakfasted and dined with Mr. Bentham,
and studied plants with him all day and a good portion of the evening,
excepting an hour or so in the morning when we walked out, and Bentham
took me through the splendid house of the Athenæum Club, and we also
visited the National Gallery, and saw fine paintings in great numbers
from almost every artist ancient or modern. It is very near my lodgings,
and I intend to visit it again. Here are some of West’s original
pictures, and likewise the paintings or sketches of Hogarth from which
his well-known engravings were taken. They are much more expressive
than the prints. E. would enjoy many of them very much, and especially
some of Wilkie’s of the same kind.

I am to take my breakfast in my lodgings to-morrow morning, which I have
as yet done but once. I sent yesterday my letter of introduction to
William Christy, who lives out of town, and received to-day a most
polite invitation to dine with him to-morrow, and meet Hooker and Joe.

Thursday.--Breakfast at home. Call with Joe Hooker on Bransby Cooper,
and then on Sir Astley Cooper; pleasantly received, saw some very
curious preparations; spent the morning with Bentham, and dined at Mr.
Christy’s, Clapham Road, where I spent an agreeable evening. Returning,
wrote a letter to Dr. Torrey to go by mail to-morrow to Bristol for the
Great Western.

Friday evening.--I breakfasted at my lodgings this morning, and
afterwards walked out with Sir William and Joe Hooker to Regent’s Park;
went to the Coliseum to see the Panorama of London, and well worth
seeing it is. It will save me a visit to the top of the dome of St.
Paul’s, I think, for the Panorama is said to be more perfect than
nature. I will say no more about it, as Dr. Torrey has seen it. The
illusion is perfect, were it not for some unseemly cracks in the sky! We
called on Dr. Boott; then went into the City. Our object was to visit
the museum at the India House (where the poet Lamb spent so great a
portion of his life). I made the acquaintance, of Dr. Horsfield,[62] the
curator, who also collected the best part of the museum in Java and
India. He is an American, if you can so call a man who has not been in
the country since the year 1800. I was much interested with the library,
which contains a vast quantity of Indian idols, sculptures, and
antiquities, as well as fine Chinese curiosities. It is immensely rich,
also, in Indian, Persian, and Arabic manuscripts; the finest in the
world in such things. Some of the Persian (Arabic) manuscripts are most
beautifully illustrated, or illuminated, and the writing is neater than
you can conceive. Here is preserved also an original petition of the
India Company to Oliver Cromwell, with the answer in his own rough and
strong handwriting.[63] ... We dined at Lambert’s, where we found Robert
Brown, Mr. Ward,[64] who had been looking for me, and immediately asked
me to name a day to see his plants in the Wardian cases, and an evening
erelong to examine some thirty or forty first-rate microscopes which he
has in his house; also Dr. Bostock, Mr. Benson, a legal gentleman, a
great scholar and author; and last, not least, yet certainly almost the
last person I should have expected to see, Lady Charlotte Bury (formerly
Lady Charlotte Campbell), whom you will remember as the author of that
book on the secret history of the court of George IV. and his Queen, of
which we read together, that summer, the deeply interesting review by
Brougham. Lady Bury is now supposed to be sixty years old, and was for a
long time considered as the handsomest woman in Great Britain; she
still looks well, though too embonpoint, and dresses like a young lady,
with short sleeves. She is of a high family, a sister of the present
Duke of Argyll, and is certainly talented; she is said to be quite poor.
Her daughters are married into families of rank, except one (Miss Bury)
who was with her mother at Lambert’s, whom Sir William Hooker thought
remarkably handsome, but I did not. As I have not a high respect for
Lady Bury’s character I did not throw myself into her circle, and saw
almost nothing of her the whole evening. We came away early.

Saturday evening.--I paid a visit, this morning, in company with Joe
Hooker, to the Zoölogical Gardens in Regent’s Park, where we saw all
kinds of four-footed beasts, and fowl, and creeping things. There are
four giraffes, but none quite so large as those we saw in New York.
There were a very fine orangoutang, very gentle and amiable, a curious
spider-monkey, and other curious animals in great plenty. The finest
residences I have seen in London are those which look upon Regent’s
Park. Returning, we called upon Lambert, Saturday being a kind of public
day with him, and there met that Nestor of botanists, Mr. Menzies,[65]
whom I found a most pleasant and kind-hearted old man; he invited me
very earnestly to come down and see him, which I will try to do some
day. Meanwhile I expect to meet him on Tuesday at Mr. Ward’s.

We just had time to go down into the City to call on Mr. Putnam
(publisher) and to learn that copies of the “Flora” had arrived, but
were not yet cleared from the custom-house; then took the Hampstead
coach to dine at Sir Francis Palgrave’s. Excepting Hooker and Joe, I
almost forget who the guests were. I was not interested in any of them
particularly. Sir Francis was very agreeable; his conversational powers
are almost equal to his erudition. His lady, who looks very much like
Lady Hooker, is, like all that family, learned and accomplished. I was
glad also to meet Hooker’s eldest daughter.

The boys interested me much; I think I never saw more intelligent lads.
Sir Francis asked me to call at the Chapter-House, Westminster Abbey,
his office as Keeper of the Records, and he would show me the Domesday
Book. How a sight of it would electrify Dr. Barrett! He asked me at
dinner the meaning of the term locofoco as applied to a party in the
United States. I gave him the story of the meeting in Tammany Hall which
gave rise to the designation, which afforded much amusement.

Sunday evening, January 27.--I was better prepared than last Sabbath,
for I took pains to call yesterday at the office of the Religious Tract
Society, and found where Baptist Noel preached. It is St. John’s Chapel,
at considerable distance from here. Nevertheless I attended there
to-day, and have reason to be glad that I did so, for I heard a most
excellent sermon in the morning, from Psalm ciii. 10-12. Mr. Noel is a
most simple, winning preacher, and his sermon was the most thoroughly
evangelical and earnest I ever heard from an Episcopal pulpit. I wish I
could give you some idea of it. I took notes for your benefit as well as
I could, and have written them out, but they will give you a very
imperfect idea of it. The church, a large one, with double galleries
around three sides, was crowded. This afternoon his assistant, Mr.
Garwood, preached, and there was room enough, but we had a good sermon.
This Mr. Garwood, you may have seen by the papers, has lately been
persecuted a little by his bishop, for acting as secretary to the London
City Mission. Both he and Mr. Noel are doing much good in raising the
standard of piety and active benevolence in the church they belong to. I
hope by next Sunday to inquire out Dr. Reed’s church. I have not been
out this evening, but have employed myself in copying out my poor notes
on the morning sermon, which I trust soon to forward to you.

Monday evening, January 28, 1839.--I spent the morning with Bentham, by
appointment, with whom I breakfasted and looked at Leguminosæ until two
P.M.; then joined Joe Hooker (took leave of Sir William this morning,
who has returned to Glasgow, via Woburn); made calls, among others on
Dr. Rostock, who received me very politely; we then dined together at a
chop-house; called on Dr. Boott, spent an hour or two in his very
pleasant family; then attended a meeting of the Royal Geographical
Society, in which all that interested me was a paper by Professor
Robinson of New York, on some interesting matters of ancient geography
connected with his travels in Asia Minor. The paper was sent to the
Geographical Society by a learned German geographer; it excited much

London, January 24, 1839.--I have so far been seeing men and things
chiefly, but have had one or two botanical sittings with Bentham, who is
a thoroughly kind and good fellow. He immediately had all the remaining
parcels of Douglas’s Californian and Oregon plants sent down to his
house, and has supplied me as well as he could; and a valuable parcel I
shall have of them....

I have seen considerable of Brown, and like him much better than I
thought, although he is certainly peculiar. The day we breakfasted with
him we remained until four P.M., and he offered to show anything I
wished at the British Museum. He showed us all Bauer’s drawings in his
possession (I have since seen Francis Bauer). He has much more general
information than I supposed; is full of gossip, and has a great deal of
dry wit.

He is growing old fast, and I suspect works very little now, and I fear
there is not very much more work now to be expected of him. He knows

I spent a good part of yesterday with Bentham, and was to have met
Hooker at the Geological Society in the evening; but botany prevailed
and I stayed with Bentham, and was a little sorry afterwards, as I
should have seen at the society Whewell! Daubeny! Chantry the sculptor,
etc.--I have bought a colored copy of Wallich’s “Plantæ Asiatiecæ
Rariores,” 3 vols. fol., very fine, for £15; the publishing price was
£36,--the present price by Henry Bohn, who has bought up not only this
but almost every other expensive British work on natural history, is
£26. It is not yet come round from Edinburgh. I will soon send it to
you.... I have seen the “Atakta Botanica” of Endlicher, where there is a
plate of Ungnadia (not Ungnodia, as spelled in “Companion to the
Botanical Magazine”), but no letter-press as yet....

January 30, Wednesday evening.... Yesterday morning Joe Hooker and
myself breakfasted together, and then paid a visit to Westminster Abbey,
which we examined in every part, from Poets’ Corner to Henry VII.’s

As we left the Abbey (where, by the way, we were most thoroughly chilled
with our long stay), we went into the Chapter House adjoining, a very
antique building crammed with old records and musty manuscripts, and Sir
Francis Palgrave kindly showed us the famous Domesday Book, which is in
a perfect state of preservation; all the writing perfectly distinct, and
so plainly executed that we could read it, here and there, with moderate
facility. He showed us a copy of a treaty made with France by Cardinal
Wolsey, of which the immense seal appended was cut in gold, and of the
most elaborate workmanship. We saw also the original papal bull sent to
Henry VIII., constituting him “Defender of the Faith”! We went from this
to Westminster Hall; saw the large room, which is very fine; looked into
the Court of Exchequer, and saw the Lord Chancellor and other judges in
their full-bottom wigs, most funny to behold, I assure you; and the
barristers with their queer horse-hair wigs, frizzled on the top of
their heads, but tied up into nice and regular curls behind, which fall
upon their shoulders. The case of the Canadian prisoners was then under
consideration. We then rode in an omnibus to the City and visited St.
Paul’s Church, which, grand as it is, does not show to advantage after
Westminster Abbey. The monumental statuary is very fine; some of it I
would mention, but the extreme lateness of the hour obliges me
discreetly to break off and finish my account of the day hereafter. Bon
soir, or rather Bon jour!

Thursday evening.... To commence where I broke off with Tuesday. We went
to dine, by appointment, with Mr. Ward, the plant-case man, at three
P.M., which hour was appointed for the purpose of showing us the
plant-cases, etc., by daylight. Ward is one of the most obliging men I
ever knew. I was perhaps a little disappointed in his plants, but this
is the very worst season of the year, particularly in London, and his
house, which is in the heart of the city, near London Docks, is very
badly situated as to light. But I have learned something from him, and
feel confident that I shall be able to manage our plant-cases much
better hereafter. Menzies was there, and a truly kind-hearted old man he
is. I was to have returned in time to spend the evening at Bentham’s,
but owing to the stormy weather I did not reach my lodgings till it was
too late. On Friday (a snowy day) I was out rather late; went to
Bentham’s, where I spent the whole morning, dined with him and Mrs.
Bentham, three in all!--they have no children, and live in the most cosy
and quiet way you could imagine--and spent the whole evening with him in
labeling plants which he selected for me from his duplicates. To-day,
Joseph Hooker having concluded to postpone till this evening his
departure for Glasgow, and having written accordingly to Ward to meet
us, we visited the famous greenhouses and conservatories of Loddiges.
Miss Maria Hooker was with us, having come out from Hampstead for the
purpose. It is rather a long ride to Hackney, but we were well repaid.
The collection of Orchideæ is immense and very beautiful, but a very
small portion is now in flower. The palm-house, ample and magnificent as
it is, rather disappointed me; it seemed not so much larger than that
of the Edinburgh garden, and the plants are not in such nice order.
Loddiges was very kind to me. Ward selected a few pretty plants for Miss
Hooker. I forgot for the moment that there was such a world of waters
between us, and was on the point of selecting some for you know whom; I
am not sure that I did not bring some after all.

Loddiges took us to his house and showed his collection of
humming-birds, which is the finest in the world. He had nearly 200
species, and usually several specimens of a kind, very beautifully
mounted and arranged. You can’t imagine how beautiful they are! They are
his great pets, and I do not wonder. I returned through the City,
stopped a few moments at the British Museum, dined with Joe Hooker at
his hotel near me, and shortly after saw him start for Glasgow. I sent
by him a copy of “Outre Mer” to Lady Hooker. At nine P.M. I went to the
meeting of the Royal Society, heard a paper read of the Hon. Fox
Talbot’s on the power of objects not only to sit for, but to draw their
own portraits, which has just been making a great noise in France. It is
done by the influence of the light of the sun upon paper prepared by
nitrate or chloride of silver. Talbot seems to have found out all about
it long ago, but the French have published first. I will write the
doctor more particularly about it, and send the “Athenæum” containing
the account when it appears.

I have neglected to say that I received two days ago a very kind note
from Lindley inviting me to come down to his place, dine with him on
Sunday next, stay all night, spend Monday at his herbarium, and meet a
few botanical friends at dinner, and return next morning. I declined of
course the invitation as far as it related to Sunday, but accepted it
for Monday, and offered to get down to Turnham Green in time to
breakfast with him. This morning I received another note from him,
pointing out the way in which I may reach his house in time. I have also
a letter from Francis Bauer, inclosing some European Infusoria, in
return for a few of Bailey’s I gave him. I will send a portion to
Professor Bailey.

Friday evening, February 1.--I spent the earliest part of the morning in
my own room; then went to Lambert’s, and commenced the examination of
Pursh’s plants. After dining in a simple way by myself, I went to
Bentham’s, by appointment, to spend the evening in looking out duplicate
plants. I found him and Mrs. B. sitting cosily together in the study. We
had a cup of tea and some chat, and then fell to work until half past
eleven, when I came away walking as usual by Westminster Abbey, of which
I often get very good nocturnal views.

Saturday evening, February 2.... Brown has been very kind to me, in his
peculiar way. I have seen him but twice since Hooker and I breakfasted
with him, but I hope soon to be at work at the British Museum and to see
more of him. He is very fond of gossip at his own fireside, and amused
us extremely with his dry wit, but in company he is silent and reserved.
I have found out also that it does not do to ask him directly any
question about plants. He is, as old Menzies told us, the driest pump
imaginable. But although he will not bear direct squeezing, yet by
coaxing and very careful management any one he has confidence in may get
a good deal out of him. He tells me that Petalanthera, Nutt., is a
published genus, and promises to give me all the information about it I
desire. I asked him some question about the manner in which the vessels
of ferns uncoil. He at once remarked, “They unroll like a ribbon”!
Quekett has been examining them, so has a botanist in India; all are
much interested in them. I placed Bailey’s specimens afterwards in his
hands and also some of the Infusoria, which he expressed himself much
pleased with when I saw him at Lambert’s. By the way, the Infusoria were
sent by Bailey himself. I delivered also the parcel for Lindley, and
gave the rest I had mostly to Dr. Roget, Mr. Lyell,[66] and Francis
Bauer, who were all very glad to get them. I have saved a few for Mr.
Ward’s microscopical party which he is to give on Wednesday of week
after next.... I shall also order, for Sullivant, Hooker’s “Icones
Plantarum,” which will be continued, as Hooker furnishes all the matter
for nothing and gives the plates, finding paper and everything. Although
there is not so much detail as I could wish, yet it is becoming a very
valuable collection for a student of natural orders....

Monday evening.--I have seen the original Taxus nucifera, of Thunberg,
both leaves and fruit. Arnott should have paid more attention to it. It
is very like Torreya! and doubtless a congener,--and so Brown
insinuates. I will see more about it soon. A new edition of Lindley’s
“Introduction to Botany” is preparing! Sullivant wants, I suppose, a
microscope of single lenses--a good working instrument--and an
achromatic. This last I think I shall procure for him in London, where
they produce more perfect instruments than the French. Can you send
Bentham the Lindernias? He wishes much to examine them; send good

Arnott seems to think much more of Nees von Esenbeck than anybody else.
It is generally thought he is in his dotage, and a sad, very sad
splitter of straws....

I had some thoughts of going to Paris via Leyden, to see if I can coax
anything out of Blume, but he seems to have behaved rather strangely to
all the English botanists I have yet met with. You ask whom I liked best
in Scotland: Hooker is all in all!

A new Antarctic expedition is planned; indeed is settled upon nearly, to
be commanded by James Ross. But a part of the administration throw
difficulties in the way. If it goes Joseph Hooker is to be the
naturalist.... By the way, Corda’s “Memoir on Impregnation of Plants”
turns out to be mere humbug, and it seems there is little dependence to
be placed upon him....

Tell Bailey I am every day getting information that will be valuable to
him, in the microscopical way. I have a new correspondent for him, Mr.
Edwin J. Quekett,[67] 50 Wellclose Square, London, an excellent
microscopist. I will write soon what he wants, and he will send through
me some microscopical objects.

P. S.--I have just had the offer of a chance to examine Walter’s
herbarium as much as I like!--to take it into my possession for a week
if I like! and that after I had nearly given up all hopes of it.

February 5, eleven o’clock, evening.... I think I mentioned in those
letters how yesterday was spent, viz., that I rose early, took
stagecoach for Turnham Green, near Chiswick, where Lindley resides,
breakfasted and spent the day. Lindley was certainly very civil. Mrs.
Lindley is a quiet lady of plain manners and apparently very domestic
habits. Miss Drake, whose name appears as the artist in all of Lindley’s
plates almost, was present, and is, I judge, a member of his family, and
perhaps a relative of Mrs. Lindley. I saw Lindley’s splendid “Sertum
Orchidaceum,” and a much more luxurious work, the “Orchidaceæ of Mexico
and Guatemala,” by Bateman, a very large-paper work à l’Audubon. We
looked over some families together in a desultory way, and I took up the
Lupines and compared ours carefully with Lindley’s, which were named by
Agardh. At dinner met Dr. Quekett and Mr. Miers,[68] a traveler in
Brazil. On reaching my room I found a note from Bell, the zoölogist (to
whom I brought a letter from John Carey, but left at his house, not
being able to see him), inviting me dine as his guest at the Linnæan
Club, before the meeting of the Linnæan Society. Fortunately, as I do
not like club-dinners, I had previously accepted Bentham’s invitation to
dine quietly with him and Mrs. B. on that day, so I sent a note of
declinature. I have already told you of my failure, by my own
carelessness, of seeing the opening of Parliament, which I regret, as I
should like to see the peers in official costume, and the peeresses in
full dress.

It did not break my heart, but I returned to Bentham’s and looked over
plants until the hour approached to take my place in the park to see the
queen, and--what is finer--her superb horses, with what success I have
already said; thence to the Horticultural Society, where I received the
welcome letters. After dispatching my parcel of letters I took a cab
for Bentham’s, as it was raining finely, where we dined in his quiet,
elegant way. I don’t think Dr. Torrey saw enough of him, at least in his
own house, to appreciate him fully....

You may well infer from my being so much with him that he is my

Wednesday evening.--After breakfast to-day I went to Lambert’s, thinking
to finish nearly the examination of Pursh’s plants, but I found Lambert
on the point of going out, though the morning was unpleasant. So I was
obliged to retrace my steps; and as a dernier ressort I went to the
British Museum, and commenced my examination of the Banksian Herbarium.
Brown was there most of the time, but did very little except to read the
newspaper and crack his jokes. I broke off at four o’clock; went down to
the City, called on Mr. Putnam, took a parcel of late American
newspapers away with me, dined, went up to Dr. Boott’s, where I spent
the evening so pleasantly that eleven o’clock arrived before I thought
of it. It is now twelve. On my return here I found my parcel had arrived
from Edinburgh, the beautiful copy of Wallich’s work, a very complete
and pretty set of British Algæ from Dr. Greville, and some letters of
introduction for the Continent which he has obligingly favored me with.
I must write a letter of thanks to-morrow....

Went to Ward’s to see the tunnel.... We had tea, Miss and Mrs. Ward
regaled us with music,--and both play extremely well; then Ward and I
looked over plants until nearly half past ten, when we had supper, a
very substantial one, and I took my leave, arriving at my lodgings a
little after twelve....

Sunday evening, February 10.... This morning I attended one of the
larger Methodist chapels, where I heard an excellent sermon from 1 Pet.
v. 7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” A portion
of the Episcopal service was read at the beginning from the desk; but
afterwards the clergyman ascended to the pulpit, when the singing and
prayers were in the ordinary manner. In the afternoon I went to hear my
old favorite Baptist Noel, who was to preach a kind of charity sermon
for the infant-schools of St. Clement’s, Danes. I felt satisfied that we
should have a close and fervent sermon, and truly I was not
disappointed.... He preaches ex tempore, but has the most perfect
facility of language; the words drop from his mouth without any apparent
effort, but he never repeats, and all seems equally important; so unless
I could write as fast as he speaks I could give you no proper idea of
his discourse. His manner is so exceedingly placid that you wonder how
he fixes the attention of his auditors so perfectly. There are many
other clergymen who have the same ardent piety, and the number I hope is
increasing; so that one cannot help expecting great things from this
communion, if it once gets free from the contaminating influence of the
political power. These men all preach continually to crowded houses,
which is another good sign, and proves that the people are ready to hear
sound doctrine. I hoped to have heard another of the same stamp this
evening, and went all the way to St. Sepulere’s, where Mr. Dale preaches
in the evening, but he was out of town....

February 5, evening.--It is not long since I closed a parcel of letters
for you, and dispatched them by mail to Liverpool, for the steamship
Liverpool, by which I hope they will reach you early. I have since
attended a meeting of the Linnæan Society, Mr. Forster in the chair.
Lambert never comes now for fear of meeting Don, and also because he is
a little piqued, perhaps at not being made president. Brown seldom
comes, as he would have to take the chair in Lambert’s absence, and he
fears he might annoy Lambert, for Brown is extremely tender of other
persons’ feelings. I was most interested in the nominations to fill up
the five vacancies of the foreign associates. They were Carus,
Milne-Edwards, Dutrochet, Endlicher, and Torrey. The nomination was
signed by Bentham, Brown, Boott, Forster, Owen, etc. I knew nothing of
it till just before the meeting, and I may be allowed to say that I felt
extremely gratified at such a very handsome compliment paid to my best

Lindley has given me to-day a copy of Griffith’s most admirable paper in
the last part of the “Transactions Linnæan Society,” on the ovula of
Santalum, Loranthuns, Viscum, etc., an anatomical paper of the very
highest order,--about forty pages, with eleven fine plates. I am going
to buy all the other papers on Botany in the Linnæean Transactions which
I think valuable. They can be had of Coxhead, who buys sets and pulls
them to pieces to sell separately. Let me not forget to tell you that,
after having made diligent inquiry of Brown, Bentham, etc., I had nearly
given up all hopes of finding Walter’s[69] herbarium. I spoke to Lindley
yesterday, and he said he knew the son of old Fraser, who would be most
apt to know something about it, and would give me his address, by which
I could find him if in town. But to-day, just after the adjournment of
the Horticultural Society, and while I was glancing over your kind
letters, Lindley came to say that he had found Walter’s herbarium for
me! He introduced me to Mr. Fraser, to whom it belongs, though not
immediately in his possession, who offered to send it up for my
examination to the Horticultural Society’s rooms, or anywhere I chose. I
hope to get at it, with Bentham, about Friday. I shall be anxious to let
you know the result....

I am most clearly of the opinion that any person who will make extensive
collections of North American plants, both Northern and Southern, and
include also a good collection from Santa Fé, the Platte country, etc.,
have his sets named according to our work, and who would devote four or
five years to the business, could, if he were really industrious and
prudent, realize $1000 per annum (clear). He should continue my
grass-book for one thing, giving loose sets only for the present price,
and while from time to time he sells off collections as he can, should
retain some fifty sets in all the most interesting genera or small
families, get all the species, and publish them in monographic sets.
Knieskern could make, with the aid we would gladly furnish, at least ten
times as much money, as long as he lives, as he ever will at physic,
besides being engaged in a much pleasanter way. I know how all this
should be managed now. Now for Dr. Clapp. Tell him that Brown informs me
that he does not think jewel lenses can be depended upon as possessing
any advantage over glass. He has an excellent sapphire one, but that is
a mere chance, and no other has been made anything like it. They are now
almost never made, and appear to be going wholly out of use. His other
matters I will take in hand, but he must not expect $20 to procure a
doublet 1/40th inch focus, two micrometer glasses, and a case of
dissecting instruments. I have some engagements before me with
microscopical people, and when I get from them all the information I
can, I will set about these affairs more understandingly....

Saturday evening, February 9.--I have been engaged nearly the whole day
upon the herbarium you so much wished to examine, viz., that of Walter.
I have not yet finished it, and find the examination very tedious, as
the specimens are very often not labeled, except with the genus in his
“Flora,” so that I have first to make out his own species, and then what
they are of succeeding authors.

The specimens are mostly mere bits, pasted down in a huge folio volume.
I suspect this was done by Fraser, and the labels have sometimes been
exchanged, so that it requires no little patience. Some of the things I
most wished to see are not in the collection, and there are several in
the collection which are not mentioned in the “Flora.” You would laugh
to see what some of the things are that have puzzled us: thus, for
instance, his “Cucubalus polypetalus” is Saponaria officinalis! His
“Dianthus Carolinianus” is Frasera! in fruit. I will soon send you my
notes on the collection, or a copy of them. Bentham looked over the
Leguminosæ, Labiatæ, etc., with me. I have had two sittings at Pursh,
but have not yet finished; I hope another day will do it, but am not
certain. I shall still require about three days more at the British
Museum, two at the Linnæan Society, and one at Lindley’s. An evening or
two at Bentham’s will suffice to certify his Labiatæ, Scrophularinæ,
etc. I must also have a day with Brown, if I can get it at his own
house. I hope very nearly to finish this next week, if life and health
are continued....

February 12, 1839.--I am fearful even another day will not see the end
of Lambert’s collection, and I suspect a week is none too little for the
British Museum. Lady Charlotte Bury came into Lambert’s and had a long
chat with him; such a pair of originals! She is to dine with Lambert on
Sunday, but stipulated early, as she always made it a point to read
prayers to her servants on Sunday evening!

February 13, Wednesday evening, or rather one o’clock, Thursday.--Rose
and breakfasted at eight, which is become my regular practice; started
for Lambert’s at ten, where I worked incessantly till five P.M.;
returned to my room; dressed; went to the City, where I dined, and about
eight o’clock arrived at Ward’s, whose microscopical party this evening
was given chiefly on my account. Some eight or more splendid microscopes
were in active use when I arrived; and the greater portion of the chief
microscopic people were there. I was introduced to Stokes, Solly, Powel,
Bowerbank[70].... Also Mr. Quekett, whom I knew before, and several
amateurs, such as Boott, Bennett, Bentham, Don, were present. It was a
feast to me, you may be sure, and I acquired some useful knowledge, and
saw some strange things: the infusoria in flint; queer fossil woods,
which are all the rage here, and are extremely curious; fibrocellular
tissue, the most beautiful thing you can imagine. One of the best of the
microscopists, Mr. Bowerbank, gave me one or two curious microscopical
objects, which he had mounted for himself, and made an appointment with
me and another friend to meet him on Monday evening next, to examine his
microscopes and curious objects more quietly and at large than could be
done in a crowd, and to prepare some specimens for me. Mr. Reade, a
gentleman who was invited, but was prevented from attending, was so kind
as to send me a copy of his paper on the Infusoria and Scales of Fishes
found in Flint, with proof impressions which are far superior to those
in the “Annals of Natural History.” ...

Tuesday evening, February 19.--Three days have passed since I have
written a line for you. This suspension was occasioned by my late hours
last night. After spending the morning at the Horticultural Society,
then going into the City, where I dined, then going far out on the
Mile-End Road to deliver a letter intrusted to me by Mr. Scatcherd, then
returning as far as the Bank, I went again, partly by omnibus and partly
on my legs, almost as far in the northern outskirts of the town, to
spend an evening with Mr. Bowerbank, one of the best microscopists in
London, who owns the best microscope. I found so much to see that I did
not get away until past twelve, and then I had a walk before me almost
the whole length of London,--from New North Road to Charing Cross. I had
an opportunity of seeing, what was especially promised me, the camera
lucida applied to the microscope; an invaluable invention for an awkward
person like me, as I am convinced I could with a very little practice
turn out very fair outline sketches of objects I might be examining. I
acquired much information on various subjects; saw some most curious and
unique specimens of vegetable structure, and particularly of fossil
fruits, of which Mr. Bowerbank possesses an invaluable collection;
capsules, which we broke open, and examined not only the seed, with its
testa, raphe, and funiculus, but even the pulp which surrounded it. I
looked at many of his specimens of recent and fossil wood, at his
unrivaled cabinet of British fossils, and when our party broke up, there
was still so much left that we made an appointment for another
evening.... Mr. Bentham, Mr. Brydges, and I went to the Linnæan Society;
the president, the Bishop of Norwich, was in the chair,--an amiable old
gentleman. Boott, Yarrell, Ward, Royle, Forster, et multis aliis, were
present. Mr. Forster[71] invited Dr. Boott and me to fix a day to visit
him at his residence, some miles in the country, and dine with him. He
is greatly esteemed, and is said to be one of the most kind-hearted and
benevolent of men. I am now engaged, I believe, for every day and
evening of this week, and half of next, and am busy enough, I assure

Friday evening, February 22.--I ought hardly to use the date of Friday
evening, as it is close upon one o’clock of Saturday morning. But I must
not neglect my journal, and shall therefore give you a few hasty lines
ere I prepare for rest. I passed yesterday morning at the British
Museum, that is, until near three o’clock. I then hurried to my
lodgings, snatched a hasty dinner by the way, and went to the House of
Commons, Mr. Bentham having, through Dr. Romily, the speaker’s clerk,
procured me an order of admittance within the body of the house, where I
had the finest opportunity for hearing and seeing. There was nothing
very important brought before the house, yet on different subjects
nearly all the leading officers of the administration took the floor,
Mr. Rice, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord John Russell, who is
evidently a man of most ready talent and tact, Lord Palmerston, Lord
Morpeth, the new member of the cabinet, etc. I was exceedingly amused by
the manner in which Lord John Russell worsted a Colonel Sibthorpe, an
opposition member, who moved certain resolutions relative to Lord
Durham’s expenses, couched in an offensive manner, and made a still more
objectionable speech. Lord J. Russell, in very placid manner, set him
out in such a ridiculous light, that the gallant colonel first lost his
temper completely, and then lost his point, being obliged to withdraw
his own resolutions. I heard also, for a moment, Sir Robert Peel, Dr.
Lushington, Mr. Hume, and others too tedious to enumerate. As to general
decorum, or the manner in which members often treat each other in
debate, I don’t think we have much to learn....

I spent this morning at the British Museum; dined with Mr. Putnam at a
chop-house, and went to spend the evening at Mr. Quekett’s. I found,
instead of having the evening alone as I expected and wished, that he
had invited several friends, most of whom I knew. Still, after tea the
microscopes were produced, and I had the opportunity of examining very
many curious things.

If they don’t get out of my head in the mean time I will try to mention
some of them to Dr. Torrey when I go on with my letter to him. As eating
is a very important matter here, we had a magnificent supper at half
past ten, and it was near twelve when I left, with a walk of four miles
before me....

Saturday evening.--This has been a busy and somewhat interesting day
with me. I rose early, went down to Bentham’s to breakfast, stayed until
eleven o’clock, and then went up to Brown’s house to spend the morning,
according to previous appointment. We talked profound botanical matters,
and Brown not only amused and interested me, but gave me much valuable
information. He talks of visiting America, possibly next summer, and I
have promised to plan him a route. I left him about four o’clock,
returned to my lodgings, dressed hastily, took a Kensington omnibus, and
reached old Mr. Menzies’ little place at five. Mr. Ward, who was to meet
us, was not there. We left at half past ten, and walked all the way
back, about four miles. So here I am safe again. I read over the
doctor’s short letter again. I am trying to imagine how Herbert looks
now. He has probably changed very much since I parted from him. I have a
very especial love for that little fellow.[72] I must find time to write
to the girls, yet fear I shall scarcely be able until I have left
London. Tell them I think of them daily even if I cannot write them. As
to M’s French letter, it is not due until I get to France; but that
will, I trust, be soon. Adieu. Good-night.

Sunday, February 24. I was fortunate this morning in being able to hear
a man I had heard spoken of, and of whom I had formed a high opinion:
the Rev. Thomas Dale, Vicar of St. Bride’s, who also preaches in the
evening at St. Sepulcre’s. He preached from the first part of Luke vii.
47: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.” The
discourse was truly evangelical and impressive. He is the best preacher
I have heard in England next to Mr. Noel, and is more eloquent and
striking in manner than he, but has not the gentle pathos and sweetness
of Noel....

Tuesday evening, February 26.... Met Mr. Putnam[73] at half past four.
We had arranged beforehand that he should attempt to procure some orders
for admittance to the House of Lords, and that we should go down
together. I found he had been successful, having sent his clerk with
notes to some half dozen peers in order to make sure, and he thus
obtained more orders than he wanted. For me I found he had addressed a
note in my name to the Bishop of London, who very promptly sent me an
order of admittance.

We set out accordingly. The room which is occupied by the House of Lords
temporarily, until the New Houses of Parliament are built, is inferior
in size and accommodation to that of the Commons; indeed there is
nothing about it at all remarkable. There was no business of very
absorbing interest before the House this evening, and it adjourned as
early as eight. Still I had the good fortune to hear nearly all those
speak that I particularly cared for except Wellington (who is sick) and
Earl Durham. I heard a long speech from Brougham and a very good one,
except that he took occasion to trumpet his own good works. There was
some fine sparring between an Irish lord I do not remember, Lord Roden,
Lord Westmeath, and Lord Normanby, the late viceroy of Ireland, a young
man apparently, and a man of talent, Melbourne, and Minto; the lord
chancellor, Denman the chief justice, Sir James Scarlett, old Lord
Holland, etc., also spoke. The word “lengthy,” which was not long since
called an Americanism, seems to be pretty well naturalized, as Brougham
used it several times, and Scarlett more than once. Lord Palmerston the
other evening used the word “ disculpate” instead of “exculpate,” which
I fancy is rather modern English....

Friday evening, 12 o’clock, March 1.--I have just returned from a most
pleasant evening and day, as I may say, spent at Mr. Forster’s beautiful
residence on the border of Epping Forest, Essex (Woodford), about ten
miles from here. He is an old man, a banker, one of the oldest
vice-presidents of the Linnæan Society, one of the most kind-hearted
men, exceedingly beloved. He lives in an elegant but very unostentatious
way, in a most beautiful part of the country, the very perfection of
English scenery. He is said to be extremely benevolent, and to do a
world of good....

Saturday evening.--Immediately after breakfast this morning I went down
to Bentham, whom I had not seen for a week; spent two or three hours
there, returned again to my lodgings, went to the City, took an early
dinner with Mr. Putnam, and then we went together in an omnibus to
Hackney; saw Loddiges’ extensive collections of fine plants again,
lovely Orchideæ. The Camellias, of which he has a large house filled
with magnificent trees, were not yet in bloom.

... We walked across this eastern part of the city down to the Tower,
entered the gates and walked over the grounds. It was too late to get
entrance to the armory or any of the interesting places, as the light
was beginning to fail. I went back to Mr. Ward’s, at Well-close Square,
according to promise, to name some plants for him, but Dr.
Valentine,[74] a most ingenious vegetable anatomist and microscopist,
being in town (had previously met him at Lindley’s), Mr. Ward had
foregone his own advantage and invited Valentine and Quekett to meet me
with their microscopes, so that the evening was very instructive to me,
which I had not anticipated. Mr. Ward seems to have taken a fancy to me,
for I can hardly imagine that he takes so much pains to oblige every
one, absorbed as he is also in medical practice. He presented me with a
beautiful botanical digger of fine polished steel, with a leathern
sheath, which I suspect he has had made on purpose for me; though I
don’t know why he should have thought of it. Mrs. Ward was inquiring
about the Abbotts and their works, one of which she had, which makes her
wish for more. I am often asked about Mr. Abbott, whose works seem much
more generally known here than those of any other American religious
author. I must find some for Mrs. Ward.

Sunday evening, March 3.--I went this morning to hear, perhaps for the
last time, Baptist Noel. The sermon was from the last three verses of
the same psalm (Ps. ciii.) from which he has preached on the former
occasions when I have heard him in his own church; and truly a good
sermon it was. I have told you that the chapel is a large one. Yet it is
so well filled that I have always had some difficulty in getting a seat,
and to-day I actually stood near the pulpit during the whole service and
sermon. But it is worth while submitting to some inconvenience. In the
afternoon I walked up to Tottenham Court Road, and looked up the chapel
built by Whitfield, the scene of his useful labors in London. If you
read, as I think you did, Philip’s “Life of Whitfield,” you must take
some interest in this place.[75] I found the chapel a large but
outlandish building, with an inscription over one of the entrances,
stating that the building was erected by George Whitfield. Within is a
tablet to the memory of Mrs. Whitfield, who is buried here, and a
monumental inscription to Whitfield himself (which I regret I did not
copy), mentioning the date of his death at Newburyport, near Boston. The
preacher this afternoon (for I believe there is more than one who
officiates here) was the Rev. Mr. Wight, who gave an impressive,
practical sermon from the concluding clause of the last verse of Romans
viii.: “The love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It was, I
think, rather above his audience, which I am sorry to say was
exceedingly small. Indeed I hope it is generally better filled, but I
should not have expected so great a falling off in the attendance of
plain unfashionable people in the afternoon. These Whitfieldians are,
one would think, farther separated from the Established Church than
Wesleyans (which was certainly not the case in Whitfield’s time, who
refused to take any steps to establish a sect apart from the Church of
England); for in the Wesleyan chapel I attended the liturgy was read,
but here we had none of it. Only last summer I read a biography of
Whitfield with much attention; and it was very interesting to worship in
this chapel of his. It recalls more interesting associations than
Westminster Abbey or any vast and splendid cathedral. But I must bid
you good-night, purposing to rise early and have an hour or so before
the pressing business of the day is commenced to write another sheet to
you and our good Dr. Torrey, to whom I have so much to say, if I could
ever find time for it.

Friday.--I have been to-day at the British Museum, studying from the
specimens of Plukenet, Catesby, Miller, etc., etc., the authority for
old Linnæan species in Ilex, Prinos, Eupatorium, etc. It is slow and
tedious work, and I shall not have time to do so much of it as I could
wish. Brown told me to-day about Petalanthera. It is Cevallis, Lagasca,
Hortus Matritensis, and very probably his species, even C. sinuata. It
came from New Spain. You will see Lindley is all astray about the genus,
and no one knows its affinities even, but Brown. Lagasca himself refers
it to Boragineæ. It is true Loaseæ. I was this evening at Bentham’s, and
found he had a specimen of C. sinuata from Hooker, collected by Brydges
in Mexico, I think. I have asked Brown to give us some notes on the
subject, a generic character, etc., that we may publish a little from
his own pen. I am to spend a day with him next week, and I will try to
get something out of him. He hinted to me some days ago that he knew
something about Cyrilla, but I could not get it out of him. I’ll try
again. He tells me he has a character to distinguish true Rhexia, which
has escaped Don, De Candolle, etc. We must find it out. Bentham has
given me his “Scrophulariæ Indicæ,” and the three last parts of his
“Labiatæ;” I have bought the rest (£1 2s. 6d.), and last evening we
looked over his North American specimens, and the notes in his copy. He
gave me also, the other day, the only published part of the “Plantæ
Hugelianæ” and a few other pamphlets. He is a liberal soul.

I have got so far behind in my botanical news that I despair of bringing
up arrears, and must leave very much to tell you in propria persona, if
we meet again. I fancy I have not very much new to learn on the
Continent about microscopes and modes of working. I have seen much of
all the best people here, last not least Valentine, who lives in the
country, from whom I have derived much useful knowledge. He works to
some account, which can’t be said of most here, who, though they have
the best instruments in the world, don’t turn them to any important
account. As to Sullivant, tell him to have great patience. I can get him
a capital simple microscope by Ross for six guineas, but I want to get
as useful a one for him cheaper, so I shall wait till I have been on the
Continent, I think. My plan is to purchase at Paris for him, where the
low powers are good as can be, and supply a lens or two here....

Chapmannia (!) exists in Bartram’s old collection here, which you saw at
British Museum, and some other very lately published things.

I bought a copy of “Flora” for Bennett the other day, thinking it worth
while to offer him something, as I was taking up much of his time.
To-day he gave me a copy of the published part of the “Plantæ Javanicæ
Rariores,” (£2 10s., plain, is the publishing price), an invaluable
work, containing very many notes and observations on various genera,
etc., both by Brown and himself, which it is quite necessary we should
see. The notes I have made for the last few days are not now before me,
so that I cannot now give you any remarks. There is no one thing of very
considerable importance, but much small matter. By the way, let me say
that Bennett thinks that Brown thinks Romanzovia to be hydrophyllaceous!
Bentham would give something to know this, but I shall keep it to
myself. I have made out the remainder of Pursh’s doubtful Arenarias and
Stellarias front the Banks herbarium. The parcel of Solidagos, etc.,
sent to care of Mr. Putnam, I am glad to say, came to hand. It did not
arrive until last week, however....

Monday evening, twelve o’clock.... As I sit down to tell you what I have
been about to-day, my thoughts cross the wide wave that separates us,
and brings me back to 30 MacDougal Street, and to the time when,
returning from town, I used to present myself before you, give an
account of my proceedings, tell you perhaps some news about that
ill-fated expedition of which you were so sick of hearing; how it would
certainly sail in a month, or something just as likely. When thinking of
this long separation, I console myself with the idea that it is better
than if I had gone there. In that case I should now have been your
antipodes. Now there are only some four or five hours of shadow between
us. And, sluggard as you call me at home, I am up in the morning two or
three hours before you. Tell that to the girls for a wonder! I left my
room this morning at eleven, walked to Portland Place, called on the
American minister, who being unwell I was furnished by the secretary of
legation with what I desired, namely, a passport. This I left, as the
manner is, at the office of the French embassy, that his majesty Louis
Philippe may have fitting notice of the honor that is to be done him,
for the king of the French is, it seems, rather particular abut such
matters, and it is a pity not to oblige him, especially as you can’t
help yourself. This being done I went on to the Linnæan Society, and by
working at the full stretch of my powers contrived to get through the
Linnæan herbarium (skipping a few genera now and then) about six
o’clock. Returned home pretty well fatigued, took some tea and toast,
called upon Bentham, whom I found writing letters of introduction for
me. I have them now before me. They are addressed to Seringe at Lyons;
Requien, Avignon; Lady Bentham (B.’s mother) at Montpellier, with
request to make me acquainted with Dunal and Delile; Moretti at Pavia;
Visiani at Padua; Tomasini at Triest; Unger at Gratz; Endlicher at
Vienna; Martius and Schultes at Munich; Reichenbach at Dresden; Pöppig
at Leipsic. These, with what I have already from Hooker, Arnott,
Greville, Boott, etc., with a few that I expect at Paris, leave me
little to wish for in this respect. About ten o’clock went to Mrs.
Stevenson’s party. It was not a very large one, and in no way especially
remarkable. I found there of course the Bootts (three sizes, viz., Mrs.
Boott the grandmother, Mrs. Boott the mother, and Miss Boott the
daughter) and so of course I was upon good footing. Our minister lives
in neat but by no means splendid style, quite enough so for a
republican; and Mrs. S. is very lady-like and prepossessing in
appearance. Mr. Stevenson did not make his appearance. Of course, I did
not stay long.


Poor Hunneman died yesterday, after a short illness. I have spent much
time evenings with Mr. Valentine, whom I like extremely. Excepting only
Brown, he is the best microscopical observer in Great Britain. He cares
little, however, for proper systematic botany, for which I am sorry. He
has shown me some curious things.

I have learned from Brown the character he observed in our species of
Rhexia, that is, the true genus Rhexia: the unilocularity of the

Tuesday evening, March 12.--After a hard day’s work I finished on Monday
evening with the Linnæan herbarium, which I found more interesting than
I expected and more satisfactory, as it is in really good state,
carefully taken care of, etc. I had some very good notes to make. I
assure you I feel much gratified to have studied this collection, which,
with the Gronovian, enables us to start fair as to Linnæan species. Do
you know that Acer saccharinum, Linn., is A. eriocarpum (spec. Kalm)!
Look at Linnæus “Species Plantarum” (which you have not, unfortunately,
though it is the most necessary of books; you will receive it at the
same time as this letter or nearly) and you will find that the
description is all drawn from Eriocarpum.

I took what time I could to-day for the Gronovian plants and a few of
Plukenet’s, etc., but was unable to finish; will go to-morrow, for I
shall work to the last moment.

I have been tempted to buy a collection of Hartweg’s[76] very fine
Mexican plants, which being collected far in the interior of north
Mexico are very North American, and quite necessary, I think, for us.
They will reach you with the other parcels. Be careful about the little
labels with the numbers stuck on. Bentham will publish them

Professor Royle, as the agent of India people, I believe, offers me
seeds from Himalaya Mountains, received, and still to be received, from
the government collectors, in exchange for those of useful and
interesting North American plants, which they are desirous of
introducing into India. But as I can’t attend to it until another
season, he kindly offers to send to you a portion of the seeds just
received, and to ask you to distribute them in such way as will be most
useful, and ask those you give them to (say Downing, Hogg, Dr. Wray, Dr.
Boykin, etc., and some one in the valley of the Mississippi or Arkansas)
to collect seeds of trees, etc. (you can suggest what would be most
desirable), and send them to London, whence they will be sent in the
mails overland to India. As I fear I shall not see Royle again I shall
write him a note, telling him, as I promised, how to send to you.

I saw Dr. Sims’ herbarium, at King’s College. I want to look at it to
certify a few early “Botanical Magazine” plants.

Brown came to the museum this morning with a copy of a curious late
paper of Schleiden (which I had seen before) on the Development of the
Embryo, with a parcel of his own notes on the same subject made in 1810,
1812, 1815, etc., which did not altogether correspond. Brown thinks much
of Schleiden as an observer. He read me many of his old notes, and the
subject took him to speak of his discoveries with regard to the embryos
of Pinus. To explain to me as he went on he drew the diagram on the
inclosed slip of paper, and pointed out to me how to observe in our
species of Pinus. This will refresh my memory as to all he told me, so
pray keep it safely. There is much very curious matter now afloat about
the process of impregnation and the early development of embryo, which I
am accumulating, as much as I can, for future use. Pray tell Dr. Perrine
that the gardeners and botanists here insist by acclamation almost that
there is no such thing as acclimation in the vegetable kingdom.

What a pickle the Linnæan Ascyrum is in! I wish I had room to tell you.


Tuesday morning, two o’clock A.M., March 14, 1839.

I have just finished packing up, being about to start for Boulogne in
steamboat at nine o’clock this morning, and I must now hastily close my
letters. This, or rather yesterday, has been a busy day with me. I
started in the morning to have a look at a few more things of Pursh’s at
Lambert’s, but he kept me longer than I liked. He found somewhere a
small parcel of plants collected by Eschscholz in Kotzebne’s voyage, who
sent them to Lambert. Lambert gave me all the North American ones, few
to be sure, but interesting. From Lambert’s I returned by way of the
Horticultural Society, to bid good-by to Lindley and Bentham, but the
latter insists upon coming up in the morning to my lodgings to see me
off. I have made a fortunate acquisition for him. He told me he saw, a
few days ago, at an auction some copies of Richard’s fine work on the
Coniferæ, but an engagement at the time prevented him from staying to
buy a copy of the work for himself, which he imagined would be sold
cheap. Mr. Putnam found out who bought up these copies, and obtained one
at nearly the price at which they were sold. I shall have the pleasure
of presenting it to Bentham this morning when he calls. I went to the
British Museum, worked hard until four o’clock; but was not able quite
to finish, so I left my copy of Gronovius, in which I was making notes,
with Mr. Bennett to keep for me until my return in the autumn, and took
leave of Brown and Bennett. Went to Dr. Boott’s; saw Mrs. and Miss
Boott, who insisted upon giving me a note of introduction to a friend of
theirs in Florence; went to the City, dined with Putnam, down to
Well-close Square, took my tea, and bid good-by to Ward and family, and
Mr. Quekett....


PARIS, March 18, 1839, Monday evening.

I am now at the Hotel de l’Empereur Joseph II., Rue Tournon, près du
Palais du Luxembourg. Here I have been established for about half an
hour, and my first business shall be to fill this sheet for you. I
suppose I must begin at the beginning and tell you how I came here.
Voilà. I left London at nine o’clock in the morning of the 14th inst.
(Thursday), stopping on my way to the steamboat which was to take me to
Boulogne, to leave a parcel of letters at Mr. Putnam’s office, to be
forwarded to dear friends at home. It was a nasty, rainy morning; and
our boat was, as indeed I expected, not very comfortable. The cabin was
well enough, but much too small for the accommodation of some fifty or
sixty persons, and there was no covering to the deck, nor any
deck-cabin, except two dirty little places for the poorer passengers,
who were not allowed the use of ours; so we had our choice the whole day
between the soaking in the rain upon the deck and the close atmosphere
of the crowded cabin. Of course I was vibrating between the two dilemmas
the whole day, but took as much pains as I could to keep dry. The only
thing I saw worthy of notice as we went down the Thames was Greenwich
Hospital, of which I will perhaps send a print. I should add also chalk
cliffs, for I never before saw rocks and hills of chalk. In the
afternoon, as we had fairly got into the Channel, a thick fog came on.
The captain lost his way and seemed in fear that he should run the boat
upon the Sands, so he dropped anchor about five in the afternoon. We
were to have arrived at Boulogne at nine that evening. But as I saw
there was no great chance of our moving for some time, I set about
making amends for my loss of sleep the previous night. I took possession
of two thirds of a hard sofa, and, wrapped in my cloak, was soon in a
comfortable doze. I awoke late in the evening; and such a sight as there
was before me! It seems that there were no accommodations for sleeping
on board, or next to none, and the passengers, men, women, and children,
were indiscriminately but thickly strewn over the sofas, chairs, and
even over the whole floor, with portmanteaus, great-coats, and whatever
they could find for pillows, attempting to secure such rest as they
could,--some sixty persons or more crowded into a space not larger than
the cabin of one of our ferry-boats....

But I was too drowsy to mind it much, and soon fell asleep again, but
awoke in the morning with swollen eyes and complaining bones. The boat
was moving again, and it was raining as hard as ever. The distant coast
of France soon came in view, and at half past ten we were landed at
Boulogne. We were escorted to the custom-house; what baggage we had
brought in our hands was closely examined by the officers, an
ill-looking, vagabond set; our passports were taken from us and
provisional ones given, which permitted us to go on to Paris, and for
which we each had to pay two francs; we were then allowed to go to a
hotel and get our breakfast, a privilege which most of us were not slow
to avail ourselves of. I made a hearty meal of cold roast beef, café au
lait, excellent bread, and delicious butter. The two last I have found
ever since I have been in France. I gave my keys to the commissionaire
of the hotel to get my luggage through the custom-house, and, my place
being taken in the diligence for Paris at two o’clock, having nothing
else to do, I went to the custom-house to see the examination of the
luggage. Lazy custom-house officers and gendarmes were lounging about,
while heavy carts loaded with baggage were drawn up from the boat by
women!--and this while it was raining hard, and the poor creatures were
without hats or bonnets, and had only a handkerchief or a bit of cloth
tied over their heads. So much for this self-styled most refined and
polite nation! I noticed the poor things when their task was done and
they were waiting to convey the trunks, etc., from the custom-house to
the various hotels. Some were chatting in groups, apparently quite
content with their lot; a few were sleeping, and many, with the
characteristic industry of their sex, produced their knitting-work from
their pockets and were busily employed at a more appropriate and
feminine employment. I was amused at the strictness with which three
exceedingly unpleasant-looking fellows searched all our baggage, that of
the ladies not less than that of the men. Little parcels were opened,
dirty linen was overhauled and most minutely inspected; the whole scene
would have made a fit subject for the pencil of Hogarth. My
traveling-bag was examined from top to bottom, and I began to fear that
my trunk, which I had packed with care, would be sadly deranged, but
they contented themselves with cutting open a packet of seeds I was
taking from the Horticultural Society to De Candolle, and with seizing
as a great prize my rather formidable parcel of letters of introduction.
This was near causing me to be detained until the next diligence; but
the commissionaire succeeded in getting them sent up to the inspector in
another part of the town, upon whom we called, when after due
explanation had been made, and one or two of the letters read, they were
formally delivered back to me.

I can tell you what a French diligence is like. It is just like one of
the railroad cars (about three apartments) of the Harlem railroad, for
example, mounted on coach wheels; the horses are small, lean, shaggy,
and ugly; some seven of these beasts are fastened, three abreast and one
for a leader, with ropes to the said diligence; but how such beasts
contrive to draw such a cumbrous vehicle, loaded with seventeen persons
and their baggage, besides a driver and conductor, I don’t well
understand, although the beasts are changed every five or six miles; but
somehow we got over the ground pretty fast, and came to Paris, over one
hundred and forty miles, in a little less than thirty hours, although it
rained all the first day and part of the second, and the roads were
extremely muddy.

We arrived just before nightfall at Montreuil, a fine old fortified
French town situated on the summit of a hill and overlooking a broad
valley, which in summer must be quite beautiful; here we dined, and were
charged four francs each for dinner, besides sous to the garçon. I slept
pretty well in the night, during which we passed Abbéville, where there
is said to be a fine church. We breakfasted at the queer old town of
Beauvais, where there is a fine cathedral, of which I had a pretty good
view. My breakfast (déjeuner à la fourchette, which is the next thing to
a dinner) cost three and a half francs, for on this route you meet with
very English charges. I wished to say something about the country, but
have not room. Suffice it to say that we passed through the town of St.
Denis late in the afternoon, where I did not even get a glimpse of the
very ancient cathedral, and arrived at Paris just before nightfall.
After dinner, in company with a fellow-passenger, a young Englishman, I
gratified a long-felt curiosity by strolling through the Palais Royal
and some of the principal streets of Paris. On Sunday I attended church
in the morning (after a vain attempt to find the American Chapel) at the
Rev. Mr. Sayer’s English Episcopal Chapel, where I heard a good sermon;
and in the evening at the Methodist Chapel, where the Rev. Mr. Toase
preached a truly excellent discourse from Jeremiah viii. 13. All the
shops were open just as on any other day, and the gardens and parks were
all crowded. This morning I went down to the Jardin des Plantes,
stopping by the way to see the ancient church of Notre-Dame, where I
heard a portion of the Catholic service chanted.... At last, after
looking at many other buildings and objects of curiosity, about which I
will tell you more presently, I reached the garden, found Decaisne, who
could speak no English, and I almost no French; so he took me to Adrien
de Jussieu, who makes out to speak very tolerable English, and to
understand me pretty well. I left soon to call on Mr. Webb,[77] who is
an Englishman, for whom I had a letter from Hooker; thence after
looking in vain for “appartements garnis “ in Rue de l’Odéon, Place de
l’Odéon, etc., I secured my lodgings here, where I shall be obliged to
hear nothing but French, and where I hope I may catch some of the
language, and after dining at the ordinary at the Hôtel de Lille, where
English is spoken, I transferred myself to my present quarters. But my
sheet is full. I will give you another very soon. Till then, mes chères
petites sœurs, adieu.

Wednesday evening, March 20.--I must continue my letter to you on a
large sheet of thin French paper, else I shall have a larger bill of
postage to pay than will be altogether convenient when I send to Havre.
I did not write last evening; I had no fire in my room, and after
running about all day over streets paved with little square blocks of
stone, which it is very fatiguing to walk over, I came home fairly
tired, and went to bed soon after nine o’clock. Except calling on M.
Delessert, for whom I had a letter and a small parcel from Hooker, and
whom I did not find at home, I spent the whole day in looking about the
town, seeing sights, etc. My first call was at the Louvre, a large and
splendid palace, where I spent an hour or two in the vast gallery of
paintings, which fill a very large salon and a long gallery, I suppose
five hundred or six hundred feet long, connecting the Louvre with the
palace of the Tuileries....

To-day I have been wholly occupied at the Jardin des Plantes.
Fortunately for me Jussieu speaks a little English, so I can get on with
him pretty well. But you would have been amused at the attempts which M.
Decaisne and M. Gaudichaud[78] and myself made to understand each
other. Still more amused would you have been to see how I managed to
make a bargain with a bookseller for a few books I wished to purchase. I
feel the want of French sadly, and have no time for study.

Thursday evening.--I have been again occupied the whole day at the
Jardin des Plantes, and went at six o’clock to dine with Mr. Webb to
meet M. Gay.[79] Webb had taken care to ask an English student also, who
speaks French much better than he does English, who sat between Gay and
myself and interpreted when it became necessary. But Gay speaks a little
of what will pass for English, mixed here and there with French, so that
I got on very well indeed.

Gaudichaud was also there, a very interesting man if one could talk with
him. We were kept rather late, so that it is now past twelve, so I must
bid you good-night.

Monday evening.... At three o’clock I went to the Institute. I found
that the room was already crowded. I inquired for Jussieu and
Brongniart, the only members I could think of that I knew, but they were
not there and therefore I could not get in. After some time Jussieu came
in. But it was then too late, so I lost the object for which I had given
up half the day. Jussieu, however, took me into the library, which is
worth seeing. I employed the remaining hour or so in purchasing some
prints of remarkable buildings, etc., in Paris, and I was also tempted
to buy a few engravings from some of the great masters. After dinner I
went to Mr. Webb’s, where I looked at plants for a few hours. He gave
me also some autographs of celebrated botanists, and a few old botanical

Friday evening, March 29.... The Garden of Plants was nearly on my way
home; so I stopped there, worked for an hour (till five o’clock), went
home (home, indeed!), took my dinner, found myself most thoroughly tired
as well as hungry, having had no breakfast but a small roll of bread I
obtained near the cemetery; had a fire kindled in my room, and commenced
writing to you. Just now the little daughter of the concierge, a little
girl of six or seven, who often waits upon me, has brought me a cup of
coffee, which I have enjoyed greatly, and now feel much restored. French
children are all pretty and graceful, and I am making the little girl’s
acquaintance as fast as I can; for it is difficult for me to understand
her (it seems odd to hear such a little thing speak French), and in
answer to some of my attempts to speak French to her, she answers, “Je
n’entends pas anglais, monsieur.”

What great lies the French newspapers tell! Yesterday morning the paper
I was reading at my breakfast stated that one of the gardeners who had
charge of the bears at the Jardin des Plantes descended into the
inclosure for some purpose, and was seized by the bears, killed
immediately, and almost eaten up before help was obtained. So when I
arrived at the garden I of course spoke to Decaisne about it, who was
greatly surprised, for it seems the story was entirely a fabrication.

I see I have at length filled this large sheet, so I must say adieu for
the present, but hope to-morrow evening to begin another. Ever I remain,

Your attached,
A. G....


Wednesday evening.... There is little danger of my being spoiled in
Paris by being overpolished. In London one must take care to be always
comme il faut. There I took pains to keep myself rather spruce, which I
have continued here from the mere force of habit!!! But gentlemen in
Paris dress anyhow; they don’t pay half the attention to the matter it
receives in England; with the ladies it is perhaps different, but here I
scarcely ever see ladies except in the streets or shops and restaurants!
At the houses of botanists I have only seen Mme. Gay, a very plain and
good-natured Swiss lady. As to parlez-vous-ing, it is not such an easy
matter, I assure you. You would laugh most heartily to see me in the
botanic gallery of the Jardin des Plantes, endeavoring to carry on a
conversation with Gaudichaud or Decaisne; the former of whom can
scarcely read English, and the latter can speak only a dozen words. I
get out, with no little difficulty, a few sentences of such French as
has not been heard since the days of King Pepin, I am sure; and when
that fails me I write in English, which Decaisne can read, and make him
write in French in return, or else for short sentences speak very slowly
and distinctly. From my ignorance of the language I am obliged to take
great pains when I wish to purchase anything from the shops; for it is
customary to put on an additional price to English customers.
Fortunately my complexion and the style of my countenance are so far
French that before I speak I am generally taken for a native, and I
sometimes manage to make purchases without saying a word beyond a
monosyllable. So I have to be very careful to avoid being cheated; but I
am every day acquiring more knowledge and experience.

I have been seized with a mania for collecting prints on a small scale,
and shall send home some very good ones,--to adorn my parlor and study
at Michigan, of course! There are astonishing quantities to be found
here. I am endeavoring to get all the portraits of botanists I can, and
from this I have been led to pick up ancient ones, which show the early
state of the art or old-fashioned costumes, etc., and also a few choice
engravings from the old masters; but most of these I can obtain better
in Italy or Germany. Tell Dr. Torrey not to be alarmed, for I shall not
spend much money upon them.

As a general thing Paris is not very beautiful. But there are some
magnificent sights, I assure you. At odds and ends of time I have
already seen most of the ordinary sights which attract the attention of
travelers, but must leave all account of them for the journal from
Paris, which so far is addressed to the girls, though I fear it will
scarcely interest them or any one else....

Decaisne has given me separate copies of his papers. He is now
publishing a most splendid (botanically speaking) memoir upon the order
Lardizabaleæ, in which I see he has found out some things which have
been known to Brown only, for a long time. He will give us copies, I
dare say. He is one of the best botanists here. I like Gaudichaud also
very much....

I have just finished the examination of Michaux’s herbarium, which has
proved worth looking over. I shall write the doctor more particularly,
indeed have already begun a letter for him. Mr. Webb showed me last
evening a letter from Hooker, which contains a good deal of botanical
intelligence for himself and me. The British Antarctic expedition, he
says, is to sail positively in August, and Joseph is to go. I wonder if
they will be two years or so in getting off!...


PARIS, April 1, 1889, Monday evening.

MY DEAR GIRLS,--It is rather late, and I have no fire in my room, to
which I have just now returned, but it is nearly comfortable without
one, and so we will have a few words together before I sleep. My last
and long sheet was closed, I think, on Friday evening. On Saturday my
morning was spent as usual at the Jardin des Plantes; returning from
whence I looked along the shops and so on to the Pont du Louvre, which I
crossed; passed through the Palais Royal at the most busy season, when
it is all lighted up splendidly, and dined at the Restaurant Colbert at
half past seven. I am patiently exploring (I should say eating) my way
through the mazes of French cookery, and am trying to select from the
complicated bill of fare the more peculiar and national dishes, some of
which are excellent, others so-so, or very poor....

To-day I have been again at the Garden, working as hard as possible,
since I have so little time remaining. I dined at half past six at one
of the famous restaurants, just to see how it was managed, and returning
spent the early part of the evening with Mr. Webb, who lives near me.

On my way from the Garden, I stopped at another church. I believe the
only remaining one of large size and much interest which I had not
already seen.... It is called St. Severin, and is very old, having been
built in the year 1210.

This is the first of April, and a fine spring day it has been, though
the season is little more advanced than at New York. In two weeks I must
be again upon the wing, and shall soon meet the summer. I want to see
the south of France and sunny Italy. Adieu.

Tuesday evening, April 2.--I intended to have had time this evening to
write several letters, but Decaisne has been with me, and did not leave
until almost twelve, we had so much to talk about. I have been all the
morning at the Garden; have worked very hard, indeed, and have nearly
finished there. To-morrow is like to be a broken day, as I have made an
engagement to see Dr. Montagne[80] and his microscope at twelve o’clock,
which will take an hour or two out of the very best part of the day. I
will try to turn the fragments of the day to some account. But now

    “To each, to all, a fair good-night,
     And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.”

Monday evening, April 8.... Saturday was a little more diversified. I
went at eight o’clock in the morning to Professor Richard’s,[81] who
lives near me, examined some plants of Michaux, then took my breakfast,
went to the Garden for three or four hours, but returned at two o’clock
to see the Chamber of Peers in session, M. Gay having provided me with a
ticket of admittance, which procured me a very good seat. The members
all wear a kind of court dress, the military peers swords, and those who
have them display the insignia of the order of the Legion of Honor, and
so forth. Several new peers were admitted, but before they were
introduced, a number of peers made some remarks which could not have
been very flattering to them, the creation of a new batch just at this
time having given much dissatisfaction to the old ones. Among others, I
heard a little speech from the famous Marshal Soult. Lord Brougham, who
is now in Paris, was present. I recognized him across the room by his
homely face, which he is in the habit of twitching and contorting
incessantly, as if it pained him. He seemed to listen with much

In the evening I paid a visit to Mr. Spach,[82] looked over plants and
so forth until ten o’clock, returned shivering with cold, for the
weather here is like March in New York. I am now sitting by a large
fire, and yet I am shivering.

Tuesday evening, April 9.--In the morning went to hear Mirbel[83]
lecture at the Sorbonne; he speaks so distinctly that I understood him
tolerably well in general. The lecture-room is old and incommodious,
rather better, to be sure, than the accommodation for the students of
the university in the olden time, when they used to sit upon straw
spread in the streets, but certainly not very fine. I went afterward to
the Ecole de Médecine; heard the professor of anatomy for a few minutes;
came away, saw two or three books that I wanted in a stall belonging to
a shop, priced them; found the price much higher than I intended to
give, so I named the price I would give; was amused with the
perseverance of the very genteel madame, who reduced her price down to
within seven francs of my offer, and then labored hard to make me take
them. I advanced one franc, but utterly refused to give a sou more.
“Vous n’êtes pas raisonnable,” says madame. “Je suis très raisonnable,”
I replied, “mais votre prix n’est pas raisonnable.” So I left the shop,
madame very coolly replacing the books on the shelf, with one eye turned
toward me to see if I would relent. I had got some distance down the
street when the boy came running after me, to say that I might have the
books, “mais ils sont très bon marché.” So much for the way you are
obliged to make bargains here. Went to the Garden, returned to dine
here, paid a little visit to Mr. Webb, and must write the remainder of
the evening.

Thursday evening, April 11.--My approaching departure makes it a very
busy time for me. Let me recollect what I did yesterday. I went first to
Baron Delessert’s; studied in his magnificent library until about one
o’clock; then visited my banker, who is near, drew some money; then to a
bookseller to arrange some matters about our “Flora” (which I failed to
do); went to the Bibliothèque du Roi, where they have miles of books and
acres of manuscripts, but as it was not a public day, I did not see half
that I wished. I have made arrangements, however, for a future day. I
went next to the post office, and took a place in the malle-post (which
is very much quicker than the diligence) for Lyons, to go on Monday; so
that the time of my departure is pretty well fixed. I next went to learn
the time of the departure of the carriages for Sèvres and Versailles,
which places I intend to visit to-morrow. Then I met Chevalier, the
optician, by appointment, to consult about microscopes for an hour or
two.... Called on M. Gay, with whom I found M. Boissier, a Swiss
botanist whom I had often seen at the Garden, and also August St.
Hilaire,[84] who returned but a few days since from Montpellier.

On reaching my room at half past ten, I found a note from Mr. Webb,
saying that M. Spach had a message for me from Mirbel, and asking me to
call if I had time; went immediately, but was too late; Webb had gone to
bed. Returned, arranged accounts, etc., and went to bed myself.

To-day I have been, if possible, still more busy; at least I have
accomplished more, though I made a bad beginning. The concierge promised
to call me at eight, but I awoke myself at nine. Consequently it was
past ten before I made my first call, which was upon Mr. Webb, to know
when I was to see Mirbel. I called next upon Dr. Montagne to get a
letter to the chief curator of the Bibliothèque du Roi, which should
afford me the opportunity of seeing this, the largest library in the
world, on a private day, namely, Monday, the only public day while I
stay being Friday, when I have something else to do. _Eh bien._ I went
next to the Louvre, and saw the other and best half of that most
magnificent gallery, my passport giving me a ready admittance....
Suffice it to say I saw very much to admire--some things that I greatly
admired--very much I did not allow myself time enough to become
interested in, as well as many works of the old fellows that one likes
to say he has seen.... Again in a cabriolet to the Ecole de Médecine;
looked through the museum, which was to-day open to the public; saw for
a moment the examination of a batch of candidates for a vacant
professorship by concours; also the examination of students in the same
way; then I visited the Musée Dupuytren,--a surgical museum of great
extent; then went to the Ile St. Louis (opposite the Garden) to call on
M. de St. Hilaire; not at home, so I saved a little time. Next to the
Garden; looked on my way at the animals, the hyenas, lions, giraffe,
monkeys, etc., besides a few large snakes; then called at Mirbel’s
rooms, who took a great deal of trouble to show me most curious things
in vegetable anatomy, but of this I will write to your good papa, who
will care much more for it than you. After this I saw Decaisne for a few
minutes at the botanical gallery; took one of the young lads with me;
saw the mineralogical cabinet and that of fossils, which occupy a new
and most beautifully arranged gallery. Here I saw many of the famous
things I have heard so much of. In the vestibule to this gallery they
are preparing a pedestal for a fine and large statue of Cuvier. I went
next to Jussieu’s house, talked with him for a few minutes, and bid him
good-by. On my way home stopped at Ballière’s, the bookseller, to
transact some business; home; dined at half past seven; went to Webb’s,
where I like to go of an evening, as I get a good cup of tea (no common
thing in Paris), which, after such a day’s work, was very grateful, I
assure you; remained until half past nine; returned here, took up my
pen, and voici the result; and if I do not write plainly and neatly, it
is no great wonder, and I trust you will excuse it, for I have other
writing to do also this evening. Besides, I must rise at seven, as I
expect another very busy day. On my return this evening, I found a
polite note from Delessert[85] accompanying a magnificent present, no
less than a copy of three volumes of the “Icones Selectæ.” An invitation
for Saturday evening from M. and Mme. Delessert came with it. I am
already engaged to dinner, at half past six, for the same day.


Saturday morning, half past seven.--[After an account of a visit to
Versailles, he goes on:] Now bidding adieu to all this most interesting
ground, I took up my march, on foot and alone, for St. Germain, distant
about four miles. From the heights of Louveciennes I obtained the first
view of the Seine and the lovely and broad valley through which it
winds. Here I passed the remains of an elevated and striking aqueduct
which conveyed water to a royal château which formerly stood in the
neighborhood, and also, I believe, to the village of Marly, through
which I passed a little farther on. Then descending rapidly, I reached
again the banks of the Seine, the terrace of St. Germain being directly
before me. It was now three o’clock. The steep hill was to be ascended
by a winding road, and being somewhat leg-weary, I stopped a passing
countryman’s cart; the lad who was driving readily gave me a seat by his
side, and thus I rode into St. Germain. The lad was quite intelligent,
and answered all my questions (when he understood me) very readily. He
set me down close by the château. I gave him ten sous for his trouble,
and we parted on good terms with each other. The château of St. Germain,
which was a chief royal residence before Versailles was built, is more
interesting to us as the place where the Stuarts kept their petty court
so many years. It is now converted into a military penitentiary, and I
was not anxious to examine the interior, as I am informed scarce any of
the original apartments or furniture remain. The exterior is striking,
quite of the old style, built of the same red bricks as the central
portion of Versailles. What is most worth seeing here is the terrace, a
beautiful park, extending for almost two miles along the brow of the
high ridge, with the most beautiful view from it of the valley beneath
and before you, the hills that bound your view, and the numerous
villages scattered here and there. A finer situation cannot be imagined.
The Seine, after passing Paris, makes a bold, double turn. The view
extends quite to Paris (fifteen miles) though the city is nearly
concealed from view, yet you see the grand Arc de l’Etoile distinctly.
In the summer it must be surpassingly beautiful. At four o’clock I
descended the steep declivity to the commencement of the railroad, took
a little refreshment; at twenty minutes past four we started in cars
propelled by steam, and in an hour I was in Paris and taking my dinner
at the Restaurant Colbert. A pretty good day’s work!

Saturday, went to dine at Mr. Webb’s; a little party,--a bachelors’
party, for Webb is single,--consisting of Dr. Montagne, M. Berthelot, M.
and Mme. Ramon de la Sagra, M. Spach and his wife, and a young Spaniard
whose name I do not recollect. Webb is quite a polyglot; he speaks
French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Modern Greek, and I know not what
besides his mother tongue. At half past nine I left, took a cabriolet
for Delessert’s, where I had been invited to an evening party; found
there several botanists and persons I knew. Delessert received me
cordially, introduced me to Madame D., who I was rejoiced to find spoke
English very well. The suite of rooms thrown open was very splendid, and
communicating with the last was a pretty greenhouse, filled with
vigorous plants, all in fine bloom; the whole, carpeted and lighted,
presented a most inviting appearance. The brothers Delessert are said to
be very rich, and I suppose can well afford such an expensive
establishment. The party broke up at eleven. Besides tea, which is quite
English, though the French are getting more into the custom of using it
we had ices, etc., but nothing else. The whole affair was conducted
without any parade and in quiet good taste....

Notabilia varia.--Ellimia, Nutt., was described a little before us by
two authors under two different names: First by Cambessides in
Jacquemont’s Travels, under the name of Oligomeris; second by Webb and
Berthollet, “Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries,” under the name of
Resedella; Webb has Jacquemont’s plant from the Himalaya and his own
growing together; they are absolutely the same. I am to examine them
soon, but have scarce a doubt they are even the same species as ours.
Webb has promised me a specimen. It is also the Reseda glauca of Delile
ex Egypto. It is curious that the plant should at the same time be
described from almost every part of the world, and not less so that the
three names hit upon should have all meant the same thing, namely, a
reduced reseda.

I have just spent the evening with Gay. He is publishing Carices in
“Annales des Sciences Naturelles:” has hit upon some of Boott’s notions;
but not all. He is a laboriously minute observer, and will do pretty
well, but like Boott inclines to make too many species. He insists upon
describing the small form of C. Hitchcockiana from Dr. Sartwell and
Kentucky as a distinct species, in which he may be right. He wished to
name it after me, but I declined the honor, and have transferred it to
Dr. Sartwell, the discoverer, whose name it is to bear....

Delessert received me very kindly when I called on him. I must call
again soon, and consult especially his rich library. He showed me a list
he had just ordered from New York; among which of course was our
“Flora.” I should have offered him a copy, but now it is scarcely worth
while.... I shall not see De Candolle here. Delessert does not expect
him until May. I shall leave the books and parcels for him with
Delessert, and make De Candolle take back to Geneva with him all my
parcels that I do not wish to take with me to the south.

April 2, evening, or rather April 3, as it is past midnight.--I have
worked to-day as hard as I could jump from ten to half past five o’clock
at the herbarium général of the Museum de Paris, and have finished.
Apart from Michaux’s plants, of which they have nearly a set
distributed, they are wretchedly poor in North American species; almost
none of Lamarck and Poiret. I except the plants given by LeConte,
Torrey, etc., which are arranged but not incorporated. The present
Gallery of Botany is exceedingly fine and spacious, and well planned. I
have gone carefully through all Michaux’s herbarium (from your limited
time you have made some bad slips in the Carices of Michaux, which Gay,
I am sorry to say, has found out), noting all dubious matters to be
settled by examination of Richard’s set. I have gone through De la
Pylaie’s herbarium completely and carefully; I have examined the
herbarium given by Humboldt,--not complete but said to be as large as
Kunth’s own set or more so, and labeled by Kunth; I have looked at
everything here which I thought could interest us, but some I found not,
such as Cercocarpus; I have examined some other separate sets of the
same kind. I am now ready to glance through Jussieu’s herbarium, which
is said to contain many Lamarck and Poiret; to spend a little time in
Richard’s, a few hours more for Desfontaines at Webb’s, and perhaps
Berlandier’s[86] plants, though these are distributed through Webb’s
immense collection; this I can do, however, in evenings. Then a morning
or two at Delessert’s, which will be more occupied with examination of
books than plants, will, I believe, finish. Webb has promised to give me
some plants of Labilliardière, whose herbarium he bought, as he did
Mercier’s, in which he got many of Nuttall’s plants. He has also a
collection of Lady Dalhousie’s from North America, all Drummond’s, etc.,
etc.; so he is pretty rich in North American plants, but they are not
all arranged yet. Webb has most generously presented me with a complete
copy of L’Héritier’s Works (in sheets) except the “Cornus,” which I have
this day bought of the Jew Meilhac, and for which I was obliged to give
six francs. I shall have the whole bound in two large folio volumes:
“Cornus” and “Sertum Anglicum” in one, “Stirpes Novæ” and “Geraniologia”
in the other. I think thus far that the few copies of the “Flora” I have
given away have turned to good account. I meant to go to Jussieu
to-morrow, but Webb has made an appointment with me to see Dr. Montagne
(muscologist, etc.) and his microscope, which is one of the latest and
best of Chevalier, and will enable me to decide if I may venture upon
one for Sullivant.

On Saturday Decaisne told me, almost by accident, that he was to do the
Asclepiadeæ for De Candolle’s “Prodromus,” at the same time showing me a
paper of his on the family that I was unacquainted with, much to his
surprise, but he at once gave me a copy. You must know, that although I
knew nothing scarcely of this family when I left you, and now know
little as to general structure, yet I pride myself a little on my
researches in extricating the synonymy of the species in London, in
Herbarium Linnæus, Hort. Clift., Herbarium Gronovius, Banks, Walter and
Pursh, and here of Michaux. Accordingly on Monday (yesterday) Decaisne
and myself had a regular examination of all the species we could find
here, and I furnished him with all my notes upon the synonymy, and left
with him those I had with me from your herbarium, to be returned to
London in September next. Decaisne has been with me also all this

I find that very many of the pamphlets we have sent from time to time
have miscarried, particularly the copies of my “Ceratophyllaceæ,” sent
by Castilneaux, and, what is mortifying, Guillemin and Jussieu received
copies, but Brongniart and Decaisne none. I have just sent my only
remaining copy here (for you sent me none) to Brongniart,[87] with an

There is a second species of Podophyllum from Cashmere or Himalaya, P.
Emodi, also collected by Jacquemont, from whose specimens Decaisne has
given me a piece. What is most curious, it is sixandrous, and therefore
comes into Berberideæ except in wanting the dehiscence of the anthers by
valves (which Decaisne tells me is also the case in Nandina), and so
Robert Brown’s views are confirmed. I should not wonder if the sly old
chap had seen a specimen from Wallich when he appended the note to the
“Congo Voyage” on Berberideæ.

Thursday evening, April 4.--Yesterday saw Dr. Montagne, the muscologist,
and examined his microscope thoroughly, which is one of the latest and
best of Charles Chevalier’s. To-day I spent the morning at Jussieu’s,
looking up Lamarckian species, etc., in A. L. de Jussieu’s herbarium;
was very successful in Hypericum, but have no time now to give you
details. In the afternoon Webb, by appointment, met me at the Garden,
and we went to see Mirbel,--a man well worth seeing, I assure you. Webb
acted as interpreter, when it was necessary, for Mirbel speaks with such
distinctness that knowing what he was about I could understand him
pretty well.

I like Mirbel excessively. Considering I was a perfect stranger, of whom
he knew nothing, I think he took great pains to show me what I wanted to
see. Sullivant’s microscope will be of the same kind as his, only
better, so that he will have the means of being a second Mirbel.
Examined his microscope, which is a good one, but I think not equal to
the best English; got some good hints, etc.; am to call again. He is
very communicative, and you missed much in not seeing so extraordinary a
man. He showed me a series of drawings and engravings on which he has
been long engaged, for a mémoire on the structure of roots,--splendid
drawings; and he explained to me what I before could not form a clear
idea about, how the curious emboîtement or thickening of the walls of
cells takes place by the development of new cells within the old. He
showed me what I at once recognized as the so-called gridiron-tissue
which I had seen in England, and I noticed that he explained it in the
same way as Brown. He promised me copies for self and friends of the
late paper of his on Embryologia in the “Comptes Rendus,” just now read
before the Institute (which will also be published with a part of the
plates in the “Annales des Sciences Naturelles” and finally completely
in “Archives du Muséum “), in which he says he has completely upset the
new-fangled notions of Schleiden, Unger, etc. (adopted by Endlicher);
and, what is remarkable, his investigations on the subject were made
before he knew of their views, and the publication is only a little
hastened on account of theirs. This evening I have been with Webb,
looking up Desfontaines and Poiret plants, also some of Spach. Did I
tell you I have seen a good deal of Spach of late? He does not agree
well with the other botanists of the Garden; but there are some good
points about him, and he is mending every day. I pushed him rather hard
upon some of his bad ways, particularly that of his changing specific
names, which he bore very well. Webb says he is now falling into an
opposite extreme as to species, and will hardly admit anything to be
distinct; but Webb himself rather inclines to multiply species, I
believe. I am to meet Spach at his place in the Garden to-morrow
morning. He is married, lately, to Miss Legendre, a relative of
Mirbel’s, who made his drawings in Marchantia, etc.,--indeed the best
botanical artiste in Paris. What a fine library Jussieu has! And what a
capital advantage it is to have a great botanist for one’s father! I
particularly envy Jussieu his collection of botanical pamphlets, which
fill a large cabinet, all arranged in families, etc., the largest
collection of the kind in the world, Jussieu thinks. He gave me to-day a
little print of his father taken in the year his “Genera Plantarum” was
published. He told me, what I did not know before, that Bernard de
Jussieu superintended the publication of Aublet’s “Plantes de la
Guiane.” I could buy that work rather cheap, but think I must refrain. I
bought to-day Schreber’s edition of the “Genera Plantarum,” two francs,
two vols. in one, bound, for myself (you have it, I believe), and a
second copy of “Linnæi Species Plantarum,” ed. 3 (which is the 2d Holm.,
as you know, reprinted paginatim at Vienna). I gave five francs, and
shall put it down for Sullivant, who should have it, unless indeed you
desire to keep it yourself. I have bought (ten francs) the first four
vols. of “Mémoires de l’Institut,” 4to, bound, for library of Michigan.
Ventenat’s mémoire of Tilia is contained in one, also other botanical
papers, and some good old chemical ones, etc. Webb is to put up for me a
small parcel of Labilliardière’s New Holland plants.

I have bought L’Héritier’s “Cornus,” so now I have the whole complete,
and must get it all bound.

P. S.--I have just discovered that the copy of L’Héritier’s is
imperfect. I feel confident that Webb knows it not, and I of course
cannot tell him. I shall have all bound up in one thick volume.

Monday evening, April 8.--I finished early this morning, at Richard’s,
the examination of those species upon which Michaux’s herbarium is not
satisfactory. Richard boasts of his set as the authentic one (which is
true), but it is not as complete nor as good as the other, which is
partly owing to Richard having divided with Kunth when he could. Michaux
must have made a capital collection, since it has moreover supplied the
general herbarium with a pretty extensive set, and Desfontaines and
Jussieu with many; others I meet in the Ventenat herbarium (Delessert).
They say De Candolle has some of Michaux’s plants, and who besides I
know not....

But I have something better than all this to tell you. I have discovered
a new genus in Michaux’s herbarium--at the end, among plantæ ignotæ. It
is from that great unknown region, the high mountains of North Carolina.
We have the fruit, with the persistent calyx and style, but no flowers,
and a guess that I made about its affinities has been amply borne out on
examination by Decaisne and myself. It is allied to Galax, but “un
très-distinct genus,” having axillary one-flowered scapes (the flower
large) and a style like that of a Pyrola, long and declined. Indeed I
hope it will settle the riddle about the family of Galax, and prove
Richard to be right when he says Ordo Ericarcum. I claim the right of a
discoverer to affix the name. So I say, as this is a good North American
genus and comes from near Kentucky, it shall be christened Shortia, to
which we will stand as godfathers. So Shortia galacifolia, Torr. and
Gr., it shall be. I beg you to inform Dr. Short, and to say that we will
lay upon him no greater penalty than this necessary thing,--that he make
a pilgrimage to the mountains of Carolina this coming summer and
procure the flowers. Please lay an injunction upon Nuttall, that he
publish no other Shortia, and I will do the same to Hooker in a letter
that I am now writing. Indeed I think I will tell him some of its chief
peculiarities, and then give him leave to publish the extract in the
“Annals of Natural History” if he thinks it worth while.[88]

I attended a meeting of the Institute this afternoon. An election of a
correspondent took place, which ran very close between Charles
Buonaparte and Agassiz, but the latter carried it!

I must not forget to tell you about the Loganiaceous plant from Florida,
for so Decaisne, to whom I gave leave to sacrifice a flower for drawing,
has determined it to be; so Brown’s hint is confirmed. There is
something rather queer about the style, which, as Brown’s “Prodromus” is
not before me, I cannot say is also the case in any of the subgenera or
genera he has indicated.

Euploca, Decaisne says, is certainly apocyneous. Nuttall, I believe,
places it in Boragineæ.

April 9.--I heard Mirbel lecture to-day, commencing his course at the
Sorbonne. He is a very good and clear lecturer, of the colloquial sort,
and illustrates very well by rapid sketches on the blackboard. I believe
you did not see him. In the contour of his features and in expression he
is a good deal like Dr. Peters, except that his countenance is more
attenuated, his features small and very little prominent, and his
complexion light. At the Ecole de Médecine I was not fortunate enough to
hit the chemical professor. I heard a portion of a lecture in the
anatomical theatre, but soon came away.

I have had another fine lesson from Mirbel. He showed me all the
drawings of the paper, of which I send three copies. I quit to-day.

LYONS, Wednesday evening, April 17, 1839.

At six o’clock precisely the malle-postes for every part of France began
to leave, one after the other: that for Lyons came up; our baggage all
in, our seats selected and arranged for us, in ten seconds we were in
our places, and before the word adieu was fairly beyond my lips we were
off at full speed. We took the route by Burgundy, passed Sens in the
night, breakfasted at six next morning at Auxerre, and during the day
should have passed through Autun, but I believe we did not; passed
Châlons-sur-Saône at dusk, and arrived at Lyons at six precisely the
next morning,--a rather fatiguing ride, but I saved much time over the
diligence, which would have been even more fatiguing. The mail-coach
takes four passengers only, three inside and one with the conducteur; it
is drawn by seven horses guided by a postillion, in boots almost as high
as himself, and the horses are changed every five miles or thereabouts.
The time it took to change the horses I believe never exceeded a minute.
I timed them once or twice by the watch, and we were moving again before
the expiration of the minute. The country through which we passed was
more fertile and in better cultivation than what I saw of Normandy; it
was beautiful but monotonous, except the latter part, which grew quite
picturesque as we approached the Rhone and the rivers that fall into

Lyons is finely situated just above the confluence of the Saône and the
Rhone, occupying the space between the two rivers and also the other
bank of the former. It has two beautiful and very steep hills, between
which the Saône winds, which add much to its appearance....

April 25.--I broke off here some time ago, and left a space which I
intended to fill up the first spare moment, by telling you what I saw at
Lyons; what kind of a town it is; how I might possibly have seen Mont
Blanc from it had it not been a rainy day; how I called on Seringe,[89]
saw the little botanical garden, took notice of many little
contrivances, particularly the way he keeps the aquatic plants wet; how
he went with me to the Académie of Lyons, the branch of the University
of Paris.... I could also describe the manufacture of velvet, which I
also saw, but for all these things time does not permit; a good
opportunity of sending to New York occurring to-morrow morning. So I
must leave the hiatus....

I was called this morning at a quarter before four; went down to the
steamboat, which was to start promptly at five, but which did not until
half an hour later,--a narrow comfortless vessel, with no awning or
protection for the decks, in which point, and in the lack of all
comfortable arrangements, it is just like every other steamboat I have
seen since I left New York, those between Liverpool and Glasgow alone
excepted. The Rhone, even at Lyons and far below, merits pretty well the
epithets applied to it, where it “leaves the bosom of its nursing
lake,”--“the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone,” for it is rapid the
whole course. At Lyons it has a blue tint like that of the ocean, though
not so deep. Well, we were off at length, and aided by the current we
made very satisfactory progress. The distance by post between Lyons and
Avignon is one hundred and sixty-seven miles, but including all the
turnings of the river it must be much more; however, at six o’clock and
a quarter the spires and battlements of Avignon, lighted by the setting
sun, were in sight, and a beautiful sight they were as we drew near. The
wall of the city, built by Pope Innocent VI. in the twelfth century, is
still perfect, and very pretty, the architecture being what I should
have thought. Moorish (judging from pictures merely); the numerous
spires of this very ecclesiastical town rising above it; the huge rocky
elevation next the river,--the site of the ancient fortress, and of old
temples, churches, etc.,--and not least the ruined bridge of very
ancient date, that still throws its beautiful arches half across the
river, the lovely Italian landscape around, so fresh and green, the
distant mountains encircling the whole, made it altogether as delightful
a scene as one could wish to behold. But you must know that I am now in
the region of the olive and myrtle, and have in the short space of three
days concentrated, as it were, the pleasure we experience in watching
the gradual approach of summer. The season is said to be later than
usual at Paris; it is like April in New York,--a few warm days, but the
evenings all chilly and most of the days raw and unpleasant, The
horse-chestnut trees of the Tuileries were just bursting their buds; but
every hour since, and particularly to-day, I have noticed little by
little the advance. Here nearly all the trees have assumed their
foliage,--that pure and delicate vernal foliage which we always so much
admire, but which you enjoy very much to come upon in the way I have
done, instead of waiting week after week, with every now and then a
snowstorm, just to keep winter in remembrance. But I must not forget
that I have seen snow also to-day. The summit of Mont Ventoux, which we
have had in full sight since twelve o’clock, is covered with snow, its
brilliant whiteness contrasting finely with the craggy brown mountains
of lesser elevation, as with the green fields and tender foliage of the
valleys. There is nothing very grand in the scenery of the Rhone from
Lyons to this place. The upper portion is very much like the Hudson
between New York and the Highlands, but I think scarcely as fine, if you
make due allowance for the effect of the old villages, etc. (not half so
comfortable as ours surely, but much better adapted to improve the
beauty of the landscape), with now and then a gray ruin, which is a vast
improvement. But from Tournon quite to Avignon, the scenery quite
surpasses the Hudson, and exhibits such variety, moreover, that you are
charmed continually: now bold and magnificent even; again, picturesque,
particularly where the basaltic rocks, for it is wholly a volcanic
country, form parapets like the Palisades, but much more curious and
diversified, the more friable material being worn away in places,
leaving columns and salient portions in all fantastic shapes. And again,
especially in the lower portion, we see the hills widely separated,
leaving most beautiful broad valleys between, with high mountains for a
distant background. At St. Esprit we passed under the curious old bridge
built in the eleventh century, which is still in as perfect a state
apparently as if finished but yesterday. It is three thousand feet long,
and is said to be the longest bridge in Europe; it consists of
twenty-six arches, and each abutment has also a little arch above it. We
passed other very pretty or striking views of which I should like
vastly to have good prints, but I do not know whether any person has of
late been illustrating the Rhone. But I must come to a close, not to
fatigue you longer. I arrived at the most excellent Hôtel du Palais
Royal (recommended by Bentham) just in time for the table d’hôte at
seven o’clock, and after dinner sallied out, with a guide to conduct me
to see Requien,[90] to whom Bentham had given me a letter. I found him a
prompt man, and in almost ten words we settled my plan for to-morrow,
which is to start in a cabriolet for Vaucluse at five o’clock in the
morning, arrive at eight, spend two hours, breakfast, and return here by
one o’clock; spend the afternoon and evening in seeing the most
interesting objects in town, looking at his collections, his pictures,
etc., etc. What would you give to see Vaucluse? I have many doubts
whether it will equal my expectations, which are raised by the
description; according to the account it must be very curious and
strange, apart from the associations of the place, which here pass for
little with me, as I feel no interest at all in Petrarch or Laura,
whoever she may have been.

AVIGNON, Friday evening, April 19, half past eight o’clock.

I think you will scarcely call me an idle lad. It was about midnight
when I went to bed last night; I was called this morning at half past
four; a few minutes past five I was on my way in a cabriolet for
Vaucluse, with a very lazy horse, so that it was nine o’clock when I
arrived. I visited the famous fountain, admired the rocks, etc.;
collected a few plants as a souvenir; took my breakfast, a very
substantial one, consisting in part of delicate trout from the stream
which issues from the fountain; left at eleven, arrived at Avignon again
at half past two; saw the Requien museum of antiquities, which is rich,
the paintings, the little botanic garden; saw also Requien’s library and
collection of plants, etc; made arrangements for correspondence; climbed
the rocky hill which overlooks the town and river; enjoyed the view;
visited the cathedral (a small affair) which stands upon it; saw the old
papal palace, now converted into a prison; returned to the Hôtel Palais
Royal, and a most excellent hotel it is, which I hope you will patronize
the first time you come to Avignon; dined at seven, having first secured
a place in the diligence for Nîmes at ten o’clock this evening, where I
hope to arrive by daylight and be ready to go on the same day to
Montpellier, where I prefer to pass the Sabbath. Now I think this is
doing pretty well....

MONTPELLIER, Saturday evening, April 20, 1839.

At twelve o’clock I left Nîmes; rode through a highly fertile and level
country, mostly occupied with vineyards, getting now and then a distant
view of the mountains of Cevennes on the right, and soon of the Pic San
Loup, by which I knew we were not very far from Montpellier. At this
last place we arrived at five o’clock precisely, and here I am quartered
at the most comfortable hotel imaginable, the Hôtel du Midi. All my
stopping-places being indicated to me by Bentham, I have no difficulty
in choosing where to stop. Here you are not put into a little seven by
nine chamber up five pairs of stairs, as is the inevitable lot of a
single man traveling in the United States, but I have a room like a
large parlor, airy, the two windows looking into a pretty shady garden,
a sofa, cushioned chairs, and every convenience you can think of. The
town itself has nothing pleasant except its situation, but there are in
it two delightful spots, which I sought at once, after having taken my
dinner,--the Esplanade, very near me, an elevated plateau planted with
trees, from which you have an extensive view of the country around. From
this I had my first view of the Mediterranean, distant, I suppose, about
eight miles! At the opposite side of the town is the Place du Peyrou,
one of the finest squares in the world, on a fine elevation, descending
by bold terraces into the country around, the green fields coming up on
one side close to the parapet. The view is beautiful and very extensive,
the Mediterranean on one side, the Pic San Loup and the mountains of
Cevennes on the other, while toward the south, it is said, the Pyrenees
may be seen in very clear weather. From this point I discovered the
Botanic Garden, the oldest in Europe and in many respects still the
finest. So I descended, sought out Delile the director, who it seems
expected me, and expressed his delight in a most exaggerated and truly
French manner. I stayed with him until nine o’clock; returned here,
commenced this, but being fatigued soon gave it up and went to bed.

Monday morning, April 22.--Nearly all of the foregoing has been written
this morning; but I cannot stay longer, as I should be stirring. There
are many Protestants in Montpellier, it is said, but I fancy that they
are chiefly not very pious, and as I should not understand the language
well enough to be benefited, I thought it better to spend the Sabbath by
myself. This was my first Sabbath on land in which I have not attended
divine worship conducted in the English language.

Tuesday morning, April 23.--As early as possible in the morning
yesterday I called on Lady Bentham, the mother of my good friend who has
taken so much pains to aid me and her daughter, Madame Duchesnil; they
live quite retired, and are occupied in directing the education of the
son of Madame Duchesnil, a fine lad of about thirteen.... The ladies
received me with great cordiality. I prolonged my call to an hour, and
accepted an invitation to take tea with them this evening.... I went to
the Garden, called upon M. Dunal,[91] the best botanist here, who,
having lived single to the age of I should say fifty years, has found
out that it is not good to be alone, and has just taken a wife. I did
not stay very long, as I found when I called that he was not in his
study, but I suppose in his drawing-room, and I could not be so cruel as
to keep him from the company of his beloved.

I called next upon Delile,[92] but as he was not in, I spent a long time
in looking over the Garden, noticing all the little details and
arrangements that it would be useful for me to know. On his return we
spent the remainder of the afternoon in looking over his plants
collected in America. I dined with him at six o’clock, and spent nearly
all the evening.... They have not water enough, however, to supply the
Botanic Garden sufficiently, which has a very barren soil, and in this
dry climate, where it seldom rains from this time till October, it
suffers greatly. The first view of this garden is very striking, but
upon a more careful observation I see less to admire. Still I learn some
thing from every garden I visit.

Previously to calling on Lady Bentham I had accepted an invitation to
dine this evening with Captain Gordon, a retired officer of the British
army residing here, a friend of the Bentham family, who, hearing from
Lady Bentham and Delile that I was soon expected here, called par hasard
at the Hôtel du Midi, to request that they would send him word when I
arrived. On finding me he insisted on my dining with him this evening. I
have this moment, while I was writing, received a note from Lady
Bentham, asking me to call on her this morning, saying she has a
collection of plants made by herself for her son George at some
interesting locality among the mountains, a set of which she is to have
ready for me, knowing, as she says, that George would surely offer them
to me. Although I had arranged my time a little differently, of course I
shall call immediately after breakfast. Lady B., who is now very aged,
is evidently a very superior woman; she is a very good botanist also,
therefore, as I do not know the plants of the south of Europe very well,
I am a little afraid of her.

Marseilles, April 25, Thursday evening.--I broke off my narrative on
Tuesday morning, two days ago. I must continue my brief account, and
then close my letters to send from this port. After breakfast, Captain
Gordon called on me, and we went together to Lady Bentham. We found his
dinner hour so late that we were obliged to give up the expectation of
returning to take tea with the ladies here. Delile joined us, and soon
after I went with him to see the museum of painting and sculpture,
which, by a curious circumstance, is the richest in France, except that
of Paris. There are not a few of originals of great masters; two or
three Raphaels; as many of Salvator Rosa, Rubens, Poussin, Carlo Dolci,
etc., many of which I know from engravings. We went next to the Medical
School, which occupies the former palace of the archbishop, who was
ousted at the time of the revolution. This is one of the oldest medical
schools, and for a long time very celebrated. It is declining now; they
have no professor of very great talent at present, except Lallemand. I
was shown the gallery of portraits of the professors from the
commencement almost, a prodigious number, and some of the old fellows
very queer to look at. I saw also the library, the collection of
manuscripts, classical, theological, a few Persian, Arabic, etc., which
fell into their hands some years ago.

Thence we went to the Garden, looked at plants, but did not get on very
much, Delile being fonder of telling long stories, complaining all the
while how much he is pressed by his avocations, than of working hard. I
then arranged my baggage, took a place in the diligence for Marseilles,
called again on Lady Bentham, to take leave; dined with Captain Gordon,
returned, and went to bed.

Rose on Wednesday (yesterday) morning at half past four; took diligence
at five, arrived at Nîmes at half past ten; had time to take another
survey of the Amphitheatre, the Maison Carrée, and so forth; took
breakfast at half past eleven; off again at twelve, passed in sight of
Beaucaire and Tarascon; crossed the Rhone, here a large river, near its
mouth at Arles, a curious old town which has nothing modern about it,
and thus was again in Provence. The court of Constantine the Great was
for several years at Arles, which was celebrated for its refinement, and
the women and children are said to be still handsome and graceful.
Certainly nearly all I saw, young or old, were comely, and many
handsome. They are all brunettes, and not a little sunburnt; but their
black hair, large dark eyes, and long eyelashes appear to advantage. We
were soon on the road again, traveled over an immense plain, bordered on
the north by a long ridge of mountains, composed of naked jagged
rocks,--a picturesque range, in fine contrast to the fertile plain from
which it abruptly rises. They are, I believe, the mountains of the
Durance. At length the plain became as barren as the mountains; night
came on, and rather late in the evening we reached Aix, took our
supper.... I slept pretty well, and when I awoke we were in sight of the
town and bay of Marseilles, the latter superb as seen from the elevated
place of our view; but the town did not present such an imposing view as
I had been taught to expect....

Genoa, April 27, 1839. Saturday evening.--I have just finished my
afternoon and evening stroll through this, to me, the first Italian
city: the birthplace of Columbus, the city of the Dorias, the rival and
even the conqueror of that other proud republic of the Middle Ages,
Venice, in remembrance of which, huge pieces of the chains which were
employed to bar the harbors of the latter city are suspended from the
gates of Genoa. We arrived in the bay before twelve o’clock to-day, and
during our gradual approach to the town enjoyed the view to the full;
both the distant view and the near are very fine,--equal, I may say, to
what I expected, which is saying a great deal. As seen from the bay it
certainly deserves the name its citizens long ago gave it,--Genoa the
Superb. You have the whole completely before you in one view, the
buildings rising one behind the other, the fortifications that overtop
the whole, with the vast mountain amphitheatre for a background.... You
are not much disturbed with the rattling of carriage wheels here. With
the exception of one street, and this a new one (Strada Nuova) at least
as to its present dimensions, they are barely wide enough for a
wheelbarrow, and mostly too steep for a carriage, even if they were
wider. The houses are very high; six, seven, or eight stories being very
common, indeed usual, so that the streets are mere chinks or crevices. I
found the same advantage from this in Avignon and the other towns of the
south of France, that is, the perfect protection afforded these warm
days from the heat of the sun. You are sure of shade; and the air is so
dry that none of the inconvenience and unhealthiness results which would
surely be the case in other countries. I am at the Hôtel des Etrangers,
not far from the quay, and my room, five or six stories high, looks down
upon the harbor and bay. It is nine o’clock in the evening. The light is
burning quietly in the light-house, a tall and very slender column at
the entrance of the harbor, forming a beacon which is visible far and
wide. I don’t know as I may say that

    “The scene is more beautiful far to my eye
     Than if day in her pride had arrayed it;”

but it is much softer. The evening gun has just been fired off from one
of the batteries next the sea, the signal, I suppose, for closing the
harbor, and the echo sent back by the hills on either side was
prolonged and repeated fainter and fainter for nearly a minute....

The coast at Marseilles and that I saw yesterday may be described in a
few words: bare, jagged, sterile, rocky mountains; scarcely high enough
to be picturesque, perfectly destitute of verdure, barely supporting
here and there a few stunted olive-trees. We passed Toulon and had a
distant view. We sailed between the mainland and the islands of Hyères,
so remarkable for their fine climate and healthfulness, but they did not
look very inviting to me.

When I rose this morning the scenery had become bolder and more
interesting. We were where the Alps first come down to the sea, and we
have since sailed along a coast so closely skirted by the Maritime Alps,
the chain which passing into Italy forms the Apeninnes, that there is
scarcely room to construct a road between. The loftier peaks, the whole
day, were covered with snow, in fine contrast with the gray and sterile
cliffs below and the dark blue sea which seems to lave their base, for
the Mediterranean has the deep azure tint of mid-ocean quite up to the
shore. There are many pretty villages also, which either seem hung on
the mountain’s side or to rise out of the water. In one place I counted
twelve in a single view, by no means a wide one. We passed Savona, the
town where the pope lived while Napoleon was master of Italy. Here the
hills are more fertile, and vines, olives, and oranges are cultivated
wherever room or soil enough to plant them can be found....

IN THE HARBOR OF LEGHORN, Monday evening, five o’clock.

I must tell you of the pretty view I had Saturday night. My room, I
think I mentioned, looked directly into the bay, and also gave me a
fine view of the western part of the town, the mountains of that side of
the bay, and peeping over them, the sharp crests of the Maritime Alps,
still white with snow, and looking rather like bright clouds than a
portion of terra firma.

While I was sleeping soundly, about two o’clock in the morning the moon
shone into the window directly into my face, and thinking it a pity I
should lose so fine a sight, she awoke me. She was near her full; she
hung in the middle of the bay at just the proper angle that the flood of
golden light she was pouring upon the tranquil sea was reflected
directly to my eyes. The city, too, looked beautiful indeed, and the
mountains, and even the Alps, were all visible. I enjoyed it for a long
time, and went to bed again regretting that I had no one to share the
scene with me.[93]

There is or was a British chapel here, belonging to the British embassy,
but I could find nothing of it, and so spent the Sabbath by myself,
which was as well perhaps. At seven in the evening our boat left, and I
was obliged to continue my voyage. I wrapped myself in my cloak and
slept soundly and quietly, and when we reached the harbor of Leghorn at
five o’clock awoke refreshed, vigorous, and in the finest spirits. I
obtained a light breakfast on board; at seven o’clock was ashore; in
five minutes more was in a cabriolet and on the road to Pisa, distant
from here fourteen Tuscan miles, which make, I should judge, about ten
English ones. My bargain was that I should be driven to Pisa in two
hours at farthest, have two hours and a half there, and be returned
again safe and sound before two o’clock. This was easily accomplished;
the journey being made in less than two hours, I had the more time
there, quite as much, indeed, as I wished. It is a great comfort to be
able to leave a place the moment you have done with it, and so avoid
being sated with it. I had a letter and a little parcel from Mirbel to
deliver to old Savi,[94] the professor of botany in the university; so I
was dropped at the door of the university, once so famous, but now far
from formidable. I found Savi, gave my letter, was introduced to his two
sons, the one professor of natural history, the other assistant
professor of botany, who showed me through the museum, which was
interesting, the botanic garden, which was not much; I then set out to
see the four chief lions, the Duomo or cathedral, the Baptistery, the
Campanile or famous leaning tower, and the Campo Santo, which all stand
near each other and are soon dispatched. In fact they are the separate
parts of a cathedral, the Campanile being, as the name denotes, the
bell-tower, and the Campo Santo the burial-place....

The vine in Tuscany is not kept close to the ground as in France, but is
trained in arbors and festoons along the borders of wheat-fields, and
when their leaves appear must add very much to the beauty of the
country. One here could sit under the shade of his vine, which would be
out of the question in France. But the boat is leaving the harbor. On
the right we can dimly discern the northern extremity of Corsica. Elba
we shall pass in the night, and sometime in the course of the morning be
landed in Civita Vecchia. I have made the acquaintance of an English
clergyman of warm piety, who is in ill health, who has been obliged to
reside for several years in Nice in the winter, and at Interlaken in
Switzerland in the summer, at both of which places he preaches
regularly. He has traveled in Greece, Turkey, and Asia Minor, and passed
much time with our missionaries there, of whom he speaks in the warmest
terms. His name is Hartley. We shall go on in company to Rome.

ROME, 1st May, 1839, Wednesday evening.

And I am indeed in Rome. This is enough to repay one for long and
tedious journeys and even for transient separation from friends, and
when I leave this place I feel as though my face was set homeward. I
feel it is something to be in Rome....

I distinctly recollect the time when, a very small boy, in the course of
a long ride with a relative, the story of Romulus and Remus was first
related to me, and how it struck my wondering fancy. And I recollect
most perfectly my first lesson in Virgil, and how, commencing with “Arma
virumque cano,” I slowly worked my way into the mysteries of Latin
prosody and the story of the Æneid. Little did I think in those days
that I should ever stand within the “walls of lofty Rome;”

            “Should tread the Appian
    Or climb the Palatine, and stand within those very walls
    Where Virgil read aloud his tale divine.”

My enthusiasm has risen by degrees, for I arrived here this morning,
after a delay at that most wretched of all places, Civita Vecchia, where
an Austrian soldier, stationed there, told us he was sent as to a kind
of earthly purgatory to do penance for his sins; after being subjected
to those numberless petty exactions by which the purse of the pope is
replenished from the pockets of us poor Protestants, after tedious
delays on the road, and a most uncomfortable ride for the whole night,
which altogether is enough to put one in a bad humor with
everything,--after all this you may be sure I found myself in such a
prosaic care-for-nothing mood that it was a long time before I could
feel the interest which the Eternal City is calculated to inspire. A fog
in the morning prevented us from a good view on our approach; the
streets of the modern town through which we passed were mostly devoid of
interest, and we saw nothing but the dome of St. Peter’s and the Castle
of St. Angelo. However, we got established at the Hôtel d’Allemagne, and
took breakfast. Mr. Hartley, being worn out by the journey, took to his
room for the day, and I was left to myself. Though perfectly ignorant of
localities here, I was determined not to be deprived of the satisfaction
of discovering the most interesting places for myself. My guide-book
(Madame Starke) describes objects somewhat particularly, but gives no
information as to where they are to be found. I hate the chatter of a
cicerone, and felt confident that I should stumble upon something worth
seeing. So I climbed the hill just before me by a magnificent flight of
marble steps, where the Egyptian obelisk stands which the inscription
says was found in the Circus of Sallust. I saw an imposing building at
the end of a long avenue, on the summit of a rise which I afterwards
learned was the Esquiline Hill. On reaching it and examining the
interior I found by the guide-book that it was the Basilica of Santa
Maria Maggiore. These basilicas, retaining the name of ancient
structures, are a larger kind of churches, which were mostly
established upon the foundations of ancient temples, or they were these
temples themselves turned into churches....

As I emerged from the Coliseum I stood between the Palatine and the
Cælian Hills, the Arch of Constantine just before me, the Arch of Titus
in view on the right hand, and just beyond the Roman Forum, all crowded
with ruins; the very soil is mouldering brickwork and fragments of
columns. Here I spent the greater part of the morning, silent and
undisturbed, finding out by the description the ruins as they presented

       *       *       *       *       *

The journal is so long that most of the Italian, more especially the
Roman, journey must be omitted. Dr. Gray, as is shown, was a busy
sightseer, enjoying the historical and romantic associations with his
natural enthusiasm. Here began his great love of painting, of sculpture,
and of architecture; he carried the details of churches and cathedrals
in his memory remarkably, recognizing quickly a print or photograph of
something he had seen perhaps thirty years before; he had the memory for
form which helped him so much in his science. He was a good critic of
painting and enjoyed extremely his favorite pictures, liking to wander
off alone to enjoy them. Titian on the whole ranked highest in his
estimation. He enjoyed much of the old church music, though his
preference in music was for simple songs, hymns especially, and the old
tunes to which words had long been wedded. There are many quotations
from Byron and Rogers in the original journal. For Byron, with his
brilliant descriptions and versification, he always kept much feeling;
and his great love of natural scenery had full play.



Whenever I have an hour to spare I know of no pleasanter mode of
occupying it than by writing to you, for to you my thoughts, whenever
they are at rest, spontaneously revert. I have yet an hour before the
vetturino starts for Florence, and I may as well commence another sheet,
the first of a series which I may be unable to send you for several
weeks, as I here leave the Mediterranean, loveliest of seas, and except
I find an American ship on the Adriatic, which is not very probable, I
must keep them all until I reach Hamburg. I have just closed a
formidable packet of journal, to be sent from here in the ship Sarah and
Arsilia, which is to sail for New York next week....

I am very well satisfied with my visit to Rome. In the brief space of
time I spent there I saw everything I wished except the pope himself,
and I believe I had a glimpse of him; one statue of Michael Angelo’s,
which I only learned about when it was too late; the Catacombs, where
the early Christians used to conceal themselves, which are some miles
off; the monument of Cecilia Metella, which is not handsome, but is
immortalized by three or four singularly sweet stanzas in “Childe
Harold;” and the Basilica of St. Paul, which is some distance out of the
city, and was nearly destroyed by fire about ten years ago. This is a
very small list compared with what I have seen, so I am quite content. I
wish you could see Rome; there is so much that you would enjoy in the
highest degree, and it is laying up a fund to be enjoyed afterwards as
long as you live.

It is now just sunset, and the air is remarkably balmy,--a mild
sea-breeze, just enough to fan you. And let me tell you, however, as to
Italian skies and sunsets that they are not a bit superior to our own.
You may enjoy from your own parlor windows finer sunsets every clear day
in summer than I have yet seen in Italy; though they certainly are very
near ours. It is only to those who are accustomed to British clouds and
fogs that they are remarkable.

The peripatetic grinders of music upon hand-organs so common in all our
towns are usually Italians, and I supposed that street music here was of
much the same kind. This is a mistake. I have not seen such a thing in
Italy or the south of France. You have universally the harp, commonly
two players in concert, and very frequently a violin also for
accompaniment, and the music is always creditable. At Avignon, the very
land of troubadours, we were serenaded at dinner with a concert of
harps, guitars, etc., but when they called for the coppers we found,
shame to this degenerate age, that the troubadours were all women, and
of the most unromantic appearance possible. The patois of all this part
of France and of Piedmont, however, is the same as the language in which
the trouvères are written, and one who understands the patois as now
spoken can read the former without difficulty.

The Italian language, is very soft and musical, far more pleasant to the
ear than the deep nasal tones of the French.


FLORENCE, May 9, Thursday evening.

Finding little more that I could do to-day, I then called at the
residence of Mr. Sloane, a descendant of Sir Hans Sloane of famous
memory, who resides in the Bontrouline palace, and not finding him at
home left a note of introduction written by two ladies, Mrs. Boott and
Miss Boott, and also a letter intrusted to my care by Mirbel. I called
also at the Botanic Garden, but Mr. Targioni-Tozzetti[95] was not at
home, and the garden was of no great consequence. While at dinner Mr.
Sloane called to welcome me to Florence, and to take me out of the city
to the Campagna,--lawns and beautiful pleasure-grounds and groves
skirting the Arno for a mile or two, which are thrown open to the
public, forming the favorite drive or promenade. Almost the whole city
was there, and I never saw a more pleasant place. The roads were
thronged with carriages, from the barouche of the grand duke to the
peasant’s cart, all on terms of perfect equality. The grand duke passed
us twice. He mingles much with the people, is accessible to all, and is
greatly beloved. The government, though despotic, is paternal, the
people are not burdened with taxes, and are contented and industrious.
The difference between Tuscany and the Papal States is manifest enough.
But I must hasten with my narrative. Early the next morning, Friday, I
called on Mr. Sloane, looked at his garden, where he has many fine
things. We then crossed the Arno to the other side of the town, called
on Professor Amici,[96] who removed here from Modena a few years since,
and has charge of the grand duke’s observatory. He was very obliging,
showed me his microscopes, which he thinks unrivaled, but I don’t, and
then the observatory, where I saw all the instruments, peeped through
his telescope, and from the top of the tower had a most beautiful
panoramic view of Florence and the surrounding country. We then passed
through the museum of natural history, which is in the same building,
and is prettily arranged; saw the famous flowers and fruits done in wax,
but not the figures which represent the Plague, which were in the
anatomical museum adjoining, and which I did not care to see. In the
collection were some recent models made under Amici’s superintendence to
illustrate his discoveries, etc. They were wonderfully fine, and would
be useful in a class-room. Amici is a good observer with the microscope,
but his anatomical or physiological notions are in some cases very wide
of the mark, and quite surprised me.

On leaving, Mr. Sloane and myself separated, he going to fulfill some
engagement, and I to the Palazzo Pitti, as it is still called from the
founder, though it early passed into the hands of the Medici family, who
finished it, and now it is the ducal residence. I must tell you, by the
way, that I should have seen a remarkable person in Florence, had she
not been sick. Sloane is very intimate with her and wished me to see
her; she is the ex-queen of Naples, the widow of Murat and the sister of

On returning to the hotel, however, I learned that I could not get a
place with the courier next day, that the diligence which left at
mid-day did not arrive at Bologna until Sunday afternoon, so I engaged a
cabriolet, to start with me after dinner, arranged my affairs, called on
Mr. Sloane to bid him an unexpected adieu, dined at the table d’hôte at
five, and at dark I was climbing the outskirts of the Apennines.

I would have liked to call upon our sculptor Greenough[97] to see how
the statue of Washington is coming on, but had not time.

At sunrise I was on the mountain-summits, among the clouds, which a
strong wind for a moment blew aside, and gave me some magnificent views.
We journeyed for some hours in this elevated region, but at length
crossed the Tuscan frontier and were once more in the country of his
Holiness. Just as we commenced our descent, which is very abrupt, a
dense fog enveloped us and it began to rain; in consequence of this I
lost the view which you often have of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean
at the same time, as well as the plains of the Po on the north. This was
the first rain I encountered, excepting a few drops at Rome, since I
left Lyons; so you may judge of the dryness of the climate in the south
of France and Italy. It is very different, however, near the mountains.
At length, after a long and rapid descent, we arrived at the foot of the
mountain, and stopped at a comfortable inn to take our dinner and
breakfast at once, it being about two o’clock. Several carriages were
there before us, and just before I left another arrived, bringing with
it a most genuine Yankee, who amused me excessively. It seems that he
came out in the Great Western, a few weeks ago, had seen what he thought
worth seeing in London and Paris, had been even to Naples, and was now
on his way from Rome to Switzerland, and expected to reach London to
return by steamship in--I forget how many days! But the feat upon which
he prided himself above all was that he had ascended Vesuvius and come
back again in--I don’t remember precisely how many minutes, but in an
inconceivably short space of time, and very much quicker than had ever
been done before! to the great wonderment of the guides, as he said, and
as I do not doubt. This was his chef d’œuvre, and I assure you he felt
quite proud of it. I laughed most heartily at the absurdity of the
thing, until I reflected how rapidly I had been doing the sights myself,
and felt I might justly come in for a share of the ridicule. In this
day’s journey I think I outdid the Yankee, for, arriving at Bologna
about five o’clock, I immediately made arrangements for going on to
Ferrara the same night, and this accomplished, I had but two or three
hours to spend at Bologna, a city famous for its university and its
sausages; the former decayed almost to nothing, the latter still in
great demand, diffusing their abominable garlic odor from every table. I
visited all the large churches, took some coffee, and before nine
o’clock was on my way through the vast plain watered by the Po, which,
like most large rivers, branches near its mouth into several streams.
The lad who drove me did not know the road very well, and lost his way
several times, so that instead of arriving before daybreak it was six
o’clock in the morning when we entered Ferrara. Indeed he came near
losing his horse as well as the road, for while I was sleeping soundly
in the carriage I was roused by a prodigious clatter, and jumping out as
quick as I could, found that he had driven into a heap of rough stones
deposited to mend the road; the horse had slipped and was lying flat
upon his back in the bottom of the ditch. With much ado we liberated him
from the carriage and lifted him out of the ditch, repaired the injury
to the harness as well as we could with bits of rope, and were again on
our way. I have wondered since how I could ride thus through the night,
with only a boy with me, through a country which some years ago would
not have been deemed safe. But I felt not the slightest alarm, and slept
as soundly as possible.

Ferrara is famous for possessing the tomb and chair of Ariosto, but
except this is as uninteresting as you can imagine. It was Sunday, and I
spent the day within doors as well as I could.

By making a very early ride I succeeded in reaching Padua at ten o’clock
this morning; visited the university so famed of old, the churches, the
splendid Caffè Pedrocchi, the Botanic Garden,--the most ancient in
Italy, of which Alpinius, the elder and the younger, and Pontedera were
the directors. It is under the care of Visiani,[98] to whom I brought a
letter from Bentham, and who politely showed me all I wished to see. The
university is a queer old place indeed, and the lecture-rooms the most
dark, gloomy, and incommodious places you can conceive; everything is as
old as the fifteenth century. I wish I could describe the anatomical
theatre, which is the most curious specimen of antiquity I have seen.
The Museum of Natural History is so-so. There is still a goodly number
of students, but nothing to what there was in the olden time. The Duomo
is a small affair, but the church of St. Antonio is like a mosque, the
most Saracenic building I ever saw,--with its seven or eight
balloon-shaped domes of various sizes, and three or four tall and
slender minarets. I am sorry I can’t get a decent print of it. The
interior is noble, and very rich in tombs and shrines and sculptures.
Here are tombs of many of the old professors. The church of St.
Augustine is in the same style, and not much inferior.... There is very
much that I wish to write, but I have not the time nor the strength to
write longer, and must sleep. To understand the full luxury of a bed you
should sleep without one, as I have done very often of late. Good-night.

VENICE, on board steamboat for Triest, lying at anchor,
Wednesday evening, May 15, 1839.

For nearly two days I have been “a looker-on in Venice,” a strange
place, as unlike any other city of Europe as can be, unless
Constantinople resemble it in some respects. It is more like some place
you visit in dreams, some creation of fancy, than a real, earthly city,
if it can be called earthly which scarcely stands upon earth.

We left Padua at five o’clock in the morning, yesterday, by the
diligence, passing along the banks of a canal, bordered with numerous
villas; all of them had been fine, some very magnificent, but they are
now decaying. The clouds prevented me from obtaining a view of the
Rhætian Alps, which bound the view on the north, but I hope to make up
for this to-morrow, which will give me some amends for our detention
here; for you must know that the steamboat was to have left at nine
o’clock this evening, and I expected to have been in Triest this
morning; but the day has been stormy, and the water is a little rough,
so, forsooth, the boat is to remain until morning; but as it is to start
early, I have remained on board, where I have a comfortable place to
sleep, and a quiet hour to write.

Oh, I wish you could see Venice!--and the dear girls--whenever I see
anything particularly queer, I think of them at once, and wish for them
to enjoy it with me. And here everything is strange, canals for
streets, gondolas for coaches; not a horse to be seen in the city,
except the celebrated bronze gilt steeds of St. Mark; palaces of
barbaric magnificence, splendid churches; people of all nations and
tongues, Christians, Turks, and Jews. Surely there is nothing like it.
The view from Fusina, on the mainland, which was the first I obtained,
was charming....

You will wonder at the comparison, but the distant view of Venice
reminded me strongly of New York, as you approach from Amboy. The
gondola that brought us stopped in the Grand Canal near the Rialto, or
rather the bridge of the Rialto, for the name properly belongs to the
island; and in crossing this bridge during the day, I found some of the
little shops still occupied by money-changers, and I saw more than one
hard Jewish countenance that might sit for the picture of Shylock. This
part of the town is unpleasant, although the canals are lined with what
were once stately palaces, which now look as if about to sink again into
the water. While on my way to a hotel, I came abruptly upon a view that
seemed like enchantment: the Piazza of St. Mark, a large quadrangle,
three sides inclosed by a magnificent range like the Palais Royal; on
the fourth, the church of St. Mark, and adjoining it the Palace of the
Doges, scarcely less magnificent, and in an equally Oriental style. In
front is the Campanile, taller than that of Florence, but not handsome.
As you turn out of the quadrangle in full front of the palace, you see
the two granite columns, one of them surmounted with the winged lion;
and you stand on the mole, with the most superb view of sea and city,
shipping, churches and palaces, before and around you. I never expect
again to see anything like it. I have walked over this ground again;
and one is never wearied with the sight.... The street musicians here
are very good. A party stops at the door of the café: a man with a
violin, his wife and son each with a guitar, and they perform several
airs exceedingly well, the woman sometimes accompanying with her voice.
She enters the café with the little wooden cup in her hand, and is well
satisfied with a kreutzer (about half a cent) from those who choose to
give, and a sweet “grazia” in the softest Italian expresses her thanks.
There is one café here frequented almost exclusively by Turks, who sit
smoking their large pipes with such an air of ridiculous gravity. Their
turbans or the red caps they often wear, their flowing robes and their
nether garments, which are something between pantaloons and petticoats,
are very queer....

I spare you a detailed account of my movements to-day and yesterday, of
the fine churches, enough to furnish cathedrals to half a dozen cities,
of the arsenal, its ship-yard, the antique lions, the public garden, the
Armenian convent, the gondolas and my rides therein. I have enjoyed it
greatly, and have laid up a stock for future enjoyment, for I shall read
hereafter of Venice with greater interest. One who travels as rapidly as
I do, if he would enjoy the full benefit of his journey, should know
almost everything before he leaves home. The true way for those who have
time and means sufficient is to study the history of each place on the
spot with all its monuments and relics around them. So more might be
learned in one month than in a year at home. If I had what I am not
likely to have,--a family of children to bring up, money sufficient for
the purpose, and no other duties to prevent, I think I would educate
them in this peripatetic way. But now to bed.

Thursday evening, May 16.... We are to start at nine o’clock. The rain
is over, but it is still cloudy. I have been for some days in Austrian
dominions, but I wish to be in Austria itself. It cleared up a little
just at sunset, and gave, me from the deck of the vessel, a most
beautiful view of the town and harbor, with hundreds of gondolas gliding
swiftly through the water in every direction....

TRIEST, Saturday evening, May 18, 1839.

As misfortunes never come single, I found this morning that our places
were not secured in the mail-coach for Monday. The fellow who was to
arrange the business found, after getting our passports in order, that
there was only one place left, and supposing that we were certainly to
go together, did not secure that. It was immediately arranged between us
that I was to have the place, but on arriving at the office I had the
mortification to find it already taken. For an hour or so we made
various plans, negotiated with a vetturino, but were stopped by the
information we received, that they would be five days on the road to
Gratz, from where to Vienna it would require at least two days more by
the same kind of conveyance, or twenty-seven hours in the mail-coach if
we could get a place in it. We found that the quickest way left for us
was to take places for Tuesday by the mail, and go on Monday by a
private conveyance to Adelsberg, as we had intended, where we shall have
a day longer than we desire; and these places we were fortunate enough
to secure. So I cannot expect to reach Vienna before Friday morning of
next week! I had hoped to reach that place by the twentieth.

It rained hard all the morning, so that botanizing was out of the
question. So I put my collection of yesterday in press; visited
Biasoletto,[99] and after dinner met Tommasini,[100] who has given me a
very pretty collection of plants of the country....

VIENNA, 24th May, Friday evening.

The great fête of the Grotto of Adelsberg, of which I wrote you, was to
take place on Monday afternoon. Mr. Philip, the painter, and myself took
a carriage to that place and arrived in good time, and saw this very
strange grotto with greater advantage and under more curious
circumstances, I suspect, than was ever done by an American before. I
had all the next day before me, as the coach from Triest did not arrive
till evening. My companion was taken somewhat ill and kept the house,
while I took my portfolio and walked through the fields of this retired
valley to a bold and high mountain range, more distant than I had
calculated on; climbed the rocks with much difficulty; enjoyed a
charming prospect from the summit; filled my portfolio with plants; got
back about five o’clock, regularly tired and hungry, and just had time
to eat my dinner and secure my specimens before the coach came from
Triest. We took our places just at dusk, Tuesday evening, and have been
on the road day and night, stopping just long enough to take our meals,
until this morning; when at early daylight, just as I opened my eyes
from such sleep as one might catch after three consecutive nights of
such confinement, the vale of the Wien and the beautiful city of Vienna
lay before me, the green fields reaching up to the very gates. It was a
lovely sight. I have never seen the like. It began raining very soon,
however, and has rained all day, so that I have seen little. Philip, who
understands German, has been confined to his room by illness. But as
soon as I got my breakfast and was fairly fixed in my lodgings, which we
found as difficult to get as if we were at New York at this season (I am
at the Gasthof zur Dreyfaltigkeit, a good and cheap house, and the head
waiter speaks French), I took a guide to direct me to the Joseph-Platz,
where the Imperial Library and Cabinet are, to find Endlicher.[101] I
found the man in his den, and the moment I put my letters into his hand
he recognized Bentham’s writing and addressed me by name, Bentham having
apprised him of my intended visit. Endlicher received me very cordially,
and I remained with him till two o’clock. He is extremely good-looking,
and younger even in appearance than I expected, although Bentham told me
he was about his own age; he looks about thirty-three. I had the
pleasure to present in person the copy of the “Flora” designed for him.

The usual dinner hour here is from twelve to three. The common people
dine at twelve, the gentry from two to four, the imperial family setting
a good example by dining between one and two. After dinner I went to the
police office to procure the necessary leave to remain here for a week
or so, answered all the questions which are put in such cases to the
traveler, such as where I stopped, how long I intended to stay, what my
business was, produced my letter of credit, in order to show that I was
not likely to run away with unpaid bills,--to ascertain this point is
said to be the chief object of all this inquiry. When you arrive at any
hotel and remain over night, you are presented with a blank formula
comprising still more particular inquiries, which you are required to
fill up, and it is sent to the police office. You give first your name,
then your country, age, religion, occupation, state whether you are
married or not! whether you are traveling alone or in company; where you
came from last; your probable stay; whether you have letters of credit
or not, with some equally particular inquiries! I went next to my
banker’s, found no letters! I drew some money, and obtained a ticket of
admission to a commercial reading-room, which is well supplied with
English and French newspapers. Here I stayed until sunset, reading up my
English news, in which I had got far behind, and which on the present
occasion I found very interesting. I gleaned occasionally a little news
from home, but vaguely. The information seemed in general satisfactory,
but one letter from home were worth it all!

I have this morning changed the plants I have been drying, and have
taken care of my companion Philip, who is quite sick with the fatigue of
his journey and so forth. I have endured it very well, but must get into
bed. Not having had my clothes off for three nights in succession, nor
enjoyed rational sleep, I wonder much that I am not more fatigued.
Endlicher asked me to go to the opera this evening, where there is some
especially fine music, as he says, but I declined, telling him that
under present circumstances I should sleep through the finest music in
the world. I suppose it would be perfectly impossible to make him
understand how one could have any scruples against this amusement.

Saturday, 25th, 1839.--I went early this morning to the Imperial
Cabinet; remained there until two, when the rooms are closed. After
dinner I explored about the city until sunset; saw many of the public
buildings, the gardens, etc. I understand the localities of the town
proper very well. The city itself is not large; the strong walls that
inclose it are still kept up, and immediately outside of this there is a
large open space, planted with trees and laid out into roads and walks.
Beyond this are the faubourgs or suburbs, larger many times than the
city itself; very pleasant, but rather inconvenient to reach. Most of
the public buildings, the shops, etc., are in the city itself. I went to
see the fine old Gothic Cathedral of St. Stephen’s. It is a very old and
exceedingly fine, large building, but the roof is very awkward. The
spire is the finest thing I ever saw in the way of Gothic architecture.
It is four hundred and sixty-five feet high, and is the very poetry of
steeples. I intend to climb to the top presently....

Monday morning, 27th May.--I find we are in a different climate from
Italy. It has been cold ever since my arrival here; the first day was
rainy, and yesterday it rained from morning to night, and was very cold
and unpleasant; so of course I kept my room nearly all day. I had also
to take care of Mr. Philip, whose indisposition has turned into
intermittent fever, such as he has been subject to at Rome. It is a most
distressing thing to be sick in a strange land, and I cannot be too
grateful for the uninterrupted good health I have enjoyed ever since I
left you.

I have deferred telling you anything about the Grotto of Adelsberg, on
account of the great difficulty I find in conveying any idea of it. It
is without doubt the most wonderful thing of its kind in the world.

Adelsberg itself is a little German village perched under a steep
conical hill which is crowned with the ruins of an old castle; it is at
one border of a circular plain, several miles in extent, dotted here and
there with little hamlets, and surrounded with mountains, so that it is
like a large basin, and seems wholly shut out from the rest of the
world. It is so still and quiet that it would do very well for the
valley of Rasselas, but the mountains do not form precipices except on
one side, where they are accessible at a few points only, and there with
much difficulty, as I had occasion to know. The streams that come down
from the mountains unite to form a little river, perhaps nearly twice
the size of the Fishkill Creek; and this, after running about the valley
seeking an outlet in vain, at length in despair, as it seems, dives into
the solid rock at the foot of hills near the village. The entrance for
visitors is a small hole above this, which opens into a long gallery,
perhaps two hundred yards in extent. From this you descend into a vast
hall, called the Dome, more than one hundred feet high, and three or
four hundred feet in length. As you descend you hear the roar of the
waters confined in their deep prison-house, and at the bottom you meet
the river which rushes swiftly to the distant extremity of this hall,
and there sinks into the dark depths. Instead of a stupid monument and
inscription by the late emperor, placed above this, it would have been
much better taste to have placed in the stream a piece of statuary
representing Charon and his boat, for never was seen so perfect a
beau-ideal of the fabled river Styx. This is the last you see of the
river Poik; but the Unz, which bursts forth a large stream from the
rocks at Planina, is believed to be the same. This river is crossed by a
bridge. Then we went on to another hall about three quarters of a mile
from the entrance; the ball-room, where a large gathering of peasants of
the surrounding country, in their national costume, were dancing waltzes
in the bowels of the earth!

       *       *       *       *       *

Hiatus vastus.--I left this account of the Adelsberg Grotto, and my
journey through Illyria and Styria, for the first convenient
opportunity,--a time that never comes,--so now I must send it as it is.
The grotto is wonderful past all description, and our visit was very
opportune; the whole scene not soon to be forgotten.

29th May.--It rained all day yesterday, so Schönbrunn was out of the
question, and I spent the morning again at the Cabinet of Botany; and
after dinner Philip and myself, in spite of the rain, set out to visit
the imperial picture-gallery in the Upper Belvedere Palace, which is
finely situated in one of the suburbs. The gallery is very extensive and
excellent, especially in the Dutch school, and we had barely time to
finish our hasty reconnoissance before it closed for the night. I had a
fine view of the city from the windows of the upper story. We stopped at
a café on our way home, took some lemonade and ice-cream, while I read
“Galignani’s Messenger” for English news. This morning I went to the
gallery as usual, and after working for a little time, Mr.
Putterlich,[102] the sub-assistant, went with me to the famous
Mineralogical Cabinet, the finest in the world. A most splendid affair
it is. It occupies a suite of quite ordinary rooms, but is excellently
arranged and shows to great advantage. Here are all the fine gems,
diamonds, emeralds, topaz, and all sorts of precious stones, both
polished and natural. I saw also the bouquet of precious stones made for
Maria Theresa, a most brilliant affair. The collection of aerolites is
unique. I intend to visit it again on Saturday. I obtained some useful
information here as to the mode of constructing the shelves, etc., in a
mineralogical cabinet; their plan here is the best I have seen. If I
knew what I now do, I could have given a plan for the construction of
the cabinets at the Lyceum infinitely better than the present. Returning
to the Botanical Gallery I occupied myself in selecting specimens for
myself from Rugel’s New Holland collections. Endlicher offers me these
and other plants, as many as I like. He also offered to send to Hamburg
for me a copy of the “Iconographia Generum Plantarum,” the “Annals of
the Vienna Museum,” and some other of his works. After dinner, finding
nothing else to do for a few moments, I went into a bookseller’s,--the
publisher of Endlicher’s “Genera Plantarum,”--to look up some reports on
education, etc. I asked also for botanical works; and after offering me
several things which I did not want, they brought out, as a great
rarity, our own “Flora,” which I told them I did not want at all. At six
o’clock, Endlicher called upon me to take me to the Botanic Garden of
the university, under the care of Baron Jacquin, who is professor, at
the same time, of both botany and chemistry in the university, and
scarcely lectures on either. He introduced me to the old fellow, a
hard-featured chap, who managed to speak a little English and talked to
me of the year he spent at Sir Joseph Banks’ in bygone times. We went
through the garden, which is finely situated, covers much ground, and
has fine trees, but is wretchedly cared for; in fact it is almost left
to run wild, although well endowed.... I have some curious anecdotes to
give you about the censorship of the press at Vienna, but have not
energy enough left to write this evening.

Thursday evening.--Nothing can be printed and published here, without
first being examined and approved by a censor of the press. The
government appoints four or five persons in Vienna, who examine in
different departments, one for newspapers, one for works of science!
others for different branches of literature. Every author must send his
manuscript to the police-office, whence it is handed over to the proper
censor, who certifies that it contains nothing immoral, nothing against
the government, and that it is good literature, or science, or poetry,
as the case may be, and worthy of being published; it is then returned
to the author, with permission to print it. The author’s annoyance does
not end here. He is obliged to leave a copy of his manuscript with the
police, and a copy of the work as soon as printed, so that they may be
compared, and any alterations or additions detected. If he desires to
make any alterations in his manuscript after it has passed the
censorship, he must send it back for a second examination. Persons
holding responsible official situations are not exempt: if a censor
himself wishes to publish anything, his manuscript must be given to the
police that it may be examined by some other censor. All kinds of
works, books of dry science not excepted, are subject to the
censorship. To my great surprise, Endlicher, who gave me all this
information, informed me that all the manuscript of his “Genera
Plantarum” is sent to the police, who transmit it to Baron Jacquin, the
censor for natural history, etc., and who is well paid for the business,
but who knows just as much about it as if it were written in Arabic, and
who certifies to each portion that it contains nothing hurtful to the
people, nothing offensive to the emperor, to religion, etc., and more
than all, that it is good science! To avoid the annoyance of sending it
back repeatedly, as he has alterations to make, he is obliged to promise
the printer to indemnify him, in case any discrepancy is observed
between the manuscript and the printed work. Endlicher spoke of all this
in terms which there is no necessity for me to record just at present.
He gave me an anecdote respecting the publication of his earliest
botanical work of any consequence, a Flora of his native town, the
“Flora Posoniensis:” the manuscript being duly sent to Jacquin, that
worthy refused to give it his imprimatur, because, it was arranged
according to the natural system! which Jacquin did not like; and
Endlicher was obliged to apply personally to the ministers and take
great pains, when he obtained permission to print in spite of the
censor; he took his revenge by dedicating the work to Baron Jacquin
himself! This system sufficiently explains the low state of literature
in Austria, as compared with northern Germany. I could hardly believe
all I have heard, had I not obtained my information from such authentic

Friday evening, 31st May, 1839.--The remainder of the morning was
devoted to the botanical cabinet; and in the afternoon and early part
of the evening I called with Endlicher upon Mr. Fenzl,[103] the
aide-naturaliste in the botanical department, who is confined to his bed
by some affection of one of his legs. He is engaged in a monograph of
Alsineæ, which I think will be very faithfully done, and we looked over
several collections by his bedside. I made a bundle of all I wished to
examine, which are sent to my lodgings for the purpose, and which will
give me occupation for the evening. He introduced me to his frau, a
regular German lassie, and we managed to converse altogether for some
time in a curious mixture of French, German, and English.

ON THE DANUBE, on board the Dampschiff
(steamboat) Maria-Anna, bound for Linz, 5th June.

Schönbrunn, the Versailles of Austria, is much like Versailles itself on
a smaller scale, but much less magnificent. I visited the grounds with
Endlicher, and also visited the botanic garden attached, under the care
of M. Schott.[104] The garden is very finely arranged, but all that is
particularly worth seeing is the conservatories and the large collection
of exotics, many of them very old like those of Kew. It is richer than
Kew in Palms, Aroideæ, etc., but in other things it seems not quite
equal. As we passed by the palace, the emperor was pointed out to me,
through the open windows of his cabinet. I am told privately that he is
scarcely compos mentis, and that all government affairs are managed by a
regency of which Metternich and Archduke Charles are chief. We went next
to see Baron Hügel, and the extensive collection of living plants he
has collected during his travels. I think I have not told you the cause
of his long journeying. He was, it appears, the accepted lover of an
accomplished and beautiful lady of very good family here, and their
union was considered as a settled affair. But unfortunately for poor
Hügel, Prince Metternich looked upon the lady and determined to have
her. So he sent Hügel upon some humbugging political mission, to Paris I
believe, and during his absence he made his propositions to the father
and mother, who were not slow in discovering that Metternich, with all
his riches and power, malgré his sixty-odd years, was the fittest
bridegroom; and I am sorry to add that they persuaded the daughter to
the same opinion, though she could have had little liking to the old
fellow personally, and was said to be much attached to Hügel. The latter
at length found out why he was sent to Paris, and came back with all
speed, but he was too late. His intended became Princess Metternich, and
Hügel set out to cure his disappointment or forget his love by traveling
in foreign lands. Metternich, being glad to get rid of him, threw
facilities in his way, and being fond of plants he collected and sent
home an immense quantity for his garden. At the same time he made
extensive collections of dried specimens, etc., which all reached Vienna
safely. He spent nearly all his fortune in traveling, and would have
been in a quandary, but the government, that is to say, Metternich,
bought all his collections of dried plants, animals, etc., for the
Imperial Cabinet, giving for them an immense price, some thirty times
more than they are worth, and so Hügel is able to enlarge and embellish
his place, improve his garden, and build most beautiful greenhouses. He
has fitted up his house very tastefully, and filled it with all manner
of strange things, arms, idols, and so forth. His collection of living
plants is larger than that of Schönbrunn, though the trees are younger.

Several days after my arrival I called to pay my respects to our
minister here, Mr. Muhlenberg, and the secretary of legation, Mr. Clay.
Philip and myself also spent an evening at Mr. Clay’s, where we met Mr.
and Mrs. Muhlenberg, and their daughter, a young lady of about
seventeen; also Mrs. Clay, a pretty woman, and Mr. Schwartz (the
American consul here) and his wife, who both speak English indifferently
well. Muhlenberg seems quite sick of living here, and speaks of the
Austrians with anything but praise.

We went one evening to a public garden, of which there are many here, to
hear the most celebrated musician here, Mr. Strauss. A few kreutzers are
charged for admission, and the company are nearly all seated, at little
tables, eating a substantial supper, or sipping coffee or ices, as they
incline, while Strauss with his fine band played the finest music,
mostly pieces of his own composition. It was the best music I ever

Philip left me on Monday evening and went to Prague. On Tuesday I
arranged passport, left parcels to be sent to Hamburg, took leave; came
out to Nussdorf after dinner, from which the steamboat leaves, and after
seeing my luggage deposited safely on board, I climbed the Leopoldsberg,
a steep mountain between eight hundred and nine hundred feet high, and
enjoyed the beautiful and extensive view from its summit,--a fine view
of Vienna, of the Danube branching into many different streams, forming
pretty green islands, and the whole of the broad valley far into
Hungary. In a fine day, it is said the towers of Pressburg, forty miles
off, may be distinguished. The Danube, which is here as large as the
Niagara, broad and swift, washes the base of the mountains, and the view
up the river, though not so extensive, is more picturesque. I collected
a handful of plants, bid good-by to Vienna, and descended, slept on
shore, and was on board the boat in time to start with it at five
o’clock this morning.

This is the first time I have slept in a genuine German bed,--a
feather-bed beneath, and an eider-down bed the only cover. It is
inclosed in a sheet like a pillow-case, and under this you creep. In the
winter it might do very well, but at this time of the year it is very
oppressive. The upper sheet here I find, in all cases, is tied fast to
the coverlet, which is all of one piece, and just long enough to cover a
moderately sized man like myself from the chin to the toes. A taller
person must choose between his shoulders and his toes, for they cannot
both be covered.

Living is dear in Vienna. I stopped at a cheap hotel, being aware of
this, and lived as economically as I well could, but I find I have made
way with a very considerable sum. The only way to travel cheaply
anywhere on the Continent is not to be in a hurry, and to understand the

Notabilia for Dr. T.--I have seen Corda[105] at Vienna. He is one of the
curators of the collection at Prague, and was at Vienna on a visit.
Learning that I was there, he called and left his card. I afterwards
saw him at his hotel. He is a little fellow about thirty, with a small
expressive countenance. He works chiefly at minute fungi, on which he is
publishing a large work. I saw a part of it in London. He showed me an
immense quantity of drawings, which he makes with great rapidity. He is
also publishing a work supplementary to Sternberg’s “Flora of the Former
World,” a work of which Corda did a good part. He gave me two copies of
a lithograph of Count Sternberg,--now dead, as you know,--done by
himself. I observe by his drawings that he has anticipated an
unpublished discovery of Valentine’s, which he showed to Lindley and
myself in London, about the holes in the tissue of Sphagnum opening
exteriorly. I looked at Corda’s microscope (one of Shiek [?] at Berlin),
but it is inferior to the English or Chevalier’s.

I made a second visit to Fenzl, as he lay in bed; had a long botanical
talk with him, and think him a most promising botanist.

Ungnadia (the character of which Endlicher has not yet published,--the
last plate in the “Atakta”) was named in memory of Baron Ungnade, once
an ambassador from Austria to Constantinople or Persia, I forget which,
and the first to introduce Æsculus Hippocastanum into Europe,--hence the
propriety of the name. Endlicher is soon to publish the description in
the “Annals of the Vienna Museum,” which work, with the “Iconographia
Generum Plantarum,” he has promised to send to Hamburg for me, along
with the parcels of plants given me. We have studied the new
Loganiaccous plant from Florida. It proves, as Brown guessed, near his
Logania § (or Gen.) Stomandra, but extremely distinct from that or any
other genus, by the character of the style which Decaisne first
noticed. Endlicher is to give a figure in “Iconographia Generum
Plantarum,” and the description has gone to the printer in one of
Endlicher’s articles in the “Annals of the Vienna Museum,”--Cœlostylis
Loganioides, Torr. & Gr. Can’t we get more of it? Has Leavenworth found

I have been looking over the “Reliquiæ Hænkeanæ,” and examining what
specimens of the collection from North America they have in the Vienna
Herbarium. Endlicher goes this week to Carlsbad to recruit his health,
stopping a day at Prague. He has kindly taken a list of my desiderata of
the species published in that work, and I hope to get some bits of them.
I have copied so much from the work that we can get along even if I do
not see it again, but as I was about to purchase it, Endlicher suggested
that he should see if Presl himself has not a copy left for us.
Following this hint I have sent by Endlicher a copy of the “Flora” to
Presl,[106] in nomine auctorum.

There is a new genus of Presl in Loaseæ (Acrolasia) from Mexico, which
may be Nuttall’s. The most curious thing is a new genus of Datisceae
from Monterey (why have none of the other collectors found it?), called
Tricerastes; very interesting.

I find from all inquiries that it is very difficult to find Nees von
Esenbeck[107] at Breslau, especially in the summer. He is a queer stick
altogether, is not well satisfied with his situation at Breslau, and
spends the greater part of his time at a little place high up in the
Riesengebirge, studying Hepaticæ.

I have bought Grisebach’s new “Genera et Species Gentianearum,” and have
been studying it on my way in the steamboat. It seems very well done,
particularly his preliminary matter on structure, affinities,
development, geographical distribution, etc., which is very interesting.
It is very carelessly printed. Our well-known “Tuckerton,” in the
pine-barrens, figures under the form of “Juckerten”! Let this suffice at

SALZBURG, June 10.

Arrived at Linz Friday noon, dined, looked a little about the town,
which is remarkable for nothing except its agreeable situation on the
Danube, and its unusual kind of fortification; and at half past one
started for Gmünden, about thirty-five miles by railroad, in a car drawn
by horses. This railroad, the oldest in Germany, is rather a primitive
affair; we were jolted more than on the ordinary roads, which I have
found everywhere excellent. The first part of the road was very
uninteresting. I was seated in the middle of the car, with five or six
inveterate German smokers around me, each equipped with a huge
meerschaum pipe with a wooden stem nearly as long as your arm, which he
replenished as often as it was exhausted, and all puffed away in concert
as if they were locomotive engines and our progress depended upon their
exertions. You are everywhere annoyed in the same way, but I have become
accustomed to it so that it does not trouble me as at first. At length a
fat military officer next me smoked himself to sleep; and I was amusing
myself with the ridiculous pendulum-like motions he was making, his pipe
still grasped by his mouth at one end and by his hand at the other, when
he knocked his head against the window and pitched his hat into the
road, to his great astonishment and our infinite amusement. We passed
through Wels, and afterwards Lambach, a pretty place and most
beautifully situated upon the Traun. In this part of the journey we had
a fine view of the Salzburg Alps, which rise to their greatest height
just where Austria proper and the provinces of Styria and Salzburg meet.
From Lambach to the end of the journey, the country appeared completely
American: finely wooded with fir and larch with here and there a clump
of beech. We reached Gmünden just at twilight, a neat village on the
very bank of the Gmündensee or Traunsee, for it is called by both names.
The situation, close down upon the water and in the bosom of green
undulating hills, is as lovely as can be conceived, and is in fine
contrast with the upper extremity of the little lake, where the dark and
lofty mountains rise abruptly from the very edge of the water, not
leaving room enough even for a footpath. Their summits were still
covered with patches of snow, but they are overtopped by the peaks of
the Dachstein and other portions of these Alps which are crowned with
perpetual snow. I found at the Goldenes Schiff neat rooms, and a most
comfortable bed, which I was prepared fully to enjoy, having first made
a supper on nice trout from the lake, with a few etceteras. At seven
o’clock the next morning I was on board the little steamboat,--commanded
by an Englishman, as most boats are in Austria,--which affords the only
means of communication with the country beyond. The morning was
pleasant, and I had a good opportunity of seeing the finest scenery I
ever beheld; indeed I do not expect ever to see it surpassed. As we left
the green slopes at Gmünden behind us, the mountains which inclose the
upper portion of the lake gradually disclosed themselves more
distinctly; halfway up, we were opposite the gigantic Traunstein, whose
naked and weather-beaten summit had been full in view almost ever since
we left Linz the day before. It is a huge mountain, appearing as if
split from top to bottom and turned with the cloven side toward the
lake, so that it presents a perpendicular wall of jagged rock nearly
three thousand feet high! leaving just room sufficient between it and
the water for one or two fishermen’s huts, which look the veriest
pygmies. The mountains beyond this on the same side are equally
picturesque, but not so high. They rise in sharp isolated peaks, leaving
the wildest glens between, down which streams fed by the snows of the
mountains in the background come leaping to the lake. On a promontory
which seems from the lower part of the lake to form its southern
extremity stands the little hamlet of Traunkirchen; the picturesque
little church was founded by the Jesuits, who once had a small
establishment here; a little nook is occupied with the wee bits of
cabins belonging to the peasantry employed in the salt-works or in
rowing the salt-barges down the lake; they are set down here and there,
as room can be found, and add much to the beauty of the view. As the
boat doubles this promontory, Gmünden and all the lower part of the lake
is lost sight of, and you seem to be on another smaller but wilder lake,
entirely shut in by the precipitous mountains; a few minutes more and we
are landed at Ebensee, the little salt-village at the head, where the
Traun enters, and you regret that the voyage is so short. I was strongly
inclined to go back again with the boat, and return again in the
afternoon; but knowing I had no time to lose, and that I might not
readily find another convenient opportunity of going on to Ischl, I was
obliged to bid farewell to Gmündensee. Loveliest, wildest of lakes, I
shall not soon forget thee.

I had not time at Ebensee to look at the works where the brine is
evaporated, which seem to be on a large scale. The brine is brought here
in aqueducts, some fifteen or twenty-four miles, since fuel is more
plenty here, and it is found more economical to bring the brine to the
fuel than the fuel to the brine. The stellwagen was ready, and I took my
seat. A ride of ten or eleven miles up the valley of the Traun, a narrow
defile bordered by lofty mountains, brought us before noon to Ischl. It
is a pretty village, lying in a green valley formed by the junction of
the little river Ischl with the Traun; it contains extensive salt-works
and is a favorite bathing-place, people of all degrees coming here in
the summer to pickle themselves in the salt water. Three immense ridges
of mountains come down almost into the village, leaving a triangular
space for the village, with just three ways of getting in or out, viz.,
by ascending the river as we came, or by either the Ischl or the Traun
as they enter the valley.

I took a hasty dinner, and left the hotel at one o’clock, determined to
enjoy the satisfaction of climbing a real mountain. The Zeimitz, the
highest in the neighborhood, is said to command the finest prospect, and
it looked as if I could ascend it in an hour or two with the greatest
ease, although the guide-book says that ten to twelve hours are
necessary for going and returning. I have accomplished the task; I
climbed the mountain, 5000 feet high, traveled over the snow from one to
the other of its four peaks at considerable distance from each other;
enjoyed the most magnificent prospect; filled my portfolio with alpine
plants, descended the steepest side, picking my difficult way down the
rocks and sliding down immense snowbanks, until I was past the alpine
portion; then making a turn to a subalpine pasture, where cows and goats
are driven to pass the summer, I struck an old path, and ran with all
speed to the gorge at the base, where the stream that I had traced from
its source as it trickled from a snowbank, and down a succession of
little cataracts, was now a foaming and rushing torrent. It was then
just twilight, and a quiet walk of an hour brought me back to the hotel
at nine o’clock, quite proud of my feat and delighted with the fine view
I had obtained. But I have paid well for it. In the morning I could
scarcely stir for the aches and pains in my bones, and even now the
extensor muscles of my legs are sore to the touch and bear woeful
testimony to the hard service they have been obliged to perform. “I
shall think about it,” as Mr. Davis says, before I ascend another

And yet I feel myself well repaid for all my fatigue. To say nothing of
the prospect opening out wider and grander as I ascended, I had from the
summit a magnificent mountain panorama which it was well worth the labor
to see; the summits of more than one peak white and brilliant with
perpetual snow and ice. The most stupendous of all is the Thorstein or
Dachstein, which closes the view to the south, with its immense glaciers
of the most dazzling whiteness, from which numerous steep pinnacles rise
like spires, towering high above all surrounding objects, illuminated by
the rays of the setting sun long after all other objects are left in the
shade. The dark lake of Hallstadt was distinctly seen, appearing to
reach up to its very base. I could not distinguish the village which is
hidden under the cliffs at that end of the lake, where from November to
February the inhabitants do not see the sun, they are so shut in by high
mountains. Four other lakes were in full view, two of them lying almost
beneath my feet.

And then imagine my pleasure at collecting alpine plants for the first
time, some of them in full blossom under the very edge of a snowbank. I
filled my portfolio with Soldanella, Rhododendron, Primula Auricula,
Ranunculus Thora, and another with white flowers, etc., etc. I am sorry
to say that in my eagerness I have left my knife, last relic of the
Expedition, and so long my trusty companion, somewhere on the top of the
mountain. Sunday was at least a day of bodily rest, for I did not rise
until past ten o’clock, and hobbled out but once beyond the limits of my
hotel. I was obliged to leave, however, late in the evening, about half
past ten, when the eilwagen, which comes but twice a week, arrived from
Gratz on its way to Salzburg; and here I found myself at six o’clock
this morning; a rainy day, and a very dull town, with nothing but its
fortress and its exceedingly beautiful and romantic situation to make it
interesting. There are many objects of great interest in the
neighborhood, but this rainy day prevents any distant excursion; my
place is taken for Munich for to-morrow morning, and not even the
inducements of “the most beautiful region in all Germany,” as it is
called, not even the sublimities of the Berchtesgaden and the Königsee,
which are but fifteen miles off, shall detain me longer. I begin to look
with expectation toward the end of my journey, and have already in my
plans shortened it a little. I have looked about the old churches and
buildings of this town, and am waiting now for it to clear up that I
may climb the Mönchsberg, and enjoy the prospect that is said to be so
fine. At midday I had hopes of a pleasant afternoon, but it is now
raining harder than ever.

In this region, as in the retired parts of Styria, through which I
passed to Vienna, you are charmed with the kind-hearted simplicity of
the people. If you meet them in walking, they always give you some word
of greeting, and commonly take off their hats and bow to you; yet there
seems to be nothing servile or cringing in it. You get a porter to carry
your baggage, who, instead of asking for more when you have given him
already more than he expected to receive, takes off his hat, makes you a
low bow, and thanks you most heartily, though without any palaver. So
with the servants, who never ask anything, and I suppose would not if
you were to forget them altogether; I doubt if they would ever remind
you; you give them about a third part of what an English servant would
expect, and you have them all most heartily wishing you bon voyage or
glückliche reise, according to the language they speak. In some places
they say the chambermaid kisses your hand, but this has not happened to
me yet. The women, when not rendered wholly masculine in appearance by
performing the labor of men, which is very common, are almost
universally good-looking, and in such vigorous health. I do not admire
their head-dress, which is ordinarily a black silk thing tied closely
around the head and tied in rather fantastic bows behind. The women of
Linz and all this part of the Danube wear, when in full dress, a cap of
tinsel or gold lace, shaped exactly like the Roman helmet, which fits
close to the top of the head. But fashions never leave this world; when
you ladies throw aside some mode, it is picked up and perpetuated in
some out-of-the-way part of the world. Thus, for example, all the young
fraus of Ischl wear balloon sleeves, after the most approved fashion
some three or four years ago. I assure you it looked quite natural to
see them again, even upon the buxom damsels of the Salzkammergut
(there’s a name for you).

It is now half past seven; and it is still raining most obstinately, so
ascending the Mönchsberg is not to be thought of; and I must make up my
mind to leave Salzburg without this view. My trunk is sent to the office
of the brief-post-eilwagen, all ready for starting at six o’clock in the
morning, and to-morrow evening at eleven I hope (D. V.) to be in Munich,
seventy-eight miles. I owe Bentham a letter, and have not written him or
any one else since I left Paris. I will take this convenient opportunity
and write forthwith.

MUNICH, 12th June.

I arrived in this capital of Bavaria last evening at eleven o’clock,
after a tedious, though not uninteresting ride of seventeen hours. The
day proved a fine one, and after leaving Salzburg through the curious
tunnel that penetrates the Mönchsberg we came abruptly into the open
country; and as the mists gradually rose from the sides of the mountains
and we ascended some small hills, I obtained some most beautiful and
picturesque views of the surrounding mountains. The Stauffenberg, which
stood between us and Berchtesgaden, a magnificent mountain, was for a
long time the most prominent object; backed by the more distant central
portions of the Salzburg Alps, all white with snow. It was only as I
left this place that I could appreciate the beauty of its situation,
and I felt a momentary regret that I had not stayed a day longer and
visited Berchtesgaden. These fine mountains and those of the Tyrol (the
more western portion of the same chain) were in full view during the
whole journey, filling the southern horizon, while we journeyed through
a rather level country; for the whole of Bavaria south of the Danube is
a great plain, stretching from that river to these mountains that skirt
its southern border. It is an inclined plain, since Munich, though in a
perfectly flat region, is about sixteen hundred feet above the level of
the sea. We crossed the frontier in an hour after we started, where our
baggage was slightly and very civilly examined, and our passports viséd
by the Bavarian police. We passed two pretty lakes, but no place of
interest except Wasserburg, situated in a picturesque dell on the river
Inn. For companions I had a Dane, who spoke a little English
surprisingly well, and was very agreeable; a German, who spoke a little
French; and a Frenchman, who had come up the Danube from Constantinople,
and who tired us all with the continual clack of his very disagreeable
voice. I took up my abode at the Schwarzer Adler, a very comfortable and
quite cheap hotel; slept pretty well; rose early this morning to take a
look at the town, which within these last twenty years has become a
magnificent capital; saw many of the public buildings,--that is, their
exterior,--churches, and squares; went to the office of the police and
obtained the required permission de séjour; and then went to the Royal
Cabinet to find Martius, for whom I had three letters of introduction.
He is a small man, not so tall as I, quite thin, but rather
good-looking, apparently fifty years old, but his hair may be
prematurely gray. He seems to have his hands very full of business, but
he received me with cordiality; took me to the library and the cabinet
of natural history, which are in the same building, told me to amuse
myself till one (the universal dinner hour), and meet him at the Botanic
Garden at three, and afterwards spend the evening at his house. The
cabinets here are in an old, rather inconvenient building, once a
Jesuits’ college, which now contains them all, as well as the library,
the lecture-rooms of the university, etc., but in a year or so all will
be removed to very fine buildings the king is erecting for their
reception. Excepting the Brazilian collections, which are large and
good, there is nothing worth particular notice in the zoölogical and
mineralogical cabinets; they make no great show after that of Vienna.
The library is immense, this and the one at Paris being the two largest
in the world; the books fill a great number of rooms, none of them
magnificent but very convenient; the whole is soon to be transferred to
other quarters. I was introduced to one of the librarians, who was at
the moment showing the curiosities of the collection, very old and rich
manuscripts,--the earliest attempts at wood-engraving, etc.,--to a party
of English. When he had done with them I told him he must have been
bored quite sufficiently for once, and that I would not trouble him any
further just then, but that I wished to acquire some useful information
about the plan and arrangement of the library, rather than to see its
curiosities. So he fixed upon Friday morning, when he would be quite
disengaged, and would gladly afford me all the information I desired.
Shortly after dinner I went down to the Botanic Garden; found Martius,
who, having an unexpected engagement, consigned me to the head
gardener, and I was very kindly shown over the whole establishment,
which is much larger and better than I had supposed, and in excellent

Afterwards I strolled about the town for an hour or two, heard the fine
military band in the Hofgarten, and at half past six went to the house
of Martius; saw his wife, who looks much younger than he, and I suspect
he was not married until after his return from Brazil. She seems a very
intelligent and pleasant lady, understands English pretty well, but does
not speak it, while Martius speaks extremely well; the eldest daughter,
a pretty girl of thirteen, speaks French fluently, has taken lessons in
English, which she reads readily, but speaks slightly; there is another
daughter of about ten, another still younger, and a boy a little more
than a year old completes the list. Professor Zuccarini[108] was there,
and afterwards an entomologist, whose name I forget, dropped in; also a
young man from Rio Janeiro, a Dr. Hentz from Vienna, who inquired
especially after Dr. Buck; the director of the music in the royal chapel
here; and two ladies, one of whom sung exquisitely. The director and Dr.
Hentz both played the piano to perfection, and, to crown all, Martius
seized his fiddle, quite to my surprise, and played with great spirit.
Before they were done a little crowd had began to assemble before the
windows. So the evening passed off very pleasantly.

I like the sound of the German language much; it is manly, and certainly
not more rough than the English. From the lips of the women and the
little children I assure you it sounds very musical, and I often stop
in the street to listen to it, when I do not understand a word that is

13th June, 1839.--I passed the whole morning, that is, until one
o’clock, at the Botanical Cabinet, looking at grass and such like. After
dinner Zuccarini called for me, took me to his house, showed me his
Japan plants, the work he is publishing on them, etc. I looked over and
named his American Cyperaceæ, and he made me most bountiful offers for
exchange. He gave me some of his publications and even offered me his
“Japan Flora” (Siebold’s), which is an expensive work, but it is very
desirable for us to have, though it will be rather difficult for me to
give him an equivalent. It is now sunset, eight o’clock; all the shops
in the town have been closed nearly an hour, the people all enjoying
themselves in the gardens roundabout. I am going to bed early, in hopes
to rise in time to go down to the Garden and hear Martius lecture at
seven o’clock. He lectures every morning at that hour, and Zuccarini
again every morning from eight to nine, and also from eleven to twelve.
The scientific people here have been arranging a little fête for
Saturday, the birthday of Linnæus. It is decided that there is to be a
botanical excursion, I believe, to the Tegernsee, some fifteen miles
off, and I suppose also a picnic dinner. I have not learned all the
particulars, but this I shall do in time, as I am to be one of the

14th June, 1839.--I rose early this morning and went to hear Martius
lecture at the Garden at seven o’clock. He is a good lecturer, fluent
and clear. Called on Dr. Schultes;[109] then returned to breakfast;
afterwards spent the morning at the cabinet, with the exception of an
hour devoted to the library, which one of the chief officers very kindly
showed me through. They have about half a million books, excluding
duplicates, and about 16,000 manuscripts. The librarian took much pains
to explain to me the arrangement and classification of the library,
which is in excellent order, and to show me as many of the rarities as I
desired to see: very ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Bible or
the Evangelists; a number of very old and richly illuminated German
manuscripts; the collection of printed books without date, of which they
had 6000 (these early printed books being many of them intended to pass
for manuscripts); a copy of Faust’s Bible again (the first book
printed),--they have two; Luther’s Bible, beautifully printed on vellum,
and illuminated,--in the frontispiece his original portrait, a
sturdy-looking old fellow, who looks as if he might have been as
fearless as indeed he was; the portrait of Melanchthon, by the same
artist, whose name I forget, is given on the next leaf. I saw also a
manuscript letter of Luther, and many other things, too tedious to
trouble you with now.

Dined with Martius and his very pleasant family; stayed until six
o’clock, looking over plants, etc.; took a little walk, now that it is a
little cooler, for the day has been exceedingly sultry, and am now going
to bed, as I have to rise at half past four and meet the pedestrian
portion of the Linnæan party at half past five. If it be as sultry a day
as this has been we shall have warm work of it.

15th June, 1839.--We had a truly German fête champêtre, and I have
learnt more of German life and manners in one day than I could otherwise
have obtained in a long time. I was at the place of rendezvous at the
time appointed, and met there the two professors and about thirty
students, with whom we set out on our excursion, and our number was soon
doubled by the accessions we received. Our course lay along the banks of
the Isar (what lad that has been at school has not heard of “Isar
rolling rapidly”), along which we ascended for about six miles,
botanizing on the way. It was about twelve o’clock when we reached the
place where the Linnæan celebrations are always held. Here we found
Madame Martius and the girls, who had arrived in a carriage, and the
lady and children of another professor. Three or four other professors
also joined the party: Professor Tirsch, the celebrated Grecian scholar;
Professor Neumann, of Oriental languages; a celebrated physician, and
some others. We filled an immense rustic dinner-table spread in an open
pavilion, ornamented in a simple manner with branches and flowers, and a
portrait of Linnæus. Professor Martius then read his address, which I
judged from its effects upon the audience to be humorous; then followed
the dinner, plain but good, consisting of three or four courses, beer
supplied ad libitum, and this was no trifle, as you would understand if
you could see how all these Bavarians swill their beer. It is light,
extremely light as compared with English. But you may judge how cheaply
the Germans contrive to live, and how cheaply and simply they get up an
affair which in England or at home would cost a round sum, when I inform
you that the whole charge for dinner was twenty-four kreutzers or one
Austrian zwanziger (sixteen cents!). This I suppose did not include the
wine, of which there was a small supply, provided, perhaps, by Martius

Three or four odes, written for the purpose, some in Latin, others in
German, were sung, with a heartiness and a nicety of execution entirely
German. Three or four toasts were drunk, some speeches made, and the
party left the table. The greater part, excluding the ladies, then went
to the Linnæan Oak, a young tree planted on the day of this fête five
years ago. Here all took their seats on the grass around it, and a
number of half-serious, half-humorous addresses or meditations were
made, the people all sitting at their ease; then a song for the purpose
was sung, and the celebration was over. Some part dispersed immediately,
but the greater part assembled around our dinner-table, and heard some
music from a paysanne, who accompanied her voice with an instrument like
a guitar. Martius and Zuccarini had arranged to stay over night in the
neighborhood to botanize to-morrow, and wished me to stay also, which I
declined to do, but returned in a carriage with Madame Martius and the
eldest daughter. We had a very agreeable ride and reached the city just
as it grew dark. We had all day most beautiful views of the Bavarian
Alps, which seemed close to us. The different professors spoke English
with me, Professor Neumann, indeed, extremely well; were very polite to
me, and I obtained much important information, and have put myself in
the way to get still more. The whole affair was extremely well arranged.
I have printed copies of a part of the odes, and a copy of the print of
Linnæus, a very good lithograph, which was brought to the place and sold
to the students for twenty-four kreutzers (sixteen cents) a copy. This
is not the birthday of Linnæus; the 24th of May is the proper one, but
it is not then pleasant in the country here.

18th June.--On Sunday I attended service in the Protestant church, a
large and fine building, which was well filled. A part of the royal
family are Protestants, but the king himself is a bigoted Catholic. The
interior of the church is made to resemble a Catholic chapel as much as
possible; the altar has a picture behind it, and a small crucifix stood
upon the reading-desk. There was a very short liturgy, and singing in
which all the congregation took part, as is always the case in Germany.
The sermon which followed may have been very orthodox for all I know,
for I could understand but a few words of it. I spent the remainder of
the day in my own room....

Tuesday evening.--This morning I went to the cabinet of botany, to the
library, and after dinner to Martius; looked over his Carices, etc. We
then walked to the Garden, and afterward to the establishment for
telescopes, etc., of the successors of Fraunhöfer, where I bought a very
pretty little achromatic glass and a simple lens; looked at his workshop
and collections, etc....

It is so long since I have seen your handwriting that I might forget it,
but I met with it to-day very unexpectedly, you would never guess where!
Even on labels of Carices in Martius’ herbarium. After I get to
Switzerland I shall count days until I see England again, from which
there are but two steps home, on board a ship, and off again.

ZURICH, June 22, 1839.

In the afternoon I called on Dr. Schultes, who offered me a pretty
little parcel of Egyptian plants. Made up my parcels and left them with
Martius, to be sent, with the things that he and Zuccarini are to add,
to Hamburg, against my arrival there. Spent the evening at Martius’
house, and took my leave of madame and Caroline. I gave Madame M. my
copy of “Childe Harold,” a very pretty one, which she seemed to value
considerably. Martius I saw again the next morning at the cabinet, and
took leave very affectionately; he kissing me tenderly, after the German
fashion. Ask Dr. Torrey to look in the list and see if Martius is not an
honorary member of the Lyceum, as I believe, but am not sure. If he is
he knows it not. The Lyceum has also been remiss in sending him the
“Annals,” which should not be, as he has been a liberal contributor. His
works give him much trouble since the death of the late king, who was
his patron and subscribed toward the expense; the present king does
nothing at all for Martius or for science anyway, so that poor Martius
is a little embarrassed. Meanwhile he is pressed down with his duties as
professor, director of the Botanic Garden, etc., for which he is most
miserably paid.

The Botanic Garden is better arranged than any other I have seen on the
Continent, except at Paris, and I have secured a copy of the plan. But I
must break off with Munich.--Arrived at Lindan, on Lake of Constance,
yesterday; a fine lake, but too large to show well; the shores only at
the eastern end mountainous; the rest ordinary, and in high cultivation,
dotted with thriving villages; took a steamboat after dinner for

ON THE RIGI, 25th June.

I must resume the thread of my narrative where I left it, at my entrance
to Zurich. I did nothing that evening but look about the town, visit the
old church where Zwingli, the earliest Swiss reformer, preached. The
prettiest view is from the new stone bridge which is thrown across the
Limmat just where it emerges from the lake. The stream, like all those
that proceed from these lakes, is full, and clear almost as glass, of a
fine blue tint; it rushes with great rapidity, but is still and even.
The view extends up the lake to its middle, where a slight change in its
direction intercepts further view; beyond rise some low mountains; a
little farther a higher range overtops these, and these are again
overlooked by the Alps of Glarns, Schwyz, etc., with thin tall peaks and
brilliant glaciers. The shores of the lake are highly cultivated and
thickly covered with little manufacturing villages. This is a Protestant
canton. I attended church and heard a preacher who seemed to be very
earnest, but as his language was an unknown tongue, there was little
chance of my being edified, and I spent the remainder of the day at my
room. The new hotel here is extremely good. Early yesterday morning I
prepared myself for a pedestrian excursion over the finest mountain
regions of Switzerland, which will take me about ten days, if I do not
get tired of it and give it up. Not that I intend to walk all the way,
which would be a great loss of time, but to avail myself of steamboats,
etc., along lakes, and a diligence when I am on routes which they
traverse, knowing full well that there will remain many weary and
difficult miles that can only be passed by the pedestrian. So I have
packed up my trunk and sent it on to Geneva, at the opposite corner of
Switzerland. The garçon of the hotel purchased a knapsack for me....
Thus equipped, my knapsack on my back, the Guide to Switzerland in one
pocket, and Keller’s excellent map in the other, I set out on my
travels in search of the sublime. At nine o’clock yesterday morning I
left Zurich; took the steamboat down the lake as far as Horgen, some
eight or ten miles, where I took a little lunch, and crossed the bridge
into the little canton of Zug,--Catholic, as one soon finds out, by the
crosses and beggars which abound by the wayside. Here the lofty Mont
Pilate, with its sharp peaks, was in sight; it lies on the other side of
Lake Lucerne. Soon after I saw the Lake of Zug, and soon after one
o’clock I reached Zug, on the borders of the lake of the same name, the
capital of the canton, a retired and lifeless village. I entered the
best hotel well heated with my walk, which now amounted to about twelve
miles. I obtained a plain but very good dinner of soup, the everlasting
corned beef, fish, roast, and strawberries and cherries ad libitum;
chatted French with the voluble kellnerinn (the demoiselle of the inn);
paid my bill of two francs, and was again on my way. It was very warm,
so I walked quite leisurely down the shore of the lake; the scenery
growing every moment more picturesque, the Rigi rising at its foot on
one side, bold and abrupt, the Rossberg on the other. (A sad tale
belongs to this last, of which I had often read.) I reached Arth, the
little village at the foot of the lake and of these two mountains, at
half past four (seven miles); took more strawberries and milk, and at
five o’clock commenced the ascent of the Rigi by the shortest but most
difficult footpath. The landlord told me the ascent took four hours and
a half. This, indeed, I accomplished, but found it a hard task. But the
desire of witnessing the sunset from the top induced me to do my best. I
had plenty of offers to relieve me of my knapsack, and at length, as I
left the village, transferred it to the shoulders of a stout fellow,
for it began to grow weighty. The poor fellow I think earned the ten
batz he demanded (about thirty cents), though he did not seem to mind it
much. The first third of the ascent the path is formed of steps like a
staircase, and is very fatiguing. After we meet the road for mules or
horses, which ascends from Goldau, it is not so difficult. Both in the
ascent and from the summit, I had a full view of the vestiges of the
awful landslip of the Rossberg; the vacant space of the mountain
occupied by the portion that fell and the scarred surface of the path
are most distinctly in view, and at the bottom of the valley lies the
huge and unsightly and confused mass of rubbish which overwhelmed and
buried the three villages of Goldau, Bussingen, and Rothen. This
catastrophe took place in September, 1806. Several hundred houses and
other buildings were destroyed; cattle in great number, and four hundred
and fifty human beings perished....

But time is becoming precious, and I must tell you in a few words of the
view from the summit of the Rigi, though description is wholly out of
the question. The view from the Kulm, or peak, owes its great beauty and
extent, not so much to the height of the mountain, which is only 5676
feet, as to its isolation, giving a clear view in every direction. It is
also easy of access; ladies and persons who do not care to walk can ride
up on horses or mules, by either side of the mountain. So there are
great crowds here all the summer....

I was called in the morning at half past three to ascend the peak and
watch the effect of sunrise upon the Alps and valleys. The morning
proved quite favorable, though a little cloudy. The mountains, lakes,
and valleys were all distinct, but looked cold. At length a blast from
a wooden trumpet (a better instrument than you would think) announced
sunrise, and the sun appeared between two strips of cloud, lighting up
first the distant and high peaks and glaciers of the Bernese Alps, the
Jungfrau, the Finster-Aarhorn, the Titlis, highest of all,--the white
glaciers shining like burnished silver. Soon the serrated ridge of the
gloomy Pilatus is lighted up; the dark valleys become more distinct; the
lakes look brighter, and the broad valley toward the north stretches
before you like a map, far as the eye can reach, covered with hamlets
and villages, and diversified here and there with beautiful lakes....

Stanz, 25th June.... I intended to leave the Rigi by way of Wäggis on
Lake Lucerne; to take there the steamboat as it passed at two o’clock,
and go up the farther part of the lake, the Bay of Uri, and finding, if
possible, the mail-courier at Fluellen, to go with him to the summit of
the pass of St. Gotthard, return as far as Hospital, and cross by the
pass of the Furca and the Grimsel to Grindelwald, etc. If you had
Keller’s fine map before you, it would be easy to trace this route, and
to find out also where I now am. Without it you will not do it so
easily. So having plenty of time, I stayed on the Rigi until noon, and
then descended leisurely, having grown wise by experience, and knowing
that the descent of a steep mountain is much worse for the legs and feet
than the ascent. Besides, a little storm arose, and I took shelter under
an overhanging rock, and amused myself in watching its progress down the
lake, and in hearing the deep and prolonged echoes of the thunder as it
was reverberated from peak to peak among the Alps. It was a scene to be
remembered. And then the numerous ever-changing aspects of the
mountains and lake as it cleared up! Saw the steamboat at a distance,
and hastened to the foot of the mountain, when it soon became evident
enough that the boat did not intend to touch there; so we took a boat
and went out to meet it. But although we drew very near them as they
passed, they did not choose to take the slightest notice of us, and I
was obliged, in the middle of the lake, to consider what should be done
in such a predicament. I had no intention of awaiting the return of the
steamboat and going with her to Lucerne, thence to begin the route
to-morrow; and for a few moments I was a little bothered. But
fortunately a pedestrian like me is not at the mercy of steamboats and
stagecoaches; and the high satisfaction one feels at his comparative
independence is one of the great pleasures of this mode of locomotion,
and goes far to compensate for the fatigue. I reflected that I might not
find the courier at Fluellen, and in that case should have a prodigious
journey, and moreover that I had clearly saved the money I should have
paid. So, learning on hasty inquiry that a blind mountain path led from
the opposite shore into the canton of Unterwalden to Stanz, etc.,--from
whence I knew I could reach the Grimsel, and if I chose St. Gotthard,
and that it was the nearest way to the Grindelwald and all the finest
part of Switzerland,--I ordered the boat to take me to that shore, where
I was accordingly left to shift for myself as well as I could. But then
came on one of the ills that flesh is heir to, most especially in
traveling,--I wanted my dinner! I stopped at a cottage, the only one in
the vicinity, but found no one but a little girl, who stared at me as if
she had never seen a civilized being; saw no chance of getting anything
to eat, so I climbed the mountain, very steep, and almost without a
path; it evidently had not been crossed before, this season. From the
top I saw the bay and village of Buochs, and in the distance, Stanz,
which I reached at six o’clock; found an inn which within was more
comfortable than its exterior promised. I think I never enjoyed anything
more than the piece of cold roast veal and coarse bread, and the
plentiful dish of strawberries with excellent cream that followed. Now
that I had got out of the ordinary route of travelers, I determined to
visit the valley of Engelberg. I asked the landlord for a char-à-banc
(as there is a good enough road for this vehicle) or a horse, to go this
evening, but mine host seemed to have made up his mind that I should
stay with him all night, and insisted that there would not be time for
Engelberg. So not to disappoint him, I made up my mind to rest for the
night, and sallied out to look at the village....

MEYRINGEN, 26th June.

I have accomplished a journey to-day, such as I think few pedestrians
have ever surpassed, considering the difficulties of a great part of the
way,--from Stanz to Engelberg, thirteen miles, then over a tremendous
mountain, the Joch, 6890 feet high, among the snows and near the
glaciers of the Titlis and the Wendenstock, and then by a long path,
through the most sublime mountain gorge and valley of Engstlen, to
Meyringen. The distance from Engelberg is reckoned at nine hours (they
always reckon by hours here), which on ordinary routes would be thirty
miles. I do not know how far it really is. I accomplished it between
half past eleven A.M. and half past seven P.M., and am fatigued past all
conception, completely done over, and my feet apparently spoiled.
To-morrow, perhaps, I will tell you something about it.

GRINDELWALD, Thursday, half past five, 27th June.

I take the first leisure hour to resume my account. I find that I must
have walked about thirty-four miles yesterday, making due allowance for
the windings of the path. I commenced at five o’clock, reached Engelberg
at nine, where I rested till half past eleven, and reached Meyringen, as
I said before, at half past seven. The journey from Stanz is through a
narrow but fertile valley inclosed by high and picturesque mountains for
about seven miles, when the valley contracts, the mountains on each side
rise to a great height into sharp and bare peaks, leaving barely room
for the Aar to descend between. It forms, I may say, one continual
cataract from Engelberg to this point. Before this pass is reached I had
gone by some other mountains which were very remarkable; among them the
Brisenstock, a ridge of rock like the upturned edge of a hatchet, some
6,000 feet high, and throwing up from one extremity a column of rock
like a vast obelisk. The road, which is carried at considerable
elevation along one side of this narrow valley, is not difficult, and
exhibits the whole way the most sublime scenery. The Wallenstock rises
on one side to the height of above 8,000 feet; and those on the other
side are not less lofty. Presently the shining summit of the Titlis
rises before you, surrounded by others scarcely less elevated. The
Titlis is the highest of the Unterwalden Alps, 10,710 feet. You then
arrive at a place where the Aar forms a series of cataracts in the
bottom of the gorge, nearly a thousand feet below you; the opposite
mountain exhibits an almost perpendicular wall of rock, nearly 6,000
feet high, and a little cataract formed by the melting snow above falls
from the top to the bottom. Soon I entered the little valley of
Engelberg, the most beautiful and picturesque I have seen, probably the
finest in Switzerland; at least that of Meyringen and this of
Grindelwald, where I am now writing, are not to be compared with it. I
only wonder it is so little known. I think it not improbable that I am
the first American that has visited it. It is far out of the ordinary
routes, and though easily accessible with chars from Stanz, yet the
three passes that lead out of it are excessively difficult footpaths. It
is a green, sunshiny valley, having perhaps eighty acres of plain, but
very rich pastures rise up the mountain-sides to some distance; it is
entirely shut in by the high mountains that rise on every side; the
Titlis rising abruptly on the south within a few yards of the village,
and sending down its avalanches in the spring close to the houses. But
the glaciers are so situated as to send their summer avalanches in the
other direction, so that the hamlet is not in danger; the other
mountains toward the south have the glaciers on their summits, but the
peaks on the other sides present naked precipices. The Engelberg, from
which the hamlet is named (angel-mountain) is a lofty mountain shaped
like a slender cone, with the apex cut off obliquely. It rises almost
within the valley, and presents a very curious appearance. The large
convent stands just between the base of this mountain and the Titlis.
Attached to it is a very large and fine church for such an
out-of-the-world place. I stopped at the simple auberge of the Engel
(angel); mine host could only speak or understand German and Italian, so
that our communication took place mostly by signs and single words, I
giving him the German names as far as I could of what I wished. I got a
very comfortable lunch of cold roast meat; but I wanted some
strawberries, and could not think of the German name, and had
considerable difficulty. At length he seemed dubiously to comprehend
what I wanted; he went out, and returned in a few moments with a fine
dish of the article in question. Excellent cream is as common as need
be; so I had a fine feast. I found that I was the first visitor here
this season. I amused myself with looking over the travelers’ book
(which you always find) and reading the remarks of former visitors. An
Englishman the summer before had ascended the highest peak of the
Titlis. I afterwards saw that this could readily be done, as my route
led me close to the top of the main body of the mountain.

To get into the valley of the Aar it was necessary to cross the Joch, a
mountain connected with the Titlis, and almost as high. The pass between
the two mountains is almost 7,000 feet at the summit, is covered with
snow, and is in immediate proximity with the glaciers of the Titlis. The
ascent is exceedingly difficult; indeed, from all I can learn, it is
much more difficult than any of the passes at all frequented by
travelers. I took a guide to the summit and some distance beyond, as a
stranger could never have found the way. My guide was an old man of
sixty years. From a high ridge near the summit, which belonged rather to
the Titlis, I had a magnificent view of the mountains to the north and
the valley I had passed through, and on the other side, close to us, of
a vast glacier; the streams emerging from it formed a small river, which
we had some difficulty in crossing, and which emptied into a dark
alpine lake just below. Here I gathered a few alpine plants, as
souvenirs of the place. Another weary climb over the snow brought us to
the top of the Joch, and here, where shelter was impossible, we were
exposed to a shower, but our umbrellas protected us in part, and the
view repaid for a little wetting. Descending a little, my guide showed
me a lake almost surrounded with snow, fed by the glaciers; the outlet,
the source of one branch of the Aar, was the stream which flowed down
the valley I was to descend to Meyringen; the knapsack was again
transferred to my shoulders and I was left to myself. As I entered the
valley of Engstlen the scenery grew wonderfully fine. Tired as I was I
enjoyed the whole journey extremely, though it took me four hours and a
half of continual descent; yet I look back upon it with delight. The
main stream formed a succession of beautiful cascades; the mountains on
each side very high, and mostly perpendicular faces of rock, and down
these a great multitude of cascades of all sizes fell, some of them
springing 500 feet at a leap; others, falling from much greater height
over the rocks, looked like long skeins of yarn, if you will pardon the
simile, dangling in the air. It must be much like the valley of the
Lauterbrunnen, according to the description; but I think the latter
cannot excel it. I hope to know to-morrow. A shower drove me into a
miserable châlet, the highest one inhabited at this season, where I
found a young man, who dwelt there for the summer, with his herd of
goats, and his brother, a young lad of fifteen, who had come up from
Meyringen to bring him some food, etc., and was just about to return, I
drank about a quart of milk fresh from the goat, and found it excellent.
When it stopped raining the youngster and I started together; I
transferred my knapsack to his shoulders, and a franc and a half to his
pocket, to the great satisfaction of both parties. He proved a very
useful little fellow, though I could not understand much of what he
said; he showed me some waterfalls and curious things that I should
otherwise have missed. With the true spirit of his nation, ever ready to
improve an opportunity, he told me he had a brother who spoke French,
who would be my guide for the next day. It rained most of the way, but I
was compensated for the partial wetting by the views of the most
beautiful waterfalls, which fell into the valley in great profusion from
the high precipices on each side. I could sometimes see twenty at one
view. After a long and weary descent we came at last near the bottom,
where this valley, and two others almost at the same point, fell into
the main valley of the Aar, and I could look at the same moment up four
deep and wild mountain valleys. Then skirting along the side of the
mountain, we soon descended to Meyringen, deep in the main valley of the
Aar, with two fine cascades behind it, and another very fine one, the
cascade of the Reichenbach, on the opposite side of the valley. Glad
enough was I when we reached the door of the humble auberge, and great
was the havoc I made with the eatables which the kind landlady provided
in abundance and of excellent quality. I sat down on a sofa in my
chamber to read a little, but fell asleep instantly; slept until eleven,
then took my bed and slept until half past seven in the morning.

I can say, with Sancho Panza, “Blest be the man who first invented
sleep.” In the evening, what with my great fatigue and blistered feet, I
supposed I should be scarcely able to move the next day, and that
traveling on foot would be impossible. But I awoke perfectly restored,
my limbs supple and my feet much better than I had anticipated; my guide
made his appearance while I was at breakfast; said that it would take
three days to make the excursion over the Great Scheideck to
Grindelwald, then over the Lesser to the Wengern Alp, to Lauterbrunnen,
and back to Meyringen by Interlaken and the Lake of Brienz. I insisted
that it should be done in two, with the aid of a char from Brienz, at
the end of the second day. Leaving my knapsack here, and taking a few
things in our pockets, we set out at half past nine; stopped on our way
to see the falls of the Reichenbach, where the stream of the valley we
were climbing makes the descent of 2,000 feet in a succession of leaps;
the longest forms the celebrated falls,--very fine. Farther above
numerous waterfalls are seen dangling from the perpendicular sides of
the narrow valley; one, remarkably high and slender, is called the
Seilbach (rope-fall). Ascended through beautiful mountain pastures,
dotted with châlets; the peak of the Wetterhorn in full view directly
before us, a sharp pyramid, one side dark rock, the other pure white
snow. The body of the mountain was still hidden by the Wellhorn, the
first of the chain of high Bernese Alps we were approaching (9,500
feet); then the Engelhörner (angel’s-peaks) and high up between these,
we had a fine distant view of the most beautiful glacier in Switzerland,
the Rosenlaui, celebrated above all others for the purity of its
untarnished white surface, and the clear azure of its depths and
caverns. Stopped at a little inn, which is occupied only through the
summer; got an excellent little dinner at half past eleven, charges
moderate; visited another waterfall, and then walked half an hour out
of our way to the foot of the Rosenlaui glacier, which descends to only
4,200 feet above the level of the sea; found a party there, two
gentlemen and lady, the latter carried in a chair; admired the pure
white surface, entered a little way into one of the crevices, looked
down into the deep azure chasms; returning, viewed the awful gorge
through which the stream from the glaciers makes its way, at least 500
feet deep, and only four or five feet wide, the water rushing and
boiling and roaring in the bottom like mad. Threw down a big stone, and
heard it crashing against the sides and shattered to atoms. Continued up
the Scheideck, close along the broad and vast perpendicular side of the
Wetterhorn; finally reached the summit of the pass (6,040 feet), and
enjoyed the magnificent view of the mountains down the valley of the
Grindelwald. The Wetterhorn (peak of tempests) rises, one vast precipice
of alpine limestone, its base extending from Grindelwald on the one side
almost to Rosenlaui on the other, and so near us that it seemed easy for
a strong man to throw a stone against it, though it is really more than
a mile off; its summit is 11,450 feet above the sea; this precipice
consequently forms a wall about 6,000 feet in height. Next to this is
the Mettenberg (perhaps 10,000 feet); and next, the great Eiger (giant,
12,220 feet), presenting its long thin edge, like the blade of a hatchet
turned up into the air; while back of the Mettenberg appears the pointed
cone of the Schreckhorn (the peak of terror, 12,500 feet). The vast
space between these peaks is filled by an immense glacier, here and
there interrupted, which under various names extends from Rosenlaui and
Grindelwald almost to the Grimsel, and to Brieg in the Valais. The
increasing supply of ice and the refrigeration of such an immense
quantity forces branches down the valleys far below the level of
perpetual snow, particularly these at Grindelwald, the lowest known; the
base of the lowermost being little more than 3,000 feet above sea-level.
I descended rapidly, looked down upon the two glaciers just mentioned,
reached the little hamlet of Grindelwald in the bottom of the valley,
close at the feet of these vast mountains, and a little above the foot
of the lower glacier, which is so close that it seems almost possible to
throw a stone to it; but I believe it is a mile off; reached here at
five o’clock (twenty-one miles), having walked very deliberately. It is
now just at sunset; the day has been warm; but now it is very cold, and
I am shivering too much to hold my pen; besides, it is time for supper,
and I want another view of the mountains. Adieu....

Villeneuve, 4th July, 1839.... Being unexpectedly detained here for a
few hours, almost at the close of my Swiss pilgrimage, I resume my pen,
which I have had no time to use for some time past, and must bring up my
journal in a hurried way to the present. Since I broke off I have seen
more than half the wonders of Switzerland. I can only now tell you where
I have been from day to day; but I shall have much to give you viva voce
some of the evenings of the rapidly approaching autumn. Stayed at
Grindelwald Thursday night (a week ago); watched the clouds striking
against the Wetterhorn and the Eiger and rolling down its sides;
terribly cold. Friday, 28th, rose at four; started at five, in fine
walking trim, after paying an exorbitant bill for very indifferent fare;
was very confident that the guide paid nothing, and therefore suspected
a connivance between him and the aubergiste to put all on my
shoulders,--one of the evils of a guide; they are worse than useless on
all the usual routes, indeed anywhere, except in ascending very high
mountains and crossing glaciers; felt a little inclined to punish my
guide, and therefore set off at a swinging pace and took him up the
Little Scheideck much more rapidly than he ever went before. I buttoned
up my coat and pretended not to be making any effort at all, while the
poor fellow stripped off first his coat, then his waistcoat, the
perspiration running off his face; until finally he pronounced it
impossible to keep near me, and lagged far behind. At length I took pity
on him and walked slower, but we crossed the Scheideck and reached the
Wengern Alp, a journey of four hours and a half, in a little less than

From the crest of the Little Scheideck (6,300 feet) I got my first near
view of the remainder of the high Bernese Alps,--the Mönch (12,660
feet), the Jungfrau (12,670 feet) (I have been giving you the height all
along in French feet, as they are put down in Keller; in English feet
the numbers will be considerably higher), with the two white peaks, the
Silberhörner (silver-peaks), which belong to it.

Still beyond, though not quite so lofty, were the Grosshorn, the
Breithorn, etc. The point where I stood commanded nearly the whole view,
from the Engelhörner, Wetterhorn, a glimpse of the Schreckhorn, the
Mettenberg, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, as I stood just in the
mid-distance; an unsurpassed view it is. As I descended the other side
to the Wengern Alp I lost those more to the east, but came still nearer
to the Jungfrau....

At the Jungfrau hotel, a mere châlet on the side of the Wengern Alp, we
were close under that magnificent mountain, separated only by a narrow
gorge, and elevated just enough to have the most perfect view from base
to summit. We had heard the day previous the crash and roar of falling
avalanches on the other side of the Wetterhorn, and I was very anxious
to see one; before long I saw two, one of them a pretty good one, come
tumbling and roaring down the Jungfrau. Soon a thick cloud came and
enveloped these mountains, so that I departed earlier than I should have
done; it threatened to rain; and we descended into the valley of
Lauterbrunnen, which is very deep and narrow, and had on the way a fine
view of the valley and the mountains and glaciers that close its upper
extremity. Saw the celebrated fall of the Staubbach, and was
disappointed in it....

Walked rapidly down the valley of Lauterbrunnen to the lake of Brienz,
turning aside so as not to pass through Interlaken, which is a little
British colony; took a boat to the opposite end of the lake (eight
miles); had a heavy shower and much wind; saw the falls of Giessbach
from the lake, seven very fine cascades one above the other. Landed at
Brienz; took a char up to Meyringen again, looking at the beautiful
waterfalls from each side of the valley, now very full from the rains.
Arrived at my own lodgings at five o’clock, having accomplished in the
twelve hours fifty miles, of which thirty-two were traveled on foot.

Saturday, 29th, rose in good condition, breakfasted, and parted with my
thoroughly Swiss landlady at five o’clock; went up the vale of Hassli,
one of the finest in Switzerland, for the Grimsel, perhaps the wildest
and grandest pass across the Alps. It is a footpath, or at best a
bridle-path. I set out alone, with my knapsack on my back. Ascended a
considerable distance when the clouds sunk lower and it began to rain,
though I had the satisfaction to see down the valley that the sun was
shining at Meyringen. Passed the last little village (Guttannen), a
lonely place; above, the scenery grew to the very height of gloomy
grandeur: immense blackened granitic mountains, clothed at the base with
black stunted firs, above all naked tremendous rocks and peaks; between,
just room enough for the river to tumble along, forming here and there a
cataract. The view was heightened much, I doubt not, by the clouds and
storm, so entirely in character with the scenery. I never before enjoyed
a lonely rainy walk so much.

At the height of about 4,500 feet, and in the midst of the very wildest
and most lonely scenery, reached the falls of the Aar at Handek, the
finest in Switzerland,--indeed the only sublime waterfall here; viewed
it first from below, then from the rude bridge thrown across just a few
feet above where it leaps into the awful gorge. The scenery and all is
in character, and for savage grandeur I have seen nothing to compare
with it. Stopped at the châlet near the only dwelling within some miles;
waited a little for the rain to subside, and finding that even here a
traveler’s first wants had been pretty well provided for, I made an
early but most excellent dinner upon bread, butter, cheese, and honey,
the last especially excellent. No signs of better weather; so started
on, passing a spot where falling avalanches every winter and spring had
swept over a vast space of rock and completely worn it smooth; was now
above trees, with here and there a bit of scanty vegetation, but almost
every step to the end was now on rock or snow, and I walked on to the
hospice near the summit in the midst of a snowstorm, one and a half
hours; knowing it could scarcely accumulate sufficiently to obstruct or
obscure entirely the path until I could reach the place of shelter, I
enjoyed it intensely, but had quite enough when, at one o’clock, I
reached the hospice (twenty miles), near the summit of the pass,
surrounded with unmelted snow, more than 6,000 English feet above the
sea. It is as comfortable a place as can be expected in such a
situation, now kept as a kind of inn during the summer, and in winter
left in charge of a single servant, with a store of provisions to last
him until spring. The winter before last it was crushed by an avalanche,
but the man and his dog escaped, and reached Meyringen in safety. It is
now repaired; the stone walls are extremely thick, the roof protected
against the winds, as is usual here, by laying huge stones upon it. Laid
aside part of my wet clothes, and lay down before the fire to dry the
remainder; fell asleep; on waking had just begun to write, but when I
had given the heading, in came three more travelers: two Germans, whom I
had met before at Grindelwald, and a young Englishman; all thoroughly
wet with the storm, which was now more violent. We all had to huddle
about the fire, so there was an end of writing.

Awoke Sunday morning and found myself in mid-winter; very cold, snowing
hard, and the wind howling frightfully around our humble but snug place
of refuge. The other travelers determined to prosecute their journey,
spite of the Sabbath or the storm, and to go by way of the glacier of
the Rhone, the other side of the summit of the pass and about four
miles distant. They sallied out with their guide and left me to myself,
which was one advantage. But in three hours they returned, giving an
alarming account of the difficulties and dangers of the way. When just
abandoning the attempt they heard a cry for help, and succeeded in
rescuing another party of three with their guide, who had lost their way
in the thick mist and storm and were wandering about in the drifts,
suffering extremely with the cold, and who, as well as their guide, had
given up all hope of reaching the hospice unless their cries should
perchance be heard and bring them aid. All returned to the hospice
together, and no further attempts to leave it were made that day. When
left alone I had the fire to myself, and was spending the time in as
profitable a manner as possible, thinking a little, too, of the
strangeness of passing the day in such an elevated position; so their
return, with an accession to their company, though very desirable for
them, was not so favorable to me. And then of all people in the world
the Germans are the noisiest talkers; Frenchmen are nothing to them; the
fire which dried their clothes and warmed their fingers loosened their
tongues, and they kept up a continual gabble for the greater part of the
day. Scarcely a winter passes that some persons are not lost in this
pass during such storms. A gloomy lake on the summit of the mountain,
into which the bodies are thrown for burial, receives the name of “The
Lake of the Dead” (Todten-See).

Monday morning, still enveloped in the clouds, but the storm apparently
over. Found it no use trying to make a visit to the Rhone glacier; the
clouds were so thick we could scarcely hope to find it, and the recent
snow so deep nothing could be seen. Was disappointed also by these same
clouds in getting a view of the high Bernese Alps, particularly
Finster-Aarhorn and the glaciers, from this side, but determined not to
wait here longer; so set off at half past ten in company with a native
of Valais, who was traveling towards home and served as guide; traveled
through deep snow, climbed up to the summit of the pass, more than a
thousand feet higher, where at first we were so completely enveloped in
the clouds that we seemed actually to be traveling through them and on
them; dug a specimen or two of Soldanella out of the snow to serve as
souvenirs. At length the wind arose and now and then sent a hole in the
clouds to give me some glimpses of the desolate yet grand scenery
through which we were passing. Soon I got a view of the valley of the
Rhone almost at its commencement, with the river flowing through like a
mere rivulet; looked down upon Oberwald, the highest village in Valais,
a collection of little châlets all huddled together as if to keep
themselves warm,--as indeed they have need; got out of winter and snow
and into the valley at the little village of Obergesteln, and walked, on
the same day, through a quick succession of most retired little Swiss
villages of the humblest sort, to Brieg, on the Simplon road, near the
mountain of that name, which I reached at nine o’clock in the evening,
making a journey of forty miles, a portion through the snow, in ten
hours and a half. I would like to tell you much about the upper Valais,
a region seldom visited by travelers, but have not time; people kind and
simple; got nothing to eat on the way except hard and dry brown bread,
that may have been baked ten days; passed the villages where avalanches
had fallen in former years and crushed many people; the scenery much
more picturesque than I expected, but was most interested in the people
and their little villages; women mowing, reaping, and doing every sort
of the hardest labor; all awfully afflicted with goitre, scarce a person
wholly free from it; actually saw one woman with a goitre not quite as
large as her own head certainly, but about the size of that of the child
she held in her arms, apparently a year old; saw one cretin. Stopped a
few moments at the principal auberge in the village of Viesch; found the
priest with two of his parishioners playing a game of cards together. A
stranger being a curiosity in that region, one person accosted me very
politely, and took me up the valley a little way to see the glacier and
mountains. Reached Brieg utterly worn out, but got a good supper and
bed; this being just where the famous Simplon road commences the ascent
of the mountains, there are many travelers and a good hotel, though

Rose Tuesday morning at four o’clock; my feet and legs very stiff and
sore; thought of going up the Simplon road into the mountains to see
some of the galleries and bridges and get fine views, but the morning
was cloudy and I did not like to lose the time; started off down the
valley, but got on slowly and very painfully; however, walked as far as
Lenk, I believe about twenty-four miles, and there hired a char, which
took me on to Siou, the capital of the canton, about twenty-two miles
further, where I slept.

Wednesday, rose at four, and feeling pretty stout, I started off at five
on foot, and though certainly in very far from the best condition for
walking, went on to Martigny to breakfast, which place I reached at half
past ten, twenty-four miles according to the guide-book, but the latter
part was very painful. From this place one may go to the Hospice of St.
Bernard in ten hours. I would have been glad to have seen so famous a
place, but as to scenery it is decidedly inferior to much I had already
seen. One may go to Chamouni in nine hours, getting the superb view of
Mont Blanc from the summit of Col de Balme on the way. Thinking it
impossible to walk farther, I hired a mule, and a person with him, and
went up to the top of Col de Balme (five hours), passing the vale and
glacier of Trient. Reached the summit at four o’clock; enjoyed a fine
view of Mont Blanc and its attendant peaks from top to bottom, or rather
at top and bottom, for there was a belt of cloud about the middle,--a
most superb and complete view, Mer de Glace and all.

Quite satisfied without going to Chamouni, so returned to Martigny at
eight P.M.; another good day’s work, particularly as I walked both up
and down the worst part of the road, being merciful to the beast. On my
descent obtained a splendid view of the Bernese Alps. Much aroused at
looking over the register at the hotel, where the travelers expressed
their opinions of the different hotels on the road, praising some, and
speaking of others in terms of great reprobation; good plan. I think if
the proprietor of the hotel at Sion (a very dirty hotel) could read all
that is written in his own book he would burn it.... Lay down and slept
till midnight.

Thursday, took diligence at one o’clock A.M. for Villeneuve; saw the
falls of the Sallanches by moonlight; arrived at Villeneuve at half past
seven, just after the morning steamboat had left for Geneva; am
confident we were delayed on purpose, to induce us to go on in the
diligence instead of the next boat. For myself I did not mind waiting
till one o’clock, that I might make myself look a little decent, though
I had not the means here of improving my appearance much; as to my
boots, and indeed all my habiliments, they were much in the condition of
those of the Gibeonites when they made their visit to Joshua. Wrote a
little, went out to take a look at the Castle of Chillon, which is
near,--the building itself not remarkable, but the situation fine....

Took the steamboat in the afternoon; passed Vevay, Lausanne, etc., etc.,
and after traversing the whole length of this much-admired, most
beautiful lake, arrived at Geneva, just at sunset; having accomplished
my pedestrian tour (long to be remembered) in ten days (excluding the

GENEVA, 19th July.

My mornings, between eleven and four, have been constantly and fully
occupied at De Candolle’s. Earlier in the morning I have spent much time
with Mr. Duby,[110] a botanist and clergyman,--one of the government
pastors here, and it is said almost the only one who is a pious man. I
have yet to pack up a box of my gatherings and to send to the roulage to
be forwarded to New York. I have taken lodgings, for my short stay here,
with the Wolff family, very pious and excellent people, who are pretty
well known to many persons of the same class in New York. One of the
daughters is the wife of Dr. Buck,[111] and I believe your dear mother
is acquainted with her. After dinner I have sometimes made little
excursions in the neighborhood; once or twice I have been accompanied
by Madame Wolff and the two daughters. They are very fond of walking,
and often make long excursions on foot. The two daughters walk as fast
as I can, and in fact one of them nearly tired me down the other day,
when we were hurrying in order to watch the effect of the setting sun on
Mont Blanc. I have taken quite a fancy to this river, the Rhone. I made
my acquaintance with it when it was but a babbling brook; I have trudged
along with it for many a mile, until it grew to a headstrong stream, and
became so turbulent and muddy that it was obliged to jump into the lake
to wash itself clean, and when it leaves the lake it is as clear as
crystal,--emerald, I should say, for it is about that color. A few
months ago I saw the same river in its old age, just falling into the
ocean. Walked back along the shore of the lake; reached the house just
in time to join in the evening worship,--a sweet hymn was sung (in
French), one of the young ladies leading with the piano and all joining
with their voices, and hearts, too, I doubt not; and then the venerable
old man read a chapter, which I could understand very well, and closed
with a simple and fervent prayer. You cannot know yourself how pleasant
it is, after being jolted about in the rude world for months, to get
again with a pious family. The house is just without the town,
surrounded with a large garden and fine trees and shrubbery, and all
very pleasant. Some days after, we made another excursion to visit their
pastor. He was not at home, so I missed him, but saw his pretty garden.
On the two Sundays I have heard one of the pastors of the Evangelical
Society preach in the morning, and the clergyman of the English chapel
in the afternoon. I have also had the satisfaction of seeing Mr. Malan,
who, when he called here the other day, was so good as to hold a long
and edifying religions conversation with me. He is a very apostle in
appearance, and in conversation. Indeed, I have been thrown here into
the midst of religious society of a high tone and of great sweetness and
simplicity. I hope I have received some benefit from it. As I leave here
I shall lose all this and shall see nothing more like it until I get
home again....


BÂLE, July 23d.

... I left on Saturday morning for Lausanne and Freiburg, where I heard
the big organ on Sunday; came on in the night to Berne, and yesterday to
this place over the Jura. I wished here to see Professor Meisner, but
found out this morning, some hours after the steamboat had left, that he
was absent on a journey. I was a great fool for not finding that out
last night, in which case I should now have been below Strasburg,--and
this evening at Mannheim. As it is, I can’t wait here till Thursday
morning for the next boat, and shall leave this evening for Schaffhausen
and Tübingen, and thence push on, the best way I can, for Dresden and
Leipsic. I do not lose a moment of time. Do not be surprised if I drop
in upon you about the 4th or 5th of September. I would like to sail for
home the latter part of that month. In early winter we will hope to give
you an entire volume of “Flora,” and see what you can do with it. I have
blocked out, in my mind, scientific labor enough for several years to
come, and several works some of which will be good in a publisher’s
acceptance of the term; others, I dare say, not. As Murray’s fame is
derived from Byron, so shall you be immortalized and known to all
posterity as the publisher of the celebrated Dr. Gray!!!

We have not much time to lose, and on my arrival at London I shall be
wonderfully busy. I hope you will have picked up a great quantity of
books for me by that time. My future credit and comfort will very much
depend upon my bringing home an immense quantity of books for my
money.... When I was in England I could scarcely hold up my head as a
Yankee should--what with our border wars and domestic quarrels. But now
I feel greatly relieved. The recent “Birmingham affair” and several
other things fortunately (?) give me “wherewith to answer them that are
of the contrary part.” Let them shut their mouths now! You know my
address at Berlin, or you may address poste restante if you will. I
think I shall be there till about the 25th August. I shall stop a few
days at Hamburg. I think I may say that I shall not go up to Rostock.
You will perhaps be receiving some letters for me, which, now you know
my movements, you will act according to discretion either in forwarding
to me or in retaining.

I have bought scarcely any books since I left Paris. I have had some
good ones given me.

Excuse this hurried epistle. I have precious little time, and I find I
am growing more and more slovenly every day. Adieu.

Most truly yours,


... Arrived at Geneva by way of Villeneuve and the Lake. De Candolle and
Alphonse had returned only three days previous to my arrival. They
received me very cordially, and I went through the herbarium as far as
the “Prodromus” is prepared.

From Geneva I went to Lausanne and Freiburg; ... thence to Berne, where
I made no stay; thence to Bâle, to Schaffhausen, to Tübingen, where I
spent the morning with Mohl;[112] reached Stuttgart toward evening and
Heidelberg the next morning. Frankfort in the evening; took the eilwagen
the same night for Leipsic; saw Pöppig,[113] Schwägrichen,[114] etc.;
railroad to Dresden; saw Reichenbach[115] for a few moments, as he went
into the country the same day; visited the picture-gallery, which
deserves to be called the richest out of Italy; returned to Leipsic; to
Halle; passed a day or two with Schlechtendal;[116] saw the Carices in
the herbarium of Schkuhr;[117] Potsdam, Sans-Souci, the marble palace,
the beautiful statue of the late queen of Prussia by Rauch (the second
and best one); and thence to Berlin, where I remained nearly a month;
saw the botanists, etc.


LONDON, September 13.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--The “penny postage system” not being yet in operation,
I embrace an opportunity that offers to send you a line in Pamphlin’s
parcels. I am again in London, you see; indeed I have been here about a
week. But it is only to-day that I have had intelligence of your return
to Scotland. I had some hopes that I should find you in London on my
arrival, or that you would return here from Chatham, and that I should
have the gratification of seeing you once more. I received your welcome
letter of August 14th, at Berlin, for which I thank you much. I wish my
friends at home were half as prompt correspondents. While on the
Continent I have received precious few letters.

I have been much interested at Berlin, and worked hard. The herbarium of
Willdenow is larger and in better condition than I supposed, and the
general herbarium is very interesting and rich. Klotzsch[118] is very
industrious, and has got the whole collection in much better order than
most of the herbaria on the Continent. I am under great obligations to
Dr. Klotzsch, who not only afforded me every facility at the Herbarium,
but most cheerfully aided me in every possible way, and during a
transient illness (for I was confined to my room for a week or so, and
to my bed for a few days) he procured for me the best medical advice,
and took a great deal of trouble on my account.

I lost some time by this, but fortunately I had nearly finished my work
at the Herbarium, and afterwards I had a few days to finish, and to
look at Kunth’s[119] herbarium, with which I was rather disappointed.
Kunth was extremely polite and attentive to me. He is at work upon the
third volume of his “Enumeratio,” but I fear it will not be very well
done. I saw Ehrenberg[120] frequently, and Link[121] once or twice, but
nearly all my time was spent at Schönberg, where the Botanic Garden and
Herbarium are situated, which is nearly a half hour’s ride from the
city. The garden is much the finest in Germany, and the government
annually expends very large sums upon it. The building exclusively
devoted to the herbarium is very commodious, though Klotzsch begins to
complain that he has not sufficient room. It is so far from town that
there are no loungers there, and one may study perfectly undisturbed. I
brought a few things for you from Klotzsch and Link, which Pamphlin is
to send to-morrow.

Having lost some time by illness I did not go to Rostock, a most
out-of-the-world place, although I suppose I shall hereafter regret that
I did not see Lamarck’s herbarium.

I spent several days at Hamburg, saw Lehmann, his herbarium, and the
botanic garden; and took steamboat for London. Since my return I have
been busily occupied in the city, completing some purchases for the
Michigan University, and shall be mostly thus employed during the
remainder of my stay....

19th September.--I saw Dr. Richardson the day before yesterday, who
informed me that the Erebus was still lying at Chatham, and (what I was
not aware of) that I could reach Chatham in three or four hours. So I
arranged at once to go down and see Joseph before he started, but the
next day I learned that the vessels had dropped down from that port.

I expect to sail in the Toronto from Portsmouth on the 1st October.... I
have yet very much to do. Yesterday I dined with Dr. Lindley and visited
the Garden. One wing of the conservatory is erected and nearly covered
with glass. It is entirely glass and iron, about 130 feet long, and will
be very fine.... Believe me, my very dear friend, most truly yours,


NEW YORK, 5th November, 1839.

MY DEAR FATHER,--Through the favors of a kind Providence, my journey is
safely brought to a close. I am happy to inform you that I reached New
York last evening in the ship Toronto, after a passage of thirty-five
days. I left London on the last of September, and Portsmouth on the 1st
ult. The steamship Great Western, which left on the 19th of last month,
reached New York two days before us! Our voyage was a rather pleasant
one, although we had nearly forty passengers. It was rather rough, but
no very hard gales. I was sea-sick but a single day, and then but
slightly. I have brought with me nearly the full amount of my purchases
of books for the Michigan library, a large collection. I am waiting to
hear from Detroit to know whether it will be necessary for me to go up
there this fall. I hope I shall not be obliged to make this journey
until spring. I shall not come up to see you until I hear from Michigan,
when I can take Sauquoit in my way if it be necessary to go to Michigan.
I am now busy in getting my boxes and parcels through the custom-house,
which is a tedious business. I hope I shall be allowed to remain here
during the winter, as I have a great deal to do here.

I find here a letter from my friend Dana, of the Exploring Expedition,
dated Valparaiso. He seems not very well satisfied with his situation. I
have not heard from any of you for a full year. Perhaps one of my
sisters will favor me with a letter now that I am so near. Love to all.




On Dr. Gray’s return from Europe, the University of Michigan not yet
needing his services, he settled in New York to work on the “Flora of
North America.”[122]

In 1841 he made his first journey to the mountains of North Carolina, of
which he wrote an account in the “American Journal of Science” in the
form of a letter to Sir William Hooker.

The country west of the Mississippi was just now opened to exploration,
and for some years continued to afford an immense amount of new material
to the botanist. Dr. Gray, and his friends Dr. Torrey and Dr. Engelmann
especially, interested themselves in sending collectors with the various
expeditious, explorations, boundary surveys, etc., and were kept very
hard at work in studying and distributing the several collections as
they came in. The difficulties of communication were great, postage was
very dear, and the post-office rule that sheets, no matter of what size,
could be sent as one letter, while the addition of any separate
inclosure was utterly forbidden, added difficulties almost
insurmountable to the transmission of any specimen. Even as late as 1850
the large parcels from St. Louis were sent by steamboat to New Orleans
and then by sailing vessel to New York or Boston.

Foreign communication was not much better, as Dr. Gray writes to Sir
William Hooker in March, 1840: “I have been waiting during the winter to
write by some of the steamships, but they have disappointed us, and,
though long expected, none reached us until the arrival of the Great
Western a week or more since, which brought us fifty-six days’ later
intelligence from Europe.”


NEW YORK, May 30, 1840.

I have been tolerably industrious for some years, but have never labored
as I have done this winter and spring. But I look now for a little
respite, which I greatly need. I have this afternoon written the
description of the last plant we have to give in the 1st volume of the
“Flora” (a new cucurbitaceous genus, of which more anon); have prepared
the last sheet for the press,--that is, of the work proper, which
reaches to page 656 instead of 550, as intended; and have before me
proofs of the supplement extending to page 672; what is yet to come will
make up the volume to 720 pages! It has extended beyond all calculations
or bounds, but we could not stop short. I hope to have done with the
proofs early next week, when I expect to go immediately into the country
and recruit for three or four weeks, for I am quite fagged out. Except,
however, mere fatigue and the usual consequences of loss of rest, I was
never, perhaps, more perfectly in health, and a fortnight or so of
botanizing will restore my strength. You kindly inquire about my plans
and prospects. These are so far favorable that they will give me (D. V.)
another year of nearly undivided attention to the “Flora.” Not long
since I was officially informed that the opening of our university would
be postponed another year, on account of unfavorable times, and the
preparations not being sufficiently advanced. So I am told that I can
have my time nearly all to myself until next spring (1841) if I wish
(which of course I do), but without any salary, which, indeed, I could
not with any propriety take while I perform no duty. By very close
economy I think I shall get on for the year to come, and be able to
accomplish a good deal of botanical work. I am going to pay the Michigan
people a visit, and if they make good their promises made to me a year
ago, as I have reason to think they will, their course towards me will
have been liberal and honorable. I have good reason to hope they will
eventually succeed in their plans.

By the London packet of the 15th of June we hope to send you and other
friends some copies of the “Flora,” parts 3 and 4. There are so many
errors, so much bad printing, and so many things that we could now do
much better, that I regret that any portion was published before my
visit to Europe. Many of the most important corrections are given with
additions, etc., in a supplement, but I hope we shall continue to
improve as we go on. We can work to much greater advantage than before,
from being much better supplied with books, as well as with specimens
and information. Yet often do I wish to be within reach of your
herbarium and library. Long accustomed to these advantages, you can
scarcely appreciate the difficulties we often find. I was to-day wishing
for a look at your Cucurbitaceæ; we have, as you know, but few of the

I shall not be able to visit Florida or any part of the Southern States
this summer; indeed, I fear I shall be debarred from any botanical
journeys for some years. I must direct all my time and strength to our
“Flora.” I hope we may complete another volume by the spring of next
year. The way seems to be opening for increased facilities in sending a
botanical collector to the Rocky Mountains. Our government is about to
establish a line of military outposts quite up to the source of the
Platte, in the principal pass of the mountains; and in a few years I
doubt not we shall have small colonies in Oregon; but I know not when we
shall be able to send a collector. I would like vastly to go after
Grayia myself, but that cannot be at present. Nuttall has been giving a
course of botanical lectures in Boston; and still remains there, I
believe. My attempts to find Wilson’s poem have not yet been successful.
I shall esteem it a piece of good fortune if I succeed. I have engaged a
friend of mine, a bookseller, also to search for it; and when I visit
Philadelphia I shall inquire of some old people who knew Wilson. May God
bless you, my dear friend; kindest, regards and affectionate sympathies
to Lady Hooker.

Faithfully your attached,



NEW YORK, September 15, 1840.

MY DEAR FRIEND.... I had not forgotten our conversation on the subject
of geographical botany. On my return I found I had a copy, a mere proof,
of the little article I spoke of, and was about to offer it to you, but
on examination it appeared to me much less important than I had supposed
and perhaps led you to expect. But as it may be of some little use, I
now beg you to accept it. I have added, here and there, the scientific
names when the popular names only were mentioned.

The question you suggest as to the effect of the destruction of the
forests on the climate is very interesting, and I think still
unanswered. I fear it will be next to impossible to obtain data, even in
this country, for its satisfactory determination. There are very few
thermometrical observations on record of sufficient extent or exactness,
except for the last eight or ten years. For a year or two I shall not be
able to pay any attention to these subjects except to collect materials.
But I am very desirous to afford you any aid in my power, and will
attend to any suggestions you make, obtain any data which come in my
way, or secure the services of our botanical correspondents scattered
throughout our extended country. Pray tell me how I can aid you. The
annual reports of the regents of the University of the State of New York
are documents submitted annually to our legislature, and printed at
their expense for public use. They relate chiefly to the condition of
our colleges and higher schools, but for six or perhaps nine years past
have also embodied the results of the meteorological observations made
throughout the State under their instructions. The “Reports” are not on
sale, and the earlier numbers are not to be obtained except by some
lucky chance....

The 3d and 4th parts of our “Flora,” of which you speak so favorably,
were sent to you through Baron Delessert, as I have already apprised
you. By the time this work is completed we shall have settled somewhat
accurately the geographical range of our plants, and have laid a good
foundation for the comparison of our flora with that of other regions,
etc. We shall soon begin to print the “Compositæ,” and I trust in early
spring we may see the second volume nearly or quite completed. Pray send
me sometimes loose sheets of your articles or notices (those of your
father and yourself) in the “Bibliothèque Universelle.” I will sometimes
translate them, if you do not object, or otherwise notice them, for the
“American Journal of Science and Arts.”


NEW YORK, 15th January, 1841.

The dedication of the “Flora” we felt to be both a privilege and a duty;
its favorable reception on your part gives us real pleasure.

I hope I have not offended Link by overstating his age. I am pretty sure
I was so informed by Klotzsch who ought to know. You will now and then
see some little articles or notices of mine in “Silliman’s Journal.” I
prepare these notices merely to awaken and deepen the interest of our
scattered botanists and lovers of plants, most of whom see that journal,
and few of whom have any other means of knowing what is going on in the
botanical world. We have, however, a few promising fellows who take the
“Journal of Botany” or something of the kind. Should I have anything to
communicate of interest to any other than our local botanists, I shall
publish of course under my own name. You will receive with this a little
notice of some European herbaria, which, commonplace as it must be on
your side of the water, is useful to our own people. I have been as
brief as I could, and have taken the pains to drop the first person
singular. I am not sure but I have already sent you a copy through Mr.
Pamphlin. Poor Rafinesque,[123] you know, perhaps, is dead; and I have
attempted the somewhat ungracious task of giving some account of his
botanical writings, which I will send you when printed.

I find that Townsend, Nuttall’s companion, published, while I was
abroad, an account of their journey. I have never seen a copy, and am
told it is out of print; but I must try to find a copy for you. Townsend
being poor, Nuttall waived his intention of publishing in his favor. I
have heard that Townsend wishes to make a journey as collector of birds,
plants, etc. I wish he would go to the southern Rocky Mountains, and
trace them into New Spain. Nuttall has brought home the Grayia. Have you
ever received any more of Nuttall’s plants, or has Boott? He is selling
them to different persons for ten dollars per hundred; just such
specimens as you received through Boott, or sometimes much better and
more copious ones. I have some of his Compositæ in my hands, which Webb
has ordered. He has a considerable number of Oregon and Californian
Compositæ which Douglas did not get (and he failed to meet with many of
Douglas’s), and others in the States; as Pyrrocoma with rays. Nuttall
ought to send all these to you.... I know with considerable accuracy
what plants (Compositæ) are desiderata with you; and I will take the
liberty of writing at once to Nuttall, and asking for such in your name.
I shall ask for about one hundred Compositæ, and will extend the order
to other plants if you desire it. He has, however, distributed nothing
beyond Compositæ. Pray let me know at once if I have done rightly in

Among Drummond’s Louisiana plants is the rarest of all United States
Compositæ, Stokesia cyanea. It was pointed out to me by Arnott (January,
1839), but I have just examined Greene’s specimens.

A. G.

NEW YORK, 20th May, 1841.

I have diligently labored about four months at Aster, in which, as I
have after all not satisfied myself, I can scarcely hope to satisfy
others; but I do think I have laid a foundation for the student of the
species in their wild state. We had very copious materials, but could
have done little in comparison without the aid of your collection, for
which we cannot be too grateful. I am now occupied with Solidago, which
is difficult enough, no doubt but not to be compared with Aster in this
respect, partly because there are fewer species, and the synonymy much
less involved, but chiefly because there are few in cultivation.

We rejoice to hear that Joseph and the Antarctic Expedition are getting
on so well....

No further tidings of the steamship President! We have not until now
surrendered all hope. One of the passengers, a stranger to me, but an
acquaintance of a friend of mine, had charge of a small parcel for you,
consisting chiefly of proof sheets.

October 15, 1841.

I will send by the next London packet (Quebec) and write more at
leisure. I have to-day sent on board that ship a box for Pamphlin,
containing a parcel of plants for you (all of any consequence of my
small Carolina collection with some others). Few as they are, I trust it
will give me a pleasure I seldom can enjoy--that of adding something to
your herbarium. Mr. Brydges takes also for you the proofs of a gossiping
article on the botany of the southern Alleghanies, etc., which I have
taken the liberty to address to you, and hope it will meet your
approval. I shall send you clean copies, as soon as they are printed.
The article will not appear here until the 1st of January. I send you
also some ripe seeds of Diphylleia for your garden. I have live roots in
the care of a cultivator. If they live shall send you one in the

I must not forget to mention that my package also comprises a set of
Ohio Mosses from my friend Sullivant, of whom I have often spoken, and
of whom as a botanist we have high hopes, as he has an independence (for
this country), talent, and much zeal. If not too much trouble, I join
with him in requesting you to name them according to the numbers, by
which you will do him great service, as he designs to study and collect
American Musci especially.


NEW YORK, November 30, 1841.

DEAR DOCTOR,--Don’t hesitate about sending me anything for fear I may
already have it. Very many plants pass through my hands while I am
describing, but my own herbarium is not very rich; and duplicates will
not oppress me. Mr. Carey does not keep European plants except those
identical, or supposed identical, with North American species. Browne,
however, does, and I dare say would be glad to have any you can give
him. They are the gentlemen mentioned in the “Flora.” ...

Eupatorium Engelmannianum, sp. nov. Am. Bor., semina misit Engelmann.
Can this be it, think you? If so pray help me to it; and to anything
else you can, as I mean to give addenda et corrigenda to the Compositæ
at the end of the order, if I ever get through this formidable job. No
wonder seven years’ labor at them ruined De Candolle’s health. You know
he is dead? He died the 9th or 10th of September last....

I send you my article in the January number of “Silliman’s Journal” with
a little one by Sullivant,--by mail. I am extremely busy this winter,
but I hope always to answer your letters promptly, and to attend to your
desires as well as I can, whence I beg you to continue your useful

March 30, 1842.

It is not a great while since I got all the copy ready for the number of
the “Flora” now printing,--during which I could do little else.
Immediately this was done I completed an arrangement with my publishers
for preparing a handsomely got up Introduction or Text-Book of Botany,
for schools, lectures, private students (medical, etc.), which must be
out on the 1st of May next. Owing to illness I have as yet written
almost nothing, and besides have to superintend all the drawings, as
they must be made by a person unacquainted with botany; and at the same
time I have to correct the proofs of about thirteen sheets yet of the
“Flora,” so that I am almost distracted when I think how I am to
accomplish it here, where I have to see personally to almost every
detail. But I must do it, as I hope to lay the foundation for a popular
and--what is of consequence to me--a profitable work.


NEW YORK, 30th March, 1842.

The last steamship left Boston so soon after I received your kind letter
that I was unable to answer it by that conveyance. I intended to send
this by the Columbia steamer of the 2d prox.; but I learn that having
broken her shaft in the outward voyage she is to sail back to England;
when it comes to canvas I have more confidence in our old liners, and
therefore send by New York packet.

Have you not seen or heard of Nuttall yet? He sailed for England on
Christmas last, to take possession of property left him by some deceased

I should not feel a residence in Michigan as a banishment. I am fond of
a country life. But at present I see almost no hopes of usefulness
there. Like all our new, and some of our old States, they have
squandered the means they once possessed and encumbered themselves
almost irretrievably with debt. On my return from Europe in the autumn
of 1839, I received a letter stating that they had nothing yet for me
to do, and permitting me to spend the winter in New York. In the spring
of 1840, a committee of the regents wrote to me, to relinquish the
provisional salary (of fifteen hundred dollars, on which I had been
placed) for one year from that date, they relinquishing my services for
that period and allowing me to devote my time to the “Flora,” etc. I at
once accepted their proposal; but although another year has now elapsed
since the expiration of the period to which they proposed to limit this
agreement, not a word have I heard officially or unofficially from
Michigan. I have quietly awaited the result, ready at any moment to obey
their call; but having no income for the last two years, I have been
greatly embarrassed, and have struggled through great difficulties, I
scarcely know how. Notwithstanding, I have thought until recently that I
ought not to seek any other situation. I shall now write to Michigan
immediately, inquiring whether, in their present condition, they are
ready to fulfill their engagements with me, or whether they would prefer
to accept my resignation, which I shall offer. I expect, and on the
whole hope, they will accept it.

In December, or nearly the 1st of January last, a friend of mine here,
who had some casual conversation with the President of Harvard
University, wished me to let my name be known as a candidate for the
vacant chair of natural history there. After reflecting for a week or
two, I wrote to B. D. Greene[124] for some information on the subject,
saying that, if freed from other engagements, I would like the botanical
part of the professorship, but not the zoölogy: and that the former,
with the charge and the renovation of the Botanic Garden, would be quite
enough for one.

In January I made a flying visit to Boston, where I had never been, and
knew no one personally but Greene, to whom, and to Professor
Bigelow,[125] I expressed my views; but we none of us expected that
anything would be done at present. I incidentally learned, however, not
long since, that the men of science would generally be well pleased to
have me at Boston, and that some with whom I had almost no acquaintance
were using their influence to that end. I was never more surprised,
however, than this very evening, when I received from President Quincy
an official letter, offering me the professorship provisionally, with a
small salary, to be sure, for the present, but with only the duties of
the botanical portion.

The president states that the endowment is $30,000, yielding an income
of $1,500, which, however, not being adequate to constitute a full
professor’s salary on a permanent foundation, the corporation deem it
both their duty and the interest of the professorship to continue for a
few years, in a modified form, the policy they have hitherto pursued,
and by applying one third of the income annually to the augmentation of
the capital, enable themselves to place the professor of natural
history, at no distant period, on an equal footing with the other
professors of the university. “To this end they propose to limit your
duties, in case you are willing to accept the professorship, to
instruction and lecturing in botany, and to the superintendence
generally of the Botanic Garden (which they wish to renovate); limiting
for the present your annual salary to one thousand dollars;” thus
enabling me, as the communication proceeds to say, to devote all my time
at present to my favorite pursuit, and to go on with the labors I have
in hand. I have reason to hope, also, that by the time they are ready to
give me the full salary, the zoölogical part will be separated from the
professorship, with a distinct endowment. The Botanic Garden has an
endowment of $20,000. If I should take this place, I should hope to see
it better endowed before long, and should immediately set about the
introduction of all the hardy trees and shrubs,--and indeed to enrich it
as fast as possible with all the American and other plants that could be
procured. In that case, separated from yourself by only fourteen to
eighteen days’ navigation, I could hope to be a useful correspondent to
you at Kew, and to show my gratitude for your continued kindness to me.
I must here conclude, by stating that the president’s letter to me is to
be deemed confidential, in case I do not accept the offer. I must
therefore beg you to consider this letter likewise confidential, until
you hear further from me, which you may expect to do as soon as anything
is settled in regard to this matter. I am the less reluctant to leave
New York since our good friend Dr. Torrey is at Princeton, New Jersey
(only four hours from New York), renting his house in town, where for
the present he will only remain during the winter. We have worked so
long together that I shall feel the separation greatly.

NEW YORK, 30th May, 1842.

I have the pleasure to inform you that having accepted the offer from
Harvard University of which I apprised you in my letter of April 1, I
was appointed to the professorship on the 30th of April last. The
incessant occupation of this month has prevented me from writing to you
sooner, and still prevents me sending anything beyond this hasty note. I
hope in a week or so to have my new text-book finished, when I shall
visit Cambridge to make the necessary arrangements for my removal
thither. I hope hereafter to be a useful correspondent to you, in the
way of supplying you with seeds and living plants of our own country,
and when I see what can be done with our Garden I shall probably ask you
to aid us. I wish to visit the mountains of Carolina again, in autumn,
to procure roots and seeds....

       *       *       *       *       *

In the spring of 1842, as his last letter intimated, Dr. Gray was
appointed to the Fisher professorship of natural history in Harvard
College. He was then thirty-one years old. He removed to Cambridge in
July, taking lodgings near the colleges at Deacon Munroe’s, on what is
now James Street.

Before Dr. Gray came to Cambridge he had been elected into the American
Academy (November 10, 1841). He threw himself with the greatest interest
into its work. Scarcely any winter storm kept him from its meetings; all
other engagements had to give way. And when new life began in its
publications, many of his most important papers appeared in its volumes.

He was also influential in establishing a scientific club consisting of
members of the college faculty and

[Illustration: Portrait with A Gray (handwritten)]

other friends in Cambridge. Of this, too, he was a most faithful member.
The club met twice a month at the houses of the different members in
turn, and the one at whose house it met was expected to bring forward
some subject, generally from his specialty, which later was discussed
and criticised. Many of the new interests in science were here first
presented by Dr. Gray.

Among the founders and early members were, Charles Beck, Francis Bowen,
Admiral Davis, Epes S. Dixwell, Edward Everett, President Felton, Asa
Gray, Simon Greenleaf, Thaddeus Mason Harris, Joseph Lovering, Benjamin
Peirce, Josiah Quincy, Jared Sparks, Daniel Treadwell, James Walker,
Joseph E. Worcester, the lexicographer, and Morrill Wyman, M. D. Later,
among those no longer living, were added at different times Louis
Agassiz, Thomas Hill, Joel Parker, Emory Washburn, and Joseph Winlock.
The club is still in existence.


BOSTON, Monday, 25th July, 1842.

MY DEAR DOCTOR,--Having time before the mail closes to write a harried
letter, I hasten to let you know that I have this morning secured
lodgings at Cambridge, at a retired house, off the main road, about
halfway between the colleges and the Garden. For $3.00 per week, I have
two rooms, one pretty large, one moderate (of which I shall make a
bedroom), a small nearly dark bedroom which I shall shelve and use for
my herbarium, and three closets, furnished decently (but not
extravagantly!!), in a house where there can at most be only one other
lodger, and he must ascend by a different staircase from mine,--the
rooms and bed linen, etc., to be kept in order.

I am to board at an adjacent house, to which I have access by a private
gate through the garden. The latter house belongs to Mrs. Peck (widow of
my predecessor), who boards there, and who I see has bestirred herself
to contrive and effect this arrangement. I am to take possession next
Monday. Meanwhile I am Mr. Greene’s guest here, where I have the house
for the most part to myself. I arrived here Friday morning, just in time
to miss the president, who had just started for Portland, and has not
yet returned. I have seen Bigelow, Emerson,[126] etc., and have been
looking about among the libraries here, and endeavoring to arrange
matters so as to procure just, and only such, books for the college as
are wanting. I am pleased to find a complete copy of “Linnæa” at the
library of the American Academy.

I passed last Sunday all alone in Greene’s house. Mr. Emerson met me
coming from Park Street Church, and on telling him that I was of
Orthodox faith, he said he was very glad of it, although not altogether
of that way himself.

I have been only twice to Cambridge, whence I have just returned, and
where you may address your letters. But I can do little there until the
president returns, by which time, however, I must trust to have my list
of books ready. I have just written to Mr. Wiley to send on my boxes,
and hope next week to get nearly in working order. I now think of
remaining here (studying Compositæ, etc.) through the month of August,
and then visiting Mt. Washington, if I can get money and a companion (I
shall ask Oakes), and in September going (via New York?) to western New
York, where I wish to collect roots and seeds as extensively as may be.
I will soon make out a list of some things I would like Knieskern to get
for me in the pine barrens.

Tell E., also, that I must write her about a learned lady in these
parts, who assists her husband in his school, and who hears the boys’
recitations in Greek and geometry at the ironing-board, while she is
smoothing their shirts and jackets! reads German authors while she is
stirring her pudding, and has a Hebrew book before her, when knitting [?
netting--A. G.]. There’s nothing like down East for learned women. Why,
even the factory-girls at Lowell edit entirely a magazine, which an
excellent judge told me has many better-written articles than the “North
American Review.” Some of them, having fitted their brothers for college
at home, come to Lowell to earn money enough to send them through!!
Vivent les femmes. There will be no use for men in this region,
presently. Even my own occupation may soon be gone; for I am told that
Mrs. Ripley (the learned lady aforesaid) is the best botanist of the
country round. But the mail is about to close; this nasty steel pen
refuses to write; dinner is ready, and so with love to all, I subscribe

Yours most affectionately,


CAMBRIDGE, 30th July, 1842.

MY DEAR SIR WILLIAM,--It is indeed a long time since I have heard from
you; although, indeed, I can well suppose that, in your new
situation,[127] you are too much occupied to write frequently to your
friends on this side of the ocean. Having finished my little “Botanical
Text-Book” (a copy of which is sent you through the publishers, Wiley &
Putnam, who have an office in Stationer’s Court, Paternoster Row), and
packed up my things at New York, I have just taken possession of my
situation at Cambridge. The Botanic Garden, which has a good location,
contains over seven acres of land, and the trees have well grown up. It
already contains some good American plants, and I shall immediately
commence a plan of operations with the view of accumulating here, as
fast as possible, the phænogamous plants, etc., of the United States and
Canada; and hope to supply you with such of our indigenous species as
you may desire. I wish I could know what plants are likely to be
acceptable to you, that I may not send you what you already have. I must
postpone to next year my contemplated visit to the mountains of
Carolina, where I can make a fine collection of interesting plants for
cultivation. Perhaps I can also visit Labrador next year. This autumn I
must confine myself to an excursion to the White Mountains, to the
western part of New York, and to the pine barrens of New Jersey. I shall
most gladly share the seeds and roots I collect with you. My good friend
Mr. Sullivant, also promises me the living Sullivantia and many other
interesting plants.

Let me also say, my dear sir, that any duplicates you can spare us from
your noble institution will be truly acceptable and in the highest
degree useful to us, as we have very few exotics and hot-house plants.
We have a good gardener, and I think I can promise you that whatever you
choose to give us shall be sedulously taken care of.

Dr. Torrey is now at Princeton. I had the pleasure of spending a week
with him not long since, and hope to visit him again early in the
autumn. I shall miss him very much. I am here more favorably situated
with respect to books than at New York. I hope next week to begin again
with the “Flora,” and perhaps to finish the Monopetalæ.


CAMBRIDGE, 26th July, 1842.

MY DEAR DOCTOR,--I hope to get settled here, and in working order in a
week or so; to work at Compositæ, all next month, and to occupy a part
of September and October in collecting the roots and seeds of plants, of
the White Mountains, of western New York, etc., for our Botanic Garden
here; which I wish to renovate, to make creditable to the country and
subservient to the advancement of our favorite science. I wish to see
growing here all the hardy and half-hardy plants of the United States
(as well as many exotics, etc.), and shall exert myself strenuously for
their introduction. The Garden contains seven acres; the trees and
shrubs are well grown up; we are free from debt, and have a small fund.
The people and the corporation are anxious that we should do something,
and I trust will second our efforts.

Allow me therefore to say that yourself and your friend Lindheimer[128]
in Texas would render me, and also the cause of botany in this country,
the greatest aid (which I will take every opportunity of publicly
acknowledging), if you will send me roots or seeds of any Western
plants, especially the rarer, and those not yet figured or cultivated
abroad. But nothing peculiar to the West and South will come amiss. I am
calling on all my correspondents to assist me in this matter; which, by
giving me the opportunity of examining so many living plants, will
vastly increase the correctness of our “Flora.” I shall not be idle
myself. I will defray all expenses of collection and transportation
(boxes may be sent via New Orleans, directly to me at Boston). If you
wish to cultivate anything that I have or can procure, it shall be
forthcoming. Pray let me hear from you on this subject.


CAMBRIDGE, 15th September, 1842.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--Your letter of the 6th inst. awaited my return from the
White Mountains last evening, and I must drop you a hasty reply by this
day’s mail. I started for the mountains almost at a moment’s warning.
Emerson, who was to accompany me, being called down to Maine, wrote me
unexpectedly to meet him on Monday or Tuesday of last week at the Notch.
I had just time to look up Tuckerman,[129] the very morning of his
arrival! and to get his consent to meet me on Monday morning at the cars
for Dover. Monday evening we reached Conway, New Hampshire, thirty miles
from the White Mountains (full in sight); and Tuesday, in a one-horse
wagon, we reached and botanized up the Notch to Crawford’s at its head.
Emerson had been there, and returned to his father’s in Maine, having
learned his brother’s arrival from France in the ship that brought
Tuckerman. We made two ascents to the higher mountains; slept out one
night; cold weather; a good deal of rain, but had some very fine weather
for views. We saw the ocean distinctly, which is only possible under
favorable circumstances. I made a fine collection of living plants,
which was the chief object. Although too late for botanizing, yet I got
many good alpines in fruit, some few in flower. When I see you, which I
trust will be soon, I will tell you particulars, and bring specimens of
the few plants collected that will be needed in your herbarium.

I have seen the president this morning, and find that Mr. Lowell has
returned, but all are so busy that I doubt if they will settle anything
about our affairs until the last of next week. Consequently I shall be
kept here all next week. I shall immediately, at Mr. Quincy’s desire, or
rather approval of my intimation, draw up a plan of my wishes for the
management of the Garden, and shall ask for a specific appropriation, of
small amount, for obtaining live plants, paying bills of transportation,
etc. If I succeed, I may then be able to engage Knieskern to procure
some New Jersey plants, as well as go to western New York myself; but I
fear this delay, with the advancing season, will perhaps prevent the

Saturday afternoon, 5th December, 1842.

The parcel of Compositæ, etc., of the Far West has only just come in. I
have looked over the Compositæ with some excitement. Some few new and
the old help out Nuttall’s scraps, etc., very well. Tetradymias this
side of the Rocky Mountains!! Some new Senecios, especially, from the
mountains, near the snow line. How I would like to botanize up

I wish we had a collector to go with Frémont. It is a great chance. If
none are to be had, Lieutenant F. must be indoctrinated, and taught to
collect both dried specimens and seeds. Tell him he shall be
immortalized by having the 999th Senecio called S. Fremontii; that’s
_poz._, for he has at least two new ones....

I have the privilege of expending one hundred dollars in botanical
illustrations,--to be the property of the college and to be increased
from time to time. How do you advise me to proceed in the matter?

Though greatly behindhand, I must get Compositæ all done this month.
Then if you could have the Lobelias and Campanulas ready, I think we
could print the latter part of January, and I get everything off my mind
and ready for teaching 1st of March....

This letter you see has no beginning, as I have scribbled down memoranda
for a day or two past, as they occurred to me. I am deep among Thistles,
which are thorny (though I see that they are satisfactionable, all but
one little group of two or three species), and have been considerably
interrupted, or I should have written you sooner.


CAMBRIDGE, Wednesday evening, December 14, 1842.

It is some time since I have written to Princeton, and longer since I
have heard from any of you; for I believe you are every one in my debt.
This, however, has not restrained me from writing, and I have only
waited until a proposition very unexpectedly made me a few days ago
should be disposed of. I have been invited to lecture before the Lowell
Institute next year, and have had the hardihood to accept! A celebrated
lawyer here says that he never hesitates to take any case that offers,
to be argued six months hence! I have taken this in much the same way.
But when the time draws near I dare say I shall call myself a very great
fool. But it is now neck or nothing. The money will be really very
useful to me; to decline the offer, coming from one of the most
influential of the corporation of the college, would have had an
unfavorable effect on my prospects, which moderate success will greatly
advance. The pay is $1,000 for twelve lectures, or $1,200 if they are
repeated in the afternoons. Instead of the latter, I have proposed to
give a collateral, more scientific course of about twenty lectures, with
a small ticket-fee to render the audience more select, and for which I
should get about $500, making $1,500 in all. The Institute will pay for
full illustrations. Mr. Lowell offered at once to engage me for two or
three years; but I told him he had best wait to see how I succeeded. Mr.
Lowell told me that he was in treaty with two of the most distinguished
orthodox divines in this country for courses on Natural Theology and the
Evidences of Christianity; the one to commence next year, the other the
year after. I do not doubt one is President Wayland. Who can the other
be? Tell Dr. Torrey he hopes to get Faraday next year; and Mr. Owen the
year after.

I should not wonder if my appointment were in some degree owing to a
little piece of generosity in a small way that I played off not long
since. The president has once or twice asked me to hear the Freshmen
next term in a course of recitations from a text-book on general natural
history as a matter of favor, as he did not wish Mr. Harris or any one
else to perform this duty; and offering me, of course, additional
compensation, I suppose $200 or so. I found, however, that this pay
would come from the funds of the Garden, let who would perform the duty.
So to prevent that, I offered to perform the duty, but to receive no pay
for it. At the same time, however, I got the corporation to appropriate
$100 for illustrative botanical drawings, which otherwise would have
come out of my own pocket. So you see I have work enough ahead, if I
live, to give me both occupation and anxiety. I have been driving away
at the “Flora,” of late, very hard, hoping to come to New York to print
next month; when all this matter must be laid aside, and I must prepare
for my lectures, etc., for next term, which commences about the first of

I am very tired, having been in Boston all day,--at tea at Mr. Albro’s,
our good pastor, where I met Mr. Dana, father of “Two Years before the
Mast” Dana, and passed the rest of the evening at Professor
Peirce’s.[130] To-morrow I hope to have for study; but the next day I
shall be obliged to go again to Boston, and perhaps stay till evening
for a soirée at Mr. Ticknor’s.

The Latimer case has greatly increased the abolition feeling in this
State, besides showing that the recent decision of the Supreme Court
will in fact operate in favor of the runaway slave. It is not probable
that another slave will ever be again captured in Massachusetts. There
is a petition to Congress in circulation, designed simply to express the
feelings of Massachusetts, which will probably be signed by almost every
person in the State.


CAMBRIDGE, January 3, 1843.

Your letter, truly welcome after so long an interval, reached me
yesterday. I should have been very glad to be with you during the
holidays, but cannot think of leaving before I finish these interminable
Compositæ. I hoped to have accomplished this on Saturday last; all but
taking up some dropped stitches; but was a good deal interrupted last
week. The December number of “Annals and Magazine of Natural History”
(of which Professor Balfour is the botanical editor) contains a very
complimentary notice of the “Botanical Text-Book,” accompanied with a
few judicious selections, which shows that the writer has looked it over
carefully; and winds up by terming it the best elementary treatise (as
to structural botany) in the English language. So easy is it to get
praise where it is not particularly deserved!...

My great object for next year is to attempt to raise $10,000 from some
of our rich men, to rebuild our greenhouse on a larger and handsome
scale. There are a few men, who have never given anything to the
college, who may perhaps be induced to give for this object.


CAMBRIDGE, MASS., February 13, 1843.

I note with interest what you propose in regard to Lindheimer’s
collections for sale in Centuriæ, fall into your plans, and will
advertise in “Silliman’s Journal” (and in “London Journal of Botany”)
when all is arranged. Pray let him get roots and seeds for me. I will do
all I can for him. But if the Oregon bill passes, a party under
Lieutenant Frémont, or some one else, will go through the Rocky
Mountains to Oregon; and parties of emigrants or explorers will go also.
Now why not send Lindheimer in some of these? Probably the government
party would afford him protection, and probably he might be formally
attached to the party. Frémont will not take Geyer;[131] but I believe
he wants some one. The interesting region (the most so in the world) is
the high Rocky Mountains about the sources of the Platte, and thence
south. I will warrant ten dollars per hundred for every decent specimen.
If he collects in Texas, eight dollars per hundred is enough. I write in
haste, hoping this plan may strike you favorably and be found
practicable. Let me know at once. The opportunity should not be lost. Do
send Lindheimer to the Rocky Mountains if possible.


CAMBRIDGE, February 28, 1843.

I found your most welcome letter on my return from New York a few weeks
since, and have since sent it to Dr. Torrey, who was equally delighted
with myself at the opportunity of hearing from you.

Our term opens to-day, and I am just on the point of commencing my
course of botanical lectures, which is rather formidable to a beginner.
So you will excuse my hasty letter. I would not miss to-morrow’s
steamer, as I wish to say that your offer to furnish our Garden--the
great object of my care--with hardy plants from your rich stores at Kew
delights me much. I have only to say that everything you can send will
be truly welcome. Our stock of European hardy plants (whether herbs or
shrubs) is small, and consists of the commonest and oldest-fashioned
things in cultivation. These, and every Californian, Oregon, and Texan
plant of which you have duplicates to spare us (or seeds), whether hardy
or not,--these are the plants I am just now most desirous to accumulate.
Greenhouse plants are scarcely less welcome, but of those I will write
more particularly hereafter. Can you send us a young Araucaria imbricata
and Stuartia pentagyna?

My plans for accumulating American plants were put in operation too late
last autumn to give us much as yet, but my correspondents throughout the
country seem interested in the matter; some will reach me this spring,
and still more, I trust, in the autumn. With regard to all these, as
soon as I see them growing, so that I can send them with authentic
names, I shall most gladly share with you.... I shall continue to direct
all my energies to the advancement of our amiable science in this
country, not, I trust, in vain. I have a plan to publish, from time to
time, figures of rare or interesting North American plants, chiefly
those cultivated in our Garden and those upon which I may throw some
light. I think there are persons enough here interested in the matter,
including gentlemen of public spirit here, who would encourage it for
the Garden’s sake, to nearly defray the expense, which is all I desire
or expect....

What a charming place you must be making of Kew! What a field for the


Thursday evening, 2d March, 1843.

You will be anxious to hear how my first lecture succeeded, knowing it
was to have been given to-day.[132] But you must wait a week longer.
Since my last letter was dispatched the president, finding the class
would hardly be ready, desired me merely to meet them to-day for the
purpose of pointing out the subject in the “Text-Book,” arranging
general plan and all that, postponing my lecture to Thursday of next
week. This I was most ready to do, as it gave me the opportunity of
entering by degrees upon my task, feeling my way instead of making a
plunge in regular desperation. The great thing is self-possession. The
moment I get that I shall feel tolerably safe. So I met my class to-day,
arranged matters, and made a few remarks without stammering a bit, so
far as I recollect, or speaking much too fast. My class consists of
about two dozen students (undergraduates), mostly Seniors, besides which
any law or divinity students and resident graduates who choose can
attend, and several probably will. For my recitations in natural history
generally, I have divided the Freshmen into four sections, about sixteen
in each, two of which I meet on Fridays, and two on Tuesdays; have given
them their lessons, and to-morrow, consequently, I commence these
recitations. I must not forget to tell you that since my return the
Sunday-school class left by one of our people who has removed to Boston
has been given me, a class of eight or nine very intelligent misses,
varying from sixteen years old to twelve, all of one family, though
originally of three, some being sister’s children (orphans, etc.). I am
greatly pleased with them, delighted with their docility and
intelligence, and anticipate a very happy time. So you see I have three
sets of scholars, on different subjects. I ought to be “apt to teach.”

Saturday morning.--I must dispatch my letter by to-day’s mail, and as I
am going to Boston, where I have not been for a week, I will drop it in
the post office there, to insure its transmission by this afternoon’s
mail. Yesterday afternoon I met the first two sections of my class of
Freshmen for recitation. It went off very well. I am pretty good at
asking questions. The lads were well prepared. Next Tuesday I meet the
third and fourth sections; and on Thursday, the ides of March, I give my
first lecture on Botany. If I succeed well, I am sure no one will be
more pleased and gratified than yourself, and that of itself is enough
to incite me to effort. If I don’t altogether succeed, neither
satisfying myself nor others, I shall not be discouraged, but try again,
as I am determined to succeed in the long run. Nil desperandum. I shall
have the president to hear me; but he is said always to fall asleep on
such occasions, and to be very commendatory when he awakes.

I now board with the sister of my landlord, Deacon Munroe, a table of
only five, one professor, one tutor, and two advanced law students. We
yesterday commenced the experiment of dining at five o’clock, much to my
gratification, and if the other gentlemen like it as well as I do, we
shall continue to dine at that hour, until summer at least. It is very
cold here; though the sun shines brightly all day, it scarcely thaws at

CAMBRIDGE, March 18, 1843.

Your most welcome and long-expected letter of the 14th reached me only
this noon. This first day of leisure of this week has been a very busy
one. I have been to town, and just got back. I have had to work very
hard this week. I have got my course of recitations for the Freshmen on
Smellie well in progress, and am quite interested in it, though at first
I thought it would have been a great bore. The class are generally very
much interested, and give promise that I shall reap the fruits of my
labor when they become Sophomores or Seniors and attend the botanical
lectures, for which I think I am laying a foundation. I am now perfectly
at ease in my mode of teaching them; I am pretty good at questioning,
and I give them plenty of illustration, explanation, and ideas not in
the book, which pleases and interests them. In one of the divisions last
week, while giving them a sort of lecture, two hours long! (to which
they listened well; for I gave them, or those who chose, the opportunity
of going at the expiration of the regular hour, but not one of them
budged), turning my head at a fortunate moment, I caught one of the
fellows (rather a stupid fellow, a boarder with me last term) throwing
his cap to his companion or playing some trick. You know I can scold. So
I gave him about half a dozen words that made him open his eyes wide;
and I do not think that he, nor any of that division, will venture upon
anything of the kind again very soon.

As to the botanical class, which now numbers thirty-seven, I have given
two more lectures, for I lectured both Thursday and Friday, on the last
occasion, which was a sort of recapitulation quite without notes, as a
trial. I am convinced that for lectures with much illustration I must
have only heads and leading ideas written; for others, I will write
nearly in full. I saw Miss Lowell ... the day before my first lecture,
and promised to call upon her very soon if I succeeded well. Meeting her
the other evening at Professor Sparks’s, she reproved me for not keeping
my word. I very honestly and sincerely replied that I had not succeeded
well, and was waiting until I was better satisfied. Quite to my
surprise, I found that the class, at least those she had seen, her
great-nephew and others, were well pleased with it. I will not repeat
their expressions, as retailed to me by Miss Lowell, because I cannot
but suspect that young Lowell may have been trying to humbug her. I feel
I have so far acquitted myself very poorly as a lecturer; but I am
sustained by the firm conviction that I shall in the end do very well,
for a common college class.


May, 1843.

I have been speaking about the bones of the Zygodon, and there is a
disposition to get up a subscription in the Natural History Society and
buy them, if still for sale, the price not too great, and if Dr. Wyman,
on seeing them, recommends the purchase. Do you know the price? And
whether they can still be seen in New York, at Carey’s storehouse? The
Boston zoölogists are far from praising De Kay’s Report. I heard
Silliman on electro-magnetism the other evening (which hardly belongs to
chemistry): great show of experiments; lauded Henry finely. He is
finishing off with galvanic deflagration. Will Frémont go west this
year? So Mr. Carey is going to Buffalo. Occupation will be the best
thing for him; but we shall miss him in New York....

Monday afternoon, 9th May.

I have a few of Frémont’s plants up from seeds. The two pine-trees and
the Pyxidanthera were received in good condition, to my great
wonderment. Pyxidanthera is in full bloom, and a drawing of it nearly
finished (as well as of Oakesia, about which I have some new matters
that are curious) by the eldest Miss Quincy, whom I have pressed into
the service....

Rhododendron Lapponicum, from the White Mountains, is just bursting into
flower. I am building rock-work, but we get on slowly. All the work of
the Garden comes together this spring, and all in a heap.


CAMBRIDGE, 30th May, 1843.

... The community here are very liberal and public-spirited. They have
just given by subscription $25,000 for a telescope, etc., for our
observatory. The college have given me the use of seven or eight acres
of land lying around the observatory, finely situated and diagonally
opposite the Botanic Garden, as an addition.[133]

As soon as our garden begins to increase and prosper, I hope in a year
from this we shall attempt (and doubtless succeed) in raising the funds
for a new conservatory, hot-house, etc.


CAMBRIDGE, 22d June, 1843.

When you get sufficient collections from any of these botanists for
distribution, you will please forward me a set, with your own critical
remarks. Although I excessively dislike to study special collections far
ahead of my work, yet in these cases it will be important, and I will
consent to do it. If I thus join in the responsibility and labor, which
will be great to a person with his hands so full as mine, the articles
written on the subject and the new species must bear our joint names.

You cannot have failed to perceive that the genus Astragalus is not well
done in the “Flora.” ...

I agree with you generally in the impropriety of too much multiplying
names of species after the collectors, etc., yet I think these are good
names, easily remembered, and particularly advisable in very large
genera. My practical rule is to name such species after the discoverer,
etc., if I cannot find any really pertinent characteristic name

There is much to be done, and so little time that I often wish I could
divide myself into a dozen men, and thus get on faster. Let us, however,
take particular pains to do everything thoroughly as far as we go.


CAMBRIDGE, July 22, 1843.

I find Cambridge, in vacation, as quiet as possible,--most people away.
The president’s family were at home, and unaffectedly glad to see me;
but several of them, including Miss Susan, who makes drawings for me,
are about to set out on Monday for Lake Champlain, Montreal, and Quebec;
to be absent nearly to the time that I hope to leave here again; for I
find, from the way the president takes it up, that I shall have no
difficulty in obtaining the sanction of the corporation to my proposed
mountain tour. But of that I shall know certainly in a day or two. In
that case I shall hope to see you again in the latter part of August,
perhaps as soon as the middle....

Dr.---- came here the day I returned. He still garnishes, as ever, his
lack of ideas with a deliberate profundity of words.

I found on my return a letter from my brother, announcing the
approaching marriage of my youngest sister; which event took place, I
suppose, on the 20th inst., the day I left New York. Had I received the
letter in New York, I should have arranged to be present on the
occasion. I wonder if my turn will ever come!


CAMBRIDGE, 11th August, 1843.

I leave home this afternoon for New York, on my way to the Alleghany
Mountains in the north of Virginia, where I expect to meet my excellent
friend Mr. Sullivant, of Ohio. We hope to trace the more westerly ranges
of the mountains down to North Carolina and Tennessee, to revisit my old
ground in Ashe County, etc., and to continue our journey farther south
into Georgia, coming out at Augusta on the Savannah River; thence I may
go to Charleston and return by water. But if time allows I shall perhaps
run through upper Georgia and Alabama, to the Tennessee River, down that
to the Ohio, and thence home. My chief object is to obtain live plants
and seeds; we shall be too late in the season for the best botanizing,
yet I think we shall be in the best time for Compositæ. Mr. Sullivant
will turn his attention primarily to the Musci; but we shall let nothing
escape. Thus at last I may hope to be somewhat useful to you as a
correspondent for your Garden.

I learn within a few days that Ross’s expedition has been heard of from
Rio. Doubtless Joseph will have reached home before this letter arrives,
and I may congratulate him--and yourself--upon his most gratifying
success, which has laid a broad and sure foundation for his scientific
eminence. His Flora Antarctica must be of the very highest interest and


ASHEVILLE, Saturday, September 30th, 1843.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--Your two letters which awaited my arrival--the one at
Jefferson, the other at Asheville--were indeed refreshing. Our long
journey through Virginia brought us behind our estimated time, and
hurried the later and more interesting part of our operations; for
Sullivant was getting very impatient, as I wrote in my last, just as we
were hurrying away from Jefferson.

I doubt if I got anything of much interest in Virginia, except Buckley’s
(and Nuttall’s) Andromeda, Rhamnus parvifolius on the waters of
Green-brier, (where did Pursh get it?), Heuchera pubescens in fruit and
Heuehera hispida Pursh!! out of flower and fruit, so that I detected it
by the leaves only (and got good roots), not far from where Pursh
discovered it, but more west, on the frontiers of a range of mountains
where this very local species doubtless abounds.

From Jefferson went to Grandfather; had a fine time and good weather;
explored the old fellow thoroughly, but found 140 new Phænogams.
Sullivant made a great haul of Mosses and Jungermanniæ. Found the Moodys
heartily glad to see us. The elder brother is married since our former
visit. Miss Nancy delighted with the calico dress I brought her, and
made me promise to ask some of my lady friends at home to cut out a
pattern for her in newspaper and send by mail,--to be in tiptop
style,--in the very height of the fashion! Poor Miss Nancy! How she
would look! The “old gentleman” (Mr. Carey) was most affectionately
inquired after. Indeed Miss Nancy is perfectly in love with him, and
sacredly keeps the sperm-candle-end he gave her as a relic. She gave me
a most amusing account of the wonderment which our visit caused. To it
she attributes the advantages they now enjoy both for religious and
secular instruction. For we found a young Episcopal clergyman, sent by
the bishop, resident in the neighborhood, where he has spent already
almost a year,--a perfect hermit, so far as civilized society goes. Yet
he is busily occupied, and nearly contented, has built a little cabin in
full view of the Gothic Grandfather, and I hope is doing much good. He
accompanied us to the mountain, but did not remain over night in our
encampment, having a distant service on Saturday. His name is Prout.
Mrs. Torrey will remember something about his history, which will in
part account for his willingness to spend a few years in this solitary
region. I had hoped to hear him preach on the Sunday we passed at the
Moodys’ on our return from the mountain; but he preached at a station
ten miles off.


       *       *       *       *       *

In one of his later mountain journeys Dr. Gray passed again through Val
Crucis in June, 1879; and the following extract from Mrs. Gray’s journal
gives the sad fate of the little mission colony.

“In the afternoon we came upon Val Crucis.... It seems, years ago (in
1841) when Dr. Gray, Mr. John Carey, and others came exploring in the
mountains, Mr. Carey was laid up for a while in a farm-house, and
talking with the good people found them woefully ignorant, especially of
everything relating to Christianity. So when he went back to New York he
corresponded with the Southern bishop, who bestirred himself, and a
mission was sent into the mountains. They settled at Val Crucis, and so
named it. It was in the early days of Ritualism, and the young men
thought to found something like the early monastic settlements in
England, and as it seemed to the ignorant people, played strange pranks
and preached wonderful and incomprehensible doctrines which puzzled and
bewildered them; then Bishop Ives went over to the Catholic Church, and
it all died out; and here is the church (the rude timber church), with
still a few members, but all the farms and settlements passed into other
hands--as far as I could make out into the hands of a rich old man, who
lives anything but a holy life, and whose boarding-house for the
saw-mill hands in Val Crucis is an awful degradation! I saw at the
Duggers a large old Bible, and on it printed ‘Society of the Holy Cross,
Val Crucis,’ which the children were using to paste stories and pictures

       *       *       *       *       *

The journal continues:--

Monday and Tuesday.--Crossed the Blue Ridge, descended John’s River,
and went to near the base of Table Mountain. Wednesday, ascended it. Was
fortunate enough to get Hudsonia montana, specimens and roots; also a
few roots of Thermopsis fraxinifolia. While digging one of these near
the base of the mountain, struck upon a little clump of Schweinitzia,
half buried in the leaves, five or six specimens; but a long hunt
furnished no more.

Thursday, crossed Linville River in sight of the North Cove (Michaux’s
old residence) and went to Carson’s on the Catawba. We lost a shoe from
our black horse while descending the Blue Ridge, and he wore his hoof so
as to lame him severely. Obliged to leave him at Carson’s (as we could
not exchange him to advantage) and hire another horse to take his place
for a week. Crossed the Swananoa gap; got fine near view of Black
Mountain; passed the night not far from its base (twelve miles from
Asheville). Should have ascended, but could not do it so as to get back
Saturday night to any place to stay, and longed to spend one Sunday in a
civilized place where we could attend public worship. So went on to
Asheville to dinner; passed Saturday afternoon in taking care of our
plants. Heard very good preaching at the Methodist church on Sunday.
Monday set out down the French Broad. Tuesday reached the Warm Springs;
got a luxurious bath. Rode the afternoon through the rain to Paint Rock,
etc.; stayed the night in Tennessee below. Got Buckleya in fruit, and
other things I can’t now specify. Wednesday, dug up Buckleyas, etc. Left
Mr. Sullivant at Warm Springs, who, not being able to bear the absence
from his wife and children longer, has left me alone with the team, and
is by this time more than halfway to Columbus. Thursday, returned to
Asheville. Friday, packed a fine box of roots, with which my wagon was
loaded. Sent for my black horse. Saturday, bad weather; but made a
little excursion on horseback, got roots of Arum quinatum, which, by the
way, often has the lateral leaflets not at all incised, and then (in
fruit) looks just like A. Virginicum. Buckley is often inquired after
here, and seems to have been quite a favorite. He might have enlivened
his journal had he informed us therein that he visited both Black and
Bald Mountains with a merry company of ladies, and camped out on the
summit! But the sly fellow kept all this to himself.

I begin to be in a hurry; but have yet much to do, and find it rather
lonely. Monday and Tuesday I intend to devote to Hickory-Nut Gap,
twenty-eight miles and back. Then visit Black, if I meddle with this
mountain at all. Then, taking final leave of Asheville, go into the
mountains near the head of French Broad, take up my quarters with a
well-known hunter, try to reach Pilot and other high mountains which
Buckley failed in reaching, and which have never been visited by a
botanist, unless by Rugel;[134] thence to Table Rock, South Carolina,
and by a roundabout way to Franklin, Macon County, Tolula Falls, and
Clarksville, Georgia, where I shall try to sell out my horses and wagon,
and take stage for Athens, where I am in the way to come by steam all
the way to Princeton, via Augusta and Charleston, which bid fair to be
healthy enough to warrant my passing through them without rashness.

It will be the 20th October ere I can hope to take you by the hand.
Truly welcome are the newspapers you have kindly sent; but I hope for
more by the next mail, for I have none later than the middle of

I never have been so hurried, and had so little time to write, but shall
have the more to tell when I reach you, if it please Providence. Excuse
chirography also, for pen and ink are wretched and my hands sore.

Aster Curtisii abounds and is very showy. A. Elliottii takes here the
place of A. puniceus. I have found A. mirabilis.

Love to all, most warmly. Don’t fail to mention me to dear Herbert.

Monday morning.--Off for Hickory-Nut Gap, where the scenery is said to
be very grand, and the botanizing good. I am to get there Asplenium
pinnatifidum, Stuartia pentagyna, and Parnassia asarifolia. Hard work,
yet pleasant with a companion. I wish you could be with me.

Very pleasant Sunday service in the Presbyterian church here.


CAMBRIDGE, November 4, 1843.

I have been absent in the mountains of Virginia and Carolina--after live
plants--from 11th August to yesterday; which will be my excuse for not
replying to your letter of September 15th. I hope in the mean time you
have found some way to send the roots you proposed. There are now
connected express lines all the way through. L. & P. Franciscus &
Company, No. 90 North Main St., St. Louis, are the agents of Brown &
Company Express, Philadelphia; this connects with Harnden’s Express to
Boston, the speediest and cheapest method of sending when the package or
box is not large, and speed is desirable....

Gaura Lindheimeri is a very fine plant, and flowered fully three months
in our Garden. I am having a drawing--hoping to publish it sometime. I
want more seeds of Œnothera rhombipetala. Ours flowered while I was
away, and was killed by the frost, so that I secured no drawing. Send me
all the seeds you can.

Inquire about the express to the East. We must somehow have the means of
a more speedy and regular communication of parcels.

I found what I believe is your Lepidanche adpressa at Harper’s Ferry,
Virginia. Also some others in the mountains, which, with a few other
plants, I will send to you by express soon....

You know I am obliged now to prepare for a terrible course of public
lectures, to commence in February, so that I cannot work at the “Flora”
until spring. But I will find time to study and revise any sets of
Lindheimer’s, Geyer’s, and Lüder’s plants you send....

As to my paper on Ceratophyllaceæ, I have long since wished it
unpublished, as it contains mistaken views. So I do not care to
distribute it.

February 2, 1844.

I have saved Gaura Lindheimeri by cuttings put in pots last autumn. We
shall have it in flower early in the spring, and then shall exhibit it
at the Horticultural Society’s rooms in Boston.


CAMBRIDGE, November 18, 1843.

MY DEAR FATHER,--The return of my birthday brings to mind, among other
shortcomings, that I have neglected to write home since my return. I
have been very busy, of course, since the 3d of the month, when I
reached Cambridge, in answering the heap of letters that had
accumulated, and in other business. And I have but just found time to
commence the preparation of my course of lectures before the Lowell
Institute, which is to commence on the 27th of February, and which will
give me plenty of labor and anxiety until they are over....

I have laid in a good stock of health and strength for the labors of the
winter--which I am like to need, for I have a great deal to do. Another
year, if our lives are spared, I trust you will make me a visit here. I
have just given notice that I shall wish to take possession of the
Botanic Garden house (now rented to one of the professors) next autumn,
where, if I can get a room or two furnished, I shall have a place to
entertain you. Affectionate regards to mother and all the family.


CAMBRIDGE, February 17.

My time of trial draws near. A week from Tuesday I begin. There has been
a pretty brisk application for tickets. But I have yet very much to do.
My two last lectures are not even blocked out upon paper. Many pictures
are yet to be made, and I shall have a busy time indeed until they are
all delivered. The end will be deliverance indeed. Yet strange as it may
seem, my spirits are rather on the rise; though I will not answer for
them for ten days longer.

I have written an introductory which, with a few more touches, I shall
be satisfied with. And some of my lectures which have least
illustrations--such as that on food and nutrition--are pretty carefully
written out. I have contrived a diagram illustrating the cycle of
relations of three kingdoms, which I think is capital (as it is quite
original), and which I long to show you. If I had three mouths more, I
am convinced I could put my materials into the form of a capital course
of lectures.

Zuccarini wrote me a year ago--when he sent the Japanese plants that we
looked over together--that the Japanese species utterly confounded the
difference between Rhododendron and Azalea; decandrous species having
deciduous leaves, etc. If they must come together (and De Candolle seems
doubtful) it would be a pity you did not follow that plan, as you early
adopted it.

Then after all, in such case, are the Azaleas, as they will ever be
called in cultivation, to make the section Azalea, or is A. procumbens
to take that name?...

I wish you could see my Lowell anatomical illustrations. The pity is,
that I shall hardly use them in this course, now that my introductory
lecture only brings me down to them. (but I shall have them spread to
look at), and I can only give to the subject about twenty minutes of my
second lecture.

But it is very late indeed. Adieu.

Yours cordially,

March 1, 1844.

Well, you have heard what I had to say about my introductory lecture. I
was satisfied. I said plainly what I intended to say and delivered it
not very well indeed, but well enough to satisfy me that I could do well
with practice. This evening I have made a second trial, and a more
trying one by far. I have a cold and am a little hoarse, which was a
good thing, for as to voice I filled the house. As I was full of
illustrations, quite as much as would cover the whole side of a barn, I
determined to try the experiment of lecturing by the general guidance of
my notes only (which indeed were but partly written out). So with the
long pole in hand to point at the pictures I set at work, and talked
away for an hour and ten minutes.

I felt like a person who can hardly swim, thrown into the river, fairly
in for it, and had to kick and strike to keep my head above water. The
results are these. I was by no means satisfied, and thought I had made
almost a failure. I left out many important points, I repeated myself a
little now and then, and,--the usual result of extemporizing,--I did not
get through, but was obliged to break off in the midst of the best of
it. But, in spite of some difficulties of expression, and bad sentences,
the whole was probably more spirited in appearance than if I had
followed my notes. And the audience generally seemed more moved by it
than by the first.

I consider it thus far successful; that under unfavorable circumstances,
for I had no time to look over my notes beforehand, I made a desperate
lunge, and yet avoided a real failure. It will place me so much at ease
that I can hereafter, with or without notes, look fairly at my audience
without wincing. So I shall do better hereafter....

I send you my notes (on Vacciniums) as far as written before I left for
the South last summer; and with all Boott’s memoranda as material. It
would be crazy for me now to attempt to make any memoranda, or even to
make the corrections that the new data require. Conclusions formed in
hurly-burly are good for nothing; and I cannot, and must not, think of
anything but my task. The two last of my lectures are not even arranged


CAMBRIDGE, 1st March, 1844.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I was very much gratified at receiving your kind letter
of January 16; and I was quite startled at the lapse of time, I assure
you, when you reminded me that five years had elapsed since we were
running about the streets of London together. Since that time you have
seen the world, indeed, or some very out-of-the-way parts of it; and you
now stand in a perfectly unrivaled position as a botanist, as to
advantages, etc., with the finest collections and libraries of the world
within your reach; and if you do not accomplish something worth the
while, you ought not to bear the name of Hooker.

I thank you most cordially for all the news you kindly give me
respecting the family, and wish to return my best thanks for being
remembered to one and all. Your good old grandfather holds out so well
that really I sometimes think I may yet take him again by the hand; for
I long to make another visit to England. Perhaps I may in two or three
years. But I hope ere that to see you here, where you may depend upon a
most hearty reception; and the Greenes (who send remembrances) join me
strenuously in begging you will make us a visit. After Sir William and
Lady Hooker (seniores priores), whom we cannot expect to see under
present circumstances, there is nobody in England I could so much wish
to see as yourself.

Had I time, I should fill this sheet with gossip about my occupations,
plans, and prospects. Of these hereafter, for I hope our correspondence
will not end here. But I am now exceedingly pressed for time, having
just commenced my course of public lectures in Boston on physiological
botany. Indeed I have the second lecture to give this evening, and much
preparation yet to make for it. But I must tell you that in August next
I am to take possession of the house which belongs to our little Botanic
Garden,--a quiet pleasant place, where I am to set up a bachelor
establishment, have room enough for my herbarium, which I shall arrange
à la Hooker, and a bed and a plate for a friend. So, if you wish to take
an autumnal excursion, step on board the steamer and so drop in upon me
some morning, where you may depend upon--in a humble way--as cordial a
reception as I once received in Scotland.

Sullivant, who is a good, spirited fellow, is delighted at the thought
of receiving a set of your cryptogamic collections. As to your generous
proposal to send another to some public collection in this country, we
will see. I will write something about it in due time.


CAMBRIDGE, 25th March, [1844].

I think I should be an unhappy, discontented, unthankful person not to
be gratified with the success of my lectures. But it is not likely to
turn my head. Everything proceeds quietly and soberly. I purposely
directed no tickets to be sent to a paper that often reports lectures,
as I did not wish it done. There has not been a line in the papers about
the matter, except the very considerate notice about the beginning,
which I sent you. My last week’s lectures are called much the best. The
first, on the anatomy and physiology of leaves, and exhalation and its
consequences, occupied an hour and twenty minutes. My last, on food of
plants, vegetable digestion, and the relations of plants to mineral and
animal kingdoms,--in which I did my very best, and which required and
secured the most intense attention on the part of the audience for a
hundred minutes,--was received with an intelligent enthusiasm which did
the audience credit. For it would be mere affectation for me to pretend
not to know--as I well do--that it is one of the best scientific
lectures that have ever been delivered in Boston. I have none left to
compare with it. I have only four more to give, during which I dare say
the interest will fall off; which will not disappoint or mortify me.
From your truly kind remarks and warnings I suppose you look upon my
success in this undertaking as extremely hazardous to my best interests.
Now this duty came to me unsolicited and unexpected. I accepted it
because I thought it was my duty to do so. Then I was of course bound to
make every consistent effort to insure success. While viewing it at a
distance, I felt much anxiety. But before I commenced, this entirely
disappeared, and I have gone on just as coolly as you might do with your
chemical course. I am thankful that (owing chiefly to the nature and
novelty of the subject) I have done my work creditably. The little éclat
which attends it, I am not so foolish as to care anything for, pro or
con. It is entirely ephemeral. It may gratify my friends; but it does me
no good, and I trust no harm. The general result may benefit the science
of this part of the country. It will probably tend to advance my
interests, as I certainly wish it may, the object of my ambition being
high and honorable, as well as moderate....

Though I feel that I often--always--fail to do my whole duty, yet I do
not feel, nor believe, that a perfectly consistent Christian course
would expose me to persecution; nor that obloquy is a test of Christian
character. These are to be borne like other evils, when they are
incurred in the course of one’s duty; but surely they are not to be
sought, nor viewed as a test. Under the circumstances under which we are
placed, would our unexpectedly meeting with obloquy be any test to us
that we were doing right? Would it not lead us to suspect we had been at
least unwise? Such men as Payson or Edwards, though they may often have
been pitied, I suspect, were never persecuted. But, while I think you
take a one-sided view and assume, an unscriptural test, in your own
case, I thank you most sincerely for your kind admonition to me, and
will try to profit by it. My sheet is fairly full.

I need not say how delighted I should be to see you here; but you must
not come till the spring has fairly commenced, at least. The weather is
excessively unpleasant, the roads almost impassable; it snows every
three or four days, and not a speck of green is yet to be seen. A month
later it will be comfortable here. I fear I shall not have a place to
receive you before autumn, as a house is yet to be built for Dr. Walker.
But I should still like to have a visit from you in the course of the

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray was always deeply interested in the religious thought of the
day; reticent in regard to his own religious feelings and sensitive
about any exhibition of them, he was ready at any time to discuss
problems of theology and ecclesiasticism. His temper was naturally
conservative, and he held by the habits of thought which had been early
formed; but he was open to conviction, and by the process of his own
thought broke through narrow bounds and rejoiced in all true progress in
religion, both for himself and others. In the matter of scriptural
authority, for example, he was in accord with Soame Jenyns, taking the
ground quoted here:

“The Scriptures,” says that writer, in his “Internal Evidences of
Christianity,” “are not revelations from God, but the history of them.
The revelations themselves are derived from God, but the history of them
is the production of man. If the records of this revelation are supposed
to be the revelation itself, the least defect discovered in them must be
fatal to the whole. What has led many to overlook this distinction is
that common phrase that the Scriptures are the Word of God; and in one
sense they certainly are; that is, they are the sacred repository of all
the revelations, dispensations, promises, and precepts which God has
vouchsafed to communicate to mankind; but by this expression we are not
to understand that every part of this voluminous collection of
historical, poetical, prophetical, theological, and moral writing which
we call the Bible was dictated by the immediate influence of Divine

He held this ground strongly when the general view of the Bible was
narrower than of late years. As the years went on he grew broader and
sweeter, feeling wider sympathy with all true, devout religious belief.

He was a constant church-goer, everywhere. When traveling he always made
Sunday a resting-day if possible, and would go quietly off in the
morning to find some place of service, in English if he could. He
enjoyed the Episcopal service, though early habit and training had made
him a Presbyterian; but, as he wrote in an early letter, “In fact I have
no more fondness for high Calvinistic theology than for German
neology.... But I have no penchant for melancholy, sober as I sometimes
look, but turn always, like the leaves, my face to the sun.”

He was a teacher in Sunday-schools in New York (the lady with whom he
boarded has still a lively remembrance of his enthusiastic study of
German that he might teach his class of German boys better), and also in
his early years of Cambridge life, until the heavy load of work he was
carrying made the Sunday more imperative as a day of rest. It was his
rule to rest on Sunday. Rest for him was change of intellectual
occupation, and he read all of the day he was not out at church; more
especially on the philosophical questions, whether general or
scientific, which next to botany were his chief interest. Books on these
subjects were the few he bought outside of works on botany; as he said,
he could only afford botanical books and had no money or room for
general literature. He read the leading magazines, and occasionally
biographies and travels, and if he had friends staying with him, Sunday
was the day for talk and discussion. A friend writes such a lively
reminiscence of one of these Sunday discussions, on a stormy winter day
which shut all in the house, that it seems worth giving as a vivid
description of him.

“Dr. Gray is more associated with the study and the room next it, but I
recall him there (in the parlor) also, especially in the visit of which
you wrote, made when Mr. John Carey was with you. He and the doctor
held one Sunday a long discussion on the Ten Commandments as binding
upon Christians. Mr. Carey argued that their only claim upon our
obedience consisted in their having been re-ordained (indorsed as it
were) by the church,--whether that meant the Holy Catholic or simply the
Anglican Church was not decided, as I remember. Dr. Gray combated this
extreme church view warmly and cleverly. Both were pugnacious amiably,
as in their botanical fights. Both were excited, and the doctor showed
his excitement in his characteristically self-forgetful way, by moving
or jumping nervously about the room, sitting on the floor, lying down
flat, but laughing and sending sparks out of his eyes, and plying his
arguments and making his witty thrusts all the while. I enjoyed it very
much, scarcely observing the odd positions any more than the doctor did.
I had seen him so conduct himself before.”

It may be added to this that Dr. Gray was noticeable throughout his life
for his alertness. In the street he was usually on a half run, for he
never allowed himself quite time enough to reach his destination
leisurely. When traveling by coach and climbing a hill he would
sometimes alarm his fellow-travellers by suddenly disappearing through a
window in his eagerness to secure some plant he had spied; his haste
would not suffer him to open a door. As his motions were quick, so that
he seemed always ready for a spring, so he found instant relaxation by
throwing himself flat on the floor when tired, to rest, like a child.

His physical characteristics expressed something of his mental
qualities. He was quick and impetuous in temper, but his excitement was
short-lived, and his prevailing spirit was one of apparently
inexhaustible good-nature. He was the cheeriest of household
companions; rarely was he depressed, only indeed when greatly fagged
with some tremendous pressure of work or some worrying trouble difficult
to settle; he was exceedingly hopeful, and always carried with him a
happy assurance that everything was going on well in his absence;
withal, he was fearless in all adventure, never willing to allow there
had been any danger when it had passed! He was fond of arguing, but no
partisan, so that however earnest and dogmatic be might seem, the moment
the discussion was over there was no trace of bitterness or vexation
left. He was a clear and close reasoner himself, and thus impatient of
defective reasoning or a confused statement in others. He was quick,
too, in turning his opponents’ weapons against them; sometimes he would
escape from a dilemma in a merry, plausible form, but in serious
argument he always insisted upon downright sincerity.


April 1, 1844.

I finish my course of Lowell lectures this week, which have succeeded
beyond my most sanguine expectations. I have restricted myself to
physiological botany only,--taken up only great leading views,--used
very large paintings for illustrations, six to eight feet high, which
the great size of the room required, and then have given to sound
scientific views a general popular interest.


CAMBRIDGE, May 24, 1844.

I have been using Dr. Wyman’s microscope of late, and it works well. By
the way, I have been studying fertilization a little, and have got out
pollen-tubes of great length; have followed them down the style, have
seen them in the cavity of the ovary, and close to the orifice of the

My first views were in Asarum Canadense and A. arifolium, where I can
very well see the pollen-tubes with even my three-line doublet! I have
seen them finely in Menyanthes; and in the ovary in Chelidonium!

I am lecturing[135] in a popular and general way entirely on
physiological botany, and offering no encouragement to any to pursue
systematic botany this year. My great point is to make physiological
botany appear as it should be,--the principal branch in general
education. Next year I hope to take up the other branch.

I am using the Lowell illustrations (though too large for my room), and
am having no additional ones made for the college. For simple things I
depend much upon the blackboard. I have given two lectures on the
longevity of trees, and have a third yet to give, or at least half of

The plants from the mountains have some done well, others poorly.
Buckleyas had a hard time of it. Many are dead; none I think will flower
this season, as they only put out from the root. Diphylleia, Saxifraga
Careyana, a new one like it, also S. erosa, etc., are now in flower.
Astilbe is in bud, also Vaccinium ursinum. One Carex Fraseri flowered.
Hamiltonia only starts from the root.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1844, finding he needed more room for his rapidly increasing
herbarium, Dr. Gray applied for the use of the Botanic Garden house,
which since the death of Dr. Peck had been occupied for a while as a
boarding-house, and later by Dr. and Mrs. Walker. He moved into it in
September, and there remained until the end of his life. He had a great
attachment for the house, as the only one in which he had resided for
any length of time; and it saw the gradual growth of his herbarium,
needing before many years the addition of a wing to give more room,
until, having overrun all possible places for its accommodation, it was
removed in 1864 into the fireproof building which now holds it.

The garden was laid out by Dr. Peck in 1808, and the house built for him
was finished in 1810. Mr. Nuttall, the botanist and ornithologist, who
boarded in it while giving instruction in botany, left some curious
traces behind him. He was very shy of intercourse with his fellows, and
having for his study the southeast room, and the one above for his
bedroom, put in a trap-door in the floor of an upper connecting closet,
and so by a ladder could pass between his rooms without the chance of
being met in the passage or on the stairs. A flap hinged and buttoned in
the door between the lower closet and the kitchen allowed his meals to
be set in on a tray without the chance of his being seen. A window he
cut down into an outer door, and with a small gate in the board fence
surrounding the garden, of which he alone had the key, he could pass in
and out safe from encountering any human being.

The garden, though small, was planned with much skill, and when Dr. Gray
first lived on the place was much more filled up in the centre with
trees and shrubs, so that since one was unable to see from one path to
another, it seemed much larger than when more open. Dr. Peck, who had
visited Europe and learned much of botanical gardens there, when
complimented on his success in laying it out, said that “he felt he had
been at work on a pocket-handkerchief!” Dr. Gray, as his letters show,
fell earnestly at work to restock the garden, and from his various
journeys, his correspondents, and the many seeds and roots which were
coming in from the Western explorations soon made it a valuable spot for
exchange. It is interesting to note how many plants, now the common
stock of all gardens, were first grown and flowered here. One bed for
many years always went by the familiar name of “Texas,” as being the
place where the new Texan seeds were grown. The fund for endowment was
very small, and added greatly to the care of its oversight, because of
the effort to keep within the income. For two years after Dr. Gray was
living in the Garden house, he gave up two bed-rooms to the greenhouse
plants, and so saved the Garden the expense of fuel for that period! One
of his first deeds was to abolish the fee and make admission to the
Garden free. It was the first--and remained for more than sixty years
the only--public botanic garden in the country.


Tuesday evening, October 1, 1844.

I am about half fixed at the Garden, and shall probably sleep there
to-morrow night. Were it not that my woman-kind has disappointed me, we
should dine there to-morrow....

Dr. Wyman[136] wishes much to accompany Frémont if he goes on another
journey, entirely at his own expense, if need be. As his object is
entirely zoölogy, he will not interfere with Frémont’s botanical plans,
while the results would redound to Frémont’s advantage. He is a most
amiable, quiet, and truly gentlemanly fellow, retiring to a fault, but
full of nerve, and surely is to be the great man of this country in the
highest branches of zoölogy and comparative anatomy. I therefore very
strenuously solicit your influence at court in his behalf.

I am glad that Frémont takes so much personal interest in his botanical
collections. He will do all the more. I should like to see his plants,
especially the Compositæ and Rosaceæ. As to Coniferæ he should have the
Taxodium sempervirens, so imperfectly known, and probably a new genus.
Look quick at it, for it is probably in Coulter’s collection which
Harvey is working at....

Cordially yours,

February 12, 1845.

My first lecture is to-day finished, and has this evening been read to
Mr. Albro.[137] Half of it is devoted to a serving up of “Vestiges of
Creation” (which Boott says is written by Sir Richard Vivian), showing
that the objectionable conclusions rest upon gratuitous and unwarranted
inferences from established or probable facts. Peirce is examining
Mulder,[138] that we may fairly get at his point of view. His
conclusions as to equivocal generation are non-constat from his own
premises. On the whole series of subjects Peirce--who is much pleased
with the way I have put the case in my introductory--and myself think
of concocting a joint article, though my time will prevent me from
working out some of the subsidiary points just now.

I assure you I am quite well and hearty, just in capital working mood.
As to the lectures, I must work hard all the way through, but do not
feel any misgivings. My house is hot enough, I assure you; no trouble on
that score. As to spontaneous generation, the experiment of Schultz[139]
is nearly or quite a test, and goes against it. Love to all.

Ever yours,

The next letter contains the first allusion to Isaac Sprague, so long
associated with Dr. Gray as illustrator of his works. Isaac Sprague was
born in Hingham in 1811. He early showed a faculty for observation, and
a gift for painting birds and flowers from nature. His talent was
discovered, and he was invited by Audubon in 1843 to join his expedition
to Missouri, and to assist in making drawings and sketches. President,
then Professor, Felton, having met him in Hingham, and knowing Dr. Gray
was looking for some one for his scientific drawings, recommended Mr.
Sprague, and he began with the illustrations for the Lowell lectures and
the new edition of the “Botanical Text-Book.” Dr. Gray was delighted
with his gift for beauty, his accuracy, his quick appreciation of
structure and his skill in making dissections. Mr. Sprague was from that
time the chief, and mostly only, illustrator for his books, both
educational and purely scientific.

Dr. Gray is said to have stated that Mr. Sprague had but one
rival,--Riocreux; and he considered that draughtsman’s classical
drawings inferior to Mr. Sprague’s.


CAMBRIDGE, March 8, [1845?]

... I finish Lichens this afternoon; and have next two lectures on Fungi
and spontaneous generation to give. I interweave a good deal of matter,
such as, on Ferns, the part they played in the early times of the world,
à la Brongniart. Mosses, filling up lakes and pools; Sphagnum, Peat.
Lichens, first agents in clothing rocks with soil. I have noble
illustrations of rust in wheat, ergot, etc., and Sprague is now hard at
work on smut, à la Bauer.

You remember the letter I sent you from Prestele of “Ebenezer, near
Buffalo,” and which you still hold. Well, he has sent me for inspection
a most superb set of drawings, both of cultivated and of some native
plants, exceedingly well done. Also specimens of his work in cutting on
stone, which he does admirably. He did the work in Bischoff’s
“Terminology,” which perhaps you remember, two quarto volumes. What a
pity he did not have the State-Flora plates to execute!

If Dr. Beck and yourself go on with your plan, he is your man to engrave
the plates on stone. Our Illicium is now in full flower; but I cannot
spare Sprague a moment to draw it yet; unless, indeed, it is quite
certain you will want it this year, when I would try. He must work hard
for me two weeks longer....

My cutting up of “Vestiges of Creation” was a fine blow, and told.
Peirce, who you know was rather inclined to favor Rogers a while ago, is
now sound and strong. We think of sending a critical analysis of the
first part of Mulder, as our joint work (if he finds time to put in form
the physiological deductions I give him), to the meeting of geologists
and naturalists at New Haven next month.

Mulder is very ingenious; but we can blow up the whole line of his
arguments, and show that it all amounts to nothing; that he has not in
this advanced our knowledge a particle; and that his generalizations are
unsound. Why did you not have a part of my article reprinted in New
York? That would be the best reply to all his stuff.

The printing of my book will be through next week.

March 30.

I am now half through, and have got almost done with Fungi. The audience
take so much to the “Cryptogamic matters,” especially the afternoon
audience, which is as a whole the most intelligent and refined, that I
let them run on, and they will occupy the whole course, except three
lectures. I gave one lecture, generally thought nearly the best, on the
large Fungi, mushrooms, truffles, morels, puff-balls, with some good
general matters. To-day I have taken the small ones, moulds, mildews,
rust, and smut in wheat, with superb illustrations. Ergot is still left
over, along with the diseases in potatoes, the plant of fermentation,
the Botrytis that kills silk-worms, with some recapitulatory matters on
spontaneous generation, which must be cooked up for Friday. Then comes
Algæ; the large proper ones (Lecture 8), of which a fine series of
illustrations is now nearly done.

Lecture 9. Then the low, minute forms and Confervæ come, and gory dew,
red snow, superbly illustrated, ending with diatoms, transitions to
corallines through sponge, etc., and the locomotive spores of Confervæ,

Lecture 10. Whole subject of spontaneous movements and sensibility in
flowering plants, the life of plants, etc. (treated in a somewhat
original way), and the real differences between plants and animals.

Lecture 11. The principles of classification. Individuals, species,
their permanence, genera, orders, etc.

Lecture 12. Historical development. The Linnæan system, the natural.
This ends so as to give me a fine place to begin at next year....

I shall soon be able to spare Sprague to draw the Illicium, if it still
holds on. But I cannot spare him just yet. He has still to copy the
red-snow bank from Ross, eighteen feet long!--finish two pieces of algæ,
etc., etc.


April 5, 1845.

I anxiously wait for the notices of the life and writings of your
lamented father, which you so kindly offer. I agree with you that that
of Daubeny[140] gives the best view of the philosophy of his science;
and yet there are points of view that he has not touched upon. You, of
course, know better than any one else what were your father’s
philosophical views in natural history, his modes of thinking and
working; and if, when you send me the above-mentioned documents, you
would also feel at liberty to place such confidence in me as to give me
your own views and suggestions upon the subject, and especially upon
the points that other writers appear to have overlooked, I should be
able to produce, in the “North American Review,” a much more important
article and a worthier tribute to the memory of one so revered on this
side of the Atlantic as well as in Europe. May I hope you will favor me
in this respect?

Many thanks for the botanical news. I long to be delivered from the
pressure of the engagements that have consumed so much of my time for
the last year or two, and finish the “Flora of North America.”

I remain, ever, my dear friend, faithfully yours,



August, 1845.

The new post-office law is an excellent thing, as it enables us to
exchange our missives frequently, to send little pieces of news, and ask
and answer questions without waiting for time and matter to fill up a
formal letter.

I must tell you a little change made in my sanctum here. You are to
imagine me writing at a sort of bureau-escritoire (standing under Robert
Brown’s picture), which I fortunately picked up the other day for $10.
It is of old dark wood a century old, and contains below four drawers,
while the upper part, which opens into a fine writing-table, has eight
pigeon-holes, six drawers, and a little special lock-up with several
drawers and pigeon-holes more. You know I like any quantity of these
stowaway places. I have sent upstairs the table which stood in its
place, and brought down the round one, so that I have more room than


October 14, 1845.

Your excellent father lived to a truly patriarchal age. Mine, who has
been in failing health for some time, I learn to-day is suddenly and
extremely sick, and I set out for my birthplace immediately, in hopes
yet to see him once more.

       *       *       *       *       *

His father died October 13, before he reached Sauquoit. He had made his
son a visit in Cambridge after he was established at the Garden house,
more especially to consult a physician for his failing health.


CAMBRIDGE, November 15, 1845.

My visit to Oakes[141] I was chiefly to this intent. You know that I
have been waiting and waiting for Oakes to give, not his New England
“Flora” (which I fear he will always leave unfinished), but a predromus
of it, for my use and for New England. The consequence of waiting is
that Wood[142] is just taking the market, against my “Botanical
Text-Book,” mostly by means of his “Flora.” Letters from Hitchcock--and
elsewhere--all point to the probability that they will have to use his
book (of which, by the way, he is preparing a second edition, which he
cannot but improve), and ask me to prevent it by appending a brief
description of New England or Northern plants to my “Botanical
Text-Book.” A plan has occurred to me by which this might be done, were
it not that I will not tread on the heels of anything that Oakes (who
has devoted a life of labor to this end) will actually do.

As something must be done at once, I have proposed to Oakes to make
myself the necessary conspectuses of orders, analyses, etc.; to join the
proposed thing on, or to dove-tail it into, the “Text-Book;” and also to
furnish the generic characters, and he is to write the specific
characters and all that for New England plants. I give him as limit 250
pages brevier type, 12mo (say 300), and insist upon having the greater
part of the copy on the 1st March, and that it shall be published on the
1st April. That I may cover the ground of Wood, and introduce it into
New York, I propose, if you think it right and proper, to add the
characters of the (about 150) New York plants not found in New England,
distinguishing that by a †.

Oakes promises to do it. But our understanding is explicit that if he
cannot get through with it in time, he is soon to let me know, and to
furnish me with New England matters, when I am to do, not exactly this,
but a more compendious manual of the botany of New England, New York,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, that is, the Northern States proper. It
will be imperfect and hasty, but it will prevent Wood from fixing
himself so that he cannot be driven out.

I propose to have a sufficient number of copies of this (in whatever
form it may appear) bound up with the “Botanical Text-Book” to meet the
demands of the one-book system in New England and New York, and to
afford it at a price reduced to a minimum, so that nothing is to be made
out of it, at least out of the first edition.

How does this all strike you? I am convinced that something must be
done, and I will see if we can’t have a very popular, and at the same
time a pretty good book.

George[143] sends his warm regards.

21st November, 1845.

I have driven Oakes so absolutely into a corner that I think he will
work for once. The man’s preparations and materials are enormous! and
for his sake I hope he will. If he does not, I shall know in time,--that
is, as soon as I can use the knowledge,--and then the plan may take such
form as may be deemed best. I should then wish to make it more
absolutely a supplement of “Botanical Text-Book;” but only for the
proper North. In the way in which it would then be done, with
Persoonish[144] compactness and brevity, I doubt if you would care to
engage in it. As soon as we can get out the proper Botany of the United
States, I should wish it to supersede this to a great extent. In my
hands, I would sell it so cheaply as to make very little, except as it
promotes the sale of the “Botanical Text-Book.” I would sell the
“Text-Book” with it for $2, or less even. The great object is to keep
the ground clear by running an uncompromising opposition against the
threatening interlopers.

My lectures are to commence January 13th.


CAMBRIDGE, 31st December, 1845.

I was much pleased to receive your pleasant letter of the 29th October
last, and I read with interest the account of the debate on the occasion
of the election by the Edinburgh Town Council. Such defeats can do you
no harm. I suppose you are now going on with the “Flora Antarctica.” I
need not say that I should be very glad to see the Antarctic plants of
the Wilkes Expedition in your hands. The botanist who accompanied the
expedition is no doubt perfectly incompetent to the task, so greatly so
that probably he has but a remote idea how incompetent he is. I have not
seen him nor the plants. Certainly I would not touch them (any but the
Oregon and Californian) if they were offered to me, which they are not
likely to be. I consider myself totally incompetent to do such a work
without making it a special study for some years, and going abroad to
study the collections accumulated in Europe. Of course if they are
worked up at all in this country, they will be done disgracefully. I
publicly expressed my opinion on the subject in “Silliman’s Journal.”
But I have long been convinced that nothing can be done. The whole
business has been in the hands till now of Senator----, the most
obstinate, wrong-headed, narrow-minded, impracticable ignoramus that
could well be found.... If to this you add an utter ignorance of those
principles of comity and the spirit of interchange that prevail among
naturalists, and a total want of comprehension of what is to be done in
the scientific works in question, and you will see that nothing is to be
expected from such sources. They have thrown every obstacle they could
in the way of their naturalists--Dana and Pickering, for instance--so
much so that Pickering, though a patient man, once threw up his position
in disgust, I have heard, but, by some concessions made to him, was
finally persuaded to retain it.

Some of the scientific reports will soon be published, Dana on the
Corals, etc., which will, I suppose, be very creditable to him. When any
of the volumes appear I am somewhat inclined to call public attention to
some of this gross mismanagement and incompetency in these wrong-headed
managers, in a review. I thank you very much for all the botanical news
you give, and hope you will still favor me now and then with other such

I have never worked so hard as for the last four years, nor accomplished
so much. Still it will not show for much in your eyes, and I receive
many an exhortation like yours to go on with the “Flora.” But a world of
work that could only be done by myself, the pressure of the duties of my
new position, and the necessity of taking, indeed of creating, and
maintaining a stand that should make my department felt and appreciated,
has indeed sadly interrupted the work which I am of all others most
desirous to complete. I have already a great deal of matter in a state
of forwardness, and another year (Deo favente) will, I trust, give you a
better account of me. My last course of public lectures in Boston
commences in a fortnight, and will be over towards the close of
February. You will admit that there is some temptation to a person who
has so many uses for money, when I tell you that I received twelve
hundred dollars for the delivery of twelve lectures, and that there are
strong reasons beyond what the institution that employs me may justly
demand, that I should do my best. This, however, will soon be over, and
the “Flora” shall be pushed with vigor.... I greatly long to revisit
England and to see you all once more. Nothing would delight me more; and
there is a world of work I want to do in the collections of England and
the Continent. Indeed you may look to see me one of these days, for I
cannot long be satisfied or quiet without such a visit; though I shall
hardly dare to show my face till the “Flora” is finished. How glad I
shall be to see you in your quarters at Kew, and renew my acquaintance
with all the family, of whom I retain so many pleasant memories. With
kind regards to all, believe me,

Ever your affectionate friend, A. GRAY.


CAMBRIDGE, January 26, 1846.

Your favor of the 22d I found this evening on my return from my
afternoon’s lecture. I am very tired and cannot write much this evening.
Four of my lectures[145] are off. You will be glad to know that they
have gone off very well--the three first admirably; indeed I was
surprised myself at the fluency, ease, and “enlargement” which was given
me. The fourth, both last evening and this afternoon, was
poorer--interesting details, but scrappy, and less comfort in speaking.
Splendid illustrations up though.... The pictures were worth something,
if the lecture was not. I shall spur myself up hard for those four to
come, which are fully illustrated, in fact a complete _embarras de
richesses_. Then come the four geographical lectures, which if Sprague
gets the illustrations ready will be very interesting, I think. I must
work them off well, for at least two of our seven members of corporation
are constant hearers.

... There is a formidable amount of work of various sorts that should be
accomplished (Deo favente) before the July vacation.... The
contemplated expedition is a land one, from Lake Superior by North Pass
to upper Oregon, down to Lewis River; up that, and then over to the Gila
River in California. I know of no botanist to go. Can you find one?
Sprague cannot be spared, and will not leave his wife and family for so

... Some of our Congressmen must feel a little ashamed that England is
so cool and quiet in spite of all their bluster. Capital for peace that
the Peel ministry is still in. We owe much gratitude to the new Lord


CAMBRIDGE, April 8, 1846.

What is Lindheimer about? Why is not his last year’s collection yet with
you? We have just got things going, and we can sell fifty sets right off
of his further collections, and he can go on and realize a handsome sum
of money, if he will only work now! And he will connect his name forever
with the Texan Flora!

I am at the “Flora” again and hope to do great things this year,--shall
work hard and constantly.

Besides, by the aid of my young and excellent artist Sprague’s drawings,
and Prestele to engrave cheaply and neatly on stone, I am going to
commence a Genera Illustrata of the United States, like T. Nees von
Esenbeck’s “Genera Germanica Iconibus Illustrata.”--the plates to be
equally good, and quite cheap too. The first volume, one hundred plates,
going on regularly from Ranunculaceæ, will be preparing this summer, and
will be out in the fall....

May 30.

Have done something at the “Flora;” shall do much work this season after
July 4th, when college duties are over. Drawings for “Genera” are
getting on well.

One word now on another point. We must have a collector for plants
living and dry to go to Santa Fé, with the Government Expedition. If I
were not so tied up, I would go myself. Have you not some good fellow
you can send? We could probably get him attached somehow so as to have
the protection of the army, and if need be I could raise here two
hundred dollars as an outfit. He could make it worth the while. He could
collect sixty sets of five hundred plants (besides seeds and Cacti) very
soon, which, named by us, would go off at once at ten dollars per
hundred. Somebody must go into this unexplored field! Let me know if you
think anything can be done, and I will set to work. The great thing is a
proper man.

July 15.

I duly received your favor of June 25th; am delighted that you found a
man to send to Santa Fé. I approve your mode of carrying out the plan,
and will not be slow to aid in it. I wrote at once to Sullivant, telling
him to forward fifty dollars for Fendler,[146]--to take his pay in
Mosses and Hepaticæ, and to give instructions about collecting these,
his great favorites. Before this reaches you, I am sure you will hear
from him. He is a capital fellow, and Fendler must be taught to collect
Mosses for him.

Then came your letter of July 3d. All right. I immediately wrote to
Marcy, the Secretary of War, and to Colonel Abert, the head of the
Topographical Engineer Corps; asked for protection and transportation;
told the secretary to send anything he might be disposed to do to you at
St. Louis. I then inclosed your letter to Mr. Lowell, and have just
received it back again, with his letter, which I inclose to you! Is it
not handsome?... Now Fendler has money enough to begin with. As soon as
he is in the field, and shown by his first collections that he is
deserving, I can get as much more money advanced for him, from other
parties. If he only makes as good and handsome specimens as Lindheimer,
all will be well. His collections should commence when he crosses the
Arkansas; his first envoi should be the plants between that and Santa
Fé, and be sent this fall, with seeds, cacti, and bulbs, the former of
every kind he can get. These must be confined to yourself, Mr. Lowell,
and me, till we see what we get by raising them. Other live plants he
had better not attempt now.

His next collection must be at and around Santa Fé. But instruct him to
get into high mountains, or as high as he can find, whenever he can. The
mountains to the north of Santa Fé often rise to the snowline, and are
perfectly full of new things. But you can best judge what instructions
to give him. We can sell just as many sets of plants as he will make
good specimens of. But forty sets is about as many as he ought to

It is said that a corps of troops is to be sent up through Texas towards
New Spain. Lindheimer ought to go along, and so get high up into the
country, where so much is new, and the plants have really “no Latin

October 8th.

By the way, meeting Agassiz last evening, I was pleased to learn that he
claimed you as a schoolmate, and spoke of you with lively pleasure. He
is a fine, pleasant fellow. We shall take good care of him here.

January 5, 1847.

I am glad so fine a collection is on the way from Lindheimer, and
greatly approve his going to the mountains on the Guadaloupe. How high
are the mountains? If good, real mountains, and he can get on to them,
and into secluded valleys, he will do great things....

We will keep ahead of the Bonn people. By the close of next summer (Deo
favente) we may hope to have the botany of Texas pretty well in our

Do you hear from Fendler? Hooker says that region, the mountains
especially, is the best ground to explore in North America! There is a
high mountain right back of Santa Fé. Fendler must ravish it.


Wednesday, [October, 1846].

A Mr. Baird,[147] of Carlisle, Pa., called on me yesterday, evidently a
most keen naturalist (ornithology principally), but a man of more than
common grasp. He talked about an evergreen-leaved Vaccinium, which I
have no doubt is V. brachycerum, Mx., that I have so long sought in

13th October, 1846.

I leave Agassiz in New York. He will leave New York Wednesday morning;
join me at Princeton, and go on with us to Philadelphia that evening.
We shall probably go together to Carlisle, where he has something to do
with that capital naturalist, Professor Baird, and I have to get live
Vaccinium brachycerum. He will soon return to make ready his lectures

Agassiz is an excellent fellow, and I know you will be glad to make his
personal acquaintance. I must make my stay, such as it can be, at
Princeton, on my return....

9th December, 1846.

Agassiz lectured first last evening; fine audience; he had a cold; was
very hoarse, so that he spoke with discomfort to himself, but it went
off very well. Though he by no means did himself justice, the audience
seemed well pleased, and the persons I spoke with at the time, the most
intelligent people, were quite delighted and impressed. He has repeated
to-day. I expect to hear him again on Friday....

I have sixteen proofs of “Genera Illustrata.” The engraving is clean and
neat, but except a few of the last, they are not done so well as we
expect, and do not do justice to the drawings, which, indeed, are almost
matchless. Prestele has, in some, altered the arrangement of the
analyses on the plate; consequently they must be done over again.

I am clear that Prestele can do what I want, so I have given him further
instructions, and have raised his pay to $2.50 each; increasing my own
risk thereby. Sprague has discovered some new quiddities about the
position of the ovule in Ranunculaceæ. The raphe is dorsal in all of
them, with pendulous ovules; also in Nelumbium.

He will go on very slowly; I can’t hurry him. He has not yet taken up

You have not told me about Chapman’s queer plant yet!...

Unless Nuttall has arrived, which I do not hear of, it is too late for
him till next fall; for his object was to secure three months’ absence
out of the present year, and three out of next.[148]

January 24, 1847.

Agassiz has finished his lectures with great eclât--most admirable
course--and on Thursday evening last he volunteered an additional one in
French, which was fine.

I gave you the explanation you asked for in my last letter, which I
still hope you will find. What I then said about the excellent tone of
his lectures generally was fully sustained to the last; they have been
good lectures on natural theology. The whole spirit was vastly above
that of any geological course I ever heard, his refutation of Lamarckian
or “Vestiges” views most pointed and repeated. The whole course was
planned on a very high ground, and his references to the Creator were so
natural and unconstrained as to show that they were never brought in for

The points that I. A. Smith has got hold of were a few words at the
close of his lecture on the geographical distribution of animals, in
which he applied the views he maintains (which are those of Schouw still
further extended) to man.

He thinks that animals and plants were originally created in numbers,
occupying considerable area, perhaps almost as large as they now occupy.
I should mention that he opposes Lyell and others who maintain that
very many of the Tertiary species are the same as those now existing. He
believes there is not one such, but that there was an entirely new
creation at the commencement of the historic era, which is all we want
to harmonize geology with Genesis. Now, as to man he maintains
distinctly that they are all one species. But he does not believe that
the Negro and Malay races descended from the sons of Noah, but had a
distinct origin. This, you will see, is merely an extension of his
general view. We should not receive it, rejecting it on other than
scientific grounds, of which he does not feel the force as we do.

But so far from bringing this against the Bible, he brings the Bible to
sustain his views, thus appealing to its authority instead of
endeavoring to overthrow it. He shows from it (conclusively) that all
the sons of Noah (Ham with the rest) were the fathers of the extant
Caucasian races,--races which have remained nearly unaltered from the
first, and that if any negroes proceeded from Ham’s descendants, it must
have been by a miracle. That is the upshot of the matter. We may reject
his conclusions, but we cannot find fault with his spirit, and I shall
be glad to know that Dr. I. A. Smith, in the whole course of his public
teaching, has displayed a reverence for the Bible equal to that of
Agassiz. I have been on the most intimate terms with him: I never heard
him express an opinion or a word adverse to the claims of revealed
religion. His admirable lectures on embryology contain the most original
and fundamental confutation of materialism I ever heard.

I make the “Manual” keep clear of slavery,--New Jersey, Pennsylvania (if
little Delaware manumits perhaps I can find a corner for it), Ohio,
Indiana or not as the case may be, leave out Illinois, which has too
many Mississippi plants, take in Michigan and Wisconsin, at least
Lapham’s[149] plants near the Lakes. That makes a very homogeneous

I have made as usual much less progress than I supposed; so now, pressed
at the same time with college duties, I have to work very hard indeed.
Carey is coming on to help me.... Sheet full.

July 20, 1847.

Did you not know that an application has come from Wilkes through
Pickering[150] to Sprague to make some botanical drawings for the
Exploring Expedition, which, as I supposed they were to be for your use,
I persuaded Sprague to promise to undertake, at ten dollars for each
folio drawing with the dissections full.... The price we fixed is as low
as Sprague can do them for, to any advantage, even if he had nothing
else to do. The price I fixed for the drawings of “Genera,” and which I
thought very large, ($6 per plate) does not thus far pay Sprague day
wages, he takes so much time and care with them. I can only hope that
the experience and facility he is getting will enable him to knock them
off faster hereafter. You see therefore that Sprague cannot afford to
make the drawings for Emory at the price he made those for Frémont--two
dollars apiece. He will do them better; having now such skill in
dissections he will display structure finely, but he must not undertake
them under six dollars apiece, since they will cost him as much time as
do my octavo “Genera” drawings. He might make what you want along this
summer and autumn; I am not crowding him.

September 28, 1847.

I had a pleasant visit to Litchfield of three days, including the
Sabbath. On the banks of a lake in the neighborhood I stumbled on a
species of Cyperus dentatus, which in the “Flora of the Northern States”
you credit to Litchfield, Brace.[151] This Mr. Brace, who is an uncle of
J.’s, I met for a moment at New Milford, where he now lives. There are
three great aunts, most excellent old ladies, who live in a simple and
most delightful manner at Litchfield. The youngest, who has been J.’s
guardian almost from infancy, returned with us to Boston for a week or
two. Their brother, Mr. Pierce, who died only last year, was, it seems,
an old friend of yours, through whom they feel almost acquainted with
you. He passed a part of his life in New York, was a mineralogist, and I
think I have seen his name as a member of the Lyceum. Pray tell me about

I found it not easy to make an arrangement in New York for the
publication of the “Illustrated Genera,” by which I could get back
directly the money I have expended in it. I think, therefore, I shall go
on to defray the expenses of the first volume myself, which I think I
shall be able to do, and thus manage to get the immediate proceeds
myself. As to the “Manual,” I have unwittingly made it so large, in
spite of all my endeavors at compression, that I can make nothing to
speak of from the first edition, even if it sells right off.

TO J. L. L.

Monday evening, 9 o’clock, 1847.

When I reached home Henry and Agassiz were here. No one else came (as I
expected), and Agassiz insisted on returning in the nine o’clock
omnibus. Agassiz and Henry enjoy and admire each other so richly, and
talk science so glowingly and admiringly, that I think I should not have
been at all surprised to see them exchange kisses before they were done.
And Agassiz told him he meant to come to Cambridge, and they began to
talk of their children, and Agassiz read extracts from letters just
received from his wife and his son, who--to Agassiz’s great pride and
satisfaction--had just climbed the Fellenberg in the Breisgau, slept on
the summit in the open air to see the sun rise in the morning, then
descended and walked, I forget how many miles. Pretty well for a lad of

It is not a year since I told Henry that he should have either Agassiz
or Wyman at Washington, but that we must have one of them at Cambridge.
Beyond all expectation we have them both!

Henry gave me--I know not what led to it--a full detailed account of his
life from early boyhood, which was full of curious interest and
suggested much matter for reflection. In the evening we fell to
discoursing on philosophical topics, and Henry threw out great and noble
thoughts, and as we both fell to conversing with much animation my
headache disappeared entirely. There is no man from whom I learn so much
as Henry. He calls out your own powers, too, surprisingly....

I have been addling my brain and straining my eyes over a set of ignoble
Pond-weeds (alias Potamogeton) trying to find the

          “difference there should be
    Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee,”

and wasting about as much brain in the operation as your dear paternal
would expend in an intricate law case, for all of which I suppose nobody
will thank me and I shall get no fee. Indeed, few would see the least
sense in devoting so much time to a set of vile little weeds. But I
could not slight them. The Creator seems to have bestowed as much pains
on them, if we may use such a word, as upon more conspicuous things, so
I do not see why I should not try to study them out. But I shall be glad
when they are done, which I promise they shall be before I sleep.

10.45 P.M.--There, the pond-weeds are done fairly.


CAMBRIDGE, December 1st, 1847.

I reply early to your kind letter of October 30th to assure you that I
shall with much pleasure contribute so far as I have opportunity to the
new Botanical Museum, which, under your charge, and with your great
opportunities for obtaining things from every part of the world, will
soon become a magnificent collection. I have already several things to
send you, such as two very large entwined stems of Aristolochia Sipho,
which I brought from the mountains of Carolina.; a Dasylirion from
Texas, etc. I have some time ago made arrangements for getting curious
stems from Para, through a friend in Salem, who will also incite the
masters and supercargoes of ships from that port which trade with
various out-of-the-way parts of the world. The first things sent from
Para were slabs rather than truncheons of wood (all ordinary exogenes),
but I am promised palm stems and woody climbers, of which I shall take a
portion to build up our general Natural History Museum at Cambridge,
which with the zeal of Agassiz and Wyman is now likely to grow; the rest
I will send to you. If you will send me a few duplicates of your
circular, I will have them placed in proper hands where they may turn to
good account. I am delighted to hear such pleasant things of Dr. Hooker,
which I had also heard last summer from Mrs. McGilvray. I owe him a
letter, but it is too late to send my congratulations, now that he is
probably far on the way to India. I admire his zeal and energy, and wish
him an excellent time and a prosperous return. The government has
behaved most handsomely in affording him such important aid in his

Proper specimens of maple sugar will keep perfectly well if placed in a
glass jar with a closed cover. I will surely send some in the spring.


CAMBRIDGE, December 20, 1847.

I got a parcel from New York on Saturday evening, containing a few
welcome plants of Wislizenus’[152] collection, and a set of Fendler’s
from Santa Fé, up to Rosaceæ. The specimens are perfectly charming! so
well made, so full and perfect. Better never were made. In a week I
shall take them right up to study, and they are Rocky Mountain forms of
vegetation entirely, so I can do it with ease and comfort. It is a cool
region that, and dry. If these come from the plains, what will the
mountains yield? Fendler must go back, or a new collector, now that
order is restored there.

All Fendler’s collection will sell at once, no fear, such fine specimens
and so many good plants. Pity that F. did not know enough to leave out
some of the common plants, except two or three specimens for us, and
bestow the same labor on the new plants around him.

Send on the rest soon.

Yours cordially,


CAMBRIDGE, January 17, 1848.

DEAR FRIEND,--That I ought to have replied to your letter of the 19th
November, to say nothing of that of September 21 and June 18, there is
no doubt. The letter I have carried in my pocket a good while, hoping to
catch a moment somewhere and some time to write to you, especially as
the time approaches in which I may be sending a parcel to New Orleans
for you. But I have not had an hour’s leisure not demanded by letters of
immediate pressing consequence, or in which I was not too tired to

There are many correspondents whom I have neglected almost as much as I
have you. I have worked like a dog, but my work laid out to be finished
last July is not done yet.

But from about the time of your last letter a providential dispensation
has prevented me from doing what I would, namely, the sickness, by
typhoid fever, of a beloved brother (a Junior in college here), who
required every leisure moment from the time he became seriously sick up
to the 9th inst.--a week ago--when it pleased the Sovereign Disposer of
events, to whom I bow, to remove him to a better world; and I am but
recently returned from the mournful journey to convey to the paternal
home (in western New York) his mortal remains. This has somewhat
interrupted the printing of the last sheets of my “Manual of North
American Botany;” which, with all my efforts at condensation, has
extended to almost eight hundred pages!! (12mo), including the
introduction. It will be difficult to get the volume within covers. A
year’s hard labor is bestowed upon it; I hope it will be useful and
supply a desideratum. As a consolation for my honest faithfulness in
making it tolerably thorough, and so much larger than I expected it
would prove, it is now clear that I shall get nothing or next to it for
my year’s labor. At the price to which it must be kept to get it into
our schools, etc., there is so little to be made by it, that I cannot
induce a publisher to pay the heavy bills, except upon terms which
swallow up all the proceeds; or at the very least I may get $200, if it
all sells, a year or two hence.

Meanwhile, I have paid the expenses principally incurred on the first
volume of “Illustrated Genera,” which I can’t print and finish till the
“Manual” is out; have run heavily into debt in respect to these works,
which were merely a labor of love for the good of the science and an
honorable ambition; and how I am going to get through I cannot well

I should despond greatly if I were not of a cheerful temperament....

I wish I could write to you as you wish, all about botany, etc. I wish I
could aid you as I desire, but I fear it is impossible. I must have rest
and less anxiety. Two more years like the last would probably destroy
me. If I had an assistant or two, to take details off my hands, I might
stand it; as it is I cannot. Carey spent three months with me last
season, and was to study and ticket your Texan collection in my hands,
take a set for his trouble, and Mr. Lowell and Mr. S. T. Carey would
take what they needed and pay for them, so that I could pay your
book-bill at Fowle’s. The utmost Carey found time to do was to throw the
collection into orders; there they still lie, in the corner! There
perhaps they had best lie, now, till the collection of the past season
reaches me, when I will try to study them all together, along with
Lindheimer’s collections, a set of which still waits for me to study
them. Will you wonder that I am a little disheartened when, in spite of
every effort, I make so little progress? And in six weeks I begin to
lecture in college again; and in April the Garden will require more time
than I can give it. Such are merely some of the things on my hands, some
of my cares! Still I am interested in you, and in your collections, and
will do what I can....

Then if you will continue to send seeds (pretty largely), also bulbs,
cacti, tubers, etc., now in early spring (and root-cuttings of some
vines), taking pains that they are sent in a direct way, so as to come
alive in May, etc., I will get an appropriation allowed from the Garden
for you. Don’t try other live plants till we have better communication
with Texas. We have sunk money in this already and had to give it up....

Forgive my long neglect; accept my apologies. I’ll see if I can do any
better hereafter, when I have a wife to write letters for me.

March 10th.

Besides all the rest, the Academy’s correspondence presses hard on me. I
have written twenty-four letters for the steamer to-morrow. Fairly to
keep up my correspondence and answer all my letters would take full two
hours every day of the week except the Sabbath. So have mercy, and long

Meanwhile my “Manual” is out; but not published till the 10th February.
What can you expect from a man who takes up a job in February, 1847, to
finish in May or June certain; but who, though he works like a dog, and
throws by everything else, does not get it done till February comes
round again. So it is only now that I have anything to send you. I am
now printing off my “Genera Illustrata”--the text for one hundred
plates; mean to have it out in a month; but I will not wait any


CAMBRIDGE, February 29, 1848.

... Now for Fendler himself. He ought to go back, and without delay. He
has gained much experience, and will now work to greater advantage. He
makes unrivaled specimens, and with your farther instructions will
collect so as to make more equable sets. If he will stay and bide his
time he can get on to the mountains, and must try the higher ones,
especially those near Taos.

Let him stay two years, and if he is energetic he will reap a fine
harvest for botany, and accumulate a pretty little sum for himself, and
have learned a profession, for such that of a collector now is. Drummond
made money quite largely.

I had rather Fendler would go north and west than south of Santa Fé.
New Spain and Rocky Mountain botany is far more interesting to us than


March 29, 1848.

Your parcel came to-day; many thanks. After dinner I have just looked
over the Mexican Compositæ of Gregg,[153] which are numerous, and quite
a bonne bouche. My old love of the dear pappose creatures revived at the
sight, and I longed to take them by the beard. If at liberty to do so
(am I?) I think I will, at the same time I do the Santa-Féans; and at
the same time I will study any of Abert’s or Emory’s Mexican or North
Spain Compositæ you have not already disposed of. As to the parcel to be
divided, of which there are no duplicates, whoever packed your parcel
has taken care that there shall be pieces enough, if no specimens! They
were in longer paper than the other bundles; not protected by binder’s
board, and therefore both ends, for two or three inches, were nicely
bent up against the ends of the shorter bundle next them; which was very
pretty for the shape of the parcel, but death to many of the plants; for
the fold came just below the heads in most cases, too many of which were
decapitated like the victims of the (last but two) French revolution.

I have been going on with recitations for some time, twice a week (two
hours), and to-day I began my lectures to the whole Junior class, on
Geographical Botany for the present.

What with these duties, superintending gardener, and painting and
papering in the house, and Sprague drawing for the second volume of
“Genera,” and I printing the first, with the printer ever on my heels
for copy, and at the same time printing Memoirs and Proceedings of the
Academy, and managing large correspondence, you may conceive that my
hands are full.

Yours most cordially,


CAMBRIDGE, 2d May, 1848.

I send ... a copy (roughly put into paper covers) of the first volume of
“Genera Illustrata,” regretting there is not time to send you a bound
copy. I hope you will like it. Sprague is improving fast, reads Brown’s
papers, etc., and is getting a good insight into structural botany, even
the nicest points. We mean to carry on the work, and I hope for
considerable London sale of it. The price is $6, or in London, £1 10s.,
which I trust will be thought low. Please notice it in the “Journal.”
The proceeds go principally to support Sprague in carrying on the work.
I put his name on the title-page without his knowledge and at the
expense of his great modesty.

I want to introduce the tussock grass on our eastern coast, where it
will thrive well. Is it too late to send this spring? Or will you send
in autumn?

P. S.--The last steamer brought good news of peace and strength in
England, dissipating the alarm of many, but I felt none myself, having a
strong confidence in the soundness of Old England and the durability of
her institutions, of which I am here esteemed an over admirer.

Dr. Gray was married, May 4, 1848, to Jane L., daughter of Charles
Greely Loring, a lawyer in Boston. In June they made a short journey to
Washington, that Dr. Gray might, on undertaking to describe the plants
of the United States Exploring Expedition, see Commodore Wilkes.


CAMBRIDGE, 8th May, 1848.

Yesterday I sent to Grant at Wiley’s for you a parcel containing some
“Linnæas,” etc., received from Hamburg, your copy of Seubert on Elatine,
and a bound copy of the “Genera Floræ Americæ Boreali-Orientalis
Illustrata,” which I ask you to accept, and which I trust you will like.
There is also a specimen inclosed of some vegetable product that has
lately become somewhat common here, and which I thought you might like
to examine. It is apparently of a rather complicated structure, in fruit
evidently, but syncarpous; the heterogenous and baccate or fleshy
ovaries being immersed without apparent order in a farinaceous
receptacle. If you should be at all puzzled. with it, and can’t find out
to what particular family it belongs, you might call in the aid of Mrs.
Torrey and the girls, to aid in the investigation. I dare say you will
make it out.

June, 1848.

I am just home this morning, and as I had no time yesterday to reply to
your kind letter of Saturday, I write at once now....

Friday evening we were at the White house, to see Madame Polk. We have
accomplished a great deal of sight-seeing and all in our week and a day,
and J.

[Illustration: THE BOTANIC GARDEN HOUSE IN 1852]

has enjoyed it much, except the drawback of not seeing Mrs. T. and the
girls and yourself at home, which she greatly wished....

Now as to Exploring Expedition. We will talk it over in full when you
come on here toward the end of this month.

Suffice it to say (as I am pressed for time) that I had made up my mind
what I would do it for before I left home; that on looking over the
collection, as to various parts of it, as far as time allowed, I found
it less ample than I supposed, but with many difficulties owing to
specimens in fruit only, or flower only. I think it no very awful job,
if done in the way I propose, which is, not by monographs by people
abroad, which the committee will not agree to, but by working up a part
abroad in Hooker’s, or Bentham’s, or Garden of Plants herbarium.

The chairman of the committee and Wilkes behaved very well, and told me
they were very desirous I should take it up.

On Friday evening Wilkes came in, before we went to the President’s;
asked me to say what I would do. I told him at once what I would do
(just what I had told J. before we left Cambridge), and Wilkes at once
accepted my terms, as I supposed he would. My terms were based on the
supposition that there is five years’ work in preparing for the press
the collections left on hand, and in superintending the printing....

We must settle together the typographical form of the work, etc., when
you come, and we will make the other writers conform to the plan we
agree on, which perhaps you have already fixed.

Now I want a careful and active curator. What young botanist can I

27th Nov., 1848.

Wright is up from Texas (with his mother at Wethersfield, Connecticut);
he will soon be here as curator to me, taking Lesquereux’s[154] place,
who has been with me a little, but now, as a consequence of his visit to
Columbus, goes to aid Sullivant, with a provision that makes the truly
worthy fellow perfectly happy. They will do up bryology at a great rate.
Lesquereux says that the collection and library of Sullivant in
muscology are “magnifique, superbe, the best he ever saw.”


January 24, 1849.

Halstead, I believe, has nearly decided to go on the Panama Railroad
Survey; I trust to get Wright attached to the boundary survey. I have a
letter from Fendler, in which he expressed his willingness to go to the
Great Salt Lake country, if he can get government protection and food,
etc. In a few days I shall write to Marcy; send him the sheets of
“Plantæ Fendlerianæ,” and make a vigorous application for this aid. No
doubt I shall get it, I think. But perhaps it might be almost as well
for Fendler to go over with a party of emigrants directly to Mormon
City. But probably there will be emigrants bound for the same place,
accompanying the regiment, as near as they go. Fendler can do admirably
well in that region, if he perseveres. But will he not take the
gold-fever and leave us in the lurch? Will not living, etc., be very
dear in Mormon City also? I fear it. I must leave. much to your
discretion. Only if you think Fendler has a strong tendency to
gold-hunting (which few could resist) let him go. And afterwards, if he
chooses to collect plants, very well. Few can withstand the temptation
when fairly within the infected region, and we hear the Mormons have
found gold also....

February 25, 1849.

I have just received from the secretary of war, Mr. Marcy, and inclose
to you, what I think will procure all the facilities that Fendler can
wish from United States troops. If, as I was informed, the secretary has
no right to issue an order for rations to Fendler, he has certainly done
the best thing by issuing a recommendation which will, if the commander
is favorably disposed, enable him to give all without any order. Indeed,
I think we could ask nothing better....

In my haste, and multitude of business, I have shabbily neglected to
send the copies of “Plantæ Fendlerianæ” to Hamburg for Braun. And now
the Danes have blockaded the Elbe....

I think I shall soon send the smaller things to you by express, and
retain the three volumes of “Memoirs” for some opportunity less
expensive. We want railroad all the way to St. Louis.

I am crowded--overwhelmed--with work. But college work will be over in
July, and the second volume of “Genera,” which I am now hard at work on,
will soon be printed off; a week more and I shall have finished the

I must then work at Exploring Expedition Compositæ, and soon at
Fendlerianæ, and (when the sets arrive) at Lindheimer’s, if you wish. I
have made a genus of the Texan Rue--between Ruta and Aplophyllum,--e.
g., Rutosma. I think there are some good remarks you will like in the
second volume of “Genera.”

I foresee an unusually good chance to get rid of the college work a year
hence, and must therefore try to overhaul the Exploring Expedition
plants, so as to get them into some shape, and next year (May or April)
go abroad with them, sit down in London and Paris, and work them off. I
will then drum up subscribers for Fendler and Lindheimer.

I want you to help me a little about Trees; our native trees up to
Cornus inclusive, for this year, for the report I have promised the
Smithsonian Institution.[155] I wish I had a good assistant; one who
could work at botany. Perhaps I can find one abroad.


February 26, 1849.

Having determined on an expedition for Wright, you may be sure I was not
going to be altogether disappointed. Accordingly I have got one all
arranged (Lowell[156] and Greene subscribing handsomely) which is as
much better than Emory’s as possible, and thus far everything has
wonderfully conspired to favor it. Wright has left me this morning to go
to his mother’s in Connecticut (Wethersfield); there to make his
portfolios and presses; comes on to New York soon; takes first vessel
for Galveston (I expect a letter from Hastings telling when it sails),
and to reach Austin and Fredericksburg in time to accompany the troops
that are about to be sent up, by a new road, across a new country, to El
Paso, in New Mexico. Look on the map (Wislizenus) and you will see the
region we mean him to explore this summer; the hot valley of Rio del
Norte, early in the season, the mountains east, and especially those
west in summer. He will probably stay two years, and get to Taos and
Spanish Peaks this year or next. We shall have government
recommendations to protection, and letters to an officer (commanding)
who, through Henry, has already made overtures to collect himself or aid
in the matter.

26th May, 1849.

I have finished all the copy of “Genera Illustrata,” vol. ii., at
length; the printer has yet two or three sheets to set up. The plates
are working off in New York. It will now soon be off my hands. It is
long since I have done anything at Exploring Expedition plants. I am now
going at them. It is a shabby, unsatisfactory collection....

CAMBRIDGE, November 2, 1849.

... Sorry I am that you could not be here while Harvey is here; he will
he south by Christmas. He desires me to say that he expects to spend the
first half of December in New York at Dr. Hosack’s, and will be most
glad to see you. I am sure you will like him. We are perfectly charmed
with him. A quiet, unaffected, pleasant man--extremely lovable. He works
away at a table in my study. His course is a very interesting one. He is
a beautiful writer, but not very fluent extempore, though with more
practice he would be a fine lecturer. He has a good audience....

Sprague has promised now to take up and finish your quarto drawings. He
says he can work but a little while at a time, from a difficulty of
breathing. Had I foreseen his health and vigor giving way, I should not
have undertaken the Trees, which, as to illustrations (as he is more
fond of them than of anything else, and has made fine drawings), we have
gradually enlarged our ideas about them much beyond the original plan,
as to the figures. He must get this volume off his hands this winter,
anyhow. The “Genera” will lie in abeyance....

My plan is only to bring out one volume of the Tree-Report next spring,
and not to go beyond the limits of the United States proper, those of
“Genera Illustrata,” except to mention the trees of the far West in a
general way; otherwise it would be far too formidable....

Sir John Richardson dropped in on me the very day Harvey arrived,
expressed regret he could not see you, learned here the rumored news of
Franklin. I wish you could have been here at a little dinner party we
made for them. He is at home by this time.


December 3, 1849.

... We are glad to hear what fine discoveries your son is making in
Thibet, etc.

I saw to-day for the first time, at Green’s, the Himalaya

I have just parted from Harvey, who has passed seven weeks with us, and
having finished his course at the Lowell with much acceptance now joins
his friends at New York and Philadelphia till Christmas, and then goes
south to Florida, Alabama, and probably either to Jamaica (where Dr.
Alexander now is) or to the mountains at the St. Iago end of Cuba, a
terra incognita nearly. Harvey is a most winning man; my wife and I have
become extremely attached to him, and are sorry to part with him.

We do not mean to let any naturalist be idle who comes to this country,
so he is already engaged to give illustrations of our peculiar Algæ for
the Smithsonian contributions and to prepare (after his return home, of
course) a manual of United States Algæ after the fashion of his second
edition of “British Algæ.” There will be no small demand for it....

P. S.--Mr. Wright got through to El Paso in southern New Mexico, and is
on his way back, with, he says, a fine collection.

We got some fine daguerreotypes of Harvey, so much better, he says, than
he has seen in England that he has had an extra one taken for Lady


CAMBRIDGE, January 7, 1850.

Your letter of December 4th and your very flattering article in the
December number of “Hooker’s Journal” were both most gratifying; and the
remarks on the Mimosa were timely, as I was just about consigning the
manuscript of the earlier part of the new “Plantæ Lindheimerianæ” to the
printer. I like what you say about “deduplication” much, and freely
accept almost all. I took the name coined to my hand, not feeling at
liberty to coin a new one. I think the production of new organs one
before the other can be pretty well explained morphologically and
anatomically, in accordance with your hint, and shall attempt to work it
out in the third edition of my “Botanical Text-Book,” which I am now
preparing for the press. I shall be most glad of any further hints.

May I ask you what you think of Adrien de Jussieu’s way of explaining
the regular alternation of organs in the flower? I greatly incline to

I have to finish this Lindheimer collection, finish Fendler’s,
distribute and study Wright’s collection when I get it, carry the
“Botanical Text-Book” through the press, rewriting and expanding it
(thus far I have made it all over), write the first volume of an
elaborate report on the Trees of United States for the Smithsonian
Institution, in fact a Sylva, with colored plates by Sprague (which I
could not resist taking in hand, as that institution promised to bring
it out, and handsomely, at their expense), and give my course of
lectures in the college from March to June. When all this is done I can
cross the Atlantic.... By engaging a brother professor to take the
duties which I have for the autumn term (assigning to him pro rata from
my salary), I shall be free until 1st March ensuing. But I mean to ask
for leave of absence for a year, and trust I shall get it....

As far as it has yet shaped itself my plan is ... to sit down hard to
work for the autumn and winter on the Exploring Expedition plants, to go
to Paris in the spring and settle such questions as must be settled
there after I come to know better than I now do (except in the
Compositæ) what they are. Excepting the Oregon and Californian plants,
which are assigned to Torrey, and the Sandwich Islands Collection, a
fine one, the collection is a poor one, often very meagre in specimens,
too much of an alongshore and roadside collection to be of great
interest. I am not familiar with tropical forms and have no great love
for them. I dislike to take the time to study out laboriously and
guessingly, with incomplete specimens, and no great herbaria and
libraries to refer to, these things which are mostly well known to
botanists, though not to me, and I want to be taken off from North
American botany for as short a time as possible. I must therefore come
abroad with them, which the pay that is offered will enable me to do. I
have found a good deal to interest me in the Compositæ, especially those
of Rio Negro, of north Patagonia and of the Andes of Peru....

Now, will you take it as a bore, an imposition on your kindness, if I
frankly ask whether I can possibly offer you any sort of inducement to
aid me, at least so far as to run over the collections with me, and name
those that are familiar to you as we pass, and refer others, as nearly
as one can without study, to their proper places? Your mere comments in
running through would save half my time.

It is most natural that you should not incline to any such trouble, and
I know your hands are always full; so, if you say no, I shall feel it is
quite right, and do the best I can....

We shall be most glad to visit you at Pontrilas house at whatever time
best suits Mrs. Bentham and yourself, whether in summer or in autumn,
any time before we settle down into our winter quarters....

With best wishes to Mrs. B. and yourself for the new year, I am very
faithfully yours,



April 2, 1850.

We were most glad to receive your kind favor of January 29, which,
however, lay over a fortnight in England, and in the mean time we heard
not only of Dr. Hooker’s capture, but also, with much gratification, of
his release. What an indefatigable man he is!

Finding myself greatly behindhand, on account of various hindrances and
miscalculation of time, and utterly unable to accomplish half the work I
had intended to do this spring, I have decided to break off; and to
sail, in a packet-ship from Boston, on the 5th of June, with Mrs. Gray,
for Liverpool, which we may hope to reach by the close of that month.
This will give us an opportunity of seeing England in its summer dress,
and to make, almost immediately following the sea voyage, a trip up the
Rhine to Switzerland. On our return I must set to work diligently, and
for a little while with Mr. Bentham, who has kindly offered to look over
the tropical collections, which I know little of, and love as little.

The rewriting of all the structural parts of my 3d edition of the
“Botanical Text-Book,” which I was inadvertently drawn into, has proved
a most time-consuming business. It is not yet through the press.

Wright’s collection of seeds I had divided into two parts, and I send
you one by the hands of Mr. Lowell, who with his whole family goes out
by this steamer. You will receive them in good time to raise them....

Mr. Lowell is of great use to us, in helping on these explorations, and
I look to his visit to Europe, the sight of the great collections, and
the society of naturalists to strengthen his tastes and fire his zeal in
these respects.

I long to have him and Mrs. Lowell, a very good. friend of ours, make
your acquaintance.


 [1] This colony was composed of rigid Presbyterians, who desired
 to leave Ireland to escape various persecutions. They sent out the
 Rev. Mr. Boyd, early in 1718, with an address to the Governor of
 Massachusetts. The address, now in the Archives of the New Hampshire
 Historical Society, was signed by three hundred and nineteen persons,
 nine of whom were clergymen. The report brought back by Mr. Boyd of
 his reception by the governor and of the prospects of the country was
 so favorable that the addressors converted their property into money,
 and embarked in five ships for Boston, which they reached August 4,
 1718. In Boston they separated for different places, but the larger
 part were sent to Worcester, then a frontier settlement of fifty-eight
 dwellings and two hundred inhabitants, but needing a larger population
 as protection from the Indians. John Gray--there were two of his name
 in the original party--went to Worcester, where he owned considerable
 land, and was evidently a man of influence in the colony, to judge
 from the various public offices held by him.

 [2] Robert Gray, one of John Gray’s sons, was twenty years old when
 he came to America. There is a tradition in the family that the
 acquaintance and courtship began on the voyage.

 [3] Sauquoit was a settlement in the eastern part of the town of
 Paris, the township so named in grateful recognition of a supply
 of food, sent by a Mr. Paris, of Oswego, at a time when the early
 settlers were near starving.--A. G.

 [4] Moses Gray was the eighth child,--a boy and a girl were born
 later,--and one step-brother, Watson, survived Moses Gray. Moses Wiley
 Gray made the journey to Sauquoit, on horseback, taking before him
 his son Moses, then a boy of eight. The Mohawk Valley at this time
 was the far West, with only slow and tedious communication beyond
 Schenectady, but opening, in its lovely tributary valleys, tempting
 regions of hill and valley, well wooded, with clear, sparkling
 streams. The land offered good farming opportunities when cleared of
 trees, and the rapid streams gave good promise of water power. Here
 Moses Wiley Gray took a farm on the top of a hill, and cultivated the
 land for ten years. He was injured by the fall of a tree, and his leg
 was amputated. He died the next day, May 8, 1803, leaving his son
 Moses, with his stepmother and her children largely dependent on his

 [5] She was married in 1788.

 [6] The house is still standing which, built in 1648 by an ancestor of
 Ralph Waldo Emerson, was bought by William Howard, in 1669.

 [7] Asa’s mother was but four years old, when the family moved to
 Sauquoit, and well remembered her mother’s crying at the crossing of
 the Hudson River, which must have seemed formidable in the small boats
 of that time. Joseph Howard was a man of a very lovable character, as
 shown from the affectionate remembrances of him by his grandchildren,
 the eldest of whom, Asa, was much with him. He was a deacon of the
 First Church in Sauquoit for forty years, and one of the leading men
 in the town. He died in 1849.

 [8] Moses Gray was a man of great activity and energy. He soon added
 a shoe-shop to his tannery, where he hired a few hands to make shoes
 from the hides he tanned, taking these again by wagon to Albany, a
 journey of many days, where he bought his skins and some necessary
 supplies. Money was scarce in the newly settled country, and the
 things needed were mostly got by exchange. Meantime, as the chance
 came, he was buying land on the hills around. Clayville is where the
 valley narrows towards the source of the Sauquoit Creek, as “rivers”
 are called in that neighborhood in old Dutch fashion, and the hills
 are sharper and rougher. The scenery, however, is still beautiful,
 and the house which Moses Gray built two or three years later yet
 stands, with a lovely near view of stream and hill and wood. Asa
 Gray remembered his father building it. Busy as the father was out
 of doors, the mother was perhaps busier still. Asa, the younger
 brother by the first wife, was dying of consumption; he was moved on
 a bed from Sauquoit to Paris Furnace, and died very soon after, in
 May, 1811, aged twenty-three. When the child was born, November 18,
 1810, it was carried to him to see, and he said he wished they would
 call it Asa, if it had had no name as yet decided on. He was of a
 singularly sweet and gentle character. The step-brothers were taken
 in turn to be taught and trained. The hands employed on farm or in
 trade were generally lodged and boarded. Often their clothes were
 mended or made. The wheat and grain were home-raised, as were all
 the vegetables. There was little fresh meat, except when a sheep or
 beef was killed, and that meant salting and curing. Butter and cheese
 were all homemade, and could be taken to Albany for sale, as was also
 grain; as the farm grew, more cows were added. Then the clothing
 was homemade. The wool for flannel sheets and underclothing and for
 the men’s clothes was home-spun, the nicer portions taken off and
 carded separately, and spun as worsted for the children’s and women’s
 dresses; also the yarn for socks for the whole family. A spinning-girl
 was hired for part of the year, for flax was also spun for the house
 linen and for wearing-apparel. The weaving was hired out. The tailor
 came by the week to make up the clothing with the mother’s help, and
 after the tannery was given up, the shoe-maker came at intervals to
 make the shoes. As the girls grew older they took their share at the
 wool and flax wheels. It is said that the first spinning of flax on
 the small wheel was introduced by the party of Scotch-Irish emigrants
 of 1718; that the women gave lessons to the women of Boston on Boston
 Common, and the fashion was so set for that spinning. It is also said
 that the Irish potato was first introduced into New England by these
 same colonists.

 A widowed sister came with her children to make her home under the
 same roof when the Grays moved later to a larger farm, and there
 seemed always some boy to be housed and taught and trained. Though
 his aid might tell out of doors, the home care came upon the mother.
 But Mrs. Gray was a woman of singularly quiet and gentle character,
 with great strength and decision, and possessed a wonderful power of
 accomplishing and turning off work; a woman of thoughtful, earnest
 ways, conscientious and self-forgetting.

 The father was quick, decided, and an immense worker; from him the
 son took his lively movements and his quick eagerness of character,
 perhaps also his ready appreciation of fun.

 [9] His mother, having another child, was probably glad to have the
 active boy safe for a few hours. Her young sisters lived not far away,
 and the youngest aunt, a girl of ten, was proud to take him to school;
 she had already taught him his letters. His father promised him a
 spelling-book of his own as soon as he reached _baker_, which was a
 marked spot of advance in the spelling-book. A few weeks saw him far
 enough on, and the coveted prize was given. He went proudly to school
 the next day, and as he could not speak to the teacher to proclaim
 his triumph, he walked in front of her desk to his seat, waving the
 book with a great flourish before her! It was just before he was three
 years old.

 [10] Of one of these, his friend, now over eighty years old, gives an
 account in the succeeding letter:--

SAUQUOIT, _February 19, 1888_.

 DEAR A.--I would like to give you some information of your uncle’s
 early life if I were well informed, but, I have only one little
 incident, and perhaps that would be of small account at the present
 era, though at the time it took place it was of great moment to us
 both as children. Asa lived with his parents at Paris Furnace, now
 Clayville. I lived where Mr. Bragg afterward built his new house.
 Well, we had a lovely teacher that summer by the name of Sally
 Stickney, living at Colonel Avery’s. She ruled by gentleness. For our
 class she had an old-fashioned two-shilling piece, with a hole through
 to insert a yard of blue ribbon. She put this over the head of the one
 that stood first in our class. So it traveled every night, all that
 summer, with some one of us, until the ribbon was worn and faded. But
 more than all that, the one that stood at the head on the last day
 of school was to be the owner of that two-shilling piece that we had
 watched with jealous eyes so many weeks, and studied Webster’s old
 spelling-book so hard to gain. I think our eyes must have magnified
 it, for I have never seen a coin since that seemed so large. I think
 it was the same in Asa’s eyes. Well, with hearts beating fast, and
 eyes on the coveted prize, we were called on the last day of school
 to spell; we took our places; I was at the head, Asa next. I missed
 and he went above me; my all was gone, but it was worse to have him
 point his finger at me and say out loud “kee-e-e.” I braved it without
 a tear; a few more words would end the strife. It came around to
 him, and he missed; how quick I went above him; but in an instant he
 dropped his head on the desk before him and wept as though his heart
 would break. School was dismissed, scholars were leaving; still he
 did not move, until our kind teacher came to him, whispered to him,
 soothed and petted him; then he jumped up and ran, I suppose wishing
 me in Halifax. I felt sorry for him and would have been willing to
 divide with him if he had not crowed over me so. I ran nearly all
 the way home--a good mile--with my treasure, in great haste to have
 some one tell me the best way to invest my money. I was told to go
 another three quarters of a mile to Stephen Savage’s store, spend it
 for calico, piece it up, to keep forever. I could get only one yard
 for my two-shilling piece, not nearly as good as can be bought now for
 three cents a yard. Not a trace of the quilt is left, nor of the old
 schoolhouse, or of those merry children; perhaps a few have wandered
 on to fourscore years. So it is little I can relate of his childhood,
 as the next year we moved from that district, but as years passed on I
 often heard of his rising fame with pleasure. If Eli Avery were living
 he would have been his best biographer in this place.

 The time has flown so fast since all this transpired, it seems as if
 his tears had hardly dried before my grandchildren were studying his

 Two years ago the 9th day of September, when the doctor was visiting
 in Sauquoit, he called here and remarked, in his smiling way, “that he
 had got all over feeling badly about _that_.” I said, “And well you
 may when you have received so many honors since then.”

Your loving friend,


 A neighbor who survived to a great age also told a story of Dr. Gray’s
 boyhood, which he said he had from Dr. Gray’s father:--

 One day he had been set to hoe a certain amount of corn, and his
 father found him reading instead of at his work. He gave him his
 choice, to finish his task and then read comfortably, or to sit there
 in the field all day in the hot sun, which one knows is no pleasant
 thing in August, and read. He chose the reading, and his father said
 then, “I made up my mind he might make something of a scholar, but he
 would never make a farmer!” And so his farther education was decided.

 [11] Asa Gray was the eldest of eight children, three sisters and four
 brothers, of whom there survive two sisters and two brothers.

 [12] Dr. Gray visited Fairfield again in the summer of 1860 or 1861.
 He pointed out his old room, and told about some of the pranks he and
 his room-mate Eli Avery had played there as boys, especially once
 when they barred their room, escaped through the window by clambering
 down a rope, and then enjoyed the efforts of the master to break the
 door down. Oddly enough there was then a fresh panel in the door, as
 if a later generation had tried the same trick. There were a great
 many stories told of his exploits as a boy. But he said everything
 had been fathered upon him, and that few were really true. He was no
 doubt restless and active, and learning quickly and easily would have
 leisure for some mischief, but he said, “I always learned my lessons.”
 He loved to recall the long rambles through the woods on Saturday
 holidays, and how in early spring he and his companions would climb
 to a lookout and see where columns of smoke could be seen above the
 trees, and so aim for the spot where they were making maple sugar.
 There they would beg a little syrup, and, boiling it down over their
 own fire and cooling it on snow, make a candy more delicious than any
 confectionery of after life. He remembered how he trained himself to
 know the trees by their bark as he ran through the woods, without
 looking up at the leaves, having then the keen power of observation
 though no especial interest in botany. For, as he always said, his
 first fancy was for mineralogy rather than for botany.

 And he told how when he was a medical student, as so many about him
 were smoking, he tried it too; it made him very sick at first, and
 took him some time to get accustomed to it. At last, as he sat one
 evening before the fire and smoked, he said to himself, “Really, I am
 beginning to like it. It will become a habit; I shall be dependent
 upon it.” And so he threw his cigar into the fire and gave up smoking

 [13] In later life the novels were always saved for long journeys. The
 novel of the day was picked out, and one pleasure of a long day’s ride
 in the train was to sit by his side and enjoy his pleasure at the good
 things. The glee and delight with which he read Hawthorne, especially
 the _Wonder-Book_ and _Tanglewood Tales_, make days to remember. So he
 read George Eliot, and Adam Bede carried him happily through a fit of
 the toothache. Scott always remained the prime favorite, and his last
 day of reading, when the final illness was stealing so unexpectedly
 and insidiously on, was spent over _The Monastery_, which he had been
 planning to read on his homeward voyage in 1887.

 [14] It was established as a college in 1812, having existed as a
 school in the academy since 1809. There were then only five others
 in the United Stated: Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Dartmouth,
 and Baltimore. The war of 1812 with Great Britain made a demand for
 army surgeons along the frontier, and New York and Boston were too
 far to send the young men to be educated. Dr. Hadley was professor
 in the literary academy, and Dr. Willoughby, who had a wide medical
 reputation, was also in Fairfield. They planned a medical college, and
 applied to the legislature for aid; the sum of $5,000 was granted,
 and later, in 1812, $10,000. The first Faculty was organized by the
 Board of Regents of the New York State University, which had control
 of the educational institutions in the State. It grew rapidly in
 favor, and soon outnumbered the schools of the large cities. In 1820
 the school had one hundred students, and increased to two hundred and
 seventeen later, and was the largest medical school in the country,
 except the one at Philadelphia. After the Albany and Geneva medical
 schools were established, it was seen there was no need of three so
 near together, and Fairfield Medical College was discontinued in 1840.
 In the list of graduates of Fairfield Academy were Albert Barnes,
 the noted expositor, General Halleck, of the United States Army,
 and James Hadley, professor of Greek at Yale and the distinguished
 linguist. In the records of the academy it is stated that “Asa Gray
 entered Fairfield Academy in the fall of 1825, and at the second
 weekly meeting joined the Calliopean Society of the institute. His
 handwriting on the register is still preserved, as well as all his
 doings as a boy while here, since he entered at an early age, being
 in fact much younger than the majority of the students.” He graduated
 from the medical college January 25, 1831 in a class of forty-four.
 His rank was seventeen in the class on graduation. The subject of his
 thesis was “Gastritis.” Two old catalogues are preserved at Fairfield.
 In the first there is the programme of studies at the academy for the
 year 1826; the other, dating January, 1832, contains a list of the
 professors of the medical college, the cost of instruction, and the
 outlines of two courses of lectures. One of them was given by Dr.
 Mather, who was a fellow student of Asa Gray’s, and who still, at over
 eighty, retains a lively recollection of the eager, active young man
 whom his friends already thought would make his mark in the world;
 the other by Dr. Gray himself. This was one of the first courses of
 lectures which he delivered. The ticket-fee was four dollars. He
 kept through life a certain love for medicine and surgery, and a
 lively interest in its science and progress. These old studies and
 the country practice he had with the physician who was always his
 good friend, Dr. Trowbridge, often served him on his journeys, when a
 regular practitioner was not within easy reach.

 [15] Amos Eaton, 1776-1842. Graduated from Williams in 1799. Teacher,
 lecturer, and author of _Manual of the Botany of North America_, as
 well as of many reports on geological surveys.

 [16] College catalogue of Fairfield, 1830-31.

 [17] Lewis C. Beck, 1798-1853; professor in Albany Academy; author of
 _Botany of the United States North of Virginia_.

 [18] Lewis David Schweinitz, 1780-1834; the first American who studied
 and described the fungi of the United States. He wrote also on other
 North American cryptogams and carices.

 [19] John E. Le Conte, 1784-1860; formerly major in United States
 army. His first botanical publication was a catalogue of the plants on
 the island of New York, in 1810. He later wrote chiefly on entomology.

 [20] It appears that in December, 1834, I read to the Lyceum of
 Natural History my first paper, _Monograph of North American
 Rhynchosporæ_, and my second, _New or Rare Plants of the State of New
 York_. They must have been printed early in 1835.--A. G.

 [21] J. G. C. Lehmann, 1793-1860; professor at Hamburg.

 [22] George Francis Reuter, 1815-1873; directer of the Botanical
 Garden at Geneva; curator of Boissier’s herbarium.

 [23] Edward T. Channing; professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard

 [24] Daniel Treadwell; professor in Harvard University of applied
 physics; distinguished inventor in mechanics, especially in the
 welding of steel.

 [25] John H. Redfield; curator of the herbarium of the botanical
 department of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science.

 [26] _American Jour. Sci._, xxv. 346-350.

 [27] Dr. Trowbridge.

 [28] _North American Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ_, of which Part I. was
 issued in 1834, Part II. in 1835. This was the first separate and
 individual publication by Dr. Gray. Sir W.J. Hooker said of it:--[It]
 “may fairly be classed among the most beautiful and useful works of
 the kind that we are acquainted with. The specimens are remarkably
 well selected, skillfully prepared, critically studied, and carefully
 compared with those in the extensive and very authentic herbarium of
 Dr. Torrey.”

 [29] Alluding to the then popular squib of Major Jack Downing’s

 [30] S. Wells Williams, 1812-1884. Went as missionary to China in
 1833. Wrote a Chinese dictionary and other works; translated Genesis
 and Matthew into Japanese also. Later was secretary of the American
 Legation to China; returned to America in 1875.

 [31] _Elements of Botany._

 [32] Chester Dewey, 1784-1887; professor in Williams College,
 Massachusetts. Removed to Rochester, N.Y., 1836, where he died.
 “Carried on the study of Carex and published on them for more than
 forty years” [A. G.].

 [33] Jacob Whitman Bailey. 1811-1857; professor in the Military
 Academy at West Point. One of the earliest students of American Algæ,
 and distinguished also for his microscopic researches in botany.

 [34] Charles W. Whipple, died in 1855. Was educated at West Point,
 where probably he was a pupil of Dr. Torrey. He was never in the army,
 but studied law and practiced in Detroit; was made Judge, then Chief
 Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan. Ex-officio regent of the
 State university.

 [35] David Bates Douglass, 1790-1849. He held the professorship of
 natural philosophy and civil architecture in the University of New
 York, and was afterward president of Kenyon College. He laid out
 Greenwood Cemetery.

 [36] Dr. Thomas Raffles; a distinguished Congregational clergyman in
 Liverpool from 1812 to 1863.

 [37] John Shepherd, b. 1764. For thirty-five years at the Liverpool
 Botanic Garden.

 [38] Peter D. Knieskern, M. D., 1798-1871. “Botanized over the
 pine-barrens of New Jersey with utmost assiduity and skill, a
 simple-hearted, unpretendingly good and faithful man.... Few botanists
 have excelled him in their knowledge of the plants of the region in
 which he resided, and none in zeal, simplicity, and love of science
 for its own sake.”--A. G.

 [39] Thomas Nuttall, 1784-1859; a great traveler and explorer. Came to
 the United States in 1807. His writings are intimately connected with
 the development of North American botany.

 [40] Robert K. Greville M. D., 1794-1866; author of _Scottish
 Cryptogamic Flora_, _Flora Edinensis_, and _Algæ Britannicæ_.

 [41] Robert Graham, M. D., 1786-1845; professor of botany in the
 University of Edinburgh.

 [42] William Nicoll. Invented section-cutting of recent and fossil
 woods in 1827.

 [43] James Forbes, 1809-1861; professor of natural philosophy in the
 University of Edinburgh.

 [44] Robert Jameson 1774-1854; professor of natural history in the
 University of Edinburgh.

 [45] John Hutton Balfour, M. D. 1808-1885; professor of botany in
 Glasgow, and afterwards in the University of Edinburgh.

 [46] Sir Charles Bell, 1774-1842; a very distinguished surgeon; author
 of _Anatomy of Expression_ and many celebrated works. He accepted the
 chair of surgery at Edinburgh, 1836.

 [47] John Abercrombie, M. D., 1781-1844; celebrated Scotch physician
 and author.

 [48] Sir Robert Christison, 1798-1882; professor of materia medica in
 the University of Edinburgh.

 [49] James T. W. Johnston, 1796-1865; agricultural chemist; professor
 at Durham. Lectured in the United States.

 [50] Francis Boott, 1792-1863. Born in Boston, United States. Early
 removed to London, where he studied and practiced medicine a few
 years. “A good botanist, and in his later life devoted to the study of
 Carices” [A. G.].

 [51] John Joseph Bennett, 1801-1876; keeper of the herbarium of the
 British Museum. “One of the most learned and modest of men” [A. G.].

 [52] Sir John Richardson, M. D., 1787-1865. “The well-known Arctic
 explorer, zoölogist, and botanist” [A. G.].

 [53] David Don, 1795-1856; librarian of the Linnæan Society; professor
 of botany in King’s College, London.

 [54] Frederic Pursh, 1774-1820. Emigrated to America, 1799. Traveled
 and collected much; settled later in Montreal, where he died.

 [55] Aylmer Bourke Lambert, 1762-1842; author of the _Genus Pinus_ and
 the _Genus Cinchona_. Owned a very large herbarium comprising plants
 of Pursh, who published under his liberal patronage.

 [56] John Forbes Royle, M. D.; a surgeon in the East India Company.
 Wrote on the botany of the Himalaya.

 [57] John Edward Gray, 1800-1875; keeper of the zoölogical collections
 of the British Museum for many years. “Of persistent ardor,
 indomitable energy, and great practical power” [A. G.].

 [58] William Clift, 1775-1849; curator of the Hunterian Museum of the
 Royal College of Surgeons.

 [59] Peter Mark Roget, M. D., 1779-1869; secretary of the Royal
 Society, London. Wrote _Animal and Vegetable Physiology_, and the
 well-known _Thesaurus_.

 [60] Richard Taylor; printer; for many years secretary of the Linnæan

 [61] Francis Bauer; botanical artist to George III.

 [62] Thomas Horsfield, M. D., 1774-1859. Born in Pennsylvania. After
 sixteen years in Java, passed the rest of his life in London as keeper
 of the museum of the East India Company. Brown & Bennett published
 part of his collections, _Plantæ Javanicæ Rariores_.

 [63] I forgot to mention also some bricks from Babylon, covered with
 arrowhead characters, which were the most interesting relics of
 antiquity I almost ever saw.--A. G.

 [64] Nathaniel R. Ward, 1791-1868; inventor of the Wardian case.

 [65] Archibald Menzies, 1754-1842; the botanist who accompanied
 Vancouver in his voyage to the west coasts of North and South America.
 His collections are in the Edinburgh and Kew Herbariums.

 [66] Sir Charles Lyell, the geologist.

 [67] Edwin J. Quekett, 1808-1847. Wrote much on the microscopic
 structure of plants and animals.

 [68] John Miers, 1789-1879; a botanist who studied in South America
 and wrote many papers.

 [69] Thomas Walter, d. 1788, in Carolina, U. S. Wrote _Flora

 [70] James Scott Bowerbank, 1797-1877. Wrote on Sponges and the Fossil
 Fruits of the London Clay.

 [71] Edward Forster, 1765-1849. Made vice-president of the Linnæan
 Society in 1828.

 [72] Herbert Gray Torrey, born just before Dr. Gray sailed, was his

 [73] Mr. George P. Putnam; the American publisher and bookseller, at
 this time established in London.

 [74] William Valentine, a very promising young botanist, who wrote
 valuable papers on the structure of mosses. Went early to Tasmania,
 where he died.

 [75] Pulled down in 1891.

 [76] Theodore Hartweg, died in 1871. Explored in Mexico and
 California, 1836 to 1847; later director of the Grand-ducal Gardens,
 Swetzingen, Baden.

 [77] Philip Barker Webb, 1793-1854; a “distinguished English botanist
 residing in Paris, of vast and varied knowledge. He accumulated one of
 the largest herbaria, bequeathed to the Duke of Tuscany.”--A. G.

 [78] Beaupré Charles Gaudichaud, 1780-1854; French botanist. Went
 round the world in the Bonite, and published the Botany of the

 [79] Jacques Gay, died 1863. Born in Switzerland, and a pupil of

 [80] Jean F. Camille Montagne, 1794-1865; surgeon in the French army.
 Retired in 1830, and devoted himself to cryptogamic botany.

 [81] Achille Richard, 1794-1852; professor of botany in the Ecole de
 Médecine, Paris; son of L. Claude Richard.

 [82] Edouard Spach, 1801-1879; native of Strasburg, many years keeper
 of the herbarium at the Jardin des Plantes.

 [83] Charles François Brisseau Mirbel, 1776-1854; one of the
 most distinguished vegetable anatomists of the age. His earliest
 publication in 1801.

 [84] Auguste de St. Hilaire, 1779-1853. Accompanied the Duke of
 Luxembourg on his voyage to Brazil, where he spent six years, and
 published a _Flora of Brazil_, 1825, and many other works.

 [85] Baron Benjamin Delessert, 1773-1847; a French financier and
 philanthropist. Associated with De Candolle in the publication of the
 _Icones Selectæ_.

 [86] Jean Louis Berlandier, died 1851; a Belgian. Established as an
 apothecary at Matamoras, 1827 or 1828. The first botanist to explore
 New Spain. He also made large collections in western Texas.

 [87] Adolphe Theodore Brongniart, 1801-1876; distinguished French
 botanist, more especially in fossil botany; professor of botany at the
 Jardin des Plantes.

 [88] The rediscovery of Shortia in 1878 is described on p. 682.

 [89] Nicolas Charles Seringe, 1775-1856; professor at Lyons. Seringia
 named for him.

 [90] Esprit Requien,1788-1851; a pupil of A. P. de Candolle at
 Montpellier. Often quoted in the _Flore Française_.

 [91] Michel Felix Dunal, 1789-1856; professor of botany at
 Montpellier. “One of the earliest friends of A. P. De Candolle. Author
 of several important monographs” [A. G.].

 [92] Alire Raffeneau Delile, 1778-1850; director of the Garden of
 Agriculture established at Cairo. Later he succeeded De Candolle in
 the Botanic Garden, Montpellier. A celebrated botanist.

 [93] There is a gigantic statue of Columbus, placed in a conspicuous
 place and looking down into the harbor. They make very much of him
 now, as well they may; they derided him when living, they set up his
 image long after he is dead. Of course we are very much obliged to
 him, for if he had not discovered America what would have become of
 us!--A. G.

 [94] Gaetano Savi, 1769-1844.

 [95] Antonio Targioni-Tozzetti, 1785-1856; distinguished Florentine

 [96] Giovanni Battista Amici, 1784-1863; an Italian astronomer,
 especially skilled in the construction of optical instruments.

 [97] Horatio Greenough; the American sculptor in Florence.

 [98] Roberto de Visiani, 1809-1878; professor of botany at Padua;
 author of a _Flora Dalmatica_.

 [99] B. Biasoletto, M. D., 1793-1858. Triest. “A botanist of merit and
 investigator of Algæ of the Adriatic” [A. G.].

 [100] M. J. Tommasini, 1794-1879. Triest. Author of a Botany of Mt.
 Slavonik, Istria.

 [101] Stephen Ladislaus Endlicher, 1804-1849; professor of botany in
 the University of Vienna; author of _Genera Plantarum_.

 [102] Aloys Putterlich, 1810-1845; keeper of the Botanical Museum,

 [103] Edward Fenzl, 1807-1879; professor of botany and director of the
 Botanic Garden at Vienna.

 [104] Dr. Heinrich Schott, 1794-1865; director of the Imperial
 Gardens, Schönbrunn. “He was the highest authority on Aroideæ” [A. G.].

 [105] A. C. J. Corda, 1809-1849. Prague. A distinguished mycologist.
 Lost at sea on returning from America.

 [106] Karel B. Presl, 1794-1852; professor at Prague and curator of
 the herbarium.

 [107] Christian Gottfried Nees von Esenbeck, 1776-1858; professor of
 natural history at Bonn and Breslau.

 [108] Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini, 1797-1848; professor of botany at
 Munich. Among other publications he assisted in describing the plants
 collected and described by Siebold in the _Flora Japonica_.

 [109] Julius Hermann Schultes, 1804. Died in Munich, 1840.

 [110] Jean Etienne Duby, 1797-1885; long one of the Genevese clergy
 and a botanist and colleague of Augustin Pyramus do Candolle.

 [111] Dr. Gurdon Buck.

 [112] Hugo von Mohl, 1805-1872. Born at Stuttgart. Professor of botany
 at Tübingen. “Chief of the vegetable anatomists of this generation”
 [A. G.].

 [113] Eduard Friedrich Pöppig, 1798-1868; professor of zoölogy at
 Leipsic. Made collections of plants in Cuba, Chili, Peru, and on the
 upper Amazon.

 [114] Christian Friedrich Schwägrichen, 1775-1853; professor of
 natural history at Leipsic.

 [115] Heinrich Gottlieb Reichenbach, 1793-1879; professor of botany
 at Dresden. A voluminous author, especially of illustrated works on
 European plants.

 [116] D. F. L. von Schlechtendal, 1784-1866. University of Halle.
 Editor of the _Linnæa_ and _Botanische Zeitung_.

 [117] Christian Schkuhr, 1741-1811. _History of Carices_, 1802.

 [118] Dr. J. H. Klotzsch, 1805-1860; keeper of the Royal Herbarium at

 [119] Karl Sigismund Kunth, 1788-1850. Appointed professor of botany
 at Berlin, 1819. Author of _Enumeratio Plantarum_ and other well-known
 descriptive works.

 [120] Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, 1794-1876. Berlin. Student of
 the microscope, and author of works on the lower forms of plants and

 [121] Heinrich Friedrich Link, 1767-1851. Professor at Breslau, then
 at Berlin. Wrote _Anatomy of Plants_ and _Elements of Botanical

 [122] _A Flora of North America_; containing abridged descriptions
 of all the known indigenous and naturalized plants growing north of
 Mexico; arranged according to the natural system. By John Torrey and
 Asa Gray. New York. 8vo; vol. i., 1838-1840, pp. xvi, 711; vol. ii.,
 1841-1843, pp. 504.

 [123] S. Constantine Rafinesque-Schmaltz, d. 1840. A Sicilian by
 birth. First arrived in the United States, 1802, for three years;
 returned in 1815, and explored the Alleghanies and Southern States.
 “An eccentric but certainly gifted personage, connected with the
 natural history of this country for the last thirty-five years” [A.

 [124] Benjamin D. Greene, 1798-1862. First studied law; then medicine
 in Scotland and Paris. Devoted himself to botany. “His very valuable
 herbarium and botanical library were bequeathed to the Boston Natural
 History Society. He was always a most liberal and wise patron of
 science” [A. G.].

 [125] Jacob Bigelow, M. D., 1787-1870; an eminent Boston physician;
 author of the _Floral Bostoniensis_, 1814.

 [126] George B. Emerson, 1797-1881; an eminent teacher in Boston,
 Mass.; author of _Trees and Shrubs of Massachusetts_.

 [127] Director of Kew Gardens.

 [128] Ferdinand Lindheimer, 1801-1879. Died at New Braunfels, Texas. A
 German. “An assiduous and excellent collector and a keen observer; his
 notes, full and discriminating, add not a little to the value of the
 collections” [A. G.].

 [129] Edward Tuckerman, 1817-1886; professor at Amherst. “The most
 profound and trustworthy American lichenologist of the day” [A. G.].

 [130] Benjamin Peirce, 1809-1880; professor of mathematics, Harvard

 [131] Carl Geyer, 1809-1853; a German botanist who explored the
 basin of the upper Mississippi with Nicollet under the Bureau of
 Topographical Engineers, 1836-1840. Afterwards crossed the Rocky
 Mountains to Oregon.

 [132] Lecture to his class in college.

 [133] Dr. Gray imported a quantity of small evergreens from England
 and planted the ground extensively, adding also many other kinds.

 [134] Dr. Rugel came to America, 1842; settled in eastern Tennessee
 and collected in the southeastern States.

 [135] To his college class.

 [136] Dr. Jeffries Wyman.

 [137] This was Dr. Gray’s second course of Lowell lectures. Dr. John
 A. Albro, the Congregationalist minister of Cambridge, was his pastor.

 [138] G. J. Mulder, 1802-1880; professor of chemistry in the
 University of Utrecht. Wrote on Animal and Vegetable Physiology.

 [139] Carl H. Schultz-Schultzenstein, 1798-1871; professor of
 physiology in the University of Berlin. Wrote voluminously upon
 Cyclosis and the Vessels of the Latex, etc.

 [140] Dr. Charles Danbeny, G. B., 1795-1867; professor of botany and
 rural economy at Oxford; chemist and geologist.

 [141] William Oakes, 1799-1848. “The most thorough and complete
 collector and investigator of New England plants” [A. G.].

 [142] Alphonse Wood, 1810-1881; author of popular botanical text-books.

 [143] His brother, then living with him in Cambridge to enter Harvard.

 [144] Christian Hendrik Persoon, 1755-1838; a botanist at the Cape of
 Good Hope. Died in Paris at a very advanced age. Fungologist.

 [145] The third course of Lowell lectures.

 [146] Augustus Fendler, 1813-1883. Came from Prussia to America
 in 1840. Collected in New Mexico, and on the Andes about Tovar in
 Venezuela, and in Trinidad. “A close, accurate observer, a capital
 collector and specimen-maker; his distributed specimens are classical.
 Of a scientific turn of mind in other lines than botany” [A. G.].

 [147] Spencer F. Baird, afterward widely known as secretary of the
 Smithsonian Institution.

 [148] A relative left Nuttall a comfortable little estate and property
 on condition that he should not be away from it more than three months
 in the year. He managed to come to America again by taking the three
 last months of one year and the three first of the next.

 [149] Increase Allen Lapham, 1811-1875; author of a Catalogue of
 Plants in the Vicinity of Milwaukee.

 [150] Charles Pickering, 1805-1878. “Author of _Geographical
 Distribution of Plants and Animals and Man’s Record of his own
 Existence_, largely a record of changes in the habitat of plants. A
 monument of wonderful industry” [A. G.].

 [151] John P. Brace, Litchfield, Conn.; an early botanist and
 mineralogist. His herbarium went to Williams College.

 [152] A. Wislizenus, M. D., b. 1810. Explored New Mexico and Mexico;
 was arrested as a spy. On returning to the United States published a
 memoir of the tour, 1846-1847.

 [153] Josiah Gregg, died in California, 1850; made excellent
 collections in Chihuahua and in the Valley of the Rio Grande. Author
 of the _Commerce of the Prairies_.

 [154] Leo Lesquereux, 1806-1889; the leading fossil botanist of
 America, and a distinguished bryologist.

 [155] Sprague made, under Dr. Gray’s directions, some drawings in
 color of the work planned, _The Trees of North America_. The work was
 never completed, too many things, expense, etc., coming in the way,
 but the few plates printed and colored by Prestele were issued in a
 small quarto pamphlet by the Smithsonian Institution in 1891.

 [156] John Amory Lowell, 1798-1881; a Boston merchant, and a liberal
 patron of botany. He bought many valuable books and collected a fine
 herbarium. He shaped the policy and direction of the Lowell Institute
 founded by his cousin, John Lowell.

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