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Title: Letters of Asa Gray; Vol. 2
Author: Gray, Asa
Language: English
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                       [Illustration: Asa Gray]

                          LETTERS OF ASA GRAY

                               EDITED BY
                           JANE LORING GRAY

                            IN TWO VOLUMES

                               VOL. II.


                          BOSTON AND NEW YORK
                     HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

                    The Riverside Press, Cambridge

                           Copyright, 1893,
                         BY JANE LORING GRAY.

                        _All rights reserved._



V. SECOND JOURNEY IN EUROPE.--CORRESPONDENCE. 1830-1859              369

VI. LETTERS TO DARWIN AND OTHERS. 1800-1868                          454

VII. TRAVEL IN EUROPE AND AMERICA. 1808-1880                         565

VIII. FINAL JOURNEYS AND WORK. 1880-1888                             701

NOTE ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS. The frontispiece portrait of Dr. Gray is a
photogravure from a photograph taken in 1880. The plate of Dr. Gray in
his study, facing page 529, is from a photograph taken in 1879. The view
of the present Range of Buildings in the Botanic Garden, facing page
614, is from a photograph taken for this work.





Dr. Gray sailed for England with Mrs. Gray in a sailing packet June 11,
1850. The steamers made regular trips, but the fine packets were still
running, and it was thought desirable to try the longer voyage for Mrs.
Gray’s health.

Dr. Gray renewed acquaintance with his old friends, and made many new
ones, meeting at his friend Mr. Ward’s, where they first stayed, many of
the younger men, Henfrey, Forbes, etc., who had become known in science
since his former visit in 1839.


GHENT, BELGIUM, July 16, 1850.

I surely meant that you should have heard of us long ere this. But there
seemed not to be a moment of time during the fortnight we spent in
England; Mr. Ward kept us so busy with every sort of engagement and
sight-seeing that J. could enjoy. I meant to have written at Dover last
evening; but it was not convenient, so now that we are for the first
night in a strange country (which England is not) I must tell you, what
I trust you have learned from Carey (to whom I had occasion to write
hurriedly, last mail), that we had a very pleasant voyage of seventeen
and a half days and came near making it in fourteen, as we made land
early on the morning of the twelfth day out, no storms, but gentle
favoring breezes till we made the Irish coast; and then, to our
disappointment, we had head winds to beat against all the way up to
Holyhead, and reached Liverpool Saturday morning....

On Monday we left Liverpool, which has vastly improved since you saw it;
stopping at Coventry and turning off to Leamington to see, at
Darlington’s desire, the descendants of old Peter Collinson,[1] and
deliver some books and letters from him, which I did. Mrs. Collinson was
ill with a severe fall, but her daughter received the things I brought,
and showed me a portrait of Peter. Then Mrs. Gray and I made an
excursion to Warwick Castle, the fine ruins of Kenilworth, and
Stoneleigh Abbey, driving through six or seven miles of fine park. The
next day on to London, to Ward, who had insisted on our visiting him. He
lives three and a half miles out of London, in a pleasant and quiet
suburban house; his son being established in Wellclose Square.

Boott I saw the same evening I arrived, and two days later, with J., but
not later. He has been quite sick with an influenza, and a slight but
not altogether pleasant inflammation of the lungs.

To Hooker I went at once also, and got your kind letter there, and saw
Kew. Hooker is quite well; but Lady H. is very poorly.... She inquired
most particularly and affectionately after yourself, and asked about all
your family....

On Monday I made another visit to Kew Gardens, (a grand affair) to show
the lions of the place to four or five young Americans I knew, one of
them young Brace,[2] J.’s cousin, who is making with two friends a
pleasant and profitable pedestrian excursion in England.[3] I cannot
begin to tell you the half we have done and seen in England, but we were
most busy: Saturday, conversazione of Royal Botanical Society in
Regent’s Park. Wednesday, excursion with Linnæan Club to Hertford; saw a
great Pinetum, 600 species of Coniferæ, etc., and the Panshanger Oak. (I
wrote Carey a few words of this.) Thursday, a most pleasant day with
Hooker. Miss Hooker looks quite well; all send their love to you, all
most kind and sweet to us. Hooker has altered little, but looks older.
Brown looks older perhaps, but decidedly stronger, is as healthy as
possible and very lively. In talking with him and showing him about it
he gave up about Krameria, and said I must be right. He formerly
unequivocally referred it to Polygalaceæ. Bennett is large and fat. I
fear he does not work hard enough.

Yesterday we came down to Dover early in the afternoon (a striking
place), and embarked late in the evening on steamer for Ostend, which we
reached early this morning; came right on to Bruges, which listless and
very curious old-world town, and its curiosities, we have all day been
exploring, till six o’clock, when we came on twenty-eight miles further
by railway to the famous and more lively town of Ghent,--where I have
been running about till the dusk arrived, and must now to bed, as we
have to finish Ghent to-morrow before dinner, and go on to Antwerp
afterwards, thence to Cologne. I think we shall cut Brussels.

At Ghent saw the Belfry and the strange old Town Hall.... I went to the
Botanic Garden (did not find Professor Kickx),--hardly as large as ours
at Cambridge, and by no means so rich or half so well kept, though said
to be the best in Belgium; explored the university library, and strolled
through the streets and along the canals....

Antwerp.--Imagine us settled comfortably at Hotel du Parc, Wednesday
evening, overlooking the Place Verte, our windows commanding a near and
most advantageous view of the finest cathedral in Belgium, with light
enough still to see pretty well against the sky the graceful outlines
and much of the light tracery and Gothic work of this gem of a steeple,
one of the loftiest in the world (403 feet, 7 inches) and probably
unsurpassed by any for lightness, grace, and the elaborateness of the
carved work. Napoleon compared it to Mechlin lace. And such sweet
chimes, every fifteen minutes! The chime at the beginning of the hour
still rings in our ears. We have never tired of listening to it....

BONN, July 22.

We drove through the city (Cologne) to the station of the Bonn railroad.
But on the way the driver, of his own motion, stopped at the door of the
cathedral. Finding that we had time enough to take a good look before
the train left, we could not resist, and saw this wonder and masterpiece
of true Gothic architecture; which by the united efforts of most North
German powers is going on toward completion, in the style and plan on
which it was commenced seven hundred or eight hundred years ago, and in
which the choir was finished, and the transepts and nave commenced. It
is most grand; the grandest thing we ever saw, though the nave bears
only a temporary roof, at thirty or forty feet less than the full
height. The ancient stained glass comes fully up to one’s expectation. I
have never seen the like.

We went up to Poppelsdorf; such charming and picturesque view of the
Siebengebirge (seven mountains) and the Godesberg, etc., from the
professor’s windows and the Botanic Garden; the museums rich and
curious, and parts of the old château in which they are (now surrendered
to the university) not less so. The botanical professors, Treviranus[4]
and Dr. Roemer, very kind; some collections to be made ready here for me
to examine when we come back, so that I must then spend a day here....


GENEVA, August 16, 1850.

We went up the Rhine to Coblenz, Bingen, and Mayence; thence to
Frankfort. By some mistake in the post office in giving me the address,
your letter to Dr. Fresenius[5] I took to a law-doctor Fresenius, who
was away in Switzerland. So I gave up all hopes of seeing him, and we
fell to seeing the sights by ourselves, when, a few hours before we had
arranged to go to Heidelberg, the true Dr. Fresenius came in. We may see
him again on our way back. We went to Heidelberg, for an hour or two

It is now the 20th,--time passed fast. I work to-day in herbariums De
Candolle and Boissier, and to-morrow morning we go to Freiburg and Berne
and the Bernese Oberland. We cannot be back now in England so early as
we expected; but still hope to be there by the 20th September....

Thursday morning, after an early breakfast, went on by railroad to Kehl;
left our luggage and took a carriage over the bridge of boats, across
the lines of the French republic (?) into Strasburg. Saw Schimper;[6]
then we went to the cathedral, viewed the grand front of this imposing
structure, and the wonderful spire, the tallest in the world; were much
struck with the grandeur of the interior, wholly lighted by stained
glass, the greater part of it 400 or 500 years old. After visiting the
Museum of Natural History, and arranging with Schimper to meet him in
Switzerland, where he is to pass with his wife (a Swiss lady) a long
vacation, we took our carriage and returned to the Baden side of the
river, and came on to Freiburg (in the Breisgau) that evening, reaching
it in the rain....

Professor Braun,[7] the brother of the first Mrs. Agassiz, was very kind
to us. He is a very interesting man, of charming manners; his wife very
sweet and charming, his children most engaging. Saturday afternoon we
took a carriage, and with Professor Braun rode up a beautiful valley to
the Höllenthal (French, Vallée d’Enfer), a rocky and wooded gorge of
very striking scenery; wild and majestic, rather than terrible, as its
name imports....

In the afternoon visited the cathedral, one of the finest and oldest in
Europe, that is well preserved. Here nearly every part, and all the
stained glass, of a most curious kind, is perfectly preserved; and the
spire, though not so high as that of Strasburg, is as elaborate and
light,--as it were of woven stone thread,--and even more beautiful....

Tuesday we rode from Bâle to Bienne (fifty-six miles) in a diligence,
from eight A.M. to five P.M., through the Münster Thal, the grandest and
most picturesque scenery of the Jura.

Wednesday, a ride of three hours along lakes of Bienne and Neuchâtel
brought us to Neuchâtel at eleven o’clock A.M. ... Professor Godet,[8]
who received me most cordially, took me (with Mr. Coulon) up the
Chaumont, 2,500 feet; but the Alps were obscured by clouds, at least the
higher Alps, and we had no fine view of them; otherwise the view was
very fine. We returned by the great boulder Pierre à Bot. All asked
after Agassiz with much interest. Excursions are planned for us when we

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray enjoyed the visit to Geneva, where he renewed his friendship
with MM. Alphonse De Candolle and Boissier, accomplishing some useful
work, and having pleasant social meetings and excursions. He went to
Chamouni and the Bernese Oberland; then to Munich, especially to meet
again Martius, with whom he had been in constant correspondence, and who
made the journey from Tyrol to greet his old friend. Their few days
together were greatly enjoyed.

He returned to England, going down the Neckar by steamboat to
Heidelberg, then down the Rhine, and through Holland, where he saw
Miquel[9] in Amsterdam, rambling with him on a fête-day through the
streets at evening, enjoying the queer sights; went to Leyden, meeting
De Vriese,[10] with whom was R. Brown (then staying in Leyden for a few
days), and seeing the Botanic Garden, one of the oldest in Europe, and
well known to Linnæus. Blume[11] he missed, but he saw Siebold’s[12]
collection of Japanese curios, then most rare. He took steamer from
Rotterdam to London, and after a few days went down to Mr. Bentham’s, in

Here were spent two months of very hard work with Mr. Bentham, who most
kindly went over with him the plants of the United States Exploring
Expedition, which had been brought over the Atlantic for the purpose.

Pontrilas is in a pretty, hilly country on the border of Wales, with
many old churches, almost of Saxon time, in the neighborhood, to give
interest to walks, and very interesting, agreeable neighbors for a day
or two’s visiting, among them the authoress, Mrs. Archer Clive, who was
very kind.

He left Pontrilas early in December to make a visit, at Dublin, to his
friend Professor Harvey, to stay in the family of Mr. and Mrs.
Todhunter, Dr. Harvey’s sister. Going on board the steamer at ten in the
evening, he met with the severe accident of which he gives an account in
his letters. Dr. Harvey came from Dublin to help in nursing him. His
vigor and elasticity helped him to a speedy recovery, but it increased a
general tendency to stoop, and he was never so erect afterwards.

He was able to get to Kew the last of December, and spent the winter in
hard work in Sir William Hooker’s herbarium, which was then in his house
at West Park.


CUMBERLAND PLACE, KEW, December 28, 1850.

Your kind favor of December 6th, forwarded to me by Bentham, to Dublin,
would have been sooner acknowledged, but that it found me an invalid. On
our way from Hereford to Dublin I had just gone on board a steamer at
Holyhead, early in the evening; had left Mrs. Gray in the ladies’ cabin,
when, coming on deck again, I stepped over an open hatchway which had
been left for the moment very carelessly unguarded and unlighted. I fell
full eighteen feet, they say, to the bottom of the hold, striking partly
on my right hand and the side of my right leg, bruising and straining
both, but principally on my right side against a timber projecting from
the floor, fracturing two of my ribs. It is truly wonderful that I was
not more seriously and permanently injured. I was taken on shore at once
and had good medical attendance. I recovered so rapidly that in a week I
was comfortably taken across to Dublin, where I was kindly cared for by
good friends; in two weeks more I left for London, able to walk without
difficulty; and to-day, just four weeks after the accident, I have begun
to work at plants again, in Sir William Hooker’s herbarium. But my side
is still tender, and my strength is not great.

Having said thus much of my bodily condition, let me no longer delay to
thank you heartily for the very unexpected compliment that you have
caused to be paid me, and to ask you to convey, in fitting terms, my
grateful acknowledgments to the Société de Physique et d’Histoire
Naturelle, for the honor they have conferred upon me in choosing me as
one of their corresponding members. I was not aware that I had rendered
any particular services to your society, but I shall be very glad to do
so if any opportunity offers. Although, generally, I am far from
coveting compliments of this kind, I assure you I am much pleased to be
thus associated with several valued personal friends, my contemporaries,
and with such highly honored names of the past generation....

We had eight weeks of most pleasant and profitable labor at Pontrilas,
and Mr. Bentham has rendered me invaluable assistance.

Mrs. Gray joins me in the expression of kind remembrances and regard to
Madame De Candolle and yourself.

Believe me to remain, ever most sincerely yours,


       *       *       *       *       *

Since Dr. Gray was so near Sir William, and working in the herbarium
almost every day, there was much meeting of old friends, and of many of
the men distinguished in botany. Robert Brown, with his keen observation
and dry wit, he saw constantly at the British Museum, Dr. Wallich,[13]
Mr. Miers and many others. There was some social visiting in London and
the neighborhood. Mr. Abbott Lawrence was then American minister in
London, and he and Mrs. Lawrence were very kind and attentive, giving
him a chance to see at an evening reception some of the great men of the
London world: the Duke of Wellington, Lady Morgan, Whewell the Master of
Trinity, Lord Boughton, Lord Gough, and many others.

It was the year of the first great World’s Exhibition, and the building
was then considered very wonderful. Through the kindness of Professor
Lindley he was enabled to see it before it was completed.

There was a very charming visit to Oxford in March, where Dr. Gray made
most delightful acquaintances. He there first met Dean Church, then a
fellow of Oriel, who had him to dine. He also dined with Mr.
Congreve[14] at Wadham; met Maskeleyne, who showed him “some fine
talbotypes, which are a sort of daguerreotype on paper, and have a
beautiful effect for landscapes and buildings.” Breakfasted with Mr.
Burgon and Mr. Church, at Oriel, in Dr. Pusey’s old rooms, and met Mr.
Burgon again at dinner, when dining in the “Common Room,” at a dinner
given him by Mr. Church, and also Buckle and Sclater. Dr. Jacobson, then
Regius professor of divinity, afterwards Bishop of Chester, and Mrs.
Jacobson, were very kind. Dr. Daubeny was then professor of botany at
Oxford, and there were some plants to look at in the small herbarium
kept in the little Botanic Garden in an old greenhouse. The days were
crowded with interesting sight-seeing and in meeting agreeable people.

From Oxford, Dr. Gray went to Cambridge, where he met again a traveling
acquaintance made on the passage from Rotterdam, Dr. Thompson, then
Greek tutor, later Master of Trinity, who was very kind in doing the
honors of Trinity, King’s Chapel, etc. At his rooms, Dr. Gray met
Professor Challis and other Cambridge men. The grounds about the
colleges were then at their greatest beauty, the banks of the Cam yellow
with primroses, the whole setting off the beautiful bridges and stately
buildings. Another traveling acquaintance met in the street, recalling
an experience on the Furca, asked Dr. Gray to dine with him at Caius
College, saying his name was Mackenzie. He was Bishop Mackenzie, who
died in south Africa.

On returning to Kew, Dr. Gray found Dr. Joseph Hooker, just back from
his journey to the Himalayas and Thibet. Dr. Thompson[15] was also
there, just home from India, where he had been imprisoned with Lady Sale
and others, twenty of them in one small room, during the trouble in
Afghanistan. And one day came an invitation to lunch from the Hookers’,
“to meet Mr. Darwin, who is coming to meet Dr. Hooker; is distinguished
as a naturalist.” “Mr. Darwin was a lively, agreeable person” [Mrs.
Gray’s journal].


5 CUMBERLAND PLACE, KEW, April 14, 1851.

For myself I am glad that I am perfectly recovered from the effects of
my accident, and am as active as ever. I have passed a very pleasant
winter, and have prosecuted my studies to great advantage, though there
still remains, alas! more for me to do than I can hope to accomplish in
the time that is still left for me. Your letter was just in time to
reach me here; for we had just decided to go to Paris early next week;
to remain there until the 1st of June, at least. The only drawback is
that we thereby lose the society of Mr. and Mrs. Bentham, who mean to
come to London early next month....

Sir William Hooker is not yet well, though better than he was last
winter. I have presented your kind messages, for which he sends best
thanks, and is rejoiced to hear of your recovery. Sir William is truly a
noble man; the more intimately you know him the more strongly attached
to him you become....

I had thought it quite likely that we might pass through Geneva again
this summer; but that is not now possible. The sea, however, is not so
broad as formerly. Believe me to remain,

Very faithfully and affectionately yours,

       *       *       *       *       *

In April Dr. and Mrs. Gray went to Paris, where he worked busily through
the mornings at the Jardin des Plantes, taking the afternoon for his
sight-seeing. He met again his old friends, Jussieu, Decaisne, Gay,
etc., and made the acquaintance of M. and Mme. Vilmorin, both most
charming and interesting people; the former distinguished as a
horticulturist, and both making investigations for many years on the
varieties of strawberries, for which Mme. V. made all the drawings. Two
separate days were passed at Verrières, their country home, an old villa
belonging formerly to the Duchesse de la Vallière. And here to meet him
came old Michaux[16] the younger, then eighty-one, who had walked from
his home (fifteen leagues), for the pleasure of seeing Dr. Gray. And it
was at Dr. Gray’s request that both Michaux and Jussieu sat for their
daguerreotypes for him, the only satisfactory likenesses of either. Mr.
François Delessert[17] extended pleasant hospitalities, and Mr. Webb was
very kind and cordial.

It was during the time of the Republic, Louis Napoleon, president, and
there were some grand fêtes in May, in honor of the Republic, at which
the officers of the government were conspicuously absent.

Dr. Gray returned to Kew in June to continue his work, broken only by
some days in London.


PARIS, April 30, 1851.

DEAR BENTHAM,--I cannot give your message to Weddell, for he is on his
way to the Peruvian cinchona forests, to remain a year,--I suppose on a
commission from the manufacturers of quinine. Jussieu still suffers with
some affection of the stomach, but is much better than last winter.
Decaisne is quite well, but is occupied with the _Culture_, and is
little in the herbarium, where Spach, Tulasne,[18] Naudin,[19] and
Trécul[20] are in charge, under Brongniart and Jussieu. Webb is well,
and so is Gay, who is quite happy, living on his half pay, which the
Republic has secured to him, with his rooms free of rent, and some
savings from his former income. I have not seen Gaudichaud yet; but he
has offered to come and show me his Sandwich Island collections, etc.,
of which he has issued some plates, in “La Voyage de la Bonite,” but no
text has appeared, and none seems likely to appear.

I gave to Dr. Alexander the list and notes on Fendler’s Chagres plants.
He will hand it to you when he sees you in London.


PARIS, May 6, 1851.

Robert Brown told me that Link would be succeeded in his excellent and
lucrative professorship either by Grisebach[21] or by our excellent
friend Braun. Since I have been here, a young man from Berlin says that
the choice has fallen on Braun,--to my great joy, for I love Braun very
much. I have given Lowell, who leaves Paris to-day, and will be in
Germany in June and July, a letter to Braun, addressed to Giessen or

Prince Paul’s sensitive branches of Mimosa catching unwary travelers is

TO ----.

Wednesday morning, June 11.

Settled down to usual Kew routine; glad enough to get back to quiet and
superlative neatness; to less elegance than our Parisian quarters, but
decidedly more comfort. The only thing that distresses us is, that we
cannot translate dear Mrs. Crook bodily to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Sure we would if she were younger; but the dear old creature will now
erelong be translated to a far better land.... Unpacked (which in
interminableness is only second to packing up) and went down to the

Friday, after writing and dispatching letters home, we went up to
London, shopped, etc., in the City; streets nasty (the English word is
very appropriate; no wonder they always use it), and such a contrast to
beautiful and gay Paris, which is vastly more convenient and agreeable
for shopping....

Saturday, ... a little stroll in the Gardens, which are looking
beautifully, the trees loaded with rich foliage, and the great masses of
Rhododendrons in blossom.

In the evening went with Dr. Hooker up to the last soirée of Lord Rosse,
the president of the Royal Society; too late to see Prince Albert, who
came and went early; saw the usual dons. Sir Charles Lyell asked if I
had stayed abroad all the time since last year, or had just come over

Wednesday, we were off early in the morning, to make our first visit to
the Great Exhibition. We went up to town by railroad as usual; walked
over Waterloo bridge, and having reached the Strand, had the
satisfaction of seeing nine omnibuses pass westward, all full.
Despairing of all hope of getting into an omnibus, we were just turning
to look for a cab, when a well-dressed and respectable woman, who had
been making similar unsuccessful attempts, rushed up to us, exclaiming,
“Oh! are you going to the Exhibition? Will you not take a cab with me?
I have been trying for an omnibus in vain this half hour, and I have
made an appointment with some friends there at half past ten.” We agreed
at once to this reasonable and very convenient proposition, and we
shared the expense accordingly, with many expressions of thanks on the
lady’s part. Before we had reached within half a mile of the Crystal
Palace we were obliged to fall into dense line, with a close double file
of cabs, carriages, dog-carts, and other “vehicular conveyances,” all
wending their way thither, a similar file of empty carriages returning
on the other side of the street; the sidewalks as well as the roads
inside the park all crowded with pedestrians. Early as we were, a vast
number of people were already there, but scattered through the vast
interior, they scarcely made a crowd, until midday, when the more
attractive parts of the structure, the principal streets and squares, so
to say, were thronged.

As to what we saw, is it not written at length in the great Official
Catalogue (as far as that ponderous document is yet published), besides
the Abridged Catalogue, in itself quite a sizable book, which we mean to
bring home, with the Synopsis, and other things, quite a library, and I
dare say you have heard and read quite enough about it. I doubt whether
you have seen the excellent and spirited articles in the “Times,”
beginning long before the building was finished, which give a most
admirable and lively account of everything.

The general impression of the interior was not quite so imposing, did
not give such an idea of the vastness, as when we saw it in April, less
full, and the long spaces unbroken.

On our way down the nave, we stopped for a moment to see the Koh-i-noor,
but the Mountain of Light looked to us little brighter than a piece of
cut-glass. It does not come up to the general expectation. Manage it as
they will, it does not shine at all wonderfully, and the people got it
into their heads that the authorities were shamming them with a glass
imitation instead of the veritable Koh-i-noor; an idea well expressed in
“Punch,” who called it “the knave of diamonds.” We determined to show
our patriotism by going first of all carefully through the American
department, and quite a trial to one’s patriotism it is, a great space,
very scantily filled with an ill-assorted, incongruous collection
(although they have given up to Russia and France about one quarter of
the space that Mr. Lawrence asked for and insisted upon having): one
long shelf displayed only half a dozen wooden pails; another side was
decorated with a miserable collection of cast-off specimens of
autumn-leaves, and below with a case containing five or six dozen
bottles of prepared magnesia, all just alike, flanked at the sides with
a similar collection of Old Jacob Townsend’s Sarsaparilla, surmounted by
a portrait of the illustrious inventor. The strength of the nation has
gone to daguerreotypes, of which there are about two thousand very good
specimens of the art, it must be said, far better than they can produce
in England. The same may be said of many things, creditable in
themselves, but of which they have filled up their space, or attempted
to fill it, with an enormous number of specimens, where one or two would
suffice. But wherever anything is quite poor and commonplace, the
exhibitor is sure to make it up in brag, in which it must be confessed
we do “beat all creation.”

Monday we went to the Zoölogical Gardens, very extensive, in fine
keeping, the richest collection of living animals of all sorts in the
world. Were very much amused with monkeys of all sorts and sizes, from
those little larger than a rat to the great and sedate orang-outang,[22]
just arrived, who is quite a human and a very respectable grave old
fellow. We saw the hippopotamus, too, but he lay sleeping in the sun,
and would give no sign of life except occasionally opening his eye and
giving a wink. But one of the most amusing sights was the little
suckling elephant, with its mother, and it was curious to see the little
thing use its trunk as perfectly and knowingly as its mother.... We
stayed to see the ferocious animals fed, at half past four, no great
sight, as they behaved extremely proper, and then we hurried back to the
station and came home to Kew.

A short visit to the British Museum, which is an immense collection of
objects of natural history, sculpture, books, antiquities, etc., etc.
Had some botanical work in the herbarium there (the British Museum), but
did not do anything that day, for we spent the time talking to Mr.
Brown, who was in quite a chatty mood. He is a singular-looking man,
with a very heavy lower lip and jaw, and generally carries his head
down; but it is curious to watch him, and see how he kindles up, and
what a satirical twinkle comes in the corner of his eyes when he tells
some story, for he has a good deal of satire.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray went to the meeting of the British Association at Ipswich,
where Prince Albert came for a few days. Dr. Hooker and Dr. Harvey (who
had been making a visit at Kew), and other scientific friends, were
there. Among other discussions in one of the sections was one on the
possibility of a railroad to the Pacific, a paper by Asa Whitney, “which
had been brought before the Geographical Society in London, and reported
on favorably.”

From Ipswich he made a most interesting visit to Lady Hooker’s father,
Dawson Turner, seeing his very valuable collections, autographs,
pictures, etc., and returning to Kew to work until breaking up to go
back to America. A short trip was made in Ireland, and Dr. Gray went to
Pontrilas to say goodby to Mr. and Mrs. Bentham, immediately before the
voyage. Dr. and Mrs. Gray were again at home, September 4.

After Dr. Gray’s return from Europe, his busy life went on, filled with
college work and the care of the Garden as accompaniments to a study of
the new collections constantly coming in, the work on the Exploring
Expedition, the keeping his various botanical text-books in their new
editions up with the advancing science, and his always large
correspondence. His letters were chiefly on the questions upon which he
was working, but with many touches on events of interest of the day, and
little playful turns. He says in a letter to Dr. Engelmann, “I well know
I have too many irons in the fire.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Darwin destroyed all the letters he received before
1862, except the one published in his “Life and Letters,” which is
inserted later, as well as one to Sir Joseph Hooker taken from the same
volume. The rest of those to Sir Joseph are mostly bound up in the
botanical correspondence at Kew.

Dr. Gray was an immense worker. After his morning mail was received and
looked over, that he might answer any imperative questions, he took
daylight for his scientific work, and, with pauses for meals, and the
necessary interruptions that came at times, he kept steadily on all the
day. He wrote his letters and his elementary botanical works mostly in
the evening. But in his younger days his eyes were unusually strong, and
he would work with the microscope by lamp-light as readily as by

Though a steady and unwearying worker he was not rapid. He would throw
aside sheet after sheet to be rewritten, especially if there was
anything he wished to make particularly clear and strong, or any
reasoning to be worked out from the soundest point of view. It was
always a wonder to those about him that he could stand as he did the
unceasing labor, but he was a sound sleeper even if the hours might be
short, and of a vigorous, wiry, active temperament, and when he did take
a holiday, he took it heartily. His rest and recreation were in
journeys, longer or shorter, and every two or three years some long
outing would be taken, to give him the needed refreshment. But he must
always be busy even then, somewhere to go, something to see; rest in
quiet seemed impossible to him for more than a day at a time.


CAMBRIDGE, January 23, 1852.

I am printing on “Plantæ Wrightianæ,” the first part of which (as I work
in so much general matter, especially Tex-Mexican), to the end of
Compositæ, will take 225 pages or more, with ten plates,--the most
important memoir I ever wrote, and will indelibly fix our name on the
Texan-New-Mexican Flora....

I have just found a letter of Sullivant’s, dated May 27, 1850, in which
he says, “Send me by all means Wright’s Texan Mosses and Hepaticæ....”

Poor fellow! as I wrote you before, he lost his wife while I was away,
and was overwhelmed, as she was everything to him, and as good a
muscologist almost as he....

You are in a fine field. Hold on and keep a good heart. I long to see
what Colonel Graham is now bringing on to me....

June 5.

There, my dear Wright, I consider myself very much of a gentleman! For
your favor of the 12th April reached me only this afternoon, and now
before the sun has gone down I am answering it! Your letter came very
opportunely too. For, though Colonel Graham has been back so long, it
was only yesterday that I got the collection he brought home with him to
Indianola (and the seeds); and to-day I opened it and had looked over
only two bundles. And I was saying to myself, Now if I only had Mr.
Wright’s list with localities, I should do very well. And when my
letters came from the office, yours, with said list inclosed, was among
them. The plants look well, but I have only peeped into them yet. I am
glad if you have found Amoreuxia malvafolia, but I have not yet hit upon

I am still very busy with college work, for a month longer, and with the
Garden; and the Exploring Expedition work has been pressing me, and
still will. But I shall somehow distribute your 1851 collection very
soon, name them up to the end of Compositæ, and in the course of the
summer determine many of the monopetalous families. I have already named
and described a few of these and some Apetalæ to please Colonel Graham,
and named a new Pentstemon after him (which I have growing, too), which
compliment seems to gratify him.

By this time you will have received the index and plates of “Plantæ
Wrightianæ.” Copies are already in England, and I am about to dispatch
many to France, Germany, etc.

You are indeed an invaluable collector, though you do like to grumble
now and then, and I hope the Indians won’t catch you. If they must take
a scalp or a head, there are others I could better spare. So take care
of yourself....


February 23, 1852.

I carefully keep your flowering bit of Fendlera, ready to return it if
Lindheimer does not get more, as I trust he will. It is the most
interesting of North American genera, between Deutzia and Philadelphus,
and shows plainly that both are saxifragaceous....

July 28.

I am worked almost to distraction. But college work is now over and I
can get on with fewer irons in the fire.

I fear you are driven up hard also, by the sickly season and cholera. I
hope you may be able to give up practice by and by....

I have had for a good while a misunderstanding with Captain Wilkes
about my work for the Exploring Expedition botany. It is now made up, I
think, or nearly, but I have had no pay from them for a long time, and
they are a year behind in paying. I have got manuscript of several
families all ready for the press, and some fine drawings. I am just now
working up “Plantæ Wrightianæ,” 1851 collection, up to end of Compositæ,
old stopping-place, but must dash beyond that soon....


CAMBRIDGE, December 4, 1852.

Here is a discovery! I have to-day received by post from Dr. J. F.
Beaumont, of Mountain Home, in the upper part of Alabama, specimens of a
Trichomanes, which he finds growing there under shelving rocks. I send
you herewith the half of what is sent me, knowing you will be much
interested in the discovery, for the first time, of a Trichomanes in the
United States; and thinking that you will probably pronounce it to be a
form of the T. radicans, though so much smaller than my Irish and West
Indian specimens.... I have not specimens enough of T. radicans to
satisfy myself entirely, and refer the question to your experienced
judgment. Pray give me your opinion, for the addition of a single
species to our few ferns, and especially one of this group, is a matter
of moment to us, and worthy of a published notice.

I should not be so greatly surprised now if Hymenophyllum ciliatum,
credited by Willdenow to Virginia, should turn up, but I still think
there was some mistake about that; and I could find no specimen in
Willdenow’s herbarium when I sought for it, in 1839....

Next Wednesday’s steamer, which takes this letter, will also take, for a
short European tour, my good father-in-law, Mr. Loring, with Mrs.
Loring, and Mrs. Gray’s brother Charles. A rather sudden determination,
but we have strongly urged the journey ever since the death of their
dear little boy, the little Benjamin, who seemed given to be the comfort
and stay of their declining years, who was born just before our return
home, a year ago last summer. The rest and change are needful to Mr.
Loring, also, from being worn down by his long-continued labors at the
bar, of which he is perhaps the leader in Boston; I am confident it will
be of great benefit to him; and the Old World has much to interest a man
of his refined taste.... And then Kew Garden is to them one of the
wonders of the world, as well as a place with which they have, through
us, so many pleasant associations. Should you wish them to enjoy the
privilege of seeing the Gardens under your own kind auspices, would you
notify Mr. Loring through Boott (for I do not now know what will be
their London address), of a day that would be agreeable and convenient
to yourself....

January 4, 1853.

Wright will now soon be off in Ringgold’s North Pacific Surveying
Expedition, to explore Behring Straits, Kurile Islands, the coast of
Japan, if possible, and to winter at the Sandwich Islands.

So we shall have no more New Mexican plants from him.

My new memoir, “Plantæ Wrightianæ,” is now almost all printed, and
contains many novelties. I never had a collection so rich in entirely
new things.

I long to hear what you will say of the Trichomanes from Alabama which I
sent you.

With best wishes for the new year to you and all yours, I remain,

Yours affectionately,

January 28, 1853.

“It never rains but it pours” is an old adage suitable to this meridian
and illustrated by what I now send you, namely, a second Trichomanes
from Alabama! discovered by the indefatigable Thomas M. Peters, Esq., of
Moulton, who (and not Mr. Beaumont, it appears) was the first finder of
Trichomanes radicans in Alabama.

This one seems to me clearly a new one....

I think it particularly appropriate in this case that it should bear the
name of its discoverer, so I have called it Trichomanes Petersii, and
have sent a little article on it and Trichomanes radicans to “Silliman’s
Journal.” ...

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1853 began Dr. Gray’s long correspondence with the Dean of St.
Paul’s--a friendship whose intimacy was ever increasing and which lasted
through his life.


February 7, 1853.

MY DEAR MR. CHURCH,--Since I heard, which I did first from Mr.
Clough,[23] that you were about to marry and take charge of a parish, I
have been longing every time I wrote to England to add a line expressing
my most sincere congratulations. I hope you will not think me too
presuming if I make bold to do so, and if I ask you where your parish
is, for I would gladly form some idea of where your home is to be.
Pleasant and desirable on many accounts as an Oxford life must be, yet I
cannot but think you more appropriately placed in the pleasant parsonage
I can fancy, the centre of a little world of your own, and the spiritual
guide of an attached body of parishioners, where you will be very happy
and very useful.

Still let us hope that the visit to Cambridge, New England, is only
deferred, to afford us a double gratification. I think you can sometimes
leave your parish for three months, or even more with special leave, and
the voyage is becoming shorter and cheaper every year.

I have looked through the “Times,” which I see regularly through the
kindness of a friend, thinking that I might perchance see your
appointment, presentation, or whatever it may be, mentioned; but in

By the way, I am glad to see that you have elected Mr. Gladstone. Your
name on the Oxford Committee makes me suppose you have not yet left

Dr. Albro has returned in restored health, and speaks with much
gratification of his visit to Oxford, only regretting that your absence
prevented his making your acquaintance until the last moment of his
short stay.

Mr. Clough brought me a letter from Maskelyne of Wadham College.
Circumstances, I am sorry to say, have yet prevented me from seeing him
here as much as I could wish. I hope soon to know him better. He has
excellent and influential acquaintances; but one hardly sees what he is
to do.

If he holds Unitarian views, as I have been told, he will perhaps be
more favorably situated, just in Boston or Cambridge, than in England,
and probably meet more cultivated and more religious people of that
persuasion than at home. But if he sympathizes rather with Francis
Newman and that school, as some one tells me, I should think he would
not find that class of people here very attractive to him. But I hope
that is not his bent. I have no partiality for Unitarianism, though it
is the faith of near and valued friends. I am an orthodox Presbyterian,
as my fathers were. But in England I should be a Churchman, although a
pretty low one, at least in some respects; and I am a most hearty
well-wisher to the Church of England. So pray, when settled in your
parish, just drop me a line to say where you are, and how old your
parish church is; for hankering after antiquities is, as an Oxford man
told me, a great failing of Americans.


CAMBRIDGE, March 28, 1853.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I am all the more glad that I can direct your attention
to the fourth volume (new series) of the “Memoirs of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences,” p. 382, where you will find your name
enrolled as the sole Honorary Member for Switzerland.

Ordinarily neither you nor I would be at all solicitous for such
recognition. I care not to have them except where (as in the Linnæan
Society of London, the French Academy, and your own society of Geneva) I
well know the nominations are strictly and conscientiously weighed, and
where the list to be filled is a limited one. But we here prize the
name of De Candolle so highly that we count it a privilege to have it on
our foreign list....

I should state that this academy, the oldest but one in America, was in
a state of inactivity and hebetude since the death of its former
president, Bowditch, till 1843, the year after I came to Cambridge, when
it was determined, chiefly by some of my colleagues in Cambridge, to
restore it to life and vigor. It is now full of life. The number of its
foreign members is now limited to seventy-five, and they are chosen by a
very formal process and a very rigid scrutiny, so as to have only the
very best names in the several departments of knowledge. Formerly they
were chosen without such care; so that there are names on the list that
could not be placed there now. Hereafter the list will be a most select

Hereafter we will send our parcels through the Smithsonian Institution
and through its agent, Mr. Hector Bossange, Paris. You justly praise the
publications of this institution. It is on the point of issuing another
splendid volume; and at least one a year will continue to be issued.[24]

Liberal in its distribution, the Smithsonian Institution looks to its
exchanges as a means of building up a library valuable for scientific
researches in this country. You may remember that, when at Geneva, I
ventured to ask you to recommend to the Société de Physique et
d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève, to vote its series of memoirs to the
Smithsonian Institution. But you thought it would not then be quite
proper to request it. Now that the institution has given such evidences
of its vigor and productiveness, and that I can assure you it is only
beginning to do its work, and that in number of volumes it will soon
overtake you, I venture to renew the request which I was then requested
to make; and I think that your society, with these assurances, and in
view of the good offices of the Smithsonian in promoting interchanges
(at no small expense), would freely accord the earlier volumes of its
memoirs, on your proposition....

Dr. Harris[25] has made interesting researches on the plants cultivated
by our aborigines, which I urge him to publish; but he is one of those
persons who are never quite ready to print as long as they live.

I have long suspected that Helianthus tuberosus came from North America.
I should like to study from what indigenous species it comes....

As to the “Botany of the South Sea Exploring Expedition,” the manuscript
and the drawings are ready up nearly to the Leguminosæ; and the
printing, which is not under my control, is about to commence. The work
will probably make three quarto volumes and 300 folio plates. I shall be
sure to have a copy to send you. As to the specimens, there are few
duplicates; and of these I am not myself allowed to retain any.
Possibly, hereafter, some may be awarded to me. That expedition did not
land on the high Antarctic coasts it saw, and therefore made no
collections there. Its Antarctic collection is all from Orange Harbor,
Tierra del Fuego, and has little that is new.

The most interesting part of the collection was made at the Sandwich and
Feejee islands.

My wife and I well remember what a charming place Vallon is, and retain
pleasant memories of our trip to the Salève under the charge of Madame
De Candolle, despite the bad weather which spoiled the view. We should
delight to revisit Switzerland. Having no children, it is not impossible
that we may do so; but the time, I fear, is far in the future....

I have written a much longer letter than I had intended when I began.

Believe me to remain, yours very faithfully,



CAMBRIDGE, July 14, 1853.

MY DEAR ENGELMANN,--This cover has been addressed to you for a long
while, but I have delayed to fill and close it, not so much because you
had not written, for I knew you must be very busy now, but because the
convenient time has not exactly come. For I have been very busy. College
work done up only last week; printing of “Exploring Expedition Botany,”
in which I have read proofs up to 220 pages, and gave to-night finished
manuscript (except a few crooked points to settle in a family or two) up
to the end of Rosaceæ (which will make about 450 pages. It fills up fast
with the open pages adopted in these reports). I shall carry on the
volume to 550 or 650 pages, and the plates folio, already 56, shall
carry up to 100, if I can. There is next some tough work in Myrtaceæ and
Melastomaceæ; but as to the latter Naudin has much cleared the way.
Those done, and I think I may venture to work part of the time on the
Lindheimer, Fendler, and Wright Monopetalæ.

Agassiz returned most delighted with his visit to you, and we talked
much of you....

I am afraid to touch Gregg’s Mexican plants, for fear of the time they
would consume. In “Exploring Expedition,” I branch out little or none,
except a few notes in Malvaceæ, and probably more in Compositæ.

If I could do the work abroad, I could work up collateral things most
advantageously; but the means here at disposal are too poor.

Still, you will be pleased with my volume i. when I finish and send it
to you (the letterpress this fall!).

No specimens scarcely of Cactaceæ in collection Exploring Expedition,--a
drawing or two. I shall send them on to you presently....

I grieve to tell you that Adrien de Jussieu is dead. Cancer in the
stomach, his tedious malady proves to have been. It makes a deep
impression on the scientific men, and the public, too, in Paris. He was
much my most intimate correspondent in France, a true friend, and a
charming man.

You know, perhaps, that Moquin-Tandon has succeeded the late Achille
Richard at L’Ecole de Médecine. Tulasne, I suppose, will be the new
professor at the Jardin des Plantes; at least he ought to be, as he is
the most able man.

No farther news since my last.

Agassiz looks poorly and says he is not well....

I never could get Fouquiera up. To-day I have sown some seeds, and put
on my own table, by the window, to watch....

18th August.

Agassiz handed me your note about the Compass plant. I took him at once
into the Garden, to see Silphium laciniatum, terebinthinaceum, and

He agreed there was no direction to be made out, one way more than
another. The cauline leaves all tend to become vertical (as in several
other Compositæ), but present neither face nor edge north.

But three years ago Lapham of Wisconsin wrote me that, though the plant
near Milwaukee showed no “polarity” (and so he never believed in it),
yet on going farther west, on the prairies, he found it did generally
turn all to the north there.

If I remember aright, though, he said the surfaces of the leaf look
north and south. You say the edges? How is this? Compare notes with

What do you think I am about now? Revising genera of Myrtaceæ for
Exploring Expedition collection.

In these exotic orders I frequently find the genera so at loose ends
that I cannot make the plants of our collection lie comfortably till I
have given the genera a good shaking up. I should be tempted to do much
more of this if I could work at Hooker’s, or in Paris. It is quite as
well not, as it would cost no end of time....

I have found some Fouquiera seedlings up in the Garden. I am right about
it; not Torrey. The leaf is not axillary and its petiole inclosed in the
spine; but the spine is a hardened inferior portion of the petiole that
persists, and from which the rest falls away clean....


CAMBRIDGE, August 3, 1853.

MY DEAR SIR WILLIAM,--I will endeavor to get some account of Shakerdom
for you. They are a queer people indeed.

Manilla paper[26] is made of old manilla rope, which is largely used by
our shipping. But what plant yields the manilla hemp for this cordage I
have not the means of knowing, that is, whether the Musa textilis or no.
I have been promised specimens of the stem of the plant, etc. But the
climate makes our countrymen indolent there, and forgetful. I will ask
for statistics as to the paper manufacture....

I shall be pleased to have you figure as many of our ferns as you can;
and pray give names to all new species without hesitation. They will be
more fitly named by the describer than by any one else.

I note with satisfaction what you write about genera of ferns. This
pushing a single character (as venation) without regard to consequences,
and giving it the same importance when it does not accord with habit as
when it does, is the fault of most botanologists who restrict their view
to one subject or one idea only. I am glad that you will carefully
revise the genera on your own judgment.

By the way, the fern I sent you last spring, and which you called
Asplenium montanum, Willd. (a species I used to know well), struck the
collector (Beaumont), as it did me, to be different. Pray collate, and
perhaps figure it, as well as the ordinary A. montanum.

I was grieved to hear of the death of Adr. de Jussieu, with whom I have
had a very pleasant correspondence for the last three years, and to whom
I was attached as to no other Frenchman. His late letters were so
cheerful and lively, and even hopeful, that the news of his death took
me by surprise, notwithstanding the steady failure of his health for a
long while....

We remember with interest that dear Harvey sets out to-morrow on his
long voyage.


Christmas Eve, 1853.

MY DEAR MR. CHURCH,--It is a good time to remember old friends and to
bring up, as well as one may, arrears of neglected duty. I have long
unaccountably neglected to acknowledge your letter of the 24th August,
and to thank you most heartily for the interesting volume of your
collected reviews, which reached me a little earlier (I know not how it
was so long delayed between New York and Cambridge), and which I have
received and read with much pleasure, that is, all I have yet read. For
I am saving the article on Dante for my first leisure hour. The first I
read was the article on Pascal and Ultramontanism, of which I greatly
admire the delicate and thorough handling.

I wish I could send you something of any interest. But I am not well
enough satisfied with the elementary work which I use as a text-book for
my lower classes to offer it; and besides that I have published, since
last in England, only memoirs of the botany of our new western regions,
one volume of the botany of a Government South Sea Expedition, etc., all
dreadfully dry and technical.

I have been unusually busy this year, and am just now especially so,
having to complete the preparation of nine lectures on Vegetation, which
I am to give before the Smithsonian Institution at Washington next

I do not much fancy popular lecturing, and do this only to please a very
valued friend, Professor Henry, the secretary of this institution. This
over, I shall return to my regular plodding work at home, with great

I do not wonder that you feel a little nervous about the result of the
experiment at Oxford. I can well understand it, and if I were an Oxford
man, which I should count it a high honor to have been, I should share
the feeling. I count it an excellent thing that the new enactments were
framed by friendly hands, and are not very sweeping. As far as I can
judge from the election of the present council, those of the Movement
party by no means have it all their own way.

It seems to me that the admission of Dissenters to the A. B. degree is a
wise measure, and one that will do no harm to the university nor the
church. But I see not how they can go further. It would not be right
that they should pass to the A. M. and share in the government of the

Any position at Oxford or Cambridge which allows of matrimony must be a
desirable one for a person of scholarly pursuits. I can hardly think you
will pass your life at Whatley, but trust you will have some better
preferment and a wider field of duty before long, before Mrs. Gray and
myself will be likely to pay you the visit you kindly solicit, for I see
no near prospect of our revisiting England, though nothing would please
us more....


7th December, 1853.

I got dreadfully behindhand with everything. “Exploring Expedition
Botany” stopped printing for a long time, but is now renewed; three
hundred or more pages are printed, and copy sent to printer up to
Leguminosæ (excl.). Meanwhile, to look over Brackenridge’s manuscript of
the Filices, to turn a loose ungrammatical lingo into English, and his
English characters into Latin, is a tedious job; then to read his proofs
is another. But if I did not do all this, very bad work indeed would be
made of it. Late in October Mrs. Gray and I went to New York for a week,
to visit Torrey and to see the New York Exhibition. Returning, I had to
bear my part in a course of lectures, which the American Academy gave to
the public (to replenish our publication funds); and to prepare and
deliver my two lectures, on the relations of plants to the sun, cost me
almost the whole of November.

Sprague is too slow, and too feeble in health, to do half what I want
done, let alone others. I must import an additional draughtsman. If you
know any in Germany good enough, who would come out, let me know at
once. If not, I must try at Paris....


May 21, 1853.

The Kurile Islands will be a fine field; and I hope you can do much
among them. Collect some specimens of everything you see there....

CAMBRIDGE, February 19, 1854.

Sinner that I am, I have four letters of yours unanswered; the last from
Simon’s Bay, November 4th. The fact is I do not find time to write half
the letters I ought, and those, like yours, which are not to be
dispatched on some particular day, I am sure to postpone and neglect
interminably. It seems so vague, too, to be writing to a man, you know
not where, somewhere on the other side of the world, and you know not
when the epistle may reach him, say six months hence.

Nor is it easy to reflect and remember what I have been doing, so as to
tell you....

I forgot to tell you, too, that Thurber[27] called on me and offered his
plants collected under Bartlett. I have written out the greater part up
to the end of Compositæ, my old sticking-place, a number of new things,
mostly from deeper down in Sonora than you went, and in southwest
California. Beyond doubt Torrey will work up a part. I shall merely
furnish characters and botanical remarks to Thurber, and let him do all
the rest of the talk. Bartlett is still in hopes that the Senate will
print a great report for him. I greatly doubt if they do. If so,
Thurber’s botany will go as an appendix. If not, he will make a memoir
of the things up to Compositæ, and the striking things beyond, and
afterwards I may lick up the rest in the general continuation of “Plantæ
Wrightianæ,” etc.

Meanwhile the United States minister at Mexico has been making a treaty,
now before our Senate, for buying a further slice of Chihuahua and
Sonora, to take in Lake Guzman and the Sonora country some way south of
where you went, that is, below San Pedro. So there will have to be a new
survey if this treaty is ratified, and a chance of more botany. I wish
you were to be here to attend to it; only you have already taken off the
cream of that country, and can now do more, and find more novelty, in
some of the countries you are going to.

From Governor Stevens’s party, from Minnesota to Washington Territory,
north of Oregon, bundles of plants are sent home to Baird and by him
forwarded to me. Wretched specimens, and nothing new among them!...

Captains at sea are very apt to get a little crusty, which should be
minded just as little as possible. I expect to hear that, after getting
well settled and at home in the Vincennes, you find yourself comfortable
and all pleasant. Gentlemanly conduct and devotion to one’s pursuits
will at length make one respected, anywhere.

When you return, I trust you will yourself prepare the botanical report
of your cruise. I hope so, for your own sake, both scientifically and
because your doing so will keep you on pay some years longer on shore. I
will aid you, if I live, most willingly over knotty points, etc.;
perhaps would like to do certain families further than that; not, if you
will take hold of it yourself, as you ought to do.

I suppose you will have found nothing new at the Cape, though the
vegetation there must have been novel to you. It will be pleasant, in
the long cruises, to study yourself the plants collected at the last
port. Did you get any nice Algæ? Look out for them hereafter.

When you are on surveying-ground, you may probably be transferred back
to the steamer again.

Presently your letters will be coming to me via California. I hope to
continue to hear such good accounts of your health and activity. Do not
measure my interest in your letters by the number I myself write, though
I mean to write oftener in future. No news here, scientific or other.
Mr. Carey, you know, has gone back to England to live, and has married a
young wife there, moreover.


CAMBRIDGE, March 28, 1854.

I send a glass bottle filled with the pulp and seed of Cereus giganteus
as gathered by the natives, and used for food, the same as what I
formerly sent you a small quantity of in a letter, trusting the seeds
would grow, as they are not subjected to heat in making this jam.

I have some pieces of the wood of the great Wellingtonia tree, which I
estimate to be not older probably than the Christian era. Torrey has no
fruit, nor have I; but there are some cones in Philadelphia. The wood is
very like that of the red-wood, i. e., Taxodium sempervirens. I hope we
shall get the male flowers, but I have no correspondent in California,
and Torrey no very good or energetic ones.

How hard it is to believe that there is a European war! I trust it will
be short. Some of our own people are behaving very badly about Cuba, but
it is mostly talk for effect, and will lead to nothing, we hope.


CAMBRIDGE, 20th April, 1854.

DEAR THURBER,--When yours of the 17th arrived, and till now, I have been
too much absorbed in college duties to consider it, as I now rapidly

Ranunculus 441. I never liked naming a plant after a person who has had
nothing to do with it, as collector, describer, and nothing else;
therefore do not like R. Huntiana. We will wait for some other mode of
complimenting Mr. Hunt. Moreover, I have hit on a name which pleases me
tolerably, viz., R. hydrocharoides, which, by your leave, we will adopt.

Thurberia specific name? That is a question to consider, and no very
pat name at once applicable both to the species and the discoverer
occurs to me.

“Thurberia palmata” might pass, and would anglicize into “the handy
Thurber,” but then the hand has only three fingers.

“T. tridactyla” would meet this; but only birds are tridactylous;
besides, the uppermost leaves are entire.

Taking another tack, from its smoothness, we might say, T. glabra or T.
lævis; or, as I believe you have not a strong beard, T. imberbis. But,
on the whole, perhaps it would be as well to indicate merely the nearest
affinity of the genus, and call it “Thurberia thespesioides,” as it is
nearest Thespesia. Take your choice, though, of any of the above, to
which add “T. rosea,” if the color of the flower warrants that name.


CAMBRIDGE, June 1, 1854.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--It was with great pleasure that I received from you,
two days ago, your letter of the 2d May. I counted myself your debtor,
although, indeed, my last letter of 18th October is of later date than
yours of the 1st October, which it crossed on the ocean, and I was only
waiting until I could announce a small envoi to you, namely, that of a
copy of the 1st volume of the “Botany of the United States Exploring
Expedition in the South Seas,” which has been more than a year in
printing. This 4th volume (777 pages) is at length happily printed off,
and just in time, too, for sending you a copy (unbound, direct from the
printing-office at Philadelphia) in the annual envoi of the Smithsonian

The atlas, of 100 plates in folio, which should accompany this volume,
is by no means ready, owing to the slowness as well as the feeble
health of the artist, Mr. Sprague; perhaps, even, it may not reach you
before next year, by the same mode of conveyance.

I have now, indeed, some hopes that the “Flora of North America” may
soon be carried through the Gamopetalæ, I elaborating at the same time,
in a general memoir, the Gamopetalæ of Wright’s, Fendler’s, and
Lindheimer’s collections in continuation; a pretty formidable matter!

In a separate small parcel you will find (in the Smithsonian envoi) some
brochures for you.... Among them is a short article in “Silliman’s
Journal,” accompanying a reprint of a great part of Dr. Hooker’s
Introductory Essay to the “Flora of New Zealand.” Agassiz here is
committed to the view opposite to Hooker’s, in an equally extreme form.
I wished to interpose some criticisms to both views, but had only time
to touch briefly on one or two points. I wait with impatience for your
work on “Géographie Botanique,” expecting very much from it, from your
great ability, long study of the subject, and fairness of mind. Indeed,
I was daily expecting to learn that it was published; and now you tell
me that the printing is barely begun; the “Prodromus,” volume 14, not
yet begun! But I am one of the last persons who ought to complain of
delay in execution....

From the family of the late M. de Jussieu, you should receive a copy of
the “Epistolæ Linnæano-Jussieuanæ,” with our late friend’s notes, etc.,
the last scientific work of his too short life.[28] I intended to send
you a copy myself, but at the request of M. Ramond I surrendered the
small extra edition to his charge for distribution. In due time you will
have a copy in the volume of the “Memoirs of the American Academy” also.
My daguerreotype of M. Jussieu was most opportunely taken. His family,
having no recent portrait, have solicited the loan of it, to aid in the
preparation of an engraved likeness; and I have placed it in their

I delayed the last sheet of the “Correspondence” long, awaiting an
answer to my request for some materials (notices, éloges, etc.), from
which I could prepare something of a biographical nature to append, but
I received nothing, at least until too late. In the May number of the
“Kew Journal of Botany,” Hooker has reprinted my brief note; but by some
accident, the marks of quotation are omitted from the two last
paragraphs, which appear as if written by the editor of the “Journal.”

Believe me to remain, my dear friend and honored colleague, as ever,
your sincerely attached,



CAMBRIDGE, February 5, 1855.

MY DEAR SIR WILLIAM,--The inclosed, from our good friend Dr. Short,[29]
and the box it advises, came while I was at Washington, from which I
have just returned. Mrs. Gray and I have enjoyed our month’s holiday
very much; though I was kept busy enough, having to deliver nine
lectures in three weeks. We had arranged to have a few days at New York,
in which I could work with Dr. Torrey; but the good man was called off
to Washington on business just as I left that place, and we crossed en
route, and I came on home, in consequence....

I am very glad Mr. Smith was pleased with the live plants I sent. Please
remind him that I should like to share in the distribution of seeds this
spring. And if I find time to make out a short list, I may ask for some
live plants again....

I have a Cereus giganteus six inches high, and I saw several others.
They have no hair, and appear very unlike C. senilis....

There is an authentic account in some numbers of “Silliman’s
Journal” last year of the size of that prostrate trunk

Mr. Blake, at Washington, told me something of it, but I forget the
numbers. I will ask him, as he is a reliable person. But 450 feet is
rather too tall.

So they would talk about the tree that was felled being 3,000 years old
(and took in Lindley), whereas it was not quite 1,300! It appears to
grow much faster than S. sempervirens.[30] ...

A great loss in Forbes’s death. I have been trembling lest I should hear
that Dr. Hooker is chosen to the chair at Edinburgh, which would give
him very good pay, I suppose, and he would fill the place well, but it
would take him away from special botany, which would be a great pity....


May 29, 1855.

The class which leaves college this summer have bespoken photographic
likenesses, on paper, of their professors,--my colleagues and
myself,--and this gives me an opportunity of obtaining from the artist
some duplicate copies of that for which I sat, and which Mrs. Gray
pronounces a very good likeness.

It is not so much vanity that induces me to ask you to accept of the
copy I inclose, as the hope of getting yours in return, if that same
style be adopted in Geneva, and be as little expensive as here,--to add
to the already considerable number of portraits of botanists which make
the chief adornment of my rooms,--among which the fine engraving of your
distinguished father is conspicuous. I need not say that I should be
glad to place the likeness of the son near to that of the father. Ever,
my dear De Candolle,

Your sincere and faithful,


August 28, 1855.

For a long while now I have been waiting for a good evening when I was
not too tired to write you a long letter to meet you in California, in
return, though a poor return, for your several nice letters from China.

It is now time my letter was off,--when lo and behold!--

Yesterday morning I was sitting here busy with steady work and not
expecting much interruption; now, this evening, my passage is taken, my
trunk packed, I am hurriedly closing up affairs, and to-morrow morning
go on board steamer America and sail for Liverpool. I have to go and
look after my brother-in-law, who is sick in Paris of a fever. No one of
the family can go but me, and I manage to find the time. Mr. Loring pays
the traveling charges, and off I go, to be gone, however, not over two
months, perhaps not so long; a week in Paris, another at Kew, a few days
more in England; this must repay me (besides the consciousness of having
done my duty) for some twenty odd days of discomfort at sea!

What have I been doing of late? Not much accomplished, i. e., published.
Of my “Plantæ Novæ Thurberianæ” and “Notes on Vavæa and Rhytidandra” I
have sent you copies already, but I will send you more.

A useful article on the Smithsonian Institution, in July number of
“Silliman,” probably you have seen in the “Journal;” never mind, I send
you a separate copy by mail. Some critical notices which I have no
copies of.

What I am about doing, I can always talk largely of. I am preparing a
new edition of the “Manual of Botany of the Northern United States,” and
a new elementary work[31] of a familiar character, to go with it,
separate and with original pictures on wood by Sprague, and I am to
finish the “Flora” volume and “Plantæ Wrightianæ” with it. I have
determined Berlandier’s plants up to end of Compositæ. Also I have
done, along with Torrey, the botany of several expeditions across the
continent for railroad surveys, which are soon to be published. Work
goes slowly and I grow old. This little holiday will not be a bad thing
for me, though it puts me back a little.


CAMBRIDGE, October 23, 1855.

Now that I am quietly settled at home again, my episode seems almost
like a dream,--a very pleasant one, however, since it gave me the
pleasure of seeing once more some most valued and near friends. I was
absent only six weeks and one day, of which twenty-two days were passed
upon the water.

I found all well here on my return, but I was deeply grieved to learn
the news of our beloved friend Dr. Torrey’s bereavement. It was about a
month ago that the companion of his life, almost from his youth, was
removed to a better world, after an illness of only a few days.... She
was one of the most actively good, self-denying persons I ever knew.
There are many to mourn at her departure out of her own family,
especially among the poor and the distressed.... She was one of my
earliest and best friends, one to whom I owe more than to almost any
person; and I feel the loss as I should that of a near and dear

I wrote you a line, with some inclosures, while at sea, and posted it at
Halifax, N. S....

When I send the package from Holton,[32] I wish also to send you live
seedlings of a palm from Sonora, Mexico, raised from seeds gathered by
Thurber, and one or two other things.

I do not forget the large “cypress knees” I promised, which will be
rather striking in your famous museum, and I look out for an opportunity
to send by sailing vessel direct to London.

Remember me affectionately to Lady Hooker (for whom Mrs. Gray incloses a
few lines) and most cordially to Mr. Bentham, who so kindly came down
from the country to give me the opportunity of seeing him, for which I
am greatly obliged.

P. S.--I forgot to tell you that, by the hands of Hon. Miss Murray (who
returns to England by this week’s steamer), I send you the September
number of “Silliman’s Journal.” Should she forget to send it to you,
please remind her when she comes to Kew, as assuredly she will, to talk
about her Florida new fern. I have filled up the Ward case which she
brought over, also a box of American plants which she takes, I suppose,
for Mr. Fox Strangways. Her various boxes and packages will nearly fill
the ship, I should think.

Miss Murray is a most lively, most active person, has traveled widely
through the country, and traversed rough places, such as no other woman
past sixty ever did. She has seen a great deal, but heard very little, I
should think, as she talks incessantly, and in a lively, interesting
way, too.

You will not be disappointed by the suppression of her manuscript by her
English friends, I suppose, for she is fully determined to rush into
print, to print her journal just as it was written from day to day; for
she now feels she has a mission to rescue the South from the obloquy
and wrong heaped upon it by us of the North, and by England. Save the

At any rate, her journal will be piquant.

I am anxious to know how far we can economically use the post for the
transmission of printed matter. Perhaps I could safely send you
“Silliman’s Journal” in this way. As an experiment I now send you our
University catalogue. No, it will not do, I see, for anything weighing
over two ounces or three. Beyond this the rates increase woefully....


18th October, 1855.

Yours of August 30th (answered by my wife) was written when I was one
day at sea. Yours of October 13, which arrived to-day, was written two
days after I reached home again. I had two very pleasant voyages, on the
whole, and not long, ten and a half and eleven and a half days; eleven
days in Paris (where I was detained a little by a severe cold on my
lungs) and a week in England, mostly at London and Kew. I found my
brother-in-law so convalescent that I might have stayed at home, and I
brought him home with me in good condition. We had hoped, till the last
moment, to get places in the steamer of the 13th October, and to have
had a fortnight more in England. But all the places had been engaged for
months, and nobody was giving up berths up to the time we sailed; so we
had to come in steamer of the 29th ult., where we got a good stateroom
by great luck, though the vessel was greatly crowded. Dr. Joseph D.
Hooker (whom I had wanted to see for some time) being away in Germany,
and time being extremely valuable to me here, I was on the whole very
glad to get home. The naturalists at Paris were en vacance, and mostly
away. I saw only Brongniart, Spach, Gay, Dr. Montagne, and Trécul (who
sent, I believe, some pamphlets for you; the package is not yet
unpacked), and my good friend Vilmorin. Boissier was there from Geneva.

In England I spent all the little time I could command at dear Hooker’s
at Kew; and Bentham, then in the country, came down to see me. I made a
long and interesting call on Robert Brown, who is very old, but full of
interest. I shall not again see this Nestor of botanists, as well as
facile princeps, in this world.

Hooker was much delighted when I told him you were coming next spring to
see him at Kew. He insisted upon taking me over to see the Cactus house,
and all through it, so that I might tell you what a mass of Cacteæ there
are there; and he will be much pleased to have you work among them. He
spoke about his Cuscuteæ, but was not at all displeased at your
retaining them; begged you would work them up if possible before
returning them. You will be charmed with Sir William when you see him.

As to the “Manual,” my plan, as at present advised, is to cross the line
of slavery a little, to take in Kentucky and Virginia; this makes the
real division, in botanical geography, between North and South. It
should be Northern ground, too, down to this line: for north of it slave
labor is good for nothing; and there would be no slaves there, except
for the Southern market. I cannot take in Missouri, for I must make the
Mississippi my boundary. But all your St. Louis plants cross into
Illinois, do they not? Tell me how this is. I shall get at work at the
new edition soon. I shall first press on the “Lessons” a little

About Fouquiera; I have examined it here repeatedly on the live plant,
which every year prolongs its main axis an inch or two. And I took
leaves to Providence to show there, especially to remove any lingering
doubt on Torrey’s mind. For Torrey would long have it that the spine was
a primary leaf, and that an axillary leaf adhered to it by its petiole.
He now knows better.

I just saw Agassiz. He looks well and strong....

I read Alphonse De Candolle’s “Géographie Botanique Raisonnée” on the
voyage home: a most able work it is, full of interesting matter very
methodically arranged. Hooker and Thomson’s “Flora Indica,” vol. i., is
famous for its able introductory essay, etc.


October 27, 1855.

Your welcome letter of the 7th of August duly reached me. I meant to
have surprised you by an answer dated at Paris; but the eleven days I
passed there were too busily occupied to allow it. M. Boissier will have
told you of my sudden voyage, and the cause of it. I was absent from
home only six weeks and a day; and twenty-two days of the forty-three
were passed on the water. On returning home I found here:

1. The excellent lithographed portrait of yourself, a pleasing and
pretty good likeness. Of the three copies I have offered one to Torrey,
the other to Short.

2. The copy of “Géographie Botanique,” which you so kindly addressed to
me. (I have already learned that Agassiz and Darlington have theirs; but
Torrey not his, and I have directed inquiries to be made.) This was not
my first introduction to the book; for I bought a copy of Masson in
Paris, to read on the voyage, when I could have more leisure than at
home. And I carefully read it then (after having dispatched Hooker and
Thomson’s “Flora Indica”) up as far as to p. 1087, when I was obliged by
the close of the voyage to break off, at a very interesting point; and I
cannot yet resume the reading.

I cannot sufficiently express my profound admiration of this book, so
thorough and conscientious, so capital in its method, and embodying such
a vast amount of facts well discussed; it might well be the work of a
long life. I have marked in many places points on which I may have a
word to say, sometimes little details to add or correct, sometimes a
criticism to hazard.

If time (which is now precious to me) permit, I will write a series of
articles on it for “Silliman’s Journal,” which will serve to make the
work generally known to our people, and in which I can insert any
commentaries I have time and room for. One article I will devote to
plants introduced into this country from Europe. Now that you have so
well collected and digested the principal information, it will be easy
to complete and correct some points; and this may be useful to you
hereafter, as well as to me....

I will procure from Dr. Harris any information he has collected about
the potato, which, if Raleigh took it from Virginia to England, must
have been brought to Virginia from South America. It was certainly
unknown to our aborigines, who, however, along with maize, cultivated
beans (Phaseoli) and squashes (Cucurbitæ).

Dr. Hooker had written to me, eulogizing your work in the highest terms.
I missed seeing him when in England.

Agassiz speaks most highly of it; but I think he has only looked rapidly
through its pages as yet....

I am at this moment preparing to begin the printing of the 2d edition of
my “Manual of the Botany of the Northern States.” ...

In consequence of your book, I shall take pains to classify the
introduced plants, according to the degree of naturalization, etc.

Many thanks for sending me your portrait. I am already quite rich in the
likenesses of botanists, many of which adorn the walls of my

Believe me to remain, my dear friend, yours very faithfully and truly,



CAMBRIDGE, February 25, 1856.

MY DEAR SIR WILLIAM,--Holton is bringing out a book upon New Granada
which will be interesting....

The cypress knee sent was the best and handsomest I had, though not the
largest. I am glad it pleases you. But you mistook what I said, or meant
to say, which was, that tucked away in the hollow you would find placed
a specimen of a forming knee, not much bigger than your knuckle, on a
piece of root a foot or so long. Was this overlooked or lost? Please
tell me; for I can replace it with another, and physiologically it would
be well to show the formation in its various stages....

I want to send you a book by a young friend of ours, Olmsted, on the
seaboard slave States,[33] an admirable volume, full of information, and
lively withal. I wait for an opportunity. Lady Hooker will be
interested in it. Our united warm regards to her.

Thanks to the Duke for anything to facilitate transmission of printed
matter. But it is still high; for example, your “Journal,” which I get
by post, costs 6d. each number, paid in London, and about 1d. more paid
here. There is still room for improvement. I dare not send you
“Silliman’s Journal” yet by post.

June 30, 1856.

Charles Wright, who was in the North Pacific Expedition under Ringgold
and Rogers, has left his ship at California instead of making the voyage
round Cape Horn, and crossed over the Nicaragua route, intending to
botanize there some months. Finding himself there among our vile
filibustering people, and all in confusion, however, he was soon obliged
to come on home. He is awaiting the arrival of his ship, and will not
till this autumn be able to touch his Pacific collections, of which the
best and principal were made in Hongkong, Bonin, and the Loo Choo
Islands and Japan. That they are not larger is not his fault.

Wright has a perfect passion for collecting plants; and already begins
to plan other explorations. To satisfy his cravings for a while, I have
proposed to him to go to St. Iago de Cuba, and explore that end of the
island. What do you think of it? Has any botanist collected there? Would
it be too like Jamaica to offer much novelty? But to return. In
Nicaragua, Wright collected a goodly quantity of seeds, one set of which
he wishes me to send to you; a present to Kew Gardens, as I understand

By the way, it was most lucky that I hurried up and had sent on to you
the copy of Brackenridge’s “Filices;” for a fire in Philadelphia has
consumed all of the poor fellow’s edition of the volume except ten
copies which had been sold mostly in Europe. A sad and a heavy loss to
B., who had no insurance, and something to me who had advanced to him
the paper for printing it on, which now the poor fellow is in no
condition to pay for. I have not even a copy of the atlas myself, but I
shall get one from the government plates, which are preserved.
Brackenridge utterly despairs of reprinting it. But possibly the
government will set up the type for him again, as they have also lost a
part of their small impression. Otherwise the book will have the value
of excessive rarity, if it has no other....

May 25, 1857.

I hear with delight that you are meditating a trip to America, and I
write forthwith to express my own and Mrs. Gray’s and my good
father-in-law’s earnest hope that you will come over, even if it be for
a few weeks only. The rest of the voyage cannot but be useful to so busy
a person as you constantly are, and a run through the country, and a
sight of the Yankee world, would interest you. At the Montreal
scientific meeting you would see several old friends and many new ones.
Torrey, Greene, Darlington,[34] James,[35] etc., would be half frantic
with pleasure at the thought of seeing you; so it will not do to hint at
such a thing, until you give me authority; and as for my wife and me,
we will look after you like dutiful children, will go with you to
Niagara, or to Lake Superior, if you will go so far, for there is
nothing would give us so much pleasure as a visit from you; and if you
would bring Lady Hooker or Mrs. Evans, or both, with you, it would be
charming. The voyage is nothing to speak of, traveling here is easy and
rapid, although not so very comfortable, as in England, and a good deal
of the country can be seen in a few weeks without much fatigue. Pray do
come, and exceedingly gratify,

Your affectionate and faithful


December 13, 1856.

MY DEAR DANA,--I duly received the sheets I asked for.

The right way to bring a series of pretty interesting general questions
towards settlement is perhaps in hand (though I do not expect myself to
bring anything important to bear on it), viz., for a number of totally
independent naturalists, of widely different pursuits and antecedents,
to environ it on all sides, work towards a common centre, but each to
work perfectly independently. Such men as Darwin, Dr. Hooker, De
Candolle, Agassiz, and myself,--most of them with no theory they are
bound to support,--ought only to bring out some good results. And the
less each one is influenced by the other’s mode of viewing things the
better. For my part, in respect to the bearings of the distribution of
plants, etc., I am determined to know no theory, but to see what the
facts tend to show, when fairly treated.

On the subject of species, their nature, distribution, what system in
natural history is, etc., certain inferences are slowly settling
themselves in my mind, or taking shape; but on some of the most vexed
questions I have as yet no opinion whatever, and no very strong bias,
thanks, partly, to the fact that I can think of and investigate such
matters only now and then, and in a very desultory way.

I cannot say that I believe in centres of radiation for groups of
species. From Darwin’s questions to me I think I perceive some of the
grounds on which he would maintain it. One is attended to on page 77 of
the January number [of “Silliman’s Journal”], but I am not clear that
they are not just as susceptible of other interpretation.

But as to a centre of radiation for each separate species, I must say I
have a bias that way. You seem to have also, and you can best judge
whether this, combined with geological considerations, would not involve
centres of radiation for groups of species as well, to a certain extent.
Would not the fact that the members of peculiar groups (in Vegetable
Kingdom) are to a great extent localized favor that view?

I am glad to hear that your idea of the unity of the human species is
confirmed more and more. The evidence seems to me most strongly to favor
it. And you well discriminate the separate questions of unity of
birthplace and unity of parentage....

As to the physical question, surely you do not suppose that, in a fresh
race, the one or two necessary close intermarriages would sensibly
deteriorate the stock. Look at domestic animals of peculiar races,--how
long you can breed in and in without much abatement of health or vigor!

Did you ever consider the question of the cause of deterioration from

I think I have somewhere in the “Journal” stated my notion about it, or
hinted at it. If not, I will, some day; for I have a pretty decided
opinion about it: that hereditary transmission of individual
peculiarities involves also, among them, the transmission of disease, or
tendency to disease,--a constantly increasing heritage of liability as
interbreeding goes on; in plants well exemplified by maladies affecting
old cultivated varieties long propagated by division.

I should much enjoy a visit with you at New Haven, and so would my wife,
no less. Hope we may some day....

Yours faithfully,


March 26, 1857.

Fendler is back again in the country of Venezuela, and making fine
collections. He will complete the sets of his former distribution, but
not send the same things over again. He has found many more Filices.
Will you and M. Dunant continue?

On Wright’s return home he was troubled with rheumatism, and longed for
a warm climate to pass the winter in. So I sent him to the east end of
Cuba (where I wished the Huets to go). He is doing very well there.

Oregon is still in a disturbed and unsafe state. But I should inform you
that a commission has been raised to run our northwestern boundary with
the British government; and it will probably be commenced this year. The
party would have a sufficient escort, and this would give the Huets a
safe opportunity for botanizing across the continent in a high latitude,
if they are so disposed. I know not any details, but I could learn
them, if need be, and there would be no difficulty in procuring needful
protection for the Huets, they finding their own subsistence.

I have published two statistical articles, based on my “Botany of the
Northern States,” in “Silliman’s Journal,” and a third is now printing
in that journal for May. I shall have extra copies to send you. There
are other topics I mean to take up, if I can find time....


May 4, 1857.

Since your letter came I have looked up and read the article in the
“Edinburgh,” and like it much. Your few words about Genera, page 517,
appear to comprise the gist of the whole matter. As to your fuller
exposition, not being able to lay hands on the “Literary Gazette,” I
wait to see your article in the “Journal of the Linnæan Society.”

I am particularly interested in what you write of your popular “British
Flora,” and the English names; and I am going to ask you to explain to
me more fully the principles on which you proceed. For, if practicable,
I am going to have occasion to do something of the sort here. Pray
illustrate your plan a little; as I see much difficulty in carrying it
out, except in so small a flora as the British, where every plant has a
popular name. One additional difficulty here is that our common English
names are mostly misapplied ones, and the plants that have indigenous
trivial names have too many of them, varying in different parts of the

How do you name the orders? What relation will you have between your
specific names and your generic, and how many words will you allow each
to consist of?

Give me your names through some family, say Ranunculaceæ. If I can see
my way clear, I shall follow your lead, or cause it to be followed on an
occasion which will soon be presented.

I wish I had known of Clitoria Mariana-acuminata, etc., in time to add
it to my list in the last number of “Silliman’s Journal;” a copy of the
article was sent to Dr. Hooker by post last week. I will send more, from
my extras, presently.

I am quite prepared for what you say about interchange of species of
United States and Europe taking place via Asia, instead of across the
Atlantic; but you will see there are a few, besides aquatics (Subularia,
Eriocaulon, etc.), which would seem to have taken the shorter cut.

As respects identical species, interchange is the only thing that, on
our views of what a species is, will explain the occurrence of the same
species here and there. But as to genera, I do not yet feel free to
assume an interchange, or a former continuity of land, between two
widely separated regions on account of their having identical genera or
closely related species. I see no reason why cognate species may not
have been originally given to most widely separated stations; and, as to
the facts of association, can we say more than this, that the species of
a genus are apt to be confined to one part of the world? Are there not
too many cases to the contrary to warrant our suspecting former
continuity of two remote districts on account of common genera? Peculiar
genera, such as Torreya, Illicium, Philadelphus, Astilbe, etc., divided
between Japan and the United States of America, indicate some peculiar
relation, and are most noteworthy, but I do not see why it points to

I am very glad you are turning your good, logical mind and immense
knowledge to this class of topics; but do not let it run off with too
much of your valuable time. I take far more satisfaction in discussing
questions of botanical affinity; and long to get back to that sort of
work. Just now, I must needs be absorbed in elementary work and
teaching, but look to see an end of this.

I have been watching the development of the ovules of Magnolia; nothing
can be more normal than they are, in the early stages.

When Wright comes home from Cuba I expect to get hold of his
considerable north Japan collection, which I expect to find very
interesting on questions of distribution, the very questions you ask me
to consider.

I doubt if our “mountain backbone” actually stops any species, itself,
from advancing east or west.

I wish you would compare our White Birch with the European B. alba, and
let me know the result. Also the Chestnuts....


CAMBRIDGE, May 15, 1857.

An acquaintance en route for Scotland has offered to take some small
parcels for me.

Among them is one I have taken the liberty to address to you, a copy of
a very elementary book[36] I have prepared as an introduction to my
favorite science, finding there was no one in use here which I thought
fit to put into the hands of young beginners. Here botany is taught,
somehow or other, in most schools, and generally by incompetent teachers
from wretched books, i. e., those used in the ordinary schools and for
young people.

I have endeavored, in the little book I send you, to make real science
as easy and simple as possible. I doubt if I have yet aimed low enough;
but the book seems to take, and promises to be useful.

Although not adapted for your meridian (where you have doubtless good
elementary books enough), yet when your boy, who must now be five or six
years old, if he has been spared to you, gets a few years older, I shall
be much gratified if this little volume should interest him, and aid you
somewhat in developing in his mind a love for the study of nature in one
of its pleasantest branches....

I want to offer you my new “Manual of the Botany of the Northern United
States,” not that it can be of any use or of much interest to you, but
must not load my kind acquaintance with more parcels. I wait for an
opportunity of sending through the booksellers, before long.


November 7, 1857.

If you have plenty, please send me two more copies of your “Thoughts on

I first read it carefully, a week ago, and I meant to write you at once
how I like it, and a few remarks, but something prevented at the time,
and I have been very busy and preoccupied ever since.

For the reason that I like the general doctrine, and wish to see it
established, so much the more I am bound to try all the steps of the
reasoning, and the facts it rests on, impartially, and even to suggest
all the adverse criticism I can think of. When I read the pamphlet I
jotted down on the margin some notes of what struck me at the time. I
will glance at them again, and see if, on reflection, they appear likely
to be of the least use to you, and if so will send them, taking it for
granted that you rather like to be criticised, as I am sure I do, when
the object is the surer establishment of truth.

In your idea of species as specific amount or kind of concentrated
force, you fall back upon the broadest and most fundamental views, and
develop it, it seems to me, with great ability and cogency.

Taking the cue of species, if I may so say, from the inorganic, you
develop the subject to great advantage for your view, and all you say
must have great weight, in “reasoning from the general.”

But in reasoning from inorganic species to organic species, and in
making it tell where you want it and for what you want it to tell, you
must be sure that you are using the word “species” in the same sense in
the two, that the one is really an equivalent of the other. That is what
I am not yet convinced of. And so to me the argument comes only with the
force of an analogy, whereas I suppose you want it to come as
demonstration. Very likely you could convince me that there is no
fallacy in reasoning from the one to the other to the extent you do. But
all my experience makes me cautious and slow about building too much
upon analogies; and until I see further and clearer, I must continue to
think that there is an essential difference between kinds of animals or
plants and kinds of matter. How far we may safely reason from the one
to the other is the question. If we may do so even as far as you do,
might not Agassiz (at least plausibly) say, that as the species Iron was
created in a vast number of individuals over the whole earth, so the
presumption is that any given species of plants or animals was
originated in as many individuals as there are now, and over as wide an
area, the human species under as great diversities as it now has
(barring historical intermixture)?--so reducing the question between you
to insignificance, because then the question whether men are of one or
of several species would no longer be a question of fact, or of much

You can answer him from another starting-point, no doubt; but he may
still insist that it is a legitimate carrying out of your own

The tendency of my mind is opposed to this sort of view; but you may be
sure that before long there must be one more resurrection of the
development theory in a new form, obviating many of the arguments
against it, and presenting a more respectable and more formidable
appearance than it ever has before....

I wanted to say something on the last two pages, but as I have nothing
in particular to except to, and much to approve, and as it is late
bedtime, I spare you further comments.

I set out to find flaws, as likely to be more suggestive and therefore
far more useful to you than any amount of praise, with which I could
fill page after page.


CAMBRIDGE, December 6, 1857.

Your first letter is now gone to Sullivant, because you speak of him so
handsomely, and say that Mitten is instructed to prepare a set of Mosses
for him. A noble fellow is Sullivant and deserves all you say of him and
his works. The more you get to know of him the better you will like him.

Let me tell you about my “Manual of the Botany of the Northern United
States.” It was quite impossible, of course, that the publishers should
provide such illustrations as the fourteen plates and keep the book at a
salable price, so Sullivant, on his own motion, had the eight plates of
Musci engraved in copper, at his own cost, for $630 (about £126), and
gave them to the work, after printing 250 copies for his separate
booklet I sent you. I gave the six plates of Ferns, etc., cut on stone
by Sprague to complete the plan. In the “Journal” you are wrong in
supposing that the Musci were even drawn by Sprague. If in time please
correct this when you notice his book. Sullivant drew them all with his
own hands (as he did those of former memoirs which pleased you well),
and had them copied and reduced to proper size by a German artist he
employs. So that besides his labor, he has expended at least £180 in
money, on these plates. They were executed on copper by a young engraver
in Boston.

Your second letter, begun the day the other was dispatched, reached me a
few days ago, while dear Torrey was here on a visit. He has just
returned to New York. We called to see Greene, but he was not in....


November 16, 1857.

I have noted with interest Naudin’s doings in Cucurbitacæ. It has
induced me to look a little into the geographical question, and I begin
really to think C. Pepo, and perhaps others, are American. Mr.
Sophocles, our Greek tutor, who knows cultivated plants well, and
everything about mediæval and ancient Greek, is quite clear that the
ancients knew nothing of pumpkins and winter squashes, and is able to
correct De Candolle’s lucubrations in one or two points. Our New England
and Canadian aborigines had beans, too. Those and Cucurbita came north
from a warmer climate with maize, I presume....

When I got your proof-sheet of the “British Flora” and your long letter
of 28th May, there was something I wanted to talk about, I dare say, but
there was no writing then, as you had gone abroad, and now the subject
is all out of my head. But I have occasion to take up the subject of
popular names of plants quite seriously in a week or two, and I may have
something to remark.

I wish to follow your lead, but should be disposed to go rather farther
than you do in adopting English names. For instance, I would certainly
adopt Mousetail instead of Myosure. Myosure is hardly more English than
before clipping its tail a little, and Mousetail is the exact
equivalent. Corydal and Astragal I quite like, as they have really no
English names. I incline to Crowfoot as a generic appellation. To extend
it over the whole genus is only doing what is so often done with
scientific generic names. In the case of genera having very strongly
marked subgenera, would it not be possible to let the subgeneric name
govern the popular nomenclature? as say--

Pear; genus=Pyrus, under it
      Pear, with its species;
      Apple, 1. Common Apple,
             2. Crab-Apple, etc.

There are formidable difficulties about this popular nomenclature, yet
they must be surmounted in some way or other.

As we are making much of English, why not say “rootstock” instead of
“rhizome.” I do not like French forms. I would even say “pod” instead of
“capsule,” in popular parlance.

Kindly send me proofs as you go on. I want much to see them.

Wright’s collections in North Pacific Expedition are here, and he is
turning over his Behring Straits collection and trying to work it out,
with some help from me. There is a Hongkong collection; there may be
some of these he would like to ask you to name, so far as you may off
hand. The Japan collection I will elaborate myself. There is not so much
from the north as I expected. They had no chance to explore the small
islands connecting with the Kurile Islands. I have only peeped into one
or two parcels; but in one I saw two things which will interest you as
much as they did me. Imagine the two most characteristic possible
eastern United States plants, Caulophyllum and Diphylleia, both, I
believe, our very species. Tell this to Dr. Hooker!

The only domestic news I have to tell you is, that on a hot August day
our beloved Newfoundland dog was found dead,--really a sad loss. To
console us my brother-in-law, a fortnight after, sent me a puppy of the
same breed, an uneasy, frolicsome, awkward fellow yet, but promising to
be intelligent and very handsome. We could not bear to give him the
name of his lamented predecessor; so Mrs. Gray named him Hans,--a
souvenir of Pontrilas....

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray’s dogs and cats were always well-recognized members of the
family. He had a great love of animals, which was warmly returned by his
different pets. In his early married life the kittens he helped raise by
feeding them with a dropping-tube from his microscope rather preferred
him to their young and careless mother, and, confounding all other men
with him, were perpetually scrambling into laps, to the surprise of
callers. Two grew into fine cats, who demanded a regular attention and
consideration from him, reminding him by gentle taps, one on each side,
when bedtime came.

Of his first dog, he always said that they stood more in the relation of
brothers than master and dog; and the dog felt a guardian care of him.
The different characters of his two Newfoundland dogs, and of the
smaller ones he had later, interested him, for they were singularly
different, though both the Newfoundlands shared his affection for a
pretty Maltese cat who had succeeded the other cats; they were
especially fond of her kittens and attentive to them, allowing them all
sorts of liberties. The cats and dogs always lived affectionately
together. Dr. Gray always recognized their good consciences, which
varied somewhat with the different type of animal, and considered that
the size of different breeds had much to do with their characteristics.
They always learned to eat what their master did; not so much, he would
say, from any preference for oysters and dry toast, as that they were
ambitious to do as far as possible what he did.

He was very skillful in the handling of animals, and they recognized it
in allowing him to perform small surgical operations, to dress wounds,
etc., with a touching trust and submission.


March 9, 1858.

MY DEAR BENTHAM,--Many thanks for yours of February 14. Although much
pleased to hear from you, I cannot expect to hear often, unless you have
something special to say. No one but Hooker can write long and frequent
letters while he is doing such a vast amount of work, and keeping up
such a fresh, and keen, and scrutinizing interest in such a great
variety of subjects. I wonder how he does it. How well oiled the
machinery of his brain must be to do it all without great wear and tear!
If you or I had half these matters to think of at once, we should go
distracted. Warn Hooker to take good care of himself and not break down
in health. It is a facility which he inherits, that of turning from one
thing to another without loss of time or of working power.

I shall be pleased to see the “Handbook” when it is out. Never mind what
people say. I dare say the little book will do a great deal of good....

I am glad you will distribute more of Spruce’s plants. I want especially
any of his Andes collections, for Baños was one of our Exploring
Expedition stations. I am going to finish up our Exploring Expedition
this year (D. V.), and have done with it. That and some other things
done, and I dream of coming over to England, and working at nothing but
“North American Flora,” de novo. I hope I may, and that I shall find you
and Mrs. B. as fresh as ever, and enjoying yourselves to the full....

April 26.

My last book[37] in elementary botany is now just off my hands, and will
be out in a fortnight. I hope it will be of use. Forgive me for writing
horn-books, and I am now done with that sort of work. There were several
convincing reasons for doing it.


February 23, 1858.

I dare say you may learn something here as to teaching, etc., if you can
pick it up yourself, which, after all, is the only way anything worth
knowing is obtained. But from now to the end of April I am just
overwhelmed with work, and shall have no time to give any special

At the opening of the term I begin my drilling of Sophomores in the
“Botanical Text-Book.” My lectures to a selection of Juniors, on
Systematic Botany, I do not ordinarily commence till April 1, but this
year I am able to begin early in March, though not much work is done
till May. You might attend Agassiz’s lectures, but he will not be back
from Florida as soon as the opening of the term.

Let me know how much instruction you have to give this year, and of what
sort, and I can see whether I can help you much. I dare say you will
teach very well.

There are certain little matters you might pick up about class
illustration and manipulation without it costing you much time. We were
just thinking of sending you Wright’s Hongkong ferns.

Suppose you come on, count as a pupil, or as a visitor, as you like,
work away as you think best, making preparations for your course, in
which I will help you all I can. And at the same time work up Wright’s
Hongkong and Bonin and Japan ferns (bring any books you want which I
have not). I want to drill you a little at systematic work, and think
you will learn something that way. Come straight here. We shall want you
to stay with us, if the house is empty. And if not we shall make no
difficulty of sending you down to the Brattle House. But it would be so
much more convenient here.

I am very desirous that you should be duly established at Yale, and have
no doubt you will satisfy the college and fill the place with comfort
and credit.

We will talk over matters at odd moments when you come.

I shall be most glad to help you as a friend and fellow-worker; but I
cannot promise any special instruction, and shall take no fee. “Dog does
not eat dog,” is the saying, you know.

       *       *       *       *       *

Judge Lowell writes, in 1888, “I was in college when Dr. Gray was
appointed to his professorship at Harvard, and ours was, I think, the
first or one of the first classes to whom he lectured. I remember his
lectures well, they were so full of knowledge and of enthusiasm and so
calculated to impress the young mind.

“I suppose he had not lectured much of late years; and in his many other
successes, his powers as a lecturer may have been overlooked by those
who have written of him.”

Dr. Rothrock, in his address before the memorial meeting of the
botanical section of the Academy at Philadelphia, speaks of Dr. Gray’s
patient drilling of him in writing his thesis, making him go over and
over it again, until it had been rewritten six times before he allowed
him to be satisfied with it. His pupils would always remember his
comment when satisfied,--“That is neatly stated.”

And Dr. Farlow shows the picturesque figure “hurrying down Garden Street
(on lecture mornings) so covered by the mass of branches and flowers
which were to illustrate the lecture that his head and body were hardly

“The few who gathered around the little table in Harvard Hall, in
pursuit of knowledge which did not count in the college reckoning, will
never forget the untiring patience with which he explained what then
seemed difficult, the contagious enthusiasm with which he led them on
from simple facts toward the higher fields of science, or the tender
personal interest which he showed in their hopes and half-formed plans
for the future; an interest which, on his part, only strengthened as
years passed on, and makes them now mourn, not so much the death of a
great botanist as the loss of a sympathizing friend.”[40]


April 30, 1858.

I must tell you that in humble imitation of Kew, I am going to establish
a museum of vegetable products, etc., in our university.

The erection of a new building for the Museum of Comparative Anatomy and
for the Mineralogical Cabinet liberates the very fine hall used for the
Mineralogical Cabinet formerly. This I have applied for, and obtained
for my purposes, and am taking into it the various things I have picked
up from time to time. It is a room about forty-five feet long, with deep
alcoves the whole length of each side, already shelved, and with glass
doors to the cases, a window in each of the ten alcoves; the centre, or
nave, serves for my lecture-room. So now I shall beg all my students and
correspondents to send me every sort of vegetable thing; so if there is
anything you need still from this country you should let me know; and
whenever you are overrun with duplicate woods, etc., just think how
welcome such things would be here, and how they may stimulate our
collectors and travelers, who perchance may occasionally send me
something that would fill some gap in the Kew museum.

Mr. Wright is having a good training here, and when he goes again to
Cuba, or elsewhere, will do much better, both as to common botanical
specimens and for collecting vegetable products and curiosities.

Dr. A. A. Gould, who will bring a line to you, is a physician in Boston,
and one of our best zoölogists, especially in conchology, etc.; a most
excellent man. He takes a well-deserved holiday for three months or so,
mostly in a run over the Continent. He has London friends in plenty. He
may like to see Kew Gardens before one o’clock, and would be pleased to
pay his respects to you in person, if his time allows a flying visit to
Kew before he proceeds to the Continent.

Just at this moment, and since my parcel of books for you left the
house, the May number of “Silliman’s Journal” has come in. I will ask
Dr. Gould to take it to you....

June 21.

About the museum. Ours is to be not economical (except in the sense that
it must not cost anything to speak of) but for class illustration and
botanical research. So I want woods, fruits, seeds, etc., and must keep
all within narrow limits. All I could venture to ask from you is that
whenever your keeper or Dr. Hooker should be throwing out duplicates to
save room, you would have some such things boxed up for me. I should
indeed like to go over to you, and select for myself, as you and Dr.
Hooker suggest. Joseph suggests that I should be sent over by the
university for the purpose! His whole idea is as magnificent as my plan
is humble. I fear I must always travel and cross the ocean at my own
charges. But the proposition suggests to me that, when I am ready to
revisit England, this will be a good ground for asking leave of absence
without cutting off my pay. But there is much to be done before I can
leave home again, and when I shall be ready and able to do so, if it
please Providence that I may be, I want two full years and most of it at
Kew. How I hope it may be done in your day, and that I may receive your
cordial greeting, and find you as hale and as actively useful as ever.
But “l’homme propose,” etc. We are delighted to hear from Mrs. E. that
you are well and strong again.

Boott kindly writes me of Brown by every mail; by the next arrival we
must expect to hear that he is no more....

Wherever Wright goes, you may rely upon the fullest set of his
gatherings, and we may expect they will be better than formerly. For
(what I never thought he would have patience for) he has really taken
to studying botany, which he never did before, and digs away at his
dried specimens most perseveringly. At first it went against the grain,
and he used to wish himself far off in the woods. But he has kept on for
six or eight months, and now generally prefers to find out a plant by
his own skill, rather than have me tell him what it is; so he will be
able to collect more understandingly, and the year passed here will not
be lost time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Robert Brown died shortly after the date of this letter. In Dr.
Gray’s memoir of him, he says:--

“Upon the death of Robert Brown, it was remarked that, next to Humboldt,
his name adorned the list of a greater number of scientific societies
than that of any other naturalist or philosopher. It was Humboldt
himself who, many years ago, saluted Brown with the appellation,
‘Botanicorum facile princeps,’ and the universal consent of botanists
recognized and confirmed the title.... Brown delighted to rise from a
special case to high and wide generalizations; and was apt to draw most
important and always irresistible conclusions from small selected data
or particular points of structure. He had unequaled skill in finding
decisive instances.... So all his discoveries and all his notes and
observations are fertile far beyond the reader’s expectation. Perhaps no
naturalist ever taught so much in writing so little.... Those who knew
him as a man will bear unanimous testimony to the unvarying simplicity,
truthfulness, and benevolence of his character, as well as to the
singular uprightness of his judgment.”[41]


June 1, 1858.

Your gift of the “Oxford Essays” came to me, and was partly read with
much interest before the arrival of your kind letter of the 31st March.
Many thanks for both.

I know too little of French literature, early or late, but I admire your
article for its neat and delicate delineation and discrimination of
character. I read with interest, not unmingled with concern, Baden
Powell’s and Wilson’s articles. The latter person I heard preach one of
the Bampton lectures at Oxford, 1851. Into what will the latitudinarian
school, if I may so call it, develop at Oxford?

Gladstone’s article I have not had time to read yet, nor his large work,
which probably will reach us presently, through our book club,--I hope
at a time when I have more leisure than now.

Last week the publishers, at my request, sent to Trübner & Company,
American booksellers (12 or 20) Paternoster Row, a copy of a new and
more elementary book[42] of mine than the one you are pleased to
compliment. I intended that as a kind of horn-book, which Dr. Hooker
insists it is not; and as something more simple was wanted here, to lead
the way both to the “Lessons” and especially to the “Manual,” which is
rather strong for beginners, I have tried again, and you will see the
result. I should have made the little “Popular Flora” fuller if the
publishers had allowed more room.

Having last year reëdited my “Botanical Textbook” (of which, to complete
your set, a copy is also sent to you, through Trübner), I have now done
my part in elementary botanical writing, and I return with zest to my
drier investigations, in which I have much to do.

If I ever find time I am greatly disposed to write some day upon the
principles of classification,--the ground in nature for classification,
the nature and distribution and probable origin of species,--knotty
points, upon which I incline to differ decidedly from Agassiz, and
considerably from the common notions.

Some of the more immediate and best-established deductions I hope to
bring out in a paper I shall soon be occupied with, containing the
results of a comparison of the flora of Japan (in which I have new
materials) with our own of the United States of America.

My college work keeps me very busy at this season.

... I see no near prospect of revisiting the Old World. The commercial
troubles last autumn have reduced our moderate means and prospects a
little. But if I live I must yet have two years’ work in England and on
the Continent. With great regard, I remain,

Yours very faithfully,


July 27, 1858.

I have to-day received a nice present from Vilmorin of Paris, i. e., the
copy of Robert Brown’s “Prodromus,” presented by him to A. L. de

... I am kept here, too, by the attending suddenly to building a new
conservatory, for which a donation of $2,000 has been received. I cannot
leave till it is well under way.

I am deep in Japan botany; interesting results.

September 24.

At length we are home again, arriving night before last, very direct
from Quebec, where we had (as everywhere else upon our whole
route--Litchfield, New York, Palisades, Fairfield, Sauquoit, Montreal,
etc.) a delightful time. J. much stronger, except for a cold caught in
Quebec, which still lingers.

Colonel Munro[43] was very kind; is a jolly good fellow, as the English


October 14, 1858.

By this time you are in your house, I hope, and all comfortable, and
ready soon to set to work.

I rejoice to hear that Mr. Shaw keeps up his zeal, and will make a
creditable establishment. I wish him all prosperity. If he will make and
keep up a general herbarium it will save you much time and money....

October 30.

I have yours of the 24th. Tatnall[44] is an old friend of Dr.
Darlington, new to me, but writing to me of late. I know not his age,
profession, character, etc., etc. But he appears to know the plants
around him very well....

Hope you are getting settled down and comfortable.

I met Agassiz at the Club. He is cordial and pleasant. He had not heard
of your return, which I wondered at....

Fendler is with you, at least in St. Louis. Short is ready to advance
something if he will fall to collecting again wherever you say. Get him
some appointment with the army at Utah. That is the place. What is the
good of your both being Democrats if you cannot get something for it!!

December 3.

Darwin asks me to find out if you medical men have ascertained or
noticed any difference in liability to take fevers of warm climates, say
yellow fever, between light-complexioned and dark-complexioned people of
the Caucasian race. If you know personally anything about it, or where
anything is published bearing on the point, kindly let me know, and

Your old friend,


December 13, 1858.

Boott writes in glowing terms of your paper on British flora and
distribution lately read; and I hope soon to read it in the “Linnæan

That the interchange of temperate species between North America and
Europe has taken place via Asia is now a patent fact; and now the whole
subject, and the probable explanation, begins to be clear to see.

December 31.

A happy New Year to you and Mrs. Bentham, and many thanks for your
letter promising me your paper on Hongkong plants to print here. Pray
give me passim any notes that occur to you upon Loo Choo plants, etc. I
shall now soon be done with my Japan studies, and shall print a paper
bringing to view curious facts of distribution, etc., and lay out a set
for the Kew herbarium. How true it is, as you intimated, that the
interchange in northern hemisphere has mainly been via Asia.

I heartily admire your “Handbook,” and await with great interest your
paper growing out of it; your experience is so great and your judgment
so sound. As to English nomenclature, we can only approximate to a good
system; the practical difficulties are too great, often insurmountable.
It seems to me you hit the happy medium, if we must needs have popular
name of the genus coëxtensive with the Latin one; but I rather doubt the
advisability of that, and would use sub-generic popular names for
generic, I think. Though “I do not much like” the whole thing, yet
somebody must attend to English nomenclature, for better or worse; so I
am glad you took it up.

I hope you will study perigynous and epigynous. As to ovary, which,
putting the important part for the whole, we have learned to use in
place of pistil, it certainly is perfectly novel to me to hear the name
applied to the gynæcium of Ranunculus. I am confident the word is never
so used in De Candolle or Endlicher. I do not recall any instance of
your using the word in any such sense; I am sure I never did. Where the
fact of the combination is doubtful or ambiguous, if I said ovary, that
would infer the combination; if ovaries, the distinctness. In Apocynaceæ
A. De Candolle steadily writes ovarium or ovaria, according to the
nature of the case. Per contra, you might as well call the column of
Malva a stamen! For the collective term, I wish, in your paper, you
would go for restoring to use the Linnæan term pistillum, and against
the habit of using ovarium in a double sense, that is, sometimes for
whole female organ, sometimes for its ovule-bearing portion. Pray do not
add a third; and so when you speak of ovary in Clematis leave us to
gather, from the context, whether you mean, (1) the whole gynæcium; (2)
a separate pistil; or, (3) the ovuliferous portion of a pistil.

Hooker calls my judgment about root and radicle “a flippant snub”! I beg
a thousand pardons, and had no intention to be flippant or dogmatical,
but simply to record a fact. For _mistake_, pray read _take_. My thanks
for his letter of December 8th; will write him soon.

February 2, 1859.

I wish I had now your paper on geographical distribution, while I am
working up the relations of the Japan flora in this respect. Where is
Agardh’s paper published, and what does it amount to?...

I cannot answer Dr. Hooker’s exceedingly interesting letter about
theoretical ancient distribution of plants this week. Tell him I shall
have some evidence which will come well into his views as to north
temperate zone.


January 24, 1859.

I hope soon to hear that Government will acquire your herbarium, and
make bountiful provision for its increase and maintenance. After all
Brown’s genius, you have done more for botany than a dozen Browns, and
made a hundredfold more sacrifices and efforts. To you, and to your son,
England and the botanical world owe the greatest debt of gratitude,--a
debt which I hope will continue to accumulate a long time yet....


January 7, 1859.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I will send your bundles presently, after Tuesday next,
till when I must work like a dog, to get through the Japan collection,
and read a paper on Tuesday at a social meeting of the Academy at Mr.
Loring’s house that evening (January 11th). Now come on (if by day
train), stop there, 8 Ashburton Place, where I will be.

I am going to hold forth for nearly an hour, upon Japan botany in its
relation to ours and the rest of the northern temperate zone, and knock
out the underpinning of Agassiz’s theories about species and their
origin; show, from the very facts that stumbled De Candolle, the high
probability of single and local creation of species, turning some of
Agassiz’s own guns against him.

I introduced it here at Club, last month, and Agassiz took it very well,

I asked Thurber the name of a couple of Grasses. Let the Grass-man
speak; now that he is turned out to grass, let him attend to his

February 19.

Andersson writes me that I am chosen one of the six botanists on the
foreign list of Stockholm Academy, to fill the vacancy caused by Robert
Brown’s death.

Friday evening, [April].

I have your two favors of 12th and 15th. I am very grateful for the nice
care you take of my wife. You seem to have her under very thorough

Cure her up fast as you can, and please return her per railway on the 3d
of May; for the 4th being the eleventh anniversary of our union, we
must not be separated then--“The Union, it must be preserved.” ...

I send back your Cavendish with many thanks.

The old cock was much like Robert Brown in many respects. Though there
is nothing in him to love, he calls out a sort of admiration, partly in
the literal sense, that is, wonder, mixed with pity, that he had no
feelings. Brown had, and besides he was social and not so very queer,
but he lived very much in the same way, and I suppose had as little
sense of religion.

Schreber spells Anthephora, but gives no derivation. P. de B., you see,
does, so Anthephora is doubtless right.

Can that and Buffalo-grass be the same? I doubt. Has the Anthephora-like
plant no stamens of its own?

The mode of growth does not so much distinguish your plant from
Newberry’s Hemitones, and verily I suspect they are the same species.
Pity you come in and spoil a good name!...


April 27, 1859.

I am charmed at the intelligence you give of your son, and that he takes
to botany with spirit, so that he may continue the celebrity of the
honored name of De Candolle in the third generation.

We shall welcome him when he comes to America and will do all we can to
advance his objects. Oregon and the country to the north of it (British
Columbia) will be in good and safe condition to explore, and I am
convinced that there is still much to find in the Sandwich Islands,
especially in the interior of Hawaii, where there is said to be a
broad, almost untrodden, wooded region, between the principal
mountain-masses, and occupying a good part of the interior of the
island. But it will take time, patience, and considerable means to
explore this region; provisions must be carried in for a long way, and
many natives employed in feeding the exploring party. Next, the Kurile
Islands, and all the northern part of Japan, Yesso, and the islands
northeast of it offer the greatest interest; Manchuria also, but the
Russians will look after that; Korea could perhaps be explored, so that
the expedition you have suggested strikes my fancy as the best that
could be, and would take your son through regions full of interest, safe
to explore, and healthy. Certainly I can suggest nothing better.

Pray give my best regards to M. Boissier and to other friends in Geneva.
I trust you will have safety and tranquillity in Switzerland. But it
appears as if you would have war all around you,--a very sad state of
things. Our latest intelligence looks very warlike, I am sorry to see.
With all my heart I join in the supplication, “Give peace in our time, O
Lord.” From such a war as is threatened no good can spring, in any

Ever and very cordially yours,



May 18, 1859.

Well, even $10,000 a year is much better than nothing for the botanical
establishment. I wish we had half of that....

If Shaw will be liberal in his establishment, why not turn over to him
your general herbarium? If I had one I could have free access to always,
I would not take the expense and trouble of keeping up and increasing
one myself....

So, you have made the capital discovery, and proved the so-called
Anthephora to be the female of Buffalo-grass. I would not have believed
it without direct evidence.

I cannot study it; it would take me a long while to get the case so
before me that my opinion about the affinities of the grass would be of
any use; but it is most interesting, and I beg you to work it out in
detail and thoroughly....

June 6.

As to your own herbarium, I think you are right for the present. Keep
you own; arrange it on paper of the size of Shaw’s. But look to an
eventual combination, either in Shaw’s lifetime or soon after, and be
open to propositions from Shaw; as, for example, to take your whole
herbarium, provide for maintenance and increase, and when ready, to make
you director of the whole concern. This duty must devolve upon you, and
when it does, with a decent salary, you could reside up there, throw
physic to the dogs, or only take a share in consultations, and have time
to do yourself justice in botany.

Meanwhile, if Shaw would take your herbarium upon proper terms, you
might at any time have any particular families of plants with you, in
your house, to work at....

Mr. Shaw has lately written. I inclose his letter to you. I have just
replied to it, expressing a lively interest in his projected
establishment, and offering my best services if he requires them in the
way of advice or suggestion. I hope it will be all right in the end....




As before stated, Dr. Gray’s letters to Dr. Darwin previous to 1862 have
been destroyed, save the one dated January 23, 1860, which was published
in Darwin’s “Life and Letters,” and is here reproduced for the
convenience of the reader, as well as Dr. Gray’s letter of January 5,
1860, to Dr. Joseph D. Hooker, also published in Darwin’s “Life and
Letters.” The original letters to Darwin later than 1862 have been more
or less injured, apparently by the ravages of mice, so that in copying
them it has sometimes been necessary to supply missing words. Where
these are not obvious, the supposed words are enclosed in brackets.

The letters in this chapter also include the period of the civil war;
into which, as they show, Dr. Gray threw himself with all his
earnestness. He helped as far as he was able in every way. A company of
the men who were too old or otherwise incapacitated from going to the
front was enlisted in Cambridge to guard the State Arsenal there, and
also to be ready to be summoned in any emergency; and he joined the
ranks and was faithful in the drilling and every duty to which they were
called. It is hard to realize, in these days, how all the community
worked together in all possible ways; it was the business of life.


CAMBRIDGE, January 5, 1860.

MY DEAR HOOKER,--Your last letter, which reached me just before
Christmas, has got mislaid during the upturnings in my study which take
place at that season, and has not yet been discovered. I should be very
sorry to lose it, for there were in it some botanical mems. which I had
not secured....

The principal part of your letter was high laudation of Darwin’s book.

Well, the book has reached me, and I finished its careful perusal four
days ago; and I freely say that your laudation is not out of place.

It is done in a masterly manner. It might well have taken twenty years
to produce it. It is crammed full of most interesting matter, thoroughly
digested, well expressed, close, cogent; and taken as a system it makes
out a better case than I had supposed possible....

I will write to Darwin when I get a chance. As I have promised, he and
you shall have fair play here.... I must myself write a review of
Darwin’s book for “Silliman’s Journal” (the more so that I suspect
Agassiz means to come out upon it) for the next (March) number, and I am
now setting about it when I ought to be every moment working the
Exploring Expedition Compositæ, which I know far more about. And really
it is no easy job, as you may well imagine.

I doubt if I shall please you altogether. I know I shall not please
Agassiz at all. I hear another reprint is in the press, and the book
will excite much attention here, and some controversy....


CAMBRIDGE, January 23, 1860.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--You have my hurried letter telling you of the arrival
of the remainder of the sheets of the reprint, and of the stir I had
made for a reprint in Boston. Well, all looked pretty well, when lo, we
found that a second New York publishing house had announced a reprint
also! I wrote then to both New York publishers, asking them to give way
to the author and his reprint of a revised edition. I got an answer from
Harpers that they withdraw; from the Appletons, that they had got the
book out (and the next day I saw a copy); but that, “if the work should
have any considerable sale, we certainly shall be disposed to pay the
author reasonably and liberally.”

The Appletons being thus out with their reprint, the Boston house
declined to go on. So I wrote to the Appletons, taking them at their
word, offering to aid their reprint, to give them the use of the
alterations in the London reprint, as soon as I find out what they are,
etc., etc. And I sent them the first leaf, and asked them to insert in
their future issue the additional matter from Butler,[45] which tells
just right. So there the matter stands. If you furnish any matter in
advance of the London third edition, I will make them pay for it.

I may get something for you. All got is clear gain; but it will not be
very much, I suppose.

Such little notices in the papers as have yet appeared are quite
handsome and considerable.

I hope next week to get printed sheets of my review from New Haven, and
send them to you, and will ask you to pass them on to Dr. Hooker.

To fulfill your request, I ought to tell you what I think the weakest,
and what the best, part of your book. But this is not easy, nor to be
done in a word or two. The best part, I think, is _the whole_, that is,
its plan and treatment, the vast amount of facts and acute inferences
handled as if you had a perfect mastery of them. I do not think twenty
years too much time to produce such a book in.

Style clear and good, but now and then wants revision for little matters
(p. 97, self-fertilizes itself, etc.).

Then your candor is worth everything to your cause. It is refreshing to
find a person with a new theory who frankly confesses that he finds
difficulties, insurmountable at least for the present. I know some
people who never have any difficulties to speak of.

The moment I understood your premises, I felt sure you had a real
foundation to hold on. Well, if one admits your premises, I do not see
how he is to stop short of your conclusions, as a probable hypothesis at

It naturally happens that my review of your book does not exhibit
anything like the full force of the impression the book has made upon
me. Under the circumstances I suppose I do your theory more good here,
by bespeaking for it a fair and favorable consideration, and by standing
noncommitted as to its full conclusion, than I should if I announced
myself a convert; nor could I say the latter, with truth.

Well, what seems to me the weakest point in the book is the attempt to
account for the formation of organs, the making of eyes, etc., by
natural selection. Some of this reads quite Lamarckian.

The chapter on Hybridism is not a _weak_, but a _strong_ chapter. You
have done wonders there. But still you have not accounted, as you may be
held to account, for divergence up to a certain extent producing
increased fertility of the crosses, but carried one short, almost
imperceptible, step more, giving rise to sterility, or reversing the
tendency. Very likely you are on the right track; but you have something
to do yet in that department.

Enough for the present.

I am not insensible to your compliments, the very high compliment which
you pay me in valuing my opinion. You evidently think more of it than I
do, though from the way I write to you, and especially to Hooker, this
might not be inferred from the reading of my letters.

I am free to say that I never learnt so much from one book as I have
from yours. There remain a thousand things I long to say about it.

Ever yours,


1861 (?)

DEAR BRACE,--I should criticise various things in your last “Times”
article, if you were here to talk it over with me.

If you expected Huxley to do what you criticise him for not doing, you
would naturally be disappointed. His merit, and his way as a lecturer,
is to select some good topic or point of view and make a clear
exposition of it, the clearness of which very much depends upon his not
scattering himself over too much ground. He naturally kept himself to
matters he could handle well, and let alone those upon which, as we very
well know, he had nothing in particular to say.

1. “Merest fancies,” “baseless fabric of a dream,” etc.

Why, what made Owen an evolutionist as early as Darwin? And what has
made so many naturalists, Mivart, and lately Dana, for instance,
evolutionists, who yet think nothing of Natural Selection?

But to illustrate. You allow that the evolutionary pedigree of the horse
is made out. But what had “Natural Selection” to do with the making this

It would have been all the very same, both the evidence and the ground
of the inference, if Natural Selection had never been propounded. There
is no evidence how the forms were selected, there is simply the _fact_
of the series of forms, which, with other like evidence, brings
conviction to most naturalists that one has somehow come from the other.
And this conviction is about as strong to those who do not believe
“Natural Selection” will explain it, as those who do.

2. Professor Guyot, you mean. Dana avowedly adopts from Guyot.

3. To those who talk or think of necessary evolution, or, like Spencer,
deduce it ex necessitate rei, this matter of immense time is very
pertinent. I don’t think Darwin is bothered by it much. On my way of
thinking, it is no bother at all, considering what a deal of time there
has been anyway.

4. Do you mean “hybrid forms”? I fail to see what hybrids, that is,
mules from the crossing of related species, has to do with it, one way
or the other. Nobody (of clear conceptions) supposes new species come
from the mixture of other species. That is a way to confuse or blend
species, not to originate them. But there is no “want of hybrids;”
there are plenty of them, and they have mixed some few species (dogs,
for instance); but they play no important part in the matters you are

“Want of connecting forms in living species,” that is to the purpose.
Well, as a systematic botanist, I wish there was a _want_. The
connecting forms are my _great trouble_ every day. You would save me an
awful deal of trouble, time, and constant uncertainty, if you would
cause them to be wanting!

5. So you will not accept the motto “ex uno disce omnes.”

If you admit the horse’s evolution as proved, does not that carry an
implication of evolution in other lines, of which similar, but fewer
steps are known? Or are all evolutions those of cavalry?

CAMBRIDGE, June 17, 1862.

DEAR BRACE,--Thanks for the “World.” Who wield its destinies?

It is, I suppose, your article on Darwin, a very good one, for its
purpose and space.

Before you too confidently reject the evidence for the existence of man
in the diluvial period, just turn over a very impartial and good article
by Pictet,--a good judge of such matters,--in the March number of the
“Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève,” “De la Question sur l’Homme

I presume it is in the Astor Library. If it is not, you may tell Mr.
Cogswell there might as well not be any Astor Library.

Ever thine,

CAMBRIDGE, April 22, 1862 (?)

DEAR BRACE,--You are very welcome to such casual criticism as I can
offer on your two pages of manuscript.

The general fact of a segregated people (or individuals of an animal
species) becoming best adapted to the particular climate, etc., through
Natural Selection is clear enough, the best adapted alone surviving in
the long run, and the peculiarities transmitted by the close breeding.

But what your statements tend to make out is, not the tendency of a
human race to return to its original type, but only the tendency of the
causes which produced a certain effect once, to produce it again, the
circumstances continuing,--to produce it in the Fellahs as it produced
it in the remote ancestors of the Pharaohs.

That is all safe enough. But your case does not prove that unless you
make out that the Egyptian race was nearly destroyed by crossings.

I do not know, but I doubt if you can show that the crossings were ever
enough to modify the Egyptian people, at least the common people, who
make up the bulk. Slight infusions, you see, would be worked out. The
foreign though conquering race would be less prolific and less enduring
than the native, etc., etc. So is it not likely that in the Fellahs you
have the representatives of the old Egyptians continued, not reproduced,
as your remarks would partly lead one to suppose your meaning?

Besides, once having got a race you must not make too much of climate,
to the overlooking of the wonderful persistence of any variety when
close bred. See the Jews: the nose remains hooked, etc., under all

Again, in your last sentence. When you _unscientific people_ take up a
scientific principle you are apt to make too much of it, to push it to
conclusions beyond what is warranted by the facts. But, because a
particular race has persisted in Egypt, how do you know that it is the
only race capable of perpetuating itself?

If there had been a large infusion of different people in Egypt, and if
they had exterminated the old race, do you not suppose this would have
established itself, perpetuated itself, and that its particular
adaptations to the climate would have been different from that of the
present race?

If you cut off all future immigration into North America, would the
Indians resume possession of the country? or else our descendants become
a copper-colored race?

Enough for the present. When you have cracked these nuts, send me, if
you please, another sheet.

Ever yours cordially,

CAMBRIDGE, July 6, 1863.

DEAR BRACE,--Yours of 20th ult. came just as J. was off for New Haven
and I getting ready to go to her aid.

We came back only on Thursday, or rather Friday morning. My hands so
full that I could not write to Darwin, to whom I owe a long letter, till
to-night. I will now inclose your note.

It would be very like a chemist to think that external influences will
explain everything. But I presume he believes that peculiarities are
heritable. If he does, then he thinks he can explain, or will be able to
explain, the origination of variations. I cannot, that is, to any
extent, and do not expect to. When he will show us how external
influences actually worked to change a peach into a nectarine, I will
consider his proposition.

If he means by “external influences” whatever has brought about the
change, very well. I, of course, allow that every variation has a cause,
a physical cause. But it seems to me you may as well say that conception
and the production of a normal offspring is the result of “external
influences” as the production of an abnormal (variant) offspring.

But there is no use writing at random.

You ask me whether I adhere to my notions before expressed, without at
all showing me how they have been impugned.

I should rather expect Guyot to indorse Beaumont; a theological bias
would act strongly.

But I rely most on Lartet, Coulon, and Pictet, for the age of deposit.
Yet it may still be an open question....

Darwin, on account of his health, has to live away from London, and is a
recluse. I give no letters to him, least of all to a lively inquisitive
Yankee like Beecher, who would give him a fit of dyspepsia at once, from
mere excitement.

I have the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg honorary
membership; quite a feather, as they are choice and few. Diploma just

Ever yours,


May 7, 1861.

It was very good of you to write to me (by your letter of 28th of March)
when I believe that a former letter of yours was still unacknowledged by
me. Your letters always give me much pleasure.

What you say of “Essays and Reviews” seems to me most sensible and well
considered; the best thing I have read about the book, viz., that, “with
many good and true things in it, it is a reckless book,” and that some
of the writers had not taken the trouble to clear up their own thoughts
and to form orderly and consistent notions before publishing upon such
delicate topics.

I have not yet read the book; have only looked it over, and read some of
the criticisms. When I have a few days’ leisure in the country, in July,
I mean to read it carefully. After the flurry is over, I hope the book
will receive the proper kind of handling in England, by the proper men.
I wish you would think it in your way to write an essay upon some of the
points at issue, upon which inconsiderate views are likely to be taken
upon either side.

I confess to a strong dislike of Baden Powell’s writings. He seems to
have had a coarse, materialistic, non-religious mind; at least, he is
not the sort of man I should select to illustrate the delicate relations
between religion and science.

I am gratified, also, by your apprehending the spirit and object of my
essay[46] on Darwin so much better than many who write to me about it.
All it pretends to is to warn the reckless and inconsiderate to state
the case as it is; to protest against the folly of those who would, it
would seem, go on to fire away the very ramparts of the citadel, in the
defense of needless outposts; and, as you justly remark, to clear the
way for a fair discussion of the new theory on its merits and evidence.
We must use the theory a while in botany and in zoölogy, and see how it
will work; in this way a few years will test it thoroughly. I incline
to think that its principles will be to a certain extent admitted in
science, but that, as Darwin conceives it, it will prove quite

As to our country, we have been, as a people, undergoing a steady
demoralization for the last fifteen or twenty years, the natural end of
which lately seemed to be that we should crumble into decay almost
without an effort at recovery. If it had been sought under legal forms
and in a less outrageous spirit, I think the North would have consented
to the peaceful separation of the cotton States, and we should have
prospered by the separation. But it has become clear that there would be
no living with such a people as our neighbors would be, so long as they
allow themselves (against the better judgment of the best) to be ruled
by the political demagogues who now hold sway over them. It is clear we
must fight, and we had better do it now, and fight for the integrity of
the country and the enforcement of the laws. So we are fairly and justly
in it, and we are going to conquer the South. They have appealed to
force. They must abide the consequences of the appeal, and, we trust,
God will help the right. So you may expect to hear of stirring times
here. Ever, with great regard,

Yours most cordially,


January 25, 1861.

The Union is overthrown by a conspiracy which would have been kept
within bounds, and soon shut itself up, if the border slave States cared
enough for the Union to take hold, or even allow it to be arrested or
checked. But no, they must become insane, like the rest, and help it
along. Virginia will not take hold and second Kentucky and Tennessee,
fighting nobly by Johnson, Crittenden, etc., declare against treason
first, and then arrange terms, which are all ready, all they want, for
composing the difficulties.

But Cottondom will not have peace and union, and Virginia, etc., are
foolish enough to help their game. That the border Southern States will
be the principal sufferers will be only a righteous retribution for
their guilt.

If, in fact, we only belong to a partnership which any of the partners
can dissolve at will, then the Union is not worth having. We must do the
best we can without it, and if Missouri would prosper, she should stay
with us.

If peace is wanted, the reasonable proposition, “no more territory to be
acquired without a majority of two thirds of the States,” would give it.
With that you may do what you like, or rather what you can, in the
present Territories. No more of the continent is worth having, either
for North or South.

Posterity will judge rightly, and Toombs, Cobb, Floyd, etc., will go
down to their graves as base, dishonored traitors.

My fighting days are over, anyway. I have had the misfortune to lose the
end of my left thumb, by an accident, just at the base of the nail.

May 25, 1861.

I am very glad to hear from you. I believe I have a former letter from
you unanswered. Lately I mailed to you some botanical pamphlets, one
containing the Xantus California plants.[47] But in these times I had
not the heart to write you. You have seen your dream of peace policy
fall in pieces, and Douglas coming out for the war. You have also seen
enough to perceive that under the let-alone policy Missouri also would
have seceded, under the same discipline which has been applied
elsewhere. In which event, let alone, St. Louis would dwindle to a
country village.

No, the first and paramount duty of a country is to protect and preserve
itself against destruction. The Constitution and government must be
maintained, and treason put down if we are able to do it.

If it can’t be done, then, and then only, may we submit to

Stick firm to the Union, and Missouri will come out well. I am sorry for
the bloodshed at St. Louis. Your population is hard to manage. But
Harney, as you say, is doing well, and I expect to see your State soon a
loyal one. Even those with secession affinities must soon see their own
interests. It is impossible there should be peace,--peace is not worth
having till the rebellion, based on a plot formed years ago, is put

If you think me belligerent, I am nothing to Agassiz. Of course we shall
all suffer severely. But better to suffer in devotion to the Union than
prosper in petty fragments.

Enough of this. May God preserve and keep you, and let us hear from you
when you can; for we take great interest in you, and know your position
is a trying one.

CAMBRIDGE, August 6, 1861.

MY DEAR ENGELMANN,--As soon as I got clear of college work, my wife and
I started off (on the 12th of July) to visit my mother and friends in
Oneida County, New York, where we rode and drove about in the fine air,
over a most beautiful country, and enjoyed ourselves to the full, to her
great advantage; also mine. Then we cut across the State to
Pennsylvania, visited the coal region of north Pennsylvania; traveled
very leisurely; passed through New York, seeing the Torreys three hours,
and so to Litchfield, Connecticut, where Mrs. G. is left, and I am at
home, to set to work again, having done nothing in botany except to
teach since last April.

Now I am going to set to work as soon as correspondence is cleared off.

I found here also a letter from Dr. Parry,[48] and have named the
specimens in both, sending the answer to you for forwarding, also Dr.
Parry’s letter to me.

He can’t miss it if he keeps at work between Denver and Salt Lake,
climbing to truly alpine regions as often as he can.

Dr. Hooker sent me last spring a fine cast of a bust of Robert Brown.
To-day I have also from him a splendid one of his father, Sir William.
Tell Fendler that Mr. Shaw should procure both if possible for the
Library of Hort. Bot., Missouri.

What next? A young gardener has found a locality of Calluna vulgaris,
covering almost an acre, within twenty-five miles of Boston; a case to
add to Scolopendrium, Marsilea, etc., but most of all, striking and
unexpected. It grows in low ground, and has every appearance of being

August 27.

I hope and trust that Frémont will be strong enough to keep the war out
of your neighborhood. The citizens of Missouri ought to volunteer in
such numbers as to keep the rebels out of the State and keep the State
true and firm in the Union. It is the cheapest and most honorable way,
and will save property, avoid distress, etc.

This rebellion is certainly going to be put down, no matter at what
cost, and property at St. Louis will be worth more than ever yet before
you and I reach three score and ten.

November 11.

I think very little of Unionists who have been “made Secessionists” by
anything. What matter whether you have one fifth, one tenth, or
four fifths Unionists, if they will not fight to put down
Secessionists,--they might as well be Secessionists out and out.
Maryland and Missouri will not and must not be allowed to secede or to
do seceders’ work, cost what it will. And it is a great blessing to them
that we restrain them. The Union must be preserved; suffering is a very
small matter in comparison--all must take their part, and the rebels
must suffer hard till they give up. We are only beginning to fight. If
Missouri wanted security she should have put down her secessionists
herself with the strong hand, at the beginning. So of Kentucky. But she
has been forced to find out and feel her duty and her honor, and to act.

God save the Union, and confusion to all traitors.


CAMBRIDGE, October 4, 1861.

Your three parcels and letter of October first have duly come. I believe
I never answered your note of August 28.

I can’t abide writing letters nowadays. But I think often of you. You
are happy in being able to do something direct. I wish I could. Find me
a useful place in the army, and I will go at once.

My wife and I have scraped up $550, all we can scrape, and lent it to
the United States. I am amazed that people do not come forward with
their money--those that can’t go to fight. I wish I could do both....

I have to-day a letter from Wright, September 4. He is of late
botanizing with more spirit than formerly.

A sailing-vessel is up here for Santiago. I shall write by it, the
United States mail by steamer being so interrupted, and perhaps send
some publications, newspapers, etc. But I shall leave for you to send
the “Flora of the British West Indies,” as you suggest. I could not
spare my copy....

I hope this taking up of large transport vessels means something, and
something prompt and thorough.

Thus far one is sick and sad, so little is done.

I had some hopes that your good father would be put at the head of the
Commissary Department. I trust he will get promotion somewhat according
to his deserts anyhow. Oh for faithful and honest officers and


CAMBRIDGE, January 15, 1862.

I do not like to write to you much about the war, and that is much
reason why I have not sooner replied to yours of December 9.

My brother-in-law and his cousin are both officers in Burnside’s
expedition, which we expect will do something.

Mrs. Gray and I send warmest New Year greetings to you and Mrs. E., and
hope you may feel all right and country safe in 1863.

February 20.

Bravo for Illinois, to which victory at Fort Donelson is due, and bravo
for Tennessee and Alabama full of Union men! Does not your old
Union blood rise? Pray, now drop all your let-treason-alone,
do-nothing-disorganizing notions, and go in for the country, the whole
country, reinstate it first, and then we will all go in and make it what
it should be. The ungenerous conduct of England shows what a condition
we should be in as a fraction, and she playing off one portion against
the other, and bullying both.

I pray Congress to put on taxes, five per cent direct on property and
income, and heavy indirect besides. What is property! I would fight till
every cent is gone, and would offer my own life freely; so I do not
value the lives or property of rebels above my own. God bless you.

May 22.

A most lovely spring here. We all flourish and prosper, and rejoice in
the strengthening of our national power, and advancing restoration of
the Union, with hopes of hanging leaders of the rebellion, exiling a
good many, and pardoning all the rank and file who will come back with a
good grace to their allegiance. If they will not, let them beware! Væ
victis to such.

The country is to be kept in the Union. If the people choose to stay,
let them, and peace be with them. If they wish to emigrate, very well.
The North, aided by immigrating Teutons, has great colonizing power, and
we can rapidly settle Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc.

There, this is enough for the present to rile you.

As to Euphorbias, the published names here must take precedence to
unpublished names of Shuttleworth, etc.

Ever your most peaceful friend,



CAMBRIDGE, October 10, 1860.

Thanks for very interesting letter of September 10. I am much pressed
now, or would write a long gossiping letter. The bound copy of “Origin”
is just received from Murray. Many thanks....

I believe I have seen a pod or two of Horseradish; but they are rare.
Your germinations show curious resemblance of dimorphic-crosses with
hybrid-crosses, as shown by Naudin; very interesting and capital points
for you.

January (?), 1862.

I imagine it is now universally felt here that if we do not do it [i.
e., carry on the fighting] we shall have to eat much dirt; that the
establishment of a rival power on our long southern line of the free
States, to be played off against us, is not to be submitted to if it
can be prevented at any sacrifice. God help us, indeed, if our honorable
existence is to have no better safeguard than the generosity or sense of
justice of more powerful nations! As to slavery, the course of things is
getting to meet your views, as it is clear must be, if the South
continues obstinate. If they give up war they may save their institution
in their own States, to have the chance of abolishing it themselves in
the only safe and easy way, with time and the gradual competition of
white labor. But obstinate resistance will surely bring on wide-sweeping

You see that we are not going to have war [with England] at present. And
it appears that the decision of our government will be as unitedly and
thoroughly sustained by the whole people as if it had been the other
way; contrary to Mr. Russell’s prediction, and to our dear friend Dr.
Boott’s, who writes about our “mob” in a way he would not if he were
here to see. Look at an English mob urging up their government so that
they felt obliged to back up their demands, with a menacing force on our
borders; and making such a peremptory demand as you justly say,
“entirely on Wilkes’ acting as judge;” a matter which our government
would as promptly concede as yours could ask.

Seemann[49] wrote me that the general belief at the clubs and in the
City was that our government wanted to get into war with England for an
excuse to give up the South. A pretty idea they must have of our wisdom
and discretion! Dear Boott is firmly convinced that we have all along
been trying to quarrel with England. The belief here is nearly
universal the other way, and those who like England best, and perhaps
the coolest and best-informed men, have been more and more dissatisfied
as time went on.

What has caused this lamentable state of things, this complete
misunderstanding? Plainly this: the secessionists in England have
adroitly managed the matter and led public opinion in various lines, but
all in one direction, inimical to us; and they did not think it too
great a stretch to make John Bull believe that we were insane enough to
want an English quarrel. In this they have been ably seconded by a few
papers here, mainly by those whose loyalty is deeply suspected, and
whose influence is as nothing; which are nearly as scurrilous as the
“Saturday Review,” with no redeeming ability, and you have the result.

Will the evidence that this mail carries satisfy the English that we
want to live in peace with them?

But as to good feeling, I am afraid it is too late to expect that.

We were hurt at first by your putting our rebels on the same footing as
a government with which yours was in most amicable relations,--and by
the general assumption at once that we were gone past redemption, by the
failure to see that the power had gone from the hands of those who were
always making trouble with your government in some petty way or other,
etc., till I think it is generally believed that the governing influence
in England desires to have us a weak and divided people, and would do a
good deal to secure it.

I am sorry to say that this is the general feeling; and this is now very
much intensified.

The feelings of many are very hostile, and they would like to be strong
that they might show it. Those of others, who have been exceedingly fond
of England, always defending her when possible, and these are mine, are,
that we must be strong to be secure and respected,--natural selection
quickly crushes out weak nations; that we have tried long enough to have
intimate relations between the governments, or the peoples in general.
Naturalists, etc., being enlightened people, can be as intimate as they
like; but nationally let each say, “God bless you, and let us see as
little of each other as possible,” each going our own way.

Well, enough of this.

Some of the representations of us in the English papers would be amusing
if they did not now do so great harm. One would think it was generally
thought that there was no law and order here, nor gentlemanly conduct,
nor propriety of deportment among the poorer and laboring people. I wish
you could come and see. As to such things, and as to intelligence,
education, etc., I have sometimes thought of the picture one could draw
from individual cases. Take one--very confidentially--for I would not
hurt a really good fellow by exposing his ignorance of what he might be
expected to know. Here we lately had a Cambridge graduate (F. L. S., and
godson of an English baronet) who in one conversation let us know most
frankly that he had no idea where Quito was, or that there were two
houses of Congress in the United States, and was puzzled to know whether
Boston, United States, time was faster or slower than that of

February 18, 1862.

Accept a hasty line at the present, when I am busy above measure.

Thanks for the Primula paper, which I have barely looked over.

I do hope that you and the other fourteen of your household are out of
bed and done with influenza.

As I have not given you up notwithstanding your very shocking principles
and prejudices against design in nature, so we shall try to abide your
longitudinarian defection. I suppose it is longitude, and I am sorry to
see that there is a wide and general desire in that meridian that we
(United States) should fall to pieces. But the more you want us to, the
more we won’t, and the more important it appears to us that we should be
a strong and unbroken power. God help us, if we do not keep strong
enough, at whatever cost now it may be, to resist the influence of a
country which looks upon the continuation of our steady policy to
protect and diversify our domestic industry as a wrong and sin against
it. No, no, we must have our own way. But the triumph of the Republicans
was the political destruction of the very people who were always making
trouble with England, and, if you would only let us and have some faith
in the North, we should have been permanently on the best of terms.

What you complain of in the Boston dinner[50] was indeed lamentable;
such men should not have talked bosh, even at a little private ovation,
and we have reason to know some of them were heartily ashamed of it as
soon as they saw it in print. It was immediately spoken of here, by
influential people, some of whom refused to attend the dinner, and in
at least one paper, in a tone like your own. It was really as bad as the
speeches of some members of Parliament, and worse because it was

The fact is, a set of cunning fellows on both sides of the water (but
here utterly characterless) have contrived to make both English and
Yankees believe that each was bent upon quarreling with the other.

Your thinking of me “as an Englishman” would once have been a
compliment, and is what from my well-known feelings and expressions I
have passed for among my friends here. Had the North gone on giving in
to the South as for years past, I should have been one, at least in
residence, just as soon as I could have got out of the country. I thank
God, it has been otherwise, and that I have a country to be proud of,
and which I will gladly suffer for, if need be. With all its weakness
and follies (and I know them well) I go for my country, and to be
friendly with those we ought to be on good terms with. I am cured of
some illusions. We shall do very well, and the two countries will be on
the best of terms when we are strong; till then we must not expect it.

If it is the old question of struggle for life, good feeling has not
much to do with it: the weak must go to the wall, because it can’t help
it. “Blessed are the _strong_, for they shall inherit the earth.”

My wife, who is loath to strike you from her books, begs you to make
allowances for the people here, who were so very cocky at having caught
two such ineffable scamps as Mason and Slidell, whom we have reason to
hate with perfect hatred; that they thought of nothing else, and did not
mean to be saucy to England. But you have made us sore, there is no
denying it. We did not allow enough for longitude.

Her former message did not refer to Boott (though he is unfortunately
influenced by longitude; but is a Yankee born), nor to Hooker, who,
Gallio fashion, cares for none of these things; thinks us unwise for
fighting, I presume; but we perfectly agree to say nothing about such
matters. It is odd that you all fail to appreciate that it is simply a
struggle for existence on our part, and that men will persist in
thinking their existence of some consequence to themselves, though you
prove the contrary ever so plain; and will strike or grasp or kick,
right and left, in an undignified way sometimes; which the safe and
sound bystander, coolly looking on, may not appreciate, not sharing his
feelings, telling him the world will get on quite as well without him;
yet he somehow does not quite like it.

March 6.

I have your note of February 16, about Melastomaceæ. The test of a good
theory is said to be its power of predicting. If your speculations lead
you to predict the style curved to one side in Melastomaceæ, and the
prediction is verified, that will be a great matter in your favor. Why,
you are coming out so strong in final causes that they should make a D.
D. of you at Cambridge!

I shall be pleased if I can help you about Rhexia. R. Virginica grows
not far from here, and I will set to watching it next summer. But I fear
it may not help you, as it is stated in our “Flora of North America” to
have “anthers uniform.” I see, however, the phrase, “style somewhat
declined,” in the character; which must be looked to. The character was
drawn wholly from dried specimens. I have good details from fresh ones
drawn by Mr. Sprague, but cannot just now lay hands on them.

Freely point out anything else you want looked at. I have now a very
zealous pupil, who will be glad to be intrusted with looking up plants
and observing.

Ever yours, cordially,

There is some jolly science in the “Saturday Review,” now and then; as
in December 28, p. 665, where we are informed that icebergs “are formed
by the splashing of the waves on the coast of Labrador.”

Mill being “the greatest logician in England,” I send you an American
reprint of a specimen of his logic, which I know you will like.

We are very sad here at the death of the president of our
university,[51] who had also many warm friends in England.

March 31.

Yours of the 15th came this evening. To-morrow I am busy all day in
college (where I began my course this year with lectures on
Fertilization, developing your views on orchid-insect fertilization,
dimorphism, etc., etc., to an interested class!), so I must drop a line
for you into a letter for Boott, for Wednesday’s post.

A friend has just handed me Morell’s new book, which, looking at
psychology from the physiological side, I see brings up several notions
which have been turning over in my mind for some years. He is coming out
a good Darwinian, I see, and is quite of my way of thinking about
design. You see I am determined to baptize [“The Origin of Species”],
nolens volens, which will be its salvation. But if you won’t have it
done, it will be damned, I fear....

Things move on here, on the whole, very well.

Yes, I will promise not to hate you; quite the contrary!

Our sensitiveness as to England was the natural result of the strong
filial feeling on our part. It was very undignified, I dare say. But I
think we are getting bravely over it, and getting really not to care
what the Old Country may think or say, so it lets us alone.

As to Rebeldom, there is now hardly any State that we have not got some
foothold in.

I do not do so much scientific work as before the war, but still I keep
pottering away. From now till July, I can expect to do little besides my
college duties. Ever, dear Darwin, your cordial friend and true Yankee,


May 18.

Yesterday came by post the sheets B-I of your Orchid book.

This evening (Sunday) I have opened the parcel and read introduction and
chapter i. What a charming book it is! You are right in issuing it in
this form. It would be a sin not to do so.

I fear, though, that no publisher would reprint it here; though I may,
on reading farther, conclude to offer it to the Appletons, who should
have the refusal. But it will surely be popular in England, where
orchids are popular and the species known to most intelligent and
educated people. I hope soon to get the other sheets. I am perfectly
delighted with O. pyramidalis, and must extract the whole account of
its fertilization for “Silliman’s Journal.”

Our only orchis, that is, O. spectabilis, I brought last summer from
western New York, and planted. I shall in a week have three or four
spikes coming into flower, and I will cover one and leave the others
exposed. They are in a wooded part of the garden, like their natural
habitat. The rest of our Ophrydeæ are Habenarias (Platanthera).

I must recur to your letter about Cypripedium and see what you wanted of
it, that is, what observation.

If there be any adaptation, be it ever so pretty, I shall never see it
without your direction. What a skill and genius you have for these
researches! Even for the structure of the flower of the Ophrydeæ I have
to-night learned more than I ever knew before.


CAMBRIDGE, April 26, 1861.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--My duties in the university at this season are very
pressing. Besides, we are now opening a war, upon the determination of
which our very existence depends, and upon which we are to concentrate
all our strength and soul, so I have no time nor heart to write of
botany just now....

Ever, dear De Candolle, yours most cordially,


December 16.

We do not often exchange letters now, and in these for us trying times
in the United States, though far removed from the actual scenes of war,
and not much interrupted in my botanical studies, except by distracting
thoughts, I write as few letters as I can. The unfriendly attitude of
England gives us much concern. Were it not for that, it is thought we
should soon put an end to our rebellion. But I will not write of such
matters now.

July 2, 1862.

No fear about our army, now so great. It is largely composed of
materials such as nothing but a high sense of duty could keep for a year
in military life. It will dissolve like last winter’s snow when no more

While I write, a great battle is in progress, decisive if we gain it and
take the rebel capital, simply prolonging the strife if we do not. We
can raise at once another army if need be; and yet another. Indeed
300,000 more men are now to be accepted, to recruit our ranks and make a
sure thing of the result.

Confident of our cause, we expect confidently the favor of

What a charming book is that of Darwin on orchid fertilization!


CAMBRIDGE, April 17, 1862.

I am at work in college now, you know, and it is very hard work. This
last vacation I had to make a new edition and new additions to my
“Manual,” etc., and to do it in a hurry, and I have at length, for the
first time, found out that I am growing old. In fact I broke down under
it, and have injured my health a little.... I doubt if I ever recover
the spring and vim of former times. But we shall see....

My hard work has got correspondence all horridly behindhand, and
determined me to draw in my horns, and drop a good deal of it. My desk
has long been so covered deep with unanswered letters, etc., that I have
abandoned it, and now sit over on the other side of the table.

If I sit down and answer a letter right off the day it comes, as I am
now doing with yours, and as I do with purely business letters, etc.,
then it is safe. If I add it to the heap, it is a gone case, and I fear
will never be really answered.

Eaton, too, as you know, has been very hard worked, in his father’s

Well, there is no State now in some part of which the star-spangled
banner does not float. Lincoln is a trump, a second Washington, steady,
conservative, no fanatical abolitionist. Foote, of your State of
Connecticut, is putting down his foot on the Mississippi. McClellan is
to fight a great battle at Yorktown. Another bloody battle may be fought
near Corinth, Mississippi. New Orleans will soon be ours, please God,
and then this wicked rebellion will be done for. I pray God I may live
to see the end of it, and the States brought back, quietly if they will,
forcibly if they must.

I know it will rejoice your heart to see the thing done. And it will be
worth all it costs.

Come now, here is a good long letter for a man as tired as I to write,
who has been five or six hours in lecture-room, working hard.

August 1.

Here is a bit of reading for you,--substitute for letters, which in
truth I have not surfeited you with lately. Who can write letters in
these trying times?...

Last spring my health felt pretty seriously impaired. But by end of
June I was able to diminish my college work a little, and take the rest
easier, and so now I feel very much better, more like my old self, and I
am beginning to clear off my table that I may get at work again on that
everlasting South Pacific Exploring Expedition.

There is a charming book out, by Darwin, on the fertilization of orchids
by insects. It will open your eyes to most curious things. I have
verified much myself here, and made observations which Darwin regards as
very interesting. I send you a copy of the book through Eaton, as a

Any observations or notes you make I will send to Darwin.


July 2, 1862.

I am glad if my off-hand orchid notes interest you, or prove of the
least use. I am daily expecting a copy to send you of my notice of the
early chapters of your book. I will continue in the ensuing number. And
whatever of the notes I send you seem to you worth touching upon, you
have only to indicate them, and send back my memoranda, and I will take
them up. But as to Cypripediums, I should like to have an opportunity of
examining them (except C. acaule) more at large, and growing.

A week from to-morrow, I expect to be able to leave Cambridge, to go
down, with my examination papers to read, to my beau-père’s place on the
shore, for a few days. Then I will try to look up and bring home living
Rhexia Virginica; and also I expect to have a look at Calopogon
pulchellus, with its strong bearded labellum. And I hope it will not be
too late to get plenty of Mitchella repens, which my pupils do not
bring me in as they ought. I want to see if long-styled stigma and short
differ, and also the pollen of the two, as they do in Houstonia, of
which I hope I sent you Rothrock’s[52] observations. At least I will
send when he has completed them.

Precocious fertilization in the bud was much noticed here very long ago
by Torrey, in Viola, Specularia, etc., etc., also in Impatiens, about
which see my “Genera Illustrata,” volume ii. I once mentioned it to you
as good evidence of close fertilization. As to pollen-tubes of such, I
have no observations of my own, but a memory or fancy that they were
shown to me by Torrey. I will ask him, and have him look at Specularia.

As to the French lady’s translation and commentary on the “Origin,” I am
not so much surprised. As I view it, there are only two sides to the
main question. Very likely she takes one side in a thorough-going and
consistent manner; and either she is right, or I am right, i. e., there
is design in nature, or there is not. The no-design view, if one can
bring himself to entertain it, may well enough lead to all she says, and
we may very much admire how collision and destruction of least-favored
brings about apparently orderly results,--apparent contrivances or
adaptation of means to ends. On the other hand, the implication of a
designing mind must bring with it a strong implication of design in
matters where we could not directly prove it.

If you grant an intelligent designer anywhere in Nature, you may be
confident that he has had something to do with the “contrivances” in
your orchids.

I have just received and glanced at Bentham’s address, and am amused to
see how your beautiful flank movement with the Orchid book has nearly
overcome his opposition to the “Origin.”

The military simile above leads me to speak of your wonder that I can
think of science at all in the midst of war. Well, first, we get used to
it. Second, we need something to turn to, and happy are they who,
forbidden to engage personally in the war (as I am ever itching to do),
have something to turn to. Third, I do not do much, do nothing, in fact,
except my college duties now for months, and that is the reason I have
time to write to you, and be interested in all your doings.

If you suppose everything is paralyzed and desolate here, and the
country greatly put back, read a very sensible letter of an Englishman
in the “Spectator” of June 7. It is very just and true. We shall
recuperate fast enough, and be better off than ever, as much prosperity
as is good for us, and more solid, more independent, more
self-contained, which is our great desideratum. Free trade be blowed; we
must needs have high duties on imports, and it is better that we should.
By these and by direct taxes--the tax-bill just passed--we shall have to
pay over largely. Very well.

Just at present our prospects (viz., evening of July 3) are looking
badly enough. McClellan has clearly been overmatched and driven to the
wall, after very obstinate fighting, with very heavy loss on both sides.
Whether it is retrievable with reinforcements, or whether the whole
campaign has to be begun again against Richmond, is not yet clear.
Anyway we have got to put shoulder to the wheel anew, and it may be
done, we suppose, more easily and far more promptly than last year. All
we ask is that Europe shall let us alone.

Enough for to-day.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., July 29, 1862.

No more news in the orchids line. I am making two or three days of
holiday, and yesterday I found a few specimens of Gymnadenia tridentata.
But the flowers are too small to examine well with a hand lens. If they
keep, I will take them back to Cambridge in a day or two and see what to
make of them....

As to the country, you will see by this time that we have not the least
idea of abandoning the struggle. We have learned only that there is no
use trying any longer to pick up our eggs gently, very careful not to
break any. The South forces us at length to do what it would have been
more humane to have done from the first, i. e., to act with vigor, not
to say rigor.

We shall be complained of for our savageness, no doubt, whereas we feel
that our error has been all the other way. But the independence, the
total indifference to English feeling which you recommended last year,
has come at length; now we care nothing what Mrs. Grundy says.

CAMBRIDGE, September 22, 1862.

Your pleasant epistles of August 21 and September 4 are to be
acknowledged, with thanks. But I have nothing in particular to
communicate, except our hearty congratulations that your boy and Mrs.
Darwin are recovering so well.

Tell Leonard that I was pleased both with his attention in writing and
with the ocular proof of his convalescence in his being able so soon to
use a pen. His requests shall be kept in view; the five-cent stamp I
send now; dare say I shall sometime pick up the thirty and ninety,
though I never saw the latter, nor the twelve, twenty, and twenty-four
on envelopes (the twenty-four cent he must have already, as it is often
used on my envelopes to you).

Bravo for Horace, whose illustration of Natural Selection as to the
adders is capital. A chip of the old block, he evidently is.

I told you that Rothrock had gone to the war, and perhaps has already
been under fire; probably not. I had intended that next spring he should
do up Houstonia more perfectly, and work up this and some related
matters for his thesis when he comes up for examination. But all this is
broken up by his enlistment....

I have been lazy about all my writing, working all day at dry and dull
systematic botany, which you anathematize. But if I get time to turn it
over, I will say a few words on the last chapter of your Orchid book.
But it opens up a knotty sort of question about accident or design,
which one does not care to meddle with much until one can feel his way
further than I can.

October 4, 1862.

I have just been reading Max Müller’s lecture on the Science of Language
with much interest. But perhaps what has interested me most is, after
all, his perfect appreciation and happy use of Natural Selection, and
the very complete analogy between diversification of species and
diversification of language. I can hardly think of any publication which
in England could be more useful to your cause than this volume is, or
should be. I see also with what great effect you may use it in our
occasional discussion about design; indeed I hardly see how to avoid
conclusion adverse to special design, though I think I see indications
of a way out.

Depend on it, Max Müller will be of real service to you.

October 13.

I have been so much occupied that I deferred to the last moment to write
out my second notice of your Orchid book for “Silliman’s Journal.” I
wrote out Saturday evening what I could, and to-day have finished and
sent off my manuscript to New Haven. The greater part consists of a
record of some of my observations last summer, very hurriedly penned,
and sent off. I trust you will be pleased, and will think that my little
contributions cannot be better hatched than under your wings.

I hope that my young correspondent is fast recovering strength. Tell him
that I have no more stamps for him yet, but shall pick up his desiderata
one of these days.

I have some nice live roots of Cypripedium, two or three species to send
you, and mean to send Mitchella.

How Hooker does praise up your book, in the “Gardener’s Chronicle!”

CAMBRIDGE, November 10, 1862.

It is refreshing to me that you find the special correspondent of the
“Times” detestable.

Your comments upon our affairs always show such a good spirit that you
need not fear even my wife’s “indignation.”

We are sorry that you suffer in England; but you must blame the rebels
for it, not us, and your Manchester people should have looked earlier to
India for cotton.

You don’t see, as you would if here, the total impossibility of coming
to any terms of peace with the South, based on their independence.
Before that can be they or we must be thoroughly beaten. You can’t be
expected to see too, what seems plain to me, that you English would give
us no end of trouble if we attempt a piecemeal existence. We must be
strong enough to keep any Old-World power at bay. Then we shall behave
pretty well, on the whole; surely so when the North is dominant and is
fairly treated. “Seizing on Canada.” What do we want of Canada? When the
South was aggressive and making slave States we often looked to the
peaceful acquisition of Canada as desirable, as a counterpoise. But when
we had “changed all that,”--and it is changed, and slavery limited, past
all doubt, however the combat ends,--we no longer have use or need of
Canada. If we get set up again, we have work enough at home, and our
hands full for years; we shall be strong for defense, but weak for
aggression. The ill-feeling to England will die out when we are well
able to defend ourselves and our home interests.

It does seem that all England wishes us to be weak and divided; perhaps
that is good national policy. But the more that is so, the more
necessary it is for us to vindicate our integrity, at whatever cost. Let
us have it out now, even at the cost of ten times what it has cost so

I never thought anything of American institutions for England.
Aristocracy is a natural and needful appendage to monarchy. You work out
your own type, and you will liberalize fast enough, and leave us to do
ours. We’ll make it do, with some jangling.

I wish we could be shut up, like the Japanese of old, for ten or twenty
years, only with a weekly mail from you and Dr. Hooker. Well, well!

Ever yours cordially,

November 24.

About Max Müller; surely you can’t wonder that the attempt to account
for the “first origin of language,” or of anything else, should be the
“least satisfactory.”

The use that I fancied could be made of Max Müller’s book, or rather of
the history of language, is something more than illustration, but only a
little more; that is, you may point to analogies of development and
diversification of language, of no value at all in evidence in support
of your theory, but good and pertinent as rebutting objections urged
against it.

Bishop Colenso’s book will make a noise in England; indeed, I have only
read the notice in the “Athenæum.”

You detest the spirit of the “Times” quoad U. S. The “Athenæum” is just
as bad in its little penny-trumpet way, every chance it can get, from
the first. Can you be much surprised that we return dislike with
interest? But we are pleased to find there are sensible and fair
writers, such as Cairnes and Mill.

No, dear Darwin, we don’t scorn your joining in the prayer that we daily
offer that “God would help our poor country,” and I know and appreciate
your honest and right feeling.

I see also, from the English papers I read, how you must picture us as
in the extreme of turmoil and confusion and chaos. But if you were here,
you would open your eyes to see everything going on quietly, hopefully,
and comfortably as possible. I suppose we do not appreciate our
miseries. We accept our misfortunes and adversities, but mean to
retrieve them, and would sink all that we have before giving up. We work
hard, and persevere, and expect to come out all right, to lay the
foundations of a better future, no matter if they be laid in suffering.
That will not hurt us now, and may bring great good hereafter.

I never saw, and have scarcely heard of, Miss Cooper’s book you ask
after. She is the daughter of the late J. Fenimore Cooper, the novelist.
The village she describes must be Cooperstown, New York, in the county
adjacent to that in which I was brought up,--a region which, every time
I visit it, I say it is the fairest of lands, and the people the

Oh, as to the weeds; Mrs. Gray says she allows that our weeds give up to
yours. Ours are modest, woodland, retiring things, and no match for the
intrusive, pretentious, self-asserting foreigners. But I send you seeds
of one native weed which, corrupted by bad company, is as nasty and
troublesome as any I know, namely, Sicyos angulatus; also of a more
genteel Cucurbitacea, Echinocystis lobata (the larger seeds). Upon
these, especially upon the first, I made my observation of tendrils
coiling to the touch. Put the seeds directly into the ground; they will
come up in spring, in moist garden soil.

My observations were made on a warm, sunny day. I doubt if you have
warmth and sunshine enough in England to get up a sensible movement.

My note about them is in “Proceedings of the American Academy,” iv., p.
98, reprinted in “Silliman’s Journal,” March, 1859, p. 277. I must own
that upon casually taking them up since, I never have obtained such very
good results as upon two days of August, 1858.

Upon gourds affecting each other’s fruits, I have made no observations
at all. I have only referred to that, as a well-known thing, at least,
of common repute here, and then referred to maize, where the soft
sweet-corn, when fertilized by hard yellow-corn, the grain so fertilized
takes the character of the fertilizer. My note about it is in Academy
“Proceedings,” vol. iv., I think. You have the volumes (which I have not
in reach now), and can find it by the index. It does not amount to much.
Nothing on maize I know of except Bonafous’ folio volume. I am going to
get and send you grains of four or five sorts of maize. About the
involucrate form, I wrote in my last.


CAMBRIDGE, 14th October, 1862.

DEAR ENGELMANN,--Never mind turmoil. It will come out right. I go
against the abolition wing, but support the President in his

If the rebels continue obstinate, that is only a question of time. Of
that, as a military measure, and of the expediency, the President of the
United States is the sole judge, and in time of war he is to be
supported heartily. I myself do not see clearly that the time had come.
But I have a notion that the President knows better than I.

As you like Judge Parker, I will send you an article written before the
Proclamation came out. You will like it, all but the last part, the
bitter end. I would continue the war, if necessary, to the sweeping of
all rebeldom bare. And that appears to be the sober sentiment of the

If Judge Parker, etc., had let their convention alone, we would have
ousted Sumner for a wiser man. But now I fear that Sumner will be
returned to the Senate.

You had better in Missouri abolish slavery and take United States bonds
in indemnity. You will never do better.


October 13, 1862.

Both Torrey and Eaton speak of having your photograph. You cut me, I
suppose, because I am such a poor correspondent! I am afraid I deserve
it, but what can a poor fellow do in such times as these?...

A fruit, one of a dozen ripened here this season in the Garden, has such
a tropical look and taste that it reminded me of you. It is Asimina
triloba! Tastes like a rich custard into which a piece of scented soap
has fallen....

General Stuart with his cavalry has been cutting all round McClellan’s
army again. Next time, I expect they will make a circuit as far round as
Boston, or at least Connecticut, and carry off the horses. They are more
in earnest than we are; but we shall use them up at length.

November 14.

Here I was this afternoon, moiling over your plants, copying out
Grisebach’s manuscripts for the printer (for the printer won’t touch the
Dutchy-looking thing; and besides, I have additions to make, etc.), when
I just happened to remember that to-morrow is Havana mail, and that I
was by all means to write to you to-day. There is still time, so here

First, can’t you make some arrangement, while you are at this end of
Cuba, to receive a Yankee newspaper by mail; say to the address of Don
José Blain, or some Havana address. If you can arrange it that it is not
stopped, I will send you papers regularly; say the little “Boston
Herald,” small, soon read, democratic, patriotic, or others, from time
to time....

As to collecting still, I should say, Yes, go on, in a gradual and cheap
way, i. e., do not make very heavy outlays, as long as you are in the
country; at least till next summer. For we cannot get the war done until
late next spring (except in Texas).

If you can do as much for western as for eastern Cuba, it will be a good

Meanwhile I have money enough for you, if you can only get it....

But how can you get it at present rates? Or how can I get it to you? If
greenbacks would pass there as here, it would be easy enough.

Is there not some Yankee product that I could ship to you that Blain or
Lescaille wants, sewing-machines, agricultural implements, chairs? So we
might save the loss on exchange. I will send you anything, from a
mouse-trap to a wheelbarrow!

You have a letter from me which must have reached you soon after yours
of October 25, saying that my last was eighty-five days old! Indeed,
you ought to have had it then....


January 27, 1863.

I have been far too busy to write letters; have been interrupted, too,
by visitors, etc....

You “wish to heaven the North did not hate us so.” We equally wish the
English did not hate us so. Perhaps we exaggerate the ill will in
England against us. You certainly over-estimate that of the United
States against England, which an influential part of your press
exaggerates and incites for the worst purposes. But, after all, after
the first flurry, we think and say very little about you, and shall live
in peace with you, if you will let us. There should have been, and might
have been, the most thorough good will between us. I do not think it is
all our fault that it is not so.

In reply to your question:--

If oak and beech had large, colored corolla, etc., I know of no reason
why it would be reckoned a low form, but the contrary, quite. But we
have no basis for high or low in any class, say, dicotyledons, except
perfection of development or the contrary in the floral organs, and even
the envelopes; and as we know these may be reduced to any degree in any
order or group, we have really, that I know of, no philosophical basis
for high and low. Moreover, the vegetable kingdom does not culminate, as
the animal kingdom does. It is not a kingdom, but a commonwealth; a
democracy, and therefore puzzling and unaccountable from the former
point of view.

I have just read De Candolle’s paper on oaks and species, and origin.
Well, he has got on about as far towards you as I have. It is clear
enough that, as I thought at first, derivation of species is to be the
word, and natural selection admitted. The only question is, whether this
is enough.

Ever your attached friend,


CAMBRIDGE, February 16, 1863.

I am disposed to join issue with you on the question of Linnæus’
definition of species. I have long pondered your discussion of the
subject in “Géographie Botanique,” and still think, on the supposition
of the fixity of species (which Linnæus of course had in view), that
between “community of descent” and “likeness,” the former and not the
latter is the fundamental conception in the idea of species. We may test
this by inquiring whether of the two can be derived from the other. The
likeness, I suppose, is the consequence of the community of descent.
But, then, as the likeness is a thing of degrees, and, according to
present probabilities, species may have only a relative and temporary
fixity, your view will after all have the advantage; and the question of
species will come to be metaphysical or logical, rather than
natural-historical. The worst of all is that there will remain no
objective basis or standard; and species will be what each naturalist
thinks best so to consider!

I am pleased to know that the view of my article on the “Memoirs”[53] is
well received by you. Readable articles are very needful, when they can
be had, for a journal which, like Silliman’s, cannot exist without
popular support. I promised an article of sixteen pages of this
character; but I intended to enlarge more at the close upon the genius
and influence of your father, and cite your parallel with Linnæus as
portrayed by Fabricius. But I found that my pages were filled before I
was aware of it, and I had to cut short, much too curtly. It left me
with a somehow dissatisfied feeling. All your remarks about the
difference between the profound and the prolific botanists, I agree to;
and I think that both Linnæus and De Candolle had as much genius as
Robert Brown....

Well, as to origin of species, you have now gone just about as far as I
have, in Darwinian direction, and both of us have been led step by step
by the facts and probabilities, and have not jumped at conclusions.

I shall be curious to see Mme. Royer’s book; Darwin has spoken of her.

Under my hearty congratulations of Darwin for his striking contributions
to teleology, there is a vein of petite malice, from my knowing well
that he rejects the idea of design, while all the while he is bringing
out the neatest illustrations of it!

Did time allow, I should like to write at large upon these enticing


CAMBRIDGE, March 16, 1863.

I received this morning a letter from William Short, announcing to me
the death of his lamented father, our excellent friend, Dr. C. W. Short,
of Louisville, Kentucky, one of our oldest botanists, and one of the
best of men and kindest of friends. He died on the 7th inst., of a
typhoid fever, supervening on a severe cold.

I feel the loss very much. Although we never met, he was one of my most
valued friends....

He always remembered his former correspondence with you with great
interest, and was particularly pleased when, in my letter, I could give
him news of you.

His herbarium, upon which he bestowed great pains and considerable
expense, is conditionally bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution.

Our botanical Nestor is Dr. Darlington. A few months since I had a
letter from him written in as firm a hand as ever; but now he is
prostrated by paralysis, which, however, leaves his mind clear. But he
cannot remain much longer with us. Short and Darlington were both hearty
and true Christian gentlemen.

April 28, 1863.

Your kind letter of the 6th inst. and the photograph were received with
more gratification than I can well express. Both your handwriting and
your _carte de visite_ show you to be well and strong, and, please God,
long may you so continue.

Your face looks fuller than a dozen years ago, and a bit older, it may
be, but it recalls your friendly and kindly expression, and is the best
substitute I can have for not seeing you again.

What I wrote of our Nestor, Dr. Darlington, as about to be removed from
us, has come to pass. The good old man died, after much suffering from a
paralysis, on Wednesday last, the 22d, as a newspaper slip has apprised
me. He had reached the age of eighty-one. Unless we continue to rank
Dr. Bigelow among the botanists, Dr. Torrey, and even myself, now count
among the most advanced in age.

I am most happy to tell you that Dr. Torrey, whom I lately saw in New
York, and who last week looked in upon us here for a day, is quite well.

Mrs. Greene is cheerful and busy in carrying out her husband’s bequest
and desires, in favor of the Boston Natural History Society, to whom he
left his herbarium and botanical library.

By Professor George Bond, a colleague and neighbor of mine, our
distinguished astronomer, and a most worthy, amiable, and modest person,
whom I hope you may see, I sent out to you a photograph of F. A. Michaux
and of Adrien de Jussieu, which I thought you might like, and which I
have just had made from daguerreotypes which I induced them to sit for
in Paris in 1851. Bond will be delighted to see Kew again with its vast

Ever, dear Sir William, yours affectionately,



CAMBRIDGE, April 30, 1863.

I had sent some while ago word to Miss Morris that I had a single
seedling Darlingtonia, and should like to know if Dr. Darlington was in
condition to be interested in it. But she thought the time had passed
for that.

His memory will long be venerated. We, at least, shall not forget him.

Twenty years ago he had sent to me his selected epitaph, and had
discussed it. It is natural and characteristic. I should take an
interest in seeing such an inscription on his tombstone. But, entre
nous, I should not fancy such an one on my own. I should select rather
some simple line of Holy Writ, expressive of the Christian trust and
faith, such as our friend died in.

I had lately been writing brief notices of several of our botanists,
deceased, for the May number of “Silliman’s Journal” (as you see, I mail
a copy just received); and at the time I felt that they probably would
not be published before there would be another and more distinguished
name to add.

I shall not wait for the year to come round, but I hope to draw up a
brief tribute to his memory for the July number of “Silliman’s Journal.”
So I should be much obliged to you for the dates and other particulars
you kindly offer to furnish. I hope that autobiography which you are so
fortunate as to possess is of such a character that it may be printed,
and that you will give it along with a little memoir from your own pen.
It will be quite in your way, and I would rather you should do it than
any one else....

By the way, I may as well mention that Dr. Darlington told me that
certain letters, etc., of Baldwin’s, which he could not print, as they
were severe on Nuttall, should come into my possession after his own
death. You will probably know if any bundle of papers is left, directed
to my charge.


CAMBRIDGE, March 22, 1863.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--Argyle’s article on the Supernatural, to which you
called my attention a long while ago, I never happened to see till
to-day, when I have read it through. It is quite clever, not deep, but
clear, and I think useful. I see no occasion for finding fault with him,
except in his attempts now and then to direct a little odium against
you, which is unhandsome, for his main points are those I hammered out
in the “Atlantic,” etc.; indeed I see signs of his having read the same.
But it is hardly fair of him, after expressing his complete conviction
that where the operation of natural causes can be clearly traced, the
implication of design, upon its appropriate evidence, is not thereby
rendered less certain or less convincing, to go on to speak of
derivation-doctrine in a way that implies the contrary.

Of course we believers in real design make the most of your “frank” and
natural terms, “contrivance, purpose,” etc., and pooh-pooh your
endeavors to resolve such contrivances into necessary results of certain
physical processes, and make fun of the race between long noses and long

March 23.

Dr. Wyman,[54] who is a sharp fellow, tells me that, on the authority of
the historian Prescott, the Incas of Peru, for no one knows how long,
married their sisters, to keep the perfect purity of the blood. Query:
How did this strong case of close-breeding operate? Did they run out
thereby? Wyman thinks there is no evidence of it.

If it is true, and the Incas stood it for a long course of generations,
you must look to it, for it will bear hard against your theory of the
necessity of crossing. If they run out, you will have a good case.

April 11.

You see that, at length, the thing is nearly done, and, to use the
expression here, rebeldom is “gone up.”

You have long seen, I suppose, that I was right in saying there was but
one possible end to the war; also that the continuance for a time or
abolition of slavery depended simply on the rebels,--that if they
obstinately and persistently resisted, slavery was thereby doomed.

It has been a long, weary, and trying work. But the country has had the
needed patience and nerve, and the thing is done, once for all, at great
cost, but to immense and enduring advantage.

You are the only Britisher I ever write to on this subject, and, in
fact, for whose opinions about our country I care at all.

So I hasten to rejoice with you over the beginning of the end.

April 20.

You asked me to tell you, when I had read it, what I thought of Sir
Charles Lyell’s book.[55] I have only to-day finished the perusal of the
copy he kindly sent me, that is, all but half of the matter on glacial
period, which I reserve till I can read it more attentively. Throughout
it is a very interesting and to me a very satisfactory book. It is three
books: 1. A capital résumé and examination of what we knew about the
evidence of antiquity of man; no evidence we had not read of before, but
very clearly presented, of course.

2. A treatise on the glacial period. Out of this I have much to learn,
and must read it all again carefully; of a part I have not yet cut the

3. On transmutation matters. That part of the book I can judge somewhat
of, and I declare it first-rate. It is just about what I expected, and
is characteristic of the man. I think that you, and Hooker, are
unreasonable in complaining of Lyell that he does not come out
“flat-footed,” as we say, as an advocate of natural-selection
transmutation. For, 1st, it is evident that though inclined strongly
towards it he is by no means satisfied that natural selection will do
all the work you put upon it. 2d, he very plainly implies nearly all you
would have him say. And, 3d, he serves your cause (supposing it to be
well-founded) quite as effectually, perhaps, by his guarded position, by
his keeping the position of a judge rather than of an advocate, and by
considering still the case as not yet ripe for a decision.

Very skillfully, too, has he presented the case of transmutation so as
to commend it, as much as possible, to us orthodox people. (Huxley, I
suppose, whose two books I have not seen, would put it in a way to
frighten us off.) Indeed, I think he has shown remarkable judgment and
taste, and will have much success in disarming prejudice. And this is
all you could ask.

The chapter on language makes the points I supposed would be made, or
some of them, but only dips in, leaving more to be said. But this is
rather ticklish ground, for, if we are not careful here, you would get
the better of us in this field quoad design.

If I had got the book three or four weeks earlier I should have worked
in some notice of the last chapter into my review of De Candolle, etc.,
on Species, in the May number of “Silliman’s Journal.”

Now please do not think of being ill this spring, and passing all your
valuable time, wasting it, at a water-cure.

I have really, as you see, nothing special to write of this week, and no
time to read what I have hurriedly penned.

May 26.

Your letter on heterogeny is keen and good; Owen’s rejoinder ingenious.
But his dissent from your well-put claims of natural selection to
attention and regard is good for nothing except on the admission of the
view that species are somehow derived genealogically; and this I judge,
from various of Owen’s statements, that he really in his heart believes
to be the case, and was (as I long ago intimated my suspicions) hunting
about for some system of derivation, when your book came down upon him
like a thunderclap.

Wyman, here, is greatly pleased with Huxley’s book on man’s place in
nature. I have not even seen it.

Did you ever notice how prettily Iris is arranged for cross-fertilizing
by bees, etc.?

Your Linum paper has long been here. But I have actually not had time to
read it. I might have glanced at it. But I find it best to read only
when I can do so with some attention.

Phyllotaxis: I have no notion in the world why the angular divergences
should be of that series of numbers and not of others. Opposite leaves
give (decussating) the angles. My puzzle has been to account for this
system in cycles in leaves running into the system of decussating whorls
in flowers (usually, almost universally). You will see the question by
comparing in my “Botanical Text-Book” (not “Lessons”), pp. 236, 237,
with chapter v., section 1; and you see I have drawn an illustration
from it apropos to Falconer’s remark. But explaining the obscure by the
obscure does not amount to much.

As to national affairs, how quarrelsome you English are. Here are we,
cool and quietly occupied with our little affairs, never dreaming of
harm from you, and your people are trying their prettiest to pick a
quarrel with us, because we do what Historicus says the English have
always done and will do again when the time comes, having Lord Stowell
to back them! Tell me, who is Historicus in the “Times”? An able and
most influential person evidently.

The government of England is now showing sense. Do not wonder that some
wild talk is given to the air in this rough country, after what you have
heard in the House of Commons, and read in the “Times,” etc. Am afraid
we shall not like each other for a good while--the nations. But all
shows I was right. We must carry out our little job, and hold the United
States complete and develop material strength at any cost, or we could
not live without eating more dirt than we like.

Boasting nonsense is pretty well knocked out of us by severe discipline
and sad reverses, but the determination is stronger than ever.

Time up and paper full. Forgive my maundering, and believe me to be,

Ever your affectionate,

June, [1863].

I am kept distractingly busy, so look for nothing of any use from me yet

Your Ohio case of law against marrying of cousins, I put to my
neighbor, Professor Parsons, who had it looked up. He tells me there is
no such law at all on the Ohio statute books, nor is there a trace of
any law on the subject to be found in the laws of any State in the
United States. He doubts if there can really be any statistics which
tell on the point, because, first, the marriage of first cousins is a
rare thing in this country; second, the United States decennial censuses
do not afford any information on the matter; third, nor any of the
[state] censuses that he knows of.

Pray, don’t run mad over Phyllotaxis! I can’t save you, I am sure.

George’s “Converging Sines” is the same, perhaps, as what Bravais was
after. His memoir may help you (see “Botanical Text-Book,” p. 141, par.
248); or, if you want something thoroughly mathematical, consult
Neumann, of Berlin, in some paper, which I have no reference to....

I am sorry you do not give a better account of yourself. Be careful and
do not work too hard.

July 7.

My last from you is May 31.

I had arranged to reprint most of Bates on Mimetic Analogy in
“Silliman’s Journal,” but my long review of A. de Candolle crowded it
out. I then thought of a brief abstract, but have had no time to prepare
it. I wrote remarks and arranged long extracts of your Linum paper, and
insisted on it for the July number of “Silliman’s Journal.” But it, too,
was laid over, not for anything I had, for I have little in the July

I like and agree to your remark that, in Bates’s Geographical Varieties,
etc., we get about as near to seeing a species made as we are ever
likely to get; and so believing, I think your gradual way more likely
than Heer’s jumps.

Apropos to Heer, you ask me if it is not impossible to imagine so many
and nice coadaptations as we see in orchids being formed all by a chance

I reply, Yes, perfectly impossible to imagine (and much the same by any
number of chance blows).

So I turn the question back upon you. Is not the fact that the
coadaptations are so nice next to a demonstration against their having
been formed by chance blows at all, one or many?

Here lies, I suppose, the difference between us. When you bring me up to
this point, I feel the cold chill.

I have been doing nothing but attend to my daily work, and had got so
fagged that I really thought I was about to have softening of the brain,
or some other breakdown. But a week of respite, caused by the death of
an aged relative of my wife’s,--a dear old soul,--taking us away from
here perforce, has set me up very nearly, and now after a week more
comes my vacation, and we are off into the quiet country for three

A little legacy of about £2,000 to my wife comes in opportunely to
relieve us of anxiety for the future. We have no children (which I
regret only that I have no son to send to the war), and this with a
little income, rather precarious, of about £200 a year would support us
in our very simple way, if I were to throw up my place here. But I
cannot do that yet....

Look at Impatiens flowers; see if the most fertile “precociously
fertilized” ones ever get crossed!

I have asked in three directions for seeds of the Specularia perfoliata.
Inclosed are depauperate specimens.

It is pretty to see honey-bees cross-fertilize Locust (Robinia), much as
you say of broom. One of my students has been noticing the way bees act
on Kalmia.

Now for my best thing for to-day.

An orchid which I missed last year, Platanthera flava, I knew would be
curious, for I remembered a strong protuberance on base of labellum, on
the median line. I have not time left to describe it now, having been
sadly interrupted, but it is pretty,--equal to anything you have yet
seen in British orchids. The process turns proboscis of insect either to
right or left, where it will slip into an imperfect ring (as seen from
above) or deep groove (as seen from before), in which lies the disk, not
flat but coiled up, ready to catch proboscis. It is like the eye of a
needle to receive the thread.

Perhaps I will send you, or print, a sketch[56] of the thing.

I am waiting for Gymnadenia tridentata to come on.

But the post hour has come.

July 21.

Your latest is of the 26th ult. You need not worry! It never wearies nor
bores me to write to you, in the off-hand way I do. I enjoy our
correspondence too much to consent to curtail or interrupt it. I learn
from you, here in this remote part of the world, a thousand things which
I should not otherwise know at all. And you stimulate my mind far more
than any one else, except, perhaps, Hooker. So please do not make a
fuss, but let me go on in my own fashion, and send me your fresh and
stimulating letters, whenever you are in the mood of it. I am now in my
vacation, and already, having idled and dawdled a week or two, I am as
well and hearty as possible, and in the best of spirits. We should leave
home this week for three weeks’ run in the country, but the sickness of
my wife’s nephew, Lieutenant Jackson of Massachusetts Cavalry, will keep
us awhile, as, though not alarming, it might take a bad turn, and so I
may not be in the country for a week or two yet. We shall see....

I have strong and fresh Drosera rotundifolia, and it will now turn in
its bristles and stick the viscid gland fast to a fly, binding him fast
on all sides with liliputian cords. But it is awfully slow about
it,--say three or four hours, and the next day the leaf sometimes
becomes involute and folds over or curves around the insect; but what
good? If the fly is not stuck fast in alighting, no movement takes place
to hold him till he has got away if he ever could. However, it is an
indication of what is so effectually done in Dionæa.

Rotary movement of end of tendril-bearing stems is common, is it not,
and well-known?

Any notes you will give me to print in “Silliman’s Journal,” I shall
always delight in.

I have been reading Owen’s Aye-aye paper. Well, this is rich and cool!
Did I not tell you in the “Atlantic,” long ago, that Owen had a
transmutation theory of his own! It is your Hamlet, with the part of
Hamlet left out! But as you say now, you don’t so much insist on natural
selection, if you can only have derivation of species. And Owen goes in
for derivation on the largest scale. You may as well lovingly embrace!
Oh, it is rare fun!...

I have been so far disappointed in getting no Gymnadenia tridentata. But
I still hope for it. I must have it, indeed.

Boott’s address is good, chiefly very good. But he speaks of Wyman’s
paper without having duly considered it. Wyman’s experiments are better
than Pasteur’s, and the results opposite!

P. S.--Papers just in, or rather telegrams, that you in London were
daily awaiting and expecting the capture of Washington, etc., and
speculating as to whether Jeff Davis’s envoys from Washington might not
be received at London as a fait accompli. A good deal of
little-concealed joy, etc.

Oh, foolish people! When will you see that there is only one end to all
this, and that the North never dreams of any other,--the complete
putting down of the rebellion. And since 1863 began, it was clear that
it would be attended with the annihilation of slavery.

Time was when we should have highly valued English appreciation of the
right cause. We have long ceased to care or think about it.

We only wish you had the city of New York. But the sympathizers with
secession and riot there have done their worst, and lost their game. The
city of New York is the only part of our country which I am ashamed of;
and the trouble there is that it is not American.

Enough; good-bye.
A. G.

September 1.

Your fine, long letter of August 4th reached me up in the country, in my
native region, in the centre of the State of New York, rusticating and
enjoying ourselves mightily. We were among the people of a thriving
region; a well-to-do set; no poverty near us for miles and miles, i.
e., no hardship, except any that a drunken laborer might bring on his
family; and I longed to take you out with us in our drives, that you
might see a happy and comfortable country, more and more so every year,
and perhaps a larger ratio of the population refined to a reasonable
degree in feeling and life than I know of in any other part of the

I will consider about fantastic variation of pigeons. I see afar trouble
enough ahead quoad design in nature, but have managed to keep off the
chilliness by giving the knotty questions a rather wide berth. If I
rather avoid, I cannot ignore the difficulties ahead. But if I adopt
your view bodily, can you promise me any less difficulties?

If your Lythrum paper shall be at all equal in interest to that on
Linum, it will be a gem.

As to tendrils, what are Hooker and Oliver (the latter a professor, too)
about, and where have they lived not to know anything of them? Everybody
must have seen, in Cucurbitaceæ and Passiflora, tendrils reaching out
straight for a certain time, and then, if they reach nothing, coiling up
from the end. Also the sweeping of stems....

P. S. [To the above?] Three numbers of Boston newspapers recently sent
you, two by this mail (in which my good beau-père is again “spiking the
English”), please to forward to Reuben Harvey, Esq., Limerick, Ireland.

You are quite out in supposing that hatred of England is increasing, or
that there is the least desire to meddle with you, except in

My own feelings were very sensitive at first, because I expected better
things, and I then deferred much to British opinion. I now do neither,
and nothing strikes me more than the smallness of mind and largeness of
gullibility of the British people, as far as I can judge from their
press (weeklies, quarterlies, and “Times”). But I do not suppose you
will fight us because you dislike us; and so conversely. I suppose I do
not see the papers which so abuse England, though I read influential and
respectable papers; but from what I do see, I think we receive far more
abuse and misrepresentation and unfair usage than we give.

As to the course of the war and policy of our country as to slavery,
some day when you turn back to some early letter of mine you will see
that I was a fairly good prophet; that the South might have delayed the
abolition of slavery by giving up early in the conflict, but that every
month of continued resistance hastened and insured the downfall of
slavery. That is now doomed, and sure near to rapid death; quick in some
places, slower in others, but sure.

Ill-usage of negroes--who make such good soldiers--will soon be unheard
of, except with Irish. It will take some generations of American life to
breed out the barbarian they bring to the country.

November 23.

The next best thing, of late, is the exposé of Lindsay and George
Saunders (the Confederates) by Historicus.

I trust Historicus’ previous letters, in which he shows (about the same
time my father-in-law’s articles on the subject reached England) that it
is the duty of a country to see that armed or war vessels are not fitted
out, quite irrespective of all municipal law, have produced their proper
effect. Something has produced a great effect, and a great change in the
idea of what it was incumbent on the government to do; and nothing can
be more satisfactory than the views now taken; and the effect here is
excellent. For we are sure that when the right notions once get a
lodgment, as they have, England will faithfully carry them through.
Lawyers whom I knew here were confident how the law would ultimately be
laid down by your courts; but we greatly feared it would be done only
after a few more such vessels had got to sea. All will go well now.

The newspaper I occasionally send you is a fair specimen of the
influential part of the press here. Such articles as the “Times” likes
to cite have far less effect here than you suppose in the determination
of events.


CAMBRIDGE, December 11, 1863.

MY DEAR ENGELMANN,--Our good old friend Von Martius writes me that on
the 30th March next, he will reach his fiftieth anniversary of his
doctorate. I dare say his friends will commemorate it in Germany. It
occurs to me that it would be a good idea for some of us, his friends
and correspondents, to compliment him upon the occasion. Suppose you
draw up in German a letter of congratulation, etc., to be signed by
yourself, Torrey, Sullivant, etc., and forward about the proper time.
Send me, with your German circular letter to Martius, a translation in

Yes, I will let you work at botany when I guard you.[57] Your botanical
work is far better than your politics. But you must swear the
President’s oath, Proclamation and all!!

Martius is not a very remarkable botanist, but good; is a genial,
philosophical soul (full of Plato, etc.), a good explorer, has worked up
the Palms, etc., well, and is a wonderful man for the amount he knows on
a vast number of different subjects,--philology, antiquities,
philosophy, et id genus omne.

May 3, [1864].

... Spring is opening here, but late. From this to July 10, I am engaged
in college every day in the week. Also am watching the herbarium
building go up, the brick walls of which, if good weather, may be all up
this week, and the roof put on next week.

Your circular letter to good Martius was very good, especially in its
original German. Thanks....

Never mind if “Sagittaria graminea, Michaux,” is applicable to only one
form. You had best keep the old name, the more so as that you propose,
S. simplicifolia, is “not always correct.” We can’t let you change a
name because you can improve it. Too many can and would play at that
game, and less discreetly than you would, and then cite your example!

If Fendler gets tired of bush-clearing, and will come to me this fall, I
will give him $500 a year as curator, lodgings, two rooms in gardener’s
house, which I have reserved; and let him have say three days in the
week for himself, if he wants them.

The people are determined to support and reëlect their excellent
President Lincoln (what a noble letter that last of his), whether
Frémont and the like make a coalition with copperheads or not. It is all
the same to us. Lincoln will walk the course. God bless him!

Wright is coming home for a few months this summer.


CAMBRIDGE, September 18, 1863.

What Don José affirms about coast and mountain vegetation being much the
same is curious, unlikely, yet you seem to find it so. That bit of coast
with all microphyllous and spiny vegetation is also curious.

I am glad you like him for being an abolitionist. Though not very much
of an abolitionist myself, at the start, I hope I can fall in with, and
welcome, the ways of Providence, when Providence takes the matter in
hand, and say Amen....

Well, you are doing well in botanizing, and should finish up Cuban
botany while you are at it. And on your return, you and Grisebach should
join teams, and do up Cuban botany in a full memoir. You are right to
stay till next spring. You are happy in Cuba; you would not be so here.
Things in the United States do not go to suit you at all. “Things is
working,” and in the right way,--but the end must be the total
suppression of the rebellion,--the exile or punishment of rebel leaders,
the return of the masses to their duty, and they will put things
straight. Just what is now going on in Tennessee will go on elsewhere, I
suppose. I know only one man in Cambridge that you could talk secesh to.
We can correspond very well, and keep cool. But if we were together,
during the war, we should get into a row at once. It could not be

When the Union is restored (which it is to be, of course, when the
rebellion is put down) those who do not love us well enough to resume
their duties and privileges have only to take themselves off to some
country they like better. The United States of America belongs to loyal
Americans. After the war the country will prosper wonderfully. And the
South will get to be something.

December 1.

Things move on.

“The mills of the Gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine.” Wait
in Cuba a year longer, and you may return to a country in which slavery,
having tried to get more, has lost all, and as a system is defunct, to
the lasting benefit of all parties.

You might now revisit your old Texan haunts, under General Banks’s

The November elections show a united North. Peace democracy has made its
issue, and is dead. The reëlection of Lincoln by acclamation seems
probable, supported by moderate men of all sorts, the extremes of the
opposing parties alone going against him....

Merry Christmas to you.

January 21, 1864.

By the steamer of Saturday, which takes this, a good young fellow, Mr.
Kennedy, a member of our Senior class, goes to Cuba, to look after
business of his father, and, when he can, to botanize, only four or five
weeks, that is, in vacation. He is very fond of botany, and bids fair to
be a botanist some day, if he does not take to money-making instead....

This war, we think, will be pretty much over next summer; and then, back
in the Union, with slavery pretty much nowhere, by the hearty wish of a
majority of the people, we may expect a career of prosperity and real
advance of the South, such as it has never known. At least we hope so.


CAMBRIDGE, December 25, 1863.

For ourselves, your letter found us here just on the eve of our month’s
holiday, a trip to Lake George, and thence to my natal region, in the
most beautiful (and the most English-looking) part of the State of New
York.... My wife was well enough to do her small part in a great fair
held in Boston for the United States Sanitary Commission (which has kept
the ladies very busy for the last six months), which has just closed,
having brought the net proceeds of about $125,000 (it turns out
$140,000) for the relief of suffering.

As to our national affairs, I should like now and then to send you such
comments or articles as seem to me to throw most light upon our
condition. There is little I could say in a letter. I said very early to
English friends that if the rebellion were short it might leave things
much as they were before (no desirable state), but if long and
obstinate, it would cut the knot we were unable to untie and completely
destroy the slave system. You see now it is coming to pass, by rather
slow but sure steps, and a great blessing it is to be to the South. To
the North the war, with all its sad evils, has been a great good,
morally and politically. The end is in the hands of Providence, and we
humbly wait for it; but there is very little diversity of opinion here
as to what, essentially, the end is to be, that is, the complete
territorial reinstatement of the Union, and the abolition of slavery.
Very sanguine, you think, in England. We must wait and see, and on our
part hope and labor.

Now for a little personal matter. I have long been anxious for the
safety and final destination of my herbarium and other botanical
collections, which in my house (besides that, there is not room for
them) are too liable to destruction from fire. I had offered them, with
my botanical library, to our university, if they would build in the
Botanic Garden a fireproof building to hold them, and raise a small fund
for their support. Recently and quite unexpectedly, a banker in Boston,
almost unknown to me personally, has offered in any case to construct
the building, and a few friends are taking steps, with good prospects,
to raise by gifts a fund of $10,000 for the support of the
establishment. When done, I shall feel that my collections, which are
most important for North American botany, are secure for the use of
future botanists. To secure this I gladly divest myself of the ownership
of collections which have absorbed most of my small spare means for the
last thirty years, and which are valued at $20,000 or more....

In the council of our American Academy (of which since May last I have
been president) we have nominated Dean Milman to the foreign honorary
membership vacated by the death of Whately, and Max Müller to that
vacated by Grimm. The election has not yet taken place.

Mrs. Gray, with kind regards, joins me in best wishes for the new year
to you and yours.

Very sincerely yours,


CAMBRIDGE, December 22, 1863.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--I thank you cordially for your letter of the 13th
November, and for the copy of Thury’s interesting and curious paper.
This I had not seen, neither Pictet’s notice. I find it very
interesting, but I do not see how he got a legitimate deduction from the
facts given by Knight in the vegetable kingdom to his principle in the
animal kingdom. However, that is of small moment if the principle holds.
The subject is one which will naturally attract much attention, and
which, as you remark, has philosophical bearings. I mean to bring it up,
next week, for discussion at our private (social) scientific club in

I thank you also for the good spirit in which you take, as I meant them,
my criticisms upon your article on Species, etc. There is no progress to
be made upon such interesting subjects without free criticism, because
without it we cannot perfectly clear up our own views nor impart them
perfectly to others. And especially, since I have so often to criticise
the views or writings of persons for whom I have no particular regard,
it is pleasant, if only for the sake of impartiality, to criticise those
for whom you have the greatest regard and respect. So I particularly
like it when I can criticise such a near friend as J. D. Hooker or
Bentham, and I believe they like it, too, at least Hooker, who is
himself a very free critic. Of course, I know very well that you will be
likely to turn all the points I made. The question upon which of the two
foundations the idea of species rests, I well know is not to be settled
off-hand by any bit of argument. Pray take up the cudgels against me
whenever an occasion offers.

As to theoretical views, you and I receive and use them as means, not as
ends, and expect to change many of them from time to time. Such
especially as relate to origins and causes are the questions which we
ask, rather than answers that we receive; and we put our questions
variously according to the leadings of the case at the time. But this is
all commonplace and trite.

It is curious to see that Owen, in his Aye-aye paper, has come to adopt
Heer’s[58] views essentially, of course without the slightest allusion
to Heer.

Our civil war goes on slowly, but very surely, toward the destruction of
negro slavery; and with all its great cost, we may hope for future
benefit in proportion. By the time we have nearly ended our war, it may
be that Europe will have its turn again. I hope not.



CAMBRIDGE, January 20, [1864].

MY DEAR DANA,--Perhaps you may not know, and I hope you may be as
pleased as I was to know, that your article of last summer on Geological
Periods is reprinted in full in the “Reader” (of London), with an
appreciative prefix.

Cephalization goes on bravely in your very taking article which you have
just sent me. I am much struck with it.

In one thing you zoölogists miss it, I think,--in following French
customs in dropping the Latin, the vernacular of science, in names. I
wish you would write Aphaniptera, etc., which is just as much English
after all as Aphanipters, and good for all languages.

Have Englishified contractions for all such names if you will; it is
well. But in proposing and formally writing of such divisions, etc.,
pray use the scientific form.

The other course has greatly jargonified zoölogy.

In botany we have always been more dignified. Moreover I detest “larve,”
though Kirby tried to introduce the word. “Larva” has got to be as
English as “phenomenon.”

But I dare say most would agree with you.

I like the ring of most of the new technical terms you have coined....

Ever yours,


February 16, 1864.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--Here we are past midwinter, and not being stimulated as
of old by your exciting letters, I have not written you a line since
Christmas. Not that I have had anything in particular to tell you. I
write now to say how very sorry I am that the word or two I get about
you from Hooker gives me the idea that you are having an uncomfortable
and suffering time, as well as entirely broken off from scientific work.
I feel very sorry about it, and do long for better news of you....

I have lately printed a couple of monographs, one pretty big one, of
American Astragali. I do not know that they contain anything you would
care to see. Yet I think I shall send you a copy presently, through

I feel much the loss of dear old Boott, so good, so true a friend, and
he was always writing me little notes telling me of all that was going

The sentiment of our country, you must see, at least I assure you, has
settled, as I knew it would if the rebellion was obstinate enough, into
a determination to do away with slavery. Homely, honest, ungainly
Lincoln is the representative man of the country.

A Boston gentleman, at cost of $11,000 or more, is to build a fireproof
house for my herbarium, which I give to the university, with my
botanical library. A fund of $12,000 is raising to support it, which
will relieve me of the expenditure of about $500 a year. But I shall
have double care and bother all the coming spring and summer.

Dr. Scudder has gone to Cuba, to attend an invalid, and wishes to
examine orchid fertilization, and asks me what in particular he should
look at.

Pray get well, dear Darwin, and believe me to be ever,

Yours cordially,


CAMBRIDGE, April 4, 1864.

MY DEAR MR. CHURCH,--If you have long ago written your American
correspondent off your books, as being a right shabby fellow, he could
not complain.

Here is your agreeable letter of January 19th, a most prompt and more
than kind response to mine of Christmas, still unacknowledged by me!

The fact simply is that I have been delaying week by week in the hope of
being able to announce to you that the subscription for the support of
our botanical establishment was filled up. I am sorry to say that this
cannot yet be said. The matter has been privately conducted, that is,
nothing said about it in the public prints; but the two gentlemen who
took the matter in hand have quietly circulated the paper among their
well-to-do acquaintances in Boston, not beginning till late in January,
under the idea that the fair for the Sanitary Commission had perhaps
exhausted their friends’ purses. Since then, far greater and more
pressing demands have been made upon the benevolent and the
public-spirited, for a variety of good objects; and our affair has gone
slowly in consequence.

I have not heard for a week respecting it, but a week ago the sum
subscribed was a little less than seven thousand dollars, the greater
part in sums of $500 each. The $10,000 is obviously secure, for
subscribers of $100 each, yet to be appealed to, may be relied on for a
good part of the lacking sum. But it begins to be clearly seen that
$12,000 are needed for the capital of the fund, and this, at the present
rate, it will take some time to secure.

Your own offer of a small subscription, I can truly say, not only
gratified me in the highest degree, as an expression of an interest in
our affair which I had no reason to expect, but has already been of
use,--has really been as good for us as any contribution you ought to
make. For I took the liberty to read that portion of your letter to
three or four friends, and their interest in the matter was sensibly
quickened and exalted by this evidence of the lively interest in the
matter taken by a country parson, far away in England! So pray consider
that you have already helped us on, and we are truly grateful to you for
your generous proffer. There is, indeed, a strong temptation to accept
your kind offer in the fact that, in the present state of exchanges,
owing to our paper currency not on a specie basis (one of the sad
consequences of our civil war), every pound sterling in England, in
normal times worth only from $4.90 to $5.00, is worth nearly or quite
$8.00, so that a contribution of £5 sterling really now counts here for
about forty dollars!! So you see how hard it is for me to discourage
your kind intentions. But I really feel that the sum which I specified,
as the condition of my own gift to our university, is really quite sure,
though slower in coming than we had hoped.

As to the building for the herbarium, I have only to state it goes on
famously. It is considerably enlarged in plan from what was at first
contemplated, and a favorable early spring has allowed of more progress
than could have been expected at this season.

The generous donor of the building not only adopted at once the larger
plans as soon as suggested, but himself proposed improvements and

The building, the foundations of which are already laid, in the most
substantial manner, is 32 by 57 feet, and is connected with my private
study in the house I reside in by a neat conservatory 18 feet long,
which takes the place of the simple wooden corridor at first intended.
The whole will cost Mr. Thayer, the donor, by the contracts, more than
$11,000, and is likely, by extras, to reach the round sum of $12,000.
And all will be done before the summer is over, we trust.

See how the expression of your interest to me has led me on, to the
neglect of everything else I want to write about.... I wish to say
something about the troubles in your Old World, which, with all its age
and wisdom, falls into “difficulties” hardly less grave than ours. I
hope poor brave Denmark will not be crushed out of existence. There are
English questions which we regard with much attention, ecclesiastical
and social questions, on which I would fain know what you think. But I
cannot write longer now.

Only as to our war, I beg you to believe that we (the earnest thoughtful
people and most around us, according to their measure) have acted and
are acting from the highest sense of duty,--duty to our beloved country
and to humanity; and we keep the full conviction that great and
permanent good is to result. Much of the good we see already, and more
comes near to realization every day. So we work and trust, and suffer
cheerfully. We only wish our views and motives were better appreciated
in general in the country and by the people whose good opinion we most
value. But even the lack of that appreciation, which is far from
universal, is likely to do us good. I am always sure of your thoughtful
good wishes for us. But I must break off.

Ever yours most sincerely,


CAMBRIDGE, May 30, 1864.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--I have let your very kind letter of 28th January
lie on my desk a long time, always expecting to write soon, but, having
been extremely busy with various administrative matters and college work
since it reached me, the convenient moment for writing to you has not
arrived till now. I inclose a note to my young friend and late
colleague, Professor Eliot, which I beg you to send to the poste
restante on arrival. I learn from his friends here that he may be
expected to be in Geneva about the time this reaches you.

In my note I ask him to call upon you, as a friend of mine. He will of
course be unwilling to make any demands upon your time or attention.
But I should like him to see you, and perhaps he might through you pay
his respects to the _savans_ in his line, notably to De la Rive. Having
wife, etc., with him, and little time, his visit will be transient.
Eliot is a chemist and physicist, a man of much promise, we think, and a
most gentlemanly man. He is a very trusty friend of mine. He has passed
the autumn and winter in Paris, studying hard, and will soon return
here, bringing the latest news of you. He and his lady companions are
just such people as we should like you to know America by.

I should say to you, moreover, that I gave to another colleague of mine,
Professor Cooke, a note to you. He is a chemist and mineralogist, is
full of research and zeal, a most estimable man.

You know, perhaps, that I have made over (or am to make over) all my
herbarium and library to our university, in consideration of a fireproof
building made to receive them, and a fund, of moderate extent, raised
for the permanent support.... During the summer or early autumn, my
collections will be transferred to this their permanent home, to my
great relief.

It is probable that I shall continue to spend upon these collections all
my available means, and I hope they will be of use in the future, as
well as safe, which they are not in my wooden house. My own donation is
reckoned in money value at about $20,000.

Charles Wright is expected home from Cuba soon, when there will be a new
and interesting distribution of his phænogamous plants.

We trust that our civil war is in its last year, that is, if we are
victorious, as we hope to be. In that case your American stocks will be
all right again. Nearly all the little I possess is cheerfully put into
United States government stocks, where I am well content it should be.

Small countries, which you prefer, would do very well if all were small,
but the few large, like England and France, will domineer unpleasantly
over the smaller. Just look now at poor Denmark, which has the
misfortune to be small, and so is made to suffer! All Scandinavia had
best combine, and build up a strong nation. Natural selection is hard
upon the weak! However it may be in Europe, you must excuse us for
endeavoring to prevent, while we may, even at great cost, the
establishment of a European system on this side of the Atlantic; so we
must not fail to put down the Confederacy. We shall, after that, in a
quiet way, make the French emperor very uncomfortable in Mexico; but we
hope that country may yet be a strong power, but not a French power.

Enough of politics! And believe me to be, with affectionate regard,

Ever yours,

CAMBRIDGE, January 30, 1865.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE: ... This very day, I have received your envoi by
post of the neat little article on leaves of Fagus, which I had seen in
English dress, and the copy of Heer’s address. Many thanks to you. I
have received also, and thank you much for it, the “Prodromus,” XIV., I.
I have this evening read over Heer’s address. It is, as you say,
capital. It interests me in its proof of the antiquity of the present
flora; and I admit that he very neatly puts the case between his view of
the production of our species out of the older ones, and that of Darwin.
Here it still rests: Darwin has the great advantage of

[Illustration: DR. ASA GRAY IN HIS STUDY]

being able to assign a vera causa. Heer has the disadvantage of having
no known cause to assign; but he shows that things do not appear to have
proceeded as Darwin’s theory requires. It does seem as if there were
times of peculiar change as well as of great stability. But were this
time of change and that of stability simultaneous for the species of a
flora? And does Heer allow enough for the species which now occur under
many forms,--show great polymorphism. I continually meet with these in
the North American flora; in which the dying out of some forms, and
their replacing by others, which may well take place in time, would, in
effect, just give a change like that to be accounted for. But I cannot
say that these varieties come in insensibly, very likely not.

Now, to speak of myself. My summer was much frittered away; the
superintending of the new building for my herbarium just preventing any
serious study. The autumn was devoted to the removal and rearrangement
of plants and books, and to assisting Charles Wright in the collation
and distribution into sets of his collections in Cuba for the last three
years past; very full and interesting collections, and requiring much
care and labor, on account of this distribution being a continuation of
former distributions. I laid out into the sets every specimen with my
own hands, Mr. Wright adding the tickets and numbers. It was an immense
labor, and was finished only at the close of the last day of the

I mean to prepare for “Silliman’s Journal” a brief and simple notice of
the edifice for my herbarium, so I will not speak further of it here;
further than to say that I am well satisfied, only I sadly need a

And now, I turn to your letter of September 29, and ask your pardon for
having so long neglected it. Your letters, your reflections upon social
and political, as well as upon scientific questions, are always very
interesting and instructive to me. I regret that I can render so little
return in kind....

As to our national troubles, the prospect brightens that we shall end
the rebellion and slavery before long. God grant it.

Believe me to be, as ever, my dear De Candolle, very faithfully yours,



February 14, 1865.

... Wright is here, distributing and finishing up his North Pacific
Expedition Collection; ... will return to Cuba in a month or two, to
take a year or two more there, revisit some old parts and explore some
new; then I urge Hayti, but Wright seems rather loth.

Rothrock--from northwestern Pennsylvania--is a bright lively pupil of
mine for last three or four years, when not serving his country in the
army, where he has done good service as private in infantry, and as
captain in Pennsylvania cavalry, etc. He had to leave his thesis partly
unfinished. But the real credit of all belongs to him. His father is M.
D., and he is now studying medicine, attending lectures at Philadelphia.
But botany is in him, and will probably come out....

There, I believe this is about all. J. A. Lowell has made a nice present
of costly botanical books, of which more anon.

[March 18.]

... Rothrock is going with Kinnicut this week, to Northwestern America,
Norton’s Sound, etc., to explore on telegraph route close along the
Arctic Circle. Any pines there you want?...

March 29.

... No, Mrs. Gray did not go to inauguration ball. But she has had a
good time. Her brother, the general, took her from Fortress Monroe,
where she went, up to the front and close to rebel lines; where she had
the honor of having a rebel shell thrown at her!

I expect her home again to-morrow.

No, I don’t get a curator, and I want one sadly. Yet it is as well
Fendler did not come, as it might have been difficult for me to pay him.
He, however, is just the man I want here, to take charge of herbarium
and garden....


CAMBRIDGE, April 24, 1865.

Mr. Wright is about to return to Cuba, to have one year more of
exploration there, and especially to visit Turquino, the highest
mountain of the island, and some other parts which are still promising.

He will now be able--as he is always most ready--to attend to the
gathering of seeds of palms, or other seeds, or things you may want at
Kew. He has now some good and kind friends in the country, and deserves
them, for he is one of the most hearty, single-minded, and disinterested
persons I ever knew, as well as an admirable collector; but being rather
rough in exterior, he does not like to come into contact with official
people, unless properly accredited. But if armed with official
instructions to British consuls, etc., and so having the means of very
promptly turning over, without bother or uncertainty, whatever he may
collect for you, I have no doubt you may turn him to excellent account.
Perhaps, however, he will not long remain in Cuba; for there is a
prospect of getting him attached (nominally, without any emolument) to
the United States consulate-general at Hayti, so that he may explore the
botany of that island, as he has done that of Cuba. But I doubt if he
will keep in the field many years more, or do such hard work as he has
done in former years. I wish him to explore Hayti, however, and then
associate himself with Grisebach in the production of a Flora Antillana,
or at least a Flora Cubensis, if Grisebach inclines to work longer at
West Indian botany, after having finished the critical enumeration of
Cuban plants (founded mainly on Wright’s collections) which he is now
occupied with....

It seems like old times to be writing to you. We have the less occasion
for direct correspondence of late years, owing to my having such a
capital correspondent, as well as a capital friend, in Joseph. I know
not how I could get on without him. I look with great satisfaction upon
his splendid scientific career, and feel that you must take great pride
in it. I rejoice to hear that you are so well and hearty, and at work
with vigor, comfort, and success upon the “Synopsis Filicum.”

Dr. Brewer[59] sends his regards. He goes this week to New Haven (Yale
College), to attend to the opening of his work as professor of
agriculture. I was running over his collections, naming and
characterizing the new things, and laying out a set for you of all you
could wish. But since spring opened, my college work has been so
pressing that all else has been interrupted, perhaps will be in abeyance
till near midsummer.

I must not fail to tell you that our good friend Dr. Torrey sailed
yesterday for California! via the Isthmus, to return three or four
months hence, perhaps overland.

He is a much trusted officer of government, as assayer of the United
States assay office at New York, and the secretary of the treasury,
knowing that he needs some respite and change, has arranged this trip
for him, upon business of the department, by no means of an onerous

He has long wished to set eyes upon California, and I am glad he has
such a pleasant opportunity of doing so.


May 1, 1865.

I have long wished to communicate with you, but it is long since I have
written any but pressing letters; a large and ever-increasing scientific
correspondence and various business matters absorbing all my leisure and
powers, as the times and events also absorb our thoughts. You can
imagine how deeply we have felt, rejoiced, and suffered during the last
month or so.

Well, “treason has done its worst,” and rebellion, as an organized
power, is essentially brought to an end. Slavery is done away, and we
have now the task of establishing a new and better order of things at
the South, of replacing barbarous by civilized and free institutions. A
heavy task, no doubt; but the good Providence that has so wonderfully
shaped our ways and sustained us thus far, we humbly and confidently
rely on to carry our dear country through all its trials.

I doubt if you will have in England a full conception of the profound
impression which this last atrocious crime has made,[60] filling the
whole land with the deepest and tenderest grief, like that of a personal
bereavement; inexpressibly shocking, but never for a moment bewildering
the country nor deranging the action of the government. The manner in
which both our victories and sorrows have affected the country is most
hopeful, and promises the best results. There is much yet to do and to
suffer, and there is need of wisdom, patience, and sacrifice in the
renovation of our country, and the establishment of free institutions
throughout the South, involving as it does the complete reconstruction
of society there. But under God’s blessing, we expect full success in
due time.

As to myself, I can say little now. I am quite overworked at this
season, but I hope that hereafter a rearrangement of my work in the
university may bring some relief.

I am beginning to enjoy the advantage and comfort of the establishment
of my herbarium, and the building quite meets my expectations. The
collections are fast increasing; faster than I can take care of them,
through the bounty of my scientific correspondents; while Mr. Lowell’s
donation of botanical books is of the value of about £300.

November 16, 1865.

Now do not be startled at a letter from me written the very evening of
the day in which arrived your pleasant favor of the 1st inst. For to-day
I also received the inclosed official letter, which has been lying, I
suppose, for want of your address. And so I send it forward at once.

In fact, the fund raised for the support of the herbarium (nearly
$11,000) has been till very lately retained in the hands of the
gentleman who took charge of raising it, in the form of a good
investment, and is now at length made over to the corporation of the
university in trust. Your £5 I turned in at the time when exchange was
at the highest (i. e., our currency most depreciated), so it figures as
fifty dollars,--quite a sum,--and for it, as for the rest of the
capital, we get, up to 1881, six per cent per annum in gold, if the
United States government lasts. And we now feel confident enough of

Your letters are always very pleasant to us, and that of to-day is very

Yes, we, too, should not have said this was the way in which we would
have had slavery destroyed,--by no means. We wished it by a slow process
which would have cost no life, injured no property, but benefited all as
it went on. But our misguided Southern brethren would have it otherwise,
and so it was. And it is something to be glad of, after all, that it was
done in our day, and we think thoroughly. I take a weekly newspaper, the
“Nation,” which is on the plan of the “Spectator” and the “Saturday
Review,” etc., but we have few good paragraph-writers, and our best
writers will not write. But this paper may interest you, at least in the
letters of its correspondent traveling in the South. I post some
numbers to your address, and I will send some more if you care to see
them. Otherwise the numbers are thrown aside, for I do not keep them.

Even here we have the same sort of liking for Palmerston which the mass
of English have, and no better reason to give for it; and we look with a
sort of fascinated interest upon Gladstone, and expect to see him
premier before long, in a year or two, and we wonder how he will get on
in so critical a position as he will be in. Goldwin Smith I met, but saw
not very much of. He was in very delicate health. Fraser I did not see,
though he was my father-in-law’s guest, and was very much liked by all.
Both had troops of friends. Mrs. Gray and I were in the country when
Fraser was at Mr. Loring’s house on the shore.

The short space left on my sheet must be all devoted to an earnest
exhortation for you to follow your two friends’ example. Come over and
see us, and make our quiet house your home, from which you can travel as
much as you like and see the country in this interesting phase. Pray
think of it seriously. The expense need not be great.

Mrs. Gray, with kindest remembrances, seconds my request, and wishes it
extended to Mrs. Church.

Cordially yours,


May 15, 1865.

Your kind letter of the 19th ult. crossed a brief note from me. I am too
much distracted with work at this season to write letters on our
affairs, and if I once begin, I should not know where to stop. You have
always been sympathizing and just, and I appreciate your hearty
congratulations on the success of our just endeavors. You have since had
much more to rejoice over, as well as to sorrow with us. But the noble
manner in which our country has borne itself should give you real
satisfaction. We appreciate, too, the good feeling of England in its
hearty grief at the murder of Lincoln.

Don’t talk about our “hating” you, nor suppose that we want to rob you
of Canada, for which nobody cares.

We think we have been ill-used by you, when you thought us weak and
broken, and when we expected better things. We have learned that we must
be strong to live in peace and comfort with England, otherwise we should
have to eat much dirt. But now that we are on our feet again, all will
go well, and hatred will disappear. Indeed I see little of that.

I must look to the Plantago dimorphism, for, as you say, these plants,
fertilized by the wind, would gain nothing by being dimorphic. No
dimorphic species grows very near here, nor can I now get seeds of P.
Virginica. Perhaps a good look at even dried specimens, under your
hints, may settle the matter.

I was exceedingly interested with the Lythrum paper (but had no time to
write a notice of it), and I wait expectingly for your Climbing plants.
You are the very prince of investigators. We hope presently to make Mrs.
Wedgewood’s acquaintance.

July 24.

I am reading in snatches your admirable paper on Climbing plants,--as
yet only eighty-eight pages of it, and am watching with great interest
all the climbers I have at hand. What a nice piece of work you have made
of it!

I see you explain and illustrate at length the double turn of a caught
tendril. Is it not enough to say that, with both ends fixed, if it
shortens, say by the contraction of one side, it must by mechanical
necessity turn its coil different ways from a neutral point?

Ere this, Mrs. Wedgewood should be back from Canada, but I have not yet
learned that she is so. She was to let me know, and we would have a day
on the shore, where Mr. Loring lives in summer,--a pretty bit of
country. But it is now too late.

I wish she could have been here on Friday, when we welcomed back our
Harvard men who had been in the war,--over five hundred of them,--and
remembered those who had died for their country. What a day we had!

Jefferson Davis richly deserves to be hanged. We are willing to leave
the case in the hands of the government, who must take the
responsibility. If I were responsible, I would have him tried for
treason (the worst of crimes in a republic), convicted, sentenced to
death; and then I think I should commute the penalty, not out of any
consideration for him, but from policy, and for his more complete
humiliation. The only letters I have received expressing a desire to
hang him are from rebeldom itself,--from Alabama. You see slavery is
dead, dead,--an absolute unanimity as to this. The revolted States will
behave as badly as they can, but they are so thoroughly whipped that
they can’t stir, hand or foot, and we are disbanding all our armies,--a
corporal’s guard is enough to hold South Carolina. Seriously, there are
difficult questions before us, but only one result is possible: the
South must be renovated, and Yankeefied.

Well, take good care of yourself, and let me know that you are again in
comfortable condition.

November 6.

I am very glad to hear from you, and to see half your letter of October
19 in your own handwriting is a good sign. I do hope you may get a
comfortable winter, and bring out your next volume without breaking

I am pleased that you approve my abstract of your Climber paper, but
observe it was only of the first part of your elaborate article. But as
to the praise you speak of, I am sure you pay me back with interest.

I lately sent “Silliman” as much more--a large part, indeed, extracts,
which I could not shorten--on the Tendril-bearing part of your paper.
But Dana sent me the proof, with all my long extracts omitted for want
of room. This reduced my article to incoherence, so I begged all to be
laid over for the January number, when I hope to have room. I
entertained our social scientific club here with your article, and all
were greatly interested.

As to climbing roses, they are the strong summer shoots, growing after
flowering, which I find frequently running their heads into dark corners
of the porch over my door, etc.

That is very curious, but quite what I looked for, that dimorphous
species self-fertilized should act like hybrids (sterile or dwarf,

You must publish these facts in some brief article.

“Stephens” (Stevens) was a New Yorker; is dead, years ago; wrote most
amusing and popular travels; in Egypt, as well. Central America was his
first and freshest book, but only amusing, as far as I recollect.

So Palmerston is gone. A fine specimen of a John Bull he was, a very
typical specimen. We Yankees can’t help admiring and liking him, though
not for any good he ever did us. But as for his successor, he is a prig,
a juiceless stick.

Don’t you think Adams pays him back nicely for proposing that they
should sit down and rejoice together over the abolition of slavery? Just
see how the world has moved. Turn back to Russell’s _lecture_ to be read
to Mr. Lincoln on occasion of his proclamation of emancipation!

Good-by, my dear, good fellow, and recover health as fast as ever you

Yours affectionately,


CAMBRIDGE, June 28, 1865.

I am not going on so any more. A letter from me you shall have. To be
sure I have had none from you since you sailed, but that is no matter.
College and garden and herbarium work together are enough to drive one
mad; but now the college work begins to hold up, and will soon be over.
And as to herbarium, Fendler has at length promised to come at the end
of the summer and help me--all winter at least, perhaps longer....

Oh, yes! I have yours of “Habana,” May 9th, with your shipboard studies
on the variations of Chapman and Grisebach. Well, sometimes one wrong,
sometimes the other; sometimes a difference as to who the author of a
book is,--Michaux, whose name is on the work, Richard, who wrote it

I inclose my last from Grisebach. I am hoping to arrange to have the
catalogue of Cuba plants printed or stereotyped at Göttingen, for the
Smithsonian contributions, and have written Grisebach to cultivate his
Spanish influence in the view of having that government at length
patronize effectively the bringing out of a Flora Cubensis, by Wright
and Grisebach.

You owe this letter partly to the general disturbance of an uneasy
conscience, and partly to a sudden cold caught by carelessness in hot
weather, which unfits me for more driving work. It is getting better. I
hope to write you again before I catch a new one.

July 4, Eighty-ninth Anniversary
of the United States.

Yours of June 9-21 reached me the very day that I mailed my last missive
to you, a good long letter. Here is a fine letter from you, showing how
busy and active a man you are. Pretty well for a man of your age to be
shinning up palm-trees, and barking your shins. Be careful! Grisebach
will take your criticisms all right, no doubt. Yesterday I got the
inclosed from him. Very well. Is the Cuban M. Sauvalle?...

Dr. Hooker has sent me a specimen of Welwitschia, that queer African
tree a foot high, many years old, and with only two leaves, and those
all in shreds....

September 5.

... Dear, good Sir William Hooker is dead,--of diphtheria,--on the 15th
August, six weeks over eighty years. I have no news yet from the family;
but learn indirectly that Dr. Hooker is sick, “a gastric affection.” I
do hope it is nothing dangerous....

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray wrote for the “American Journal of Science”[61] a memoir of
his dear friend, Sir William Hooker, in which, after describing his
immense labors in publications of so many different branches, he says:--

“Our survey of what Sir William Hooker did for science would be
incomplete indeed if it were confined to his published works, numerous
and important as they are, and the wise and efficient administration
through which, in a short space of twenty-four years, a queen’s flower
and kitchen garden and pleasure grounds have been transformed into an
imperial botanical establishment of unrivaled interest and value.
Account should be taken of the spirit in which he worked, of the
researches and explorations he promoted, of the aid and encouragement he
extended to his fellow-laborers, especially to young and rising
botanists, and of the means and appliances he gathered for their use no
less than his own.

“The single-mindedness with which he gave himself to his scientific
work, and the conscientiousness with which he lived for science while he
lived by it, were above all praise. Eminently fitted to shine in society
... he never dissipated his time and energies in the round of
fashionable life, but ever avoided the social prominence and worldly
distractions which some sedulously seek....

“Nor was there in him the least manifestation of a tendency to
overshadow the science with his own importance, or of indifference to
its general advancement....

“To the wide circle of botanists in which he has long filled so
conspicuous a place, ... it is superfluous to say that Sir William
Hooker was one of the most admirable of men, a model Christian

Dr. Gray was appointed by Mr. Peabody himself a member of the “Board of
Trustees of the Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology in
connection with Harvard University” when it was founded in 1866. The
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, offering the resolutions in memory of Dr. Gray,
at the meeting in 1888, says, “From first to last, as I can bear
witness, he was a most faithful and valuable member of our Board; he was
always at our meetings and took an active interest in all our work. In
1874, on the death of Jeffries Wyman, he voluntarily assumed the
curatorship of our Museum, and did excellent service until the
appointment of Professor Putnam.”


Sunday evening, February 25, 1866.

The number of the “Guardian” followed closely upon your note of the 9th
instant, and I have just risen from the reading of your review of “Ecce
Homo.” I knew nothing of this remarkable book, beyond having seen the
title. The notice in the “Spectator” had escaped me, or rather, through
a change in the order of circulation in our book club, that number of
“Spectator” has not yet come round to me. But I have to thank you
heartily for calling my attention to it, and especially for sending me
your own published and well-considered thoughts of it. I greatly admire
your analysis of the book, and what I thus learn of it greatly impresses
me. I shall procure it without delay. I long, not only to read it
myself, but to put it into the hands of some friends. Such a production
is timely, and will be very useful. I hope the unknown writer will go
on, and as he goes on bring out, in the same fresh and untechnical way,
all the essentials of Christian belief. Even if he does not, it will
have great value as it is; and one will be curious to see how he can
fail to raise the superstructure which this foundation seems to be
designed to bear. I have long thought it very important that these
subjects and the whole range of connected questions need to be treated
by a layman from an unprofessional point of view, and quite apart from
theological language or conventional modes of thought, say by a lawyer
of a judicial turn of mind, or by a physicist or naturalist, who
understands and feels the scientific difficulties, and the prevalent
state of mind, especially among scientific people, which most divines
persist in ignoring.

As soon as I get this book, and have attentively read it, I shall
probably wish to speak of it again to you. If I find that it does not
receive notice in this country, I will see that attention is in some way
called to it. But I should think it likely to attract attention in this
country at once.

I have never thanked you for your letter of December 6, and for the
hope, faint though it be, that you may come over and see us some day.
Pray don’t give over the thought, and some day you may chance to bring
it about. Cambridge is not a bad point from which to sally forth in
little explorations of American life....

We have much anxiety as to what we can do with the South now we have got
it; and our President Johnson is not a Lincoln. The breach which has
just occurred, and which may cause great trouble, has been feared for
some time; and the blame is to be assigned in part to the indiscretion
and impracticability of a few of the advanced Republican leaders. We
have survived worse scenes and darker prospects, and shall surmount
these troubles, I trust, in time. But here things cannot always be done
in the wisest way....

I imagine Earl Russell is safe for a year or two, since no other minstry
could well be found to replace him. I should like, before long, to see
Gladstone at the helm.


... The small parcel from Andersson[62] has come. From him I have a nice
oil copy of the portrait of Linnæus,[63] painted by Madame Andersson.

Chapman[64] is here, excellent, loyal man all through; hates
copperheads; is soon going back, so that you can write him at
Apalachicola for Junci. I have told him what you are at with the genus.

March 20, 1866.

I have got Mann[65] well installed in Fendler’s place, and he is doing
well, doing botanical work, too, on his Sandwich Island plants; will
bring out an Enum. Pl. Hawaiens....

July 30.

Back to-day from a coasting voyage of four or five days, I find yours of
25th instant....

I have promised Clinton[66] I will go to Buffalo, to the meeting
reviving the American Association; then back home, to work, by 20th

About the Prussian war I think as you do. About domestic matters I have
not changed at all my mode of thinking, as I know. But no time for these


May 19, 1866.

... I am so driven, so distracted. Bless your stars you are not a
professor, and president of Academy, and have a botanical garden and no
gardener well trained, and have students, and everything. My
correspondence all in arrears, and I am getting hardened and don’t

You know I am always hard pressed and hard worked at this season; and
this year it is far worse than ever. Besides the bother of my classes,
unusually bothering on the new arrangement, there is a new gardener and
a great deficit or rather deficiency of funds to carry on the Garden, so
I have to run that concern pretty much myself. And, to crown all, my
little new French gardener, in his anxiety over the work, has got into a
state of nervous excitement, gets no sleep nights, and if not soon
relieved will, I fear, become truly insane.... If he continues half
crazed, you may expect me crazed next. Then there are some special
scientific students working up here, to add to my botheration.

So do not you “growl” at me now if you can help it....

Alas, your Algæ will be too late for dear Harvey. He is dying of
consumption, and we may hear of the end any day. This is all at present

Your old, worn-out friend,


June 12, 1866.

We have as many asters as we can manage in America, and in the northern
hemisphere of the Old World. I pray you keep out at least Australian
things if it be possible.

I envy you more and more in being able to devote yourself to systematic
botany steadily, without the distraction and sad consumption of time in
professional and administrative duties and avocations, which make havoc
of the opportunities of most botanists, and make their work which they
are able to do far less valuable than it would otherwise be. And you
work on with such quiet determination! The lamented losses of the last
year or two have already made you the Nestor, though I cannot think you
old. I do hope you have a fair number of good working years yet, in
which you can make your great experience tell to utmost advantage....

Much against my will, I have this summer to work upon a new edition of
my “Manual of the Northern United States Botany,” to which there is much
to be done. I shall not, however, so recast the work as I should if I
could defer it till I had blocked out the outlines of a similar but much
larger volume for all the United States of America, and till your
“Genera Flora” had been carried much farther.

What do you intend for this summer? A Continental excursion?

Ever, my dear Bentham, most cordially yours,


Dr. Farlow, in his memoir in “Proceedings of the American Academy,”
speaks of the great interest which Dr. Gray took at this time in
observing tendrils and climbing plants. The glass corridor then
connecting the herbarium and his study was very much occupied by
climbers, and notes were constantly taken of times of revolution, etc.
He says, “Dr. Gray hardly ever passed in or out of the herbarium without
stroking (patting them on the back by way of encouraging them, it almost
seemed) the tendrils of the climbers on the walls and porch; and on the
announcement that a student had discovered another case of
cross-fertilization in the garden, he would rush out bare-headed and
breathless, like a schoolboy, to see the thing with his own critical


May 7, 1866.

I am so delighted to get a letter from you, written with your own hand,
and to see that you can work again a little.

I have no new facts about the influence of pollen on fruits, nor about
influence of grafts.

I have got a little plant of Bignonia capreolata growing here. I punched
a lot of holes into the shady side of a lath; the tendrils thrust their
ends in; also into a cornice, but did not stay; either the movement of
the stem or tendril, or, at length, the shortening of the body of the
tendril by coiling, which it does promptly, brought all away. I have
stuck some cotton on to the lath at the proper height for the next pair
of tendrils. The tendril near by stuck fast at once, and is beginning to
develop the disks, and now the tendril of the other leaf has bent
abruptly round, and seized the cotton with avidity. Are there any new
observations I can make?

The Fenian scare, we have supposed here, was mainly a plan of certain
rogues here to fleece their poor countrymen and women, poor servants and
working-men! Nothing more could come of it. But I sadly fear many here
have enjoyed the trouble it has given and the alarm it has excited,
especially among our neighbors in New Brunswick, who rather enjoyed our
woes two or three years ago.

Yes, slavery is thoroughly done for. We have a bad set to deal with at
the South; and holding wolf by the ears is no pleasant nor hopeful
occupation, as the temper of the wolf does not improve under the
holding. But we shall jangle out of the difficulty in time, even with
such a crooked character as our President to deal with also.

Bring out the book on Variation soon.

July 3.

... So there is war on the Continent; really a war “for empire,” as Lord
Russell said our war was. Now our war was a simple necessity; this
Continental one a crime, in which all parties participate. I wish, but
do not expect, Prussia to be crushed as one result. I wish all her coast
could be annexed to Denmark! However, it is no affair of ours, being on
the other side of the Atlantic. And when a nation can get strength and
power by robbery, it will be likely to rob.

August 7.

... You should study Wyman’s observations in his own papers. He is
always careful to keep his inferences close to his facts, and is as good
an experimenter, I judge, as he is an observer. He has a new series of
observations to publish. I think that he has not at all pronounced in
favor of spontaneous generation, but I will bet on his experiments
against Pasteur, any day.


November 23.

You may well complain that I neglect you. But--

1. I had, till now, nothing special to write.

2. I have been daily expecting to hear from Grisebach, and have sheets
to send you, or the copies via Westermann. But not a bit of it yet. The
conquest of Hanover by the Prussians seems to have annihilated

3. I have been, am so--_busy_ is not the word for it. I can’t think of
any to express it. I suppose that I have now lying by me more than fifty
unanswered letters, though I keep answering the most pressing as fast
nearly as they come in. But the rest get neglected, inevitably. I read
your letters and follow your work in Cuba with interest. I want you to
get all the plants you can (but I see not that you can exhaust Cuba),
and then come and settle down here, and work up, as you only can, a nice
Flora Cubana. That you are bound to do, just as I am to do the Flora of
North America. I see some faint prospect that I may yet, and before very
long, be able to sit down to it. But you and I are bound to do these two
things yet!...

The seeds I put loose in this sheet are Cinchona officinalis. Get the
tree introduced into your cooler region, that is, the Caffetals of east
Cuba, and the tree will be commercially important in time, and you will
be a benefactor of your species. Enough for once.

Ever your old friend,


November 20, 1866.

DEAR ENGELMANN,--Yes, I have a heap of unanswered letters from you. But
I have not one moment of time.

I have copy of “Manual” in printer’s hands up to Compositæ, and am only
now two days ahead; have been only two hours ahead day after day!! It is
awful! So much other work too!...

If I could get five hundred to one thousand more a year I would at once
resign professorship and salary....

I am well, never more hearty; but worked like a coach-horse. I have got
my fund raised for the Garden: small, but we have now clear $2,500 or
$2,600 a year for Garden.

February 27, 1867.

How much I am indebted to you! No one else who undertakes to help me
ever makes out much, at least to save me time and trouble....

I have not time to write details of the little I know about the National
Academy. But I have seen enough to make it clear that I should not be
taking any more responsibility about it. So last month I sent my
resignation. They have put me on the list of Honorary Members. The
American Academy is as much as I want to attend to, and I do my duty to
society in looking well after that....


September 10, 1866.

... The war near you was sharp and quick. Switzerland is as fortunately
placed as any small nation can be, when surrounded by strong ones; but
you see that in this world only strength can be relied on. See what
indignity small and weak nations have to suffer. I trust present peace
may last to consolidate a new Germany. But if not, you may have to dread
a more general upturning on the Continent.

October 21, 1867.

... Your analysis of the whole subject of rules in nomenclature I think
is sound and lawyer-like, or rather _judicial_, as well as judicious.
There are dangers and inconveniences on every side, and good sense and
discretion are needed in the application of these as of all rules....

Very faithfully yours,


January 21, 1867.

MY DEAR BENTHAM,--Many thanks for your kind remembrance of us in your
letter at the end of the year, which reached me only three or four days
ago. I avail myself of the first foreign post since to return, with Mrs.
Gray’s love, our heartiest good wishes to Mrs. Bentham and yourself, and
I trust you will be able to keep up yet, for a good many precious years,
the steady botanical work which you make so telling....

I have no doubt of the full and entire correctness of the principles you
work on; and the Kew Floras and the “Genera Plantarum” will more than
anything else determine the public botanical opinion and mode of working
for the next generation. But I suspect that there will remain after all
a great many monotypic genera (consider how many of the most distinct
genera are so, or nearly so); and I imagine it is best to work without
prejudice for or against them.

I dare promise I shall be satisfied with all you have done in Compositæ.
As to Umbelliferæ, I wish you joy of the job, and do hope you will
reduce the genera twenty per cent at least. I never could take the least
satisfaction in them. I never could collate our Umbelliferæ with
European genera, and I have no clear conception of more than half a
dozen of our genera....

Ever, dear Bentham, yours most cordially,


CAMBRIDGE, March 26, 1867.

This is to acknowledge yours of February 28.

You see I have printed your queries[67] privately (fifty copies), as the
best way of putting them where useful answers may be expected. Most of
them will go into the hands of agents of the Freedmen’s Bureau, etc.
Others to persons I or Wyman may know and rely on. I wish I had had them
sooner. My crony Wyman has been two months in Florida, but will be home
again before I could send to him.

I did not write the article in the “Nation” on Popular Lecturing, though
it contains so many things I have said over and over that it startled
me. Then it hits so many nails square on the head that I should think it
could be written only in Cambridge or hereabouts.

It is generally supposed to be written by a person in New York, but I
suspect a person near by here,--only suspect....

Yes, Magnolia seeds hang out awhile in autumn, finally stretch and break
the threads of spiral vessels. Whether birds eat them I don’t know. They
look enticing and have a pulpy coat, are bitter and spicy.

Shall I send you more of these circulars?

I shall send to Indian people too.


April 2, 1867.

I sent your twenty dollars to aid the subscription for the starving
Southerners. There have been handsome sums raised for them in the
Northern States. But I am afraid you must get most imperfect and
one-sided statements of the doings of Congress by the tone of your
letters, and decidedly need enlightenment. It is the President, not
Congress, that needs to learn the Constitution and the laws of the land.
And your Southern loyal friends, if you could get voice of them, would
beg Congress to take even more urgent steps for their protection and
defense by reconstruction. However, things seem to be going on now
pretty satisfactorily. The President is sinking into his deserved
insignificance, and the leading rebels are coming out decidedly more
sensibly than many of their professed Northern friends. And we hope,
therefore, that they may begin to give some fair chance to the loyal men
of the South to be heard and to get their rights, which have been
indeed shamefully trampled upon by the President and the dominant party
at the South....

I have not time to answer all your interesting botanical notes, and can
only thank you for them. I hope you will continue to keep well.

Our spring is late and wet. There is still quite a covering of snow in
the garden, and we have had a deal of it in the winter, and wretched
walking and getting about in every way. Happy you, in the tropics.

You ask who Austin[68] is. He was an old protégé of Dr. Torrey; lives
now in New Jersey, and studies Lemnaceæ and Hepaticæ.

... You will be more delighted than I am to know that the Democrats have
probably carried Connecticut. But I am not much the contrary; for the
Republicans are too many in Congress for their own good, or ours, and it
secures the defeat of Barnum for Congress; as it should be....

April 8.

I have been having a Sunday’s work over your plants.

It grieves my heart and will grieve yours badly when I tell you that
your boxes were put under a cargo of wet sugar, which drained into them,
and have ruined the collection.

... As to specimens to dispose of, say only one half or one third of the
whole mass is left fit for it. Oh dear! God grant you patience! Will you
have the courage to set to work over again?

I will try next to tell you what is worst.

Ever your disconsolate,


July 8, 1867.

MY DEAR CANBY, ... I am charmed with what you say of Dionæa, can confirm
some of it, and believe all the rest. Never mind the anatomy of the leaf
now--little promise from that; but do go on with experiments on feeding,
and record them carefully, and publish when ready.

I am going to send your letter to Darwin, who will be delighted, and
will probably suggest experiments. He has an eminently suggestive mind.

I suppose you know the slow way Drosera rotundifolia catches flies,
doubtless for same purpose, though it can absorb the juices only through
its bristles. I always thought it took in only the gases disengaged by

If you don’t know the trick of Drosera, which you should study, too, I
will tell you, if you write to me at Sauquoit, Oneida County, New York.

SAUQUOIT, N. Y., July 17.

I have here yours of 13th.

If on leaf of Drosera rotundifolia, in good healthy condition, you put a
small fly--somewhat crippled is surer--the sticky pellucid glands will
hold him fast. By degrees (I have never seen it under ten or twelve
hours at least) some of the bristles outside, which have not touched the
fly, will turn inward and bring their sticky tip against the insect;
later still others and more external ones turn in, and so the fly is
bound by many liliputian bands. As it putrefies, I wonder if the leaf
merely takes its chance of getting some of the disengaged gases, or
whether it reabsorbs the clear fluid of the glands, charged now with
some animal matter.

In transplanting some Drosera into a pan with wet moss, the older leaves
may not work well; but the new ones developed soon will do better. Pray
experiment upon this and Dionæa. I wonder if there ever were series of
intermediate states between the inefficient Drosera, and the expert

August 21.

... I inclose half a letter which came from Darwin this morning. I hope
you will go on with work on Dionæa....


(Half of letter referred to above.)


MY DEAR GRAY,--I have been glad to see Mr. Canby’s interesting letter on
Dionæa, and I thank you for sending it; but unfortunately the facts are
not new to me. Several years ago I observed the secretion of the
“gastric juices” and the close adhesion of the two sides of the leaf
when a fly was caught. I keep my notes in such an odd fashion that it
would take me some time to find them. I am almost sure I ascertained the
acid reaction of the secretion and its antiseptic power, but I cannot
remember whether in this, or in analogous cases, I found its subsequent
reabsorption. This letter fires me up to complete and publish on
Drosera, Dionæa, etc., but when I shall get time I know not. I am
working like a slave to complete my book.


July 6, 1867.

... Well, I have been free from much college work for ten days, and am
quite free after Wednesday morning.

I seem as well as possible, bright and clear, and should be content just
to visit my old mother and come right back to work on Californian
plants, which I have been looking at for a few days. But my wife says I
shall take four weeks, and on being weighed I find that my former
140-143 lbs. is reduced to 131.

So I must waste time and money in traveling, which I am reconciled to,
as Mrs. Gray needs it much.

From Oneida County, New York, I am going (with Mrs. G.) to drive into
northwest and central Pennsylvania and then visit a sister in Michigan.
Mrs. Gray insists that we must go to Chicago, which she wishes to see,
though I do not. I hate towns, especially new ones. Only think how near
I shall be to you!

So you saw old Bigelow, who is quite delighted with Shaw’s grounds, etc.

Torrey has just made me a little visit. Good, kind soul he is....

August 15.

We got home three days ago. Hot weather broke down my wife’s courage, as
I feared, and we went no farther west than Tecumseh, Michigan; made a
short visit to Sullivant at Columbus, then meandered through west and
north of Pennsylvania to central New York again, and hearing of Mrs.
Gray’s father’s illness came rapidly home....

I am very well; have put on three pounds’ weight.

We must go and see you and all the great West at some proper season,
spring or late fall....

I germinated for two years Nelumbium, but soon lose them. If you can,
send me some seeds this fall to try once more....


October 14, 1867.

... Yes, I did receive your address,[70] read it hastily, and sent it to
“Silliman’s Journal” to be reprinted. It was too late for the September
number, but will be the leading article in the November number. I have
read a proof and am daily expecting a printed sheet, which I can send to
you, with one or two little remarks. I was exceedingly pleased with it;
so is Professor Henry. We both wondered how you could have so exactly
hit not one, but several nails on the head, as you have done. It will be
much read here, and will be truly useful.

You remind me that I ought to have criticised your working of Australian
Compositæ. The trouble is, that, except North American genera, these
things have long been quite out of my head. It will be unsafe for me to
approve or otherwise till I can get at work a little over them, which it
is not likely I can at present. I just fancy that in your dislike of
monotypic genera--which you abhor as nature does a vacuum--you may have
lumped up the angiantheous genera rather too much.

I am straining every nerve to get into a position to get at a synopsis
of North American plants, and my present work upon Bolander’s collection
is a part of the preparation. But I cannot lay the corner-stone till
college work is over, next July. Meanwhile I want suggestions as to
form, and how to condense references to the utmost and crowd a page, yet
leaving it clear and comely. When I have got the thing blocked out, and
have worked up a part, then Mrs. G. and I hope to go over and see you,
and to stay a good long while. Adieu, till next week.

Ever yours,


December 5, 1867.

Before the year closes I mean you shall have a note from me, to renew on
my part an intercourse which has been interrupted through negligence of
mine. I find I get more and more overloaded as I grow older, and I dare
say you find it the same. Still we must exchange a word now and then.

I have to tell you of the severe loss we have had in the death, in
October, of Mrs. Gray’s good and kind father, Mr. Loring. He and my wife
were very much to each other, and in former years had been unusually
intimate companions; and his death at seventy-three, quite unexpected
till within a few weeks of the event, is very much felt. Mrs. Gray’s own
health, too, is but poor, though on the whole I trust it is becoming

If you see your friend Mr. Fraser (whom I, unfortunately, did not) you
may learn from him what manner of man Mr. Loring was. I wish I knew him,
to say to him how highly we value a letter he lately addressed to Mrs.
Loring, and which I read yesterday,--so full of sympathy and just

Mr. Fraser, you may be sure, is very much thought of here.

I hope that Dr. Hooker, of Kew, has sent on to you the numbers of the
“Nation,” which I have for a year or more regularly posted to him,
originally requesting he should do so. But it is quite likely the busy
man has forgotten all about it.

For myself, I have passed my fifty-seventh anniversary, in firm health,
feeling my age only in a treacherous memory--as respects names, etc.,
not as to events or friends. The memory of our delightful visit to
Oxford is ever fresh.


February 24, 1868.

The other evening here I discoursed at our private club, by giving them
an abstract of the chapters on Inheritance and Pangenesis; the former
for Professor Bowen’s benefit. He and Agassiz took it all very well; and
pangenesis seemed to strike all of us as being as good an hypothesis as
one can now make....

On inside of leaf of Dionæa see the copious glands for secreting gastric

... I do not wonder at your book[71] being taken up at once, by the
great numbers of people who need and understand it, and the thousands
who jump at anything written by so notorious a writer as you are. The
“Origin” will sell anything; and I believe people will get more for
their money in this book than in even that, if they care for facts,
which generally they do not.

May 25.

I want to write you a long letter, but the time is not to be had now.
Many thanks for yours of May 8.

My notice of your book in the “Nation” was not intended to have anything
in it, except for the groundlings; was only to make the book known and
understood, a light affair.

My preface was written at the publishers’ request simply because yours
had not come. The fellows put in both. The edition is not very nicely
printed. Judging from the newspaper notices I think the book is taking
famously. That agricultural newspaper is taken by the hundred thousand
in the country. As to close of my article, to match close of your
book,--you see plainly I was put on the defense by your reference to an
old hazardous remark of mine. I found your stone-house argument
unanswerable in substance (for the notion of design must after all rest
mostly on faith, and on accumulation of adaptations, etc.); so all I
could do was to find a vulnerable spot in the shaping of it, fire my
little shot, and run away in the smoke.

Of course I understand your argument perfectly, and feel the weight of

We were intensely amused at the Edinburgh man, who suggests that I could
easily smash you into little pieces! I wish he may live to see it done!

I am half dead with drudgery, half of it at least for other people; see
no relief but to break up, and run over, with wife, who needs a change,
to your side of the water for a good long while.


June 22, 1868.

I have to send you--in a hasty line--my best thanks for remembering me
so kindly: 1. In your letter of January 17, which I am so tardy in
responding to.

2. The copy of Hooker edited by you, which I was pleased to have.

3. Your sermon at St. Mary’s, which Mrs. Gray and I both read with much
interest. I admired your handling of an important topic, and the solid
strength which comes from moderation of statement. It reminded me much
of one of our best sermonizers here, who, though a good deal heterodox
(I am sorry to say), treats such subjects more impressively than any one
else and much in that way, his guarded understatements or concessions
telling heavily in the argument.

I read and think of nothing but botany of late, having been too hard
pressed for a long while. But last Sunday I read with interest the
latter part of Mr. Gladstone’s essay on “Ecce Homo.”

There is something which seems to me very admirable and attachable about
Gladstone. I wonder if his church friends and supporters will mostly
drop him at the coming struggle, for his action looking to the
disestablishment of the Irish church.

But the gist of my present note is to say, that I have got a year’s
leave of absence, and Mrs. Gray and I expect to cross over to England in
two months.

I find I must break up a set of engagements and of work, mainly for
others, which absorbs too much of my time, and Mrs. Gray’s health makes
me anxious to avoid another winter here, at present. The change will be
good for us both. We mean to pass the whole autumn in England, mostly at
Kew, and most of the winter in Italy and perhaps Egypt, where Mrs.
Loring, now on the Continent (tell Mr. Fraser), expects to be, and we
may be able to join the party, in a climate which may be advantageous
after such a winter as our last.

Very sincerely yours,




Dr. Gray made his fourth journey to Europe in the fall of 1868. He
landed in September, and went at once to Kew, where he remained most of
the time at work in the herbarium until November. He made a short round
of visits, first to Mr. Church, who was then rector of Whatley, a
village of Somersetshire, where, with Mrs. Gray, he enjoyed to the full
his stay in one of the loveliest parts of rural England. They went also
to Down to pay a visit to Darwin, and with them went Dr. and Mrs.
Hooker, with their two eldest children, and Professor Tyndall. Those
were days never to be forgotten. In November, Dr. and Mrs. Gray joined
some family friends in Paris, with whom they went to Egypt and passed
the winter on the Nile, taking the longest vacation, Dr. Gray said, he
had ever enjoyed. Upon their return they passed through Italy,
Switzerland, and Germany, where old botanical acquaintances were
renewed, and some persons seen whom he had known only by correspondence.
In England he again worked at Kew, and repeated the visits at Whatley
and Down, sailing for America, November 9, 1869.


DOWN, BROMLEY, KENT, October 29, 1868.

In all these busy days I have neglected your kind letter of October 6,
partly in the expectation that I might be able to announce to you
definitely the time we should reach Paris. I can even now only say that
we expect to be there between the 15th and the 20th of November, and I
think we shall have just about those days (15-20) in Paris. If we can
meet, very pleasant it will be; but I dare hardly expect it. My own and
Mrs. Gray’s parcels for you shall be left at Masson’s in case we do not
see you. I am making, with Mrs. Gray, a pleasant week of holiday, most
of it here with Mr. Darwin, whose health just now is, for him,
remarkably good.

I mean to keep you apprised of our movements; and we may, by some nice
adjustments, meet in Germany. At least, and best of all, in Switzerland,
which we shall be likely to reach at midsummer. But I have matured no
plans for anything beyond the winter.

... I should like to visit Montpellier and to see Planchon, but we
shall, when we reach the Mediterranean, be attached to a party, time
will be short, and our movements no longer free.

Bentham is working at Kew with his accustomed regularity and diligence.
Hooker’s time is much occupied with matters of administration....

It must be a great satisfaction to you, that your son not only takes to
botany, but shows so great talent. I hope the line may not fail, but
that De Candolle botanists may flourish in the next century as they have
in the nineteenth....

       *       *       *       *       *

The death of Horace Mann, mentioned in the next letter, Dr. Gray felt
as a great personal loss, as well as a loss to science. He was a young
man of much promise, and he felt on leaving home that, in putting him in
charge of the herbarium and of the college classes, he could not have
made any arrangement more promising and satisfactory. He had counted
much on his future help as assistant, and anticipated that he would
become a very valuable aid in carrying on his work, for he had patience,
conscientiousness, and steady diligence. Mr. Mann’s lungs were weak, and
his health required care, but nothing of immediate danger was feared.
But consumption developed rapidly, and he died after a few weeks’

Charles Wright was also working at Cambridge, and took charge of the
herbarium and garden during Dr. Gray’s absence.


HYÈRES, EAST OF TOULON, November 29, 1868.

I had yesterday at Marseilles a letter from Mrs. Mann, conveying the sad
intelligence of her son’s death. Very sad it is....

My heart bleeds for poor Mrs. Mann, who was wrapped up in Horace, and
who feels it as the greatest of disappointments. To me, also, it is a
very great disappointment of long-cherished hopes.

I expect to find letters at Alexandria when we reach there. We sail from
Marseilles a week hence, going meanwhile to see some of this famous
shore further east....

CAIRO, December 16, 1868.

Thank you heartily for your letter of November 13. I am here learning
some subtropical botany, seeing trees growing which you have in Cuba,
etc., Parkinsonia, Schinus molle, Carob, etc. Off up the Nile

In brief, I want to retain you permanently as my fidus Achates. You are
to have supreme control of the Garden. When I get home we will see what
can be done. You will have to cut off Cuba till then, but can work at
Flora Cubensis a good deal of the time. As far as my means can go, you
shall be made as comfortable as possible....

Arrangements were made to have H. sweep and keep clean the herbarium,
and Mrs. L. to scrub when needed. I fear the herbarium may have been
left to get dusty and untidy. Please take it in hand; ask L. as to
getting H., or some one, to sweep regularly; let no dusty work that can
be helped be done in the large herbarium room. Keep coal-ashes dust from
the fire from getting in, etc. Spare no expense and pains to keep down
dust and dirt....

As to dampness in herbarium, look out according to your judgment. Air
occasionally by leaving open doors of cabinets when a good fire is on,
or a dry day out. The north corner of the herbarium is the only place
that dampness gathers in, except the shelves next the floors. Well, do
the best you can. Good-by....


MARSEILLES HARBOR, December 5, 1868.

We started from Paris a few days before the rest, and before Charles
Loring had arrived. We changed the cold north for the bland south in one
night, going from Paris to Avignon, where I had the pleasure of showing
J. olive groves, old walled towns, and all sorts of mediæval things;
then at Nîmes I introduced her to the old Roman world in the
well-preserved amphitheatre and the beautiful temple called Maison
Carrée, ruins of temples, baths, pavements, and all that,--a charming
place, of which I had very pleasant memories almost thirty years old.
Then, to revive old memories, we went on to Montpellier; had a nice day
with Martins[72] and Planchon[73] (whose photographs, as well as
Brongniart’s, I have for you); then we came on via Arles to Marseilles,
within an hour of the rest of the party coming direct from Paris. They
all sailed next day; we waited a week, so as to get a view of this
interesting shore, which we should not be likely ever to visit again. So
we went first to Hyères, where we first saw orange groves laden with
fruit and tall date-palms, and eucalyptus-trees forty feet high, and all
such nice things; roses by the ten thousand in hedges.... Toward evening
on the third day, we took a carriage, drove through Mentone along the
coast road to Monaco; passing by the modern and gaming district, we went
into the old fortified town to lodge; went round the ramparts in the
morning, saw more agaves than ever before, and the steep rock 300 feet
high covered with opuntias, having stems as thick as my leg, not to say
my body. Next morning took railroad through Nice to Antibes; visited M.
Thuret,[74] the botanist, by appointment; a most charming man, a French
Protestant; his carriage waited for us at the station; a delightful
place, which made us crazy with delight, 3,000 or more species of the
most interesting plants growing in the open air, where frost is seldom
seen; plants and trees which starve in conservatories here grow to vast
size; all kinds of things I never saw growing anyhow before! Roses by
the thousand. Oh, what a delightful time! But after a nice déjeuner at
two o’clock, we were off soon after three to the station, and so reached
Marseilles at nine P.M. yesterday.

I have left no room to speak of the most sad loss of Mann, very sad. How
it will affect me I cannot tell now, but suppose it will bring us home
next fall....


GIRGEH AND DENDERA, January 3, 1869.

It is only by an effort of memory that I can recall that seemingly far
distant week, with which my narrative must commence, when we went, on
Monday, to Nice by railway, and on Tuesday (taking my college colleague,
Professor Lovering), by a carriage over the finest part of the Corniche
road to Mentone, and, dropping our companion there, three miles further
to Palazzo Orengo, just within the present Italian frontier; a house
several hundred years old, which Mr. Hanbury, our host, has recently
restored and is beautifying. It is near the base of a steep acclivity,
projecting a little into the sea and commanding a view of Mentone and
Monaco with the mountains behind and westward far beyond them on the one
side, Ventimiglia and Bordighera on the other, and seaward on rare
occasions giving a view of the mountains of Corsica, over a hundred
miles distant. One of those rare occasions, well-timed for us, we
enjoyed the next morning before sunrise, and again in the afternoon. All
that day (Wednesday) we enjoyed the place and its surroundings, and the
pleasant society of Mr. and Mrs. Hanbury. They are much liked by the
people of the hamlet and district, for whom they are doing a great deal,
establishing a school for girls, with the hearty coöperation of the
curé. Wednesday, after dinner, this good-will of the neighborhood was
shown in a truly Italian way. The advocate of Ventimiglia, having some
business relative to land to transact with Mr. Hanbury, stayed to
dinner, and then asked permission to read and present a poem which he
had composed in compliment to Mrs. (Catherine) Hanbury; it being St.
Catherine’s Day. It was delivered with Italian grace and fervor, and an
Italian lady, now one of the family, told us that the versification was
very choice. Thursday, the grounds and house were thrown open, and a
collation provided for all the English people at Mentone that Mr.
Moggridge chose to conduct. Earlier I walked over to Mentone to make
some calls, especially upon young Moggridge,[75] whom you know, and who,
I am sorry to say, had been seriously ill, and was still confined to his
bed. I found him busy over the flowers and plants which his most
attentive and energetic father brings to him from all the mountains
around, cheerful and happy, but I fear he will hardly be able to
complete his illustrations of the botany of Mentone. Late in the
afternoon, after enjoying the picnic, a carriage took us to Mentone, and
thence to Monaco, where we slept, in order that the next day might not
be too fatiguing to Mrs. G. Friday, the railway, newly completed along
the shore to Monaco, took us through Villa Franca to Nice, and to
Antibes, where I had arranged to have some hours with M. Thuret (a
charming man and excellent botanist) and his incomparable garden.... The
only thing lacking was the magnificent view of the snowy Maritime Alps
(of which I saw a sketch made by young Moggridge) which the house
commands in good weather, but which was hidden from us by clouds and
mist. We reached Marseilles and our hotel in the evening; had Saturday
for our preparations, and at evening went on board the Poonah, which was
to start for Alexandria early Sunday morning. I need not say anything
about the scenery of the region we traversed, nor of the pleasure of
first seeing date-palms and eucalypti, etc., and orange and lemon trees
in groves, laden with blossom and fruit, and long hedges of roses in
full bloom in December.

... Fine weather and smooth water from Sunday to Thursday evening,
especially during the long and lovely day which opened with Stromboli
and the other Lipari Islands directly before us, and the snowy summit of
Etna in the distance, and closed with the sun setting behind the
southern base of Etna, and an inverted pyramid of smoke resting on its
summit. The day was perfect, and, not to speak of anything else, Etna
was in full view all day long, except when hidden for an hour by the
cliffs behind Messina. The latter end of the voyage was uncomfortable
enough, the sea very heavy, and glad we were to land at Alexandria,
Saturday noon, December 12, a showery day, the streets deep with mud and
filth. Early Sunday morning we were off by rail for Cairo, where we
joined the main body, awaiting our arrival, and I had time for the
English service in the afternoon, a bare dozen of people; but Mrs. L.
said the congregation was very much larger in the morning. Monday to
Friday we lived “Arabian Nights” in Cairo. If I let my pen run on my
story might be only shorter than the thousand and one of the volume

On Friday, all being ready, we took to our boats, in which we have now
been domiciled so long, seemingly, that events of October and November
in England are dimly remembered, as if they belonged to another
“dynasty.” There are nine of us, in two boats. The first and larger one,
in which our table is spread, the Ibis, accommodates all the ladies and
myself, the only married man of the company.... The bow is occupied by
the crew, and at the very prow a simple cooking-affair, from which
excellent dinners of four courses, breakfasts, etc., are produced in
some wonderful way by our Arab cook and his assistant. The smaller boat,
the Undine, gives ample quarters to the three single men, also our
dragoman, the younger Sapienza, a Maltese, whose time, however, is
mostly passed on our boat.

An independent party, but arranged to keep in company, consists of Mr.
and Mrs. Howland of New York, very nice people, with their servant and
dragoman, in the Heron. But I must cut short these details, or I shall
never come to an end. On Friday and Saturday the wind was dead ahead,
and, tracking being impossible until we get out of Cairo, we were
stationary, and on Saturday some of us visited the interesting museum at
Boulak, made by Mariette. Sunday, wind still unfavorable, until nearly
sunset, when we got up two or three miles, where we commanded a superb
view. In the morning you preached to the great satisfaction of your
congregation of eleven, a very appreciating audience. We established a
regular liturgical service. I was installed as curate; but Mrs. Gray
read the first of your university sermons.... Monday and Tuesday, and I
think Wednesday also, the boat was tracked, and so we made only a few
miles a day, and some of us were much on shore....

This [the temple of Abydos] was the first Egyptian structure of any
consequence I had ever seen, and it is very impressive. Most of the
roofing remains, and having been exhumed, for the greater part, within a
very few years, the colored sculptures covering the walls are very
perfect and fresh. They are in the best style, of the same age as those
in the great temple at Thebes, which we have yet to see.

Yesterday we sailed along slowly, to-day still more so, luxuriating in
this January weather, which is like our June at home, without any of its
fitfulness. To-day we had full service, and I read your second
university sermon, which all liked very much indeed, and have bespoken
the third for next Sunday. Your audience consists of eight Unitarians
and three Orthodox Presbyterians. By the way I was much gratified with
the appreciative review of your sermons in the “Spectator,” in a number
which I received at Alexandria. Thanks for the other papers you
forwarded also. I think only letters are awaiting us at Thebes (Luxor),
but Mr. Hale may send up papers by private opportunity. The mails taken
by runners carry only letters. Our latest intelligence from the Western
World is barely up to the formation of Gladstone’s ministry. I shall
have a deal to read up. But here our days pass on with scarce a thought
of the modern and western world, except on Christmas and New Year’s
days. I wish I could give you some idea of our life here, and of all we
see and enjoy, but you must imagine it. We are well supplied with books,
especially relative to Egypt, are busy from morn to night in a leisurely
way, and are intensely comfortable....

We had yesterday for Dendera, where the temple, as to structure, is in
most complete preservation, but the architecture is of the rather
debased Ptolemaic period, and the sculptures on the walls, never equal,
I imagine, to those at Abydos, have been sadly defaced by the early
Coptic Christians. But all was very interesting, and the ladies were all
with us to enjoy it.

Evening.--We are lying eight miles below Thebes, which we expect to
reach early to-morrow morning, and to receive and dispatch letters. So I
must close this. We are writing at nine P.M., with almost all the cabin
windows open. The day has been like one of July in England,--in one
respect unusually like, for the sky has been overcast with light clouds,
and the air sultry, ending as such a day might with a sudden and brief
storm--of wind only, though it seemed about to rain; but it is now
still, and the stars are shining out of a clear sky.


NUBIA, BELOW DERR, January 21, 1869.

Let me begin a line to you from this Æthiopian region. The object is to
inclose to you some fresh seeds of Ficus sycomorus, the true sycamore or
fool fig,--not bad to eat. They were gathered at the first cataract of
the Nile, at ancient Syene, or between it and Philæ. I think you may
like to send a part to Don José, for culture in Cuba, where it will be a
good thing to have. And the rest, let Guerrineau try to raise some, that
we may have one in the conservatory. I shall send, along with heavy
things, some nuts of the Doum palm, Hyphæne Thebaica, which branches and
is picturesque. That and the date palm are the principal trees here.
Besides, there is Acacia Nilotica (the sont) and one or two other
acacias, and an occasional sycamore. Below, a jujube tree was not
uncommon, and plenty of the fine Acacia (or Albizzia) Lebbek, with its
great flat pods and large leaflets. But none in Nubia. Up here the
cultivable valley of the Nile is just the slope of the banks bared as
the river subsides after the inundation, making a strip of green crops
from five feet to five rods wide,--all else desert, either rock or sand
as the case may be. We came twenty-four hours ago within the tropics,--a
new thing for me, and I thought of Cuba and you. But it is just
comfortably warm, 70° in the shade as I write,--has been 76°,--the
nights down to 60° or so; just nice and comfortable if you keep out of
the sun, which, though seemingly not hot, has an overpowering effect I
never knew at home. Our winds are steady from north and northwest,
pushing us up the river steadily. About sixty miles more, or may be
seventy, is the second cataract, and our limit. Then we turn our faces
north again, and descend, making our principal stops by the way. For
thus far, we have stopped only little or briefly, taking only such
sight-seeing as came in our way or took us little out of it. Yet we have
had a glance at several of the greatest things. Abou-Simbel--the great
rock temples of this region, and the main thing to go up into Nubia
for--we hope to reach to-morrow or day after. We should have been there
now, but were delayed at Assouan by long negotiations before we could
get put up the Cataracts, and afterwards lost forty-eight hours by
breaking the rudder of our larger boat. No letters till we get back to
Thebes (Luxor)--some weeks hence. There I trust there is something from


January, 1869.

... At Luxor, on our way up, we stopped only half a day, and took our
first view of the great temple at Karnak. Left on the morning of January
8; reached Esneh, the capital of Upper Nubia, in early morning of the
10th. Sunday, passed the day and night there. The Ptolemaic temple, or
rather the first court of it, very perfect and thoroughly cleared out
within, the columns especially beautiful and all perfect. January 12,
having sailed past Silsilis quarries, etc., by night, reached Assouan
before noon. Here we reached the granite rocks and the basalt, and the
next day visited the quarries whence the obelisks and all the great
shafts, blocks, sarcophagi, granite colossi, etc., have been taken
during several thousand years, the last almost two thousand years ago;
and here are the chisel-marks and places cut to receive the wedges as
sharp and fresh as if the workmen had only just left off work. Of course
we viewed the obelisk left in the rough, only partly detached. We were
moored right opposite Elephantiné, and during the two or three days’
delay before we could arrange to be taken up the cataracts, or secure
fitting weather, the excursion up to Philæ was made by most of the
party, on camels or donkeys (I greatly prefer the latter), and the very
picturesque scenery enjoyed.

January 16 and 17 were grand days, going up the cataracts, our boats in
charge of the Nubians. The first day, Saturday, sailed up to the rapids
and were drawn up the first severe one,--a hard pull and barely room to
get our larger boat through; 17th, a quiet Sunday, in still water
between upper and lower rapids; under most picturesque surroundings of
river, rock, and desert, here strangely mingled, and a hot cloudless
sun; had service and much enjoyed Church’s sermon No. 3. Climbing one of
the rugged masses of rock toward sunset, had a fine distant view of
lovely Philæ. Monday, 18th, the army of Nubians again took hold of our
boats, and with noises indescribable and persevering efforts the boats
were drawn, one by one, up the final and worst fall; we were in calm
water before sunset, and at dusk were moored close to Philæ, which we
got charming views of, from the opposite shore next morning at sunrise;
came up and made a brief visit to the ruins after breakfast, and sailed
on with a beautiful breeze, when suddenly, about twenty miles on, the
rudder of the Ibis gave way (injured probably in the cataracts), and for
forty-eight hours we lay by near a Nubian hamlet (climbed the mountains
on Arabian side; got wonderful views of desert, rock on this side,
reddish-yellow sand on the other), while Antonio, the dragoman, with
rowboat went back to Philæ, and thence by land to Assouan, whence on
camel brought up new rudder-post, workmen, etc., reinstated the rudder,
and--January 21, afternoon--we were off again.

Nubia is very different from Egypt, picturesque rocky ranges always near
the river and broken into peaks and pyramids, and all desert except the
narrow selvage reclaimed by irrigation with sakias; here the vegetation
(barley, peas, beans, and lupines) intensely green by the contrast with
yellow sand or light brown sandstone.

January 23, before reaching Korosko (whence caravans to Dongola; visited
their camps, very wild Arabs and blacks, and very disagreeable white
traders, Greeks, probably, with villainous faces) saw our first
crocodile, and sent two shots at once at him, but the huge fellow
flounced off the sand bank into the river, probably not much hurt.

January 24, first met with chameleons; got three or four from the boys,
but finally kept only one, which we still have here at Cairo--a lovely
little brute whose name is Billy, and a great pet; a great diversion to
watch his change of hues, and especially to see him catch flies by
darting out his slender, india-rubber-like tongue to the length of
several inches (nearly that of his whole body when the fly was far
enough off), and with wonderful quickness and certainty. Service in the
afternoon, with Church’s last sermon, and sorry we were to have reached
the end of them.

But I shall never have done with our journey at this rate, and shall
give you not the least idea of it after this fashion; how some days we
sailed on with fair winds, which is very cheerful; some we tracked, and
then we were much on shore and mingled with the people; and often strong
head winds kept us fast at the bank, sometimes for two or three days,
which grew tedious. Well, on the 27th we came to the great attraction of
the upper Nile, Abou-Simbel; but the wind being fine and fair, sailed
on at a great rate, and reached our terminus, Wady Halfeh, next morning.
Made next day excursion to the farthest point, the high rock Abou Seir,
which dominates the second cataracts, and gives extensive view beyond,
far into Africa; head winds next day kept us at the village, which we
explored and exchanged hospitalities with the inhabitants, the poorer
part of which were beginning to suffer from famine. Later, going down,
we met boat loads of corn for seed and food going up from the viceroy
for their relief; little enough to do for a people so cruelly oppressed
and peeled as the fellahs are. At evening we could be off, the great
yard and sail now down, and small mizzen in its place, to use on the
rare occasion of a south wind, and now we depend upon the current and
oars, five on each side, handled by our stalwart crew, their strokes
timed by queer Arabic chants; more severe labor than in ascending
(except when tracking) and not so pleasant to us as sailing; but yet we
could come down much faster than we came up. Whenever there was
sight-seeing by day the crews would usually row all night, so we got on

MESSINA, March 24.

Behold us so far back towards Europe. Here, kept in by that strange
thing in our experience, a rainy day, and prevented thereby from going
to Taormina (Tauromenium) to see the Greek theatre, the site of Naxos,
and a near view of Etna, I resume my writing; which was interrupted a
week ago by multifarious things at Cairo.... I think I must go back to
the diary, and so try to tell you, in this mechanical sort of way,
somewhat of our occupation day by day. The bare names of the places must
convey to you all I can hope to of our seeings and doings.

February 1.--Reached Abou Simbel at daybreak, and were under the great
giant Rameses when the first rays of the sun touched their huge, placid
faces, and were in the rock temple within when the horizontal rays
entering the small opening for a half hour lighted up the great Osiride
figures to best advantage, and even reached the broken statues at the
bottom of the adytum. Later in the day explored leisurely and repeatedly
the whole interior chambers with candles, and occasionally with Bengal
lights and magnesium wire (the best of all lights), bringing out well
the famous sculptures that cover all the walls. Climbed the heights
later in the day to get superb views of desert and river and the sunset.
Late in evening some went again through the sand to see the great faces
by moonlight, which, however, they supplemented by torches. We were
moored right under the face of the smaller rock temple....

February 9.--Awoke at Philæ; of which I will only say that even Miss
Martineau does not exaggerate the interest of the whole, and the beauty
and picturesqueness of the site.

February 10.--All day at Philæ, and dropped down to Mahatta just as the
sun set gloriously behind the ruins and the mighty rocks which surround

February 11.--The Ibis shot the great cataract, all but one of our party
being on the shore to see the exciting sight,--finer, it is thought,
than being on board, though you thus lose the sense of personal danger.
We were taken on shore round the trying points, and in our rowboats the
rest of the way down to Assouan, where we joined the Ibis, vociferously
welcomed by our combined Egyptian and Nubian crews, all rejoicing, as
they well might, in the safety of the Ibis, which had never done the
feat before and was reckoned rather large for the undertaking. Shopping,
etc., filled the day. At evening some of us called on Lady Duff-Gordon,
living on her boat, now lying here. I went back later and passed an hour
more with her, taking her some books we could spare her. Much pleased
with her spirit and affability, but distressed at the progress disease
is making; do not think she can last much longer, even in Egypt. Her
last year’s visit to Syria injured her seriously.

February 12.--The Undine came down famously at sunrise, and joined us
soon opposite the upper end of Elephantiné, where we went up to meet
her, expecting to round the island and be off at once down the river.
But a heavy blow from the north, and consequent great discouragement; we
had to lay by all day, not even getting on shore with any comfort, and
almost all night.

You must know that in Upper Egypt and Nubia a hakim or doctor is a great
godsend to the people, and you have to give medicine all day long. On
returning to Assouan I was met, when I stepped on shore, by the beaming
dark countenance of a papa, to whose son, whom I thought rather far
gone, I had given some medicine when going up; he had now brought down
the fellow from a village several miles off, to show me how well--or
nearly well--he was. Another widely grinning face met me, of a papa who
had brought me his boy with a dreadfully ill-looking sore head, which I
had dosed with mercurial ointment rubbed in with colza oil. He did not
now bring the lad, but came a good distance to recall him to my
recollection by expressive pantomime, and to say in the same way that
he was “all right.” Eye-wash I dispensed in profuse abundance; and among
the men cured several cases of ophthalmia which looked serious; and many
a petty surgical operation did the “Hakim-Pacha”--as he came to be
called--perform. I cannot tell you how much attached we got to our crews
and their officers, and before we parted I made sure that many tears
should flow in my behalf, by acceding to requests for eye-lotions, which
were most copiously used,--by those who needed it, for cure, by those
who did not, for prevention. Two sorts of creatures with which I
formerly had little sympathy, I have learned to appreciate and
respect,--donkeys and people of color, Arabs and Nubians especially. All
idea of anything disagreeable or inferior in color of skin disappeared,
or rather the darker fellows seemed the finer. As I remember sundry dark
Arabs, they seem to me among the best-looking and best-behaved men I
ever knew. But this digression will never do.... At sunset reached

February 15.--Whole day at the temple, which is all but entire, and
large as well as complete, and the acres of sculpture and hieroglyph in
excellent preservation, all recently excavated under the care of
Mariette and placed under a custodian. If I could be dropped down in
Egypt for one morning only, to see only one thing, it should be this
temple at Edfou, though only of Ptolemaic date. I cannot stop for a
single detail about it....

February 22.--Luxor: across river, tombs, Medinet el Bahree, Ramaseum,
again, etc. I and some others dined in the evening on boat with our
English friends (Legge, Eaton, and Baird), and celebrated Washington’s

February 23.--Boats dropped down to Karnak, had afternoon at the great
temple, tea there at dusk,--a famous tea-party in the great hall of
columns, all the dignitaries at Luxor and Karnak invited; the full
moonlight enjoyed for an hour or two, and then illumination with Bengal
lights, making splendid effects among the 137 columns, and other parts;
then rockets; some of our parties back to boat, the rest to a feast
given by a splendid old Arab, the chief of Karnak, in full Arab style,
with music, dancing-women, and all. Imaun Joseph, who had been our guest
at the temple tea, was his relative’s guest at this banquet. Lady
Duff-Gordon’s account of him had made him known to us most favorably,
and we got most thoroughly attached to the man, especially after having
him to dine with us next day, his smile, voice, and manners of the
sweetest, and his character is every way lovely. He is as dark-skinned
as most American negroes, but with very handsome features. All these
experiences cannot be written, but could be talked over at large. That
evening view of Karnak is the one I want to keep, so I did not go again;
Mrs. G. did once more.

February 24.--Tombs of the kings; a grand but fatiguing day, most of the
time in Belzoni’s, the finest and largest; most of us did two or three
more. I came home over the mountains to get the fine view over the
valley, etc....

March 4.--Siout: ascended the hill for the great view, from mouth of one
of the great old tombs; shopped in the pretty town; accepted the
American consul’s great attentions for the morning only (rich Coptic
Christian family), but tore ourselves away from entreaties to stay for
dinner and fantasia in the evening, in honor of the inauguration of the
American President, so secured the good wind and were off in the

March 9.--Went over the site of Memphis; saw the colossal figure of
Rameses lying pathetically on his face, pyramids of Sakkara, Serapeum,
the wonderful Apis sarcophagi, and finally that newly excavated,
beautiful tomb structure, of date very early in old empire (fourth or
fifth dynasty), with paintings and low reliefs with truthfulness,
spirit, taste, and fineness of execution, much surpassing the best days
of the later empire, and all free of the grotesque mythology of later
times. A fine treat to come at the last.

March 10.--Hard rowing against wind to reach Gizeh; went in carriages,
by road made for the Prince of Wales, to the Great Pyramid and its
fellow. I went in, but no one ascended,--too much wind; Sphinx,
neighboring old tombs, etc., etc.

March 11.--Cairo: packed and left the boats so long our home, and
good-by to the sailors.

March 12-18.--Cairo: must not forget one day passed at Mariette’s
museum, studying specially the fine things of old empire which he has
discovered and rescued. Had fairly enough of mosques, Moslem tombs,
modern palaces, etc. Sorry that slight illness cut off several things,
notably a drive to the site of Heliopolis, marked only by a single
obelisk. Steamer from Alexandria would not wait, so we must needs hurry
off, our pleasant party break up, etc.

March 19.--A morning drive at Alexandria, to see Pompey’s Pillar, the
Obelisk, etc., and so on board the Peluze; a beautiful evening, but
blowy weather followed,--a seasick time; and here we got, not Monday
evening, but Tuesday morning, boat gone to Naples the day before....
Mrs. G. badly knocked up, and here is cold spring weather and fickle,
weeping skies, so unlike the thoroughly reliable weather which we had
got to regard as a law of nature; wherefore such freaks take us all by
surprise. Oh, how we long already for the dry air and certain sky of old

TAORMINA, March 25, evening.

We have done it, after all, or at least are in the way of doing it....
This morning, when the sea looked rough with the recent gales, although
the very low barometer began to rise, I was not sorry when the Florio
steamer was kept back, waiting an overdue corresponding vessel from
Malta, and, though announced to sail to-morrow, I determined to wait yet
longer for smoother weather. Meanwhile it cleared off beautifully,
though with considerable wind. At four P.M. this afternoon we were off
by rail with small luggage needful, on the Catania railroad; an hour and
a half along a coast more picturesque than the finest parts of the
Corniche road, though not so grand, brought us to Giardini; whence an
ascent of an hour up a zigzag road in a one-horse carriage, commanding
charming sunset views all the way, old Etna full in view southwest,
brought us to this queer perch. It reminds us of Turbia, but is far more
striking. We are in a primitive, but very nice auberge; our window
looking full upon the whole mass of Etna glistening in the clear
moonlight. On the left hand we look directly down upon the sea and along
the jagged coast; on the right Taormina Castle overhangs us almost, the
old castle or forts covering its narrow summit, probably 1,000 feet
above us; it must command an extraordinary view. We shall see to-morrow.
Rather behind us lies the amphitheatre, on a craggy buttress between us
and the sea.

Morning; up at daylight, to the amphitheatre, to see sun rise out of the
sea and light up Etna, which was without a cloud. The theatre really a
Roman ruin, with bits only of the original Greek; the situation
superb.... I climb up to Mola, get a grand study of Etna from height of
1,500-2,000 feet, the clouds keeping off till I had done. Extensive sea
and coast view, but haze in the far distance. Descended on to the peak
bearing the Saracenic ruins of the Castle of Taormina, overhanging the
town; and now, having dined, and found Mrs. G. better, as well as
desirous of warmer quarters, we are soon to descend to the shore below
us, and take train for Catania. This place is very well worth visiting,
and I am glad that I arranged as I did, only sorry that I had to enjoy
most of it alone.

NAPLES, Tuesday, 30th.

Found Catania well worth a visit; had pleasant Easter Sunday, and superb
view of Etna, and of its various former doings, sending its lavas down
to the sea in a tremendous way. Getting back to Messina, the steamer, a
little one, was off Monday afternoon; good parting views of Etna toward
evening; an uncomfortable night; we entered the bay at daybreak, and
Naples soon after sunrise, and are now domiciled in full view of


ROME, April 22, 1869.

... I am thirsty for botanical news, after having laid aside the
botanist for a much longer time than ever before. Well, we were three
and a half months in Egypt, three months of it on the Nile itself, and
we have avoided the chills of winter and had a season of great enjoyment
and interest. I passed your friend Professor Marcet in Nubia, but missed
visiting his boat, from his sailing under the English flag, but hit upon
that of Mr. Naville,[76] whom we saw afterwards at Edfou, and were much
pleased with.

Botany on the Nile is nearly _nil_, yet I collected a small suite of
specimens, as souvenirs. Returning, we had a most uncomfortable passage
to Messina.... In Naples and in the charming environs we passed a
fortnight and rather more, and have now had a week in Rome.

We are just now recovering the mild and charming weather which we left
behind in Egypt. We shall stay here, I suppose, only ten days more, make
a short stay in Florence, also in Venice, visit the Italian lakes, and,
I think, go to Vienna by way of Innsbruck, to be there the first week in
June. All else is uncertain, except that we mean to be in Switzerland in

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray said he found more botany in a half day in the desert than in a
week in Egypt! A country cultivated for five thousand years had no
weeds. There were long walks and occasional excursions in Nubia into the
desert when the dahabeah was lying still.


MUNICH, June 8, 1869.

... It is hurrying and distracting work, this traveling with a pair of
nice young ladies, sharp for sight-seeing, ... and a lot of botanists
and gardens, etc., you want to see on your own hook. So you will excuse
all curtness in letters....

At Munich we saw, of course, much of Madame de Martius,[77]--a sweet,
good soul, deeply grieved by the loss of her husband, and yet bears up
bravely. And we learned many interesting things about good Martius.
Notices of Martius’ death were sent, as usual, to all friends....

11th. Nuremberg is a queer old place indeed. We have nearly twenty-four
hours here, and go on the way to Dresden to-day.


DRESDEN, June 13, 1869.

I’ll tell you what our plans are at present. To stay here till Friday
noon, the 18th; Mrs. G. to be very quiet, as she cares mainly to see the
gallery and enjoy it leisurely. On Tuesday, I, with the young ladies, go
up to Freiberg to visit the celebrated mining school, etc., and on
return next day, to see the Forst-Akademie at Tharand. Friday night all
to Töplitz, to pass two days with a friend,--the Sunday’s rest. Monday
to Prague, Tuesday to Regensburg, Wednesday or Thursday to Munich, and
Saturday evening to be at Ragatz (or Pfeffers). Soon after at least Mrs.
G. and I will be settled for a while at Geneva.


... Boissier has been seriously sick with a pleurisy, etc.; is at Orbe,
or was. If still there I should go to see him; but he has now gone to
Gries, in Appenzell, to a bathing-place, and I shall not see him....
Reuter, his curator, was away last week, but I shall see him, I presume,

I have just lost my mother, at a good old age. My father died
twenty-four years earlier....

It is a charming place here. We are spending the morning lazily, and go
on soon to Geneva. The young people have gone on to Chamouni, which we
do not care to revisit.... Kindest regards to Professor Fenzl, with
regrets that I shall not see him.


INTERLAKEN, July 26, 1869.

... We have had a joyful time in Switzerland, and for me a complete
rejuvenation. And as to Mrs. Gray, who did not need that, what we call
“the movement cure” has done her more good than all Egypt. That my
lamentable failure of breath on Piz Langarde was owing, not to advancing
years, as I had foreboded, nor wholly to the rarefaction of the
atmosphere above 9,000 feet, as Mrs. H. suggested, but to a violent
cold, then impending, I proved satisfactorily by walking the other day
down from Mürren to Lauterbrunnen (having walked up the eve before), and
then right on over the Wengern Alp to Grindelwald, and I believe as
comfortably as I did it (all but the first part) thirty, and then
nineteen, years ago!

Weather has been all we could ask for,--this the first rainy day to keep
us indoors, and it now promises to be pleasant by noon, so that we can
go to Giessbach. Let me tell you what we have done....

Wife and I started Thursday, to Sierre, by rail. Friday, carriage to
Visp, and horses to St. Nicolaus. Saturday, char-à-banc to Zermatt, and
horses to hotel on the Riffel. Only my wife’s own pen can relate how
she felt in flesh, bones, and spirit after that, nor her surprise to
find next morning that she was “alive, and alive like to be,” nor her
keen delight in Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and surroundings, and the
profusion of alpine flowers. Sunday and Monday on Riffel most enjoyable.
Tuesday, Mrs. G., thinking _facile descensus_ inapplicable to such a
steep path, insisted upon walking down to Zermatt, which she did; a long
rest at Zermatt, with pleasant English friends, and a dinner enabled us
to go in char to St. Nicolaus to sleep, taking a small thunder-shower in
the way.

Wednesday, “we still live,” and go on horses, through two showers, to
Visp again, and then carriage to Sierre and rail down to Hôtel Byron, to
get charming view and sleep.

Thursday, all fresh comparatively, and go in a chaise to Chillon, and
then back to our pleasant quarters in Hôtel de la Metropole, Geneva.
Here we rest, see friends, and do botany till Tuesday last.


LONDON, August 22, 1869.

... With all my endeavors I could not get off a note to you by
yesterday’s (Saturday’s) post, and so shall be late in announcing to you
our prosperous return to England. We left Paris on Thursday, reached
Amiens in time to visit the cathedral, a most striking specimen of
fullest-flowered Gothic, saw it again on Friday morning, and, after a
smooth crossing, got to London before sunset. Yesterday I had to go to
the banker’s, to Kew, and to see our Harvard men at Putney.[78] I must
now needs be with them on their trial day; and then, tell me frankly if
it would perfectly suit Mrs. Church and yourself if we came to you on
Saturday (28th) for a few days. Later would serve us, if you prefer....

After that I hope we can get settled at Kew, and do some work, for which
I have little enough time left.

As to Exeter meeting of British Association, I am on the whole glad
enough to keep away, especially from Darwinian discussions, in which I
desire not to be at all “mixed up” with the prevailing and peculiarly
English materialistic, positivic line of thought, with which I have no
sympathy, while in natural history I am a sort of Darwinian.


KEW, [CHARLTON HOUSE], September 20, 1869.

The skies were propitious to us in Switzerland, and the only very warm
day was the one which we passed, very pleasantly indeed, with Godet at
Neufchâtel. Thence we went to Paris, stopping at Dijon en route....

Oliver and Baker are here steadily at work. Dr. Masters[79] drops in now
and then. Dr. Hooker, after some respite, was at home. Dr. Thomson
returned last week; and now Bentham is here also, fresh from the

At British Museum I find Dr. Carruthers[80] and the new assistant, Dr.
Trimen. Mr. Bennett still, I think, away on his holiday. Botanical and
other news I have none. I send you this mere apology for a letter, in
the hope of getting something from you; and later I may have more to
say. Can I be of any use to you here?

Remember me kindly to Dr. Müller,[81] to whom best thanks for all the
friendly services which he has rendered me.

Our united kind regards to Madame De Candolle, and to your son (from
whom I still expect a photograph), and my wife’s to yourself. We have
the most pleasant recollections of our brief visit to Geneva.

Believe me ever your devoted



KEW, October 3, 1869.

I don’t know when you would get a response to your welcome letter of
August 22, which reached us here in due course, so long as things went
on in the ordinary way,--I working at botany as much as possible, but
presiding here over a considerable household, some sight-seeing and much
intermittent visiting. But now that I am all alone, and my wife with the
rest of them _girareing_ over the north of England, sober reflection has
its hour, and I remember the friends that are far away, perhaps on the
shores of Italian lakes, and long to know how they get on and what they
are about. To attain which knowledge and put myself _en rapport_ I
should first, I know, give you some account of ourselves and our doings.

But where to begin? I think we wrote you from Paris. We had three weeks
there, I mostly at the Jardin des Plantes till near dinner-time....

For ourselves, after cool weather in Paris we came in for a piece of
very sultry weather in London, where we had to stay awhile, our lodgings
here not being available till about 15th September. So after staying to
the Harvard boat-race,--which I saw from the umpire’s boat, and Mrs.
Gray, with good Miss S., from some grounds above Fulham,--we set off on
a little round of visits, first to the Darwins’, near Bromley, then to
the Churches’ in Somersetshire, a pleasant country rectory and a
delightful couple. You remember the university sermons we had up the
Nile were his. Next we passed a day with an old bachelor botanical
acquaintance near Taunton, who makes a capital squire; then to Torquay
for three days (with a daughter of Sir William Hooker, and her husband,
Dr. Lombe), one of which I devoted to an excursion down the river Dart
from Totness to Dartmouth (which the English think much of, but you
dwellers on the Hudson would not), and to a view of that quaint little
town. On our way back we had an hour at Exeter to see the cathedral; a
night and morning at Salisbury, the cathedral as to exterior, site, and
all, and beautiful spire, one of the most satisfactory in England; took
a glance at Wilton, a peep into old George Herbert’s little church of
Bemerton and into his house and garden; stopped over a train at Romsey
to see the fine Norman abbey church, and to Winchester, most interesting
cathedral as to the interior, Winchester school and the old Hospital of
St. Cross. Then, on returning to London, we settled down here, and after
a few days were joined by the rest of our party from France.

... No one in England recognized me with my venerable white beard!

Ever, dear Howland, your affectionate

The winter Dr. Gray spent in Egypt, in 1869, he raised a full beard,
which so changed his appearance that, though eyes and voice were there,
his oldest friends did not know him on his return, and he had great glee
in imposing himself on his old friend Dr. Torrey, when he went to the
station to meet him in Boston, as a persistent hack-driver. Even when he
declared himself, Dr. Torrey would scarcely believe him; he and
Professor Henry always maintained a man had no lawful right so to change
his outward appearance after middle age.


KEW, October 6, 1869.

... A week ago Saturday Mrs. G. and I went down via Warwick to
Stratford-on-Avon, where we had never been, with Professor Flower,[82]
to visit his father and mother, whose house (almost always thronged by
Americans), a short mile out of Stratford, commands one of the most
charming and wholly English views (that of English landscape-painters).
On Monday morning Loring and the girls, who had passed the Sunday at
Warwick, drove down and took us up, and we saw the Shakespeare
memorials, even to Anne Hathaway’s cottage (all but myself, who studied
brewing instead), and back to “The Hill” for a lunch-dinner. Then they
took my wife and departed to pass night and next day at Warwick. At
evening I went by a direct train to Oxford to sleep, seeing first
Professor Rolleston[83] for a moment. And, breakfasting with him and
his agreeable wife next morning early (his windows command a lovely
view), set about seeing all the structures, etc., that have sprung up
since the almost twenty years that have passed: the Museum and its
workings, the Ratcliffe turned into an admirable reading-room, chapel of
Exeter, also Balliol, new buildings of Christ Church, etc. I did not
fail to look in upon the quadrangle of Oriel, also, to ask for Mr.
Burgon, but he was in France. After lunch I took train, and was in Kew
soon after sunset. Since then I have been away one day and one night,
with Mr. Rivers of Orchard-house fame, at Sawbridgeworth, Herts....


KEW, October 11, 1869.

I am now almost through with my examination of the Polemoniaceæ, for
which I brought over all mine here. I have got them into good shape,
settled many things only to be determined here, and have a clear and
definite idea as to what I would do with the genera, and have
straightened out the species.

October 31.

After so long a drought--as happens in some climates--when the change
comes, you pour refreshingly. But with all your three rapidly following
letters not one of them makes the least reference to my letter, written
for one special purpose.

Bennett is as pleasant as ever. When I go up next to British Museum I
will give your regards.

Old Gray (J. E.), who has ever been particularly kind to us, has had a
paralytic stroke, which, with other infirmities, seemed about to close
his life. But he is wonderfully rallying....

How glad we are about the grandchild, and what real comfort and delight
you will have with the little fellow! And then the satisfaction of
having your name go down in the direct line. Why, he may be a botanist,
or at least a chemist, and add honor to the name in another generation.
Please give, with our love, our united congratulations to the happy papa
and mamma.

We have been corresponding with Carey, and shall see him soon.

The sheet is full; so adieu for a few weeks. Ever your affectionate



QUEEN’S HOTEL, LIVERPOOL, November 8, 1869.

We broke up our establishment at Kew, this afternoon, and are having the
night here, preparatory to embarkation. Before leaving Kew I received
the proof of your sermon,[84] and here I found your last note, and
Loring another proof-copy of the sermon; for which he sends best thanks.

So you have been again to Windsor, and this time, I trust, had her
Majesty in the congregation....

Loring, the young ladies, and myself had the Sunday at Canterbury, our
last cathedral, and a most interesting one, both in the sight and the
associations. We have Stanley’s “Memorials” to read up, with other
things, on the voyage, if the Atlantic will allow it.

Wednesday morning.--Off Irish coast; shall reach Queenstown before
noon; very smooth water, especially since we were out of the St.
George’s Channel. We are all doing very well, though some of our party,
including Mrs. Gray, are poor creatures on the water.

I have read over the sermon with real interest. What I much like in it
is the broadness of view and moderation of claim, which adds strength to
the argument. It seems to me that every Christian man, churchman or no,
would yield full assent to all you say.

And, dear Mr. Church, consider that all your friends think, no doubt, as
I do, that you are hardly at liberty to take counsel of your misgivings
and humility, if asked to take some position in which your gifts may
tell more directly upon educated men, especially the younger men. I
don’t want to see you in a position which brings cares and anxieties
along with high honors; these I do not covet for you in the least. What
I covet for you is fruitful leisure, some position for you which, while
it gives you time, and income enough to supply real wants, makes also
some demands; for rarely does one do anything to much purpose that he is
not somehow constrained to do.

We leave behind us in England most delightful friends, and we are not
likely to forget them; but we are somehow drawn to you in a peculiar
way, and shall often be thinking of you and yours when settled down
again, if it please God that we may be, at our pleasant home on the
other side of the Atlantic.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., November 23, 1869.

Just a line to tell you--which you will be glad to know--that we safely
accomplished our voyage home, landing yesterday morning [Monday] early,
on the thirteenth day. Very well for that vessel, the slowest of the
line, and at this season, with much head wind. No gales, but some stiff
breezes, and the vessel tumbled and rolled about, to our discomfort.
However, it is all over; and Mrs. G. and the other ladies, who suffered
a good deal, are looking brighter again.

My wife sends kind love to you and all yours, and the young people, if
they knew of my writing, would send kind and grateful messages. The
voyage now seems to me only as a disturbed night’s sleep, dozing off in
Old England to awake in the New.

Ever yours affectionately,


CAMBRIDGE, February 14, 1870.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--Being eve of post-day we respond at once to yours of
the 27th January--which arrived this very morning--lest you should send
us down to posterity with a fabulous dog-story.

I well remember telling you of our “Max”[85] and his habit of washing
cat-fashion; which you suggested might have come from being brought up
with a cat, and I think I told you that I had not been able to learn
definitely whether that was the case or no. Here, you see, by some
shuffling of memory, a suggestion of what might explain a fact has taken
the place of the fact itself. I am curious to know if it be true, for it
is the only explanation I can think of.

I trust you have some of the slender-leaved Drosera I sent through

Well, our homeward voyage was not a nice one, especially for Mrs. Gray,
and it now seems a long time ago. I dropped at once into a world of
work; but am not killing myself. The main struggle for existence will
come in the spring, when my duties crowd on me dreadfully.

It gave us both very great pleasure to see again Mrs. Darwin’s
well-known handwriting, and your signature.

I knew you would be pleased with young Agassiz and his Yankee wife. I
wish his health were better; and I do hope your own will be such that
you can next summer see and know my trump of a colleague J. Wyman.


CAMBRIDGE, March 28, 1870.

... You hope that I will not resign my chair here unless to devote
myself wholly to botanical work. What other object could I have in view?
I am not likely to be idle, and I care for nothing else. The difficulty
is, that the university cannot well spare me now, nor find a fit person
to take either the whole or a part of my work, but there is a good
disposition to favor my views.

Charles Wright is helping me as curator of the herbarium, and is getting
the large accessions into it--rather slowly.

The winter is nearly passed; I have employed diligently all the time I
could command, but the net result looks small. All I have for the
printer is a revision of Eriogoneæ, which I have turned over to him, and
which you shall soon see. I think I have done it very well. I have in
Eriogonum made use of a character which you have not employed, i. e.,
the attenuation of the base of the flower into stipes, which marks the
umbellata and the eriantha well, and I have increased the number of the
sections. The species I have actually diminished from eighty-one to
seventy-nine, although several had been added to those in the
Prodromuses, and I have added half a dozen myself.

I should have written to you long ago, but as you would always have news
of me through Hooker, and I had nothing special to say, I refrained. It
is always a pleasure to hear from you, and I have no idea that our long
correspondence should drop. I should have seen more of you and Mrs.
Bentham (and my wife, too, regretted much), but you were much laid up
with that sciatica, and we were dreadfully pressed at the last. Could we
have had this winter in England, as we had at first hoped, it would have
been well.

Torrey made me a visit in January; is well and happy, except that he
gets only odds and ends of time for botany, and so cannot do anything to
much purpose. The Eriogoneæ being a pet group of his, and his old
sketches very useful in my elaboration, I have joined his name to my own
in the paper I am now printing.

At the wonderful rate you are going on you will soon complete the “Flora
Australiensis.” Happy and fortunate man that you are, both in the
faculty of accomplishing work and in having your whole time for just
what you want to do.


CAMBRIDGE, MASS., U. S., February 15, 1870.

MY DEAR CHURCH,--My good wife has just handed me these sheets for Mrs.
Church, and if it were not just on post-morning I should gossip with
you, I suppose, to the extent of a sheetful, and send you our hearty
thanks for your most kind and welcome Christmas letter,--the
acknowledgments for which have been deferred too long already.

For myself, I have had three or four delightful weeks out of our short
winter vacation, which have been given wholly to botanical work in my
study. But this week begins again my round of official duties, to
continue till July.

I rather weary of it as I grow older; and still more I grudge the time.
I could now, I see, make fair arrangement for relinquishing a large part
of my work in the university if there were some one ready to come in as
a colleague or suffragan. But the person wanted is not to be found, and
it will take a long while to hatch and raise one. We shall see.

I keep up all my lively interest in English affairs. But I do not get
the items of news now as early as I used to do when the “Gardener’s
Chronicle” had a news-sheet attached. I do well enough in the scientific
line, however, as I see both “Nature” and the “Academy.” The former
should bear for its motto “Natura non facit saltum;” it does not jump at
once to perfection; the articles are many of them rather weak and washy.
The “Academy” in its way seems better. The “Athenæum” (which I hope will
revive, now that Dixon is out of it), the “Saturday Review,” and the
“Pall Mall Budget” come to us in our book club, after a while, in our

So Temple, having carried his point, is now making his over-active
opponents look a bit foolish by preaching earnest orthodox sermons. And
Gladstone has done a (to me not unexpected) thing which gratifies his
friends here, in giving to Mr. Fraser the see of Manchester; I had not
heard of the death of the former incumbent when the news of this offer
came. What a run Gladstone is having in the way of church patronage!
Then the memorial from both universities themselves for the abolition of
religious tests! How you are getting on! And how are you to manage to
secure proper religious influence at the universities? By moral power
and the strength of your cause alone? which may, after all, be more
truly effective than statutes. Yet there will be natural anxieties.

Pray give me, now and then, an inside view of what is going on, or
better, what is thought.

Why, here is my sheet filled and nothing said. I have nothing to tell
you from here--nothing worth sending you. I don’t think much of Lowell’s
“Cathedral.” The grotesque bits are not in half as good keeping as the
gargoyles and other queer pieces of ornament on the old cathedrals.

CAMBRIDGE, April 4, 1870.

I have for a long while been wishing and endeavoring to write to you,
but it is not so easy, so many other letters have to be written, to
answer letters from persons that I don’t particularly care for, as to
leave little time for those that I do.

I owe you for two very interesting letters; for it was a hurried note of
mine that we need not count, which crossed yours of February 4, and then
there is your later one of March 1, along with Mrs. Church’s to my wife.
I leave it for her to tell you about the novelists. And I have not much
to say of myself. I have pottered all winter over the herbarium and upon
an article for our “American Academy’s Proceedings,” of a wholly
technical nature, which is just in the printer’s hands. I am about to
begin another,--a study of another group of North American plants; but
the professional work absorbs so much of my time and energy that it
will, I know, make no great progress until July brings a long vacation.
And then I may have my hands full, somewhat as yours will be,
superintending building. I have _my_ church to enlarge. I need a
lecture-room here on the spot, and a students’ laboratory in connection
with it; and I have a plan for this, to form a wing to the herbarium
building, and a fair prospect that I may get it done. We shall see
before long; and if the means are forthcoming, I will soon let you know,
with all the details....

The last “Spectator” received gives an abstract of Gladstone’s and
Forster’s Irish Land and Education bills, and of the general favor they
were received with upon their introduction. To have almost satisfied all
parties and interests is really a wonderful and a most unexpected
achievement. You ought to be proud of Gladstone, and well satisfied at
having inevitable and great changes wrought out under so strong a
ministry, and so high-minded a leader. Courage, earnestness, and high
principle here are seen to command success, in Parliament at least. How
anything will work in Ireland remains to be seen. But don’t think as
some of my English friends do, that the Irish are incapable of good
things. The race over here, as a general thing, develop at once what
they seem to lack at home, thrift, and with thrift come order and
respect for law.

I happened to be in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day, and was stopped in my
carriage while a very long Irish procession passed. They were mainly of
the more well-to-do sort, no doubt; but they had made themselves so.
Probably nearly every one of middle age was born in Ireland, and would
have been a peasant laborer at home, very likely ill-conditioned enough.
They were, however, in holiday attire; still they were fair
representatives of the race, and I wished we could send them over to you
for a day, as specimens of what may be made out of such material, under
circumstances, not altogether the best, but much better than those at
home. They are not the best element of our population, certainly, but
they make by no means a bad lower stratum, out of which many show a
truly Yankee-like aptitude for rising. They are almost all Romanists, to
be sure; and there is an element of danger. But the influence of the
priesthood is much tempered (as witness how they ran into Fenianism,
against their exhortations) and in most respects is far from bad. The
Germans are counted as a much better population, but they are quite as
clannish, and in the towns are rather disposed to be actively

By the way, I met some time ago Mr. Stanley, who has been in the country
before; is now on his way round the world via California, a favorite
route. He is, or was, an M. P., a son of Lord Stanley of Alderley, an
Oxford man, bright, sharp, and very talkative. He is a specimen of
ultra-secularistic liberalism, I should think, of a set that will be apt
to give you some trouble hereafter, in the questions that are to come
up; if I do not misjudge him, one who thinks the world, or at least
England, has not much farther use for distinctive Christianity; just one
of the sort you must have had in view, in yours of February 4, as
extremely generous “in making free with what other people value, and you
don’t care for.” Most uncivilly, I fear, I fell almost into a wrangle
with him directly. He even seemed to think us on the whole a bigoted set
here in Cambridge,--rather a novel view to us....

Well, I must break off.

Our spring is tardy, after a wintry March. Only snowdrops yet out in the
Garden, and those in the sunniest place, a lot which I brought with me
from England. For primroses we have to look into a cold frame, in which
they, with violets, have been blossoming all the latter part of the


November 15, 1870.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--Many thanks for your most kind letter of the 24th
October. Taken along with one from Mr. Bentham of about the same date,
it gives me tidings of several of our French confrères, who are now in
such great tribulation. What a change since last year, since last summer
even; and for Mrs. Gray and me, how fortunate that we had our visit made
and over before the deluge! And what can be the end, and when? It is
useless to conjecture. And now there is fear that while Germany is
holding the Gallic wolf by the ears,--a situation growing daily more
uncomfortable and dangerous for Prussia, and England is left quite
alone,--Russia is to take a step forward in the Black Sea, etc., which
will greatly vex England and Austria, and perhaps send the torch of war
all over Europe; and if all closes up soon Europe will feel this
powerful Germany. But it may be the better for Switzerland, whose danger
is always from France. It used to make me uneasy and indignant to see
the French flag on the shore of your Lake, where it has no business to

The Caruel[86] pamphlet reached me to-day. To the first question the
answer is simple and easy. About the second, there is perhaps more to be
said. As the publication of a name without a character goes for nothing,
why should the dubious proposal of a name with a hypothetical character
go for more? And suppose the suggested character does not prove true,
and a genus afterwards be founded well upon the same species with a good
character, and under another name, must that give place to the
conditional name, etc.? Vain the endeavor to settle every such little
question by the terms of any positive enactment.

One thing I see, that is, that our solitary point of disagreement will
erelong disappear. The fact of the publication of a certain name, at a
certain date and a certain place, being the main thing, the form (and I
add the agent) of publication being a subsidiary consideration, I think
you will come to agree that, _e. g._, names proposed by Fischer and
published in his name by De Candolle, must be said to be Fischer’s, and
cited, in the last resort, as, _e. g._, “A. dasyglottis, Fisch. in DC.,”
just as I write “Phlox rigida, Benth. in DC.” For all the rest, I think
I agree with you fully. I perfectly agree that, _e. g._, “Diceratium
Lag.” is correct only as a generic name, that “Sect. Diceratium DC.” is
the only correct way. I myself and others have not followed this proper
course always in former times; but should do so hereafter....

Believe me to remain as ever, most cordially yours,



CAMBRIDGE, October 14, 1870.

MY DEAR FRIEND: ... I have the hour of leisure and am in the mood for
writing this evening. The latter I may count on, but the former I
cannot, in these busy and rather distracting days.

On Tuesday evening last I heard Tom Hughes give a public lecture, the
only one he gives in America. He manfully stood up and turned the tables
upon us, by insisting that the Americans were wronging the British, by
blaming them when they ought to be praised for their general conduct
during the war of the Rebellion. His lecture was very able and pleasant;
and he seemed well pleased, as well he might be, at the reception of it.
He, at least, did excellent service in our behalf, in our times of

The next evening I met him at the house of a colleague here in
Cambridge, and had a very pleasant talk with him. On telling him that I
came near to hearing him speak to the electors of Frome, and was
prevented only by the rainy day that made our walk to Longleat too late,
he spoke of you with much interest, and told me, what I did not know,
that he was of Oriel while you were tutor. He is very much pleased with
his trip through the country.

As to the Franco-German war, it is thus far a succession of wonders, and
now when a week passes, like the last, without any astounding event, one
feels dissatisfied. At first, the crowning and unexpected result, of
judgment overtaking Louis Napoleon here on the spot, was only to be
rejoiced over. And I think you in England must all be glad to see the
vulgar Empire vanish in a day, and in the collapse show how hollow and
good for nothing it was in what we supposed its strong side, military
force and military ability. But now, it is painful to see France reduced
to such straits, and I long to see peace made with as little weakening
of France as may be. Only, if it goes on, this chastening, and the
effort it may induce France to make, may regenerate her spirit. But, as
you say, only the prophetic books of Scripture furnish language in which
to express one’s feelings and sentiments.

“And then this nation will I judge, saith the Lord”--sounds in your
ears, as these vast changes sweep on.

If I fail to enter wholly into your feelings as to Bismarck and Prussia,
here is Mrs. Gray, who has been anti-Prussian from the very first, and
who shares all your misgivings, and more. Now, I think it a pity, and a
loss to the world, that the German people should be broken up into
jealous rival kingdoms and little principalities, always liable to be
played off against each other by outlying nations. I think Germany as
such ought to take its place as a great Central European power. And yet
a simple centralized government is dangerous; at best could ill replace
local governments. So I hope for, and expect, a close confederation of
German states, in a restored and efficient German empire, the states of
which will be as closely united as those of our Federal Union, but yet
sovereignties in all that relates to internal concerns. I don’t despair
of the Germans working out a fairly successful constitutional
parliamentary system, along with state parliaments, etc., after their
own fashion. And I fancy that a united Germany will tend to peace in
Europe, when one section can no more be played off against another.

But what sort of a policy is this which Great Britain seems to have been
pursuing in weakening, and as if inclined to sever, her connections with
her principal colonies? Why not contrive some mode of uniting home and
colonial interests, giving the colonies imperial representation, or
something of the sort, or somehow be making sure that the men you will
be wanting one of these years shall be sturdily growing up on these
virgin soils, where crowding is out of the question, and who may feel as
they grow up that they are part and parcel of a strong empire. For
myself, I can’t abide the idea of the English nation ever coming to play
any secondary part.

As for ourselves, I feel more and more what a good thing it is, and what
an economy in the long run, to have no neighbors, but the whole breadth
of country to ourselves, and to be so far away from Europe that we may
look with unconcern upon the rise or fall of states there, so far as
they affect any interests of ours. That does not prevent our being all
alive to events in Europe, however. The telegraph feeds our lively
curiosity, day by day; but what I write about to-day will have ceased to
interest by the time it reaches you: perhaps the strife all over there;
devoutly do I wish it may be.

I see you have taken up “Anselm” again; and that, I presume, is the book
you are going to send me, and which I shall be pleased to see.

Yes, you must come over here; but when you do, please arrange for time
enough. When you cross the ocean, be sure to stay long enough to get
your money’s worth. If it be the summer after next, perhaps we may cross
the continent together, and see the parent of your Wellingtonia tree on
the lawn, and the rest of the grove, and visit the wondrous Yosemite
Valley, as yet an arduous journey from San Francisco, but it will soon
be within easy reach.

I see that my writing is very bad, and will stop short.

Inclosed are seeds of the two passion-flowers which are so good for
showing the movements of tendril, both the coiling after being touched,
and revolution, etc. Sow in April in your little conservatory, or in
hotbed, and you may have good plants for your purpose in June. The
tendrils show off best under a temperature of 80° or 90° Fahr. P.
acerifolia will give you tendrils a foot long, when in full growth.

I note the uneasiness in England, and the rumors of difference in the
cabinet,--dangerous times for Gladstone’s ministry, but I do hope it
will last.

I suppose your church is all in order, and your cares over as to the


November 4, 1870.

I have to-day a long letter from Bentham, which I would send to you, but
that it is full of Compositæ queries and statements, which I have soon
to attend to. What a worker he is, and what a good one!

At last accounts Decaisne and Brongniart were drilling. Rather old
sojers, I think! Cosson[87] had dispatched his wife and daughter and
granddaughter to England, and was communicating now and then by
balloon-post! Bentham very well, and working hard at Compositæ for
“Genera.” ...

I have an advanced class this year, and they come up here, and take up
a vast deal of my time. But it is enjoyable work, as they are the pick
of a dozen out of fifty or sixty of the preceding year.

March 28, 1871.

... I hope, with you, that the Domingo annexation will break down. But
Grant is working for Cuba too, and that is worse than the other;
ignorant blacks are better than Creole Spaniards to deal with.


February 27, 1871.

... There are so many things I wanted to write about your church (for
which it was shabby of me not to remember and send you a contribution,
in a small way) and the reopening services of which you sent us a
newspaper account; your “Anselm,” which we read aloud in our deliberate
way, on successive Sunday evenings, when not interrupted, and very much
enjoyed; I think the later chapters most; perhaps because we got more
interested as we went on, perhaps, too, the narrative flows on with a
more free movement in the later than in the earlier chapters. Then there
is this wonderful German-French war, which is only now closing, if it be
the close, in such bitter humiliation of the French as no Frenchman
could ever imagine possible, nor any but a German contemplate without
deep sorrow and pity: all their hard measures of former generations
meted out to them again, to this one hapless generation, in a way that
till now it could never have dreamed of. For long years France must play
a secondary political part, which of itself will be a bitter thing, we
may hope a wholesome thing; and when with long care and nursing of
resources she recovers, she cannot be so strong relatively again, while
the German empire holds together. And I suppose you in England have a
good deal of misgiving as to what this Germanic power portends. Perhaps
the next great wonder, and surely the best thing, may be a great
defensive alliance of English-speaking people round the world, which
would render any European continental changes less momentous.

It seems to me that the hopeful prospect for France is in the
ascendency, seemingly assured, of the conservative republicans and the
Orleanists. But there are rumors that even the Orleans family are
falling out among themselves.

As I grow older I can sympathize thoroughly with a disinclination you
may feel as to assuming any new public duties. The deep ruts which the
daily routine of life has worn for us do become such pleasant paths, as
one ages, that we do not thank anybody for trying to force us out of

Nothing have we heard or seen of Mr. Horner yet: he has gone South
probably, which is wise. I hope he will come this way in June, when we
shall be very glad to see him....

By the way, I see in “Popular Science Review” a neat presentation of
Wallace’s points on the limitations of natural selection as applied to
man, by Buckle (I suppose your Oriel friend), who makes the point very
well that these limitations apply hardly less, in their way, to other
parts of the animal kingdom.

I am too much occupied with humdrum botanical work to read or think much
of such matters.

Have you read or seen Bryant’s translation of the Iliad? It was
discussed in our club last week by my neighbor, who read extracts from
this, Lord Derby’s, and other translations: it was thought to be as
readable as Lord Derby’s, to adhere quite as closely to the original,
and to reflect more truly the simple directness of Homer, both of
expression and thought. I should like to know what you think of it.

The most important matter, as concerns myself, is, that I am busy with
plans of building, having found a man who is disposed to give the money
for constructing here, adjacent to the herbarium, a much needed
botanical lecture-room and laboratory for students. Between the
herbarium (which, you know, adjoins our house, and communicates with it)
and the conservatory, there is a space of 127 feet. This we mean to fill
up: First, with a one-story brick building 60 × 38 feet, rather less
than one half for botanical laboratory and cabinet, the rest
lecture-room; then a lobby, and the remainder of the distance a low
stove and a short, cool greenhouse, to establish connection with our
present hothouse. Then, on the one hand, I can bring plants at all
seasons into the lecture-room; and on the other I can reach the same
under cover, from my private study, through the herbarium; and Mrs. Gray
may walk, in winter, from her dining-room, through our little
drawing-room, entry, library or parlor, my study, greenhouse corridor,
herbarium, lobby, laboratory, lecture-room, passage, stove and
coolhouse, into conservatory, of three compartments, a long affair, but
don’t imagine anything at all grand. A snake, of which our house is the
head and the farthest wing of the conservatory the tail, will give the
best idea. In a lucky time I asked a man to build in this 127 feet, at
an expense of at least twelve


thousand dollars; and I am authorized to get plans and estimates
complete, and I suppose it will be done, though I have no positive
assurance of it yet. I thought you would like to know it, without
waiting till all is absolutely settled.

Here is a second sheet filled: thick paper, too, and I must cut all
short. How I wish we could be with you in Switzerland next summer!

Ever yours affectionately,


March 10, 1871.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--It is very good of you to send me, and so kindly
address, a copy of your new book,[88] which safely reached me two days
ago. I have not yet had time to read any of it, except the preface and
the ending; and I do not like to dip into it and so blunt the edge of
curiosity. So I keep it well out of sight, not caring to look just yet
at any of the pages which you think likely to “aggravate” me, until some
day I can get a good pull at it....

April 14, 1871.

You have such a way of putting things, and you write in such a
captivating way. One can only say:--

Almost thou persuadest me to have been “a hairy quadruped, of arboreal
habits, furnished with a tail and pointed ears,” etc.

But I have read only the first part of the book and the closing
chapters; have left all the Sexual Selection till I can read it
leisurely next summer, and have lent it to a judicious friend, who has
just returned it.

I have been besought to write notices of the book, but I decline. You
don’t know how distracted I am in these days,--doing the work of
professor, gardener, builder, financier, and what not, all at once.

But I must not let this mail pass without sending you the little I could
get as to Laura Bridgman.

Through Dr. Jarvis, a medical man, etc., I got the queries put to the
woman who has now the personal charge of Laura, and he brought me the
inclosed, which I think I should not much rely on.

When Dr. Howe is on hand, some day, I will see if I can get anything
authentic and particular,--not, I fear, in time for you.


CAMBRIDGE, June 28, 1871.

... Well, I say the same as then, only I feel sad about the chance of
the “Flora of North America.” What is my bête noire, as I said before,
is the care of the Garden; and till I can get rid of that, by some
complete reorganization, which shall result in the Garden’s being much
better seen to than it has been,--better taken care of and better named
up and superintended,--I shall not be comfortable nor of much use in
writing “Flora of North America.”

I am going to try if I cannot find or make some sort of superintendent,
and pay him out of what I pay for rent of house, and have succeeded in
getting credited to Botanic Garden fund. This will leave me to pay for
work in the herbarium (which is the work you prefer) out of the only
$800 a year yielded by herbarium fund, which has first of all to pay for
books, paper, fuel, and freights,--in short, most of it, and some years
all,--must come out of my own pocket, until I can find somebody who will
endow a curatorship. Or else I must put this work in the herbarium on to
my assistant, Farlow, who, however, will have his hands full enough
without it.

As to the way you are doing up Cuban botany, I do not find fault with
it. I think, with you, that you are doing about the best possible thing
under the circumstances. The only thing that you may justly complain of
me for, I think, is my sensitiveness and pooh-poohing new-species-making
in families where old species are yet all in a jumble, and where I have
thought that you could not yet tell what were new and what old. I dare
say I have been too impatient about it, and I see I have hurt your
feelings somewhat, which I am sorry for. I only meant, take time and
pains to clear up the old ones in the books, and get a better assurance,
if you can, about the proposed new ones. But, after all, it is wrong and
foolish in me to worry myself, or you, about them.

You will have more experience of the sort, in the working up of your San
Domingo collection. But if we can get time to refer doubtful cases to
say Oliver at Kew, and some one at Paris (where they have many old San
Domingo plants), I suppose you may get them pretty straight....


September 10, 1871.

I have addressed the envelope for this letter before writing it,
determined to use once more the familiar superscription. The official
may bide its time.[89]

Only yesterday we learned of Gladstone’s doings by a newspaper slip sent
us by a friend who knew of you through us on the Nile, Mrs. Howland. But
I had a sort of premonition of it and was on the lookout....

I do not know where the Deanery is,--not in so attractive a situation as
Whatley Rectory, one may safely say. But I suppose you are not expected
to reside there in summer, that you will be fairly able to have some
country quarters to your liking. And there is Switzerland always within
reach. Happy mortals, who can reach the Alps within forty-eight hours,
and with only a narrow, though proverbially nasty, bit of water to
cross! But what we hope to gain from this upturning is to see you over
here. When Mr. Horner returns (we have heard nothing since they vanished
in the West) he will tell you it is no formidable matter even to cross
the continent. At least you can come and see us, make us a long visit,
and be as quiet here as in a Swiss wayside inn, and sally forth upon an
excursion when you like.

Please thank Mrs. Church from me for thinking of us, and writing the
very next day after this anxious matter was concluded. It is wonderful
she could find time, with so much to do and to think of. And such a full
account of the Swiss journey, too.

I owe you letters, too,--one at least lies reproachingly in a drawer of
my table, where it was thrust a long while ago along with many others
which could be postponed; but once postponed it is not easy to overtake

Say to Mrs. C. it is not a part of our house which was moved; that would
not have been difficult, for it is of wood (though the herbarium, etc.,
adjacent is of brick). It must have been the Law School the moving of
which Mrs. Gray was describing. Tell Mr. Horner that, like some other
things, when once you have seen it done it ceases to be wonderful or
even difficult.

As to my lecture-room, etc., all work stopped for near a month,
including the fortnight or more when I was away; and now (September 11)
all has been clatter and hurry for the last week or so, and they really
seem determined to fulfill the terms of their contract, to finish by the
15th instant. They cannot do that; but I trust the workmen may go out
with the month. These cares of building have sadly interferred with
scientific work all summer. I have accomplished very little of what I
intended. I attended, and, when the last year’s president retired on
delivering his address, presided over, the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, twentieth meeting, at Indianapolis, capital of
the State of Indiana,--a journey of forty-eight hours, in very sultry
summer weather, over long stretches of country. I broke the journey by a
day in New York, to see two sons of Mr. Darwin just as they landed, and
by a three days’ stay, including Sunday, with my old friend Mr.
Sullivant, in Ohio. The meeting was a pleasant, though not especially
interesting one. I met botanical correspondents of many years’ standing
whom I had never seen. At the close we were invited to make an excursion
to the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, which I counted on seeing. But I found
that the excursion was to be an overcrowded one.... So I hastened
homeward, and was with Mrs. Gray at Beverly Farms, where she had been
passing holidays at Mrs. Loring’s at the paternal homestead on the
seashore,--a place that you have heard us talk of not a little. It is
delightful. I know nothing to give you so good an idea of it as the
Devonshire coast, there being plenty of wood quite down to the water.
Were we there now, Miss K. and Charles Loring would, I know, charge me
with messages.

I must tell you that the Scientific Association is invited to meet at
San Francisco, California, next summer; and that we have fixed the
meeting there conditionally, that is, in case the Californians care
enough for our presence to transport a certain number of our
representative men free of cost, or nearly so, across the wide
continent. If not, we are to meet on the northern part of the
Mississippi,--at Dubuque, Iowa, far enough west in all conscience, but a
place from which we may easily reach the Falls of St. Anthony and Lake
Superior. I must needs attend, as I shall have a retiring address to
deliver. And though I can ill spare the time or afford the expense, yet
Mrs. Gray and I are longing to see California. What say you and Mrs.
Church about joining us for your next summer’s vacation? The mountains
which form the sides of the Yosemite Valley will hardly offer as many
kinds of flowers as the alpine turf of the Riffelberg, but they may be
more novel to you....

       *       *       *       *       *

On December 15, 1871, Dr. Gray wrote to President Eliot, after
describing formally the completion of the new buildings, and something
of the history and arrangement of the department, the following letter:

       *       *       *       *       *

... I beg to add, for your consideration and that of the corporation, a
few words of a personal character.

With the present academic year I shall have completed thirty years of
service in the professorial chair to which I was called in the spring of
1842. The Garden, which had been under no professorial care for years,
and which has since had a long and hard struggle for existence, the
conservatories, the herbarium and its library, both steadily increasing,
and now the lecture-room, laboratory, etc., make up an establishment
which has grown by degrees into one which requires much time, care, and
anxiety to administer, and for which I have now done the main part of
what could be expected of me or any one man. The experience of the last
and the present year clearly shows me that the work of instruction,
steadily increasing in its demands under the present system, weighted
more and more with the load of administration, is more than I can carry
on. I have some warnings, besides, of the increase of years, which I
ought to consider; and I definitively propose to lay down, at the close
of the present academic year, as large a part of this load as I possibly
can without serious prejudice to this department and this establishment.
I suppose that either the duties of instruction or of administration,
beyond that of the herbarium, must be entirely surrendered. If I can be
spared, and if what I could do for the herbarium could be reckoned an
equivalent for rent of the house I reside in, I should crave to resign
both the charge of the Garden and of the professorship. There is reason
to think that the time is at hand when changes such as are here
suggested may be propitiously made.

When I came here, in 1842, I was carrying on and publishing a most
important original work, the “Flora of North America.” I have worked on
it from time to time, but I never have been able to publish any more of
it. And now what was done has all to be done again, and carried if
possible to a completion; and there is no one else to do it if I do not.
My educational books, or most of them, require to be re-edited; and I
fail to find time and sufficient freedom of mind for the undertaking. If
I could accomplish these tasks, or a good part of them, I am of opinion
that I should in consequence be able (as is especially my desire) to do
a great deal more for the university and the permanent interest of this
establishment than I can expect now to do, as at present situated, even
if it were possible or probable that I could so continue for any length
of time. I am,

Very respectfully and truly yours,


CAMBRIDGE, January 4, 1872.

DEAR DOCTOR,--I have a horrid cold, which makes me unwell.

I write a brief line, in response to yours of yesterday, mainly to say
that I fear I disagree with you about the reply to be made to Wilkes’s
urgent request to print the manuscript of the Oregon collection of
Wilkes’ Expedition.

It was prepared to print long ago; is not your fault that it has been
delayed so long. The library committee have a right to print it, and
might do so without your corrections if you decline to make any. We want
the plates, which are now thrown away, and must be published. I would
print in the form of a naked list,--except where remarks and
descriptions are still wanted,--and to make all right and sure, and to
relieve you, I, with Watson’s kind help, will fix it all up for you and
read the proofs once, and so save you the worry. And I urgently request
you to send this line to Professor Henry, as embodying my opinion, and
my offer of help.

I am sure that if the rest of my manuscript is called for, I shall turn
it over with satisfaction, though the same applies to it as to yours.
And I should either alter accordingly or add notes.

The rest of your letter I will respond to in due time.

But I feel concerned to have those Oregon plates out.

I think I have some right to, as I paid for one hundred of them; but
that is no matter. They are now neither published nor unpublished, which
is a bad state of things.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray had the manuscript prepared some years before for the second
volume of the “United States Exploring Expedition,” and notified the
library committee that he was ready for publishing. Meantime came the
war, and there was no money or thought for such things. When the country
was again quiet and prosperous, the library committee who had formerly
known and been interested in the work and its printing had passed away;
there was no one to care for it, and the manuscript was never called


CAMBRIDGE, March 7, 1872.

Mr. Packard, one of our best entomologists, a most excellent and modest
man, has asked to be introduced to you, that he may pay his respects.

I shy or refuse such applications generally, saying you can rarely see
visitors or callers. But Packard is “fish to your net,” has his head
crammed with facts bearing on derivation, is a disciple of the
Hyatt-Cope school, that you may have heard of,--people who have got hold
of what they call a law, though I do not see that they contribute any
vera causa at all.

If you will turn the world of science upside down, you must expect that
people will wish to see you....

May 31.

By the hand of an old correspondent of yours, and cousin of ours, Mr.
Brace, I send you a little book, which may amuse you, in seeing your own
science adapted to juvenile minds.[90] In some of those hours in which
you can do no better than read, or hear read, “trashy novels,” you might
try this instead. It will hardly rival “The Jumping Frog,” and the like
specimens of American literature which you first made known to us....


BOTANIC GARDEN, June 10, 1872.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--You must set me down as a faithless correspondent.
Your pleasant letter of April 6, from Paris, has been long upon my
table, and I think there is one of older date somewhere below. But all
this spring I have been so overworked that I could respond only to the
most necessary letters of business, duties of my professorship, of the
Garden, and many other things. Well, my lectures are over, and for the
ensuing year I may hope for some emendation. I give up the
superintendence of the Botanic Garden, which has become a great burden,
and I nominally devolve other university work in part upon an
assistant, surrendering at the same time a part of my salary, hoping
thereby to purchase time. We shall see if it be possible. But I have to
begin with a new assistant, who will need training; but will then, I
hope, take much off my hands. My youthful assistant of the past two
years goes in a week or two to Europe, to study in some German
university for a year or two; to Strasburg, I think, unless he first
should go to Sweden, and there study Algæ, with Agardh, if he will
receive him. He takes a fancy to lower Cryptogamia. His name is Farlow,
an honest, good fellow. He will most likely be in Switzerland in the
summer; and I shall give him a letter of introduction to you, whom he
will wish to know. But take no trouble on his account, except to
introduce him to Dr. Müller, from whom, as a working lichenologist, he
could learn much.

Well, Mrs. Gray and I are going to set out, two weeks hence, for
California. We both need the change, and are curious to see the country,
having never seen even the Mississippi! The scientific meeting was to
have been held there; but there is now a hitch about it. We go, however,
at all events, and expect to pass a month in the Yosemite Valley, and
elsewhere in the mountain region. I wish you were here to go with us.
Hooker was counted on to go with us; but the very bad state of his
mother’s (Lady Hooker) health, and the state of affairs at Kew prevent

I hope soon to receive your “Mélanges historiques,” which are sure to
interest me. If I can I will write you a long letter from California, or
Utah, or the Rocky Mountains!--more interesting than this scrawl from
yours ever,



June 22, 1872.

MY DEAR DANA,--I fancy you have got hold of a good topic for your
handling, and have a promising inquiry before you, in coördinating
cephalization and natural selection as operative on the nervous system
of animals. I expect you to get something interesting out of it.

But every now and then something you write makes me doubt if you quite
get hold just right of Darwinian natural selection. What you still say
about struggle not applicable to plants makes me think so.

Suppose the term be a personification, as, no doubt, strictly it is. One
so fond as you are of personification and good general expressions ought
not to object to what seems to me a happy term.

Speaking from general memory, I should say that the term, as used to
express what we mean, was introduced by the elder De Candolle and
applied in what I thought a happy way to the vegetable kingdom. I cannot
drop it because you say there is no struggle where there is no will;
perhaps you mean without consciousness, and then the field of struggle
will be much limited. But call the action what you please,--competition
(that is open to the same objection), collision, or what not,--it is
just what I should think Darwin was driving at. Read “Origin” (4th ed.),
pp. 72, 73, and so on, through the chapter, especially pp. 81-86.

This is enough to show you that when you speak of “Darwinian struggle”
as occurring only “when the faculties of an animal are called into
requisition,” you take too limited a view of what Darwin means.

For myself I should say that the faculties of the lowest animals and the
faculties of plants were equally called into requisition in the case,
in a manner so parallel that there is no drawing any but a purely
arbitrary distinction between the one and the other.

I conceive one as effective as the other as regards the leading on and
fixing variation.

When I say now again that the expression “fitted by its regional
development to the region” conveys no clear meaning to me, I am only
telling you, as I did before, my way of looking at things, not finding
fault with yours.

By the way; “variation (inherent) in particular directions,” is your
idea and mine, but is very anti-Darwin. Good-night.


Dr. Gray greatly enjoyed his visit to California, with the long overland
journey thither. It was an ever-renewed excitement to see plants growing
which he had seen only as dried specimens, and the conductor of the
train was at last almost in despair at the scattering of his passengers
to grab what they could in the short halts, as they became inspired by
seeing Dr. Gray rush as the engine slowed, to catch all within reach.
Then when in motion again the specimens were brought from all sides to
see what they were. And the preparing and drying went on to the wonder
of some and the interest of all.

His ascent of Gray’s Peak was made a great occasion in the neighborhood.
A large party gathered from Georgetown and Empire City, and started the
afternoon before, after having been most hospitably dined by Judge
McMurdy, in Georgetown; the night was passed in a mining-tavern cabin,
and the ascent, some going on horseback, some on foot, was made the
next morning. Speeches were made on the summit, and resolutions passed
to confirm the names Gray’s and Torrey’s peaks given in 1862 by Dr.
Parry, who was himself happily with the party. The ascent is not as
difficult as in most mountains of that height, as one can ride on
horseback to the top in August, when the snow lies only in patches; the
trail is mostly over the rough shale, and for a month or two the summit,
though over 14,000 feet, is almost bare. The view of the innumerable
peaks is very magnificent.

At Dubuque he was the guest of an old Fairfield comrade. As the retiring
president of the American Association he gave his address,[91] written
mostly in the cars on the long overland journey, in which he explained
still further some of his long-meditated conclusions on the distribution
of the flora of Western North America.


CAMBRIDGE, October, 1872.

MY DEAR CHURCH,--I promised to myself, if I did not to you, that I would
write you from the other side of this continent; but writing and
journeying are incompatible, at least in case where the time for the one
is too short for your undertakings. But now we have been a month at
home, and more; the accumulation of things to be seen to is worked off
or nearly, and I mean now to tell you something of our summer’s doings.

As soon as we were free we set out.... At Chicago we had two nights and
a day in which to see the desolated and fast rebuilding town. From this
place, over a thousand miles west of Boston, we made our proper
start.... A welcome rain cooled the air and laid the dust that morning,
and not a drop more of rain did we see, any more than in Egypt, from
that day onward, until, six or seven weeks later, we were back at the
eastern base of the Rocky Mountains, when there was an evening
thunderstorm, and the next morning I called Mrs. Gray to the window to
see a novel sight,--the streets dripping and muddy! I wish I could
describe to you our journey, and the sort of life we were leading. But
if I go into particulars there will be no end.

At Omaha we were on the Pacific Railroad proper, and soon upon the
plains, at first the larger part cultivated, but barer and drier as we
advanced westward, and ascended imperceptibly; so that the next
twenty-four hours brought us, with some fine views of the range, to the
foot of the Rocky Mountains and a height of 5,000 or 6,000 feet above
the sea; that afternoon over the Black Hills of the Platte, 2,000 or
3,000 feet higher, and the highest elevation of the road,--higher than
the passes through the Rocky Mountains beyond,--and at nightfall we were
traversing the wide grassy Laramie Plains, a vast, sequestered
sub-alpine meadow. And when I rose early next morning, we were running
through a dry desert “sage brush” (wormwood) region (desert, except for
the botanist,--the first plant I saw and clutched proved to be Grayia),
the scanty waters of which run into the Colorado of the West and the
Gulf of California.

Another twenty-four hours, through grand scenery, brought us, after
three nights in our car berths, to Ogden, on Salt Lake, where we took a
branch road and, skirting the lake along the whole eastern shore,
reached Salt Lake City, the Mormon town, before sunset. Here we passed
two nights and a day, and enjoyed scenery worth crossing the ocean for,
and saw something of the strange life of the district.

Back to Ogden; two more nights and days, one long day crossing the
Humboldt desert, rendered passable only by the Humboldt River, which,
though the ragged mountains all run north and south, yet runs from east
to west and marks its course by a narrow line of greenness, and at dusk
we saw its end in the Humboldt sink, a lagoon without outlet on the
western verge of the basin, against the Sierra, the arid side of which
we were ascending all night, to awake among pine forests at sunrise; to
breakfast upon the very summit soon after; to descend through most
striking scenery into the great valley of California, and, traversing
that and the Contra Costa range, to see the head of the Bay of San
Francisco at dusk; to cross the bay in a steam-ferry, and reach our
hotel in San Francisco at ten P.M.,--a journey full of interest, not a
bit monotonous or dull, from first to last. There were fatigues and
small discomforts, of course, but these are all forgotten long ago, and
the whole transit dwells in memory as one continual and delightful piece
of pleasant, novel, ever-varied, and instructive sight-seeing. Of course
the identifying at sight, as we flew by, of flowers new to me in the
living state, and the snatching at halts, and the physical features of
districts which I had always been interested in, and knew much about but
had never seen, all gave me occupation and continual pleasure. But it
was much the same with all the party. Even the return journey was hardly
less interesting....

From Dubuque we took steamer up the Mississippi River, through its
finest scenery up to St. Paul, Minnesota; saw the falls of St. Anthony
and Minnehaha; thence, while the rest of our party essayed Lake
Superior, Mrs. Gray and I returned home by rapid stages.

I have only to-day finished the study and laying into the herbarium of
specimens I gathered and dried, regretting the while that I did not
collect more specimens and many other species, as I might have done.

Tyndall is in Boston, and I trust will be with us next week. I have not
yet seen him, nor Froude, nor even MacDonald, the third lecturing
notability in Boston.


CAMBRIDGE, October 6, 1872.

You delight me by your promise to take up Dionæa and Drosera now, and I
imagine you as now about it. Good! And I am so glad you will take that
opportunity to collect your botanical and quasi-botanical papers. These,
with the Dionæa, etc., will make a nice and most welcome volume.

In answer to your query, I think I can “support the idea,” or the
probability of it, “that tendrils become spiral after clasping an object
from the stimulus from contact running down them.” For though some
“tendrils do become spiral when they have clasped nothing,” others do
not. The adjustment of the unstable equilibrium is more delicate in the
former, so that it starts under some inappreciable cause or stimulus.
That the stimulus may be so propagated downward is clear in the
sensitive plant, where the closing of the leaflets in succession will
follow the closing of the ultimate pair under slight and local
irritation. And in the tendril the coiling below is just a continuation
of the same movement or same change as that which incurved the tip in
clasping, that is, a relative shortening of concave or lengthening of
the convex side of the tendril. Would you not infer that the action was
propagated downward?

So you were astonished at Mrs. Gray’s audacity. Well, “toujours
l’audace;” she is all the better for it. Some horseback work in getting
to and into the Yosemite Valley was severe, but she bore it so well that
I ventured, when we made our detour into the Colorado Rocky Mountains,
to take her up to the summit of Gray’s Peak, 14,300 feet, or
thereabouts, where she acquitted herself nobly. The day was perfect, the
success complete, and the memory of it one of the most delightful of the
many pleasant memories of the whole journey. Our great trip was the
round from San Francisco to Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Valley, entering
over Glacier Point, from which (tell your sons) is a new trail down the
4,000 feet into the valley; made excursions from the valley during
several days, and returned by a long sweep through the little Tuolumne
grove, round foothills to Murphy’s and the Calaveras Grove, and so back
to San Francisco. Afterwards Mrs. Gray and I went to Santa Cruz and up
the San Lorenzo Valley among noble redwoods, rivaling the Sequoia
gigantea. On return we made one stretch to the east base of the Rocky
Mountains, then down to Denver, and up into the mountains, to 8,400
feet, where we had a pleasant week or more (just the climate to give
strength to an invalid), whence I climbed a high mountain or two, among
them Gray’s Peak, the highest, as already mentioned. Thence we came down
to Dubuque and hot weather, on the Mississippi to St. Paul and St.
Anthony, etc., and then home by rail, having been twelve busy weeks

Well, we are longing to do it again, and more! But I am settling down to
my work as well as I may, well content with the summer’s holiday.

December 2, 1872.

Well, it is wonderful, your finding the nervous system of Dionæa!!! Pray
take your time next spring, and do up both Drosera and Dionæa. I will
endeavor next spring to get hold of Drosera filiformis and make the
observations. I will also do better, by sending your note on to Mr.
Canby, who lives near its habitat, and has done something already in
such observations.

As to coiling of tendril. I think your idea is that in the coiling of a
fixed tendril, one coil has its concave side the opposite of the part
that has coiled the other way.

Now take a piece of tape say a span long; black one side, let some one
hold the two ends while you twist in the middle. The two halves are
coiled in opposite directions, just as a tendril which has caught does.
The same color will be on the outside of the coil all the length.

Blacken with a stroke of paint a line along the whole length of a caught
tendril. On straightening it out the black will be all on one side.

I have not had time to follow it up, and need not, since you are sure to
do it. But I think it clear that one and the same side is concave, that
is, the relatively shortened side, the whole length of the caught
tendril. Do not you?

Mrs. Gray is absent while I write, or she would add her best regards and
best wishes to my own for a happy New Year to you all.



MY DEAR PRESIDENT ELIOT,--Will you kindly present the inclosed
communication to the corporation at its next meeting.

I need not say to you that I could not take so serious a step as this
without much consideration, and that I would not do it if I were not
confident that the department which I have served in the university for
almost thirty-one years need not now suffer by my withdrawal. I am
warned also by growing experience of the fact that the needful work
which I could formerly do with ease can now be done only by effort,
followed by exhaustion and other unpleasant effects, which may be
expected to increase; and it is clear that I have left to me, at best,
barely time enough, when rigorously economized, to complete the works
for which I have long been pledged, and without the accomplishment of
which my life will have been largely a failure. The corporation will
perceive that I do not intend to be idle, but to concentrate what
energies remain to me upon the kind of work for which I am best--and
indeed peculiarly--fitted, both by disposition and by more than forty
years of preparation. As this work proceeds, the herbarium of the
university, always requiring attention during its continued increase,
will be put into the condition in which I should leave it, with its
value greatly enhanced. In view of this, and of the fact that the
herbarium forms an important part of the apparatus of instruction here,
I trust the corporation will think it reasonable to allow me the
possession of the house I live in, in recompense of my services as
curator of the herbarium.

I offer my resignation unconditionally, that the corporation may have,
as it should, the whole matter in its hands without embarrassment. If it
be desired to keep my name for the present upon the catalogue, and
especially if the corporation should prefer not to place a permanent
incumbent just yet in the Fisher professorship, I would in that case
take the liberty to suggest that the present very capable and efficient
assistant, Dr. Goodale, be made adjunct professor of vegetable
physiology, with salary assigned from the Fisher professorship. I
remain, dear Mr. President,

Very sincerely yours,

_Messrs. the President and Fellows of Harvard College_:

HONORABLE AND DEAR SIRS,--The time has arrived when I may, as I think
without detriment to the university, retire from the professorship to
which I was appointed in the spring of 1842; and I hereby tender my
resignation of it, to take effect at the close of the present academic
year, when I shall have completed thirty-one years of service.

I trust that I may still be useful to the university; and if agreeable
to the corporation I should like to continue to be Curator of the
Herbarium. With sincere regard, I am your obedient servant,



CAMBRIDGE, January 14, 1873.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--I am much and long in your debt,--all the more by
your agreeable letter of the 16th ult....

Let me note points in your letter. Your volume of “Mélanges,” etc., has
not yet come to hand,--but it is sure to come in time through the
Smithsonian Institution, and will be received with welcome. I will see
to the reproduction of the article on the Dominant Language of the
Twentieth Century,--English of course. I am glad you will make a full
index of the “Prodromus” quoad Genera. I wish it had been species, also!

Glaciers in California! Why, there is a fair remnant of one now, on the
north side of Shasta,--and more in the southern part of the Sierra; and
as to glacial marks, the geologists note them abundantly.

I am glad you saw much of Mr. Adams at Vallon. Madame A. is the more of
a talker, is she not? Or, perhaps she does not speak French. Adams is
vice-president of our American Academy; and is, I hope, presiding this
evening at a meeting which I myself am not well enough to attend. I hope
he will become president, for I mean to retire in May....

Dr. Parry passed last summer in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where
Madame and I visited him, in his cabin; and we ascended Gray’s Peak
together (14,400 feet). Torrey, old as he is, was there later, but did
not get up the twin Torrey’s Peak, though his daughter did surmount
Gray’s Peak....

Now about myself. In what time I can save I am assisting Brewer in the
“Flora of California,” and shall do for him the Monopetalæ, and finish
next summer, if my health does not fail.

Moreover, this is my last year of university work. I finish in July, and
then resign, and give my remaining time to the “Flora of North America.”
Although it is so arranged, it is not yet to be announced. It is
difficult to drop at once the many things I have charge of, and the
vast correspondence all over the country, which has been very useful to
me, and others, but which takes a deal of time. But I am making a fairly
good beginning. Mrs. Gray delights with me in the prospect of release
from many a care, and of devoting myself without distraction to the work
I have always liked best.

I really hope it is not too late to do something (a few lines from you
upon this subject might, _entre nous_, be useful to me).

TO ----.

CAMBRIDGE, May 18, 1873.

... I cannot object to your maintaining the hypothesis that each and
every existing plant and animal form has been directly created (or
mediately created, if you see a difference) out of the soil, pure
hypothesis though it be, and one which “from the nature of the case can
never be directly proved.” It is natural that you should hold to such
hypothesis as long as you believe it to be possibly tenable.

But what I may ask you very seriously to consider is, whether you are
prepared to bear the responsibility you assume in maintaining and
teaching that no hypothesis of the derivation of existing “specific”
forms from previous ones more or less like them can logically be
theistic and religious. How far any such hypothesis may be probable or
tenable in view of the evidence is not the question raised, but a far
more momentous one.

Consider what the “younger men who learn of you” will be likely to think
when they come to discard, as the best informed ones probably will after
a while, your scientific views on this subject; but still, perchance,
confide in your dictum that the doctrine of the derivative origin of one
species from another cannot logically stop short of “blank materialism,
destructive both of science and religion, and even ... to morals and
social organization.”

There will be “a heavy penalty to pay,” but there are two sides to the
question as to who is to pay a part of it. What I said in the last
paragraph of the Dubuque address “we need not here consider”[92] is,
nevertheless, worthy of consideration.

The time is not very distant, I imagine, when those who have protested
against such reckless statements will be thought to have done some
service to religion as well as to science.

I trust that the foundations of theism and of the Christian religion
rest upon firmer foundations than the so-called “immutability of


CAMBRIDGE, June 12, 1873.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--I must be in your eyes a disgracefully negligent
correspondent and an ungrateful friend. I think, however, that I must
have acknowledged the arrival of your volume which I received, I think,
in March,--more likely late in February. The attempt at a perusal of it
was when, on the 12th March, I went on to New York to pay the last
duties to my venerable and good friend and associate, Dr. Torrey. I read
a good part of the volume on the railway journeys, and planned a review
of several of the articles. Then, a month later, I broke away from my
laborious life here, and made a visit to my old friend Professor Henry,
at Washington. I even went as much farther south, to Wilmington, North
Carolina, where I met the spring in all its beauty, a month in advance
of our tardy north. I collected a lot of live Dionæas, etc. I returned
to a great accession of university work, my assistant being obliged to
leave me on the 1st of May.

To return to your volume: I called Professor Henry’s attention to it, as
one which would all through interest him much, if ever he finds time to
read it. He will translate the article on the Language of the Twentieth
Century for his Report, and perhaps others.

At a time when I was already overloaded, the death of dear Torrey has
thrown some cares and extra work upon me. I have to carry through the
press a report of his upon the plants collected in west North America,
in Wilkes’s Expedition, which was drawn up, but never really finished,
twelve years ago, and was called for just during Torrey’s last sickness,
and to his annoyance, which I felt bound to relieve as well as I could.

Then, six weeks or more ago, died my next oldest friend and companion,
Sullivant, making a sad spring and giving me a needed warning to make
haste. He again leaves two unfinished works which I must see to, though
Lesquereux will, I trust, edit them. Of one, indeed, he was to be joint
author. The other, a second volume of the beautiful “Icones Muscorum,”
is ready as to the plates, but not at all so, I learn, for the

For myself, as I think I have already told you, this summer completing
thirty-one years of professorial work in the university, I am relieved
from further duties of instruction,--and of my salary. I shall not
experience the full relief until the very close of summer. For, in the
interest of this department of the university, and to leave it in proper
working condition, I have undertaken a course of what we call university
lectures,--meaning lectures intended the rather for others than members
of the university,--and have opened the botanical laboratory to pupils,
mainly teachers in schools, for the summer.[93] Considerable time must
be given to them, but, after a few weeks, I hope to throw it mainly upon
my assistant, Professor Goodale.

Professor Goodale, under appointment as assistant professor of vegetable
physiology, will take the whole work of instruction in botany off my
hands; but if a former assistant and pupil, Dr. Farlow, now with De
Bary, proves capable of it, as I hope, he will, I trust, take up the
work in systematic botany. His fancy, however, is for Cryptogamia.

Mr. Sereno Watson is the only one here to do work in systematic botany,
but he will not teach. He and I are endeavoring to help out Professor
Brewer in the “Flora of California,” which, to be done at all, must be
pushed through at once. I have promised to do the Gamopetalæ, which come
in the field I am striving to cover for the “Flora of North America.”
That work I hope now to give myself to.

I ought to have taken this step several years ago; but I could not
afford it, and it is only now that I have been able to bring the
department here into the position in which I feel justified in resigning
the care of it. I retain the charge of the herbarium, and I continue my
residence in the house which is connected with it.

Dr. Torrey’s herbarium and library were made over to Columbia College,
and will be kept up, although no professor will be appointed at present.

Mr. Sullivant’s bryological collections and library are to come here.

I send you by mail a copy of my biographical notices of Torrey and
Sullivant; both from “American Academy Council Report of Proceedings,”
and both printed in advance, in “Silliman’s Journal,” where you will see

By the way, I have resigned the chair of the American Academy, after ten
years’ occupation, and it is taken by Mr. Adams, whom you know. The
third class (classical and historical) takes its turn.


CAMBRIDGE, June 30, 1873.

MY DEAR CANBY,--My Dionæas grow finely, and are the delight of my heart.

Drosera longifolia, also cultivated, is almost as good a fly-catcher.

Now and then I see a little exudation inside base of hood of Sarracenia
flava, which answers to what my Southern correspondent pointed out; but
is not very marked....


... I have also seen here that water is secreted in the pitcher of Sarr.
flava before the lid is open.

But I have also seen some time ago, when the weather got rather warm,
very minute globules like finest dew on the erect part of the lid, near
base, inside. And, lately, during the very warm days, I found in some
this increased, and the droplets running together into a clammy
exudation. But I want to see more of it. I shall watch, as I get a
chance, and the weather gets hot. Look at yours. See if there is
anything of the sort in S. purpurea; I think not.

I have not the book yet. But I somehow understand that this exudation on
the lid is mentioned in the English translation of Le Maout and
Decaisne’s “General Treatise of Botany!” The French has it not. Very
likely it has been found out by Darwin, who finds out everything!

... _Conundrum?_ Why does the Dionæa trap close only part way, so as to
cross the bristles of edge only, at first, and afterwards close fully?

Darwin has hit it. I wonder you or I never thought of it.

A. G.


CAMBRIDGE, October 27, 1873.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--If I were a better correspondent, I should have
long ago thanked you for your interesting and welcome letter of August
11, from Samaden. I was in the Engadine when last in Switzerland, and
got near the top of Piz Langarde, when a storm drove me back.

Your announcement leads me to expect soon the new (and alas, last!)
volume of the “Prodromus.” Well, it must give you a huge sense of relief
to have it off your hands; something like the relief I now feel at the
termination, at the close of thirty-one years, of my professorial
duties, upon which you felicitate me. On account of a summer course of
instruction, which I felt bound to initiate for my successor, I did not
really close my labors until the end of July. Since then I have been
able to work at systematic botany very steadily. We took, my wife and I,
a holiday of a fortnight, in which we visited friends on the Hudson
River and its tributaries, at the close of September, just as the
foliage was beginning to display the bright autumnal tints, which this
year have been unusually gorgeous, and have not yet disappeared,
although the leaves are now falling fast. The sight is most enjoyable to
me in the earlier autumn, when the verdure still prevails and makes a
setting for the red, yellow, and russet.

I am now deep in the Compositæ for the “California Flora” of my friend
Brewer, and so am trying Bentham’s work. It generally holds
good,--wonderfully so, considering its extent, and the comparatively
short time he took for it.

Your agreeable volume of “Miscellanies” is now in the hands of your old
friend and my neighbor, Jules Marcou; who asked to borrow it, having
been unable to purchase a copy. It is reported out of print. I think I
sent you a light article I wrote for the “Nation” last summer,--I
believe in June,--in which I gave an abstract of your essay on the
Dominant Language of the Twentieth Century. It has attracted
considerable attention. I see that those who have studied the subject
think that the increase of population in North America is not to go on
at the rate it has been going; that the check is already apparent.

A week or two ago appeared in the “Nation” an article (sent to you last
week by post), in which I had occasion to notice some other parts of
your volume, at considerable length. I have also been tempted to give
some account of your essay on Natural Selection as applied to man; but I
find it would take me too much out of my own line, and absorb time which
I cannot spare. Indeed, I have only looked over that essay, and am not
qualified to abstract, still less to criticise it. The longest article
of the volume, which gives the title, I have not given as much attention
to as I ought, probably, or I should perhaps value it more highly. But
it seems to me that membership in scientific academies--the three you
take not excepted--is so largely affected by circumstance, irrespective
of talent and of the value of work done, that one cannot very
confidently base general conclusions upon the data. Yet I have no great
confidence in my opinion. Anyway, the article is full of interesting

What do you and Dr. Müller say to Bornet’s memoir, on the nature of
lichens? His exposition is so clear that, if he is an honest and good
investigator,--as I cannot well doubt,--his conclusions carry

My sheet fills, and leaves now barely room for Mrs. Gray’s messages of
kindest remembrances to yourself and to Madame De Candolle, in which I
beg to join. Long may you flourish, and much good work yet do. For one
thing, pray print the list of botanical names!

Ever yours,

November 26.

... I am going this morning to witness the nuptials of my colleague and
friend Professor Sargent and a charming young lady of Boston; and, on
the chance of their having a day in Geneva, I wish to introduce the
happy couple to you and Madame De Candolle. They will tell you much of
me, and of the satisfying and I trust useful sort of life I an now
leading. Some evidence of renewed botanical activity in the form of a
couple of botanical papers just issued here, too bulky to send well by
post, I will cause to reach you by way of Paris.

Professor Sargent is given to horticulture and arboriculture. He not
only takes charge of the university Botanic Garden, but also of a recent
and noble foundation for an arboretum, from which much may in due time
be expected.

It is most pleasant and hopeful when, as in the present instance, a
young man of means and best social position chooses to devote his time
and energies to practical scientific ends, rather than to business or
pleasure. You are more accustomed to that at Geneva than we are here in

I know that, before this can reach you, I shall have occasion to write
to you, and to announce the reception of the last volume of the
“Prodromus,” now on the way to me. So I have only to add that I am

Very sincerely yours,


May 12, 1874.

... I sent to Hooker to forward to you two articles in the “Nation,” on
Insectivorous Plants, written to reclaim your work from Bennett, who
began to appropriate it, etc., etc.

It is already leading to discovery. A physician in Carolina, a good
observer, already writes me that in S. variolaris, the best of
Sarracenias, he thinks he finds the watery liquid anæsthetic (??) and
the sweet secretion not. But he says there is a line of sweet, a trail,
running from the sweet rim down the edge of the wing outside nearly to
the ground, which lures up ants (with which Wyman tells me the pitchers
are crowded), just like the train of Indian corn which hunters scatter
along the ground to lure wild turkeys into the trap! Does not that beat

Also my articles here resulted in the discovery related in the paper
inclosed. The take-off of Thomson’s germs from another planet is good.

June 16.

... The gratification I feel in learning (by yours of the 3d) that you
are pleased must, I am sure, exceed any satisfaction of yours in regard
to my subdued and quiet article in “Nature.”[94] Lockyer, to my great
surprise, applied to me for it, and of course I could not refuse. I
think it will generally be regarded by scientific people as just and

Odd that you should not have recognized my hand from the first in the
“Insectivorous Plants,” written, in fact, to vindicate your rights. The
papers called forth a second hoax, as elaborate as the first, and much
better done. I have no idea who wrote them.

You must, meanwhile, have received the article in the “Nation,”
reviewing Dr. Hodge’s “What is Darwinism?” You see what uphill work I
have in making a theist of you, “of good and respectable standing.”

Do hurry up the book about Drosera, etc. My plants of Sarracenia
variolaris, having lost their spring growth in transmission, have not
yet made any that is satisfactory. So I begged Dr. Mellichamp, who had
sent me leaves with gorge sanded over at the sweet-secretion part, to
send some for the trail. He wrote me it was too late in the season; they
were all drying up. But this morning, with the inclosed postal card,
came several with the sand sticking fairly well to the glutinous line,
and I send you one of them. I wish I could send you Mellichamp’s long
letters, about the two sorts of larvæ, that appropriate, one the upper,
one the lower part of the pitcher.

My wife (who sends her love to you and yours) is much amused by your
backgammon reminiscence. For the year past we have a way of getting on
most peacefully. I sit by her side and play solitaire with two packs of
cards, she looks on and helps, and when we don’t succeed there is nobody
to “flare up” against but luck.

Ever yours,

P. S.--I think I never sent you my felicitations upon your election as
Foreign Honorary Member of American Academy Arts and Sciences.

We are proud to number you among the seventy-five (too many). And, I may
tell you, only two negative votes were cast, one by an Academician who
made a speech on the occasion, to which nobody vouchsafed a word of

A. G.

CAMBRIDGE, June 19, 1874.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--Your second letter reached me last evening, and this
morning came from the publishers some copies of the number of “Nature.”
You seem as pleased and are as ingenuous as a maiden when she first
finds out that she has an admirer!

Now I am a little vexed, as I am apt to be when I let anything be
printed without reading the proof myself. Some one has doctored one
sentence, and made it say the contrary to what I wrote, and to what is
true; I make the reclamation on a separate sheet: and also another,
which may be typographical, but which I am confident I could not have
written; I surely wrote “_to_ many,” not “_in_ many.”

My claim for you about teleology I have made several times, in
“Silliman’s Journal,”[95] and elsewhere. It is a matter on which I have
a good deal insisted.

Yours affectionately,

P. S.--My _point_ (which is _blunted_) was to show how very near Brown
came to “hitting the nail on the head” without hitting it, striking wild

A. G.


July 6, 1874.

I am glad if you have Darlingtonia in a state to examine. I have some
young leaves growing, which show nothing yet. Mellichamp will send me a
paper, which I will read at Hartford next month. Won’t you post up
Darlingtonia also--getting what you can from Lemmon. He has not written
to me about it. My young fish-tails show no exudation yet; and they are
colored like the rest of the leaf.

Ever yours,

BOTANIC GARDEN, July 8, 1874.

DEAR CANBY,--Yours of 7th instant received. I thought you had live
Darlingtonia. Of ours the old plant has died after starting three new
offsets. But the growing leaves are small. If it goes on I may do
something. Thus far I have detected no water in the tubes, nor any
sticky secretion. But I shall slit one soon. Make notes for Hartford.

You have not guessed the conundrum, though you have made a step in
distinguishing the two different movements. I’ll tell you. It is to
strain out the small flies. Do you take? Or want details? I send you
Darwin’s late letters,--one came this evening. We have lost all those

Can we get any from Wilmington now? Are there any near Dr. Mellichamp?
You may forward Darwin’s last letter to him and set him to
observing,--collecting and preserving leaves with insects stuck fast,
and margin turned over. See if ours turn over the edge!

How does D. find out they digest?

July 14.

When Dionæa is irritated by a small fly, he has plenty of time to escape
through the meshes, and the leaf soon opens, ready for better luck next
time. Think what a waste if the leaf had to go through all the process
of secretion, etc., taking so much time, all for a little gnat. It would
not pay. Yet it would have to do it except for this arrangement to let
the little flies escape. But when a bigger one is caught he is sure for
a good dinner.

That is real Darwin. I just wonder you and never thought of it. But _he_

Pretty good,--the solar protector! So Fendler is near you. Remember me
to the good fellow.

I wish he had let Cosmical Science alone! But now he never will, and is
a gone goose.

Ever yours,

Dr. Gray, being sent away for a cough, made a journey to Apalachicola,
Florida, going by Washington, Augusta and Tallahassee, of which and his
successful search for Torreya he wrote a lively account for the
“American Agriculturist,” republished in his “Scientific Papers,”
selected by C. S. Sargent.

He was especially interested in seeing Torreya, a fine tree named for
his friend Dr. Torrey, which is only known in one or two localities in
Florida, on the banks of the Apalachicola River; and with some trouble
he found it growing, and had the satisfaction of hoping that it was
valued enough to be preserved. There is a second Torreya growing in
Japan, a third Torreya in California, and a fourth in China. “But,” as
Dr. Gray says, “any species of very restricted range may be said to hold
its existence by a precarious tenure. The known range of this species is
not more than a dozen miles in length along these bluffs, although Dr.
Chapman has heard of its growing farther south, where the bluff trends
away from the river.”

He went to Stone Mountain in Georgia, a curiously bare, immense mass of
stone, one side too steep to climb, but having in clefts some rare
plants growing. From Chattanooga he made an excursion up Lookout
Mountain, interesting from its reminiscences of “Sherman’s March,” and
also the habitat of some rare plants he was so fortunate as to find.


BOTANIC GARDEN, March 13, 1875.

MY DEAR CANBY,--I do not get on, and shall not in this melting snow and
bad season.

I yield to advice, and Mrs. Gray and I are going South,--I do not know
where, but somewhere, taking my vacation now instead of in summer. I
want to find now--and reach comfortably--what we have here at the first
of June.

You know somewhat of the South; I think I should like best to get to
Apalachicola and St. John’s River and see Torreya. But it seems far off.

I want to recruit, and to be good for something, which at present I am

WASHINGTON, April 25, 1875.

MY DEAR CANBY,--Well, we have got back again, so far; and here, I think,
we shall stick for a few days. Had we anticipated so much cold and
backwardness, we should have stayed south longer.

Apalachicola was heavenly. But at Macon, coming north, we struck the
cold wave; came on by Atlanta (Stone Mountain), Chattanooga (roots of
Silene rotundifolia), and thence via Lynchburg straight here. I found
Torreya, and had a good time with it. Lots of detail to tell you....

I am lazy in traveling, or I would have written you. Then I have been
pretty busy, too, and have done several hard days’ work, causing much
but healthy fatigue.


We are at home, with delightful memories of you and yours.

I think I hinted to you that I found two Crassulaceæ on Stone Mountain,
both annual.

One, most abundant on the lower slopes, is glaucous-green, and has
bright white flowers. The pods show it to be a true Sedum. I send a
small specimen. Note the blunt pods and short style. This--as shown by a
bit of fruit in my herbarium--is Sedum pusillum, Michx.!

The other is dull purple in general hue, smaller, grows only well up the
mountain, abounds in a small form on the very top, and is rather later;
but I make out the dehiscence, and it is Diamorpha pusilla, Nutt.!

The specimens you sent to me are this, larger and later than any I got.
But, as you directed me to the base of the mountain for Diamorpha, you
must have got this too. Your specimens have full-grown fruit. Look at
them and see if the larger ones have not the regular dehiscence down the
side of Sedum, and let me know.

May 12, 1875.

Thanks for your letter and the Sedum.

Now for another find. The moment I set eyes on the Arenaria of Stone
Mountain, I said, Ho! here is A. brevifolia, Nuttall, of which I had
only a single stalk in herbarium. Comparing now, I was right, and
Nuttall says his specimen is from Tatnall County (which is strange, that
being in southeast Georgia). The question remains, Is it only a
low-country form of Arenaria glabra?

Your specimen--with fruit--and M. A. Curtis’s[96] from the mountains of
Carolina, being in the same state, compare pretty well. I should unite
them, only the seeds are different, Stone Mountain plant half the size,
and shape rather different. But please rattle me out some real ripe
seeds of your plant, for further comparison.

At Stone Mountain I looked rather for small specimens to match with A.
brevifolia. I send you a bit.

I have sent the Sedum and Diamorpha yesterday to Paris, to compare and
see if both are in Herbarium Michaux.

I am proud of my little discovery!

Ever yours,


CAMBRIDGE, June 22, 1875.

I must indulge, on its rising, the impulse to communicate with you,
which a letter from Miss P. to my wife, just received, has awakened.

If I go on as I have been going, we shall come to know nothing of each

She will have told you of our loss in the death of Mrs. Loring. I never
knew a woman fuller of charity, humility, and good works.

If there were time for a gossiping letter I or Mrs. Gray would give you
some account of a trip which we made to Florida this spring. An annoying
cough, and a chronic catarrh,--the consequence of a trying winter,
acting upon old susceptibilities,--distressed my friends more than it
did me. So, yielding to their solicitations, off we went, about the
middle of March, to Washington, visiting old friends; to Augusta and
Savannah, Georgia; and thence Apalachicola, a now almost deserted, but
once flourishing town, on the Gulf of Mexico. We met the spring in
Georgia; in Florida we were in early summer, about like our own middle

The botanizing was delicious, very many nice things which I had never
seen growing before; our quarters comfortable, and the fare
exceptionally excellent. East Florida, which has large hotels, was full
of invalids and pleasure travelers, making a crowd not to our liking. I
had special botanical objects leading me to west Florida, an
out-of-the-world region, where we had everything to ourselves. We were
late for the oranges, gleaning the last half dozen from the trees of our
friends. My throat is so sensitive that I dare say we shall need to go
again next March, and earlier than before. So, if you will arrange to
join us, I can promise you a pleasant time, and a real rest.

October 11, 1875.

What a capital article it is which your friend Lord Blachford has
published in the “Contemporary” for September, on Huxley’s Automata

It is long since I have read anything which pleased me more.

Do you know who is P. C. W., in Article 6, of the same number? He makes
one suggestion of some value, that I some day want to follow up.

I am grinding away at my work in the usual manner. We are just in the
glory of the glowing autumnal foliage, and making ready for winter. If
health holds out, here we expect to remain, at least till spring....


BOTANIC GARDEN, July 1, 1875.

DEAR MR. WRIGHT,--Thanks for your letter. It may be that the time has
come in which a collection of my popular articles on Darwinism, etc.,
would be useful.[98] Your thinking so would go far to make me believe
it. But then, you are one of the moderate number of people who have
carefully read them, and one of the few who well understand and
appreciate them,--because you have given the subject an attentive
consideration,--and who are awake to the harm that comes from
theologians and ministers denouncing a view that scientific men are more
and more receiving as probably true. I should like to know how Professor
Park regards the proposition.

I will say that while I am not unwilling to collect them for reprinting,
in case they are called for, it would not quite do for me, in the
position I occupy (I mean as a man of science), to republish them in a
collected form, without entering anew and further into some of the
pending questions; to do which would seriously interrupt the legitimate
work which I have in hand, and to which I am deeply pledged. I suppose I
could add, and should be disposed to add, a note or two,--especially one
upon teleology from a Darwinian point of view,--a subject upon which
there is something still to be said, though I do not see the way to say
it conclusively. You will probably do it better than I ever can.

At present, I think I should let them alone, unless there comes what you
ministers recognize as a call for them, and such a call I should defer

If such as Professor Park and yourself were to ask it, I would see if a
publisher could be got to take them up. But you don’t know how I dislike
to have my name bruited about.

Dr. Peabody was very glad of the relief you gave him on Sunday week, and
like myself was greatly pleased with your thoughtful discourse.

August 14, 1875.

... The important thing to do, is to develop aright evolutionary
teleology, and to present the argument for design from these exquisite
adaptations in such a way as to make it tell on both sides; with
Christian men, that they may be satisfied with, and perchance may learn
to admire, Divine works effected step by step, if need be, in a system
of nature; and the antitheistic people, to show that without the
implication of a superintending wisdom nothing is made out, and nothing

Now for a month or two, I am pressed by daily technical work to the
extreme, and get no chance to turn these matters over in my mind.

I don’t want to handle this argument in such a way that it can be
gainsaid, nor without touching the very point. May I ask you to help me?
You see how the question stands. How shall we best handle it?...

September 14, 1875.

... I have been crowded and much absorbed with my part of the California
botany; get put back, by new collections, and have had the printer on my
heels, which is not pleasant.

I have to drive with all my might, and am not yet clear, though I trust
the worst is past. I get so fagged that when I sit down to Darwin’s
“Insectivorous Plants,” by way of relaxation, of an evening, I fall
asleep over it. And so have not finished that book yet, as it cannot be
read with the eyes shut. I put off thought of all but my daily work till
my task is done.

I thought I might have got up to see you, but I cannot now.

I see in the last “Nation” an article, which was evidently to have been
continued, by Chauncey Wright, in which he points out clearly the
essential difference between Darwinism, which is scientific, and
Spencerism, which is “philosophical.” Save the mark!

Poor Wright,--your namesake--died suddenly of apoplexy, Sunday morning.
He was a stanch Millite, and very acute and clear-headed.

September 15.

... A minister out in Illinois has written me, taking me seriously to
task for altering my opinion after the age of forty-five, and for
abetting disorder, by supporting theories that disturb the harmony of
opinion that ought to prevail among scientific men.

He is one of those people who think that if you shut your eyes hard, it
will answer every purpose; indeed, from the ease with which he confutes
Darwinism, I suppose he finds no call even to shut his eyes.

November 10.

... Species, as I have said (in “Silliman’s Journal” articles) are not
facts or things, but judgments, and, of course, fallible judgments; how
fallible the working naturalist knows and feels more than any one else.

That the pages of a Flora or Fauna should give the idea of fixity and
clear limitation which does not well or wholly represent the reality, is
natural enough; is, indeed, inevitable. The object in these works is to
set forth the differences, and put them in the strongest and clearest
light, so that the forms may be readily discriminated. The nearer two
forms are alike, the more pains the naturalist takes to set forth the
differences, while the likeness “goes without saying,” and is therefore
overlooked by the outsider, though it may have been almost an even
chance that the describer merged the two in one.

The thoughtful and experienced naturalist does not get a wrong
impression from all this, but the outsider almost certainly will.

A. G.

January 14, 1876.

DEAR MR. WRIGHT,--Thanks for your line of the 8th.

By this week’s “Nation,”[99] you see that, long as the talk is, I have
not yet touched the critical question, nor have I yet got an opportunity
to apply myself to it. But I hope to do so soon.

Meanwhile, the number of the “Westminster Review,” which you called my
attention to, has passed through my hands in our book club, and I shall
soon have it in my hands again. It makes a very strong presentation, and
the question is, how its points are to be met on purely scientific
grounds. If I can meet them fairly, and reëstablish the evidence of
design on the basis it ought to stand upon, I shall be satisfied and
happy. Anyway, it is a help to me to have this able presentation brought
before me....

May 21.

...I have here and there seen references to St. Augustine as maintaining
views of indirect creation, such as now would be termed, or might be
termed, evolutionary. Can you conveniently put me in the way of
understanding his ideas? It is matter for you to work up in your article
on Calvinism and Evolution....

December 20.

... Do you see No. 1 of the new agnostic weekly, “Evolution,” and its
review of “Darwiniana”? It insists that such a world as ours is too full
of imperfections to have had any intellectual originator....


July 1, 1876.

DEAR REDFIELD,--I doubt if you know that the late John Stuart Mill, the
philosopher, was a keen botanist. His herbarium, rich in European plants
and with a good many Indian, etc. (small specimens from Royle, etc.),
was given by his stepdaughter to Kew. But Hooker asked leave, after
taking a certain amount, to present the rest to me, with leave to choose
where all I did not care to have incorporated in the herbarium here
should go to. I think it should go to a public herbarium, and as I think
the Academy’s is not supplied well with European species of at all
recent date, or recent collecting, perhaps it should go to you....


June 11, 1876.

... To get my train yesterday I had to leave the house at one. Dom Pedro
till sixteen minutes of that, with Eliot, A. Agassiz, and two
Brazilians. They came to the house, the door being open, and I received
them in the library.... Sargent was with me to take him off my hands
when I had to go. We treated him as we should any gentleman, though I
believe I once addressed him as Your Majesty when flourishing the
poison-bottle under his nose. He is a large, square-built, good-looking
man of about my age, I think. Never did I have more questions to answer
in ten minutes, nor questions more direct and to the point. Taken into
the herbarium, he recognized what it was, complimented me by saying that
my name was a well-known one (I suppose Agassiz had put him up to that),
and I returned by saying that, in at least one case, we were members of
the same botanical society.

“How many species of plants have you specimens of?” About 65,000.

“How do you arrange them?” Cases opened, and I began to show him.

“Please let me see some plant.”

I pulled out the genus cover first at hand, which happened to be
European Saxifrages; opened. He took up a sheet.

“Saxifraga irrigua, European. I do not want to see plants of Europe. Let
me see an American plant.”

I took another cover and showed Saxifraga peltata of California.

“Have you Sage-brush?” Yes.

“Let me see Sage-brush.”

I took him across the room to the Artemisias, and showed him, first, the
one he saw so much of en route to California; second, the northern one
to which Lewis and Clark gave the name at first.

“How do you prevent insects from destroying them?” They are all

“What do you poison with?” Corrosive sublimate dissolved in alcohol.

“How do you use it?”

Here I ran off and brought back the poison-bottle, and applied the
liquid to a specimen under the imperial nose.

I then ran off to set down the bottle in a safe place on the middle
table, when he followed me up and asked:

“How strong do you make the solution?”

I gave him the answer as well as I could, when he turned to one of his

“Please write that down.”

And it was done accordingly. In the library I had displayed, enough to
attract the eye, the bound volumes of “Flora Brasiliensis,” which he
glanced at, and asked:--

“Have you the work on the botany of the vicinity of Rio Janeiro?”

I answered, Yes, thanks to Mr. Agassiz,--to whom the emperor had given

But he seemed uneasy until he saw it, and I put two of the folio volumes
into his hands, which seemed to satisfy him.

Then, as he was passing on to the lecture-room, I slipped off. At head
of Common, in Boston, I met C., who told me Dom Pedro was down at his
museum at 7½ A.M. C. was not going to Hunnewell’s....

I amused them with the account of the conversation with the emperor.

The rhododendrons, and azaleas too, most splendid. Nothing like it at
Philadelphia. The best as well as the most he ever had....


August 3, 1876.

It is very good of you to write to me. I was about to drop you a line by
the next post, when yours of the 21st came in.

My special object was to tell you that I have just had addressed to you,
through the New York publishers, a little book, made up of scattered
papers on Darwinian topics, which some of my friends thought it might be
useful to collect. I somewhat mistrust their judgment, but have yielded
to their request. There is nothing new in the volume, except a short
essay on the hypothetical duration of species, and a rather long one at
the end, upon teleology as affected by evolution, which I should be glad
to have you read, and should like to know whether you think it hits the

I have no idea who P. C. W. and the Westminster Reviewer may be, but I
suspect they are one and the same. If you should know, please inform
me.... Yes, it has been warm enough, and it was unceasingly so for
twelve days. Mrs. Gray rushed to the seashore at Beverly; but I mainly
stayed at home, kept out of the sun all I could, and rather enjoyed the
heat than otherwise. But at the end I broke down; came all at once upon
the novel sensation of being an old man. And so we hastened up and
concluded an arrangement which had been left loosely and vaguely under
consideration, viz., to revisit for myself, and to introduce Mrs. Gray
to, the higher Alleghanies in Virginia, Carolina, and Tennessee, where I
used to roam and botanize more than thirty years ago. We expect to set
out in two or three weeks. It is not Switzerland, but it is a region of
mountains, dells, and rills, and forests, which I have been longing to
revisit. Oh, that you could be with us! Two botanists will join us at
Philadelphia, and perhaps a third.

Among the very few copies of my “Darwiniana” which I have sent to
England is one to the editor of the “Spectator,” whose ideas fit in with
mine well, as I judge from reading the paper regularly. Do you know him?
He is a very broad churchman.

I am just beginning to print a portion of my new “Flora of North
America.” There can be no going to Europe for me till this volume or
half volume is off my hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray enjoyed greatly the journey through the North Carolina
mountains, and the traveling and accommodations were almost as rough as
in the journeys thirty-three and thirty-five years before. The people,
still cut off from the lower lands by roads that were mostly only used
for horses, and where one traveled sometimes two or three days without
meeting a wheeled vehicle, were very plain and primitive in their ways,
and one had to depend at times on their hospitality for accommodations.
But the scenery is striking and beautiful, and the forest unsurpassed
for the magnificence of its grand trees, rich in variety and beauty. The
party went first to New River Springs, then to the French Broad Hot
Springs, and round by a rough journey to Asheville, then far away from
railroads, where they were joined by Dr. and Mrs. Engelmann, and
continued through the mountains to Cesar’s Head, whence they made their
way by railroad through South Carolina and Georgia to Jonesboro; from
Jonesboro going up Roan Mountain, a camping-out excursion.


December 5, 1876.

... Curious that one species should take pains to close fertilize some
flowers, the other to cross all....

Now I want to beg of you to consider about a name for this kind of
thing, on which, as a good judge, you could consult Bentham, or indeed,
Hooker, if he can give it attention.

This matter will need to come into generic or specific characters, and
therefore wants a terse and unambiguous mode of expression in a single

My old expression thirty or so years ago, “diœciodimorphous,” you
reasonably objected to, implying separation of sexes (which, though, it
need not do).

Yours of “dimorphous” should be, as the lawyers say, void for vagueness,
there being plenty of other kinds of dimorphism in flowers.

Hildebrand’s, of “heterostylous,” the difference being in other things
as well as style, and, I think, possible sometimes not in the style. The
term will not work well in characters, whether in Latin or English. I
have proposed, accordingly, in a little article not yet published, to
use the term “heterogone,” in other form “heterogonous,” in Latin
“Flores heterogoni,” with the counterpart “homogone,” “homogonous,”
“Flores homogoni.”

This means, you see, explicitly, diverse genitalia, and the [Greek:
gonê] is used as in the common botanical term “perigonium.”


February 5, 1877.

Your friend Lord Blachford is an unrivaled expositor. I have just been
reading, with extreme satisfaction, his article on the Reality of Duty.
That naturally brought you to mind, and I vowed I would no longer be so
negligent, but would acknowledge and thank you for your letter of August
last, and for Professor Mozley’s sermons. They are excellent indeed, and
it is saddening to have a man of such insight laid aside by illness, of
a sort which probably does not diminish his desire, but destroys his
power, to work....

I think Mrs. Gray has given some account of our summer vacation. I long
to revisit those mountains when the Rhododendrons and Kalmias are in
bloom, and to have your company.

We are just home, Mrs. Gray and I, from a fortnight with our friends at
Washington,--a pleasant holiday, which of late I have always had at this
season, the time of the annual meeting of the regents of the Smithsonian
Institution, of which I am one of the lay (i. e., non-congressional)
members. It makes a break in the monotony of our winter, which is far
milder there than in New England, and the society at Washington is very
pleasant. More and more men of mark, and intelligence, and cultivation
reside there, at least for the winter months. We left on the day when
the contested electoral count began, under the arrangement so happily
and hopefully adopted. There is no excitement, and, outside of
partisanship, little care which way it is determined, but much that it
shall be legitimately determined by evidence, argument, and a decisive

I am deep in routine botanical work, and with a printer not far behind
me, I can think of little else.


CAMBRIDGE, April 6, 1877.

DEAR MR. WRIGHT,--What can I ever have said or written which President
Fairchild takes to mean that I have the preposterous idea that “changes
of environment take place in distinct and definite lines”! He may well
ask if “this is not contrary to all evidence.” Even the conception that
variation takes place in definite, or at least not in indefinite, lines
is an idea which is rather thrown out as tenable, and as inferable from
a good many facts, than as anything to swear by. I think so, yet, I am
sorry to say, it is no part of Darwinism, pure and simple.

Now, in my turn, what does President F. mean by his “mere fact” “species
exist”? That seems to me no fact at all, but an inference. Individuals
exist; species are inferred from the relations the individuals are
observed to sustain to each other. That species are distinct, in the
sense of none blending, is what working naturalists would like to have
somebody settle for them in many a troublesome case. That they always
have been as much so as they are now is the question under

May 24.

... Now we can’t go to see you, sorry to say. The reason is, that I am
working against time. Hooker is coming over, and we are going in summer
to the Rocky Mountains together, according to an old promise of mine. To
do it I ought to complete the printing of the part of my “Flora” which I
am upon, else I shall suffer in various ways, and there is great danger
that I fail.

... Do you notice--I know it will please you--how Kingsley caught at my
essay, which was reprinted in England long ago; see his memoirs.


I would say to President Fairchild something like this:

Where only one individual out of a thousand or a million can survive to
maturity and propagation, clearly only the very best adapted to the
environment will so survive; and in somewhat different environments,
only those best adapted respectively to the two, three, or more
different environments. The intermediates, i. e., those least
particularly adapted to the two or three different emergencies, surely
have least chance.

Now our species of plants and animals are the comparatively few
surviving lines of a great number of lines which have come down through
long and various periods of great tribulation, in the literal sense of
the word; they have been ground over and over, first on this trial, then
on that, leaving, as it seems to me, no chance of the survival, side by
side, of all sorts and shades of intermediate forms. Hence, under this,
and the general law of heredity, the practical distinction of species
and genera appears to be a natural result.

That low, and even the lowest, forms of life should survive and abound
all down the ages, and be the most widely diffused over the earth, seems
also the most natural result, being simple adaptations to simplest
conditions of air and water, so nearly the same the world over. These
are still far most numerous in individuals, and have, so to say, the
surest hold on life. When we think of the vast void below which the
“improvement” out of their sphere of these would leave, and the
increased risks which complicated structure (in machines or beings) has
to run, we shall not wonder that the simple still numerically


CAMBRIDGE, June 10, 1877.

MY DEAR MR. DARWIN,--Except when you are to be aided in your work I
decline to give letters of introduction to you, knowing how you are
occupied and how infirm your health at any time may be. So please take
this note to mean just this. The happy couple who bear it would be
delighted to call some day, if you say so, and pay their respects to
you, and I will tell you why I am disposed to promote their wishes.

Mr. Burgess[100] was a favorite pupil of mine, and is a young naturalist
of much promise; not in my department, however, but in entomology. He
takes particularly to the anatomy of insects, draws capitally, and shows
talent for research, which we trust will bring forth good fruit. I
cannot blame him if his modesty and caution have kept him back from
publication as yet, but he has time before him, and even a sight of you
will be a stimulus to his ambition as well as something to remember in
after years. I need not say that he takes to Evolution; all young
naturalists of any good do. He has just married the daughter of my dear
old friend, the late Mr. Sullivant, who did for muscology in this
country more than one man is likely ever to do again. The young lady is
very dear to your good friend Mrs. Gray and to me; and, as you have more
than once made a remark complimentary to American ladies, and as you
are such an excellent judge, I must even give you the opportunity of
extending your range of instances.

But please do not give our young friends the opportunity of calling upon
you, unless it quite suits you.

By the time this reaches you, Dr. Hooker will be on the way to us, we
expect, and we are looking to have a great run together over the Rocky
Mountains, and perhaps across the Continent. Wherever we may be, you may
believe me,

Always yours cordially,


CAMBRIDGE, June 4, 1877.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE: ... I meant to have a good portion of my
“Synoptical Flora of North America” to send you this summer; but it will
not be quite ready at the time I expected, and I am now likely not to
have this summer for writing, but rather for observation over a
considerable range of country. Dr. Hooker, it seems now almost certain,
is coming over in a month from now. Dr. Hayden has invited him and me to
join his expedition of exploration this year, or rather to make a survey
of much of his ground in the Rocky Mountains; and it is possible we may
even reach California. I am rather old for this work, but judging from
last year, I may well endure and enjoy it. Would that you could join us!

We are in essential accord as to subgenus and its nomenclature. Your
letter to Cogniaux discusses and decides--as I had done for myself--the
questions propounded. You will see I follow it out consistently in my
part of botany of California, while Watson was at sea in his, and would
hardly be convinced by my arguments. But he tells me he is convinced by

October 19.

... Our journey of ten and a half weeks, with Hooker, was a most
enjoyable one, every way prosperous, but laborious. Colorado to the
borders of New Mexico, a little of Utah and the Wahsatch mountains, and
extensive traveling in California, as far south as Monterey, and north
to Mt. Shasta. On return, I had Hooker’s copious collections to name up.
I made only small and special collections, and most busy we were kept
till, on the 6th inst., I put Hooker on the steamer, which, as telegraph
tells us, only yesterday reached Queenstown, so he will be landing at
Liverpool to-day,--a full fortnight from Boston to London. I am now busy
enough with bringing up arrears of correspondence and affairs, and
studying some collections which will not wait. Only by the end of this
month shall I get to resume my regular, but long, interrupted work. Mrs.
Gray accompanied us, and enjoyed it much, enduring well the occasional
camp life and such hardship as there was. You should come over, and we
will repeat the journey, but only three years hence. Much as I should
enjoy it, I cannot spare the time sooner.

I found myself quite equal to younger people in mountain climbing....


CAMBRIDGE, July 4, 1877.

DEAR OLD E.,--Never mind if you are seventy; Hooker is sixty, and I am
between, and we are lively yet.

Perhaps we young fellows may knock about rather faster than you like,
wanting to do much in a little time. But then, you need not do so much
in Colorado as we; take the easy part.... I shall be sorry if you fail

We must twine in Cuscuta, as we twine in the rest of the book. For real
accuracy we must finally come to the terms I propose, entropic and
antitropic. We can’t get watch-hands into a good form for the
description of order, genus, etc.

Be sure I’ll keep you posted. Should like to go to Iron Mountain.

TO PUEBLO, July 21, 1877.

... If this flowering Euphorbia is the one you asked for I have made
good specimens. The round-leaved one is on the hills, and is not yet
out; is not the one, I am sure.

We had yesterday a good day (with Brandegee)[101] at the Arkansas Cañon;
it is grand, surely.

To-day Hooker and the Stracheys drive across and down Wet Mountain
Valley to La Veta (two long days), while we, Mrs. Gray, Dr. Hayden, and
I, return by railroad to Pueblo, and thence to La Veta, by sunset
to-day. To-morrow up to a camp on La Veta Pass of Sangre de Christo
Mountains, which Captain Stevenson is preparing.

Our English friends begin already to feel in a hurry, and for a wonder I
am the hold-back member of the party....

SALT LAKE, August 8.

I have yours of the 30th July, and I return inclosure. Write hereafter
to the Palace Hotel, San Francisco.

I trust, and expect, that the strike days are over, and that you will
severely punish the ringleaders.[102] Glad you have had nice weather;
but you have no air like that of Colorado and Utah....

Well, much as we miss and want you, yet we should have hurried you too
much. We want to go over a good deal of ground cursorily, rather than a
little thoroughly and leisurely.

I do not write you about the oaks at Cañon City, because we had nothing
new to say. We agree with you in the complete running together of the
oaks down to Undulata. There is one very large-leaved state, looking
very different; but it is mostly on fast-growing shoots, and no doubt is
a state of the “Q. alba, var.” of Torrey. “Alba” indeed! But we did not
find the entire-leaved form at the cañon, and Brandegee said it occurred
only at the mouth of the cañon, and near the city.

From Cañon City we--Mrs. Gray, Hayden, and I--went in one day south to
La Veta by rail, and the next day, toward evening, up to La Veta Pass,
10,300 feet, and over and 300 feet or so lower, where we camped, nice
tents having been provided by Fort Lyon en route, and other furnishings
from Fort Garland. Abies concolor abounded, though there was more of A.
Menziesii (Picea pungens) and Pinus contorta, and a good amount of P.
aristata and P. flexilis. The A. Menziesii at that elevation is less
prickly, sometimes almost as soft as A. Douglasii to the touch, and
cones inclined to be shorter. The result is, we think we can trace A.
Engelmanni into A. Menziesii. What say you to that?

Botanizing up there and in Sangre de Christo Pass good, but only
moderate; nothing new, and no great variety. We enjoyed camp life very
well; but after three days broke up, and went over to Fort Garland, and
thence, while the ladies and General Strachey went off to a Mexican
village, we had a two days’ trip up the Sierra Blanca. Alpine plants the
same as on Gray’s Peak, but scanty, owing to more southern latitude and
greater dryness. A longer time and a searching of the interior of this
very rough range might, and doubtless would, furnish much we did not

Returning from Fort Garland to the railroad, we went back to Colorado
Springs and drove up to Manitou. Next day, we went up Ute
Pass--nothing--and looked about. Next day, to Garden of the Gods, to
General Palmer’s to early dinner, and thence to railroad and to Denver.
Next day, Denver. Next by railroad through Clear Creek Cañon and to
Georgetown, or within a mile, and thence up to Kelso’s Cabin, now a
well-kept house, to sleep. Next day, Gray’s Peak, and I crossed over to
the top of Torrey’s. Next day, after morning botanizing, came down to
Georgetown and visited Empire City and the Pecks. Next day, Sunday, a
restful morning, and then by rail back to Denver in the afternoon and
evening. Monday, off at half past seven to Cheyenne, and after dinner
took railroad to Ogden, and came up here last evening. To-day, a broken
day, sight-seeing, etc. To-morrow, we, or some of us, are going south to
American Fork Cañon; up that and over the pass into Cottonwood Cañon;
down that, and back here, in time to go on that afternoon to Ogden and
thence west to Reno, thence Virginia City, Carson, etc., and the Groves,
Yosemite, etc. We shall see, and I will let you know.

Mrs. Gray is out with the party, to see things, and Brigham Young. _I
will not._ She would be sending love to Mrs. Engelmann and you, if here.
She is very well, and enjoying this travel hugely. I am strong, and ever


YOSEMITE, CAL., August 21, 1877.

... So long without touching a pen I can hardly form letters. Did I
write to you from Utah? We left direct route at Reno, went to Carson
City, with détour to Virginia City,--queer place; first got hold of
Pinus monophylla, but there no fruit.

Hired conveyance to take us from Carson right across the Sierra Nevada
via Silver Mountain to Calaveras Big Trees,--a good way for studying the
tree vegetation, and other, only all other is mainly destroyed by
drought and sheep, and the ground is powdered dust. As we struck Pinus
ponderosa we were struck with more tapering shape of tree and longer
leaves than that of Colorado, so different, and soon, as we rose, by the
immense size of cone, ovate, six inches long, very heavy. The big-cone
ponderosa has less bright green and rather longer leaves, and cones
looking quite different from the ordinary Californian ponderosa, which
grows intermixed, except at the higher levels, and has long but narrow
cones. Losing the big one as we descended to Calaveras, we come on it
again in the Sierra here, when we get up to seven thousand to eight
thousand feet. Here it passes for P. Jaffreyi or Jeffreyi. Is it so? Is
it distinct? On bare side of Silver Mountain we found P. monophylla with
cones, both maturing and this year’s....

CHICO, September 5, 1877.

... Thanks for your letter to San Francisco. We are keeping lively; are
on the way to Shasta.

What if we were to return via St. Louis: will you insure us against
malaria and fever? Want to talk Coniferæ with you....

CAMBRIDGE, September 24, 1877.

We are just back via Niagara; Hooker and I via New York, and the former
having the Sunday with Eaton at New Haven. All well and happy to get
home after a prosperous and, as you may imagine, laborious journey of
ten and a half weeks. The trip to Shasta involved long stagecoach
journeys, but they were most interesting. Returning to Sacramento we
went on to Truckee, where Lemmon[103] joined us by appointment. We gave
one day to Mount Stanford and one to Tahoe, then took the overland train
as it came on at midnight, and thence had no stationary bed till we
reached Niagara. And we live to tell the story!

I want to tell you what we are led to think about Firs and Spruces. I
will give in this my own opinions, which lie yet open, but are likely to
settle down, except you convince me to the contrary on some points.
Hooker comes to the same conclusions or nearly, but I will keep to my
own only in this letter, and ask what you think of them, off-hand. Your
reply will come to hand before Sir Joseph sails....

Some day you must have a picture of our camp on La Veta Pass. I wish
there could have been one of the Shasta camp of the Bidwells.


CAMBRIDGE, September 27, 1877.

MY DEAR DARWIN,--Returning from our ten and a half weeks of travel,
which has been every way prospered and pleasant, I find your book.[104]
I can now barely thank you for it, and for the great compliment of the
dedication. I must not open it till Hooker leaves me, a week hence, the
work we have to do before we part being so great and pressing. Then I
shall turn to it, with enjoyment, and as soon as I can find time I must
notice or review it.

Hooker sends his love; is very glad Cohn has taken up your son’s
experiments on Dipsacus, which reminds me to send my best thanks to him
for the copy addressed to me. For perusal, even for a glance, that, too,
must wait till we have worked up the collections and observations we
have made in our journey to the Pacific.

Let me add, being sure of your sympathy, that our poor dog Max
peacefully breathed his last to-day, after a happy life of twelve or
thirteen years. We are glad he lived till we returned, and greeted us
with his absorbing and touching affection. In a few days came a partial
paralysis, some convulsions, and then a quiet and seemingly painless
ending. He is immortalized in your book on Expression, and will live in
the memory of his attached master and mistress.

Max was a black and tan terrier, not remarkable in any way for beauty or
intelligence, but interesting from his warm affection and the power it
had in developing his intelligence. To be near and to please his beloved
master was enough for him. Anything his master did was right and to be
submitted to. Max had conscience, but it did not restrain him from
showing his vexation when left at home, by throwing Dr. Gray’s hat and
gloves, etc., on the floor; but his shame and penitence always betrayed
him. It seemed as if the joy of his master’s return had killed him.

Dr. Gray’s next pet was a very small puppy; so small that for the first
few months Dr. Gray would drop him into his pocket when calling on
certain friends. He was said to be a Japanese terrier, and grew to be a
great beauty, with long, white, curling hair (with some black markings)
to the tips of his ears and toes, and a tail like a plume, curling over
his back, all so fluffy he was given the name of Puff. Dr. Gray always
called him a “little pagan dog,” because, he said, his conscience was so
unequally developed. But though willful and obstinate, with great
self-sufficiency, he was very attractive. It was a piece of his mischief
as a puppy that called out the following letter from his master to Rev.
G. F. Wright.


CAMBRIDGE, December 11, 1878.

REV. SIR,--Will you be so good as to accept a puppy’s penitent apologies
for his naughtiness, and a new pair of rubbers in place of those which I
wickedly destroyed, because it was “my nature to” at the time you last
visited my master. I wish you to know that I am as sorry for it as I am
capable of being, that I have been punished as well as scolded, and
that the cost of the rubbers has been stopped out of my allowance.

So no more at present from your disobedient,


Dr. Gray’s last dog was a beautiful spaniel, and had the same devoted
love for him. He was very courteous and polite, and gentle and
affectionate. He needed a great deal of outdoor exercise, and was so
disconsolate and miserable at his master’s illness, that he was sent to
kind friends, where he still keeps a warm and loving greeting for his
old mistress.


CAMBRIDGE, December 26, 1877.

Did I dispatch a line to you on or about October 1st,--one which would
have crossed your last to me? If I did not, it shows how a continual and
fixed intention works a sense of performance.

I took with me, on our travels, your letter of June 20, expecting to
write you from the Rocky Mountains or some far-away Pacific region. But
never were such busy people as Hooker and I the whole time. In fact, I
was bound to make Hooker see just as much as possible within our limited
time, and it seemed on the whole best for us to see very much in
glimpses and snatches rather than far less more leisurely and
thoroughly. He will have told you of our over nine thousand miles of
travel together, and of how he liked it. I think Mrs. Gray and I enjoyed
it most, and that we have a particular fancy for hurry-skurry
journeying. We should like to do it all over, and more. But especially
we should like to see California, in green attire. Not that we are not
interested and taken with the sere aspect of these western regions in
summer, which we fancy more than Hooker does. In fact, the greenness of
England is so congenial to him that he took more delight in our eastern
States, which he had mere glimpses of, than in all the wide western
region, though of course there was more to learn in these.

How I wish you could have been of the party! We dream of doing some
parts again, and of going both farther south and north, three years
hence. You and Sir Joseph would not then be too old. But I can hardly
expect then to be, as last summer, one of the most active and frisky
members of the party.

Moreover, the cost in time is more than one counts on. From the middle
of July to the end of September, one may, once in a way, fairly devote
to holidaying. But then, after a week or two of work with Hooker over
our notes and collections, I had to bring up long arrears, which I
should have kept in hand if I had stayed at home, and so I have only now
of late come to take up my regular work where I left it in July.

If you do not hear enough of our summer’s doings from Hooker,--and I
know he must be busy indeed,--we must get Mrs. Gray to write a
narrative; not that she is not also a busy soul.

All this time you have had anxious events to occupy your minds, and
these are not yet over. But at home you are happy in the recovering
health of your daughter after so long suffering.

We had our usual Christmas gathering last evening, and the house is only
now set to rights again. Your old friends Miss P. and K. L. were with
us, and we spoke of you. The latter told us that Miss S. proposes to
come to us from the West Indies, I suppose in early summer, and glad we
shall be to see her.

You never sent me your Middle Ages book; the publishers’ fault, no
doubt, which I beg you will urge them to make up for....


May 20, 1878.

... That enlarged photograph[105] is for you, to be left for your St.
Louis Academy of Sciences, if it ever gets a home, or for the Hortus
Botanicus Missouriensis, as you elect. Glad you value it.

I am at new edition of the “Structural Botany,” as a bit of ad interim


CAMBRIDGE, June 9, 1878.

MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: ... A copy of the second part of the “Synoptical
Flora of North America” should soon reach you, for I was assured at
Washington that they were sent at once, and would go to you without

If the “Revue Scientifique de Genève” takes book notices, I shall be
pleased if you will notice this publication of mine. I send it to you,
and to Boissier; also to Maximowicz of St. Petersburg, but to no one
else on the Continent. It is put on sale with Trübner & Company, London,
and T. O. Weigel, Leipsic. I have defrayed the whole cost out of my own
purse, to the tune of $2,050. No publisher would take it, and assume
the expense, so I have to carry it myself and botanists must buy it, if
they want it. I hope many botanists and libraries will do so; for I must
get the outlay back again, or a good part of it, before I go on. Hence,
notices in the scientific journals and elsewhere may be serviceable to

I will not speak of or count the time and hard labor I have bestowed on
the work.

My last visit to Washington was a sad one, to attend the funeral of my
dear old friend Professor Joseph Henry, to whom we are all greatly
indebted. When I saw him in January, at the annual meeting of the
regents of the Smithsonian Institution, it was too evident that he would
not much longer be with us.

       *       *       *       *       *

As may be remembered, Dr. Gray, when in Paris in 1839, found in
Michaux’s herbarium a plant which he describes as new, giving it the
name of Shortia galacifolia, in honor of his old friend Dr. Short of
Louisville, Ky. One great object of his later journeys to the southern
Alleghanies was the search for this plant. No botanist had succeeded in
rediscovering it, and many doubted if Dr. Gray had not been mistaken,
though he found among Japanese plants, sent from St. Petersburg, one of
the same genus, with a rude Japanese woodcut. It was therefore a great
triumph when it was accidentally discovered by an herb-collector, Mr.
Hyams, in North Carolina. The next journey to the mountains, in 1879,
was planned to search for it especially.

An account of the rediscovery and a description of the plant is given in
“American Journal of Science,” iii., xvi., pp. 483, 1878. Mr. Sargent
repeats the story in “Garden and Forest,” December 19, 1888, and tells
how in 1886 he followed Michaux’s steps up the Keowee River, in the
mountains of South Carolina, farther south than the search had been
before, and was rewarded by finding the plant in abundance. Professor W.
W. Bailey, of Providence, then sent a note to “Garden and Forest,” to
say that to Mr. J. W. Congdon, then of Providence, belongs the credit of
having sent the first news of the discovery of the plant to Dr. Gray,
and tells of Dr. Gray’s answer: “If you think you have Shortia send it
on.” It was sent. Then came from Dr. Gray the characteristic postal, “It
is so. Now let me sing my nunc dimittis!”


CAMBRIDGE, October 21, 1878.

DEAR CANBY,--Thanks; glad you can come. You will be notified, if the
case comes on.

If you will come here I can show what will delight your eyes, and cure
you effectually of that skeptical spirit you used to have about Shortia
galacifolia. It is before me, with corolla and all, from North Carolina!

Think of that! My long faith rewarded at last!

Yours ever,

P. S.--No other botanist has the news.

October 28, 1878.

... I wrote to Hyams how much immortality he lost, or rather postponed,
for his son, by not sending me that specimen eighteen months ago, so
that it would go into “Flora,” but that I should make his name famous in
“Silliman’s Journal,” pro tem.

I took the latter end of his letter to be a cancel of his request to
return the specimen. Told him that in May either you or I or both would
be down, call for his boy, and be taken to the spot!

I have no objection to give him money for this specimen, if he wants it.
But I would not advise that he advertise it. But if he can find plenty
of roots, he might legitimately put them on sale, and get a good price.
Why should he not?

I did not say, before, that this discovery has given me a hundred times
the satisfaction that the election into the Institute did. That caused
no particular elation. This has been a great satisfaction.

November 5, 1878.

... I send a brief notice to “Silliman’s Journal.” And I am finishing an
account of the matter, which I will send to Paris, to Decaisne, for the
“Académie des Sciences,” as a “Correspondent” ought.

I have declined to risk the specimen by mail, till we get more, which is
not so certain.

November 9, 1878.

... He (Hyams) sent me some loose flowers, to help out.

I have sent manuscript to Paris, and shall send back Decaisne’s old
drawing, and drawing of flower and details, now making by Sprague to be
reproduced in the “Annales des Sciences Naturelles,” since this ought to
please the French.

You can go to see and get specimens, even if I do not. Yet I will go
if--at the time--I can.

April 5, 1879.

On April 1 (ominous day) began Compositæ....


April 1, 1878.

... I like an article to begin or end with an aphorism, or some sort of
snapper. I think you may end your next article with a condensed
expression like this: Not vitality but personality is the witness for

October 24, 1878.

... Yes, I read with interest and approval your article on Hypothesis.

I am pressed with work now all this week. I would send you the proofs of
Newcomb’s article,[106] but you will get it in the “Independent” almost
as soon.

Read, mark, and tell me what I should say. I must now lay myself out on
this matter. If you will allow, I want to drop, throw out, praying for
the weather quoad weather.

I shall take my time, but shall be turning the matter in my mind, at the
end of this week and beginning of the next.

Perhaps I may see you on Monday here, unless I am called away.


CAMBRIDGE, January 24, 1879.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--I have just returned from Washington, where I had
to read a memorial of our late secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,
Professor Henry,[107] and I have returned somewhat crippled by lumbago.
I took with me your pleasant letter of the 29th December, intending to
write to you from there, but I found no time. The present moment is
opportune, as I cannot well move about as I must do in my ordinary

I have sent for Saporta’s book, and shall study it with interest. Glad I
am that your “Phytographie” is in hand. I wish I had it now before me;
for I have now to write something on the subject for a new edition of my
“Botanical Text-Book,” now in hand.

How well Bentham still writes and works! Notice his essay on
Euphorbiaceæ. You and Bentham have kept orthodox views of nomenclature
at the fore in Europe, and I have seconded them here, so that, except
among cryptogamists, heterodoxy makes no headway.

I have some ideas about the best form for Latin specific characters, as
distinguished from descriptions, as to punctuation, etc., which I wish
to present to you. Perhaps I can best, and soon, do so by sending you

The link which connected us with a former generation of botanists is
broken. Jacob Bigelow, the correspondent of Muhlenberg[108] and of J. E.
Smith, as well as your father, died on the 10th inst., at the age of
ninety-two. Up to three or four years ago he preserved all his
faculties. But sight and hearing gradually failed, and for two years he
has been merely alive; at length the candle burned out.

The genus Bigelovia, which your father founded on one species, is now
one of the most characteristic North American genera, of many species,
chiefly west of the Mississippi.

J. W. Robbins,[109] also of Massachusetts, one of the best and oldest
local botanists, died the day before, aged seventy-seven.

Engelmann (two or three years older than I am) and myself are now the
oldest botanists of the country, I believe.

While I live I am always your devoted,



CAMBRIDGE, May 22, 1879.

... We go on a trip south to the mountains of Carolina with Canby,
Redfield, and this time Sargent.

It was to have been done whenever Shortia blossomed. But that stole a
march on us by flowering in April. So now we time it for the
Rhododendrons, and will see Shortia out of blossom, and we hope to find
new stations. Then I want to look up Darbya, of which only the male is
known. Curtis seems to have got it, without flowers, near Lincolnton.
Then we are to explore the east side of the Blue Ridge, from the base of
Black Mountain to Grandfather, and then cross to the Roan, on which is
now the Cloudland Hotel.

Oh dear! now that the time draws near, I wish I could stay at home and
finish Parry and Palmer’s[110] Mexican Compositæ, which abound with new
or interesting species!...

I send you by mail a copy of my new “Text-Book.” You see I relegate to
other hands the anatomy, physiology, and cryptogamia,--glad to be rid of
them. I send, too, one of the few copies of the Shortia paper. The
translator into French in several places missed my meaning. And the
explanation of the plate is a botch. I numbered only the floral parts I
now furnished, expecting the materials from Herbier Paris to make
another plate. Decaisne crowded all on one plate, and numbered to suit
himself, and then printed my explanation unaltered. The numbers do not
match at all....


April 25, 1879.

... About scheme: it is rather my notion to go via Statesville to
Newton, explore down one fork of Catawba, till we find Darbya, or find
Curtis’s locality, and back by the other; two days. But perhaps, to save
time, you would prefer to keep on the railroad from Statesville to
Lincolnton (where, by the way, Magnolia macrophylla grows), pick up
Darbya, and then come up to us at Statesville or Marion. Then we will
see locality of Shortia.

Then, my notion is to get some good searches along the flanks of the
mountains, from Swananoa Gap to Linville Falls (find Shortia for
ourselves, etc.), and even up to Deep Gap, which you see is pretty well
north. Then make Cowles tote us to Bakersville, and then end on Roan

There I and my wife would like to stay several days; and you, if it must
be, could leave us and get home.

But I am not particular, if you prefer a southern trip; down to Jackson
County, etc., and get Vasey’s new Rhododendron,--only a day south of
where we went before.

Sargent, our director, wants to go, and go in September, so that he can
get live things. Perhaps he will join us.

My wife’s desiderata are simply these: To see both Rhododendrons in
flower, and to get some rough wagon-rides. It seems not difficult to
satisfy her simple desires. Moreover, what do you say to our brothers
and our nieces, with their aunt? The nieces are trumps of girls for
traveling companions, and their father worthy of them. They are enticed
by our accounts of Rhododendrons and the nice rough times, and the
chance of sleeping in their spectacles, and Roan Mountain, where they
would like to stay a week! Perhaps even, we would show them New River
Springs with their rocks, etc., on the way homeward.

If they join us, it will probably be after we have done the Shortia and
Darbya business.

Is there yet any chance of Redfield? Now you look up routes, etc., and
give me your ideas. I wish we had your “heavenly weather.”

CAMBRIDGE, July 7, 1879.

MY DEAR CANBY,--Verses seem to be the order of the day. So here goes:--

     With Misses L. the saying runs,
    “However good a man be,
     The most that can be said of him
     Is, He ’s as nice as Can-be.”

... You will want to know how Mrs. Gray and I got on. Finely, with two
hard days at the close....

First day, we got round, retracing our old route, to Blaylocks, a hard

2d. Traveled all day up the north fork of Toe, through scenery which
delighted Mrs. Gray greatly, to head of a fork thereof in Yellow
Mountains, and thence over to Cranberry Fork, almost under the shadow of
the Roan, or of that prolongation of it which we went to; nice food and
lodgings and the luxury of a separate room.

3d. Down Cranberry Creek and up Elk, over Elk Mountain (got Cedronella
cordata. Want any?), from which climbed to a good view, down to Valle
Crucis, and over to Boone, to sleep; a long day.

4th. Drove fourteen miles, partly on Blue Ridge, to Gap Creek, at noon.
Nice house. Very nice wife and children.

5th. Mrs. Gray rested. Cowles and I went up Blue Ridge, saw a fine
waterfall on the eastern side.

6th. Took in Mrs. Cowles, baby, and bright little girl. Drove fourteen
miles to Jefferson, picnic dinner on the way; stopped with an uncle and
aunt of Mrs. C. I and some Jeffersonians went up Negro Mountain;
collected Saxifraga Careyana at the original locality; took a view of
where Aconitum reclinatum must be, went for it, found it, some specimens
barely in bud, more in flower,[111] made specimens for you and for
Redfield, took roots.

7th. Cowles and family to wait and visit, while we took their wagon to
Marion, forty-five miles, too much for a day. (Good souls the Cowles!)
But when we had got on six miles, met a wagon from Marion, the men in
which proposed an exchange, which we (for the Cowles’s sake) gladly
consented to. Were to cross the Iron Mountain that day, if time held out
(which it did), and stop at a McCarthy’s at the foot, twelve miles from
Marion. Reaching the place just at dusk, the driver insisted that this
nice house was not the place, but a mile or two farther on. So we tired
people drove on by moonlight, three miles further, to find he was
mistaken, and no lodgings to be had, except possibly a mile further.
Came to a house, routed a man and wife out of bed, found a great fire
still on the hearth, no decent chance to sleep. Concluded the only way
then was to push on the eight miles more, so as to get the train the
next morning at 6.35. Got with difficulty a little corn for the horses,
brought out Mrs. Gray’s tea-kettle, made tea, ate the remains of our
dinner, and thus refreshed, jogged on; reached Marion at one A.M., slept
till half past five, rose, took train at 6.50. And Mrs. Gray still
lives! Were waiting hungrily for our breakfast at Wyethville, when,
three miles from it, a slight double thud, a down-brake signal, the last
breath of the engine, a stop. To our vast surprise, on looking out,
engine, and three cars, and first section of high bridge were missing,
and were débris in the abyss. No such accident could have been managed
with less shock to the nerves. And as to the result, had it been after
breakfast and passengers smoking in the second-class car, there would
have been a greater fatality (glad to say, I don’t smoke)....

There were weak ladies and hungry and sick children on board. I
clambered down the embankment with that blessed tea-kettle, to a poor
house, got a fire made, and hot water. Another traveler going farther
got a pot of coffee, nice bread and butter and cold boiled ham. And so
we fared till omnibuses came for us. At Wyethville a good hotel; got
word at length to Shriver;[112] and after a late dinner, an extra train
came down, took us to Lynchburg; reached Washington before 8 A.M.

I will send you good specimen of original Saxifraga Careyana, from Negro
Mountain. Send me a good large one from Roan. I will compare them soon.


CAMBRIDGE, July 4, 1879.

Your last letter has gone to Engelmann, as I notified you; those of May
29 and June 4 overtook me in the mountains of North Carolina, where Mrs.
Gray and I were recuperating, but I was kept on the move from morn to
night. I could not thence write you on the matters treated of, nor is
there anything left to say....

Nature sometimes does what you hit me for suggesting, that is, “take
away the essential character,” and we have to put up with it, and allow
that we may have overrated the character.

But, when all is done, I will try on your view without prejudice, and
adopt it if possible.

About Ceratophyllum: I never followed up that early paper, of 1837,
because I soon saw that I was very wrong in supposing that the ovules of
Cabomba and Nelumbium were like that of Ceratophyllum, and I concluded
that my whole idea was baseless. I have not looked at the matter since,
but I shall be much surprised if you find that my youthful idea is
worthy of resuscitation.

We have come back from the cool mountains of the South to really hot
weather at the North.


CAMBRIDGE, July 15, 1879.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--Your pleasant letter of the 3d June reached me on
Roan Mountain, in a comfortable little house, at the elevation of about
6,200 feet above the sea, enjoying glorious views of range after range
of the Alleghany Mountains, and on the grassy plateau Rhododendron
Catawbiense, perhaps more of it than in all the rest of the world, just
coming into blossom. Then the valleys and mountainsides all around,
covered with rich forest, are adorned with Rhododendron maximum, and
Kalmia latifolia in immense abundance and profuse blossoming, of every
hue from deep rose to white, and here and there, among other flowering
shrubs, Azalea calendulacea, of every hue from light yellow to the
deepest flame color. Mrs. Gray was with me, with her brother, two
nieces, and a botanical party consisting of Messrs. Canby, Redfield, and
Sargent. We traversed a pretty large and very wild region, much of which
I had before visited, some thirty-eight years before. We went to the
locality of Shortia galacifolia, discovered by Hyams; but our search for
new stations, or for the old one of Michaux, was in vain. But I have now
a clear idea of the district in which it may be sought. The known
station is probably one to which the plant has been brought down.

I have returned home to a crowd of work....

I wait with great interest your volume on Phytography. You will see that
in my new “Text-Book” we are quite in accord. I agree with you about new
and useless terms, and the execrable taste of the Germans.

I am very strong, and can climb a mountain as well as ever, only I lose
breath except I move slowly in the ascent.

Memory rather fails; otherwise I have at near sixty-nine all my
faculties in fair condition.

It has happened that I have visited Europe every eleven years. According
to that you should see me next year! I cannot promise; but I am always
affectionately yours,



November 11, 1879.

I forgot to ask if you, or your friend Lord Blachford, knew Arthur James
Balfour, M. P., author of “A Defense of Philosophic Doubt,” published
recently by Macmillan?

It is the most masterly essay I have seen of late years, and I should
like to know who the man is, and what you think of his book.

I have been drawn into promising, in an unguarded moment, to give two
lectures to the theological class of Yale College (our oldest university
after Harvard) some time in the course of the winter, on Science and
Religion; a topic which calls for wise speaking. I am not very hopeful,
but still I have an idea I may do some good. I wish you were in reach,
that we might talk over the subject....


CAMBRIDGE, January 1, 1880.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--Though I have entered on the seventieth year of my
age, I hold out well, and when other cares do not interrupt, I go on
with the “Compositæ,” yet all too slowly. Before I print them I shall
hope to have another inspection of some of the species of the
“Prodromus” in your herbarium; perhaps before this year 1880 is out, yet
it is rather doubtful. I get on slowly, and then Mr. Watson, who will
have the “Flora of California” off his hands as soon as he can get the
manuscript of the “Gramineæ” out of Professor Thurber’s hands, must have
a vacation ramble, probably to Oregon. If he leaves here in the spring,
I must wait his return here in the autumn, or at most cannot leave home
until after midsummer; too late to render myself at Geneva, I suppose.

Much of my time of the last few months has been occupied with the
details of building a small addition to our herbarium building to
contain the botanical library. It is just finished, and the books will
now be moved into it in a few days....

My health is excellent. Let us hope the same for you, and offer my best
wishes for the year 1880.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray delivered in the winter of 1880 two lectures to the theological
school of Yale College, on Natural Science and Religion.

They were long and carefully thought out, and he had great pleasure in
speaking to an audience who followed him so closely, and evidently with
such attentive sympathy.

He also enjoyed very much reading them, before delivery, to his friend
Dr. O. W. Holmes, in Boston.


CAMBRIDGE, January 17, 1880.

DEAR FRIEND,--We go Monday night on to Washington, leaving here at five
P.M. My lectures are fixed for February 5 and 6, so that I shall return
from Washington and go on specially to New Haven.

I expect to be at home the last week of the month, but perhaps not on
Monday, and I should wish to see you and read my second lecture, which
is dragging its slow length along!...

CAMBRIDGE, March 11, 1880.

I have this moment received and read from Newman Smyth a flattering
note, and a copy of his article in the “Advance.” A very good one it is,
and his own thoughts are noteworthy and to the point.

President Gilman of the Johns Hopkins sent me a very admiring letter, in
which he urges a student’s edition, on thinner paper and paper covers,
which he wants to subscribe for. I shall send it to the publisher before

April 11, 1880.

I am amused at Professor ----’s substitution of demiurgism for
evolution, reprinted in the “Independent,” and at the coolness with
which the professor proclaims that a hypothesis which he thinks is good
for nothing else may be good to put against evolutionism.

Darwin has sent me advance sheets of his book on Advantage of Crosses
(not moral but floral crosses, and not crosses made of flowers, but
those made by insects and winds for the benefit of flowers), and I see
much in it which you will enjoy. I am too full of work to use it next
week, and if you tell me you will come Monday and take it, I will lend
it to you for that week.

Professor Fisher has sent me an admirable sermon on “The Folly of
Atheism.” Have you seen it?

... I would change a word in paragraph seven. If by proof you mean
demonstration of its truth, I remark that rational explanation of the
phenomena, so far as known, does not prove an hypothesis. Two different
hypotheses may do that; and it may long be impossible to get a crucial

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Gray was at work on another part of the “Synoptical Flora.” Asters
had always been his especial study, and a great and puzzling labor, and
these few lines tell of his difficulties.


April 17, 1880.

We heard only incidentally of your accident, and were very sorry. Do be
careful. Don’t climb ladders. Leave that to young fellows like me!...

I am half dead with Aster. I got on very fairly till I got into the
thick of the genus, among what I called Dumosi and Salicifolia. Here I
work and work, but make no headway at all. I can’t tell what are species
and how to define any of them, nor what the nomenclature is, i. e., what
are original names.

I will take this group abroad, but it will be just as bad there, unless
I can get some settled ideas before I start. I never was so boggled.

To-morrow I’ll sit down and study your Pinus paper, which I have not
looked at yet, so absorbed have I been....

My old friend John Carey has died, in England, at eighty-three.
Schimper, they say, is dead. They go one by one!


First, thanks for your very lively letter of May 4,--auspicious day,
being my wedding-day, thirty-second anniversary....

Yes, we mean to go abroad right after the meeting of American
Association, say September 4, to finish Aster, etc.; to stay at least a

My wife sends best love to you, your daughter, and son, and I join.


CAMBRIDGE, April 21, 1880.

DEAR REDFIELD,--If you hear of my breaking down utterly, and being sent
to an asylum, you may lay it to Aster, which is a slow and fatal poison.

Apparently it will take a year or more for me to finish it, with the
greater chance that it finishes me before that time....

April 24.

Thanks for both specimen and sympathy. The former is here safely

The A. glacialis I must seek in Nuttall’s herbarium, now at the British

The principal troubles in Aster are packed away, to try on again, in
London, Paris, and Berlin.


CAMBRIDGE, May 17, 1880.

MY HONORED AND DEAR FRIEND,--Is it possible (I fear it is) that your
letter to me at the beginning of the winter (telling me who Balfour, M.
P., is) has been all this while unacknowledged? I fear it is even so.

In the mean time much has happened, at least in your old world, on which
interest centres; here not much, but constant and rather humdrum work
for me. We have got through the winter, a mild one, in contrast to
yours, so severe and trying, and our spring opens pleasantly; and Mrs.
Gray and I are well and happy.

You have had a parliamentary election, the result of which we delight
in, though it took us, and seemingly most of you, by surprise. I fancy
you are pleased to see Gladstone again at the helm, and still more at
the collapse of Jingoism,--not a moment too soon.

But let me hasten to tell you that Mrs. Gray and I contemplate crossing
the Atlantic early in September, and of passing at least a full year in
England and on the Continent. A busy year it must be, if my powers hold
out; for I must do a deal of work, and I want to have a little play. I
wish I could be more ready, by the finishing of my general study of the
vast order Compositæ, so that I might know exactly what researches I
must make in London, Paris, Berlin, etc. I have not got on as I
expected; but, as I am to reach seventy if I live to near the end of the
current year, I must no longer postpone my voyage. Indeed, I would leave
at midsummer if I could get away. But the American Association for the
Advancement of Science meets in Boston at the end of August, and has a
day in Cambridge. And it would not do for me, an ex-president, to turn
my back on it, and upon a houseful of friends whom we wish to entertain.
But the moment it is over we shall hope to be off.

I think I must work at Aster, etc., at Kew for a few weeks; and I have a
fancy for a run through the west and south of France and, perhaps,

You will be returning from some summer trip about the time we reach
England. Cannot you and Mrs. Church get away from a dark and dull London
November, and go with us to a summer region!

I sent you my Yale Lectures, which had to treat difficult and delicate
matters. I find they have been useful to some on either side.


CAMBRIDGE, June 8, 1880.

I have left your kind letter of March 11 too long unacknowledged. Now I
have to thank you for a copy of the “Phytographie,” which interests me
exceedingly. I have also to say that my plans for the year are so far
settled that I have engaged passage for Mrs. Gray and myself in a Cunard
steamer from Boston for Liverpool on the 4th of September, the earliest
date on which we could leave home.

But, greatly as you tempt me, and much as I should like to see you
early, we cannot reach Switzerland this autumn....

I should hope we might see you in early summer. So, pray, keep yourself
well and strong till then.

About the “Phytographie:” I shall have much to write, when I read the
book, which as yet I have only glanced at. About dextrorsum and
sinistrorsum: I think it is not quite true that the innovators have not
given any account of the grounds on which they rest. Mine are expressed,
I believe, in two or three notes in “American Journal of Science,” and
are summed up in my “Botanical Text-Book,” last edition, p. 516,
referred to in the glossary and index. I think that the analogy of the
right-handed screw indicates how the world in general regard it, ab
extra. There is a sensible note on the question in the late
Clerk-Maxwell’s “Treatise on Electricity,” vol. 1,--the reference is not
at hand at this moment. It takes, essentially, our (my) view as it seems
to me; but it refers to a similar confusion between the mathematicians
and the physicists.

I wish you had gone on to illustrate more of the words which have been
changed or confused in meaning; for example, “pistillum,” “cyme,” etc.

It is a pity that the terms of nomenclature had not been rearranged by
Roeper[113] so as to conflict less with those of Linnæus and the general
botanical use.

We have had our centennial of the American Academy; a pleasant

Mr. Winthrop gave a good public address.

I get only slowly on with the Compositæ; my interruptions and
distractions are many and great. Fortunately I am in perfect health; am
outliving my chronic catarrh. I hope you may do so also!

June 28, 1880.

Yours of the 15th is duly received, with your pleasant remarks on my
lectures.[114] Professor Bourier is very welcome, and will please me by
using any part of them he chooses. I should like to see how they would
read in French.




Dr. Gray sailed for Europe with Mrs. Gray early in September, 1880. He
went especially to study herbaria for his new volume of the “Synoptical
Flora,” and saw almost every collection of importance, giving especial
attention to the subject of asters. The autumn was spent in western
France and Spain, and in Madrid he looked over the herbarium there. He
declared nobody had ever had so many asters pass through his hands as he
had had!

The winter was spent in hard work in the Kew herbarium. He enjoyed
heartily in spring a journey through Italy with his friends Sir Joseph
and Lady Hooker, returning to Kew to spend the summer, at work in the
herbarium, and he sailed again for home in October, 1881, landing early
in November.



MY DEAR REDFIELD,--Many thanks for letter of 17th September, which
reached me at Kew, where we passed a busy and happy fortnight with the
Hookers, and did some botanical work. We left Friday morning, reached
Paris pleasantly that evening, where we make only two days more stay at
present, but leave Tuesday for the Loire district and thence to Spain,
but expect to return here after our round, and stay possibly a month.
Play first, work afterwards, is our present motto. If the Academy, or
any of the brethren, take Garber’s little Porto Rico collection, you or
they will be glad to know that Professor Oliver and I named them up
while I was at Kew, and that the list has been forwarded to D. C. Eaton.
News I have little to tell you. Yet, though we left home only a month
ago, it seems a half year. We had a botanical concours at Kew; for De
Candolle and wife came over, as he says, to see Mrs. Gray and me, and
the Hookers gave two dinner parties on the occasion; present four
botanists, whose united ages sum up high, for Bentham had his eightieth
birthday just before, De Candolle is about seventy-five, I on the verge
of seventy, and Hooker, the baby of the set, in his sixty-fourth year;
some younger botanists were with us,--Oliver, Baker, Masters, young
Balfour, etc.


MALAGA, August 30, 1880.

... As to pictures, you know I am no picture sharp; but Madrid and
Seville (which must be taken together) are a revelation of Murillo and
Velasquez.... That kind of thing is nearly over with us on leaving
attractive and sunny Seville. We cut off Jerez and Cordova, and came in
here yesterday through olive groves enough to saponify and saladulate
creation, and the passage through the mountains from Bobadilla to
Malaga, wonderfully grand, ending in orange groves filling lovely dells
and valleys. Nothing to keep us long here, though picturesqueness is
not wanting. The days are hot. At Granada, to which we fly to-morrow
afternoon, we expect to find the _juste milieu_....

One bit of this sheet to tell you that Joey’s portrait has been painted
by Murillo, and a good likeness, hair, pose, and features. He is holding
a bird aloft, and a white little dog is looking up wistfully at it, to
Joey’s delight. It is in the Museum at Madrid, and is much admired....


THE ALHAMBRA, GRANADA, November 2, 1880.

It is time that you should be thanked for the notes you kindly sent us.
They will come of use later. You will wish to know what we have been
doing for the past month, only a month by the almanac, for we left
England October 1, and Paris on the 6th, the latter being the date we
count from. So that there is not yet quite a month of travel, yet it
seems a long while, as if stored with a year’s memories. And the weather
throughout has been superb. One cold day in Paris, and some cool nights
between Bordeaux and Madrid; and then, even at Madrid, we had summer
rather than autumn weather, until, ascending from Malaga to this higher
region, the cool and fresh air which comes down from the snow-flecked
Sierra Nevada makes the sunshine pleasant and wraps desirable at

A few midday hours served for Orleans, and we went on to Blois. You know
how very charming that is, and you may imagine Mrs. Gray’s delight at
the castle, also at Chambord, to which we drove. Two nights there and
three at Tours. The cathedral charmed us; also the old houses and ruined
bits and towers. We passed Amboise, and went from Tours to Chenonceaux
and back by railway,--a bijou to be enjoyed; but the next day’s
excursion to Lôches had a much deeper and more varied interest. By
traveling over night to Bayonne and passing Biarritz at sunrise, a noble
sunrise and morning, with the Atlantic on one side and the Cantabrian
Pyrenees on the other, we gained the privilege of a daylight journey
from Irun to Burgos. It is far more picturesque and striking than I had
supposed. A day at Burgos was a treat, as you may suppose. Leon lay out
of our track and demanded night hours and night changes too severe and
too formidable for a couple ignorant of Spanish and impatient of
couriers. So we went on overnight to Madrid (night travel being
inevitable); and here we had a warm, sunny, busy, and most enjoyable
week, some pleasant home-friends for companions, as also a charming
Spanish family, M. and Mme. Riaño, whom we had met at our minister’s,
Lowell, at London. She is a daughter of Gayangos and had an English
mother; is a charming mixture of Spanish and English and everything that
is bright and good. Then there was a raree-show not to be matched out of
Spain: the royal family with the infanta going to church in state, the
grand procession kindly going and returning under our windows. The
Armeria and, still more, the Archeological Museum were full of the Old
World things we Americans dote on. And then the great picture-gallery,
supplemented not a little by the Academia San Fernando. Add to these
the pictures at Seville, and imagine the treat we have had. I shall
leave all this for Mrs. Gray to expatiate upon next winter.

We now know Murillo, and rank him next to Titian, and in feeling and
delicacy much above him. He could paint something besides Spanish-girl
Madonnas, lovely as they are, and Spanish beggars, where he had only to
copy from the streets; and whoever has not seen St. Elisabeth of
Hungary, the Roman Senator and his Wife, the Guardian Angel, Moses
striking the Rock, and its companion, the Loaves and Fishes, and the St.
Antony of Padua, down to whom the Infant Christ lightly floats,
encircled with child angels, has not yet seen the works of Murillo. Then
Velasquez, most noble, and Zurbaran and Ribera, and Cano, Morales, and
Moro, and others whom I never knew aught about before. At Toledo we
passed two days and three nights, well filled with sights of Old World
things hardly touched by the later ages; and there is the grandest of
cathedrals; and yet the interior of that of Seville is rather more
satisfying. These three, Burgos, Toledo, Seville, I should place in this
ascending order, or bracketing the latter two.

A journey overnight brought us at sunrise into Andalusia, at Cordova,
which we passed (to take on the way from Granada), and so to Seville for
breakfast, three happy, sunny, busy days there, and then to Malaga, two
days, and then on to this place, which we reached after dark, and are
now enjoying our second day in.

There are two hotels up here, under the Alhambra walls, and we are at
one of them. Yesterday the road which rises to the crown of the hill
was crowded with people of the town below, going up to the cemetery with
flowers and lamps and candles and drapery, to ornament the tombs and
graves of relatives, which here is done on All Saints’ Day, and we saw
the curious sight by day and walked up again in the evening, when all
was alight, and in a chapel a sort of requiem service performing. We
will not describe the Alhambra. I fancied I should think the work
finical; but you are carried away by it. But of most interest was our
visit to the Cathedral of Granada this morning and to the Capilla Real,
to see all the relics and contemporary memorials of Ferdinand and
Isabella, their effigies, sword, sceptre, etc., their noble tombs, more
rich and beautiful, I think, than those of the Constable and his wife at
Burgos, and then to descend into the vault and see their rude iron
coffins, which have not been desecrated nor molested, and also those of
Philip I. and his poor wife Joanna. (Let us tell you, some day, of a
modern Spanish picture, at Madrid, of her and her husband’s coffin,
which she wearily had carried with her.) All this, and what we see here
on the spot of the Moorish life, and what we saw at the cathedral, gives
a vivid reality that nothing else can.

And here my sheet is full and my gossip must be cut short, with short
space to add the kindest remembrances and love which my wife joins in
sending to you and yours and daughters.


HÔTEL ST. ROMAIN, PARIS, November 14, 1880.

Here we are back at Paris (since twenty hours), and, this being Sunday,
having discharged my religious duty and ventilated my patriotism by
going in the morning to the American Chapel I am going to discharge upon
you a missive which may be of some size,--is sure to be so if I open all
my mind. Whence did I write you last? Malaga, I fancy, where I received
a letter from you ... which tells us of the conflagration of Charlie’s
dog and cat, and the narrow escape of the owner, of horrid weather,
while we have had only one rainy day, and that no great impediment
(though I did have to examine the Botanic Garden at Valencia under an
umbrella and in india-rubbers)....

A good day was occupied in going to Cordova, and the next morning did
the Mosque-Cathedral, which I expected to be disappointing, yet it was
not. Afternoon began the long journey which there was no escaping,
northeast to Valencia: a dull place made duller by rain. Next afternoon
to Tarragona, and a most charming day in that interesting old town and
its environs, the evening taking us on to Barcelona, of less interest.
The next day’s travel, long and delightful, was all by daylight, except
the last hour. It took us along either beautiful or picturesque country,
much of the way with the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees on
the other, out of Spain and as far as Narbonne. A day’s excursion was
given to Carcassonne; perfect, and stranded on the shore of time, an
excellent example of a Middle Age fortified city, cathedral and all;
Visigoth walls and towers on Roman foundations, extended and modernized
by the father of St. Louis, and the finishing touches by St. Louis

Here endeth the epistle. The rest is simply getting back to Paris. I had
counted on returning by way of Nîmes, Clermont-Ferrand, and a little
détour to see the cathedral of Bourges. But the winds from the mountains
made Narbonne and Carcassonne cold, the few trains from Nîmes were
unseasonable, my wife declared she had so many cathedrals mixed up in
her head that she could not endure another, and so, leaving Narbonne in
early morning, we reached Cette ten minutes after the express train for
Paris had left, and we came on in omnibus train in unbroken journey,
through Montpellier, Nîmes, and Avignon (which we had visited, in former
years), and via Lyons to Paris. And here we are.

Two months of play, delicious play, are up: we landed two months ago
to-morrow. We have had our share, and I have now an appetite for work. I
can be usefully busy in Paris for a fortnight, hardly longer. Then what?
Much depends on what you can see your way to. The traditional “three
courses” seem to be before us, each with its advantages and
disadvantages; and we are so balanced that we shall be likely to incline
as you push the scale....

Course 3. Bear the English winter, if we can’t avoid it, on the
principle that “what can’t be cured must be endured.” And with your good
fires and snugness it is not so bad. Secure our lodgings, and we will
come over to you about the first of the coming month; and I get a solid
piece of work done.

If I can utilize the long evenings nothing can be better. Then in March
or early April, when England is apt to be raw and rough, but Italy is
smiling, we will rush to meet the spring, and return to England when
that, too, is delightful and its days long and sunny. Note also, that
even an Italian winter may be chilly and damp, and when it is so, there
is no seeing galleries and churches without teeth-chattering and
cold-taking, and it is not easy to get warm lodgings and decent fires.
This course 3 would suit me best of all; for then we, lingering longer
than you might be able to take time for, should return to England via
Vienna and Berlin, which Mrs. Gray has never seen, and in the latter I
have Willdenow’s herbarium to potter over.

Now, my dear old friend, perpend my words (if you can read them; I write
on an awkward bit of table), and then have your say.

HÔTEL ST. ROMAIN, November 21, 1880.

The correspondence of late has naturally been conducted by our
respective better halves. I have at length (after giving Cosson two or
three days to name up his American and Mexican plants) got fairly at
work at the Jardin des Plantes, and have found (mainly in the herbarium
Jussieu) the originals of several of Lamarck’s asters, which gives me
happiness. They take every pains to accommodate and assist one at the
herbarium. I see old Decaisne at his house; he is not strong.

I think we shall need two weeks more here, and we hope for better
weather than we have yet had. Colds one always takes at Paris, and Mrs.
Gray now has her share. It took a long while to be clear of the one
presented to me on our arrival here in October. But in the south of
Spain my throat was as clear as a whistle. We are not bad just now, and
are hopeful.

I was perfectly sincere in writing that I should prefer returning to Kew
for two or three months and to reserve Italy for the early spring. I
shall get more work out of it so. At the same time I was confident that
it would suit you best, and I am glad that you jump at it. It may enable
us to get off the fag end (and best part) of Hayden’s report, if ever he
sends over the portion in type. I am surprised that it has not before
this come to hand.


HÔTEL ST. ROMAIN, PARIS, December 3, 1880.

MY DEAR A.,--I cannot tell you how much I was touched by your letter of
the 18th of November, following the round-robin, the letter of Mrs. J.
and that of Charley. And what could have possessed my brothers and
sisters, and nieces, and “their cousins and your aunts” to club together
a contribution on the occasion, as if nobody in the family had ever got
to have a seventieth birthday, or ever expected to! Well, it was indeed
truly good and thoughtful of you all, and it gratified me beyond
measure. As you were the organ of the family, upon the occasion, let me
ask you to be the medium for conveying to one and all my acknowledgments
and most hearty thanks for their words and deeds and kind thoughts of me
at this interesting time.

And now what I am to do with the presents that have poured in, that is,
what am I to present to myself in your name, and keep as a
souvenir,--that is the question which is exercising my mind. It must be
something personal to myself, and I am not much given to personal
adornment, and have few personal wants beyond daily food and clothing,
of which I always say that “the old is better.” But I have got an
idea,--which I will not put on paper yet, because I may change my mind
and not carry it out. You shall see in time.

“Aunt J.” and I are having a nice time here in Paris, in spite of the
short and dark days. But we have been very, very busy, each in our way,
and now and then busy in company, as we have been to-day. And then at
evening we come back to our little room, and have the nicest little
dinner together in the little _salle-à-manger_ of our little nice hotel;
or rarely we go out, but never to fare better; and we have been invited
to three dinner parties, each notable and enjoyable in its way. And now
I have to-morrow one more day of botanical work, and then we expect to
go back on Monday to Kew, and to the lodgings which we occupied a dozen
years ago. You can write to your aunty directly there: Mrs. Shepherd’s,
“Charlton House,” Kew. Don’t suppose that because it has a name, the
house is a grand one. Not a bit of it. But in England, houses, like
babies, have names given them when they are little.

Good-by. With dear love to all, along with thanks, I am

Your affectionate


KEW, December 12, 1880.

MY DEAR BRETHREN, REDFIELD AND CANBY,--I think I had a letter from each
of you, and that you had some response from me of some sort (and one or
two papers, etc., have come from Redfield), but that was so far back in
memory when we were staying in Kew before, that it seems to belong to
that early phase in my existence when I was living on the other side of
the ocean; and that seems as widely distant in time as the ocean is wide
in space! It is only by the almanac that we know that we left Cambridge
less than three and a half months ago.

I have not done very much for botany in all that time; but Mrs. Gray and
I have laid in a stock of health and vigor, corporeally, and have filled
our heads with such interesting memories! This and such constant changes
of scene have produced the illusion I refer to, through which, as
through a haze, I dimly discern last summer. But out of that haze your
bright and kindly faces look undimmed.

Did I tell you (I think I did) of the pleasant fortnight here in
September, when guests at Hooker’s; when for botany I worked up
Oxytropis; when De Candolle and wife were here, and Bentham--serene old
man--dined with us almost every day; of our crossing one bright day to
Paris, and all that?... Thence, abandoning, from lateness of the season,
the plan of returning through Auvergne, we came on quick via Nîmes,
Lyons, etc., to Paris.

There Mrs. Gray and I passed three very busy and very charming weeks;
also doing some good botanical work, and having a good time with
Decaisne and the other botanists at the garden, with Dr. Cosson and M.
Lavallée.[115] Then, as the Hookers could not carry out their promise of
joining us and going together to Italy now, we agreed to defer that till
early spring, and back we came here for work. We are settled in our old
lodgings on Kew Green, where we feel quite at home, and are near the
Hookers and the herbarium; and here I am to polish off the
Asteroideæ,--some very rough surfaces in Aster yet to grind down. We
should be pleased to hear from you.

It was at Cordova that I spelled out in Spanish the welcome news that
the Republicans had carried the election, and grandly.

And now, with Mrs. Gray’s love joined to mine to your good wives and
children, I am

Cordially yours,

Dr. Gray settled down at Kew for hard work, but as the days were very
short, and of course the herbarium was closed at dusk, he had long
evenings. There were many pleasant dinners, among others at Mr. John
Ball’s, where he met Robert Browning; and a charming visit to Lord Ducie
at Tortworth, where he was much interested in the fine and rare trees,
and had an afternoon’s visit to see Berkeley Castle, one of the oldest,
if not the oldest, of inhabited castles in England. He paid another
interesting visit to Cambridge, to Professor Babington, where he had not
been since his visit in 1851, and where among others he met again Dr.
Thompson, then Master of Trinity, who had so kindly received him in
1851. Mr. Lowell was then minister to England, and there were pleasant
meetings with him.

In early March he crossed to Paris, were he was joined by Sir Joseph and
Lady Hooker for a journey by Mt. Cenis to Italy, going as far south as
Castellamare and to Amalfi and Pæstum, and returning; short stays in
Rome, Florence, and so to Venice, where the party divided, Dr. Gray
going to Geneva.


KEW, December 26, 1880.

... I am making slow progress with the Asters. The original types of all
the older species I shall certainly make out; but the limitation of the
species presents great, if not insuperable difficulties.

I have read nearly all of Darwin’s “Power of Movement in Plants.” It is
a veritable research, with the details all recorded; and so it is dull
reading. I think it will give the impression to most readers that the
terms “geotropism,” “epinasty,” is “hyponasty,” etc., contain more of
explanation than in fact they do. Yet now and then a remark should
prevent this, as on page 569, and notably on page 545, at the close of
the chapter, intimating,--I suppose with reason--that the term “gravity”
or “gravitation” is quite misapplied.

I have just taken up Wallace’s “Island Life,” and find the earlier
chapters most clear and excellent, but without novelty. The idea of the
persistence of continents is most commonplace in America since Dana’s
address in (I think) 1845, and I should have thought Wallace would have
known of the entire prevalence of that view, at least in the western

Rely on me, dear De Candolle, to keep you _au courant_ with all that
concerns your friends here, among which always remember your devoted,



KEW, February 19, 1881.

MY DEAR ENGELMANN,--A few days, or say a week ago, we were gratified by
receiving your pleasant letter of the 31st January. I hasten to reply
before we get afloat again, when writing becomes precarious. Just now
Mrs. Gray and I have our evenings together in our quiet lodgings, that
is, whenever we are not dining out or the like, which is pretty often.

You know of our movements, then, up to our return here. The Spanish trip
was very pleasant and successful, and the three weeks afterward in Paris
both useful and enjoyable. As to botany, it was all given to Aster and
Solidago, at the Jardin des Plantes, and at Cosson’s, who has the
herbarium of Schultz,[116] Bip., which abounds with pickings from many
an herbarium.

We got over here early in December, and here I have worked almost every
week day till now, excepting one short visit down to Gloucestershire,
and a recent trip to Cambridge, where, however, a good piece of three
mornings was devoted to Lindley’s asters. I know the types now of all
the older species of North American aster, Linnæan, Lamarckian,
Altonian, Willdenovian,[117]--excepting one of Lamarck’s, which I could
not trace in the old materials at Paris; and Röper writes me that it is
not in herbarium Lamarck. As to Nees’s asters, most of them are plenty,
as named by him directly or indirectly. But where, on the dispersion of
his herbarium, the Compositæ went to nobody seems to know, though I have
tried hard to find out. Have you any idea? But he made horrid work with
the asters, and the Gardens all along, from the very first, have made
confusion worse confounded. No cultivated specimen, of the older or the
present time, is _per se_ of any authority whatever. I am deeply
mortified to tell you that, with some little exception, all my botanical
work for autumn and winter has been given to Aster (after five or six
months at home), and they are not done yet! Never was there so rascally
a genus! I know at length what the types of the old species are. But how
to settle limits of species, I think I never shall know. There are no
characters to go by in the group of Vulgar Asters; the other groups go
very well. I give to them one more day; not so much to make up my mind
how to treat a set or two, as how to lay them aside, with some
memoranda, to try at again on getting home, before beginning to print.
The group now left to puzzle me is of Western Pacific Rocky Mountain
species. The specimens you have collected for me last summer, when I get
them, may help me; or may reduce me to blank despair!


VENICE, May 1, 1881, Sunday.

As we propose to leave Venice to-morrow, I think I may say that within
ten days you may look to see us in Geneva. The Hookers, with whom we
have journeyed thus far, will proceed more directly home, after a day or
two at the Italian lakes. We propose to follow more leisurely, and, if
the road is fairly practicable, to cross the Simplon, and so to Geneva,
where, according to your suggestion, we will go to the Hôtel des

We have now been two months in travel, without respite, and for my part
I am fairly sated. I need the change and rest which a week of botanical
research in your herbarium, and of intercourse with its owner, will
afford me.

We have been as far south as Amalfi and Pæstum. We have attended to the
proper sight-seeing of Naples, Rome, Florence, and Venice, and have
gained novelty by seeing also Orvieto, Cortona, and Siena, likewise
Ravenna. We have escaped a disagreeable spring in England, but at the
expense of being everywhere at least a fortnight too early for the
various parts of Italy; and I suppose we shall be all the more sensible
of this at the lakes and in crossing the Alps. But the weather has never
been unfavorable, and we have enjoyed much and worked hard. A week near
you in comparative rest will make an agreeable finale. Our companions
have added much to the enjoyment, and we are sorry to part with them.
They would, I know, send their best regards and remembrances, but at
this moment they are both out; but Mrs. Gray, who is writing by my side,
desires me to add her own to Madame De Candolle and yourself; and I am
always most sincerely yours,



LUGANO, May 8, 1881.

... Mrs. Gray was able to see little of Padua, beyond the Giotto
frescoes and a look into San Antonio, the interior of which looked
richer than ever. I kept moving; took a turn in the pleasant old Botanic
Garden; found Saccardo;[118] saw two plants of Amorphophallus Rivieri in
blossom; was taken up, by Saccardo’s aid, by Dr. Penzig[119] of Breslau,
a gentlemanly young fellow, and of good promise, who took me in hand at
the garden, university, etc.

HÔTEL ST. ROMAIN, PARIS, May 22, 1881.

If I write you a letter this evening, having nothing else to do till
bedtime, mind, you, who have everything to do, are not bound to do more
than to read it. Mrs. Gray and Lady Hooker seem to manage correspondence
very well, and we may take it easy. But I want to tell you what a
pleasant and restful week we had at Geneva. The De Candolles were
delightful. He comes in from Vallon every day at ten, and stays till
half past four, and I passed much of the time in the herbarium, where I
had various old dropped stitches to take up, which I happily
accomplished. As to sociabilities, De Candolle had made a dinner party
for the very day we arrived (Friday), which I had barely time to get to.
I met there Edouard Naville and his wife, the latter new to me, and a
Pourtalès, cousin of our Count Pourtalès, who died last summer, and who,
as a young man, followed Agassiz to the United States, and was a very
important man to Alexander Agassiz. His death was severely felt by all
of us. Naville, who is a capital Egyptologist, we knew in Egypt twelve
years ago, where he was exploring Edfou and monographing one of its
acres of wall sculpture and hieroglyphics, and we met him at De
Candolle’s the next summer. We went out last week to his place at
Marigny, on the north side of the lake, charmingly placed, with a
full-length view of Mont Blanc in front; the lake in the foreground.

Casimir and wife are in England; Lucien off at some baths for
rheumatics. But Lucien’s wife was at De Candolle’s, and is a pleasant
lady. On Sunday De Candolle sent in his coupé, and took Mrs. Gray and me
to dinner en famille at Vallon,--only Madame Lucien and some
grandchildren. Vallon is a very pretty place and the house charming.
Madame De Candolle is lively, even sprightly in her own house, and, I
may as well tell you, is greatly in love with Lady Hooker. We were sent
home in the coupé in great style; as also we were on Friday evening
last, when De Candolle gave us, for parting, a small dinner
party,--Professors Wartmann and Saussure, and the banker
Lombard,--Plantamour, the astronomer, being detained by the stars; his
wife came, however. All these Genevese speak English well, except Madame
De Candolle, who gets off a little, and what with this and their
pleasant ways, we were quite at home with them.

Boissier had written to us to come down to Valeyres, but he had expected
us earlier. As he was to be off in less than a week, and Mrs. Gray well
used up, on reaching Geneva, we declined, and begged him to come to
Geneva, which he did on Monday, and stayed well into Tuesday. He took me
to his herbarium, which is large and well kept, and I looked up some old
things of Lagasca’s, which I could find no trace of at Madrid. Barbey I
regretted not to see. He goes with his father-in-law to the Balearic
Isles,--goes, indeed, because he is concerned for Boissier’s health, and
well he may be.

Argovian Müller I saw something of; busy and happy in the care of the
garden, the Delessert herbarium, and the professorship in the new
university, built up with the late Duke of Brunswick’s money. The death
of his only son was a great blow to him; but he seems cheerful and is
very busy. De Candolle is working over Cultivated Plants and their

I see I must go home this autumn, and, indeed, that seems best on almost
all accounts. So I should be at Kew soon, and once there I must set
myself to work most diligently, and make the most of what time remains.

I hear nothing as yet of Bentham. I hope he is going on well, and the
Gramineæ nearly finished, and that he will next take up Liliaceæ....

AIX LA CHAPELLE, June 8, 1881.

... Then we took train on the road down the Moselle (which we had
followed from Metz). From Trèves halfway down to Coblentz the country
had a decidedly American river look; that is, it constantly reminded
one of the Mohawk or the Unadilla,--small rivers of my native State and
district, and with just such rounded wooded hills and smooth, well
cultivated slopes, and wide stretches of meadow and grain fields. Then
came the picturesque portion with precipitous hillsides and crags
covered with vines wherever a bit of soil could be found to hold them,
extending down to Coblentz. We went on by the railroad down the left
bank of the Rhine to Cologne, which we reached late in the afternoon and
left at three this P.M.; reached this place at half past four; and while
Mrs. Gray rested, I have explored till our half past six dinner hour.
Trèves was an interesting place, though it need not detain one long.
Cologne we were glad to see again, and were as much interested in its
old Romanesque churches as in its cathedral,[120] which certainly is
much bettered by the completion of the nave and the west front and
towers,--I may say towers and spires,--for they make nearly all the west
front. It does not compare with Reims, so far as façade goes....

       *       *       *       *       *

On reaching Paris in June Dr. Gray met again his old friend Decaisne and
many others, and there was much pleasant hospitality at the hands of
friends new and old. He especially enjoyed a day at Verrières, seeing,
in the old home of M. and Mme. de Vilmorin, the dear friends of thirty
years before, the oldest son Henri with his wife and children, the
grandchildren of M. and Mme. V. of the corresponding ages and number as
the family of young people whom he met in the first visit in 1851.

On returning to Kew, though the time until leaving late in October was
busy with steady work, there were pleasant breaks with visits and
excursions. He had the pleasure of meeting Dean Stanley, first at the
christening of a daughter of Professor Flower’s, and was to have dined
with him, but the dinner was postponed on account of a slight
indisposition of the Dean, which developed into his fatal illness.

There were many pleasant visits and excursions, some delightful stays in
Devonshire and Somersetshire, when pleasant acquaintances were renewed.
He spent a few days again at Down with Mr. Darwin, and in August he went
to York for the meeting of the British Association. He stayed with Mr.
Backhouse, the well-known horticulturist, and saw his wonderful
underground caves of ferns, and his successful alpine garden, and
enjoyed the social as well as the scientific meetings.

At Kew he was surrounded with friends, renewing the close intimacy with
his old and lifelong friend Sir Joseph Hooker; was near his friends at
the Deanery at St. Paul’s and at Broom House; and he rested now and then
with a day’s sight-seeing. The days passed all too quickly until the
time came for breaking up for the return to America. There was a short
stay at Oxford, with Sir Henry Acland, most interesting days, and again
at Manchester at Professor and Mrs. Williamson’s hospitable home, and
then the voyage to America, when he landed early in November.


KEW, July 15, 1881.

MY DEAR OLD FRIENDS, CANBY AND REDFIELD,--How very long it is since you
have heard, at least directly, from your Old World wanderers! How long
and from whence, is more than I can tell. I use now an enforced half
hour before an engagement, and when it is, would you believe it for
England? too hot to go across the Green to use the half hour at the
herbarium, where I have sweltered all the morning, regular Philadelphia
heat, and this is the third day of this the second heated term.

I wrote you from Italy, I think.

... It is hopeless now to try to give any narration of our doings. The
flavor would have all evaporated in the attempt to recall and review the
past spring.

I think you know our routes, from Paris in March to Turin, to Genoa,
Pisa, Rome, Naples, and the country around, Amalfi and Pæstum our most
southern points; then Rome again and a twelve days’ stay, then a run to
Orvieto and Cortona on the route to Florence, a visit to Siena from
Florence, a detour from Bologna to Ravenna, most old-world of towns,
thence to Venice, a week only. And as we left it, the Hookers, whose
furlough was running out, dropped us at Padua, whence, passing Verona,
where we had been before, we had a day at Brescia, thence to Milan, Como
and up the lake, and over to Lugano, and back to Milan. Thence to Arona
at foot of Lake Maggiore, and a drive all the way up to Domo d’Ossola,
and then diligence over the Simplon pass and through the snow, and down
to Brieg, and on to Martigny to sleep, and then on to Geneva, where we
passed a delicious week, with De Candolle and other friends to enjoy,
and a little botany to attend to in the herbarium. And then in one day
we went to Paris, and stayed three weeks, while Mrs. Gray did her
feminine matters, and I a deal of botany work, and both a little
sight-seeing. Thence, sending our luggage before to London, we swung off
for Soissons and the old castle of Coucy, and Reims, and Trèves, and
down the Moselle to Coblentz, and the Rhine (that is, by rail) to
Cologne, to enjoy the finished cathedral; thence to Aix la Chapelle, to
Bruxelles, and then, with a fine day and smooth water, over to England;
and here at Kew we have been settled ever since, engaging in a deal of
botanical work and a deal of society in a most agreeable way, and a
little (thus far only a little) sight-seeing. As we come towards the
end, we grow busier every day, and count the time closer. For we expect
to return in October, to reach home (_Deo favente_) either at the end of
that month or before the middle of November; the day and vessel not yet
quite fixed....

There are lots of things to write about, but the sheet is full, and I
must only say I am

Yours affectionately,



... It is really serious, this leaving England, and choice friends in
it, when one considers that, whatever I may fondly say, I cannot expect
to see it again,--I do not say _them_.

Affectionately yours,

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., November 14, 1881.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--Dr. Holmes is a good soul, and has just sent me the
inclosed for the autograph which I promised H. I wish she, and
especially that M., could be here now, to enjoy our exquisite dry and
stimulating air, which, with American oysters, should set her up

I have missed Freeman. He had gout and some other engagements, which
took him from Boston the day before we landed. My critical friends at
Cambridge say that his lectures were disappointing. They say he took no
pains in preparation, or at least fell into the common habit of your
countrymen when they come here, that is, of giving lectures and water.
The Bostonians prefer, and appreciate, something more concentrated and
higher proof.

I do hope you will promise Mr. Lowell a course of lectures, few or more,
next October.

The foundation of the Lowell lectures requires that courses shall be
delivered, as often as possible, on subjects pertaining to Christianity,
natural religion, etc., which may come as near to sermons as you like.
Pray do not decline the invitation offhand. You would have a most
appreciative audience. You see we are counting upon you, with two
daughters at least, for the next summer and autumn. In haste to save the

Affectionately yours,


CAMBRIDGE, December 13, 1881.

MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,--It is shabby of me to wait so long in response to
your kindly greetings, which were dated on my birthday, November 18.
But I was very busy when it came, and hardly less so since, and so I let
it get out of sight.

Well, here we are once more, leaving dear friends on the other side, and
now among our own kith and kin.

Glad to hear of your pleasant summer, and pretty good health now.

We had a favorable voyage home, which is more than those just before
could say, and far more than any since....

Nees’s asters, of his own herbarium, I can nowhere find or hear of. But
I don’t believe his herbarium (which was sold piecemeal) would have
helped me much, considering how he has named asters for other

Accumulated collections, of Lemmon, Parish,[121] Cusick,[122] etc.,
especially have taken all my time up to now, after getting my home in
order, a deal of trouble. And now I can think of getting at my “Flora”
work again.

First of all, I am to make complete as I can my manuscript for Solidago
and Aster. Solidago I always find rather hopeful. Aster, as to the
_Asteres genuini_, is my utter despair! Still I can work my way through
except for the Rocky Mountain Pacific species.

I will try them once more, though I see not how to limit species, and to
describe specimens is endless and hopeless. So send on your things. But
first I am to print, _pari passu_ with my final elaboration, an article,
“Studies in Solidago and Aster,”--taking the former first, giving an
account of what I have made out in the old herbaria, stating
investigations which I can only give the condensed result of in the
“Flora,” etc. Considerable change as to some old species.

When I have done the Solidago, then Aster in that way....


CAMBRIDGE, December 29, 1881.

I am doubtful if I have written to you since our return, and my New Year
greetings will reach you somewhat late, but are very hearty. I could
hardly have neglected to send you word of the satisfaction with which we
look upon the fine bust of your father, which stands at one end of our
herbarium; Robert Brown and William J. Hooker at the other, and your
lithographic portrait overhead is replaced by the more striking
photograph you gave us.

At length we are settled in our home; have had for the twenty-fifth time
the annual Christmas family gathering, for which my study, being the
largest room in the house, is always upturned and emptied, and I should
be quietly at work upon the Compositæ, were it not for an attack of
lumbago, that uncomfortable attendant of old age, which just now
interferes with my activity, without actually laying me up.... We, Mr.
Watson and I, are still much occupied with the distribution, and
therefore in good part the study, of the recent collections which have
accumulated here and are still coming in. Much valuable time do they
consume. The most interesting are from Arizona, etc., near the Mexican
frontier, among which those we have most to do with are by Lemmon and by
Pringle.[123] The former, I know,--and I shall soon know as to the
latter,--has sets to dispose of, and I think you would like to have
them. We formerly have taken a deal of trouble in assisting such
collectors in the disposal of their plants offered for sale, but we are
obliged now to leave aside such affairs, as they consume too much time.

I have no other botanical news for you. Dr. Engelmann, who of late has
roamed a good deal, is now at home, and busy with botanical work, of
various sorts, Isoetes, Cupressus, etc. It is quite probable that he
will cross the ocean again next spring, in which case you will probably
see him. Professor Sargent is busy with his forest reports in connection
with the United States Census of 1880. Mr. Watson in this service made a
long journey through our northwest region, while I was in Europe, at too
late a season for much ordinary botany; and he has been otherwise too
busy since his return even to look over his collections.

My colleague, Professor Goodale, giving over to Professor Farlow the
university lectures, etc., is now abroad with his whole family, to
recruit health and acquire information. You will see him at Geneva in
spring or summer, and I commend him to you as a dear friend and a very
valuable man. My wife joins me in kind remembrances and best New Year
wishes to Madame De Candolle and yourself, and I am always your devoted



CAMBRIDGE, December 25, 1881.

... I am kept indoors this pleasant Christmas Sunday, which is here as
fine and bright a day as was the Christmas of last year, which we
passed with you, and which comes up fresh to our memories....

I have just cleared off the portion of accessions to herbarium which had
accumulated here and which I had myself to see to, and am settling down
to my Compositous work. And now I am taking an oath that when I do get
about them I will hold on to the bitter end, that is, I suppose till I
reach the Wormwoods. And now I must go to Washington on the 18th prox.
for meeting of Smithsonian regents....

Sargent has got his arboretum at length on to the hands of the city of
Boston to make the roads for, to repair and to light and police. He
seems to have made a mark in his Census forestry work. He has developed
not only a power of doing work, but of getting work done for him by
other people, and so can accomplish something.

January 27, 1882.

... My whole soul is in the “Flora of North America,” but the new things
that come in, owing to opening of Arizona and other railways, and which
have to be seen to, keep Watson and myself so busy. So our movement is
like marking time four days to going ahead one....

Engelmann promises to make us a visit in the spring. How I shall make
him work! No other news just now.


CAMBRIDGE, February 26, 1882.

MY DEAR SIR EDWARD,--It is high time that I thanked you for a very
pleasant letter which at the beginning of the year you kindly wrote me
from Failand House, a place which is very green in our memories. It
reached us at Washington, where, with Mrs. Gray as my inseparable
companion, I went to attend the annual meeting of the regents of the
Smithsonian Institution. We were away from home little more than a week,
and even in that time we managed to bring in a little visit to friends
in Philadelphia.

This miserable trial of Guiteau, of which you already knew unpleasant
particulars, was still in progress; but I did not go near the
court-room, and could not readily have been induced to do so. The day
after I received your letter I met an acquaintance, one of the judges of
the Court of Claims (a court for trying claims against the United States
government preferred by citizens or others, and much is it to be wished
that a mass of claims presented to Congress and cumbering its committees
could be passed over to this court), and I drew him into conversation
upon the scandal which the trial was causing. He spoke of Judge Cox as a
man of ability and high character, referred to the impossibility of
shutting the prisoner’s mouth, the expectation that the man’s prolonged
revelation of himself before the jury would throw more light upon the
case than any amount of expert testimony, which I think was expected to
be more contradictory than it actually was, and of the determination to
leave no ground for the ordering of a new trial. My friend told me he
had been twice in the courtroom, thought the judge might and should have
exercised more control, yet that what he saw and heard did not appear to
him at the time so indecorous and offensive as it appeared when
presented in the newspapers. Indeed, this sensational newspaper
reporting is a huge nuisance, and in respect to these matters our
highest-class daily papers are little better than the lowest. I suppose
the telegraph reporting for the press is all done by one set of men, and
the more sensational the reports the more welcome to the papers, which,
with few exceptions, print without any selection or discrimination.

I have settled down to my work with enjoyment, but with a growing sense
of discouragement growing out of an _embarras de richesses_. It was
natural to find here a great accumulation of collections of North
American plants, all needing examination; but unfortunately, they
continue to come in faster than I can study and dispose of them. This
comes from the increasing number of botanical explorers, and the new
facilities offered to them by new railroads along our southwestern
frontiers and other out-of-the-way regions. The consequence is, that
while new and interesting things are pouring in, which one must attend
to, and which are very enjoyable, I do not get ahead with the steady and
formidable work of the “North American Flora.” I begin to think it were
a happier lot to have the comparatively completed botany of an old
country to study, in which your work “were done when ’twere done,” and
in which, even if it were not done quickly, you were not called on to do
it over and over, to bring the new into shape and symmetry with the old.

By the way, I finally wrote out an article on a question which you once
treated, and upon which we more than once conversed, taking for my text
a paragraph in Lubbock’s address at York last summer. I had partly
promised Mr. Walter Browne to write it, so I sent it to him; and as a
proof from the “Contemporary Review” has come back to me, I suppose it
may be printed before long.[124] I shall be curious to know what you
think of it.

I sent you a portion of a New York religious newspaper containing a sort
of review of two books with which I beguiled the voyage last October or
November. It is of no great consequence. But I sometimes write such
reviews or articles to papers of this kind, which are endeavoring to do
their best in bridging over the gap between the thoughts of a former
generation, or of our younger days, and of the present day. I believe
such articles are now and then helpful.

You supposed that I had seen the “Lyell’s Life and Letters” sooner than
I had. To my surprise the volumes are not reprinted in America; and I
have only just succeeded in procuring a copy from England.

I have read a good deal of it, and with much interest. The allusion to
me, which you referred to, was of course very pleasant. The last chapter
of the “Antiquity of Man” had apprised me (for I never had any direct
correspondence with Lyell) that we thought much alike on such matters;
and we are apt to approve views which agree with our own. I always
thought Lyell a very level-headed man,--one with a very judicial turn of
mind; and his letters and journal bring this out well, as they do the
whole life and the charming character of the man. It is interesting to
see how early he took the line which he followed in his whole life’s
work, and which has changed the face of geology and philosophical
natural history. For, indeed, Lyell is as much the father of the new
mode of thought which now prevails as is Darwin. I have said a word
about this, which I will try to send you.

That is a noble letter to Mr. Spedding, about the American war. We knew
that was in him. During the time of trouble, our then minister in
London, Mr. Adams, and Mrs. Adams used to say that Sir Charles and Lady
Lyell were almost their only, and their very stanch and efficient

If you happen to know who the author of “The New Analogy,” by Cellarius,
is, I beg you will let me know. Although as a whole it may not amount to
much, there are some capital hits in it.

I have been writing you a monstrously long letter. I have only space to
ask you to give my kind remembrances to Lady Fry and the young people,
of all whom we have such happy memories.


March 16, 1882.

... Your letter of the 25th of February tells me of the will of dear
Decaisne, whom we shall miss greatly. The main disadvantage of our years
is in these losses, which to us are never made up. He was a very true

I am glad you will make a supplement to the “Lois.” When you have it in
hand I wish you would communicate to me, in letter, your main points on
the critical questions. You, Bentham, and I are most in accord; and we
ought to agree, essentially. Upon any critical points, I had much rather
make my comments, for whatever they may be worth, before you print than
afterwards. I have kept phænogamous botany essentially orthodox in the
United States....

May 15.

... It is now all but a year since Mrs. Gray and I had that charming
week at Geneva!

Much has happened since then. We have lost dear old Decaisne; and now
Darwin! We hardly should have thought, twenty-five years ago, that he
would have made such an impression upon the great world, as well as on
the scientific world!

I do not know if you ever saw much of him. He was a very charming man.

Here we have lost, at a good age, both Longfellow and Emerson.

I have been anxious about Bentham, from whom there were discouraging
accounts; but his last letters are hopeful, and he is steadily at work.
Let me hope, and let me know, that you are quite well; also Madame De


CAMBRIDGE, September 17, 1882.

... At Montreal we were guests of Dawson, who wanted to return some
hospitality we had afforded him and his daughter.... Dawson has toiled
for a lifetime at Montreal, under many discouragements, has accomplished
a deal, and deserves great credit.

... We had a pleasant time, and this fortnight in Canada was my only
vacation. I went to visit the grave of Pursh, who died at forty-six.
They have put his bones in their pretty cemetery, and put a neat stone
over them....

Glad you are to send me scraps of one or more species of Dyer. It should
have been a tinctorial genus....


October 8, 1882.

It is probable that I have not responded by a line to your letter of
April 13, yet I think my wife has written more than once to the
Deanery, and we have had good accounts of the visit to Italy, which
appears to have been a great enjoyment to all of you. And now we have
the news of H.’s engagement, which must give you a novel sensation. How
time flies and events develop! It seems but a little while since she and
her sisters were little girls at Whatley. And now, when this reaches
you, a year will have gone round since we said goodby in London.

I have not much to say nor to show for this year. Though I have never
worked more steadily, and never with so much concentration, there seems
to be little to show for it. At times I am disheartened, but a hope as
irrepressible as I suppose it is unreasonable and extravagant bears me
up and on. There is, indeed, a good pile of manuscript to show, but I
will not begin printing until I have gone through with the vast order of
Compositæ. That may be at Christmas,--I may say I expect it,--but I
never yet came up to any such expectation. To give you some idea of what
my task is, I hope to send you soon a copy of an exhortation which I
read to the botanists at the recent meeting of our American Association
for Advancement of Science at Montreal (in the Queen’s dominions!) This
journey to Canada was my only holiday this past summer; though Mrs. Gray
got as much more, with her brothers and sisters at Beverly, on the
coast; a bit of country and of country life we are longing to have you

The gathering at Montreal was most pleasant, and we were happily placed
as the guests of the president of the year, Dr. Dawson, principal of
McGill College, at which the sessions were held. Among the foreign
savants, we had ... Rev. and also M. D. Professor Haughton, of Trinity
College, Dublin, a man of very varied knowledge, ... a somewhat
rollicking companion, which, however, did not hinder his preaching a
goodly and serious sermon in the Cathedral on Sunday; I believe rather
eminent in mathematics, and who has done a good piece of
physico-physiological work on muscular power. But what took me by
surprise was his intense, truly Irish hatred of England, and of
Gladstone in particular. Probably he did not like the disestablishment
of the Irish church.

And as to Ireland,--what a year you have had, and only dim hopes that
the next will be better; I do hope Gladstone will hold on and hold out.
The Egyptian affair, as it turns out, must strengthen his administration
not a little. Ever since we were in Egypt, I have been longing to have
England take the control of that country, as the only hope of the
fellahs and Copts,--the only people there for whom one has any sympathy.

I was to write you about the great brimming St. Lawrence, and of our
trip down it to the Saguenay. But Mrs. Gray will be writing all that,
and also giving my hearty good wishes to H., dear soul. But I have not
left room even to say how sincerely I remain,

Yours affectionately and truly,

December 11.

You ought to have heard from me before this, but you have probably got
information indirectly of my little mishap, which may account for not
writing with my own hand. Not a quite sufficient excuse; for at much
inconvenience I managed very soon to do some writing, in awkward
fashion, as well as to turn over specimens; otherwise I should have been

Well, hard upon six weeks ago, I managed to break the top of my right
shoulder-blade. It was done by a bit of carelessness, not to say
foolhardiness, by continuing to do at seventy-two what I have done in
former years, relying too much on my quickness and sureness of foot in
stepping off a horse-car (_anglice_, tram) when in motion. In the
darkness I supposed it had slowed up, which in fact it had not, and so a
bad fall. Well, the bone is thought to be well mended, and I use the arm
for certain purposes almost as well as ever, but cannot yet get my
clothes on and off without assistance. My wife, as you will believe, has
been a capital nurse, and she credits me with a most unexpected amount
of patience....

But if you don’t come soon I shall despair of you. And Gladstone, I
know, will be tempting you; but I doubt if you will budge, except he
would place you in more sunny quarters than the Deanery,--a place which
corporeally I know is not at all good for you, nor for Mrs. Church.

I read that you have preached a sermon in commemoration of Dr. Pusey, at
Oxford, which I hope you will print, and I count on receiving a copy. I
prize very much a copy of a discourse by Dr. Pusey, given me through
Acland when we were there a year and a quarter ago, addressed to me in a
very flattering way.

By the telegraph we learn you are having a very severe snowstorm,
attended with suffering. We are now having our sixth of this winter; but
we do not mind it.

I rejoice with you at Gladstone’s success. He and Dufferin have earned
laurels. Let us hope he will hold out several years yet, and continue at
the helm. But how cordially he is hated!

Here we get on, prosper, indeed, quite without wisdom, or with very
little of it. One of these days we shall need it. There are things I
should like to write about. But my arm is not up to continued use.

Mrs. Gray will send messages _propria manu_. So, with my kindest regards
to Mrs. Church and all your happy family, I am affectionately,



BEVERLY FARMS, December 1, 1882.

We were very sorry to read in the telegraphic news a few days ago of the
destruction of Clevedon Court by fire, a most sad and unexpected thing,
but we hope not so bad as the brief announcement portends. It brought
back to our memory the delightful afternoon which Mrs. Gray and I passed
there a year and some months ago. A modern house can be replaced, but
not an old hall like this. It makes us sad to think of it. Perhaps you
can tell us that the loss was exaggerated in the telegraphic account.

I am writing from the house of Mrs. Gray’s brother, on the seashore,
where we are passing the “Thanksgiving” holiday. “Thanksgiving Day” is a
Puritan institution, was formerly confined to New England and the
districts settled by New Englanders, and has been kept from the time of
the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and is annually appointed by
the governors of these States by proclamation. But within the last
fifteen or twenty years it has become national, and the day, the fourth
or the last Thursday in November, is announced by a proclamation by the
President. In New England it long took the place of Christmas, for which
you know the Puritans had no liking, and was the chief family
gathering-day as well as a day of religious service, or at least of
political sermonizing. But Christmas is completely restored even in New
England, though the other holiday is not dropped.

The north shore of Massachusetts Bay is very pretty, the shore backed
with woods and rocks, and sheltered against the northeast bleak winds;
and the situation where we are is one of the choicest. It is near the
mouth of Salem Bay, Salem at the head, three or four miles above, and
the hills beyond close the view at the west; the peninsula of Marblehead
lies opposite on the south, dividing this water from that of Boston Bay;
southeast the sea-line is broken only by three or four low islands. When
my good father-in-law bought the land here, then waste wood and
sheep-pasture, forty years and more ago, it was two or three hours from
Boston. Now a railway brings it within an hour, and now the whole coast
down to Cape Ann is occupied with what you would call villa residences,
the grounds of all the most desirable ones reaching to the water, partly
with rocky shores wooded with pine-trees and junipers, partly with sandy
beaches, good for bathing-grounds. This place combines the two, and is
well wooded at the back, and commands the most beautiful views. Most of
the houses are used only for summer residences; but this is occupied the
year round. I have never been here in the winter before. Winter we are
here in the midst of already, unusually early, and the ground is white
with snow, of which there is usually little before Christmas. But our
winter differs from yours in its sunshine, the brilliancy and cheer of
which is a good offset for the colder weather, or at least the lower

A good number of our English acquaintances have been over this autumn.
Dr. and Mrs. Carpenter are among the last to return. He has just closed
a popular course of Lowell lectures, and they go back a week or two
hence. One hardly knows what brought Herbert Spencer. He seems most to
have enjoyed Niagara, where he stayed a week. I do not think the dinner
demonstration for him at New York amounted to very much; nor do I take
stock in the statement, the truth of which he took for granted, that the
hair turns gray in the United States ten years earlier than in England.
I should say the only difference is, that there is more hair remaining
here to turn gray at middle age or later. Spencer also told us of a
discovery he had made, that all Americans had the outer corners of their
eyes lower than the inner, the opposite of our antipodes, the Mongols.

I have just returned from a “sleigh ride.” Snow, though a nuisance in
towns, is a convenience in the country, greatly facilitating travel, and
a drive upon runners instead of wheels, well wrapped in furs and with
buffalo robes, is much enjoyed.

At the end of August, Mrs. Gray and I went to Montreal, to the meeting
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where we
were guests of the president, Dr. Dawson. We made an excursion to
Ottawa, the new seat of government, and another down the noble St.
Lawrence and up its picturesque tributary, the Saguenay. Otherwise we
have been at home all the summer and autumn. And so we expect to be all
winter, save perhaps a week in Washington.

... I think I have long owed your son Portsmouth a letter, but, though I
should be glad to hear from him, and to know how he is getting on at
Oxford, I cannot pay my debt to him to-day. And some twinges tell me
that it is time to spare you.

I will just add that what we hear prepares us to expect that before this
reaches you, or even leaves this country, we may hear that the good and
wise Archbishop of Canterbury will have gone to his rest; and Gladstone
will have a most responsible as well as the most dignified position to


CAMBRIDGE, December 17, 1882.

I must not let the New Year come to you without repairing my delay in
the way of letter-writing, and sending you greeting and good wishes for
the season. Especially I may congratulate you and felicitate ourselves,
that is, we botanists, that you have, or will have, brought your _opus
magnum_ to a completion!--proof-reading excepted. A great thing to have
done. I did not make reply to your last of October 14, because I really
could say nothing about the Eriocauloneæ....

Yes, I have De Candolle on Cultivated Plants, and am well pleased with
it, so far as I have looked it over.

Thanks for your complimentary mention of my notice of Darwin. I have
since sent you another brochure, an exhortation to my botanical
compatriots to have more consideration for my time, considering how
little is left, and what a deal of use I have for it. I can hope only to
palliate the evil a little.

Your life has been a most enviable one, in being able so to arrange and
control your time, and with your indomitable industry, perseverance, and
judgment, you have turned your opportunities to full account, winning
no end of gratitude and admiration. Now, do take the relaxation and
repose which you have so completely earned; and take, as you may, great
satisfaction and pride in all you have accomplished. At least your many
friends will do so....

I did hope to have got to the end of the Compositæ with the end of 1882;
but I shall hardly do more than finish the Helenioideæ. As I go on, I
study all Mexican border things, at least these of our North American

My health is excellent; so I may fairly hope to get the North American
Compositæ off my hands and in print, barring accidents, and I shall be
careful of my bones, and other contingencies....


May 1, 1883.

... I have not read Carlyle’s Life, by Froude, but many articles, in
which of course the points are mostly given. All seem to agree that
Froude has blackened the memory of Carlyle irrecoverably, or rather with
rude hand wiped off the whitewash which covered the blackness. He was a
rude, unkempt soul. From the extracts I have seen, I fancy that Mrs.
Carlyle’s letters beat Carlyle’s all out for raciness and pith.

I am content with the Romane correspondence as R. leaves it, and pleased
with Romane’s tone, which I will try to tell him.

I think his first reply was a “beating of the air.” And for that reason
I returned to the charge. His second is to the purpose. And he seems to
feel that mine was to the purpose also.

... As to dear Bentham, his life is the very ideal of a naturalist’s
life, and I have always regarded it one of the happiest possible and one
of the most successful.... His administration of the Linnæan, his series
of addresses, etc., will be looked back to as an oasis in the desert.

Our spring is late; the winter, or rather the drought of the previous
autumn, has been deadly on perennials, herbs and shrubs....


May 22, 1883.

... I wish to condole with you over a hardship which you write of, that
of having to write a book on Lord Bacon. I quite understand that you
should bemoan your fate at being drawn into that undertaking. I cannot
think it at all to your liking. Bacon, of all people, if the best is to
be made of him, I fancy, should be written of by a worldly-wise, if not
a worldly-minded man. Moreover, I must confess to a heretical opinion as
to another side of Bacon, that in which English, and all
English-speaking, people glory. To blab it out: I have an ugly notion
that he was rather a sciologist than a man of science, and that he
really did nothing of real consequence for the furtherance of science;
nothing to be compared with Galileo, a real father of “inductive
philosophy” and scientific investigation--and Pascal. By the way, taking
the two men all round, do you not think a taking parallel could be run
with Bacon and Pascal?

Now, to change the subject,--what a noble old man Gladstone is, and what
a great name he is going to leave as a high-minded statesman! I could
envy you, if it were in my way, the privilege of his friendship.

H. was so good as to write me a charming letter from her new home, for
which please give her my thanks.

By the way, if you see our observatory director, Pickering, you will
find him an unaffected man, wise in science above his years.


CAMBRIDGE, September 3, 1883.

MY DEAR HOOKER,--A letter of yours of July 24 has been on my table a
good while, and now to-day comes yours of August 22. So I am to write
you at once, urged thereto mainly by your quandary about subspecies,
varieties, and how to manage them in a popular flora like the British,
in which forms need to be distinguished more than in outlandish floras.

I have a decided opinion as to the form of treatment, and from your
letter, as well as I can gather, I coincide with Ball. At least, I would
not have subspecies. They are, as the saying goes, “neither flesh, fowl,
nor good red herring.”

Some you would accept as species; make of the rest varieties, with

In characterizing species having marked varieties, should the specific
character comprehend the forms or varieties, and then there be a “var.
a” or type, or “typical form?”

I thought over this when I began my “Synoptical Flora,” and concluded
that it was best to characterize the species on its genuine
representatives only. Of course as far as practicable, and indeed for
all but some special points, the characters will, and should, cover the
whole. And at the end of the character, you have only to add, the type
of the species has so and so; then the variety or varieties with the
special differentia.

From pretty large practice I find this works best, and probably your
experience will have brought you to the same conclusion....

“Liberavi animum meum,” and it may go for what you find it worth.... I
did not know that “Americans,” i. e., good Americans, did say, “so and
so intermarried with so and so.” I see Ravenel, a Carolinian, says so.


CAMBRIDGE, September 25, 1883.

MY DEAR BENTHAM,--I am so glad to receive a letter giving so comfortable
an account of yourself; glad also that you would like to hear from me;
glad to announce that, though there are still some genera to revise, I
can tell you that I am about to begin the printing of the “Synoptical
Flora,” containing Caprifoliaceæ-Compositæ,--which when done, I shall
feel something of the relief you must have had when the “Genera” was off
your hands. That done, I look, with only that mitigated confidence that
becomes an old man, for a bit of holiday, such as is always
reinvigorating to Mrs. Gray and myself. I am so sorry you had to take up
with a sick-room instead. But as you are now picking up finely, could
you not be made comfortable and get rid of an English November and
December by revisiting the scenes of your youth in the south of

I think I sent you Trumbull’s[125] (mostly) and my annotations on De
Candolle’s “L’Origine des Plantes Cultivées.” If not, let me know, for
you have leisure to read now.

I am busy with an article on De Candolle’s “Nouvelles Remarques sur la
Nomenclature.” As it may be my last say on the subject, I am going to
make a rather elaborate article on nomenclatural and phytographical
points, mostly small points, some of which I should have liked to confer
with you about. I would have done so, but I feared, in the reported
state of your health, to trouble you.

There are two or three small points, about name-citation and
name-making, upon which I shall venture to criticise the “Genera
Plantarum.” But in almost everything we are in full accord, as you know,
and I wish to impress the accordance upon the younger botanists of the
United States. Nowadays, more than formerly, they get hold of many
books, German and other--books, many of them, better for substance than
for form; and so our botanists need guidance and some show of authority.

Engelmann has come home, looking far better than we expected, or than he
thought to be; is visiting Sargent, and will soon come to us....


November 10, 1883.

In a line which I remember adding to Mrs. Gray’s last letter to Lady Fry
I expressed a hope and confident expectation that we should have done
with General Butler as governor of Massachusetts. The election occurred
last Tuesday; an extraordinarily large vote was cast: Butler was
defeated by 10,000, and an excellent man, a member of Congress from the
central part of the State, a lawyer, who makes considerable sacrifice in
taking the governorship, is chosen in his place, and there is a majority
of two thirds in both branches of the legislature to support him. We
hope that this makes an end of Butler’s power for harm, or at least
cripples it. He is a desperate demagogue....

I doubt if either of the friends you mentioned came to Cambridge at all.
My friend Agassiz had the pleasure of meeting them at Newport, and was
greatly taken with them....

I am beginning to print the Compositæ for my “Flora of North America;”
and am revising for the last time some of the more difficult and more
unsatisfactory portions. My wife now excuses me to her friends for
outbreaks of ill-humor, the excuse being that I am at present “in the
valley of the shadow of the Asters.” This is “sic itur ad astra,” with a
vengeance. If only I can have done with the printer by the close of the
winter months, with any life left in me, then we will go in for a

I am very well, and Mrs. Gray passably so. We have seen just a little of
Matthew Arnold, with wife and daughter; shall probably see more of them.


November 12, 1883.

... I have just seen the first proof of the portion of “Flora of North
America” that I have been moiling over for so long; and over them and
the ever-renewed touches to the ever-growing Compositæ, I may expect a
toilsome winter. That done, I hope about the time that the clear and
biting, but rather enjoyable, winter subsides into the inclemencies of
our early spring, we hope, if we live and thrive, to take a holiday.
Just how and where is not yet clear, but I hope to have something to say
of it before I am done with this letter. Meanwhile I am curious to know
if you have disposed of Bacon. If your essay pleases me as much as your
remarks in your letter to me, I shall enjoy it. I recant all I wrote you
long ago, begging you would drop him and take up a more congenial

I am just back this evening from hearing Matthew Arnold read some of his
poems to a great hallful of undergraduates and others, in place of a
lecture which he was to give, but, poor man! was prevented by his agent,
who seems to be rather his master. He was well received; but one cannot
say that he is a very graceful or a good reader to an audience of eight
hundred or a thousand people.

He tells me you offered him an introduction to me, which he thought he
hardly needed, as we had met him and Mrs. Arnold at a lunch given by
Miss North. We are sorry to hear of the determining reason of his visit
and lecturing tour.... He will succeed in this, no doubt; but it is a
sort of dog’s life, this lecturing all over the country, four times a
week, at the beck of an agent, who controls all his movements, often to
audiences that will not appreciate him, the more as what he tells me is
true, that he has no gift as a speaker. But he is pleasant, and will be
most kindly received.

Your Lord Chief Justice was most kindly cared for and made a most
pleasant impression. But in Boston, besides coming when every one was
away who should have attended to him, he fell, unwisely, into the hands
of ... Governor Butler, and saw a side of American life and manners
which may be well enough for him to see, though we should desire the
contrary, and will add to his rich repertory of stories, which they say
he can tell so well. The day he was shown over our university he called
here, and took a cup of tea with us. He had recently been visiting our
good friend Lord Justice Fry at Failand, and spoke of Lord Blachford as
his friend and neighbor....

March 31, 1884.

... I have, moreover, another reason for sending you this line, to thank
you for the proof-sheets of the “Bacon.” I read it at a sitting, one day
when I was too ill for my daily task. I enjoyed the book greatly, all
the more, probably, from my freshness, not having read anything upon the
subject that I now recall since Macaulay’s essay, ages ago. It is like
reading a tragedy.

What a great failure Bacon was, whenever he was tried! Poor Essex,
hunted to death merely for “getting up a row,” and Bacon sacrificing him
without compunction, and without seeing that he was probably made a tool
of, merely to serve his personal advantage! Then the poetical justice,
as they call it,--very prosaic justice,--of his own destruction, by a
bolt out of a clear sky, which an enemy was adroit enough to direct to
his ruin. And poor Bacon with conscience enough to feel that he deserved
it, but not spirit enough to make a fight. No, if Pope’s fling was
undeserved, as you say, it was because of the mean and ignoble set
around him.

Almost as pitiable and tragic in its way, pitiable in its true sense,
was the upshot of Bacon’s higher and nobler life, conceiving vaguely and
laboring all his days over that which he was unable and incompetent to
bring to the birth. His memory reaping a great reward of fame for a
century or so, and then the conclusion reluctantly reached that nothing
tangible in the advancement of Natural Science can be attributed to him.
Altogether, what a solemn sermon! It might be preached from the pulpit
of St. Paul’s.

Well, I seem to have attempted sermonizing myself, and it is time I

We join in the thanksgivings you are devoutly rendering,[126] and I am

Yours affectionately,

As this is the last letter from Dr. Gray to Dean Church, to be printed,
the occasion is taken to introduce a letter written by Dean Church to
Mrs. Gray some time after the death of his friend, when acknowledging
the receipt of a copy of the “Scientific Papers.”


I have to thank you for two volumes of most interesting reading. Besides
the interest of the subject discussed, there is a special _cachet_ in
all Dr. Gray’s papers, great and small, which is his own, and which
seems to me to distinguish him from even his more famous contemporaries.
There is the scientific spirit in it, but firm, imaginative, fearless,
cautious, with large horizons, and very attentive and careful to
objections and qualifications; and there is besides, what is so often
wanting in scientific writing, the human spirit, always remembering
that, besides facts and laws, however wonderful or minute, there are
souls and characters over against them, of as great account as they, in
whose mirrors they are reflected, whom they excite and delight, and
without whose interest they would be blanks. This combination comes out
in his great generalizations, in the bold and yet considerate way in
which he deals with Darwin’s ideas, and in the notices of so many of his
scientific friends, whom we feel that he was interested in as men, and
not only as scientific inquirers. The sweetness and charity, which we
remember so well in living converse, is always on the lookout for some
pleasant feature in the people of whom he writes, and to give kindliness
and equity to his judgment.

And what a life of labors it was! I am perfectly aghast at the amount of
grinding work of which these papers are the indirect evidence....

For they [his religious views] were a most characteristic part of the
man, and the seriousness and earnest conviction with which he let them
be known had, I am convinced, a most wholesome effect on the development
of the great scientific theory in which he was so much interested. It
took off a great deal of the theological edge, which was its danger,
both to those who upheld and those who opposed it. I am sure things
would have gone more crossly and unreasonably, if his combination of
fearless religion and clearness of mind, and wise love of truth, had not
told on the controversy.


CAMBRIDGE, June 9, 1884.

Your last is of May 24th from the Camp, and gives us on the whole better
accounts of your invalids. Bentham at Boultibrooke! I wonder if he would
care to have letters from me, or from Mrs. Gray, to whom he wrote a
treasure of a note on the New Year. We had an idea it might only worry

I wish we could see you at the Camp and among the heather, and I wish I
could form a clear conception of just how you are placed, taking the
Rotherys’ house as a point of departure.

We give you up as to America this year. I would not have you and Lady
Hooker just run over here for a call; it would be too provoking. Well,
let us plan for January or February next, and Mexico, Arizona, and
southern California.

“Man never is, but always to be blest.”

The Joad herbarium was a real bonanza....

I must tell of our two weeks’ run, Mrs. Gray and I. We left the too
tardy spring here, one evening; were the next noon in Washington, where
the spring was in full force and beauty. After two days, left Washington
one morning, followed up the Potomac River to its very rise in the
Alleghanies, and down on to Mississippi waters before dark; woke near
Cincinnati, had a pleasant day’s journey to St. Louis, which we reached
before sunset. There had five days, rather busy ones; thence a journey
of thirty-six hours, over prairies of Illinois and Indiana to Buffalo,
and to New York city; there two days, and then home.[127] Mrs. Gray,
thus away from household cares and a rough air, dropped her cough
altogether; and what you would think a tiresome piece of journeying
brought us both home much refreshed....

You remember Henry Shaw, his park and Missouri botanic garden. The old
fellow is now eighty-four. Something induced him to ask my advice, and
to let me know the very ample fortune with which he is to endow the
garden, when he dies. I was in doubt whether all this was likely to be
quite wasted, or was in condition to be turned to good account for
botany and horticulture when Mr. Shaw leaves it and his trust comes to
be executed. I wished also to see that dear old Engelmann’s herbarium
should be properly and permanently preserved. So I went on to St. Louis.
Mr. Shaw took me into his counsel and, without going here into details,
without seeing a chance for doing much while Mr. Shaw lives, which
cannot be very long, I see there is a grand opportunity coming, and I
think that none of the provisions he has made will hinder the right
development of the Mississippian Kew, which will hardly be “Kew in a
corner.” And if he follows my advice and mends some matters, there will
be a grand foundation laid.

We are expecting Ball toward the end of the month. He will have time to
travel and botanize before the Montreal meeting. But I can’t go with
him, nor, perhaps, could I much help him....

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray’s friend of many years, George Engelmann, M. D., died in
February, 1884. He was a student at Heidelberg with Schimper and
Alexander Braun in 1827, and again in Paris, in 1832, with Agassiz and
Braun. He came to America in 1834, made some journeys on horseback in
the West, and settled as a physician in St. Louis, then a frontier
trading-post, in 1835. He lived to see it become a metropolis of over
four hundred thousand inhabitants. Dr. Gray says in his memoirs of him,
“In the consideration of Dr. Engelmann’s botanical work it should be
remembered that his life was that of an eminent and trusted physician;
... that he devoted only the residual hours, which most men use for rest
or recreation, to scientific pursuits.... Nothing escaped his attention;
he drew with facility; and he methodically secured his observations by
notes and sketches. The lasting impression which he has made upon North
American botany is due to his habit of studying his subjects in their
systematic relations, and devoting himself to a particular genus of
plants until he had elucidated it as completely as lay within his power.
In this way all his work was made to tell effectively.... It shows how
much may be done for science in a busy physician’s horæ subsecivæ, and
in his occasional vacations. Personally he was one of the most affable
and kindly of men, and was as much beloved as respected by those who
knew him.”


October 10, 1884.

It is quite time that I responded to your kind and welcome letters.
First, let me congratulate myself upon having you as a colleague in the
Royal Society, in which I think you need not owe your fellowship to
official dignity. I believe you took honors in science at the
university, along with our friend Professor Flower.

You mentioned your approaching visit, with Lady Fry, to Lord
Coleridge.... Lord C., referring to your visit, sent us very cordial
messages in a letter to my colleague Professor Thayer. He will know that
his host in Boston, General Butler, is one of the candidates for the

I am, as you may suppose, a bolter from the Republican presidential
nomination. We even hope to give the electoral vote of Massachusetts,
stanchest of Republican States, to the Democratic candidate. But I need
not bore you with American politics.

Let me say how sorry we were not to see Miss Fox at our home. It might
have been, except for a little journey we made from Philadelphia, of
which I must tell you more.

I had a mere glimpse of Miss Fox at Montreal, and a little more of her
cousin. She came late to Philadelphia, where Mrs. Gray (who was not at
Montreal) and I had a most pleasant chat with her at a garden reception.
The next day I went out to the suburban place where she was visiting,
and came near to winning her for our expedition, at least as far as to
Luray cave, and the Natural Bridge in the Valley of Virginia. But the
engagements she had made could not be reconciled. Her hostess was to
take her to this neighborhood, but too early for us to receive her here.
All good people in this country think so much of Caroline Fox that they
wished to know her sister.

I have not seen the book by Mr. Arthur on difference between physical
and moral laws, and am not sure that I ever heard of it or of the
author. Who is the publisher? I might find it at the university library.
No, I never had the fortune to see, much less to know Maurice. Of course
I have always known a good deal about him and of the remarkable
influence he exerted, both in person and in his writings, “in which were
some things hard to understand,” such as his liking for the Athanasian
creed, but nothing that was not most excellent in spirit.

Of course I well remember Miss Wedgewood; and we had occasional
correspondence up to the time when Darwin died, and she, on the part of
the family, announced it to me. I am glad to know that she wrote the
sketch of Maurice in the “British Quarterly.”

And now about ourselves. I got the Compositæ off my mind late in the
spring, but not off my hands until sometime in August. At the end of
August and of the pleasant part of the summer here (for it was
delightful in Cambridge, so cool and quiet, and Mrs. Gray away only for
three weeks with her friends on the coast) I went to the meeting of the
British Association at Montreal; enjoyed it much; read a paper,[128] a
sort of address, to the botanists coming over to North America, which
the Section seemed to like and voted to print in extenso. (I will first
print it here, and send you a copy. Not that there is much novelty in
it, but it may be readable.) I had to leave the meeting after three or
four days, and return here; sorry to leave our friend Mr. Walter Browne
ill at the hospital with typhoid fever. He and his poor wife received
every kind attention, but he died in a few days.

It is agreed that the British meeting was a distinguished success. It
brought over a throng of English people, and the American savants (I
cannot abide the word “scientists”) were in good force. We were repaid
by the large attendance of British Association members at Philadelphia,
where they contributed to make our meeting large and notable.

Up to this time the weather was all that could be wished, cooler, I
suppose, than in England at the time. But that week at Philadelphia was
raging. Mrs. Gray and I were there for the whole week, domiciled with
friends in the heart of the city,--a city which never cools at night, as
it does hereabouts. I bore the heat well, as my manner is; Mrs. Gray,
fairly, by keeping quiet through the mornings and giving herself rather
to the evening receptions, which were fine and most admirably managed.
It grew cooler the moment the week was over and the session ended.
Besides, we moved at once into a cooler region. It was arranged that I
should lead any British botanists that cared to go on an excursion into
the mountains of Virginia and Carolina. But they were otherways bound,
so that I could take only my friend Mr. John Ball of London, your fellow
F. R. S., taking also another American botanist, with whom we had
visited these regions more than once before, and, to make it pleasanter,
we added three ladies, wives and daughters of botanists, Mrs. Gray being

Our first day’s journey was to Luray, in the Valley of Virginia, between
the Blue Ridge and the proper Alleghanies. The next day we visited the
Cavern, which I think is the finest in the world, not forgetting that of
Adelsberg in Styria. It is newly discovered, with wonderful wealth and
beauty of stalactical formations, and is lighted up for visitors with
electrical lights in all the larger chambers. That day we went on to the
Natural Bridge, which we had not seen for many years. It was grander
than I had remembered; indeed, it and the scenery around is worth a
voyage and a journey to see. Then we went on to our favorite Roan
Mountain, on the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, one of the
highest in the Atlantic United States, and the finest; the base and
sides richly wooded with large deciduous forest trees in unusual variety
even for this country, the ample grassy top (of several square miles)
fringed with dark firs and spruces, and the open part adorned with
thousands of clumps of Rhododendron Catawbiense, which when there last
before, late in June, we saw all loaded with blossoms, while the sides
were glorious with three species of Azalea, not to speak of many other
botanical treasures. There, at top and at base, we passed four busy
days. A narrow-gauge railway recently built, and new to us, reaches to
the base of the mountain, up the Doe River, through most picturesque
scenery, showing to most advantage in the descent. On our way back we
diverged to visit some striking rock scenery on the upper Kanawha River,
and thence to a mountain-top lower than Roan, but with the advantage of
a charming little lake, with banks all fringed with Rhododendron maximum
and Kalmia, hanging over the water for a rod or two, except on the side
where the little hotel stands. Well, I have written a deal here, little
as I have managed to tell you. I think you and Lady Fry should come over
and see for yourselves, just a pleasant summer vacation, if you can
leave Failand for so long.


September 26, 1884.

So dear Bentham has gone,--not quite filled out his eighty-fourth year.
Well, we could have wished this year of infirmity and suffering had been
avoided. One would like to say good-evening promptly at the close of the
working-day. But this we cannot order, so we must accept what comes. We
shall miss him greatly. We have nobody left to look up to. He seems to
have made a wise and good disposition of his effects.

Your two letters reached us at Philadelphia, on our return from North
Carolina and Virginia....

Yesterday we had Sir William and Lady Thomson.[129] To-day Traill and
wife (young and bright) of Aberdeen looked in and lunched.

I come home to a heap of letters and parcels and affairs, to keep me
busy awhile....

Well, the meeting at Montreal was a success, and made a pleasant
occasion. The influx of visitors from British Association to
Philadelphia made that meeting very good too. George Darwin I just saw
for a moment at Montreal, and Mrs. Darwin also at Philadelphia, one
evening,--handsome and winning.

I hope you have got the copy of “Synoptical Flora II.” for your own
shelf, through Wesley. Slips and omissions are already revealing,
especially in the index.

I am wonderfully strong and well. Mrs. G. well up to average, both much
set up by holiday, of which mine has now lasted a month....

What a deal you have fished out of Bentham’s earlier life! I thought you
meant Toulouse, not Tours. Bentham used to speak of Toulouse and that
part of France....

Among the inventive feats of his father was one I have somewhere heard
or read of, that he made a fleet of articulated transport boats for
descending the crooked channels of the Russian rivers.

I think you might have specified De Morgan’s discovery of Bentham’s
contribution to logic, and his able defense of the reclamation, to which
Herbert Spencer’s “Verdict” in 1873 was not particularly needed for the
establishment of the fact. De Morgan was not a man to leave his work
half done, especially as against Hamilton.

I only regret that the length to which these most interesting matters
extended stood in the way of your giving a more detailed account of
Bentham’s botanical work, on which another article would be timely.

I must now, before long, attempt something of this, for the American
Academy’s éloge. And I pray you, if you are not doing it yourself, to
send me hints and suggestions. Sheet full, and I will not begin another
to-day, but add only my wife’s love to you and Lady Hooker.

January 9, 1885.

The souvenir of dear Bentham has come to hand, is in its place on my
table, and the first use I make of it, now in position, is to write to
you this letter of thanks,--to you for awarding it to me, and to dear
Lady Hooker for so promptly forwarding it. The stand is a beautiful
piece of marble, bearing its two inkstands.[130] Was there ever anything
to occupy the sunken area between them?...

Of myself I have not much to write. The prospect of getting off for the
latter part of winter has just prevented my settling down to the
“Flora,” and I have found plenty else to keep me actively employed,
mainly with a revision of some boraginaceous genera, now in printer’s
hands, which I hope, while it unsettles old work, will settle it better
and permanently, as far as anything we do can be said to be lasting.

I am well,--can hardly be said to need the holiday we have determined
on.... We shall benefit much, I think probable, by getting off to meet
the spring, avoiding February-April here, which are the only drawbacks
to a climate of the best: for you know I do not at all dislike summer

We have not troubled ourselves much as to where we would go. But now it
does seem that we will go to the southern part of California, if
possible by the southern Arizona route, which is near the Mexican
boundary, and must be best for winter, and to return by the route
through the northern part of Arizona, which should be pleasant in the
latter part of April. Oh, that you and Lady Hooker could be with us....
And we shall be lonely without you on our travels, and feel that “that
great principle of the survival of the fittest” has been woefully

CITY OF MEXICO, Sunday, February 22, 1885.

Your letter of January 20, forwarded from Cambridge, overtook us at San
Antonio, Bexar. We left home February 3, in bitter cold, for St. Louis,
where I had an interview with old Shaw, and heard him read his
rearranged will, which is satisfactory, as it will allow his trustees,
and the corporation of Washington University there, to turn his bequests
to good account for botany; will be an endowment quite large enough for
the purpose.

Thence, rail--two nights and a day--to Mobile, where it was warm and
springlike, but no flowers out, barring an early violet. Thence to New
Orleans, which has a great exposition and a crowd, and where, in a
sudden change to cold, I caught a dreadful cold. It began with such a
hoarseness that, going, Mrs. G. and I, to dine with Dr. Richardson
(son-in-law of Short), where we met your and Dyer’s friends, Mr. and
Mrs. Morris[131] of Jamaica, I was taken speechless. I was only for a
few hours at the Exposition (I hate such), but Mrs. Gray went a second
time to see Mexican things. Dr. Farlow, joining us at New Orleans,
brought, to our surprise, passes for us to go by the Mexican Central
Road to the city of Mexico and back to El Paso (the junction with the
road to California), and we decided to undertake it. One day and a night
took us to San Antonio, Texas, where we stayed Saturday, Sunday, and
Monday, till evening, trying to recover from our colds, driving over the
country through chaparral of mesquite bushes (Prosopis) and opuntias.
When we awoke next morning we were coursing along the rocky banks of the
Rio Grande del Norte, mounting into a high region more arid still, if
possible, the only flowers out a Vesicaria; and descending into a great
cattle ranch region we reached El Paso at 3.30 A.M.; got to bed again;
had the day there and on the other side of the river, at El Paso del
Norte, in the Mexican State of Chihuahua, whence at evening we took our
Pullman for three nights and two days’ journey to this place, through
Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Aguas-Caliente, Leon, etc., reaching here
yesterday morning at 8.30. We are comfortably placed in the Hotel
Iturbide. Farlow and I have looked about somewhat, though I am still
suffering from catarrh and cough; Mrs. Gray laid up with hers. This
afternoon a Mexican gentleman to whom we took letters called and drove
Farlow and me out to Chapultepec, whence a most magnificent view of the
whole Valley of Mexico and the surrounding mountains, including
Popocatapetl and its more broadly snowy companion,--with its more
difficult name, meaning White Lady,--at this season always with
cloudless tops. The cypresses of Chapultepec are glorious trees, plenty
of them, full of character, and of a port which should help to
distinguish the Mexican species from the North American. I wish you
could see them. And such old trees of Schinus molle, the handsomest of
trees either old or young, the old trunks wonderfully bossed. Is it a
native of Mexico? I thought only of Chili. But it is well at home here.

Such yucca trees as we have seen on the way here, with trunks at base
two or three feet in diameter, weirdly branched, looking like doum
palms. Opuntias of two or three arborescent species, some huge, and
other cacti not a few.

I have still to compare Arizona with the plateau of northern Mexico. But
I see they are all pretty much one thing....

ORIZABA, February 27, 1885.

Since my former sheet, Farlow and I have been mousing about the city of
Mexico, I coughing most of the time, in a clear, dry air and nearly
cloudless sky, weather which should be most delightful, but somehow it
is bad for the throat (for the natives as well as for us), and the
rarefied air puts one out of breath at a little exertion; mornings and
evenings cool and fresh, the midday warm, in the sun trying.... Called
in a physician, a sort of medical man to American embassy, who came here
with Maximilian, and stayed. Very intelligent. Ordered us to come here
as soon as Mrs. Gray could travel. Here only 4,028 feet and a warmer
damp air. Well, we tried it yesterday; had to leave city of Mexico at
6.15 A.M., our hotel at 5.30 cold, no breakfast; had to travel till ten
or nearly before we could get even a decent cup of coffee, at junction
of road to Vera Cruz and Puebla, and after rising to 8,333 feet in
getting out of the Valley of Mexico; but at 1 P.M., at Esperanza, in the
Tierra Frias, had a capital dinner, and met train from Vera Cruz. Here
pine-trees on the hills all round us, two species. Soon begins the
descent and a complete change of air, the other side all dry and horrid
dust, making our catarrh worse than ever; now the moisture from the Gulf
of Mexico makes all green; the road by skillful engineering pitches down
4,000 feet to this, the greater part of the descent all in eight or nine
miles of straight line as the bird flies. In all the Valley of Mexico
and to the north of it really nothing in blossom yet, all so dry, except
Senecio salignus, if I rightly remember the name, a shrub of 1-4 feet,
just becoming golden with blossoms. But the moment we began the descent
all was flowery, two species of Baccharis, Eupatoria, Erigeron
mucronatum (so much cultivated under the false name of Vittadenia
triloba), Lœseliæ species, Arbutus, (Xalapensis) in bud, and many
things of which we shall know more when we return over the route....
Very comfortable hotel here. Botteri[132] left an élêve here who knows
something of botany, but lives out of reach on a hacienda. We found a
garden combined with a small coffee plantation. The proprietor thereof,
speaking a little French, has filled his ground with a lot of things
that will stand here. It is just in _medias res_, two hours below Tierra
Frias, two above (or at Cordoba, only seventeen miles, but 2,000 feet
lower) true tropical. Papaya fruits here, also Persea gratissima, etc.
And the oranges are delicious. I have passed the whole morning with the
garden man, while Farlow went up a small steep mountain, and brought
back various things. We shall drive this afternoon to the Cascade of
Rincon Grande (cascades are most rare in Mexico).

The air here suits us; shall try to leave our coughs here and at Cordoba

On the way here had views of Popocatapetl and the more beautiful and
diversified Iztaccihuatl from the sides, and wound round the base of Mt.
Orizaba. A true Mexican town this. Mrs. Gray enjoying sights from the
window; will be able to drive out this afternoon, though the clouds are
sinking too much and mist gathering, a great contrast to the city of

P. M.--We went, but saw the falls (very picturesque) in a wet mist, and
for botany got a lot of subtropical Mexican plants, the like of which I
never saw growing before: among Compositæ, Lagascea (large heads), Tree
Vernonias of the Scorpioides set, Calea, Andromachia, etc., etc.

CORDOBA, March 2, 1885.

... To continue. On Saturday, a fine and sunny morning, Farlow and I
drove off for the Cascade of Barrio Nuevo, almost as beautiful as the
other, and had a long morning in clambering and collecting. In the
grounds on the way are planted trees of a Bombacea, in flower before the
leaf, probably Pachira. The peak of Orizaba shows as a narrow streak of
white over a near mountain, from the windows of our room; but by going
half a mile east the whole comes out splendidly.

Sunday morning we were comparatively quiet, but at 3.50 P.M. we were off
for Cordoba, less than an hour distant by rail, and 2,000 feet lower. A
queer little town, with only a poor, truly Mexican inn, a set of rooms
in the single story, all round a patio, into which the country diligence
drives, and on rear side the stables back against the rooms, as Farlow
found to his discomfort, only a thin wall between his room and the
horse’s mangers. Tile floors, cot-beds, but clean, and the food
certainly better than was to be expected.

Fine view of Orizaba. An American, Dr. Russell, here, whom I looked up.
And he took us to an American German, Mr. Fink, who collects Orchids,
etc., commercially. He took us to a garden, and we were going to the
river bank and ravine, but, though out of season, rain set in, and we
came home rather wet.

I fear our afternoon excursion may be lost, but it now looks like
clearing. The way from Orizaba here is magnificent, for mountains,
railroad-engineering, and culture vegetation. I hope we can get into
some wild tropical vegetation, but uncertain; can stay here only
to-morrow at most. We are cut off from news of all the world; little
could we get in Mexico city; less since....

You would be amused, as I have known you to be in Italy, at my knack of
explaining myself by gesture, and so getting on....


We have only this morning left Rancho Chico and have set our faces
eastward. Waiting for our train I improve the rare bit of leisure to
write a line.

First of all, we are both well. No cough, however obstinate, could abide
this charming climate. And having no excuse for further stay we enter
upon the “beginning of the end” of a holiday which now only lacks ten
days of three months. What a pity to turn our backs on all the fruits we
see growing around us, having enjoyed only the cherries, which are just
coming in. Well, we have a basket of them, as big as plums, and so good!
to solace the first days of the desert part of our journey. We shall
have desert enough on the way home, as we cross Arizona and New Mexico
by the Atlantic and Pacific railway, through the northern part of those
Territories (having come out by the southern), a country quite new to
us. How often we have wished for you and Lady Hooker!

When and whence did I write you last? I think from Los Angeles and
before our trip to San Diego.

Instead of a short journey by sea (which my wife detests) we made a long
circumbendibus by rail to the southernmost town in California; declined
an invitation to go over the border into Mexican California; was, in
fact, too unwell to do anything in the field, and so, finding the coast
too cool and damp, returned, stopping two nights with Parish and wife,
at their little ranch at San Bernardino, in a dry and warm region, a
charming valley girt with high mountains, on the eastern side still
snow-topped,--indeed they are so most of the summer. Back thence to Los
Angeles we soon went, down to the port San Pedro, and took steamer for
Santa Barbara, the very paradise of California in the eyes of its
inhabitants, and indeed of most others. Our cruise of only eight hours
on the Pacific was pleasant, and most of it in daylight.

Arriving after dark, we found, to our surprise, the mayor of the little
town on the wharf with a carriage for our party (wife, Farlow, and
self), who drove us to the fine watering-place kind of hotel, and on
being shown at once to our rooms we found them all alight and embowered
in roses, in variety and superbness such as you never saw the beat of,
not to speak of Bougainvilleas, Tacsonias, and passion-flowers,
Cape-bulbs in variety, etc., etc., and a full assortment of the wild
flowers of the season. Mrs. Gray was fairly taken off her feet. During
the ten or eleven days we stayed, there were few in which we were not
taken on drives, the most pleasant and various. The views, even from our
windows, of sea and mountain and green hills (for California is now
verdant, except where Eschscholtzia and Bahias and Layia, etc., and
Lupines turn it golden or blue) were just enchanting; and on leaving we
were by good management allowed to pay our hotel bill.... Had you been
of the party I believe the good people would have come out with oxen and
garlands, and would hardly have been restrained.

Here we were driven out fifteen miles to one of the great ranches,--a
visit of two nights and a day,--that of Mr. Cooper, a very refined
family; the whole ranch flanked on the windward sides by eucalyptus
groves, apricots, almond, peach-trees, etc., by the dozens of acres; but
the produce on which the enthusiastic owner has set his heart is that of
the olive, and he makes the best of olive oil, and in a large way.
Hollister’s ranch is still larger, miles long every way; both reach from
mountain-top to sea, and have fine drives up cañons, in these fine oaks
and plane-trees, occasionally an Acer macrophyllum and an Alder.
Avoiding the sea, which gives a short route, we reached San Francisco by
a lovely drive, in a hired wagon, over a pass in the Santa Inez
Mountains to the coast (south) at Ventura, and so up the broad and long
Santa Clara Valley to Newhall, on the Southern Pacific railway, not very
far above Los Angeles (two days’ drive, most pleasant), then by rail
overnight and to this place to breakfast, and on to San Francisco.

We stopped this time at the Lick House, where we had, European-wise, a
room, not quite so good as we had at the Palace Hotel eight years ago,
and fed at the restaurant, very nice and reasonable, when we were not
visiting or invited out, which was most of the time. So it was not
expensive, our room (parlor, bedroom shutting off, and a bathroom)
costing only about 12 shillings for us both. Harkness looks the same,
but older; is absorbed in fungology. Here again we were made much of for
twelve days, most busy ones. General McDowell, who you remember dined us
at the “Palace,” is ill; we saw him twice, and he has since so failed
that we daily expect to hear of the end.

May 4. In Farlie’s Chalet hotel in the Grand Cañon of the Colorado.

Dr. Brigham, you remember, who took us to the Chinese theatre, is now
married, and has three children by a bright wife, with a rich father,
and a handsome house, above Presidio,--a fine site, and filled with fine
things from all countries, and such a rose-garden; gave us a handsome
dinner. Alvord and wife (president now of Bank of California), noble
people, did wonders for us, and a dinner and drives. A lunch over at the
university; and another by General (commanding the Western Department
in place of McDowell, and in the choice house the latter built) and Mrs.
Pope (she an old acquaintance); then we went over to San Rafael, a night
with the Barbers, and next day a drive up behind Mount Tamalpais to the
cañon reservoir of water-works, and saw, at length (having failed on all
former visits), that huge Madroña (Arbutus Menziesii), like one of those
great and wide-spreading oaks you used to admire. Next day to Monterey,
which we saw nothing of on that hurried visit eight years ago, when our
single day was sacrificed to Hayden’s insane desire to see a coal mine
on a bare hill! Now there are eighteen miles of good drive around all
Point Pinos and through it, and Cupressus macrocarpa on the seaside
verge, noble and picturesque old trees, and no lack of young ones, a
little back, and grand sea and shore views.

On the other side of the town, in a grove of great live oaks and Pinus
insignis mixed, made into a beautiful park and park gardens, with a
separate railway station in the grounds, is the crack hotel of the
Western coast, the work of the Pacific Railway Company, which has also
bought and appended the whole of the pine grove, five or six miles long
and two or three wide, thus preserving Pinus insignis and the cypress,
the latter much needing it.

Mr. and Mrs. Alvord, knowing our visit was to be, had telegraphed for
best rooms, and joined us unexpectedly; took us on the long drive the
next day, with four fine horses.... They showed us no end of kind

At length we got off for a visit to Chico (leaving Farlow to apologize
at Santa Cruz, etc.), a quicker way than before, a steam-ferry across
Suisin Bay helping. And there we had a nice time indeed, from Saturday
evening to Friday morning, every day, drives and picnics, and
botanizing, and feeding on (besides strawberries) such cherries, just
coming in in acres of cherry-orchards, the only fruits yet in season.
That big fig-tree, in the branches of which I used to hide and feast, or
rather cram, is bigger than ever, but the figs green, to my sorrow. And
we cannot wait for them. General Bidwell[133] and wife have aged little
in the eight years, are as good as ever, full of all noble and good
works, as well as of generous hospitality; have taken wonderfully to
botany; remember you most affectionately and long for a real visit. His
great ambition is to make drives, good roads, through the ranch, for
pleasure as well as use; he has now over a hundred miles of them. That
big oak[134] is finer than ever; not a dead branch.

Well, off at length; at Lathrop joined our eastward train at evening; up
the San Joaquin valley all night, and had early morning for the
wonderful Tahachapi Pass. Breakfast at Mohave. (I must send you a
railroad map.) There took the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, over the
sandy desert to the Great Colorado at supper, to Peach Spring station at
two A.M., and next morning in an easy “buckboard wagon” twenty-two miles
and 4,000 feet descent into this wonderful cañon, a piece of it, which
its explorer, Major Powell, has made famous.

This afternoon and evening we are to get up and back, and on in the
night and morning to Flagstaff, and the ancient cliff dwellings.


Let me finish up these mems. We have now only a run of eleven hours to
St. Louis, where we stay three or four days with Dr. Engelmann (Jr.),
and then home.

The cañon trip well repaid the journey and its rough accessories. Some
of the views are of those depicted by Powell. We find that Tylor and
Moseley were here last year. As the man whom we had introductions to at
Flagstaff was absent for a day or two, though we found he had left
substitutes, and as we wanted to get home as soon as we could, we gave
up the visit to the cave and cliff dwellings. I dare say the models in
clay, made at Washington, are as good as the originals. So we came on,
one and a half nights and two days, and to-night we shall sleep in beds
at St. Louis. We bear this sort of travel quite well. From Mohave to the
Colorado is very sandy and complete desert, descending eastward many
hundred feet. Near Mohave lots of tree yuccas, looking very like those
in northern part of Mexico. From the Colorado to Peach Spring we passed
in the dark, but had risen to about 6,000 feet, and we kept on an
elevation of 4,000 to nearly 8,000 feet all across the rest of Arizona
and New Mexico, the higher parts wooded with conifers, that is, Pinus
ponderosa of the Rocky Mountains form and Juniperus. At Las Vegas, New
Mexico, we laid over one train, to rest and visit the Hot Springs; no
great to see, except a spick and span new hotel, too fine for the place,
and some very hot water.

Well, this trip, which will nearly round out to three and a half months,
has been long and enjoyable indeed.

At St. Louis will be letters, perhaps one from you.

Ever yours,

Part of yesterday and last night was down along the Arkansas, the
reverse of our journey eight years ago. Country much settled up.

CAMBRIDGE, August 26, 1885.

... Charles Wright is dead, at seventy-three and a half; had been
suffering of heart-disease, went out to his barn, was missed as the
evening drew on, was found dead. So they go, one by one....

The summer is almost gone,--one hardly knows how,--but, then, we have a
longer and finer autumn than you have in England.

The five hundred copies which I printed in 1878 are gone. And, as I have
to print new copies, I take the opportunity to correct on the stereotype
plates when I can,--a great lot of wrong references to volume, page,
plates,--that is, such as we have found out. What a bother they are, and
how impossible to make correct in the first place, and to keep so
through the printer’s hands! Then there are lots of important
corrections to make, and new species and genera galore.

So,--in an evil moment, you will say--I set about a supplement to this
new issue,--also of the other part. For, as I have now brought out in
the two parts all the Gamopetalæ, and as I begin to doubt if I shall
hold out to accomplish much more, I thought it best to leave behind at
least these in good state. But it is no small job. And this, with the
great amount of herbarium work that goes along with it, or beside it,
just uses up the summer; for I dare guess it will keep me occupied all

The last news of you is a letter from your dear wife to mine,--giving
such a pleasant picture of the two boys, and of your enjoyment of them.
You say you are quite well, and Lady Hooker much the same,--which is
comforting. But you are naturally growing older, like myself. I tire
sooner than I used to do, and have not so sure a touch nor so good a
memory. The daily grind we both find more wearing....

We should like to come over to you once more,--but it seems less and
less practicable; unless I become actually unfit for work, and then I
shall not be worth seeing....

Your affectionate old friend,

Old, indeed; the president of the Naturæ Curiosorum wrote me on August 3
that I have been one of the _curious_ for fifty years.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Gray wrote a notice of Charles Wright for the “American Journal of
Science,” in which he says that “Charles Wright was born at
Wethersfield, Connecticut; graduated at Yale in 1835. Had an early love
for botany, which may have taken him to the South as a teacher in
Mississippi, whence he went to Texas, joining the early immigration, and
occupied himself botanizing and surveying, and then again in teaching.
He accompanied various expeditions, and no name is more largely
commemorated in the botany of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona than
Charles Wright. It is an acanthaceous genus of this district, of his own
discovery, that bears the name of Carlowrightia. Surely no botanist ever
better earned such scientific remembrance by entire devotion, acute
observation, severe exertion, and perseverance under hardship and
privation.” He was engaged later for several years “in his prolific
exploration of Cuba.”

“Mr. Wright was a person of low stature and well-knit frame, hardy
rather than strong, scrupulously temperate, a man of simple ways, always
modest and unpretending, but direct and downright in expression, most
amiable, trusty, and religious. He accomplished a great amount of useful
and excellent work for botany in the pure and simple love of it; and his
memory is held in honorable and grateful remembrance by his surviving


CAMBRIDGE, November 3, 1885.

MY DEAR REDFIELD,--I was interested in your Corema Con.

I have a remark to make on the last sentence of it; I would ask, How
could the plant have an introduction following the glacial period? And
where could it have come from?

Of course my idea is that it existed at the higher north before the
glacial period--that is my fad.

But one sees that this is one of a few plants that may be appealed to in
behalf of an Atlantis theory,--as coming across the Atlantic, making
this Corema a derivation from C. alba, of Portugal, or of _its_
ancestor. But the Atlantic is thought to be too deep for an Atlantis;
and we do not need it much.

What induces me to refer to your paragraph is to ask whether your
“following the glacial period,” that is, recent introduction, means in
your thought that our species is a direct descendant of Corema alba,
which by some chance got wafted across the Atlantic.

That is the most probable notion, next to my theory.

For consider, we know the genus only on these two opposite shores.

Perhaps--so far as I know, there is no more C. alba in the Old World
than C. Conradii in the New. And if it were in New England that the
former occurs, we could say that the Old World received the genus from
the New--via the Gulf Stream.

November 6.

... I start farther back than the retreat of the glaciers. I suppose
that the common ancestor of both Coremas was in the high north before
the glacial period, and that the two, in their limited but dissociated
habitats, are what is left after such vicissitudes!

In that view it does not matter how long New England coast was under
water. Our plant and its companions were then further south or west.

Yours ever,

On the approach of Dr. Gray’s seventy-fifth birthday it was suggested
among the younger botanists that some tribute of love and respect should
be presented to him. Accordingly a letter was sent to all botanists
whose addresses could be obtained within the very limited time. A silver
vase was decided upon, and designs furnished, which were most happily
and beautifully carried out. The description, copied from the “Botanical
Gazette,” gives its size and decorations.

“It is about eleven inches high exclusive of the ebony pedestal, which
is surrounded by a hoop of hammered silver, bearing the inscription
‘1810, November eighteenth, 1885--Asa Gray--in token of the universal
esteem of American Botanists.’

“The decoration of one side is Graya polygaloides, surrounded by
Aquilegia Canadensis, Centaurea Americana, Jeffersonia diphylla,
Rudbeckia speciosa, and Mitchella repens. On the other Shortia
galacifolia, Lilium Grayi, Aster Bigelovii, Solidago serotina, and
Epigæa repens. The lower part of the handles runs into a cluster of
Dionæa leaves, which clasps the body of the vase, and their upper parts
are covered with Notholæna Grayi. Adlumia cirrhosa trails over the whole
background. The entire surface is oxidized, which gives greater relief
to the decorations.”

Greetings in the form of cards and letters, sent by those who gave the
vase, were placed on a silver salver accompanying the gift, with the
inscription, “Bearing the greetings of one hundred and eighty botanists
of North America to Asa Gray on his seventy-fifth birthday, November
18th, 1885.”

Dr. Gray was exceedingly touched and delighted, as well as overwhelmed
with surprise. And the day, with pleasant calls and congratulations from
friends and neighbors, gifts of flowers with warm and kindly notes, was
made a memorable one indeed.

His response to the senders of the vase was printed and sent to all who
could be reached.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., November 19, 1885.

_To J. C. Arthur, C. R. Barnes, J. M. Coulter, Committee, and to the
numerous Botanical Brotherhood represented by them_:

As I am quite unable to convey to you in words any adequate idea of the
gratification I received on the morning of the 18th inst., from the
wealth of congratulations and expressions of esteem and affection,
which welcomed my seventy-fifth birthday, I can do no more than render
to each and all my heartiest thanks. Among fellow-botanists, more
pleasantly connected than in any other pursuit by mutual giving and
receiving, some recognition of a rather uncommon anniversary might
naturally be expected. But this full flow of benediction, from the whole
length and breadth of the land whose flora is a common study and a
common delight, was as unexpected as it is touching and memorable.
Equally so is the exquisite vase which accompanied the messages of
congratulation and is to commemorate them, and upon which not a few of
the flowers associated with may name or with my special studies are so
deftly wrought by art, that of them one may almost say, “The art itself
is nature.”

The gift is gratefully received, and it will preserve the memory to
those who come after us of a day made by you, dear brethren and sisters,
a very happy one to

Yours affectionately,

TO S. M. J.

November 19, 1885.

We meant our day to have been most quiet, and I completely and J.
largely were taken by surprise. So we had to send for two or three
neighbors, especially to see the vase.

J. will bring it in to you, no doubt, for she is very proud of it. The
lines I have already written have taken all the strength out of my right
arm, but not all the love out of my heart, of which a good share is


CAMBRIDGE, November 19, 1885.

MY DEAR CANBY,--Many thanks for your felicitations. There is much I want
to write, and to say what a surprise we had, and how perfect the vase
is. But my arm is worn out with note-writing.

Yours affectionately,

Two poems and a poetical epigram came among the rest!


CAMBRIDGE, January 31, 1886.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I am a laggard correspondent, I fear. Here are your two
most friendly and interesting letters, as far back as November, one of
which crossed, and one which announced, the reception of my long letter
which gave a sketch of our journeyings which began almost a year ago.
For we are now already in the middle of another winter. I doubt if we
shall flee from this one, although it has shown some severity. In the
first place, we may thankfully say that neither Mrs. Gray nor I can say
that we require it; and I cannot bear to lose the time: I seem to need
the more of this as the stock diminishes; for, somehow, I cannot get as
much done in a day as I used to do. Moreover, it is no good running away
from winter unless you can go far. For our southern borders have been
unusually wintry, and they want our guards and preparations against
cold.... We were glad enough to get back to our well and equably warmed
house, where, indeed, we are most comfortable.

You called my attention, I believe, to Professor Allen’s book on the
“Development of Christian Doctrine.” I take shame to myself that I did
not procure and read it. But I know its lines, and read some part of it
before it was in the book, and, of course, I like it much.

I am going, in a few days, to send you a little book, with similar
bearings, which I read in the articles of which it is made up. I think
you will find much of it interesting.

Bishop Temple’s “Bampton Lectures” seemed to me very good as far as it
went, but hardly came up to expectation.

I saw something of Canon Farrar when here. He pleased well, and I think
was well pleased; and personally he was very pleasing and lovable.

I wish more of the English Churchmen would visit us, and give more time
especially to the study of their own branch of the church in the United
States,--a very thriving one. I think they might learn much that would
be helpful and hopeful,--difficult as it may be to apply the experience
and the ways of one country to another.

I have seen, but not read, Mr. Forbes’s “Travels in Eastern
Archipelago.” Those who have read it here say it is very interesting. We
have a great lot of his dried plants from Sumatra and Java, unnamed,
which at odd hours I am arranging for the herbarium. I hope that in his
new journey he will manage to make better specimens. But, as he is
primarily an entomologist, this can hardly be expected. But, if I
rightly understand, he goes out now with a good backing and probably
better conveniences for collecting than he could have had before.

We have been, and still are, much interested in English politics and
election excitements. You are having very anxious times, indeed. What a
pity that some one party, that is, one of the two great parties, is not
strong enough, and homogeneous enough, to command the situation for the
time being, and to deal independently of Parnell, or, indeed, of

We Americans are wonderfully peaceful--our only real questions now
pending are financial, and those not yet treated as they ought to be, on
party lines. We have an awful silver craze; but we hope to arrest it
before it comes to the worst, though sense and argument are at present

We have a comfortable trust in the principle that “Providence specially
protects from harm the drunken, the crazy, and the United States of

I see our friend Professor Thayer now and then. He is well and
flourishing. Mrs. Gray and I are very well indeed, and we send our most
cordial good wishes to you all.

Very sincerely yours,


CAMBRIDGE, March 9, 1886.

When I read A. de Candolle’s notice of Boissier, I thought it was
“charming.” Anyhow, it brought back to me the charming memory of a very
lovable man. I dare say neither De Candolle nor I has done justice to
Boissier’s work. I could only touch and go,--make a picture that would
just sketch the kind of man he was.

... Yes, I have got on Ranunculaceæ, and have done up to and through
Ranunculus, minus the Batrachium set, of which happily we have few in
North America, that we know of. But having done some while ago the
Gamopetalæ of Pringle’s interesting North Mexican collection, I am now
switched off to the same in a hurried collection made by Dr. Palmer, in
an unvisited part of Chihuahua, in which very much is new. One after
another those Mocino[136] and Sessé plants turn up. Also those of
Wislizenus, whom the Mexicans for a time interned on the flanks of the
Sierra Madre.

We are bound to know the botany of the parts of Mexico on our frontier,
and so must even do the work. Pringle goes back there directly, with
increased facilities, and will give special attention to the points of
territory which I regard as most hopeful.

Trelease,[137] our most hopeful young botanist,--established at St.
Louis,--is here for a part of the winter, to edit a collection of the
scattered botanical publications of Engelmann which Shaw pays for--or at
least pays for to a large extent. He would have the plates and figures,
and that will double the cost and the sum Shaw offered to provide. We
may have to sell some of the edition in order to recoup the charges....

Yes, you hit a blot. I can see to all my own books, such as the
“Synoptical Flora.” But, somehow, I cannot restrain the publishers from
altering the date of their title-pages when they print off a new issue
from the stereotype plates....

What do I call an alpine plant? Why, one that has its habitat above the
limit of trees--mainly--though it may run down lower along streams. But
in a dry region, where forest has no fair chance, we might need to mend
the definition.

Upon your paper, I got a few notes--offhand, by references.

I premise that in New England we have two places where several alpine
plants are stranded at lower levels than they ought, peculiar conditions
of configuration and shelter having preserved them, while the exposed
higher grounds have lost them. They are Willoughby Mountain and the
Notch of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont.

As to your III. Of the whole list of alpine plants of Oregon and
northward and not of California, I can put my hand upon only two that
are yet known in California, viz., Armania verna and Vaccinium
cæspitosum, which comes in its var. arbuscula only.

There is a great lack of alpine arctic plants in California. First,
because there is not much place for them now; secondly, because there
have been such terrible and vast volcanic deposits--lava and ashes--that
they must have been all killed out.

But for all these matters we shall one of these days have fuller and
surer data--after my day. Well, I must stop....


CAMBRIDGE, June 29, 1886.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--Your letter and inclosure of the 15th inst. gave
me much pleasure. Not only had I a natural curiosity to know more of
Coulter,[138] but also I find it important to know his routes in Mexico
and California.

At Los Angeles, last year, I fell in with one of the “old settlers” who
knew him, and who accompanied him on that expedition into the Arizona
desert on the lower Colorado. Mr. Ball will ascertain and let me know
other particulars of the man, and the date of his death, which probably
occurred not long after that last letter to you, from Paris.

In various ways I am convinced that I am on the verge of superannuation.
Still I work on; and now, dividing the orders with Mr. Watson (who,
though not young, is eight or ten years my junior), we are working away
at the Polypetalæ of the “Synoptical Flora of North America,” with
considerable heat and hope. But it is slow work!

Tuckerman, our lichenologist, has gone before us! I shall in a few days
send you a copy of the memorial of him which I contributed to the
Council report of the American Academy of Sciences and am having
reprinted in the “American Journal of Science” for July.

My wife is fairly well.... She is always busy; and we both enjoy life
with a zest, being in all respects very happily situated, particularly
in having plenty to do.

Let us hope that you may still be able to give us better accounts of
Madame de Candolle and of yourself; and believe me to be always,

Yours affectionately,



MY DEAR DANA,--Well! “the books” have just come.

I suppose you are in no hurry for notices of them, and would prefer
short ones....

I rather like to do such things incog., as in the “Nation,” in which I
sometimes take a shot at this or that.

I and wife are well,--very.

Had a week in Old Oneida, which still looks natural. I am grinding away
at “Flora,” and probably shall be found so doing when I am called for.

Very well! I have a most comfortable and happy old age. Wishing you the

Yours ever,


CAMBRIDGE, September 15, 1886.

... Has Ball returned to England? If so, please tell him that he
promised to look up in Dublin, and give from his own knowledge, some
details of Coulter’s life. Alphonse de Candolle has sent me copies of
what letters he has, and they enable me to trace Coulter’s movements and
whereabouts, which is helpful.

Old Goldie,[139] your father’s correspondent lang syne, died only this
summer, very old.

My last bit of work was upon our Portulacaceæ for my “Flora.” The genera
are thin. It is as much as one can do to keep up Montia (though if that
fails Claytonia should go to it rather than the contrary, by
right,--but convenience would call for the contrary), also Spraguea.

I have been having a holiday. A fortnight ago my wife and I set out;
made a visit to my natal soil, in the centre of the State of New York,
in Oneida County; had a gathering of the surviving members--most of
them--of the family, of which I am the senior,--two widowed sisters (one
a sister-in-law), there resident, and an older one who came with her
husband from Michigan; my oldest brother and family, who have the
paternal homestead; the unmarried sister, who passes all her winters
with us; children and some grandchildren. One brother, a lawyer in New
York, and residing near by in New Jersey, with wife and two boys, did
not come. Another absent nephew is in California, well settled there.

It is a pretty country, the upper valley of the Mohawk and of tributary
streams from the south, which interlock with tributaries of the
Susquehanna, at a height of 1,000 to 1,500 feet above tide-water,
beautiful rolling hills and valleys, fertile and well cultivated, more
like much of rural England than anything else you saw over here. We
wished you and Lady Hooker could have been with us in our drives. The
summer air is just delightful, soft and fresh.

On our return we struck off and visited my brother Joe and family, in
the environs of New York, and so came home much refreshed--though,
indeed, I hardly felt the need of a holiday.

Sargent has just started for a trip to the southern part of the
mountains of North Carolina,--a region we are fond of and long to show

Now I am going to pitch into Malvaceæ. I am quite alone. Goodale took
off Sereno Watson with him, on a slow steamer to Amsterdam; will run for
a fortnight or so over nearer parts of the Continent, and Watson will
look in at Kew. He was much worn down, and the rest and change will be
good for him. I have filled my sheet with this gossip.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was during this visit that Dr. Gray, when the family gathered one
morning for breakfast, had disappeared. He came in smiling when the meal
was half over, and in answer to the anxious question where he had been,
said, “Oh, I have been to say to Mrs. Rogers that I forgave her for
getting above me in the spelling-class.”

CAMBRIDGE, October 31, 1886.

DEAR HOOKER,--Thanks for a nice long letter from Bournemouth, September
27. Thanks, too, for the hope--though rather dim--that you and wife may
come over to us in the spring. Before winter is over we must arrange
some programme; for we four must meet again somehow and somewhere, while
in the land of the living. But how is a problem.

... I see how difficult it must be for you to get away as far as to us.
Our obstacle to any amount of strolling away is mainly the fear that if
I interrupt my steady work on the “Flora of North America,” I may not
get back to it again, or have the present zeal and ability for
prosecuting it.

On the other hand, if I and my wife do not get some playdays now, while
we can enjoy them, the time will soon come when we shall have to say
that we have no pleasure in them. Therefore we are in sore straits....
If really you cannot come, then we will brave out the winter here, as
we did last winter and are none the worse; then we will seriously
consider whether Mahomet shall go to the mountain, which will not come
to Mahomet.

I grind away at “Flora,” but, like the mills of the gods, I grind
slowly, as becomes my age,--moreover, to continue the likeness, I grind
too “exceedingly fine,” being too finical for speed, pottering over so
many things that need looking into, and which I have not the discretion
to let alone. Consequently the grist of each day’s work is pitiably
small in proportion to the labor expended on it. I am now at Malvaceæ,
which I once enjoyed setting to rights, and of which the North American
species have got badly muddled since I had to do with them.

If Sereno Watson--who should be back again in twenty days--will only go
on with the Cruciferæ, which he has meddled with a deal, and then do the
Caryophyllaceæ, which are in like case, we may by March 1st have all
done up to the Leguminosæ.

We learn to-day, through a pamphlet sent by Miss Horner, that Bunbury is
dead--in June last....

Your “Primer”--new edition--has not come yet. Do not forget it. And
then, as my manner is, I will see if I can find fault with it. Same with
Bentham’s “Hand-book,” new edition....

I do not wonder that you are happy and contented. We should so like to
see father, mother, and children in their encampment at Sunningdale. May
plenty of sunshine be theirs!

Ball has sent me early sheets of his book. I must find time to go
through its pages.

The L.’s abroad, except the two girls (who are to winter at San Remo)
are now en voyage homeward. William, their father, has been painted by
Holl. He is a good subject. Saw your sister B. (and kind Lombe); she
writes a charming letter to my wife; seems to hold her own wonderfully.

CAMBRIDGE, November 22, 1886.

Well, I have got safely through my seventy-sixth birthday, which gives a
sort of assurance. I have always observed that if I live to November 18,
I live the year round!

You are working at Euphorbs, etc.; I at Malvaceæ, in which I find a good
deal to do for the species, and something for the betterment of


CAMBRIDGE, November 13, 1886.

MY GOOD FRIEND,--Let me turn for a moment to our quarter-millennial
celebration of the foundation of our university, though you in Europe
may count our antiquity as very modern. It was an affair of three days,
culminating on Monday last, and was altogether very pleasant. You will
like to know that among the honorary degrees given, was one to Professor
Allen, of the Episcopal Theological School here, in recognition of the
merits of his “Continuity of Religious Thought,” which work, I am glad
to remember, you much liked. The Mother Cambridge sent to us the master
of St. John’s, Dr. Taylor, and Professor Creighton, of Immanuel College,
to which the founders and first professors of Harvard belonged. Mrs.
Creighton came with him, and we found them pleasant people. I suppose
Lowell’s oration, Holmes’s poem, and the doings in general will be in
print before very long, and I shall not forget to send you a copy.

We have been away from Cambridge very little this last summer and
autumn, only on very short visits, or one rather longer one to my
birthplace in the central portion of New York, where we had a family

There is a lull just now in your political situation. I certainly at
your last election should have gone against Gladstone! How so many of my
countrymen--I mean thoughtful people--approve of homerule, i.e., of
semi-secession, I hardly understand. But local government as to local
affairs is our strength, and is what we are brought up to. Also, our
safety is in that the land--the agricultural land--is so largely owned
by the tiller....

We should like to see old friends in England once more in the flesh, and
the feeling grows so that I may feign a scientific necessity, and we
may, if we live and thrive, cross over to you next summer. At least we
dream of it, though it may never come to pass.


CAMBRIDGE, January 18, 1887.

MY DEAR HOOKER,--Glad to see the “Botanical Magazine” figure of Nymphæa
flava †.6917.

There is something not quite right in the history as you give it.
Leitner was the botanist who showed the plant to Audubon, and gave it
the name which Audubon cites, and he died--was killed by the Florida
Indians--“half a century ago.” He was the “a naturalist” you refer to.

The whole history and the mode of growth, stolons, etc., has been
repeatedly published here in the journals, etc. See Watson’s “Index”
Supplement, etc. Not that this is any matter, even about poor Leitner.

CAMBRIDGE, January 25, 1887.

... Yes, it has seemed to me clear that you could not cross the Atlantic
at present. And so it logically follows that we must.

I had been coming to this conclusion, and only the day before your
letter arrived my good wife and I had put our heads together and
concluded that, if nothing occurred meanwhile to prevent, we would cross
over, say in April. It is time we set about it, if we are ever to do it;
and several things seem to indicate that this is a more favorable time
than we can expect later.

As this will be “positively Dr. Gray’s last appearance on your shores,”
we must make the most of it. Shall we have a Continental jaunt together,
or shall you be too much tied to home?

Meanwhile I must work hard and steadily....

As you “weed out” surplus of herbarium Kew, keep them for me. When I
come I will take care of them. It is (as usual) good of you to think of
us. You have done so for so long a time that it is only “second
nature”--very good nature too.

Williamson, plant-fossil, long ago begged us to come to British
Association at Manchester, and be his guests. If I do, what think you of
my preparing a paper for Botanical Section; and will you join me in it?
two venerables--_anglice_ old fogies--on Nomenclature and Citations.

There are some points I should like to argue out and explain; to put on
record, though it may be of no use. Not that one wants to get up a
discussion in such a body--that would never do....

CAMBRIDGE, February 22.

Thank you for sending me your edition of Bentham’s “Handbook,” which
looks well in its more condensed shape, and in which I dare say you have
put a good deal of conscientious work. But it seems to me that Reeve &
Company give it poor type and paper.

I am putting through a rehash of my “Lessons in Botany,”[140] more
condensed, yet fuller, and with a new name. This, with the companion
book, which I must live to do over, _Deo favente_, is the principal
thing for bread, and I need it for an endowment to keep up the herbarium
here, after my time.

Well,--don’t speak of it aloud,--we have secured our passages for April
7, and if I can get present work off my hands in time, we may be on your
soil soon after Easter.

You may imagine me very busy, indeed.

Yours affectionately,

Dr. Gray, with Mrs. Gray, landed in England, April 18, and went from
Liverpool to stay at Sunningdale with Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker, where
a quiet, restful week was most pleasantly passed. He went to London the
first of May for a few days, meeting again old friends, dining with
them, and dropping in for calls, “to report himself,” as he said. He did
a little work at Kew, going back and forth; then crossed to Paris,
finding at the Jardin des Plantes what he had especially wanted to see,
Lamarck’s herbarium, which had been acquired since he was last there. It
completed satisfactorily his studies in Asters, as he had now seen
everything of the genus to be found in herbaria of importance.

A journey in Normandy with Sir J. D. Hooker had been planned for May,
but Sir Joseph was unable to leave England, so Dr. Gray arranged to go
to Vienna. He greatly enjoyed the railroad journey from Bâle, in May,
the fruit-trees white with blossoms about Lake Zurich, then the wilder
mountain scenery, and Salzburg, all bringing back the memories of his
first European journey forty-eight years before.


HERBARIUM, KEW, April 23, 1887.

MY DEAR DE CANDOLLE,--You will be a little surprised at the sudden
transfer of Mrs. Gray and myself to England; but I wanted a vacation and
one more bit of pleasant travel with Mrs. Gray while we are both alive
and capable of enjoying it. Whether I shall look in upon you at Geneva
is doubtful, but it may be, even for a moment. We never expect to have
repeated the pleasant week at Geneva of the spring of 1881.

We expect to go to Paris early in May, but subsequent movements are

Always, dear De Candolle, affectionately yours,


TO ----.

May 15, 1887.

I think the journey from Bâle, in Switzerland, to Salzburg was
wonderfully fine and a great success, and that May is a good time to do
it, while there is plenty of snow in the mountains. Lake Wallenstadt
showed to great advantage. And I had no idea that the pass of the
Arlberg, from Feldkirk to Innspruck, was so high or so very fine. I
believe it is the highest railway pass across the Alps. I was quite
unprepared (which was all the better) for the exquisite and wild, and in
parts grand, scenery of the next day’s journey through the heart of
Lower Tyrol and the Salzburg Salzkammergut, by a slower train, a
roundabout road making more than twice the direct distance from
Innspruck to Salzburg, through the Zillerthal and over a fairly high
pass on to the upper part of the Salzach, and down it through some wild
cañons into the plain, from nine A.M. till five, of choicest scenery.
The great castle, so picturesquely placed in the Lichtenstein (plain),
is Schloss-Werden. Rainy day at Salzburg, or should have had noble
views. If the weather had been good, I think we would have driven from
Salzburg to Ischl, and then come by the Traunsee to Linz. But after all,
from my remembrance, it would hardly have come up to what we had already
seen. And though it was a rainy day for the Danube, we did see
everything pretty well, and most comfortably, in the ladies’ cabin of
the steamer, with windows all round the three sides, and most of the
time the whole to ourselves, or with only one quiet lady, who evidently
cared nothing for the views. J. says I was bobbing all the time from one
side to the other. I was looking out for the views which I had when
going up the Danube forty-eight years ago. J. thinks it not equal to the
Rhine, but there is rather more of it, or scattered over more space.



I do believe we shall have to return to America to thaw out. Here we
arrive in Geneva this morning, full of memories of delightful summer,
ten days earlier than this in 1881, to find snow down even to foothills
of the Jura and on Mont Salève; it came two days ago, and the air,
though clear, is very chilly, which is not to my liking.

Vienna was much better, excepting our last day, which had a cold and
high wind, and our night journey to Munich was cold and comfortless, in
spite of the best appliances.

I have nothing new to tell you of Vienna, where we made out our full
week, quite enjoyingly.

Besides the normal sight-seeing, and drives around this truly
magnificent city, we went one afternoon to the astronomical observatory
out at Wahring (Weiss and wife being old acquaintances), and next day
they went with us to the Prater. Körner and daughter took us to
Schönbrunn. I went with these to a meeting of the Academy of Sciences;
had a good turn around the new and immense, but mostly yet unarranged,
Natural History Museum with Hauer, the director, and Steindachner, the
zoölogical curator; had a look at the Hofherbarium on the upper floor,
now under charge of a young man, Beck (and looked up some of Haenke’s
things there). How different from forty-eight years ago, when Endlicher
was curator, Fenzl, assistant, and the former took me out to the Botanic
Garden to call on old Jacquin, etc. Steindachner, who was with Agassiz
for a year or two at Cambridge, would have us come to his house for our
last evening; Süss[141] and frau to meet us,--charming couple; would
have been lots more, but we cut it short; had a jolly, pleasant evening.
Körner was prevented from coming. He has been asked to take
Eichler’s[142] place at Berlin; a botanic garden man and good teacher.
Weisner’s physiological laboratory I had an hour or two in, and saw all
his gimcracks; some nice ones. Saturday evening we went by rail to
Salzburg (at day-dawn); Munich at sunrise, not stopping; on to Ulm soon
after ten A.M. Bad weather kept Mrs. Gray indoors all day Sunday, though
I ran about. Monday morning she had with me a good look over Ulm
minster, inside and out; the upper part of the spire is rebuilding, and
is to be carried up with the true taper, according to the original plan.
That sight-seeing done, we came yesterday to, and across, the Lake
Constance, to Zurich, for late afternoon and evening, and on to Geneva

I passed an hour this morning with De Candolle,--aged, but fairly
cheerful,--and he begged me to breakfast with him to-morrow. Müller
Argoviensis was not at his post.

What a season you have had, and what a fiasco Normandy would have been,
as you say. Why, the apple blossoms are only now out here. We did have
comfortable, warm and dry weather at Vienna, and the Belvidere gallery
is most enjoyable. Berlin we don’t in the least care for; but our faces
are rather set for Amsterdam, Antwerp, etc. If you have a call to write
me soon after getting this, for a day or two you might venture
Amsterdam, poste restante; but later the old address, to Hôtel St.
Romain, Rue San Roque, would be the thing until further notice; add “To
be kept till called for.”

I doubt if we shall be back in England before the 17th or 18th, and then
Mrs. Gray will have to join her luggage, left somewhere in the
neighborhood of Charing Cross, where it now reposes, and we shall have
to hasten down to Cambridge....

We have had an enjoyable time; and, I suppose, shall by day after
to-morrow set off Rhine-wards, stopping, perhaps, a day at Strasburg,
and by the Low Countries back to Paris, probably not to be again on this
side of the Channel, unless you and Lady H. will take a trip to Normandy
with us, either in August or September.

I hope you will soon have done with Phyllanthus, and that you will not
hesitate to restore as many old genera as your own judgment dictates.
Your experience and present insight must exceed Bentham’s. And what you
must needs indicate, the next man will take up, and probably cackle

My wife joins in love to yours and you; will be likely to write when she

       *       *       *       *       *

From Geneva the old journey of 1850 was nearly repeated, and Dr. Gray
came down the Rhine, by rail this time, to Brussels, Amsterdam, the
Hague, back to Antwerp and Brussels, and so to Paris. Besides meeting
old friends, the object of the journey, he said, was to have one more
good look at picture-galleries and churches and cathedrals; and great
was his enjoyment of them, unwearied his wanderings about the places
where he stopped. The new galleries at Amsterdam and Brussels, and their
superb collections, delighted him, and the grand music of the cathedrals
and their noble interiors seemed a new source of pleasure.

He missed his old friends in Paris; Decaisne was gone, and Lavallée,
etc. He went to a meeting at the Institute, and saw Chevreuil, who had
passed his hundredth birthday, but spoke a few words with life and
animation. There were some excursions in the neighborhood, and some work
in the herbarium, where he received every kind attention.

TO ----,

PARIS, June, 1887.

... The views on the garden and park side of the Palace of
Fontainebleau, and over the carp pond, which came up to the walls, were
very pretty; partly clipped and trimmed trees made into green walls,
partly more English.

... At half past one, in an open light carriage with a canopy overhead,
keeping off the hot sun, and letting through the fresh air, we were off
for our two hours’ drive through the famous forest. The main avenues,
long and straight, and formal; but the forest was voted very handsome. A
change came when we reached the ruin of the hermitage of Franchard, and
the extensive region of rocks and dells. We were taken through by an old
guide, who, with much pride, paraded the little and queer English he had
picked up, and showed off all the sights, the most important to him
being those in which bits of rock could be likened to a lion’s head, a
beef’s tongue, a turtle, and the like. First and foremost, in a sort of
over-arched grotto, was “La roche qui pleure,” a great disappointment! A
sort of crack or joint between two layers of the rock exuded a little
moisture in one spot; _voilà tout_. We shed about as many tears in our
laughter at the sight; more indeed, for we could see not a drop. I dare
say at some seasons there may be a little drip. But the dells among the
rocks were fine, and the stories of the boar hunts, and all that, by the
kings and queens and courtiers, could be made fairly real on the spot,
and the famous points of view, one of Maria Theresa, one of Eugénie,
were effective. A drive back by another route took us through some older
forest; occasionally a really old tree, and one truly old and large
linden. There may be parts in which there are trees as large and
venerable as in old English parks, but we saw only this one old tree.
The forest is very large, and we had to be content with this one drive.
We might have had one hour more of it, for we had all that to wait for
our train back to Paris, very pleasant as it cooled at evening.

June 9, I at work at Jardin des Plantes, but back at noon, and at half
past twelve we drive across Paris to the Gare de Sceaux and out to
Vilmorin’s. At Massy, where we leave the railway, Henry de Vilmorin
awaited us, with his nice carriage, and took us to the charming place at
Verrières, so full to us of recollections. It is prettier than ever, the
house enlarged and so full of very nice things. V. and I were most of
the time in the grounds, looking at plants, back to afternoon tea and
cake, which we much enjoyed, being hungry, and to accommodate us they
put forward the dinner hour to six. Besides the children and English
governess, we had at dinner a very interesting abbé, with a charming,
intellectual face, and a manner to match--a Monsignor; for he takes that
title as a member of the Pope’s household or personal staff. He had
passed a portion of his life at Moscow, as the curé of a French Catholic
church there, had seen a good deal of the Roman Catholic bishop of
Chicago and other American brothers; was a good deal interested in
America, and after the ice was broken and he found he could understand
J.’s French, and even mine, which amused as well as instructed him, we
had much chat. We had to break off. Vilmorin drove us back a few miles
to Fontenay-la-Rose, to take a particular train, and so we were at our
quarters in Rue St. Roche before dark. That need not mean very early,
for the days here are wonderfully protracted.

       *       *       *       *       *

He crossed to England June 14, passed a day or two in London, and then
went to the Camp, quite glorious with the rhododendrons in blossom; and
with Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker, on the 18th, went to Cambridge, where
they were the guests of Mrs. Darwin. A delightful Sunday was spent in
meeting old friends, and on Monday were all the ceremonies, new and
strange, of conferring of degrees. The great sensation of the day was
the presence of the Lord Mayor with all his train; he also was to have a
degree.... No one can surpass Dr. Sandys in the felicity with which he
presents the distinguished men whom Cambridge University honors with its
highest degrees. In his presentation of Dr. Gray, he said (we translate
from the exquisite Latin):

“And now we are glad to come to the Harvard professor of Natural
History, facile princeps of transatlantic botanists. Within the period
of fifty years, how many books has he written about his fairest science;
how rich in learning, how admirable in style! How many times has he
crossed the ocean that he might more carefully study European herbaria,
and better know the leading men in his own department! In examining,
reviewing and sometimes gracefully correcting the labors of others, what
a shrewd, honest and urbane critic has he proved himself to be! How
cheerfully, many years ago, among his own western countrymen was he the
first of all to greet the rising sun of our own Darwin, believing his
theory of the origin of various forms of life demanded some First
Cause, and was in harmony with a faith in a Deity who has created and
governs all things! God grant that it may be allowed such a man at
length to carry to a happy completion that great work, which he long ago
began, of more accurately describing the flora of North America!
Meanwhile, this man who has so long adorned his fair science by his
labors and his life, even unto a hoary age, ‘bearing,’ as our poet says,
‘the white blossom of a blameless life,’ him, I say, we gladly crown, at
least with these flowerets of praise, with this corolla of honor (his
saltem laudis flosculis, hac saltem honoris corolla, libenter
coronamus). For many, many years may Asa Gray, the venerable priest of
Flora, render more illustrious this academic crown.”

       *       *       *       *       *

England was in a stir with the Queen’s Jubilee; it was impossible to be
in London on the twenty-first, as Dr. Gray must get to Oxford to receive
his degree on the twenty-second, and a good part of the day was used in
crossing country by various railroads; but the sight of the crowds, the
decorations, the bands everywhere, was very interesting, and the
enthusiasm contagious. Oxford had its gay share of illumination in the
evening, and the next day Dr. Gray received his degree with several
others, among them his old Cambridge acquaintance, Story, the sculptor.

TO ----.

BLACHFORD, Sunday, July 2.

... I am to add some supplementary notes.

At the Cambridge University lunch, I had Mrs. Jebb assigned to me to
take in. Oscar Browning took the seat on my right. Opposite was a man I
was glad to see, Lord Acton,--middle-aged, of high scholarship and
admirable taste, who fought a long and losing battle against the
superstitious tendencies of his (Roman Catholic) church; and after lunch
I had a pleasant conversation with him; was glad to find he was one of
the new D. C. L. crew at Oxford, where I again saw something of him. He
has been in the United States when only a baronet.

At the Oxford Christ Church dinner I was placed at the high table, only
two away from the Dean’s left, the two Dr. Jellett, provost of Trinity
College, Dublin (who was doctored), and the bishop of Gibraltar. On my
left was Talbot, the warden of Keble College (the very high church one),
and I know little of what I ate or drank, for we had a steady stream of
conversation on high topics, treated with immense frankness on both
sides. Dr. Jellett made the return-thanks speech for all four of the
new-made Doctors present,--himself, Story, Dr. Wright, Arabic professor
at Cambridge, and myself, a speech full of Irish humor. That was
arranged to be all. But the lower tables somehow knew by instinct what
Story wanted, and called him out. He made a rather funny speech. Then
Liddon had to move thanks to the president of the feast, the Dean
(Liddell), and a capital speech he made, even to my apprehension. I saw
that there was a good deal between the lines in what he was saying, but
did not know the half of it till I was told afterwards. Paget, my host,
was opposite me. Prestwich, whom I had not before got sight of, was next
him. It was a long affair, but very pleasant to me.

Next morning was the call on Professor Bartholomew Price and wife, in a
charming old house, meeting Tylor and Maspero; then we went to the
Museum, giving our time there to the new well-contrived Pitt-River
Museum of Ethnology; then walked to Acland’s and made a long call on his
daughter, who seemed pleased, and we certainly were to see her again,
and looking well, though a sufferer and invalid. The dinner at
Balfour’s, J. will describe.

Friday, at ten o’clock, the Hookers called with a carriage, and we drove
to Nuneham, seven miles, where Colonel Harcourt, older brother of Sir
William Harcourt, had invited us to see the place and lunch. It is one
of the principal seats of the Harcourt family,--not the oldest, which is
on the Thames much higher up--and is in view from the railway to London,
a handsome but externally rather plain pile, and so full of remarkable
things. As soon as we arrived we were shown through most of the house by
Colonel H., and some of the historical curiosities were brought out....
There is an unparalleled gallery of original portraits of British poets,
mostly given by themselves, almost all of them....

The “omnibus” had been ordered, and we drove through the park, into the
arboretum, and through it by winding roads were landed at the
conservatory and gardens, the dairy, the ornamental grounds, filled with
statues, etc., inscriptions in verse and prose set up by the wits of the
times of George II. and III. In the house we were shown some of the
letters, of which there is a vast quantity, now being sorted and
arranged in volumes and indexed. One volume is of those of George III.,
beginning with those when a small boy, and badly spelled, ending with
some when an old man and insane. Then a walk along the terrace and the
side commanding the fine views, from some points Oxford dimly seen in
the distance; then the lunch.

Our carriage was announced, and we took leave, a shorter way through the
park being pointed out. Got back to Oxford just in time to take leave of
H. (her husband out) and take a fly to train, and so to London;
separated from the Hookers, who had to take a slip car, to be dropped at
Reading. We went straight to Paddington without stop, and thence in a
cab to the Deanery, where our dear good friends awaited us.

Saturday afternoon, we were all going with the Churches to the
Archbishop of Canterbury’s garden party at Lambeth Palace, when, at
breakfast, Mrs. C. got an invitation from Mrs. Gladstone to hers, at
Dollys Hill, up near Harrow, and the question of dividing forces came
up. It was settled, as I wished, by Mrs. C., Fred, and I going by
underground to the Gladstones, while J. and the Misses C. went by
carriage to Lambeth. Mrs. Gladstone sent her carriage down to the
station, a mile off, which took us up to a pleasant country house, which
some one (I think Lord Aberdeen) has lent to the G. O. M. It was all
lucky for me. At Oxford, Bryce had asked me to his dinner for July 6,
where he said Gladstone wanted to meet me, and our engagements here made
that impossible. At the garden party, while we were there, the people
were few and a good chance to talk. Mrs. Gladstone was most gracious.
Gladstone said he was very glad to see me in the flesh, and we had
pleasant talk, of nothing in particular. Lord Granville sought an
introduction, asked Lowell, who was there, to introduce him, and then
introduced his brother, Lord Leveson Gower, and afterward his son. Then
I was put at the tea-table at the side of Miss Gladstone, the principal
of Newnham College at Cambridge, a most bright and pleasant person; and
after a long talk, a lady with a very pleasant and handsome face pushed
in a chair between us and asked an introduction,--Lady Lyttleton.... I
met her next day at evening, at Mr. Talbot’s (M. P.) house, where I went
to be taken to a good seat at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, now
serving for the Abbey, to hear Talbot, the warden of Keble, preach.

Sunday morning, to continue my separate doings, I went to the Temple
Church, to hear the very sweet music, better in my opinion than that of
St. Paul’s, and to hear the chaplain (Master is his proper title),
Vaughan. Capital sermon it was. Afternoon I was quiet. At seven o’clock
I went to Westminster to hear Talbot, the warden of Keble. These very
high clergymen have a way of preaching broad-minded sermons. Talbot’s
might have been preached by Phillips Brooks, or even by A. P. Peabody,
except for an incidental phrase or two, and except for some posturing at
the prayers. So my idea of the man, as a man of excellent sense, in
spite of his setting in a very superstitious school, was confirmed.

Tyndall dinner; here as a guest, I was the third on the left of the
chairman (Stokes, president of Royal Society), only Lord Bathurst and
Lord Derby between. The speaking I thought heavy enough, except for Lord
Derby’s speech, which was pointed and witty, and Lord Rayleigh’s, at the
end, which was neat and sensible. Met there (in Willis’s Rooms; the
dinner was in the Almack’s ballroom of old days) a good many old
acquaintances, and of course had a good time.

       *       *       *       *       *

From London, after more entertainments, Dr. Gray went to Devonshire,
where he made a charming visit at Blachford with his friends Lord and
Lady Blachford; most interesting excursions followed over the downs, a
day up the Tamar to Cothele; and he made other visits on the way back,
one to his old Cambridge friend, Mrs. James, near Exeter, where he had
an afternoon call at Killerton, Sir Thomas Acland’s, and saw the fine
beeches, etc.; returned to London, where there was much visiting before
he went to Edinburgh for another degree. On the way to the north he
visited the grounds of Welbeck, and saw the fine trees of Sherwood
(Robin Hood’s) forest,--beeches, and grand, hoar old oaks.

From Edinburgh Dr. Gray went through England to Normandy, meeting Sir
Joseph Hooker and his party at Rouen; then came a delightful trip given
to churches and cathedrals.

He wrote: “Bayeux and Coutances surprised us, they are so very good;
only Amiens and St. Ouen can compare with them in beauty, especially
interior views.

“No two of all these Normandy churches are alike; even those of
essentially similar style differ both within and without so much that
you would not wish to miss any one. Those old church builders were
geniuses, and worked by inspiration.”

He gave a day to Mont St. Michel, and then separating from the Hookers
he went to Chartres, to see it again after thirty years, and by Rouen
and Amiens returned to England; when came an interesting visit to
Harpenden to Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert, viewing the famous experiments in
agriculture at Rothampstead. And the seeing of cathedrals was closed by
a most delightful and busy day at Canterbury with Canon and Mrs.

At the end of August he went to Manchester to attend the meeting of the
British Association, and he and Mrs. Gray were guests of Professor
Williamson; De Bary and M. de Saporta being also under the same
hospitable roof. It was an unusual assemblage of botanists, and a very
enjoyable occasion.

Dr. Gray seconded Sir Henry Roscoe’s address at the opening of the
meeting with this short speech:--

“For the very great honor of being called upon to second the motion for
a vote of thanks to your illustrious president, I am mainly indebted to
that deference which is naturally accorded to advancing years; a
deference which sometimes, as in the present case, takes one unawares.

“In looking over the list of Corresponding Members of the British
Association, I find myself, much to my surprise, nearly, if not quite,
the oldest survivor.

“I recognize, therefore, a certain fitness, on this score, in the call
upon me to be the spokesman of those, your brethren from other lands,
who have been invited to this auspicious gathering, and to the privilege
of listening to the very thoughtful, well-timed, and most instructive
address of your president.

“As guests, we desire, Mr. Mayor, heartily to thank the City of
Manchester and the officers of the Association for inviting us; we wish
to thank you, Sir Henry, for the gratification your address has afforded

“Convened at Manchester, and coming myself by way of Liverpool, I would
say, personally, that there are two names which memory calls up from the
distant past, with unusual distinctness, both names familiar to this
audience, and well-known over the world, but which now rise to my mind
in a very significant way. For I am old enough to have taken my
earliest lessons in chemistry just at the time when the atomic theory of
Dalton was propounded and was taught in the text-books as the latest new
thing in science. Some years earlier, Washington Irving, in his
Sketch-book, had hallowed to our youthful minds the name of Roscoe,
making it the type of all that was liberal, wise, and gracious. And when
I came to know something of botany, I found that this exemplar as well
as patron of good learning had, by his illustrations of monandrian
plants, taken rank among the _patres conscripti_ of the botany of that

“The name so highly honored then we now honor in the grandson. And I am
confident that I express the sentiments of your foreign guests whom I
represent, when I simply copy the words of your president in 1842, now
reproduced in the opening paragraph of the address of the president of
1887, transferring, as we fitly may, the application from the earlier to
the later Manchester chemist.

“‘Manchester is still the residence of one whose name is uttered with
respect wherever science is cultivated, who is here to-night to enjoy
the honors due to a long career of persevering devotion to knowledge.’

“I cannot continue the quotation without material change. ‘That increase
of years to him has been but increase of wisdom,’ may, indeed be said of
Roscoe no less than of Dalton; but we are happy to know that we are now
contemplating not the diminished strength of the close, but the manly
vigor of the midcourse of a distinguished career. Long and prosperously
may it go on from strength to strength.

“In general, praise of the address which we have had the pleasure of
hearing would not be particularly becoming from one whose chemistry
nearly ended as well as began with the simple atomic theory of Dalton.
But there is one topic which I may properly speak of, standing as I do
as a representative of those favored individuals which your programme,
for lack of a better distinguishing word, calls ‘foreigners.’ I refer to
the urgently expressed ‘hope that this meeting may be the commencement
of an international scientific organization.’ For this we thank you, Mr.
President, most heartily. This is, indeed, a consummation devoutly to be
wished, and confidently to be hoped for by all of us, especially by
those for whom I am speaking.

“Not only we Americans, who are of British descent, and who never forget
that blood is thicker than water, but as well our Continental associates
on this platform, of the various strains of blood which, interfused,
have produced this English race and fitted it for its noble issues,--we,
each and all, I repeat, accept this name of ‘foreigners’ only in the
conventional sense which the imperfection of the language imposes. In
the forum of science we ignore it altogether. One purpose unifies and
animates every scientific mind with ‘one divine intent,’ and that by no
means the ‘far-off intent’ of which the poet sings, but one very near
and pervading. So we took to heart the closing words of your president’s
most pertinent and timely address. Indeed, we had taken them to heart in
anticipation, and so have come to this meeting, one hundred strong or
more (in place of the ordinary score) fully bent upon making this
Manchester meeting international.

“Far back in my youthful days there was a strong-willed President of the
United States, of military antecedents, who once drew up and promulgated
an official order which somewhat astounded his cabinet officers. ‘Why,
Mr. President,’ they said, ‘you can’t do that.’ ‘Can’t do it?’ replied
General Jackson; ‘Don’t you see that I have done it?’ And so we
internationals have come and done it. I am the unworthy spokesman of
such a numerous and such a distinguished array of scientific foreigners
as have never been assembled before. Next year, if you will, you shall
have as many more. When you too are ready to cross the Channel or the
North Sea, we shall compose only a larger scientific brotherhood. And
when you cross again the Atlantic, the brotherhood of science will be
the more increased, and its usefulness in proportion.

“In behalf of your foreign guests, I heartily second the motion.”

       *       *       *       *       *

From Manchester Dr. Gray went to Failand, to his friend Sir Edward Fry;
then followed a visit to Miss North, in Gloucestershire, where he met,
among others, Mr. and Mrs. Elwes,[143] and drove one day to Tortworth to
lunch with Lord and Lady Ducie; then to Kew. A few days there with his
kind friends, Dr. and Mrs. Oliver, a farewell visit to his old friend,
Miss Sullivan, at Broom House, to the Camp to say goodby to the Hookers,
and finally to Liverpool to sail in the Pavonia, October 7. Just six
months, as Dr. Gray said, of wonderful enjoyment and success; everything
had gone as it should, there were no mishaps, the days had run on as
each had been planned, and he came home in wonderful vigor and spirits.

CAMBRIDGE, October 24, 1887.

DEAR REDFIELD,--Thanks, many, for letter of the 22d....

We have had “a good time,” and after long play I am getting down to

Thanks to you all for your congratulations, in which my good wife
sincerely joins.

Yours affectionately,


DEAR HOOKER,--Your welcome letter in this morning. I was just writing a
notice of Ampelideæ, and your remarks are in time for me to sharpen it
up a bit. I think I can smash his notice about Ampelopsis.

Who is Miss Grant, who says she knows you both? She sculps, I believe.

Ever yours,

There was much to do on getting home and settling down again, and many
things were planned for the winter’s work. Dr. Gray particularly wished
to write some accounts of the old botanists he had seen in his earlier
visits, being stirred thereto by Reichenbach[144] of Hamburg, and by the
stories he told one evening at Dr. Oliver’s, at Kew, when all agreed it
was a pity some of these characteristic things should not go on record.
He took up work on the “Flora,” wrote a review of “Darwin’s Life and
Letters,” and had a busy time before him.

Professor Baird, director of the Smithsonian, and an old friend, had
died during the summer, and Dr. Gray, from his long connection with the
institution, was much interested in the appointment of his successor. He
went on in November to Washington to a special meeting of the Regents,
when Professor Langley was appointed; wrote from Washington of the
wonderful amount he had done in one day, and hurried back; liking
always, if he could, to surprise those at home by being somewhat earlier
than he had promised. He began the Annual Necrology for the “American
Journal of Science.” He was already at work on the Vitaceæ for the

He went in to Boston for the family Thanksgiving dinner, though there
had seemed some threatening of a cold, but he pronounced himself
perfectly comfortable. Still there was a quick breathing and some
listlessness, so that he was nursed a little on Friday; though he saw
Miss Murfree, who had been brought by Mrs. Houghton to ask him to settle
some question about a flower of the Southern Alleghanies, and he entered
into the matter with all his old life and eagerness. That evening he had
two slight chills, so that the doctor was summoned the next day, and
fearing some chest trouble, as he seemed threatened with one of his
bronchial attacks, advised him to keep in bed. On Sunday his pulse and
temperature had improved so much that he was allowed to get up and go
down stairs at noon, the doctor congratulating him on the success of the
treatment. There seemed a weakness of the right hand, which, however,
passed away, and he wrote that evening the letter to Dr. Britton, which
follows, and when remonstrated with for making the exertion, said “it
was important and must be written.”

Sunday Evening, November 27, 1887.

DEAR DR. BRITTON,--I wish to call your attention either in a personal
way or in the “Bulletin,” if preferred, to a name coined by you on the
223d page of this year’s “Bulletin.”

“Conioselinum bipinnatum (Walter, Fl. Car. under Apium), Britton,
Selinum Canadense, Michx., 1803.”

I want to liberate my mind by insisting that the process adopted
violates the rules of nomenclature by giving a superfluous name to a
plant, and also that in all reasonable probability your name is an
incorrect one.

Take the second point first. On glancing at the “Flora of North
America,” of Torrey and Gray, 1, 619, where the name Conioselinum
Canadense legitimately came in, you will notice that the name Apium
bipinnatum, Walt., is not cited as a synonym; also that the synonymous
name of Cnidium Canadense, Spreng., is cited with “excl. Syn.” This
Apium bipinnatum, Walt., you might gather was one referred to.
Sufficient reason for the exclusion by Dr. Torrey might have been that
Michaux’s plant is a cold northern one, which nobody would expect in or
near Walter’s ground--the low and low middle part of Carolina. Besides,
the preface of that “Flora” states that Walter’s herbarium had meanwhile
been inspected by Dr. Torrey’s colleague, who may now add that the Apium
bipinnatum is not there. So that the name you adopt rests wholly upon a
mere guess of Sprengel’s, copied by De Candolle, dropped on good grounds
by Torrey, but inadvertently reproduced in Watson’s “Index,” copying De
Candolle. I suppose you would not contend that a wholly unauthenticated
and dubious (I might say, doubtless mistaken) name, under a wrong
genus, should supersede by its specific half a well-authenticated and
legitimate name. And I am sure that you will not take it amiss when I
say that very long experience has made it clear to me that this business
of determining rightful names is not so simple and mechanical as to
younger botanists it seems to be, but is very full of pitfalls. I trust
it is no personal feeling which suggests the advice that it is better to
leave such rectifications for monographs and comprehensive works, or at
least to make quite sure of the ground.

We look to you and to such as yourself, placed at well-furnished
botanical centres, to do your share of conscientious work and to support
right doctrines. So I may proceed to say that, upon the recognized
principles since the adoption of the Candollian code, your name of
Conioselinum bipinnatum, even if founded in fact, would be inadmissible
and superfluous. By a corollary of the rule that priority of publication
fixes the name, taken along with the fact a plant-name is of two parts,
generic and specific, it follows that in any case, Conioselinum
Canadense is the prior name for those who hold to the genus
Conioselinum. I have laid down what I take to be the correct view as to
this, in my “Structural Botany,” paragraph 794, where it is supported by
the high authority of Bentham. I believe it is more and more acceded to
by the most competent judges. There are those who make transpositions of
divorced halves of plants name, and who, also make the law of priority
mechanically override other equally valid laws, without regard to sense.
To such the old law maxim of the elder De Candolle was applied; _summum
jus, summa injuria_. If you like to adopt their ideas, you have at hand
a still older, the very oldest, name, namely, Conioselinum Chinense, for
I can certify that the plant we are concerned with is Athamantha
Chinensis of Linnæus.

Very truly yours,

The next morning he seemed bright and well, but on going down to
breakfast there came a slight shock in the right arm, which seemed,
however, to pass off after he had rested. He managed to put up, for two
friends in England, copies of his “Review of the Life of Darwin,” in the
“Nation,” penciling the address so that it could be read. But a more
severe shock returned in the early afternoon, and for a few moments a
loss of articulation. That disappeared and the physician looked
hopefully at the case, though recommending extreme quiet for mind and
body. By Wednesday evening he seemed greatly improved, but the next
morning the power of connected speech had gone. He could repeat words
spoken to him, and could sometimes, apparently with long striving,
connect the wish and the words, but for the most part he had lost the
power of using the word he wanted, and could only express himself with
signs, and his “eloquent left hand;” for the paralysis gradually
increased until the whole right side was helpless. He lingered patiently
in much weakness and at times suffering, until the 30th of January,
1888, when he gradually sank and quietly passed away at half-past seven
in the evening.

Dr. Gray was buried in Mount Auburn, February 2, where a simple stone,
bearing a cross, marks his grave, with his name and the dates



Dr. Gray in his will left to the herbarium the proceeds of all his
copyrights. His strong belief in the importance of a large and well-kept
herbarium, as an establishment indispensable not only to the development
of botanical studies at Harvard but also to the diffusion throughout the
whole country of a knowledge of its flora, is shown by this bequest, and
also by the active efforts he was constantly making in its behalf during
his life and by the personal sacrifices to which he cheerfully
submitted, that the herbarium might profit. Some of the difficulties in
the development of his cherished project will already have suggested
themselves to the reader of these pages. Others may be touched upon
briefly here.

The reputation of Dr. Gray at home and abroad naturally served to draw
to the herbarium large numbers of specimens, and the number was
increased by the purchases which he contrived to make from time to time,
either from his own scanty means, or from the occasional gifts of
friends. The storing of his large and valuable collections in the small
house in the garden where he lived was attended by so much danger of
destruction by fire that he offered to present the collection to Harvard
University, if a suitable building for its reception were provided; and,
greatly to his relief, his herbarium was transferred in 1864 to the new
fire-proof building, for whose construction twelve thousand dollars were
given by his liberal friend, Mr. Nathaniel Thayer.

If Dr. Gray was able during his life to secure a building which at the
time of its completion seemed ample for its purpose, he was less
fortunate in his efforts to obtain a permanent fund for the maintenance
of the collection. In 1864, the sum of $10,000-$12,000 was raised by
friends for its support; but the interest of all the available funds was
far short of what was necessary for the proper payment of a curator, for
necessary purchases of plants and books and for running expenses. In
fact, during his lifetime, running expenses could not have been met had
it not been for occasional gifts from friends of the herbarium,
including, for several years, a grant from the Massachusetts Society for
the Promotion of Agriculture. The bequest in his will was an attempt on
his part to replace, as far as he was able, the sums obtained by him
annually from various sources during his life. But even with the amount
derived from the copyrights, which must, of necessity, diminish in
future years, the endowments of the herbarium are by no means sufficient
to provide for its maintenance, even on the present scale. At the time
of the transfer in 1864, the herbarium contained at least two hundred
thousand specimens, and the library between two and three thousand
works. Both have increased largely since that date.



     1836. Elements of Botany. New York.

     1838-1843. Flora of North America, Torrey and Gray. Vol. I.
     1838-1840; vol. II. 1841-1843.

     1842. Botanical Text-Book. New York. Subsequent editions were as
     follows: Second, 1845; third, 1850; fourth, 1853; fifth
     (Introduction to Structural and Systematic Botany), 1857; second
     issue, 1860; sixth, part 1 (Structural Botany or Organography on
     the basis of Morphology), 1879.

     1848. Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States.
     Subsequent editions were as follows: Second, 1856; third, 1859;
     fourth, 1863; fifth, 1867; second issue, 1868, 4 pp. added.

     1848-1849. Genera Floræ Americæ Boreali-Orientalis Illustrata, I.
     1848; II. 1849. New York.

     1854. United States Exploring Expedition, Botany. Part I.

     1857. First Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology. New York.
     Revised August, 1868.

     1858. How Plants grow, with a popular Flora. New York.

     1868. Field, Forest, and Garden Botany. Second edition, 1870.

     1872. How Plants behave. New York.

     1876. Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews pertaining to Darwinism. New
     York. Collected from the Atlantic, The Nation, Am. Jour. Sci., Am.
     Sci. Assoc., Nature, N. Y. Tribune.

     1878-1886. Synoptical Flora of North America. Vol. II. part 1,
     1878. Second edition, 1886. Cambridge. Vol. I. part 2, 1886.

     1880. Natural Science and Religion, Two Lectures. New York.

     1887. Elements of Botany. New York.

            *       *       *       *       *

     1889. Scientific Papers of Asa Gray, selected by Charles Sprague
     Sargent; in two volumes. I. Reviews of Works on Botany and related
     subjects, 1834-1887. II. Essays, Biographical Sketches, 1841-1886.


_Annals of the New York Lyceum_--

     1835. A monograph of the North American species of Rhynchospora.
     III. 191-238 (reprint, 191-236).

     1837. Melanthacearum Americæ Septentrionalis Revisio. IV. 105-140.

_Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences_--

     1846. Chloris Boreali-Americana. Illustrations of new, rare, or
     otherwise interesting North American plants. Decade I. III. 1-56,
     pl. 1-10.

     1849. Plantæ Fendlerianæ Novi-Mexicanæ. IV. 1-116.

     1854. Plantæ Novæ Thurberianæ. N. s., V. 297-328.

     1859. Diagnostic characters of new species of phænogamous plants,
     collected in Japan by Charles Wright, botanist of the United States
     North Pacific Exploring Expedition. With observations upon the
     relations of the Japanese Flora to that of North America, and of
     other parts of the Northern Temperate Zone. VI. 377-452.

     1859. On the genus Croomia, with plate. VI. 453-457.

_Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences_--

     1846. Characters of some new genera or species of Compositæ from
     Texas. I. 46-50.

     1853. Characters of some new genera of plants, mostly from
     Polynesia. III. 48-54, 127-129.

     1857. On the age of a large Californian coniferous tree. III.

     1861. Characters of some Compositæ in the collection of the United
     States South Pacific Exploring Expedition. V. 114-146.

     1861. Enumeration of a collection of dried plants made by L. J.
     Xantus in Lower California. V. 153-173.

     1861. Characters of new or obscure species of plants of
     Monopetalous orders in the collection of the United States Pacific
     Exploring Expedition. V. 321-352; VI. 37-55.

     1864. A revision and arrangement (mainly by the fruit) of the North
     American species of Astragalus and Oxytropis. VI. 188-236.

     1865. Characters of some new plants of California and Nevada, from
     the collections of Prof. William H. Brewer and Dr. Charles L.
     Anderson. VI. 519-556.

     1870. A revision of the Eriogoneæ (with J. Torrey). VIII. 145-200.

     1870. Reconstruction of the order Diapensiaceæ; revision of the
     North American Polemoniaceæ; miscellaneous botanical notes and
     characters. VIII. 243-296.

     1872. Notes on Labiatæ; determinations of a collection of plants
     made in Oregon by Elihu Hall. VIII. 365-412.

     1873. Characters of new genera and species of plants. VIII.

     1873. Notes on Compositæ and characters of certain genera and
     species, etc. VIII. 631-661.

     1874. Notes on Compositæ and characters of certain genera and
     species. IX. 187-218.

     1874. A synopsis of the North American Thistles; notes on
     Borraginaceæ; synopsis of North American species of Physalis;
     characters of various new species. X. 39-78.

     1875. A conspectus of the North American Hydrophyllaceæ. X.

     1876. Characters of Canbya (n. gen.) and Arctomecon; characters of
     new species. With two plates. XII. 51-84.

     1879. Characters of some new species of Compositæ from Mexico; some
     new North American genera, species, etc. XV. 25-52.

     1880. Notes on some Compositæ; some species of Asclepias; a new
     genus of Gentianaceæ; miscellanea of the North American flora. XVI.

     1882. Studies of Aster and Solidago in the older Herbaria; Novitiæ
     Arizonicæ, etc. XVII. 163-230.

     1883. Characters of new Compositæ with revisions of certain genera
     and critical notes; miscellaneous genera and species. XIX. 1-96.

     1885. A revision of some Borragineous genera; notes on some
     American species of Utricularia; new genera of Arizona, California,
     and their Mexican borders, and two additional species of
     Asclepiadaceæ; Gamopetalæ Miscellaneæ. XX. 257-310.

     1886. A revision of the North American Ranunculi; Sertum
     Chihuahuense; Miscellanea. XXI. 363-413.

     1887. Revision of some Polypetalous genera and orders precursory to
     the Flora of North America; Sertum Chihuahuense; Appendix;
     Miscellanea. XXII. 270-314.

     1888. Notes upon some Polypetalous genera and orders. XXIII.

_Smithsonian Contributions_--

     1852-1853. Plantæ Wrightianæ Texano--Neo-Mexicanæ. Part I. iii.
     1-146; Part II. v. 1-119.

_Journal of the Boston Society of Natural History_--

     1844. Characters of some new genera and species of plants of the
     natural order Compositæ from the Rocky Mountains and Upper
     California, with plate. V. 104-111.

     1845-1850. Plantæ Lindheimerianæ. By George Engelmann and Asa Gray.
     V. 210-264; VI. 141-233.

_Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences_--

     1862. Plants from Texas by S. B. Buckley. 161-168; 332-337.

     1863. Plants collected by Hall & Harbour and C. C. Parry. 55-80.

     1863. Synopsis of the species Hosackia. 346-352.

     1879. On the genus Garberia. 379-380.

     1884. On the movement of the Andrœcium in Sunflowers. 287-288.


     1855. Report on collections made by Capt. Gunnison in 1853, and by
     Lieut. Beckwith in 1854. Pacific R. R. Surveys, II. 115-132, with
     ten plates.

     1855. Report on the Expedition [under Capt. John Pope]. By John
     Torrey and Asa Gray. Pacific R. R. Surveys, II. 157-178, with ten

     1857. List of plants collected in Japan by S. W. Williams and Dr.
     J. Morrow in the Expedition to the China Seas and Japan under
     Commodore M. C. Perry. II. 303-329.

     1857. Report of the Expedition [under Lieut. A. W. Whipple]. By
     John Torrey. (The Compositæ, Plantaginaceæ, Orobanchaceæ,
     Scrophulariaceæ, and Bignoniaceæ, by A. Gray). Pacific R. R.
     Surveys, IV. 95-115, 117-122, with eight plates.

     1857. Catalogue of the plants collected on the Expedition under
     Lieut. Williamson and Lieut. Abbot. Pacific R. R. Surveys, VI.
     72-76-87, with six plates.

     1859. Report of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey made
     by W. H. Emory. Pp. 34, 73-107, 110-121, 154, 172-175, with five

     1860. Catalogue of plants collected East of the Rocky Mountains.
     Pacific R. R. Surveys, XII. part 2, 40-49, with three plates.

     1860. Report upon the Colorado River of the West, explored in 1857
     and 1858 by Lieut. Joseph C. Ives. Part IV. Botany; orders
     preceding Verbenaceæ, excepting Cactaceæ, pp. 1-20.

     1880. Botany of the Black Hills of Dacota. Report of H. Newton and
     W. P. Jenney. U. S. Geol. and Geogr. Survey, Rocky Mountain region,

     1881. The vegetation of the Rocky Mountain region and a comparison
     with that of other parts of the world. By A. Gray and J. D. Hooker.
     Bull. U. S. Geol. and Geogr. Survey of the Territories, VI. 1-77.


_North American Review_--

     1844. The Longevity of Trees. July. 189-238.

     1845. The Chemistry of Vegetation. January. 3-42.

     1846. Scientific results of the Exploring Expedition. July.

_American Journal of Science_--

     1834. A sketch of the Mineralogy of a portion of Jefferson and St.
     Lawrence Counties (N. Y.), by Drs. J. B. Crawe of Watertown and A.
     Gray of Utica (N. Y.). XXV. 346-350.

     1837. Review of Lindley’s Natural System of Botany. XXXII. 292-303.

     1840. Review of De Candolle’s Prodromus. XXXIX. 168.

     1840. Siebold’s Flora of Japan. XXXIX. 175.

     1841. Notices of European Herbaria, particularly those most
     interesting to the North American Botanist. XL. 1-18. Notice of the
     Botanical Writings of C. S. Rafinesque. XL. 221-241.

     1842. Notes of a botanical excursion to the mountains of North
     Carolina, etc., with some remarks on the Botany of the higher
     Alleghany Mountains. XLII. 1-49.

     1846. Analogy between the Flora of Japan and that of the United
     States. II. ii. 135-136.

     1849. Notice of Dr. Hooker’s Flora Antarctica. II. viii. 161-180.

     1853. On some new genera and species of Nyctaginaceæ. II. xv.
     259-263; 319-324.

     1854. Introductory Essay, in Dr. Hooker’s Flora of New Zealand,
     vol. I. II. xvii. 241-252; 334-350.

     1854. On the age of the large tree recently felled in California.
     II. xvii. 440-443.

     1855. The Smithsonian Institution. II. xx. 1-21.

     1856. Statistics of the Flora of the Northern United States. II.
     xxii., 204-232; xxiii. 62-84; 369-403.

     1856. De Candolle’s Géographie Botanique Raisonnée. II. xxii. 429.

     1859. Obituary Notice of Brown and Humboldt. II. xxviii. 161-165.

     1860. Review of Darwin’s Theory on the Origin of Species by means
     of Natural Selection. II. xxix. 153-184; Darwiniana, pp. 9-61.

     1860. Design versus Necessity. II. xxx. 226-239; Darwiniana, pp.

     1862. Enumeration of Rocky Mountain Plants. II. xxxiii. 237-243;
     404-411; II. xxxv. 249-253; 335-341.

     1862. Hooker’s Outlines of the Distribution of Arctic Plants, etc.
     II. xxxiv. 144.

     1863. Review of De Candolle’s “Species as to Variation,
     Geographical Distribution and Succession.” II. xxxv. 431;
     Darwiniana, pp. 178-204.

     1864. On Scientific Nomenclature. II. xxxvii. 278-281.

     1865. Darwin’s Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants. II. xl.
     273; xli. 125.

     1868. Remarks on the Laws of Botanical Nomenclature. II. xlvi.

     1872. Sequoia and its history; the relations of North American to
     Northeast Asian and to Tertiary Vegetation. III. iv. 282-298;
     (Darwiniana, pp. 205-235; also, Proc. American Association for the
     Advancement of Science, with Corrections and Appendix. XXI. 1-31).

     1875. Do Varieties wear out or tend to wear out? III. ix. 109-114.

     1875. Bentham on the Recent Progress and Present State of
     Systematic Botany. III. ix. 288-294; 346-355.

     1875. Æstivation and its Terminology. III. x. 339-344.

     1877. Notice of Darwin on the “Effects of Cross and Self
     Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom.” III. xiii. 125-141.

     1877. Notes on the History of Helianthus tuberosus. III. xiii.
     347-352; xiv. 428-429.

     1878. Forest Geography and Archæology. III. xvi. 85-94; 183-196.

     1878. De Candolle’s New Monographs. III. xvi. 325; xxxiv., 490.

     1878. Shortia galacifolia rediscovered. III. xvi. 483-485.

     1879. Pertinacity and Predominance of Weeds. III. xviii. 161-167.

     1880. De Candolle’s Phytography. III. xx. 150, 241.

     1881. C. Darwin and F. Darwin, “Power of Movement in Plants.” III.
     xxi. 245.

     1882. Remarks concerning the flora of North America. III. xxiv.

     1883. Review of De Candolle’s Origin of Cultivated Plants. III.
     xxv. 241-255; 370-379; xxvi. 128-138.

     1883. Points in Botanical Nomenclature; a review of De Candolle’s
     “Nouvelles Remarques sur la Nomenclature Botanique.” III. xxvi.

     1884. Gender of Names of Varieties. III. xxvii. 396-398.

     1884. Characteristics of the North American flora. III. xxviii.

NOTE. During the fifty and more years Dr. Gray was a contributor to the
“American Journal of Science,” in addition to the foregoing articles, he
printed in its pages 380 communications, devoted chiefly to critical
reviews of works on botany and kindred subjects, and to biographical
sketches of botanists. In 1888 appeared, as an appendix to Volume
XXXVI., a list of 42 pages of the writings of Asa Gray, chronologically
arranged. This list, with an index, has been issued in separate form. In
addition to the above, Dr. Gray contributed to the “Nation” from 1868 to
November, 1887; and many articles to the following journals and
magazines: The New York Semi-Weekly Tribune; The American
Agriculturist; Hooker’s Journal of Botany; The London Journal of Botany;
Journal of the Linnæan Society; Gardener’s Chronicle; American
Naturalist; Science; The New York Independent; The Botanical Gazette;
The Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club; The American Florist; The
Examiner; The New Englander; The Atlantic; The Literary World; The
Contemporary Review; The Andover Review; The Harvard College Literary

One publication, and that the earliest, cannot be included in any of the
above divisions. It was entitled “A Catalogue of the indigenous
Flowering and Filicoid Plants growing within 20 miles of Bridgewater,
Oneida Co., New York.” It is signed A. Gray, M. D., January 1, 1833, and
constitutes pp. 57-65 of (N. Y.) Senate Document, No. 70.


    1831. College of Medicine and Surgery, Fairfield, N. Y. M. D.
    1844. Harvard College. M. A.
    1860. Hamilton College, Clinton, N. Y. LL. D.
    1875. Harvard University. LL. D.
    1884. McGill College, Montreal, Canada. LL. D.
    1887. University of Michigan. LL. D.
    1887. Cambridge University, England. D. S.
    1887. University of Oxford, England. D. C. L.
    1887. University of Edinburgh, Scotland. LL. D.


     1835. Cæsarea Leopoldino-Carolinæ Academiæ Naturæ Curiosorum
     Vratislaviensis, Breslau. Mem.

     1836. Die Königliche Botanische Gesellschaft in Regensburg. Mem.

     1836. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Corresp. Mem.

     1837. Boston Society of Natural History. Corresp. Mem. and Hon.

     1841. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Fellow.

     1846. Acad. Literarum et Scientiarum Regia Boica, Munich. Hon. and
     Corresp. Mem.

     1847. Massachusetts Hort. Society. Corresp. Mem.

     1847. Essex Co. Massachusetts Natural Hist. Soc. Corresp. Mem.

     1848. Regia Scientiarum Societas, Upsal. Mem.

     1848. Am. Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Mem.

     1849. Die Pollichia, Ein Naturwissenchaftliche Verein der
     Bayerischen Pfalz. Mem.

     1849. Senkenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft zu
     Frankfort-am-Main. Mem.

     1850. Linnæan Soc. of London. Foreign Mem.

     1850. Société de Physique et d’Histoire Naturelle de Genève. Hon.

     1851. Vereeniging voor de Flora van Nederland. Corresp. Mem.

     1852. British Assoc. for the Advancement of Science. Corresp. Mem.

     1852. Lyceum of Natural History, New York. Hon. Mem.

     1852. Der Naturwissenschaftliche Verein in Hamburg. Hon. Mem.

     1853. Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Hon. Mem.

     1853. Polk Co. Agricultural Society, Iowa. Mem.

     1854. Kaiserlich Königliche Geologische Reichsanstalt, Vienna.
     Corresp. Mem.

     1854. Société Impériale des Sciences Naturelles de Cherbourg.
     Corresp. Mem.

     1855. Regia Scientiarum Academia Borussica. Corresp. Mem.

     1857. California Academy of Natural Sciences. Hon. Mem.

     1857. Société de Botanique de Leyden. Corresp. Mem.

     1858. Dublin University Zoological and Botanical Association.
     Corresp. Mem.

     1858. Historical Society of Tennessee. Hon. Mem.

     1859. Regia Scientiarum Academia Sverica, Stockholm. Foreign Mem.

     1859. Imperial Society of Botany, Moscow. Mem.

     1859. Russian Society of Horticulture, St. Petersburg. Mem.

     1860. Cleaveland Natural History Soc. of Bowdoin College (Maine).
     Hon. Mem.

     1861. Botanical Society of Canada. Hon. Mem.

     1862. Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. Corresp. Mem.

     1863. Natural History Society of Dublin (union with Dublin
     University Nat. Sci. Association). Corresp. Mem.

     1863. National Academy of Sciences of the United States. Mem.

     1865. K. K. Zoologisch-Botanische Gesellschaft in Wien. Mem.

     1866. Am. Microscopical Society of the City of New York. Hon. Mem.

     1866. Royal Botanical Society of Edinburgh. Hon. Fellow.

     1867. National Academy of Sciences of the United States. Hon. Mem.

     1867. Buffalo Historical Society. Corresp. Mem.

     1868. Die Königliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen.
     Corresp. Mem.

     1868. Société Impériale Académique de Cherbourg. Corresp. Mem.

     1871. Indianapolis Academy of Sciences. Hon. Mem.

     1873. Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences, Minneapolis. Hon. Mem.

     1873. The Royal Society, London. Foreign Mem.

     1875. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Hon. Mem.

     1876. Worcester Co. Horticultural Society. Hon. Mem.

     1877. Société Royale de Botanique de Belgique. Assoc. Mem.

     1877. Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, Iowa. Hon. Mem.

     1878. Institut de France, Académie des Sciences. Corresp. Mem.

     1879. Royal Society of Edinburgh. Mem.

     1880. The Cambridge (England) Philosophical Society. Hon. Mem.

     1884. Der Botanische Verein der Provinz Brandenbourg. Hon. Mem.

     1884. Die Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, Berlin. Hon. Mem.

     1885. The Philosophical Society of Glasgow. Hon. Mem.

     1885. Natural History Society of Montreal. Hon. Mem.

     1885. New Zealand Institute. Hon. Mem.

     1885. Royal Horticultural Society, London. Hon. Mem.

     1886. Northwestern Literary and Historical Society, Sioux City.
     Hon. Mem.

     1886. American Society of Naturalists. Hon. Mem.

     1886. Oneida Co. Horticultural Society at Utica, N. Y. Corresp.

     1886. Asa Gray Botanical Club, Utica, N. Y. Mem.

     1886. Torrey Botanical Club, Columbia College, New York. Hon. Mem.

     1887. La Société Botanique de Copenhague. Hon. Mem.

     1887. Manchester (England) Literary and Philosophical Society. Hon.

     1887. The Essex Institute, Salem, Mass. Hon. Mem.


Abercrombie, John, 103.

Abert, 356.

Abies, 672.

Abolition, 296.

Accident, Railroad, 690.

Accidents, 377, 737.

Acland, Sir Henry, 722, 737, 803.

Acland, Sir Thomas, 806.

Aconitum reclinatum, 689.

Acrolasia, 223.

Acton, Lord, 802.

Adams, C. F., 636, 641, 733.

Adelsburg, Fête at Grotto of, 212, 213.

Agassiz, L., 179, 343-346, 349, 410, 432, 450, 455.

Agassiz, A., 719, 747, 600.

Agriculture, Mass. Society for Promotion of, 817.

Albro, J. A., 296, 328, 395.

Alleghanies, Botany of Southern, 280.

Allen, A. V. G., 779, 789.

Alpine Plants, 229;
  what they are, 783.

Alvord, Col. and Mrs., 769, 770.

American Academy, 286, 397, 405, 700;
  corresponding secretary of, 355;
  president, 641.

American Association, 698, 735, 756;
  president, 619, 628.

“American Journal of Science,” 19, 32.

Amici, G. B., 200, 201.

Ancestry, 1, 2, 3.

Andersson, J. N., 545.

Anemone Hudsonica, 46.

Ann Arbor, 79, 80.

Antarctic Expedition, 130, 162.

Anthephora, 451, 453.

“Antiquity of Man, The,” 503, 504.

Architecture, 806.

Arenaria brevifolia, 652.

Argyle, 501.

Arnold, Matthew, 747, 748.

Arnott, G. A. W., 22, 96, 129, 130.

Arthur, J. C., 755.

Arthur, J. C., and others, letter to, 777.

Assassination of Lincoln, 534.

Asters, 279, 696, 697, 699, 701, 713-716, 726, 792.

Astilbe, 428.

Audubon, 790.

Austin, C. F., 555.

Autobiography, 1.

Avery, C., 9, 10, 18.

Avery, E., 7, 8, 9.

Azalea, 315.

Babington, C., 713.

Backhouse, 722.

Bacon, 743, 748, 749.

Bailey, J. W., 68, 128, 129.

Bailey, W. W., 682.

Baird, S. F., 343, 811.

Baker, 592, 702.

Balfour, Arthur J., 693.

Balfour, I. Bayley, 702, 803.

Balfour, J. H., 22, 101.

Ball, J., 713, 744, 753, 757, 784, 785, 788.

Banks’ herbarium, 148.

Barber, 770.

Barbey, 720.

Bartlett’s School, 16, 18, 19, 29, 37, 49.

Bateman, 131.

Bates, 507.

Bauer, F., 22, 116, 128, 129.

Beaumont, J. F., 392, 394.

Beck, L. C., 15, 16, 39, 40.

Beck’s Flora, 39.

Bell, Sir C., 102, 131.

Bennett, J. J., 22, 110, 137, 371, 592, 596, 646.

Bentham, George, references to, 22, 114, 123, 126, 128, 132, 143, 152,
          376, 378, 418, 427, 486, 547, 559, 566, 592, 611, 685, 702,
           712, 720, 733, 741, 743, 758, 759, 760, 797, 814.

---- Letters to, 267, 365, 382, 427, 434, 437, 447, 547, 552, 559,
           600, 691, 741, 745.

Bentham, Lady, 187, 188.

Bequest, 816.

Berlandier, J. L., 173;
  plants of, 415.

Berlin, Royal Herbarium, 268.

Berlin Botanic Garden, 269.

Bernard de Jussieu, 177.

Beverly Farms, 739.

Biasoletto, 25, 209.

Bidwell, J., 771.

Big Trees, 412.

Bigelow, Jacob, 284, 288, 558, 685.

Bignonia capreolata (Tendrils), 548.

Birth, 3-5.

Birth-day, 70th, 710;
  75th, 776.

Blachford, Lord, 654, 664, 665, 693, 749, 806.

Blume, C. L., 376.

Boat-race, International, 591, 594.

Boissier, E., 24, 26, 167, 374, 375, 418, 589, 680, 720, 781.

Bolander’s collection, 559.

Bonafous, 493.

Bond, G., 500.

Boott, F., M. D., 22, 91, 110, 123, 132, 149, 370, 473, 478, 511, 522.

---- Carices, 91, 171.

Bornet, 644.

Botanic Garden, Cambridge, 28, 290, 291, 297, 298, 304, 325, 326, 357, 445.
  Antibes, 569, 572.
  Chiswick, 116, 270.
  Edinburgh, 101, 105.
  Geneva, 270.
  Ghent, 372.
  Glasgow, 89.
  Hamburg, 269.
  Jardin des Plantes, 23, 24, 157, 158, 381.
  Kew, 116, 371, 377, 384.
  Leyden, 376.
  Liverpool, 88.
  Madrid, 701.
  Medical Botanic Garden, Paris, 24.
  Missouri, 752, 753, 761.
  Montpellier, 186, 187.
  Munich, 233, 240.
  Oxford, 379.
  Padua, 204, 718.
  Poppelsdorf, 373.
  Regent’s Park, 121.
  Schönberg, 269.
  Schönbrunn, 218.
  Tharand Forst-Academie, 589.
  Valencia, 707.
  Vienna, 215, 795.

“Botanical Text-Book,” 28, 368.

Botany, dawning of taste for, 14.

Botany, Geographical. See Geographical Botany.

Botanical Society, Royal, of Regensburg, 56.

Botteri, M., 764.

Bourier, 700.

Bowen, F., 561.

Bowerbank, J. S., 137, 138.

Brace, C. L., letters to, 458, 460, 461, 462;
  references to, 371, 624.

Brace, J. P., 348.

Brackenridge’s Filices, 404, 423.

Brandegee, T. S., 671, 672.

Braun, A., 374, 383.

Breeding, cross. See Fertilization.

Brewer, W. H., 532, 636.

Brewster, Sir David, 104.

Brigham, C. 769.

British Association, 387, 592, 722, 756, 759, 791, 807.

British Museum, 22, 110, 132, 146, 153, 379, 387, 592.

Britton, N. L., letter to, 813.

Brongniart, A. T., 23, 174, 382, 418, 611.

Brooks, Phillips, 805.

Brougham, Lord, 165.

Brown, R., 22, 110, 112, 115, 120, 124, 128, 132, 141,
           151, 175, 371, 376, 378, 387, 418, 442, 443, 449, 451, 463, 498.

Browne, W., 731, 756.

Browning, 713.

Bryce, 804.

Buckle, 613.

Buckley, S. B., 311.

Bunbury, 788.

Buonaparte, C., 179.

Burgess, E., 668.

Bury, Lady Charlotte, 120, 121, 137.

Butler, B. F., 746, 748.

Cairnes, 491.

California, journey to, 627, 670, 761.

Calluna vulgaris, 468.

Cambridge, Mass., appointment at, 27.
  call to, 283-286.
  removal to, 287.

Cambridge University, England, degree at, 800.

Canby, W. M., Letters to, 556, 641, 648, 651, 682, 687, 779;
  references to, 557, 633, 686.

Canby and Redfield, letters to, 712, 723.

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 804.

Carex, Boott’s collection of, 91, 92.

Carey, John, 20, 26, 33, 322, 354, 407, 697.

Carlyle, 742.

Carpenter, 740.

Carruthers, W., 592.

Caruel, T., 607.

Catesby, plants of, 146.

Cathedrals, 806.

Cats, 436.

Cavendish, 451.

Censorship of the press (Vienna), 216.

“Ceratophyllaceæ, Remarks on,” 20.

Ceratophyllum, 691.

Cereus giganteus, 408.

Chalmers, 102.

Channing, E. T., 27.

Chapman, A. W., 540, 545, 650.

Chapmannia, 147.

“Characteristics of the North American Flora,” 756.

Chevreuil, 797.

Chiswick Gardens, 116.

Christison, Sir R., 104.

Christy, W., 119.

Church, R. W., letters to, 394, 403, 429, 444, 463, 518, 523,
           533, 543, 560, 563, 570, 591, 595, 597, 601, 608,
           612, 617, 628, 653, 662, 664, 678, 693, 697, 703,
           724, 734, 743, 747;
  references to, 379, 394, 565, 594, 804.

---- Letter from, to Mrs. Gray, 750.

Cinchona officinalis, 551.

Claytonia Virginica, 14.

Clayville, 4.

Cleveland, Ohio, 71.

Clift, W., 112.

Climbing plants, 537, 539, 548, 549.

Clinton, Grammar School, 7, 8.

Clinton, G. W., 546.

Clive, Mrs. Archer, 376.

Clough, A. H., 394, 395, 396.

Cobbe, Miss F. P., 638.

Cogniaux, 669.

Cohn, 676.

Colenso, 491.

Coleridge, Lord, 748, 754.

Collectors, 272, 341.
See, also, Berlandier, Bolander, Buckley, Coulter,
           Crawe, Diell, Douglas, Drummond, Eschscholtz,
           Fendler, Frémont, Geyer, Goldie, Gregg, Hugel,
           Kneiskern, Lindheimer, Michaux, Nuttall, Palmer,
           Parry, Pringle, Pursh, Rugel, Sartwell, Thurber,
           Wislizenus, Wright.

College of Surgeons, 117.

Collinson, Peter, 370.

Commonwealth (Vegetable), 496.

Compass plant, 400, 401.

Compositæ, 26, 27.

Congdon, J. W., 682.

Congreve, R., 379.

Coniferæ, 674, 675.

Constable, J., 26.

Cooke, J. P., 527.

Cooper, Sir Astley, 113, 119.

Cooper, Bransby, 113.

Cooper, Elwood, Cal., 768.

Cope, 624.

Copyrights, 816.

Corda, A. C. J., 130, 221.

Corema, 775, 776.

Cosson, E., 611, 709, 713, 715.

Coulter’s collection, 328.

Coulter, T., 784, 785.

Cowles, 689.

Crewe, J. B., 18, 19, 32, 43.

Creighton, 789.

Cross Fertilization. See Fertilization.

Curtis, M. A., 652.

Cusick, W., 726.

“Cyperaceæ, North American Gramineæ and,” 19, 45, 46.

“Cyperaceæ of North America,” 60.

Cypress knees, 416, 421.

Cypresses of Chapultepec, 763.

Dale, T., 141.

Dalton, 808.

Dana, J. D., letters to, 424, 430, 521, 626, 785;
  references to, 337, 338, 430, 459.

Dana, R. H., Sr., 296.

Darbya, 686, 687.

Darlington, William, 370, 423, 499, 500.

Darlingtonia, 648, 649.

Darwin, Charles, letters to, 456, 472, 484,
           496, 501, 522, 536, 548, 553, 561,
           599, 615, 623, 631, 645, 664, 668, 676;
  references to, 117, 380, 447, 454, 455, 459,
           463, 498, 509, 528, 550, 559, 565, 566,
           594, 626, 642, 695, 714, 722, 732, 734,
           751, 815.

---- Letter to Asa Gray, 557.

“Darwin, Charles, Life of,” by A. Gray, 646.

Darwin, Mrs., 800.

Darwin, George, 507, 759.

“Darwiniana,” 655, 656, 662.

Darwinism. See Evolution.

Daubeny, C., 332, 379.

Dawson, Sir William, 734, 740.

Death, 815.

De Bary, 807.

Decaisne, J., 23, 157, 161, 162, 168, 174, 381,
           382, 611, 683, 687, 709, 712, 721, 733, 734.

De Candolle, Auguste Pyramus, 26, 47, 267, 281, 332, 374, 498;
  bust of, 727.

De Candolle, Alphonse, letters to, 232, 276, 377,
           380, 396, 409, 413, 419, 426, 451, 481,
           497, 519, 526, 552, 566, 587, 592, 606,
           624, 635, 639, 642, 669, 680, 684, 692,
           694, 699, 702, 712, 714, 717, 727, 733,
           783, 793;
  references to, 26, 267, 375, 448, 702, 712, 718,
           719, 720, 724, 746, 781, 785, 796.

De Candolle, Casimir, 451, 566, 719.

Degree, medical, 14.

Degrees at, Cambridge, England, 800;
  Edinburgh, 806;
  Oxford, 801.

Delessert, Benjamin, 24, 166, 169, 171.

Delessert, François, 382.

Delessert Herbarium, 720.

Delile, A. R., 24, 186, 187.

De Morgan, 759.

Derby, Lord, 805.

“Descent of Man,” Darwin, 615.

Desfontaines Herbarium, 23.

Desfontaines plants, 176.

Design in Nature, 485, 489, 498, 502, 508, 512, 638, 648, 656, 658, 659.

Detroit, 73.

Development Theory. See Evolution.

De Vriese, W. H., 376.

Dewey, Chester, 57.

Dextrorsum, 699.

Diamorpha pusilla, 652, 653.

Diell, 54, 58.

Dionœa, 556, 557, 561, 633, 642, 649.

Distribution of Plants. See Geographical Botany.

Dogs, 435, 436, 599, 676-678.

Don, David, 110, 137.

Douglas, David, 90, 92, 123, 279.

Douglass, Professor, 78.

Downing, Major Jack, 45.

Drake, Miss, 131.

Drosera rotundifolia, 510, 556, 557, 633, 641.

Drummond’s Louisiana plants, 173, 279.

Duby, J. E., 263.

Ducie, Lord, 713, 810.

Duff-Gordon, Lady, 582.

Dufferin, Lord, 737.

Dunal, M. F., 24, 187.

Durham University, 109.

Dyer, W. Thisleton, 734, 762.

Early Undertakings, 29-84.

Eaton, Amos, 14, 40.

Eaton, D. C., letters to, 438, 470;
  receives Garber’s plants, 702.

Eaton’s Manual of Botany, 14, 40.

“Ecce Homo,” 543.

Edinburgh, visit to (1839), 97-105.

Education, 5-8.

Education, Botany, in liberal, 325.

Egypt, 572-586;
  plants in, 575, 576;
  medical practice in, 582.

Ehrenberg, C. G., 26, 269.

Eichler, A. W., 795.

“Elements of Botany,” 20, 27, 32, 54.

“Elements of Botany,” 1887, 792.

Eliot, S., 28.

Eliot, C. W., 526;
  letters to, 620, 634.

Ellimia, 171.

Elwes, H. J., 810.

Embryo of Pinus, 151.

Emerson, G. B., 288, 292.

Emory, 356.

Endlicher, S. L., 25, 210, 215, 795.

Engelmann, G., letters to, 281, 291, 297, 305, 312, 340, 351,
           355, 360, 373, 383, 391, 399, 404, 417, 446, 452,
           465, 471, 493, 514, 530, 545, 551, 558, 589, 670,
           680, 686, 696, 715, 725;
  references to, 272, 663, 686, 729, 746, 753, 782.

---- Obituary notice, 753.

---- Herbarium, 753.

Engelmann, G., Jr., 772.

“Epistolæ Linneano-Jussieuanæ,” 410.

Erie Canal opening, 9.

Eriogoneæ, 600, 601.

Eschscholtz, 152.

“Essays and Reviews,” 464.

Europe, journeys to: First, 21, 85, 271;
  second, 369-388;
  third, 414-420;
  fourth, 565-599;
  fifth, 701-724;
  sixth, 792-810.

European politics, 604, 606, 608.

Evolution, 424, 428, 430, 450, 455, 489, 497, 504,
           508, 510, 528, 626, 637, 666, 695.

Evolution, Agassiz’s views of, in 1847, 345.

Exhibition, London, 1851, 379, 384.

Exploring Expedition, U. S., 21, 61, 64, 66, 359,
           366, 376, 398, 409, 484, 623.

---- North Pacific, 435.

Fairchild, 666, 667.

Fairfield Academy, 8.

Fairfield Medical College, 12, 29.

Faraday, 114.

Farlow, W. G., 617, 625, 640, 762, 765, 766, 770.

Farnsworth, Chancellor, 78.

Farrar, Canon, 780.

Father of Asa Gray, 2, 4, 5, 334.

Felton, C. C., 479.

Fendler, A., 341, 343, 351, 355, 360, 361, 426, 447, 515, 531, 540, 650.

Fendlera, 391.

Fenzl, E., 25, 218, 222, 795.

Ferns, 402.

Fertilization, 425, 484, 485, 493, 505, 508, 509, 539, 664, 695.

Fink, 766.

First Book, 20, 32, 54.

First contribution to American Journal of Science, 19, 32.

“First Lessons in Botany,” 414, 418, 429, 444.

First Plant determined, 14.

Fischer, 74.

Fisher, G. P., 696.

Fisher Professorship, 27.

Flax spinning introduced, 5.

Flora, Beck’s, 39.

Flora of California, 636, 641, 643, 694.

Flora or Fauna, objects of, 657.

Flower, Sir W. H., 595, 722, 754.

Folwell, N. W., 35.

Forbes, H. O., 780.

Forbes, James, 99, 103, 413.

Forestry, 276.

Forster, E., 134, 139, 143.

Fouquiera, 400, 401, 419.

Fox, Miss, 755.

Franco-German War, 606, 608, 609, 612.

Fraser, J., 134, 135.

Fraser, Bishop, 560, 602.

Freeman, 725.

Fremantle, 806.

Frémont Expedition, 294, 297, 327.

Fresenius, J. B. G. W., 373.

Froude, 742.

Fry, Sir E., Letters to, 729, 738, 746, 754, 779, 789, 810.

Galileo, 743.

Garber’s Porto Rico Collection, 702.

Garwood, Rev. Mr., 123.

Gaudichaud, 24, 158, 162, 383.

Gaura Lindheimeri, 313.

Gay, Jacques, 24, 159, 171, 381, 383, 418.

“Genera Illustrata,” 340, 344, 347, 353, 355, 357, 361, 363.

Geographical Botany, 46, 276, 420, 424, 427, 434, 445, 447, 449, 775.

“Géographie Botanique,” De Candolle, A., 410, 419.

Geum triflorum, 46.

Geyer, C., 298.

Gilbert, J. H., 806.

Gilman, D. C., 695.

Gladstone, 444, 536, 563, 604, 736, 737, 743, 790, 804.

Gladstone, Miss, 804.

Glasgow, visit to (1839), 89-95.

Godet, C. H., 375, 592.

Goldie, J., 785.

Goodale, G. L., 635, 640, 728, 787.

Gould, A. A., 441.

Graham, Col., 390.

Graham, R., 22, 98, 100, 101, 105.

“Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ, North American,” 19, 45, 46.

Granville, Lord, 804.

Grasses, Hooker’s. 92.

Gray, Asa, Estimate of, by R. W. Church, 750.

Gray, J. E., 112, 114, 596.

Gray, J. L., 358.

Gray, Miss A. A., letter to, 710.

Gray, Mrs. Asa, letters to, 349, 659.

Gray, Moses, 2, 4, 5, 334;
  letters to, 47, 49, 53, 61, 67, 83, 270, 313.

Gray, Mrs. (mother of Asa), letters to, 48, 84.

Gray, Family Reunion, 786.

Gray Herbarium, 287, 515, 519, 523, 525, 527, 529, 535, 816.

Grayia, 93, 629.

Gray’s Peak, 627, 632.

Greene, B. D., 17, 27, 283, 288.

Greene, Copley, 17.

Gregg, Josiah, 356.

Greville, R., 22, 98, 101, 105, 106, 132.

Grisebach, H. R. A., 224, 383, 516, 532, 540, 541, 550.

Grisebach’s manuscripts, 495.

Gronovian plants, 150.

Guillemin, 24.

Guiteau, Trial of, 730.

Guthrie, Rev. Dr., 102.

Guyot, A., 459, 463.

Hadley, J., Prof., 10, 12, 15, 18, 41, 42.

Hadley, Prof. J., Junior, 13.

Haenke’s plants, 795.

Hakim-Pacha, 583.

Hamilton College, 10, 18, 42, 45.

Hanbury, 570, 571.

Harcourt, Colonel, 803.

Harkness, Dr., 769.

Harris, T. W., 398, 420.

Hartweg, T., 150.

Harvard Botanic Garden, 285, 290, 291, 299;
  House, 314, 327.

Harvard College, appointment, 27.

Harvard College, called to, 283-286.

Harvard College, quarter-millennial, 789.

Harvey, W. H., 363, 376, 547.

Hauer, 795.

Haughton, Prof., 736.

Hayden, Dr., 669, 710.

Heer, O., 508, 521, 528.

Helianthus tuberosus, 398.

Henry, Joseph, 15, 30, 31, 78, 349, 403, 559, 623, 639, 681, 684.

Heuchera hispida and pubescens, 307.

  Bank’s, 132, 148.
  Boissier, Geneva, 374, 720.
  British Museum, 110, 132, 146, 151, 387.
  Cosson, 715.
  De Candolle, 18, 267, 374, 718, 724.
  Delessert, 720.
  Desfontaines and Poiret, 23, 176.
  Engelmann, 753.
  Fraser, 135, 136.
  Gronovian, 150.
  Humboldt, 173.
  Jardin des Plantes, Musée du, 172, 382, 709, 715, 799.
  Joad, 752.
  Jussieu, 23, 173, 175, 709.
  Kew, 377, 378, 565, 701, 791.
  Kunth, 269.
  Labilliardière, 173.
  Lagasca, 720.
  Lamarck, 173, 716, 792.
  Lambert, 111, 128.
  Lehmann, 269.
  Lindley, 715.
  Linnæan, 22, 149, 150.
  Madrid, 701, 720.
  Mercier, 173.
  Michaux, 23, 162, 164, 172, 178, 681.
  Mill, 659.
  Nuttall, 193, 697.
  Oxford, 379.
  Poiret, 173.
  Pursh, 22, 111, 128, 136, 148, 152, 174.
  Pylaie, de la, 173.
  Requien, 185.
  Richard, 172, 173, 178.
  Royal Herbarium, Berlin, at Schönberg, 269.
  Sims, 151.
  Schultz, 715.
  Short, 499.
  Torrey, 641.
  Ventenat, 178.
  Vienna, 210, 214, 223, 795.
  Walter, 130, 134, 136, 174.
  Webb, 157, 173.
  Willdenow, 268, 392, 709, 716.

Heterogeny, 505.

Heterogone, 664.

“Historicus,” 506, 513.

Hodge, Prof. Charles, 646.

Hollister, Col., 768.

Holmes, O. W., 694, 725.

Holton, I. F., 415, 421.

Home Rule, 790.

Hooker, W. J., letters to, 50, 57, 268, 273,
           277, 282, 289, 298, 304, 306, 324,334,
           350, 357, 364, 367, 392, 401, 408, 411,
           415, 421, 433, 440, 449, 498, 531;
  references to, 21, 22, 33, 89-92, 103, 110, 130,
           370, 378, 381, 418, 437, 442, 499, 541, 542.

---- work with (1838), 90, 92, 93.

Hooker, J. D., letters to, 317, 336, 455, 702, 707,
           718, 728, 734, 742, 744, 751, 758, 781,
           785, 790, 794, 811;
  references to, 22, 92, 110, 115, 119, 123, 125,
           130, 270, 307, 380, 413, 417, 442, 449,
           468, 478, 489, 512, 520, 532, 541, 565, 566,
           592, 666, 669, 670, 671, 675, 678,
           679, 702, 712, 714, 717, 722, 723,
           752, 792, 806, 810.

Hope, Prof., 99.

Horner, 613.

Horsfield, T., 119.

Houghton, 73, 76.

“How Plants Behave,” 624.

“How Plants Grow,” 438, 444.

Howard, Joseph, 3.

Howland, J., letters to, 590, 593.

Hudsonia montana, 310.

Huet, 426.

Hügel, Baron, 219.

Hughes, T., 608.

Humboldt’s herbarium, 173.

Hunneman, J., 149.

Hunter, John, 117.

Huxley, T. H., 458, 504, 505.

Hyams, M. E., 681, 682, 683, 692.

Hyatt, A., 624.

Hybrids, 459.

Hybridism, 458.

Hymenophyllum ciliatum, 392.

Iliad, Bryant’s, 613.

Imaun, Joseph, 584.

Impatiens, 508.

Incas, 502.

Inheritance, 561.

Insectivorous plants, 510, 556, 557, 561, 633, 641, 645, 647, 649.

Irving, Washington, 808.

J. S. M., Letter to, 778.

Jacquin, Baron, 216, 217, 795.

James, Mrs. T. P., Letter to, 500.

James, T. P., 423.

Jameson, R., 100.

Japan Flora, 445, 447, 450, 452.

Japanese plants, 315.

Jardin des Plantes, 23, 24, 157, 161, 178,381, 709, 715, 792.

Jellett, 802.

Jenyns, Soame, 321.

Joad Herbarium, 752.

Johnston, J. T. W., 108.

Journal of Mrs. Gray, 309, 380, 689.

Journal in Europe (1838-39), 85, 266.

Jussieu, Adrien de, 23, 157, 158, 177, 366, 381, 382, 400, 402, 411, 500.

Jussieu’s herbarium, 709.

Kennedy, G., 517.

Kew, 22, 116, 370, 383, 418, 542, 592, 701,
           702, 710, 715, 720, 722, 724, 792, 810.

Kingsley, Charles, 667.

Klotzsch, J. H., 26, 268, 269.

Knieskern, P. D., 90, 135, 289, 293.

Kohinoor, 386.

Körner, 795.

Kunth, K. S., 26, 173, 269.

Laboratory, 614.

Lagasca, F., 146;
  his plants, 720.

Lamarck’s Asters and Herbarium, 269, 709, 716, 792.

Lambert, A. B., 22, 111, 120, 128, 132, 137.

Langley, 812.

Lapham, I. A., 347, 401.

Lasègue, 24.

Lavallée, A., 713.

La Veta Pass, 672, 673.

Lawrence, Abbott, 379.

Le Conte, J. E., 18.

Lecture Room, 604, 614, 619.

Lectures, first course, 13, 16.

Lectures, first in Cambridge, 300-303, 325;
  Lowell Institute, 294, 314-316, 318, 324, 328, 330, 331, 339;
  Smithsonian, 403;
  Yale College, see Yale.

Lehmann, J. G. C., 20, 44, 56, 269.

Leitner, 790.

Lemmon, J. G., 675, 727.

Lenses, Jewel, 135.

Lesquereux, L., 360, 640.

Library, Botanical, at Cambridge, 694.

Liddell, Dean, 802.

Liddon, Canon, 802.

Lindheimer, F., 291, 298, 340, 343, 391.

Lindley, John, 22, 115, 127, 130, 131, 152, 379.

Lindley’s asters, 715.

Link, H. F., 26, 269.

Linnæus, 497, 498, 700.

Linnæus, Birthday Celebration, 236;
  portrait of, 545.

Linnæan Society, 22, 134.

Loddiges, 126, 127, 143.

London, Visit to (1839), 110-153.

Lookout Mountain, 650.

Loring, C. G., 393, 560.

Lowell, J. A., 293, 342, 354, 362, 368, 530, 534.

Lowell, John, 439.

Lowell, J. R., 714, 804.

Lowell Institute Lectures, 294, 314, 316, 318, 324, 328, 330, 339.

Lowell Lectures, Religion in, 725.

Lubbock, 731.

Lyceum of Natural History, New York, 20, 31, 37, 56, 63.

Lyell, 118, 129, 346, 384, 503, 732.

Malan, 265.

Mann, H., 545, 566, 570.

“Manual of Botany,” 33, 334, 346, 353, 355, 414, 433, 547.

Marcet, Prof., 588.

Marcon, J., 643.

Marriage, 358.

Martins, C. F., 569.

Martius, 25, 232, 240, 375, 514, 589.

Mary Queen of Scots, 96, 105.

Maskeleyne, 379.

Maspero, 802.

Masters, M. T., 592, 702.

Mather, Dr., 13.

Maurice, 755, 756.

Maximowicz, 680.

McDowell, General, 769.

McGuffey, C. J., 72.

Medical College, Fairfield, 12, 29.

“Melanthacearum Americæ Septentrionalis Revisio,” 20.

Melastomaceæ, 478.

Mellichamp, Dr. J. H., 647, 649.

Menzies, A., 23, 121, 126, 141.

Mexico, journey to, 761-773.

Michaux, F. A., 382, 500, 540, 692, 813.

Michaux’s Herbarium, 23, 162, 164, 172, 178.

Michigan, University of, 21, 76, 83, 270, 274, 282, 283;
  A. G., Professor at, 21.

Microscopy, 135, 137, 138, 147, 175.

Miers, J., 131.

Mill, J. S., 659.

Miller, plants of, 146.

Mineralogy, 13, 17, 19.

“Mineralogy of Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, N. Y.,” 19.

Miquel, F. A. W., 376.

Mirbel, G. F. B., 23, 165, 175, 179.

Mivart, 459.

Mocino, J. M., 782.

Moggridge, J. T., 571.

Mohl, Hugo von, 267.

“Monograph of North American Rhynchosporæ,” 19, 31, 60.

Montagne, J. F. C., 24, 164, 418.

Montpellier, 185-189, 569.

Moquin-Tandon, 400.

Morell, 479.

Morris, D., 762.

Moseley, 772.

Mother of Asa Gray, 3, 5.

“Movement in Plants, Power of,” Darwin, 714.

Mozley, 665.

Muhlenberg, H. L., 685.

Mulder, G. J., 328, 331.

Müller, J., 593, 625, 644, 720.

Müller, Max, 488, 489, 491.

Munich, 231-240.

Munich Botanic Garden, 233, 240.

Munro, 100.

Munro, W., 446.

Murfree, Miss M. N., 812.

Murillo, 705.

Murray, Miss, 416.

Museum, Botanical, at Cambridge, 440-442.

Muséum, Paris, herbarium of, 172.

Museum of Natural History, at Cambridge, 351.

Name of Asa, 5.

National Academy, 551.

Natural selection, 459, 461, 489, 497.
  See also Evolution.

Naudin, C., 382, 399, 434, 472.

Naville, E., 588, 719.

Nees von Esenbeck, 44, 130, 223, 716, 726.

“New or Rare Plants of State of New York,” 19.

Nicoll, W., 99, 101, 102, 105.

Noel, Baptist, 122, 133, 144.

Nomenclature, 305, 408, 427, 434, 448, 515, 521,
           552, 607, 685, 699, 700, 744, 746, 813.

North, Christopher (Professor Wilson), 100, 104.

North, Miss, 810.

“North American Gramineæ and Cyperaceæ,” 19, 45, 46.

“North American Plants, Synopsis of,” 559.

North Carolina, journeys to, 26, 28, 280, 306, 663, 686, 757.

Nuttall, 92, 282, 326.

Nuttall’s herbarium, 697;
  plants, 278.

Nuttalia, 90.

Nymphæa flava, 790.

Oaks, W., 334-336, 672.

Oaks, 672.

Oliver, D., 512, 592, 617, 702, 810.

Olmsted, F. L., 371, 421.

“Orchids, Fertilization of,” Darwin, 480, 484, 486, 489, 509.

Orchis, pyramidalis, 481;
  spectabilis, 53, 481.

Oregon, collection of Wilkes’ Expedition, 622, 639.

Origin of Species, 455, 456, 457, 458, 472, 480, 485, 486, 498.
  See Evolution.

Orthodox Botany, 733.

Owen, 117, 459, 505, 510, 521.

Oxford University, 404.

Oxford, degree at, 801.

Packard, 623.

Padua, 204.

Paget, 802.

Palgrave, Sir Francis, 117, 118, 122.

Palmer’s Chihuahua collection, 782.

Palmer, E., 686.

Palmerston, 536, 540.

Pangenesis, 561.

Pardie, J., 100.

Paris, visit to (1839), 153-180.

Parish, S. B., 726, 767.

Parish collection, 726.

Park, Prof., 655, 656.

Parker, Judge, 494.

Parliament (1839), 139, 142.

Parry, C. C., 468, 628, 636.

Parry and Palmer’s “Mexican Compositæ,” 686.

Parsons, T., 507.

Pascal, 743.

Passion flower, 611.

Passiflora acerifolia, tendrils of, 611.

Pasteur, 511, 550.

Peabody, A. P., 656, 805.

Peabody Museum, Harvard, 543.

Peck, Prof., 326, 327.

Pedro, Dom, 659.

Peirce, Benjamin, 296, 328, 330.

Pentstemon, 391.

Penzig, O., 718.

Persoon, C. H., 336.

Petalanthera, 146.

Peters, T. M., 394.

Philadelphus, 428.

Philip, 209.

Photography, discovery of Daguerreotypes, 127;
  Talbotypes, 379.

Phyllotaxis, 505, 507.

Pickering, Charles, 337, 347.

Pickering, E. C., 744.

Pictet, 460, 519.

Pictures in Spain, 705.

Pinus monophylla, 674, 675;
  ponderosa, 674.

Planchon, J. E., 569.

Plantamour, 719.

“Plantæ Wrightianæ,” 389, 391, 392, 393, 406.

Plants, introduced, 313, 325.

Platanthera flava, 509.

Plukenet, plants of, 146, 150.

Podophyllum Emodi, 175.

Poiret plants, 176.

Politics, American, 755.

Pollen tubes, 325.

Pope, Gen., 770.

Pöppig, E. F., 267.

Porto Rico collection, 702.

Portrait, crayon drawing of A. Gray, 94;
  bronze, St. Gaudens, 752.

Potamogeton, 350.

Potato introduced, 5.

Pourtalès, 719.

Powell, Baden, 464.

Presl, K. B., 223.

Prestele, 330, 340, 344, 362.

Prestwich, 802.

Price, B., 802.

Priest, Dr., 13.

Pringle, C. G., 727, 782.

Pursh, F., 111, 734;
  herbarium of, 22.

Pusey, 737.

Putnam, G. P., 23, 142, 143, 152, 265.

Putterlich, A., 214.

Pylaie’s, De la, herbarium, 173.

Pyxidanthera, 304.

Quarter-millennial of Harvard College, 789.

Quekett, E. J., 129, 130, 140.

Quercus alba, var., 672.

Quincy, President, 27, 283, 293.

Raffles, T., 86.

Rafinesque-Schmaltz, S. C., 278.

Ranunculaceæ, 344.

Ranunculus hydrocharoides, 408.

Ravenel, 745.

Rayleigh, Lord, 805.

Reade, 137.

Rebellion, 465, 467, 469, 470, 471, 478,
           480, 481, 483, 486, 487, 490,
           494, 495, 496, 503, 506, 511,
           512, 518, 522, 526, 528, 533,
           535, 537, 538, 554.

Reconstruction (of United States government), 544, 549, 554.

Redfield, J. H., early impressions of A. Gray, 31;
  letters to, 659, 686, 697, 701, 775, 811.

Redfield and Canby, letters to, 712, 723.

Reichenbach, H. Gottlieb, 267.

Reichenbach, H. Gustave, 811.

“Religion and Science,” Yale lectures, 693.

Religious views, 320, 321, 396;
  influence on Evolution, 751.

Requien, E., 184, 185.

Resignation of Professorship, 621, 624, 634, 635, 640, 641, 643.

Reuter, G. F., 26, 590.

Rhamnus Parviflora, 307.

Rhexia Virginica, 478, 484.

Rhizoma, enlargement of, meaning, 52.

Rhododendron, 315, 692.

“Rhynchosporæ, Monograph of North American,” 19, 31, 60.

Riaño, 704.

Rich, W., 21.

Richard, A., 24, 164, 400, 540.

Richard, L. C., 24.

Richard’s herbarium, 173, 178.

Richardson, Sir John, 110, 112, 364.

Richardson, Dr., 762.

Riocreux, 330.

Ripley, Mrs., 289.

Robbins, J. W., 686.

Robinia, 509.

Robinson, 123.

Roemer, 373.

Roeper, J. A. C., 700, 716.

Rogers, Mrs. H., 6, 787.

Roget, P. M., 113, 118, 129.

Rolleston, G., 595.

Romane, 742.

Roscoe, H. E., 807, 808.

Roscoe, W., 808.

Rosse, Lord, 384.

Rothrock, J. T., 485, 488, 530, 531.

Royal Society of London, 112, 127, 754.

Royer, Mme., 498.

Royle, J. F., 112, 151.

Rugel, 311.

Rugel’s New Holland Collections, 215.

Rutosma, 361.

Saccardo, P. A., 718.

Sandwich Island plants, 90.

Sandys, 800.

Santa Barbara, reception at, 768.

Saporta, 685, 807.

Sargent, C. S., 645, 681, 682, 686, 688, 728, 729, 786.

Sarracenia, 642, 646, 647.

Sartwell, 172.

Saturday Review, 479.

Sauquoit, 2-5.

Saussure, 719.

Savi, G., 194.

Saxifraga Careyana, 689, 691.

Schimper, W. P., 374, 697.

Schinus molle, 568, 763.

Schkuhr, C., 26, 267.

Schlechtendal, D. F. L. von, 26, 267.

Schleiden, 151.

Schönbrunn Botanic Garden, 218, 795.

Schooling, 5-8.

Schott, H., 218.

Schreber, 451.

Schultz Bipontinus, C. H., 715.

Schultz-Schultzenstein, C. H., 329.

Schultes, J. H., 235, 239.

Schwägrichen, C. F., 267.

Schweinitz, Bishop, 17, 44.

Schweinitzia, 310.

Scientific Club, 287.

Sedum pusillum, 652, 653.

Seemann, B., 473.

Semonville, Marquis, 24.

Senecio, 293, 294.

“Sequoia and its history,” 628, 638.

Sequoia sempervirens, 412.

Seringe, N. C., 24, 181.

Sessé, 782.

Shaw, Henry, 446, 453, 468, 752, 753, 761, 782.

Shaw Botanic Garden, 761, 782.

Shepherd, J., 88.

Short, C. W., 411, 447, 498.

Shortia galacifolia, 178, 179, 681, 682, 683, 686, 687, 692.

Siebold, P. F., 376.

Silliman’s Journal. See Am. Journal Science and Arts.

Silphium, 400.

Silver Craze, 781.

Sims’ herbarium, 151.

Slavery, 296, 535.
  See also Rebellion.

Sloane, Sir Hans, 199, 200, 201.

Smilax rotundifolia, 52.

Smith, Goldwin, 536.

Smith, I. A., 345, 346.

Smith, J. E., 685.

Smithsonian Institution, 397, 403, 665;
  Regent, 729, 730.

Smyth, N., 695.

Snake country collections, 90, 92.

Soleirol, 20.

Solidago, 279, 726.

Sophocles, E. A., 434.

South Pacific Exploring Expedition, See Exploring.

Spach, E., 23, 165, 176, 382, 418.

Species, 520, 617, 657, 744.
  See also Evolution, origin of.

Species, definition of, 497;
  essential character of, 691.

Spedding, J., 732.

Spelling match, 6, 787.

Spencer, H., 459, 740, 759.

Sprague, Isaac, 329, 330, 340, 347, 357, 362, 364, 366, 405.

Sprengel, 813.

Spruce’s plants, 437.

St. Augustine, 659.

St. Hilaire, A. de, 24, 167, 168.

Stanley, Dean, 605, 722.

Staunton, Sir F., 118.

Steindachner, 795.

Stephens, 539.

Stokes, 805.

Stokesia cyanea, 279.

Stone Mountain, 650.

Story, 801, 802.

Strachey, Gen., 671.

“Structural Botany,” 814.

“Studies in Solidago and Aster,” 726.

Subspecies, 744.

Subtropical Plants, Mexican, 765.

Sullivant, W. S., 28, 129, 280, 290, 306, 308,
           310, 318, 360, 390, 433, 514, 640, 641, 668.

Sumner, C., 494.

Süss, E., 795.

Switzerland, walking tour in 1839, 240-263;
  (1869) 590.

Synoptical Flora. See Flora.

Talbot, 802, 805.

Talbot, Fox, 127.

Targioni-Tozzetti, 200.

Tatnall, E., 446.

Taylor, Richard, 114, 117.

Taylor, Dr., 789.

Taxus nucifera, 129.

Teacher in Utica, 16, 18, 19, 29, 37.

Teaching, 438, 439.

Teleology. See Design.

Temple, Bishop, 602, 780.

Tendrils, 492, 510, 512, 538, 539, 548, 611, 631, 633.

Tetradymia, 293.

“Text-Book, Botanical,” 28, 281, 282, 286, 289,
           290, 297, 329, 334, 365, 366, 368, 685, 687, 693.

Thanksgiving, 738.

Thayer, N., 816.

Thayer, J. B., 781.

“Théorie Elémentaire,” De Candolle, 47.

Thompson, W. H., 380, 713.

Thompson, T., 380, 592.

Thomson, Sir William, 759.

Thurber, G., letters to, 408;
  references to, 406, 694.

Thurberia, 408, 409.

Thuret, G., 569, 572.

Thury, 519.

Tommasini, J. S., 25, 209.

Torrey, Herbert Gray, 141.

Torrey, J., letters to, 33-45, 51, 91, 149, 287, 292, 297, 303,
           307, 314, 318, 324, 327, 333, 334, 339, 343, 356, 358,
           362, 369, 445, 450, 568, 577, 596, 641, 622;
  references to, 15, 18, 20, 29, 31, 48, 134, 405, 415, 485, 500,
           514, 533, 558, 595, 601, 639, 641, 813.

Torrey, Mrs., letters to, 67, 81, 152, 161, 198, 294, 300, 301, 305;
  references to, 30, 415.

Torrey, the Misses, letters to, 153, 163.

Torreya, 428, 650, 651.

Townsend, 278.

Traill, 759.

Transport boats, articulated, 759.

Treadwell, D., 27.

Trécul, A., 382.

Trees of North America, 362, 364, 366.

Trelease, W., 782.

Treveranus, 373.

Tricerastes, 223.

Trichomanes Petersii, 394.

Trichomanes radicans, 392, 394.

Trimen, 592.

Trisetum Molle, 46.

Trowbridge, J. F., 14, 15, 41;
  Letters to, 64, 65, 83.

Trumbull, J. H., 745.

Tuckerman, E., 27, 292, 784.

Tulasne, L. R., 382, 400.

Turner, Dawson, 388.

Tylor, 772, 802.

Tyndall, 565, 631, 805.

Ungnadia, 222.

United States Exploring Expedition. See Exploring.

University of Michigan, 21, 76, 83, 270, 274, 282.

Utica, 16, 18, 19, 29, 37.

Vaccinium brachycerum, 343.

Val Crucis, 309.

Valentine, W., 144, 149.

“Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication,” 561.

Vase presented to Asa Gray, 776.

Vasey, G., 688.

Vaughan, 805.

Ventenat herbarium, The, 178.

“Vestiges of Creation,” 328, 330, 345.

Vienna, 210-223.

Vienna Hofherbarium, 214, 795.

Vilmorin, H. de, 721, 799.

Vilmorin, L., 381, 445.

Virginia, Journey to. See North Carolina.

Visiani, R. de, 25, 204.

Vogel, 93.

Wallace, 613, 714.

Wallich, N., 379.

Walter, T., 134.

Walter’s herbarium, 130, 136, 813.

War. See Rebellion.

Ward, N. B., 23, 120, 126, 132, 137, 144, 369, 370.

Ward cases, 126.

Wartmann, 719.

Watson, S., 622, 640, 669, 694, 727, 729, 784, 787, 788, 813.

Webb, P. Barker, 23, 157, 173, 382.

Webb’s herbarium, 173.

Wedgewood, Miss, 755.

Weeds, 492.

Weiss, 795.

Weisner, 796.

Wellingtonia. See also Sequoia, 408.

Welwitschia, 541.

Whipple, Charles W., 73-79.

Whitney, Asa, 388.

Wilkes, C., 359, 392, 622.

Will, 816.

Willdenow, 26;
  herbarium, 268, 709.

Williams, S. Wells, 54.

Williamson, W. C., 722, 791, 807.

Willoughby, Dr., 12.

Wilson (Christopher North), 100, 104.

Winter, American, 739.

Winthrop, R. C., 543, 700.

Wislizenus, A., 351, 782.

Wood, A., 334.

Wright, Charles, Letters to, 352, 360, 362, 389, 405, 413,
           482, 494, 516, 540, 546, 550, 554, 567, 575, 588, 616;
  references to, 360, 362, 390, 391, 393, 405, 406, 422,
           426, 435, 441, 442, 470, 495, 515, 516, 541,
           550, 568, 617, 773, 774.

Wright, Chauncey, 657.

Wright, G. F., Letters to, 655, 666, 684, 695.

Wyman, J., 303, 327, 502, 505, 511, 550, 553, 600.

Xantus de Vesey, L. J., 466.

Xantus, Californian Plants, 466.

Yale College Lectures, 693, 694, 699, 700.

Zuccarini, J. G., 25, 234, 235, 315.

Zygodon, Bones of, 303.


 [1] Peter Collinson, 1674-1768; a London woolen draper, and a
 correspondent of Bartram, who was the earliest native-born American

 [2] Charles Loring Brace, son of J. P. Brace. Eminent as founder of
 the Children’s Aid Society, New York.

 [3] The result was published in _Walks and Talks of an American Farmer
 in England_, written by his companion, Frederic Law Olmsted.

 [4] Ludolf Christian Treviranus, 1779-1864; professor of botany in

 [5] J. B. G. W. Fresenius, M. D., 1808-1866. Wrote many contributions
 to mycology.

 [6] William Philip Schimper, 1808-1880; an eminent bryologist and

 [7] Alexander Braun, 1805-1877; a distinguished botanist, the early
 companion of Agassiz at Heidelberg; professor at Berlin. “As an
 investigator he stood in the front rank among the botanists of our
 time” [A. G.].

 [8] Charles Henry Godet, 1797-1879; author of the _Flora of the Jura_.

 [9] F. A. W. Miquel, 1812-1871; director of the Amsterdam herbarium
 and professor of botany, Utrecht.

 [10] William H. De Vriese, 1806-1862; professor in the University of
 Leyden; author of many important works and memoirs.

 [11] Charles Louis Blume, 1796-1866; in charge of the Colonial Botanic
 Gardens at Java; later curator of the herbarium of the Royal Museum at

 [12] Philip Franz Siebold, 1796-1866. Wrote _Flora Japonica_. He
 brought from Japan a large collection of curios when the country was
 rarely opened to a foreigner, and at the risk of his life.

 [13] Nathaniel Wallich, 1789-1854, a Dane by birth; a distinguished
 East Indian botanist.

 [14] Richard Congreve, fellow and tutor of Wadham. Among his many
 publications is _The Translation of the Catechism of Positive

 [15] Thomas Thompson, 1817-1878; son of the distinguished chemist of
 Glasgow; explorer and traveler in India; director of the Calcutta
 Botanic Garden.

 [16] François André Michaux, 1770-1856; son of André Michaux, who
 traveled in North America from 1785 to 1796. Wrote _Forest Trees of
 North America_.

 [17] François Delessert, brother of Benjamin. Died 1868. Liberal
 patron of arts and sciences.

 [18] Louis René Tulasne, 1815; aide naturaliste at the Museum at Paris.

 [19] Charles Naudin; now director of the Jardin d’Acclimitation at

 [20] Auguste Trécul, Paris; writer on Vegetable Histology.

 [21] Heinrich Rudolph August Grisebach, 1813-1879. Hannover and
 Göttingen. Professor of botany in the university. “A prominent and
 voluminous systematic botanist. His most important work a treatise on
 the Vegetation of the Earth.” [A. G.].

 [22] Died 1892, much lamented.

 [23] Arthur Hugh Clough, 1819-1861. The poet was resident in America
 from November, 1852, to June, 1853.

 [24] It also often has the distribution of a certain number of public
 documents of scientific value. I am about to ask its secretary to
 procure for you, if possible, a copy of Frémont’s two reports, which
 you desire,--if too late to procure it gratis, as I fear, to purchase
 the volume at my expense.--A. G.

 [25] Thaddeus Wm. Harris, 1795-1856; librarian of Harvard College and
 a distinguished entomologist.

 [26] Dr. Gray sent to Kew manilla paper for the genus covers in the

 [27] George Thurber, 1821-1890; born in Providence; botanist to
 the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey Commission; then
 in the Assay Office in New York; later, editor of the _American
 Agriculturist_; a student of grasses.

 [28] From a letter to Sir W. J. Hooker: “Curious that this
 correspondence, after lying so long, should at length be printed and
 published in New England.”--A. G.

 [29] Charles W. Short, M. D., 1794-1862; professor of materia medica
 in the University of Transylvania, Lexington, Ky. Removed later to
 Louisville. Dr. Gray named for him Shortia galacifolia, discovered in
 Michaux’s herbarium in Paris, in 1839.

 [30] On the 2d July, 1872, Dr. Gray saw the Calaveras and Mariposa
 groves. In the Calaveras Grove he counted, with one of his
 fellow-travelers, the rings and took measurements of the fallen tree
 “Hercules.” His memoranda of the size, etc., were:--

 Height when standing was 315 feet.

 A section at 21 feet from ground was 6 feet 10½ inches radius, on the
 line counted.

                            Layers|         Rate of growth.
    Counted on it            1,500|First century    10¼ in. radius
    Uncounted sapwood (est.)    30|  “   400 years  27¼ “    “
        “       centre  “       10|Last century      3½ “    “
    Growth to 21 feet   “       10|Last 400 years   14  “    “
    Estimated age (years)     1550|

 [31] _First Lessons in Botany._

 [32] Isaac F. Holton, M. D., 1813-1874; teacher and professor of
 natural science in Vermont, and missionary pastor in Illinois.
 Published in 1857 _New Granada, Twenty Months in the Andes_.

 [33] _A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States, with Remarks on their
 Economy._ By Frederic Law Olmsted. New York, 1856.

 [34] William Darlington, M. D., 1782-1863, of West Chester, Penn.;
 author of _Flora Cestrica_, “one of the best of local Floras,” and
 _Memorials of Bartram and Marshall_, etc. “A most faithful botanist.
 His forte was the clear and accurate description of plants” [A. G.].

 [35] Thomas Potts James, 1804-1882. Born in Radnor, Penn. A proficient
 and authority in bryology.

 [36] _First Lessons._

 [37] _How Plants Grow._ Sir Joseph Hooker in _Nature_, February 16,
 1888, says of _How Plants Grow_ and _How Plants Behave_, “that for
 charm of matter and style they have no equal in botanical literature.”

 [38] Daniel Cady Eaton, professor of botany at Yale.

 [39] _Botanical Gazette_, March, 1888.

 [40] Memoir of Dr. Gray, American Academy, 1888.

 [41] _Scientific Papers of Asa Gray_, vol. ii.

 [42] _How Plants Grow._

 [43] William Munro, 1816-1880; general in British army. “The most
 accomplished agrostologist of our day” [A. G.].

 [44] Edward Tatnall, b. 1822, Wilmington, Del.; author of a catalogue
 of plants of Newcastle County, Delaware.

 [45] A quotation from Butler’s _Analogy_, on the use of the word
 “natural,” which in the second edition is placed with the passages
 from Whewell and Bacon, on p. ii., opposite the title-page.

 [46] Reviews of Darwin’s _Origin of Species_--_Darwiniana_.

 [47] L. J. Xantus de Vesey. Collected at Fort Tejon in 1857-1859 for
 the Smithsonian Institution.

 [48] Charles C. Parry, M. D., 1823-1890. Born in England, came to
 America in 1832. Explored and collected on the Mexican boundary, in
 the Rocky Mountains and in California. Died in Davenport, Iowa,--where
 is his herbarium.

 [49] Berthold Seemann, 1825-1871; editor of the _Journal of Botany,
 British and Foreign_, etc., etc.

 [50] The dinner after the capture of Mason and Slidell.

 [51] President C. C. Felton.

 [52] J. Trimble Rothrock, of McVeytown, Pennsylvania, b. 1839;
 botanist of Wheeler’s Survey of the United States Expedition to
 Alaska; late professor in the University of Pennsylvania.

 [53] “Memoirs of Augustin Pyramus De Candolle,” _Am. Jour. Sci._,
 xxxv. 1-10.

 [54] Dr. Jeffries Wyman.

 [55] _The Antiquity of Man._

 [56] There was a rough sketch of the disk, etc., in the margin.

 [57] Dr. Gray enlisted and drilled with a company raised for service
 in Massachusetts.

 [58] Oswald Heer, 1809-1883; born in canton St. Gall, Switzerland;
 professor of botany at Zurich. “The most distinguished paleontological
 botanist of our time” [A. G.].

 [59] William H. Brewer; botanist of the survey of California;
 professor in the Sheffield Scientific School, New Haven.

 [60] The assassination of President Lincoln.

 [61] _Scientific Papers of Asa Gray_, selected by C. S. Sargent, vol.
 ii. p. 321; also in _American Journal Science and Arts_, 2 ser., xli.
 p. 1 (1866).

 [62] Johann Nils Andersson, 1821; professor of botany at Stockholm.

 [63] The portrait is in the herbarium of the Museum at Stockholm.

 [64] A. W. Chapman, b. 1809. Southampton, Mass. Residing at
 Apalachicola, Fla.; author of the _Flora of the Southern States_.

 [65] Horace Mann, 1844-1868. Made large collections in the Sandwich
 Islands. Wrote “Enumeration of Hawaiian Plants,” _Proceedings American
 Academy_, 1866.

 [66] George W. Clinton, 1807-1885; author of _A Catalogue of the
 Native and Naturalized Plants of the City of Buffalo, and its

 [67] A set of questions on expression, etc.

 [68] Coe F. Austin, 1832-1880; especially devoted to the study of

 [69] William M. Canby, of Wilmington, Delaware.

 [70] Presidential address by George Bentham, meeting of the Linnæan
 Society, May 24, 1867.

 [71] _The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication_, by
 Charles Darwin: London, 1868. Republished by _American Agriculturist_:
 New York.

 [72] Charles Frederic Martins, M. D., 1806-1889; professor of botany
 and director of the Botanic Garden at Montpellier.

 [73] Jules Emile Planchon, 1823-1888; professor at Montpellier; author
 of important works on Systematic Botany and Morphology. Studied

 [74] Gustave Thuret, 1810-1875. “One of the best investigators of
 Algæ; established a remarkable botanical garden at Antibes” [A. G.].

 [75] John Traherne Moggridge, 1842-1874; a keen naturalist. Wrote on
 the botany of Mentone, and on harvesting ants and trap-door spiders.

 [76] Edouard Naville, of Geneva; distinguished Egyptologist; since
 1883 the representative of the Egyptian Exploration fund.

 [77] Von Martius died in March, 1869.

 [78] Boat-race between Harvard and Oxford.

 [79] Maxwell T. Masters; editor of _Gardener’s Chronicle_; author of
 _Vegetable Teratology_.

 [80] William Carruthers; botanist of the British Museum, London.

 [81] Johannes Müller (Argoviensis); late director of the Botanic
 Garden at Geneva. Has written largely on Lichens.

 [82] Sir William Henry Flower, M. D., London; curator of the Hunterian
 Museum. Succeeded Owen as director of the British Museum of Natural

 [83] George Rolleston, M. D., 1829-1881; professor of anatomy and
 physiology at Oxford.

 [84] Sermon preached in Westminster Abbey, at the consecration of the
 new bishop of Salisbury.

 [85] Dr. Gray’s black and tan terrier, his loving companion for twelve

 [86] Theodore Caruel, professor in Florence.

 [87] Ernest Cosson, 1819-1890. Wrote the _Flora of Algiers_ and the
 _Flora of the Environs of Paris_.

 [88] _The Descent of Man._

 [89] Mr. Church had been appointed dean of St. Paul’s, London.

 [90] _How Plants Behave._

 [91] “Sequoia and its History; the Relations of North American to
 Northeast Asian and to Tertiary Vegetation,” in _Darwiniana_, pp.

 [92] “An able philosophical writer, Miss Frances Power Cobbe, has
 recently and truthfully said:--

 “‘It is a singular fact that when we can find out how anything is
 done, our first conclusion seems to be, God did not do it. No matter
 how wonderful, how beautiful, how intimately complex and delicate has
 been the machinery which has worked perhaps for centuries, perhaps for
 millions of ages, to bring about some beneficent result, if we can but
 catch a glimpse of the wheels, its divine character disappears.’

 “I agree with the writer that this first conclusion is premature and
 unworthy, I will add deplorable. Through what faults and infirmities
 of dogmatism on the one hand, and skepticism on the other, it came
 to be so thought, we need not here consider. Let us hope, and I
 confidently expect, that it is not to last; that the religious faith
 which survived without a shock the notion of the fixity of the earth
 itself may equally outlast the notion of the absolute fixity of the
 species which inhabit it; that in the future, even more than in the
 past, faith in an order, which is the basis of science, will not,
 as it cannot reasonably, be dissevered from faith in an Ordainer,
 which is the basis of religion.”--“Sequoia and its History,” in
 _Darwiniana_, p. 205.

 [93] This was the beginning of summer schools in Harvard University.

 [94] “Life of Charles Darwin,” in _Nature_, June 4, 1874.

 [95] See vol. xxxiv. n. ser., November, 1862, pp. 428, 429.--A. G.

 [96] Moses Ashley Curtis, D. D., 1808-1872. Born in Charlestown,
 Mass.; early removed to the South; lived near Hillsboro, N. C. His
 botanical studies were largely on Fungi.

 [97] Rev. G. Frederick Wright, then a clergyman at Andover, Mass., now
 professor at Oberlin, Ohio.

 [98] The book was published with Mr. Wright’s assistance.

 [99] Review of _Darwin’s Insectivorous and Climbing Plants_, in _The
 Nation_, Nos. 549 and 550.

 [100] The afterwards famous designer of yachts.

 [101] T. S. Brandegee. Engaged on railroad surveys in Colorado and
 Washington territories and the Northern Pacific. At present living in
 San Francisco.

 [102] The bad railroad strikes of the summer of 1877.

 [103] J. G. Lemmon; late botanist of the California State Board of
 Forestry; author of a report on California Conifers.

 [104] _The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species._

 [105] Photograph of camp on Rocky Mountains, La Veta Pass, with the
 best photographic likenesses, perhaps, ever taken of Sir J. D. Hooker
 and Dr. Gray; and including General and Mrs. Strachey, Dr. Hayden, and
 Captain Stevenson.

 [106] Articles in the New York _Independent_, signed “Country Reader,”
 by Dr. Gray.

 [107] At a memorial meeting held in honor of Professor Henry by the
 Board of Regents and both Houses of Congress, in the Hall of the House
 of Representatives, January 16, 1879, Dr. Gray read a Biographical
 Memorial of Joseph Henry, in behalf of the Board of Regents.

 [108] Heinrich Ludwig Muhlenberg, 1756-1817; a Lutheran preacher in
 Lancaster, Penn.; published a _Catalogue of North American Plants_,
 and a _Description of North American Grasses_.

 [109] James Watson Robbins, M. D., 1807-1879; physician at Uxbridge,
 Mass. “A most critical student of the botany of New England and
 northern United States, and especially of the Potamogetons” [A. G.].

 [110] Edward Palmer; has collected largely in southern Florida and

 [111] “Dr. Gray, with Mr. Cowles and some of the neighbors, had
 gone up Negro Mountain. He found on the top the plant he expected,
 a Saxifraga, made out the narrow ravine he had explored thirty-six
 years ago, found it, and in its same spot the rare plant (an Aconite)
 he had then discovered, rarely seen growing since, and so came back
 triumphant.”--Extract from Mrs. Gray’s journal.

 [112] Howard Shriver, M. D., formerly at Wyethville, Va., now at
 Cumberland, Md.

 [113] John A. C. Roeper, 1800-1884; director and professor in the
 Botanic Garden at Bâle; removed to Rostock, Prussia, as professor,
 before 1840.

 [114] The Yale Lectures.

 [115] Alphonse Lavallée, 1835-1884. Paris. “His specialty, ornamental
 trees and shrubs, of which he had nearly the largest and best
 collection in Europe, studying them with assiduity” [A. G.].

 [116] Dr. C. H. Schultz [Bipontinus], 1805-1867. Rhenish Bavaria. A
 distinguished botanist, who devoted himself to Compositæ, and amassed
 an extremely rich herbarium in that family.

 [117] Willdenow’s Asters were sent over to me here!--A. G.

 [118] Pietro Andrea Saccardo; professor at Padua.

 [119] Otto Penzig, M. D.; formerly assistant professor at Padua, now
 professor at Genoa.

 [120] Seen first in 1850, with its temporary roof and bases of towers.

 [121] Samuel B. Parish, San Bernardino, Cal.

 [122] William Cusick, Crowell, Oregon.

 [123] C. G. Pringle; for many years has explored the botany of Mexico.

 [124] _Contemporary Review_, xli.

 [125] J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, Conn.; a great authority
 on Indian languages and customs, and author of many contributions,
 historical and philological. Perhaps the only American scholar able to
 read Eliot’s Bible.

 [126] The birth of the Dean’s first grandchild.

 [127] Dr. Gray went to New York to finish his sittings to St. Gaudens
 for the bronze bas-relief now in the herbarium at Cambridge.

 [128] “Characteristics of the North American Flora,” _American Journal
 of Science_, ser. 3, vol. xxviii, p. 323; also in _Scientific Papers
 of A. Gray_, selected by C. S. Sargent.

 [129] Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin,--the distinguished physicist.

 [130] The inkstand is now placed in the library of the herbarium with
 Sir William J. Hooker’s hand-glass, so much used by Dr. Gray.

 [131] Daniel Morris, assistant director of the Royal Gardens, Kew.

 [132] Matteo Botteri, died in 1885. Sent to Mexico by London
 Horticultural Society. Made fine collections, especially about
 Orizaba, where he settled.

 [133] General John Bidwell was the Prohibition candidate for the
 Presidency in 1892.

 [134] Named the Sir Joseph Hooker Oak.

 [135] _American Journal of Science_, 3 ser. xxxi, 12.--1886. Reprinted
 in _Scientific Papers_, selected by C. S. Sargent, vol. ii. p. 468.

 [136] Josef Mariano Mocino. Was on the coast of California in 1792.
 Botanized in Mexico, especially in the northern part. His drawings,
 brought to Europe after the death of Sessé, were left with Aug. Pyr.
 de Candolle. When suddenly reclaimed they were copied for him by the
 united labors of the ladies of Geneva.

 [137] William Trelease, St. Louis; professor of botany at Washington
 University, and director of Missouri Botanical Garden.

 [138] Thomas Coulter. Little is known of him. He explored in Mexico
 many years and in California in 1831 and 1832. Was appointed Curator
 of the herbarium of the Dublin Botanic Garden, where he died in 1843.

 [139] John Goldie, 1793-1886. Traveled in North America, 1817 to 1820,
 collecting plants. After his return to Scotland emigrated to Ayr,
 Ontario, 1844, where he died.

 [140] Dr. Gray returned for this last book to the title of his first
 book, published in 1836, _Elements of Botany_.

 [141] Eduard Süss; professor of paleontology at Vienna.

 [142] A. W. Eichler, 1839-1887; succeeded Alexander Braun at Berlin.

 [143] Henry John Elwes, author of the sumptuous monograph of the genus

 [144] Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach, 1823-1889; professor of botany at
 Hamburg, and an authority on orchids.

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