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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

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."Sherman, printer. 


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It may be well, perhaps, by a brief and simple statement here, to explain to 
the reader how it happened, that the compiler obtained access to the materials of 
this volume, and was permitted thus to use them. 

More than thirty years ago, the late Doctor William Baldwin suggested to the 
Editor, the propriety of some tribute to the memory of Humphry Marshall, to 
be prepared from his Correspondence, and other papers in the custody of his re- 
presentatives. In that generous suggestion of his lamented friend, the Editor 
heartily concurred, and intimations of the purpose were accordingly made to the 
Marshall family ; but the widow of Humphry, who was then living, and had 
charge of the papers, seemed unwilling to let them pass out of her possession, in 
consequence of which, nothing further was done at that time. 

Since the decease of Mrs. Marshall, the subject has been occasionally men- 
tioned to the younger branches of the family, to whom the papers descended, and 
an urgent desire expressed, for the privilege of examining those interesting me- 
morials. The request was politely assented to, as often as made ; but, from the 
procrastination incident to such matters, it was only within a few months that 
Dr. Moses Marshall, Junior, grand-nephew of Humphry, actually placed the 
desired papers in the hands of the Editor, which, however, he did with the full 
permission and privilege of making such use of them as might be deemed appro- 
priate. Dr. M. has also, in the most obliging manner, furnished a number of 
facts, dates, and traditionary anecdotes, connected with the history of his vene- 
rable kinsman. 


The Editor found the correspondence so much to his own taste, that he imagined 
it might be gratifying to others, to peruse such evidences of devotion to Natural 
Science, in one of' the primitive worthies of Chester County ; and under that im- 
pression, he transcribed such portions as appeared to be illustrative of the cha- 
racter and labours of the man. 

Scarcely was this pleasing task accomplished, when a voluminous mass of 
papers, consisting chiefly of the correspondence of John Bartbam, was also put 
into the hands of the Editor, and with a like permission as the preceding, by 
Colonel Robert Carr, proprietor of the Bartram Garden, who is married to a 
granddaughter of the distinguished Pennsylvania Botanist, and to whom those 
interesting records now belong. For this rare privilege, the Editor is primarily 
indebted to the partiality and kind intervention of his esteemed friends, Thomas 
P. James and Daniel B. Smith, of Philadelphia, whose anxiety for the preserva- 
tion of such portions of the correspondence as are still extant (for much of it is 
irrecoverably lost), induced them to solicit the favour ; but, it is due to the de- 
scendants of the Botanical Patriarch of our country, to add, that the privilege 
referred to, together with all the collateral information in their possession, was 
promptly and most obligingly granted. 

Here, then, a new field of labour was unexpectedly presented, kindred in its 
nature, indeed, but of much greater extent than the preceding, and beset with 
more difficulties. Those ancient manuscripts were not only jumbled together in 
a chaotic mass, but were generally much injured by time, and many of them 
scarcely legible ; so that it required no little care and patient perseverance, to 
decipher and arrange them. This was especially the case with the letters from 
John Bartram to his friends, of which letters he seems to have been in the habit 
of retaining the original rough draughts. It is, in fact, too probable, that if the 
opportunity thus kindly afforded by Colonel Carr and his lady, had not been em- 
braced, the portion of the Correspondence here preserved would, ere long, have 
been scattered among the various branches of the family, and the recovery of it 
rendered wholly impracticable.* 

But the work is now performed. A large remnant of the epistolary corre- 

* It is to be hoped, that the originals of these letters may yet pass into the safe- 
keeping of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and thus be handed down to a 
curious and grateful posterity. 


spondence, between our two venerable Pennsylvanians and their distinguished con- 
temporaries, is happily rescued from present oblivion : and, if the Editor is not 
utterly deceived by his own passion for such antiquities, he persuades himself that 
the lovers of nature, and the admirers of native worth amongst us, will regard 
with interest the illustrations of character, and of the times, which that cor- 
respondence exhibits. 

In selecting from among the several Biographical Notices of John Baetkam, 
hitherto published, the preference has been given to one written by his son Wil- 
liam, which appeared in the first volume of Prof. Barton's Medical and Physical 
Journal, in the year 1804. It is brief, and lacking in details ; yet probably in 
the main more reliable than the others. But even that is obscure, and somewhat 
inaccurate, in the account it gives of the elder portion of the family. 

It is remarkable that none of the published biographies of John Bartkam 
mentions the name of his father ; nor could any of his descendants, inquired of 
by the Editor, furnish that name, neither could they give the exact date of the 
Botanist's birth ! 

, For these, and some other authentic particulars, the Editor is indebted to the 
kindness of a friend, who obtained them from the ancient records of Darby 
Monthly Meeting ; to which Meeting the family originally belonged. 

W. D, 

West Chester, Pennsylvania, 
April 28, 1S49. 



Progress of Botany in North America, . . . . .17 

Biographical Sketch of John Bartram, ..... 37 

Visit of Iwan AlexioAvitz to John Bartram, . . . . .45 

Peter Collinson to John Bartram, Jan. 20th, 1734-5, ... 59 

Jan. 24th, 1735, . . . .63 

Feb. 12th, "... 66 

Feb. 20th, "... 68 

" March 1st, "... 69 

" " August 16th, " . . . .70 

March 12th, 1735-6, . . 72 

** March 20th, 1736, . 73 

" *' April 21st, "... 75 

" " June 1st, " . . . .76 

June 6th, "... 78 

** June 7th, "... 79 

August 28th, "... 80 

Sept. 20th, " . . .81 

Jan. 20th, 1736-7, ... 82 

Feb. 1st, " . 84 

Feb. 3d, "... 85 

Feb. 17th, " . . . .88 

Feb. 26th, "... 90 

March 14th, " . . . .91 

March 22d, "... 94 

May 20th, 1737, . . 95 

August 12th, 1737, ... 98 

Sept. 8th, 1737, . . .100 

v iii CONTENTS. 


Peter Collinson to John Bartram, Dec. 10th, 1737, ... 101 

Dec. 14th, " . . .103 

Dec. 20th, "... 107 

Jan. 27, 1737-8, . . .110 

" to Joseph Breintnall, Jan. 31st, 1737-8, . . 112 

" to John Bartram [not dated], . ... 112 

April 6th, 1738, . . . 115 

" May 2d, " . . . 117 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, May, 1738, . . . . 119 

" Dec. " . . . .120 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, Jan. 26th, 1738-9, ... 123 

Feb. 1st, " . . .125 

" " Feb. 7th, " . . . 126 

Feb. 24th, " . . .127 

April 12th, 1739, ... 128 

" July 10th, " . . . .131 

Sept, 2d, " ... 133 

June 10th, 1740, . . . .135 

July 22d, " . . . 136 

October 20th, 1740, . . . .137 

" December 20th, 1740, ... 138 

" February 25th, 1740-1, . . .139 

" " June 6th, 1741, .... 142 

July 21st, " . . . -143 

" September 1st, 1741, . . 144 

September 16th, 1741, . : . 146 

" " February 3d, 1741-2, ... 147 

" " March 3d, " . . . 150 

April 25th, 1742, ... 153 

" " May 16th, " . . . .154 

June 16th, " . . . . 156 

" " July 3d, " . . .157 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, July 6th, 1742, . . . . 158 

July 24th, " .... 159 

September 5th, 1742, ... 160 

December 18th, " . . . 161 

May 27th, 1743, ... 162 
June 11th, " .... 163 

June 21st, .... 164 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, January 16th, 1743-4, . . . 166 

" February 3d, "... 167 





John Bartram to P. Collinson [1743-4], . . . . .169 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, March 10th, 1743-4, . . . 170 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, July 24th, 1744, . . . .172 

" December, " . . . . 173 

" December 10th, 1745, . . 173 

April 12th, 1746, ... 175 

April 23d, " . . .176 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, April 26th, " . . . . 177 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, July 20th, 1747, . . . .179 

January 30th, 1747-8, . . . 180 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, February 22d, 1750, . . .181 

January 20th, 1751, ... 182 

" March 5th, * " . . . .183 

March 22d, "... 183 

April 24th, " . 183 

" " [date omitted], "... 184 

September 20th, 1751, . . .187 

January 11th, 1753, ... 188 

February 13th, 1753, . . .189 

July 19th, "... 192 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, August 20th, " . . . . 193 

Journey to the Katskill Mountains, " . . . 194 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, July, 1754, ..... 195 

November 3d, 1754, ... 196 

March, 1755, . . . .197 

April 27th, 1755, ... 198 

September 28th, 1755, . . .200 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, January 20th, 1756, . . . 201 

February 10th, " . . . .203 

February 18th, " . . . 204 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, February 21st, " . . . . 205 

May 30th, "... 207 
P. Collinson to John Bartram, June 8th, 1756, .... 208 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, June 12th, " . . . 209 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, July 20th, " . . . .210 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, January 22d, 1757, . . . 211 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, February, " . . . 212 

March 18th, "... 214 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, September 25th, 1757, . . . 215 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, February, 1759, .... 216 

April 6th, " . . . .218 



P. Collinson to John Bartram, May 29th, 1759, . 218 

July 20th, " . . . .219 

October 10th, 1759, . . - . 220 

November 3d, " - . . 221 

February 2d, 1760, . - 222 

June 6th, " . . .223 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, June 24th, " . . 223 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, September 15th, 1760, . . 224 

October 2d, " . . 225 

May 7th, 1761, . . 226 
John Bartram to P. Collinson, May 22d, " , . .227 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, June 12th, " . . . . 227 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, July 19th, " . 228 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, August 1st, 1761, . . 229 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, August 14th, " . . 231 

" November, " 232 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, April 1st, 1762, .... 233 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, May 10th, " . . . .234 
P. Collinson to John Bartram, May 22d, " . .235 

June 11th, " . . . .236 

July 25th, . . . . 238 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, August 15th, 1762, . . . 240 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, October 5th, " ... 241 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, December 3d, " . . . 242 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, December 10th, 1762, . . . 243 

John Bartram to P. Collinson, January 6th, 1763, . . . 244 

P. Collinson to John Bartram, February 23d, " '. . 246 

" " March 11th, " . . .247 

April 7th, 1763, .... 247 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, May 1st, " .... 248 

P. Collinson to J. Bartram, May 10th, " 249 

June 8th, " .... 250 

" " June 30th, " . 251 

" ' August 4th, " ... * 251 

" " August 23d, " .... 253 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, September 30th, 1763, . . . 254 

October 23d, " . . 255 

' November 11th, " . . . . 256 

P. Collinson to J. Bartram, December 6th, "... 257 

January 1st, 1764, .... 259 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, March 4th, " . . . 261 




P. Collinson to J. Bartram, March 7th, 1764, .... 262 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, May 1st, " . . . . 263 
P. Collinson to J. Bartram, June 1st, " .... 264 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, August 19th, " . . . . 265 

September 23d, 1764, ... 266 

October 15th, " . . . 266 

" " November 22d, " . . . . 267 

P. Collinson to J. Bartram, April 9th, 1765, .... 268 

May, " .... 269 

" September 19th, 1765. ... 270 

" to J. Bartram, Jr., September 19th, 1765, . . . 272 

" to J. Bartram, November 13th, " . . . 272 

" " December 28th, " . . .273 

to J. Bartram, Jr., March 20th, 1766, . . 275 

to J. Bartram, March 26th, " . . .276 

" to J. Bartram, Jr., May 5th, " . . . 277 

" to J. Bartram, May 28th, " . . .278 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, June, "... 281 

P. Collinson to J. Bartram, August 21st, " . . . .282 

J. Bartram to P. Collinson, August 26th, " . . . 283 

" " December 5th, " . . . .285 

P. Collinson to J. Bartram, February 10th, 1767, . 286 

" " April 10th, " . . .287 

" to Wm. Bartram, July 28th, " . . . 288 

" to J. Bartram, July 31st, " . . .291 

" September 19th, " ... 293 

" " December 25th, " . . .295 

to Wm. Bartram, February 16th, 1768, ... 296 

" to J. Bartram, February 17th, " .. . . 298 

" " May 17th, "... 298 

" " July 6th, " ... 300 

to Wm. Bartram, July 18th, " . . . 300 

J. Bartram to Sir Hans Sloane, July 22d, 1741, . . . .302 

Sir Hans Sloane to J. Bartram, January 16th, 1741-2, . . . 302 

J. Bartram to Sir Hans Sloane, November 14th, 1742, . . . 303 

" " September 23d, 1743, ... 304 

" " November 16th, "... 305 

December 8th, 1745, ... 306 
James Logan to J. Bartram, June 19th, 1736, .... 307 

J. Bartram to J. J. Dillenius, August 1st, 1738, . . . 308 

J. J. Dillenius to J. Bartram, September 11th, 1738, . . . 309 



J. J. Dillenius to J. Bartram, October 15th, 1740, 

June 22d, 1741, 
J. Bartram to J. J. Dillenius, September 14th, 1742, . 

November 29th, 1743, 
J. Bartram to Col. Custis, November 19th, 1738, 
Col. W. Byrd to J. Bartram, November 30th, " . 

March 23d, 1738-9, 
J. Bartram, to Col. W. Byrd, 1739, 

Dr. Thomas Bond to J. Bartram, February 20th, 1738-9, 
Isham -Randolph to J. Bartram, May 24th, 1739, . 
Alex. Colhoun, to J. Bartram, August 18th, " 
Mark Catesby to J. Bartram, May 20th, 1740, 

" " February 25th, 1740, 

J. Bartram to M. Catesby [not dated], 
M. Catesby to J. Bartram [date obliterated], 
" " April 15th, 174G, 

J. Bartram to Alexander Catcot, May 26th, 1742, 

November 24th, 1743, 
" to Doctor Colden, January 16th, 1742-3, 

June 26th, 1743, 
Doctor Colden to J. Bartram, November 7th, 1745, 

May 9th, 1746, 
" January 27th, 1746-7, 

Dr. Fothergill to J. Bartram, December 22d, 1743-4, 
J. Bartram to Dr. Fothergill, July 24th, 1744, . 

" " December 7th, 1745, 

Dr. Fothergill to J. Bartram, May 1st, 1769, 

" " January 13th, 1770, 

March 19th, 
" to William Bartram, October 22d, 1772. 
to J. Bartram, 1772, . 

July 8th, 1774, . 
J. Bartram to Gronovius, November 30th, 1743, 
Gronovius to J. Bartram, July 25th, 1744, 
J. Bartram to Gronovius, December 6th, 1745, 
Gronovius to J. Bartram, June 2d, 1746, 
J. Bartram to Gronovius, December 15th, 1746, 
Gronovius to J. Bartram, July 2d, 1750, 
J. Bartram to Gronovius, November 30th, 1752, 
Gronovius to J. Bartram, June 10th, 1754, 











































CONTENTS. x iii 


J. Bartram to Dr. John Mitchell, June 3d, 1744, .... 363 

Dr. J. Mitchell to J. Bartram, June 2d, 1747, .... 364 

" " August 1st, 1750, . . . .366 

March 30th, 1751, ... 367 
Peter Kalm to J. Bartram, August 6th, 1749, .... 367 

P. Collinson to B. Franklin, June 14th, 1748, .... 368 

James Gordon to J. Bartram, March 3d, 1750-1, .... 369 

J. Bartram to Mons. Dalibard [not dated], .... 370 

" to Linnaeus [1752?], . . . . . .371 

[1753?], ..... 371 

" to Jared Eliot, February 12th, 1753, . . .372 

" " March 14th, 1756, .... 373 

" " January 24th, 1757, . . . .374 

to Philip Miller, April 20th, 1755, .... 376 

Philip Miller to J. Bartram, February 2d, 1756, .... 378 

" " February 18th, " . . . . 379 

" " February 15th, 1757, . . . .380 

J. Bartram to Philip Miller, June 20th, " . . . 380 
Philip Miller to J. Bartram, January 12th, 1758, .... 381 

J. Bartram to Philip Miller, June 16th, " ... 382 

Troublesome Plants in Pennsylvania, " 383 

Philip Miller to J. Bartram, August 28th, " ... 388 

" " November 10th, 1759, . . . .389 

J. Bartram to Doctor Garden, October 12th, 1755, . . . 390 

March 14th, 1756, . . . .392 

Doctor Garden to J. Bartram, October 25th, 1760, . . . 394 

" February 23d, 1761, . . .395 

" " June 17th, "... 396 

J. Bartram to Doctor Garden, March 25th, 1762, . . . .397 

Doctor Garden to J. Bartram, February 12th, 1766, . . . 399 

" " [not dated], . . . . .400 

J. Bartram to Miss Jane Colden, January 24th, 1757, . . . 400 

" to Doctor Franklin, July 29th, " . . .401 

Doctor Franklin to J. Bartram, January 9th, 1769, . . . 402 

July 9th, " ... 403 

" " January 11th, 1770, . . . 404 

February 10th, 1773, . . .405 

May 27th, 1777, ... 406 

John Clayton to J. Bartram, July 23d, 1760, . . . .406 

August 30th, 1760, ... 407 

September 1st, 1760, . . . .408 



J. Clayton to J. Bartram, February 23d, 1761, .... 408 

March 16th, 1763, .... 410 

" " February 25th, 1764, . . . 411 

" " February 6th, 1765, . . . .412 

Peter Templeman to J. Bartram, September 16th, 1760, . , 412 

Martha Logan to J. Bartram, December 20th, "... 414 

" February 20th, 1761, ... 414 

Wm. Bartram, Sr., to J. Bartram, August 5th, " . . . . 415 

Martha Logan to Ann Bartram, October 18th, " . . . 415 

J. Bartram to Archibald Bartram, " . - .416 

John St. Clair to J. Bartram, November 4th, "... 418 

George Edwards to Wm. Bartram, Jr., November 15th, 1761, . . 419 

J. Bartram to Wm. Bartram, Sr., December 27th, 1761, . . 420 

" Wm. Bartram, Jr., December 27th, " . . . 421 

Moses, or Wm. Bartram, Jr., November 9th, 1762, . 422 

Wm. Bartram, Jr., May 19th, 1765, . . .423 

" " June 7th, " . . . . 424 

" Mrs. Bartram, September 4th, " . . . . 425 

Henry Bouquet to J. Bartram, February 3d, 1762, . . . 427 

" " July 15th, " . . . . 427 

Dr. 11. Sibthorp to J. Bartram, April 30th, " . . . . 428 

J. Bartram to H. Sibthorp, " . . .429 

Dr. Solander, April 26th, 1763, . . .430 

Dr. Solander to J. Bartram, July 1st, " .... 432 

Dr. John Hope to J. Bartram, November 4th, 1763, . . . 432 

J. Bartram to Dr. John Hope, October 4th, 1764, .... 433 

Dr. John Hope to J. Bartram, March 7th, 1765, . . . 434 

March 23d, 1771, . . . .435 

Thomas Lamboll to J. Bartram, November 11th, 176';, . . 436 

September 15th, 1764, . . .436 

August 31st, 1765, ... 437 

Henry Laurens to J. Bartram, August 9th, 1766, .... 438 
John Hill to J. Bartram, December 6th, " . . . . 442 

Dr. Benjamin Gale to J. Bartram, January 3d, 1768, . . . 443 

C. M. Wrangel to J. Bartram, July 2d, 1769, .... 444 

Michael Collinson to J. Bartram, March 1st, 1770, .... 446 

" January 9th, 1771, . . . 447 

June 28th, " . . . .449 

" August 16th, " . . . 450 

March 6th, 1772, . . .451 

" January 8th, 1773, ... 453 



Michael Collinson to J. Bartram, February 25th, 1773, 454 

July 21st, " . . 456 

" " March. 5th, 1774. . . 458 

" " September, 22d. 1774. . . 459 

James Freeman to J. Bartram, July 13th, 1771, . . . 461 

" " February 16th, 177:;. . . .461 

" December 20th, " . . 462 

" December 18th, 1774. . .462 

July 15th, 177".. . 463 

Dr. Lionel Chalmers to J. Bartram, April 1st, 1773, . . 464 

" Wm. Bartram, May 17th, 1774, . . 464 

Captain Fraser to John{?) Bartram, Jr., December loth, 1777. . . 465 

Dr. Muhlenberg to Wm. Bartram, September 13th. 1702. . 466 

October 15th, "... 470 

" " December 10th, " . . 471 

it. A. Salisbury to Win. Bartram, July 7th, 1793, . . . 474 

Alexander Wilson to Wm. Bartram, May 22d, 1804, . 476 

November 16th, 1806, . 476 

Thomas Jefferson to Wm. Bartram, November 23d, 1808, . 477 

F. Andre Michaux to Wm. Bartram, March 12th, 1810, . . 477 




We have for some time indulged the idea, that it would not be 
unacceptable to those who may take an interest in Botany to find 
in this work a brief preliminary sketch of the progress of Botanical 
Science on this continent, especially in that portion of it belong- 
ing, to the United States. We have also thought it might be 
gratifying to such as have not made themselves familiar with the 
subject, to see a list of the works which have been expressly devoted 
to the Botany of this region, together with a notice, however 
meagre, of the labours of those who have explored and illustrated 
the vegetable products of our country. 

It would not be expedient, here neither do the materials in 
possession of the writer warrant the attempt to amplify the topic. 
He merely proposes to indicate, as far as known to him and as 
nearly in chronological order as practicable the titles and cha- 
racter of the several Catalogues, Floras, Scientific Journals, and 
other publications, illustrative of North American Plants, with 
occasional notices of their authors, and of other lovers of nature, 
whose zeal and industry have made us acquainted with the floral 
beauties which decorate our valleys, and hill sides, and mountain 
tops bespangling our prairies, imparting magnificence to our 
forests, and shedding a delicious fragrance over our land. It 
seemed to be germain to the object of the work, to afford a passing 
glance at what others have done, in the same field of science in 
which a Bartram and a Marshall were so early, so earnestly, 
and so successfully engaged. 

One of the earliest productions, if not the very first, descriptive 
of North American plants, was a quarto volume, printed at Paris 



in the year 1635, entitled Canadensium Plantarum aliarumque 
nondum editarum Historia ; by a French botanist, named Jac. 
Cornutus. This author, it is believed, was never in America ; 
but described the plants from specimens sent to him from Canada. 

The person who next treated of the plants of this region, is be- 
lieved to have been John Josselyx, an Englishman, who resided 
in Massachusetts for some years, (1633 to 1674,) and in 1672, 
published a work entitled New England's Rarities, discovered in 
birds, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country. This book is 
referred to in some of Peter Collinson's letters to John Bar- 
tram. The author seems to have been rather prone to the mar- 
vellous in his statements, and to have laboured under some of the 
old vulgar prejudices respecting the supposed transmutation of 
plants. He informs us that " some frogs, when they sit upon their 
breech, are a foot high;" and he furthermore alleges, that "Barley 
frequently degenerates into Oats"!* 

The next botanist in the order of time, who noticed our plants, 
was the Rev. John Banister, who, "in 1680, transmitted to Mr. 
Ray, a Catalogue of Plants observed by him in Virginia. He 
drew with his own hand figures of the rarer species. He fell a 
victim to his favourite pursuit ; for in one of his botanical excur- 
sions, while clambering the rocks, he fell and was killed."f 

About the year 1730, John Bartram, who, from his youth 
up, had been passionately fond of Natural History and especially 
if Botany, began to make collections of American plants and 
seeds, for his friend Peter Collinson, of London, and other cor- 
respondents. He probably detected more undescribed plants than 
any of his contemporaries in our country. " He was, perhaps, the 
first Anglo-American who conceived the idea of establishing a 
Botanic Garden for the reception and cultivation of the various 
vegetables, natives of the country, as well as exotics, and of tra- 
velling for the discovery and acquisition of them."! 

* This strange phantasy once so prevalent among the unreflecting tillers of 
the soil has been materially curtailed, or modified, in our own times ; for, at the 
present day, the most credulous advocates of the doctrine only contend that 
Wheat is sometimes transformed into Bromus, or Cheat. 

j- Banister is called by Mr. Rat, in his Historia Plantarum, " eruditissimus Vir 
et consummatissimus Botanicus." Many of his descendants, it is said, are still 
living in Virginia. See Barton's Med. and Phys. Journal, vol. ii. 

+ The Bartram Botanic Garden, (established in or about the year 1730,) is 
most eligibly and beautifully situated, on the right bank of the river Schuylkill, 
a short distance below the city of Philadelphia. Being the oldest establishment 


Doctor Fothergill, in his memoir of Peter Collinson, a. d. 
1769, says : " that eminent naturalist, John Bartram, may almost 
be said to have been created such by my friend's [P. C.'s] assistance; 
he first recommended the collecting of seeds, and afterwards assisted 
in disposing of them in this country [England], and constantly 
excited him to persevere in investigating the plants of America, 
which he has executed with indefatigable labour through a long 
course of years, and with amazing success." 

John Bartram, also, at the request of some naturalists in 
Europe, instituted and satisfactorily conducted a series of experi- 
ments on the Lychnis dioica illustrative of the doctrine of the 
sexes of plants, and corroborative of those previously made upon 
the Indian corn {Zea Mays), by James Logan, the distinguished 
friend and secretary of the founder of our Commonwealth. 

Mark Catesby, in 1732, published the first volume of his Natural 
History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas; and the second 
volume appeared in 174-3. The work was in large folio, with 
coloured plates, and, for that day, was a magnificent performance, 
though its botanical merits were not quite equal to its pretensions. 

In 1739, the publication of the first systematic enumeration of 
North American plants was commenced at Leyden, in Holland, 
under the title of Flora Virginica. It was edited by the learned 
Professor Gronovius, from specimens and descriptions furnished 
by that excellent pioneer of American Botany, John Clayton, 
of Virginia, who is entitled to more of the credit, due to that work, 
than has been generally awarded to him.* 

About this time, that able and sagacious botanist, Doctor Cad- 
wallader Colden, of New York, began to pay attention to the 
Natural History of that province ; and for a number of years, he 
continued to observe, collect, and describe the indigenous plants in 
the interesting region around his residence, at Coldenham, near 

of the kind in this western world, and exceedingly interesting, from its history and 
associations, one might almost hope, even in this utilitarian age, that, if no 
motive more commendable could avail, a feeling of state or city pride, would be 
sufficient to ensure its preservation, in its original character, and for the sake of 
its original objects. But, alas ! there seems to be too much reason to apprehend 
that it will scarcely survive the immediate family of its noble-hearted founder, 
and that even the present generation may live to see the accumulated treasures 
of a century laid waste with all the once gay parterres and lovely borders con- 
verted into lumber-yards and coal-landings. 

* Peter Collixsox, in 1764, styles him my friend John Clayton, the great 
botanist of America.'' 


Newburgh.* He corresponded much with the distinguished natu- 
ralists of Europe, and communicated to them his discoveries. 

At that sylvan retreat, and in the delightful recreation afforded 
by botanical research amid the cares of his public employments, 
Doctor Colden found a companion and assistant, worthy of special 
commemoration, in his accomplished daughter. Doctor Garden, 
writing to Doctor Colden, November 4, 1754, says: "I shall be 
glad to hear of Miss Colden's improvements, which no doubt in- 
crease every day, and may we again be surprised with more than 
a Dacier, even in America." In a letter to Linnaeus, dated 
London, May 12, 1756, Peter Collinson says : " I but lately 
heard from Mr. Colden. He is well ; but, what is marvellous, his 
daughter is perhaps the first lady that has so perfectly studied your 
system. She deserves to be celebrated." And in another, dated 
April 30, 1758, he says: "Last week, my friend, Mr. Ellis, wrote 
you a letter, recommending a curious botanic dissertation, by Miss 
Jane Colden. As this accomplished lady is the only one of the 
fair sex that I have heard of, who is scientifically skilful in the 
Linnrean system, you no doubt will distinguish her merits, and 
recommend her example to the ladies of every country." 

That eminent naturalist, John Ellis, in a letter to LiNNiEUS 
(just referred to), dated London, April 25, 1758, says : " Mr. 
Colden of New York has sent Dr. Fotiiergill a new plant, de- 
scribed by his daughter. It is called Fibraurea, Gold Thread" 
[Helleborus trifolius, L. Coptis trifolia, 8alisb.~\. " This young 
lady merits your esteem, and does honour to your system. She has 
drawn and described 400 plants in your method only : she uses 
English terms. Her father has a plant called after him, Coldenia ; 
suppose you should call this Coldenetta, or any other name that 
might distinguish her among your genera." 

LiNNiEUS, however, referred the plant to his genus Helleborus; 
and when it was subsequently ascertained to be distinct, Salisbury, 
regardless alike of gallantry and justice imposed upon it the name 
of Coptis. 

* "The earliest treatise on the Botany of New York," says Dr. Torrey, in his 
preface to the Flora of that state, "that has come under my observation, is the 
' Plantce Coldenhamice' of Governor Colden, published in the Acts of the Royal 
Society of Upsal for the year 1744. It is an account of the plants growing spon- 
taneously in the neighbourhood of Coldenhain, in Orange County, and embraces 
only the first twelve classes of the Linnaean system. The second part was (I be- 
lieve) never published." 


In 1739, was published at Leyden, in Holland, an Essay in 
Latin, entitled " JExperimenta et Meletemata de Plantarum gene- 
ratione" by the learned and ingenious James Logan, of Pennsyl- 
vania. It was afterwards, viz., in 1747, republished in London, 
with an English translation by Dr. Fothergill. The experiments 
and observations detailed in this Essay, were admirably illustrative 
of the Linnasan doctrine of the sexes of plants ; and amply demon- 
strated the capacity of the author for successful philosophical 

Doctor John Mitchell to whom the pretty little Mitchella 
is dedicated came to Virginia early in the eighteenth century. 
He paid much attention to the plants of that province, collected 
extensively, and became a correspondent of Linnaeus and others. 
About the year 1740, he sent to Peter Collinson " a paper in 
which thirty new genera of Virginia plants were proposed." 

In the year 1748, Peter Kalm, a Swedish naturalist, and pupil 
of Linnteus, visited Pennsylvania, and spent three years in ex- 
ploring the botany of that and the adjacent provinces, and extended 
his researches into Canada. He was a vigilant observer, and an 
industrious collector, sending numerous nondescript plants to his 
great preceptor ; and in 1753, published his travels in North 
America. He also contributed many articles on the natural his- 
tory of this country, to the Memoirs of the Royal Swedish Academy 
of Sciences. 

The accomplished Doctor Alexander Garden, of Charleston, 
South Carolina, commenced his correspondence with Linnjeus in 
1755 ; and by his contributions of botanical information and speci- 
mens, to LiNNiBUS, Ellis, Collinson, and others, did much to 
promote a knowledge of American plants. 

Doctor Adam Kuhn, of Philadelphia, was probably the first 
Professor of botany in this country (appointed anno 1768) ; yet, 

* The writer of this had the satisfaction, in the summer of 1805, of repeating 
with complete success the Loganian experiments upon the Indian corn. 

The observations of James Logan upon the Pollen grains, their figure, function, 
&c, are very remarkable for that day. After stating that Samuel Morland, 
about the year 1696, had asserted that the farina, or minute pollen grains entered 
the ovary through the canal of the style, he adds : " Ego quidem semel in medio 
unius ex supra memoratis stylis frumenti Indict granulum conspexi ; nee dubitan- 
dum reor, quin exquisitiore adhibita diligentia, in iis delabentia facile deprehen- 
dantur." Which is thus rendered by Dr. Fothergill: "I once saw a small 
grain in the middle of this canal ; nor is it to be doubted, but that stricter in- 
quiries will discover more of them passing the same way." 


although he had the advantage of studying under the illustrious 
Swede, and was said to have been a favourite pupil ("L1XN.&0 ex. 
discipulis acceptisshnus"), it does not appear that he ever did 
much for the science. 

In 1773, the second botanical garden within the British provinces 
of North America, was established by Humphry Marshall, in 
the township of West Bradford, Chester County, Pennsylvania, at 
the site of the present village of Marsliallton. Humphry, however, 
had been previously indulging his taste, and employing his leisure 
time in collecting and cultivating useful and ornamental plants at 
his paternal residence, near the Brandywine. 

The laudable example of Humphry Marshall was not Avithout 
its influence in the community where he resided. His friend and 
neighbour, the late estimable Joiix Jacksox, -was endowed with a 
similar taste for the beauties of nature ; and, in the year 1777, 
commenced a highly interesting collection of plants, at his residence 
in Londongrove, which is still preserved in good condition, by his 
son, William Jacksox, Esq. About the year 1800, also, the 
brothers JosnuA and Samuel Peirce, of East Marlborough, began 
to adorn their premises by tasteful culture and planting ; and they 
have produced an Arboretum of evergreens, and other elegant 
forest trees, which is certainly unrivalled in Pennsylvania, and 
probably not surpassed in these United States. 

Botanic gardens have likewise been instituted at Charleston, 
South Carolina, at New York, by the late Doctor David Hosack, 
and at Cambridge, near Boston.* 

In 1781, a description of certain of our forest trees, under the 
title of JBeschreibung einiger Nord-Amerikanisclien Holzartt //, 
was published at Gottingen, by Jul. Ad. Fried. Vox \Vaxgex- 
heim, a German botanist, who, it is understood, had been a surgeon 
to the Hessian troops, employed by the British government, in 
the war of Independence. 

In the first volume of the Memoirs of the American Academy 
an institution established at Boston, in 1780 the Rev. Maxasseh 
Cutler, LL.D., published the first essay towards a scientific de- 

* The botanic garden at Charleston, S. C, was established about the year 1804; 
that by Dr. Hosack, at New York, in 1801 ; and that at Cambridge, in or about 
the year 1805. The first two, it is believed, have wholly disappeared. The last- 
named, now under the skilful supervision of Professor A. Grat, is in a flourishing 
condition; and bids fair, if supported by an adequate endowment, to be a peren- 
nial monument of the liberality and love of science, of those who projected it. 


scription of the Plants of New England. The volume is dated in 
1785 ; but that essay was probably printed a year or two prior to 
the completion of the volume. 

Doctor Cutler was one of the valuable men of his day. He 
not only distinguished himself by his attainments in natural science, 
but was also one of that enterprising band who led the way into our 
western wilds, and became the founders of the great State of Ohio. 
He afterwards, however, returned to Massachusetts, where he died, 
on the 28th of July, 1823, aged 81 years. 

In the latter end of the year 1785, Humphry Marshall, of 
Chester County, Pennsylvania, published his Arbustum Ameri- 
caniim, a description of the forest trees and shrubs, natives of the 
American United States. This is believed to be the first strictly 
American botanical tvork, that is to say, the first treatise on 
American plants, written by a native American, and printed in 
this country ; and, under all the discouraging circumstances attend- 
ing its production, it does much credit to the attainments and en- 
terprise of the author. 

In 1787, Dr. Schoepf, a German physician, who had passed 
several years in the United States, published, at Erlangen, an 
American Materia Medica, chiefly from the vegetable kingdom. 
which notices a considerable number of our plants, and their pro- 
perties. Other interesting accounts of our medicinal plants have 
since been published : Professor B. S. Barton, in 1798, and sub- 
sequently, published several tracts under the title of Collections for 
an Essay towards a Materia Medica of the United States ; and a 
handsome work, entitled American Medical Botany, by Jacob 
Bigelow, M.D., of Boston, appeared in 1817, and after. 

The Flora Caroliniana, by Thomas Walter, was published in 
London, in the year 1788. It was a highly respectable and useful 

In 1791, William Bartram's Travels in the Carolinas, Georgia, 
and Florida, appeared, giving an interesting account of that region, 
and also of a number of new southern plants.. 

Some interesting papers on North American plants began now 
to be published in the Transactions of the American Philosophical 
Society, by Professor B. S. Barton, Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, 
Palisot de Beauvois, and others. In subsequent years, those 
Transactions were greatly enriched by botanical communications 


from Thomas Nuttall, Esq., and other investigators of American 

In 1801, Andre Michaux, a French botanist, published at 
Paris an interesting work on the Oaks of North America {Histoire 
des Chenes de VArnerique Septentrionale) ; and in 1803, the Flora 
B or eali- Americana of the same author, ably edited by Louis 
Claude Richard, was published in the same city. This Flora, 
though comprising but a portion of the plants of North America, 
is an excellent work, and remarkable for the accuracy and felicity 
of its descriptive phrases. 

In the same year (1803), the first American elementary work 
on Botany was published, at Philadelphia, by the late Prof. B. S. 
Barton. Though somewhat diffuse, it was an useful and respectable 
performance. Prof. Bartox, in those days, occasionally gave 
courses of Lectures on Natural History and Botany, to small 
classes in the University of Pennsylvania (one of which courses, 
in 1803-4, the writer had the privilege of attending): and there 
can be no doubt that he did more than any of his contemporaries, 
in diffusing a taste for the natural sciences, among the young men 
who then resorted to that school. 

The expedition of Messrs. Lewis and Clark, across this con- 
tinent to the Pacific Ocean, which was projected about this time, 
by President Jeffersox, was a means of introducing to the know- 
ledge of botanists, a number of plants which were previously un- 
known; though the principal collection made by those gentlemen 
was unfortunately lost. That region has been subsequently ex- 
plored, and vast additions made to our Flora, by Messrs. Nuttall, 
Nicolet, Fremoxt, and others. 

In 1807, Doctor Samuel L. Mitchill published a Catalogue 
of the plants around his country-seat, at Plandome, New York. 
This catalogue, it is understood, was prepared by Dr. Eddy a 
relative of Dr. Mitchill. 

'In 1810, F. Axdre Michaux, son of the above-mentioned A. 
Michaux, published at Paris, his splendid History of the Forest 
Trees of North America {Histoire des Arbres Forestiers de VArne- 
rique Septentrionale), with elegantly coloured plates. An English 
translation of this superb work was issued in 1817, under the title 
of North American Sylva. 

In 1811, a Catalogue of indigenous and naturalized plants, 


growing spontaneously on the island of New York, was published 
in the American Medical and Philosophical Register, by that 
veteran botanist, Major John Le Conte. Many very valuable 
botanical contributions were subsequently made to our scientific 
journals, by the same distinguished naturalist. 

An excellent Catalogue of the hitherto known native and natu- 
ralized Plants of North America, was published at Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania, in 1813, by the Rev. Henry Muhlenberg, of that 

In 1814, the valuable and comprehensive Flora Americce Sep- 
tentrionalis, by Frederick Pursh, was published in London. In 
the same year, also, appeared the Florida Bostoniensis, by Dr. 
Jacob Bigelow, a charming specimen of a local Flora of which 
a second edition was published in 1824; likewise, a neat little 
volume entitled a Synopsis of the Genera of American Plants, 
printed at Georgetown, D. C, and understood to be compiled by 
0. Rich, Esq. 

Botanical works began now to multiply, in the United States, 
and the students of " the amiable science " found helps in their 
delightful pursuit, which rendered it vastly more easy and satis- 
factory than it had been to their predecessors. 

In 1816, Stephen Elliott, Esq., commenced the publication of 
his Sketch of the Botany of South Carolina and Georgia, a work 
of great value, and indispensable in the investigation of Southern 
plants. In preparing it, he was much indebted, for materials and 
information, to the industry and sagacity of that indefatigable 
botanist and most amiable man, the late Doctor William Baldwin. 

In 1817, a pamphlet entitled Florida Ludoviciana was published, 
in New York, by C. S. Rafinesque. This eccentric and rambling 
naturalist although he had, by long experience and observation, 
acquired considerable knowledge, and moreover issued several other 
botanical publications, in subsequent years, yet, he made state- 
ments so little reliable, held such peculiar views, and withal was so 
addicted to extravagant innovations in nomenclature, that his pro- 

* In 1815, the Abbe Cohrea published, for the use of his class in Philadelphia, 
a reduction of the genera in Muhlenberg's Catalogue to the natural families of 
Jttssieu. This was appended to a second edition of the Catalogue, issued in 1818, 
by that amiable man and excellent botanist, the late Solomon W. Conrad, and 
was probably the earliest attempt in the United States to group our plants in 
accordance with the natural method. 


ductions, generally, were rather injurious than beneficial to the 

In this year, also, appeared at Philadelphia, a posthumous work 
of the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, upon the Grasses and i'yperaceous 
Plants of North America. It was written in Latin, and edited by 
his son. The detailed descriptions as far as they go, are gene- 
rally accurate and satisfactory ; but the work was left incomplete 
by the estimable author. 

The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences now began the 
publication of a J wrnal of their proceedings, in which may be 
found a number of valuable papers on American plants.* 

In 1818, a work of great merit, upon the Genera of North 
Plants, with a catalogue of the species, and descriptions 
of such as were then new, or imperfectly known, was published at 
Philadelphia, by THOMAS Xuttall, Esq. This excellent perform- 
ance gave a decided impulse to botanical studies in our country. 

In the same year, appeared a compendium of a Philadelphia 
Flora, descriptive of plants found within ten miles round that city, 
by Dr. W. P. C. BARTON. Although apparently a hasty compila- 
tion, and marred by frequent inaccuracies, this was nevertheless a 
convenient and very useful companion to the herborizers of that 

In 1819, Doctor John Torrey and others, a committee of the 
New )' rl Lyc< um of Natural /. '. published a Catalogue of 

Plants growing within thirty miles of the city of New York. 

In 1820, A Compendium of Physiological anil Systematic 
Botany, with Plates, by Geor*;:: Sumner, M.D., was published at 
Hartford, Connecticut. 

In 1821, Dr. W. P. C. Barton commenced the publication, at 
Philadelphia, of a Flora of North America, illustrated by coloured 
figures drawn from nature. This, though entirely without method, 
was tolerably well executed, and was extended to three volumes 
quarto, when it was discontinued. 

In 1*22, a Monograph of the Genus Viola, by the late amiable 
and Rev. Lewis Dayid von Schweinitz, of Bethlehem, Pennsyl- 
vania, was published in Silliman's American Journal of Science, 
vol. v. This excellent Journal which commenced in 1818, and 
is chiefly devoted to the natural sciences contains many valu- 

* The Herbarium of the Philadelphia Academy is also one of the richest and 
most valuable in the United States. 


able communications upon American plants; particularly the Ca- 
ricography of Prof. Dewey, commencing in the seventh, and con- 
tinued through many subsequent volumes. 

In 1824, Doctor Johx Torrey, of New York, began the pub- 
lication of a Flora of the Northern and Middle Sections of the 
United States, in accordance with the Linnsean arrangement. This 
was ably executed, as far as it extended, which was to the class 
Icosandria, inclusive ; when it was discontinued. 

In this year, also, the New York Lyceum of Natural History 
commenced the publication of their Annals, in which are many 
botanical articles of great value : such as Dr. Torrey's account 
of Rocky Mountain Plants ;* ScnwEiNiTZ and Torrey's Mono- 
graph of North American Carices ; Le Conte's Observations on 
the North American Species of the Gfenns Viola, &c. &c. 

About this time, some of the schools, in the Northern States, 
began to make a profession of teaching Botany ; and thereupon 
arose a demand for suitable books for that purpose. Accordingly, 
a number, such as they were, soon appeared. Among the most 
successful, was a Manual, compiled by Prof. Amos Eatox, of Troy, 
N. Y., which has passed through several editions. f They were all 
useful, to some extent, in aiding to promote a taste for the study 
of plants ; but few of them were exactly adapted to the wants of 
students, or calculated to make scientific botanists. 

In 1826, Doctor Torrey published, at New York, a compen- 
dium of the Flora of the Northern and Middle States, which 
was very convenient for herborizers. In the same year, a Catalogue 
of the Phaenogamous Plants, native and naturalized, growing in the 
vicinity of West Chester, Penn., was published in that borough, by 
the writer of this, under the title of Florida Cestrica. 

In this year also, Dr. Lewis C. Beck commenced the publica- 
tion, in Silliman's Journal, vol. x., of Contributions toioards 
the Botany of the States of Illinois and Missouri. These made 
known a number of new plants, and were otherwise highly in- 
teresting. The " Contributions" were arranged according to the 
Linncean Method, and were continued in the 11th and 14th 

* Prof. Tobrey's Memoir on the Rocky Mountain Plants, prepared in 1826, was 
the first specimen in our country, of a regular Flora arranged according to the 
Natural System; and is, indeed, an admirable performance. 

f The first edition of Eaton's Manual of Botany -was published in 1818 ; the 
eighth, and last, which was much enlarged and improved, and was the joint labour 
of Messrs. Eaton and AVeight, appeared in 1840. 


volumes, extending as far as the class Monadelphia, inclusive. The 
residue does not appear to have been published. 

In 1827, Thomas Nuttall, Esq., published at Cambridge, 
Mass., an Introduction to Systematic and Physiological Botany, 
which was -well adapted to the -wants of that day. 

In 1829, Sir William Jackson Hooker, then Professor of 
Botany at Glasgow", Scotland, now Superintendent of the Royal 
Botanic Gardens at Kew, near London, commenced the publica- 
tion of his magnificent "work, entitled Flora Boreali-Americana, 
or the Botany of the Northern parts of British America. It was 
published in numbers or portions, and was not completed until 
1840 ; but it now stands, with its 288 quarto plates, a splendid 
monument of the scientific attainments, artistic skill, and untiring 
perseverance of its accomplished author. Sir William has con- 
tributed largely to the knowledge of the plants of the United 
States, including Texas,* by the agency of his collectors, Messrs. 
Douglas, Drtjmmond, and others, who have very extensively ex- 
plored the vegetation of this continent. 

We have, moreover, been much indebted to the labours and 
researches of Menzies, Fraser, Lyon, Bradbury, Scouler, 
Richardson, and other travelling investigators of North American 

Our estimable countryman, Doctor F. Boott now a resident 
of London has also done much towards illustrating American 
Botany, by his researches and publications; and has rendered most 
important aid to the botanists of the United States, by his kind 
attentions and services, in comparing our plants with the authentic 
specimens contained in the Herbaria of the early collectors, in 

In 1830, Dr. J. A. Breretox, of Washington City, published 
a catalogue of the plants of that District, under the title of Pro- 
dromus Floras Columbiauce : and soon afterwards, Prof. C. W. 
Short, of Kentucky, commenced the publication, in a Western 

* As an evidence of the far-seeing sagacity with which that gentleman re- 
garded our national career and tendencies, it may be permitted here to make 
an extract from a letter to the writer of this, which accompanied a large remit- 
tance of botanical specimens. The letter was dated as long ago as Dec. 28, 1835, 
and the passage referred to, is as follows : " I had promised you some Southern 
plants of your vast Northern Continent, and I thought I could not do better 
than select from those of Texas, as affording a vegetation considerably different 
from that of the United States, and which will probably form a part of your country." 


journal, of the Florida Lexingtoniensis, or a description of plants 
growing around Lexington, Kentucky. He also published a cata- 
logue, with several supplements, of the Phaenogamous Plants and 
Ferns of Kentucky. That zealous and truly liberal botanist has 
probably done more towards bringing to light the vegetable trea- 
sures of the West, and in preparing beautiful specimens, than any 
other person in our country ; and he has, certainly, in the way of 
exchanges and remittances, sent more western plants to his cor- 
respondents in the Atlantic States, and throughout the Old World, 
than all the rest of our American botanists put together. 

In 1833, Doctor Lewis C. Beck, of Albany, N. Y., published 
an excellent duodecimo volume, entitled Botany of the Northern 
and Middle States. This is arranged in conformity with the most 
approved natural method, and is a very judicious, convenient, 
and useful work. A second edition has been recently issued. 

In the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, for 
1834, was published an elaborate Synopsis of North American 
Fungi, by the late Rev. Lewis D. von Schweinitz, of Bethlehem, 

In the same year (1834), appeared a Catalogue of Plants in 
the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, by Prof. J. Bachman ; 
An Enumeration of Plants growing spontaneously around Wil- 
mington, North Carolina, by that careful observer and sagacious 
botanist, the Rev. M. A. Curtis ;* A Monograph of North Ame- 
rican Rhynchosporce, by Dr. A. Gray ; and two exceedingly in- 
teresting volumes of Labelled Specimens of American Graminece 
and Cyperacea?, by the last-named gentleman. 

In 1835, an excellent Synopsis of the Flora of the Western 
States, was published at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Prof. John L. Rid- 
dell, of that city ; and in the same year, appeared a Catalogue 
of the Plants of Massachusetts, by Prof. Edward Hitchcock. 

In 1836, were published, at New York, Elements of Botany, by 
Dr. A. Gray ; and, in the Annals of the New York Lyceum, an 
excellent Monograph of North American Cyperacece, by Prof. 
John Torrey. 

In 1837, the following works appeared : A Catalogue of Plants, 

* This Enumeration, by the Rev. Mr. Cuetis, was published in the first volume 
of the Boston Journal of Natural History, a valuable repository of papers and 
communications, which began to be published in 1884, by the Boston Society of 


native and naturalized, in the vicinity of Neivbcrn, Nortli Carolina, 
by the lamented H. B. Croom, Esq. ;* Flora Cestriea, an attempt 
to enumerate and describe the flowering and filieoid plants of 
Chester County, Pennsylvania, by the writer of this sketch; A 
Catalogue of Pluenogamous Plants and Ferns, growing in the 
vicinity of Baltimore, Maryland, by W. E. A. Aikix, M.D. ; and 
A Revision of the North American Melanthacece, by Dr. A. 


In 1838 was commenced, at New York, the publication of a 
Flora of North America, according to the natural system, by those 
distinguished botanists, John Torrey and Asa Gray, a work 
which, unhappily, is at present in a state of suspense ; but which, 
if duly completed, promises to excel all its predecessors, and will 
undoubtedly for a long period, be the standard authority among 
American botanists. 

In this year, also, a catalogue of plants found in the vicinity of 
Milwaukie, Wisconsin Territory, was published by J. A. Lapham, 
Esq., of that young western city. 

In 1840, appeared a catalogue of native and naturalized plants, 
growing near Columbus, Ohio, by W. S. Sullivant, Esq. 

In 1841, Dr. A. Gray published, in the 40th volume of Silli- 
man's Journal of Science, "Notices of European Herbaria, par- 
ticularly those most interesting to the North American botanist." 
This acceptable service he was enabled to perform, in consequence 
of having devoted a year to the inspection of those herbaria, 
examining the American specimens, and ascertaining exactly what 
plants were intended, by the published names. It w T as a glorious 
privilege for an accomplished botanist ; and was the only mode by 
which a long-existing uncertainty, in regard to many species, could 
be satisfactorily cleared up. The task, moreover, could not have 
been entrusted to more competent hands ; and the Flora of North 
America, whenever completed, will no doubt receive the full benefit 
of the knowledge thus obtained. 

In 1842, a valuable Monograph of the North American Cus- 
cutinece, was published in Silliman's Journal, by that acute ob- 
server and able botanist, George Engelmann, M.D., of St. Louis, 
Missouri. In the same year, also, Professor A. Gray, of Cam- 

* This estimable gentleman whose sad fate and premature loss the botanical 
world has so much reason to deplore also prepared a valuable monograph of 
the Sarracenias, which is published in the third volume of the Annals of the 
New York Lyceum. 


bridge, Mass., published an elementary treatise, under the title of 
the Botanical Text Booh, of which a second edition appeared in 
1845. This is unquestionably the best introduction to a scientific 
knowledge of the vegetable kingdom, which has yet appeared in 
our country, if not in our language. 

In 1843, was published A Flora of the State of Neiv York, in 
two ponderous quarto volumes, and embellished with one hundred 
and sixty-one coloured plates. This superb work was undertaken 
by Professor Johx Torrey, in pursuance of an act for a geological 
survey of New York, passed in 1836, which made provision for a 
full account of the natural history of the state ; and it is but 
justice to say, that it has been completed in a faithful and mas- 
terly manner.* 

In the same year, the same distinguished botanist prepared a 
highly interesting catalogue of pZawfe, collected during a journey 
across the Rocky Mountains, by that intelligent and enterprising 
traveller, Lieutenant (since Colonel) J. C. Fremont. 

Mr. Edward Tuckermax, Jr., then of Schenectady, New 
York, also published an ingenious methodical enumeration of our 

In 1844, the Botanical Society of Wilmington, Delaware, pub- 
lished a Catalogue of the Phcenogamous and Filicoid Plaits of 
Newcastle County, which was subsequently much enlarged. 

In the same year a Catalogue of Rhode Island Plants, arranged 
by S. T. Olxey, Esq., was published by the Providence Franklin 
Society, of that state, with additions the ensuing year. 

In 1845, were published, Contributioiis towards a Catalogue of 
Trees and Shrubs of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, by Pro- 
fessor Spexcer F. Baird, of Carlisle ; a Catalogue of Plants in 
Western New York, by H. P. Sartwell, M.D., of Penyan, Yates 
County; A Catalogue of Plants of Lewis County, Ohio, by 
Fraxklix B. Hough, A.B. ; A List of Plants growing in the 
vicinity of Quincy, Florida, by A. W. Chapman, M.D., in the 
Western Journal of Medicine and Surgery ; and in the Boston 
Journal of Natural History, An Enumeration of F. Lindlieimers 

* The style in -which "the Empire State" has illustrated every department of 
her natural history, is calculated to make a true Pennsylvania^, blush for the 
contrast exhibited by the authorities of his own state ; who, in the first place, 
meanly restricted the survey of her glorious domain to a mere geological examina- 
tion; and now, when it is done, have not spirit enough to give to the public the 
benefit, even of that ! 


Collection of Texan Plants, by Dr. George Engelmann and Pro- 
fessor A. Gray. 

In this year, also, a " Class Book of Botany' was published by 
Mr. Alphonso Wood, of New Hampshire ; and two years after- 
wards, a second much improved edition appeared. The same gen- 
tleman has quite recently prepared an elementary work for young- 
beginners, entitled, " First Lessons in Botany." This has been 
adapted to the present state of the science ; and seems well calcu- 
lated, both to facilitate the first steps of juvenile students, and to 
impart correct views of the subject. 

In 1846, Professor A. Gray and W. S. Sullivaxt, Esq., 
published a beautiful little work on the Mosses of the Alleghanies ;* 
Mr. Si h levant likewise commenced the publication of Contribu- 
tions to the Bryology and Wepaticology of North America; and 
Professor Gray also published Illustrations of New, Bare, or 
otherwise interesting American Plants, under the title of Chloris 
Bo re a li-A m erica n a . 

In the same year, appeared a Report on the Trees and Shrubs 
groiving naturally in the Forests of Massachusetts, by George 
B. Emerson, Esq., which is a model of its kind, as well for accu- 
racy of description, as for the amount of authentic information 
respecting the character, properties, and uses, of the objects de- 

In 1847, a small volume treating of those plants which American 
agriculturists are more especially interested in knowing a sort 
of Practical Farmer s Flora, was compiled by the writer of this, 
and published under the title of Agricultural Botany. 

In the present year (1848), we have been indebted to Cambridge, 
Mass., (which seems now to be the chosen seat of the science,) 
for three admirable botanical works, viz.: l.A Synopsis of the 
Lichenes of New England, the other Northern States, and British 
America, by Edward Tuckermax, A.M. ; which will be truly ac- 
ceptable to those who study that remarkable family of plants. 2. 
Next, avc have from Professor A. Gray, a thick pocket volume, 
descriptive of the Plants of the Northern and Middle States, 
under the title of Manual of Botany. f This is the most complete 

* Mr. Sullivaxt also, about this time, issued some fifty copies of Sets of Mosses, 
in two handsome quarto volumes. These were not intended for sale, but merely 
for presentation to the amateurs of Muscology. They contain specimens of 215 
true Mosses, and 77 Hepaticce, in all 292 ; and are beautifully prepared. 

f The portion of the "Manual," describing the Carices of the Northern United 


and authentic enumeration of the plants of those States which has 
jet appeared. The arrangement is according to the latest and 
most approved modification of the natural system, and, as a vad< 
mecum for herborizers, the work is invaluable. 

3. The same accomplished and indefatigable author has also 
issued, this year, an octavo volume, with one hundred plates, 
entitled Genera Floras Americce Boreali-orientalis Illustrata. It 
is the first of a contemplated series of ten volumes, designed to 
illustrate, by figures and analyses, the genera of the plants of the 
United States. This gigantic undertaking would be a desperate 
one, in any other hands ; but if life and health be spared to him, 
the volume before us is a sufficient guarantee that the author will 
acquit himself of the task, in a manner as beneficial to botanical 
science, as it will be honourable to himself, and to the literature of 
his country. The illustrations in this work seem to leave nothing 
unexplained, in the generic characters of the plants treated of, 
which it is important to know. 

It is as surprising as it is gratifying, to contemplate the aids and 
facilities now afforded to the students of American Botany, com- 
pared with the sorry helps and stinted means at command, when 
the writer of these desultory sketches first became a humble 
aspirant to that description of knowledge. 

What, then, must have been the difficulties and discouragements 
attending the pursuit, when John Bartram and Humphry Mar- 
shall began to explore the vegetable treasures of this vast and 
varied continent ! How kindly should we cherish the memory of 
the men who thus early and zealously toiled for our instruction and 
gratification ! If the example of those venerable pioneers in the 
walks of natural science, as illustrated in this volume, shall exert 
a salutary influence upon their successors of the present, or of 
future times, the editor will be happy in the hope, tluA what with 
him has been a labour of love, has not also been a labour in vain. 

W. D. 

States, was contributed by John Carey, Esq., of which some copies were distri- 
buted separately, affording a convenient synopsis of that extensive genus. The 
value of Mr. Caret's performance may be inferred from its position in the 








prnii5t|lttairin ^nrtirultiirnl Inmtq, 









John Bartram, the earliest native American Botanist, and the 
founder of the first Botanical Garden on this continent, was born 
near the village of Darby, in Delaware (then Chester) County, 
Pennsylvania, on the 23d day of March, 1699. 

His great-grandfather, Richard Bartram, lived and died in 
Derbyshire, England. Richard had one son, named John, who 
married in Derby (England), and, with his wife, was settled for 
some years in the town of Ashborn, where they had three sons and 
one daughter. 

With this family, John (following the fortunes of William 
Penn) removed to Pennsylvania in 1682, the year in which the 
city of Philadelphia was founded and settled in what is now 
Delaware County, near Darby.* He died on the first of Sep- 
tember, 1697. 

The names of the three sons who accompanied him to this 
Western World, were John, Isaac, and William. John and 
Isaac both died unmarried, the former on the 14th of June, 1692, 
and the latter on the 10th of January, 1708. 

William Bartram, the third son, was married to Elizabeth, 

* In Proud's History of Pennsylvania (vol. i. p. 218), the following passage 
occurs in a note: "In the year 1682 they had a religious meeting regularly fixed 
at Darby. Among the first and early settlers of the Society, at or near this place, 
are mentioned, John Blunston, Michael Blunston, George Wood, Joshua Kearn, 
Henry Gibbons, Samuel Sellers, Richard Bonsall, Edmund Cartledge, Thomas 
Hood, John Bartram, Robert Naylor, and Adam Rhoads ; who all came from 
Derbyshire, in England." 


daughter of James Hunt,* at Darby Meeting (the parties all 
belonging to the Society of Friends), on the 27th of March, 1696. 
The time of his death has not been ascertained. He had three 
sons, and a daughter who died young. The names of the sons were 
John (the botanist), James, and William. Of these, William 
went to North Carolina, and settled near Cape Fear ; James, who 
remained in Pennsylvania, left no male descendants. 

John Bartram, eldest son of William and Elizabeth Bar- 
tram, and the subject of this brief memoir, inherited a farm near 
Darby, which was left to him by his uncle Isaac, f " Being born 
in a newly-settled colony, of not more than fifty years' establish- 
ment, in a country where the sciences of the Old Continent were 
little known, it cannot be supposed that he could derive great ad- 
vantages or assistance from school-learning or literature. He had, 
however, all or most of the education that could at that time be 
acquired in country schools ; and whenever an opportunity offered, 
he studied such of the Latin and Greek grammars and classics, as 
his circumstances enabled him to purchase ; and he always sought 
the society of the most learned and virtuous men. 

" He had a very early inclination to the study of physic and 
surgery. He even acquired so much knowledge in the practice 
of the latter science, as to be very useful : and, in many instances, 
he gave great relief to his poor neighbours, who were unable to 
apply for medicines and assistance to physicians of the city 
(Philadelphia). It is extremely probable that, as most of his 
medicines were derived from the vegetable kingdom, this circum- 
stance might point out to him the necessity of, and excite a desire 
for, the study of Botany.^ 

* When the editor commenced his inquiries into the personal history of Hum- 
phry Marshall and John Bartram, he had not the slightest suspicion that there 
was any kind of family connexion between them. In the progress of his 
researches, however, he ascertained not only that they were men of kindred minds 
and tastes, but that they were actually cousins german the sons of two sisters ! 
James Hunt, of Kingsessing, in the County of Philadelphia, had the happiness 
to call those ladies his daughters, and the rare privilege of enumerating two of 
the earliest and most distinguished botanists of Pennsylvania, among his grand- 

f The portion of this sketch which here follows, and is designated by quota- 
tion marks, is taken from an account of John Bartram, written by his son Wil- 
liam, and published in Professor Barton's Medical and Physical Journal. 

j His penchant for medical matters, no doubt, induced him to prepare the notes 
and appendix to the American edition of Short's Medicina Britannica, published 
in 1751, by B. Franklin and D. Hall. 


" He seemed to have been designed for the study and contem- 
plation of nature, and the culture of philosophy. Although he was 
bred a farmer, or husbandman, as a means of procuring a sub- 
sistence, he pursued his avocations as a philosopher, being ever 
attentive to the works and operations of Nature. While engaged 
in ploughing his fields, and mowing his meadows, his inquisitive 
eye and mind were frequently exercised in the contemplation of 
vegetables; the beauty and harmony displayed in their mechanism; 
the admirable system of order which the great Author of the 
universe has established throughout their various tribes, and the 
equally wonderful powers of their generation, the progress of their 
growth, and the various stages of their maturity and perfection. 

" He was, perhaps, the first Anglo-American who conceived the 
idea of establishing a Botanic Garden for the reception and 
cultivation of the various vegetables, natives of the country, as 
well as of exotics ; and of travelling for the discovery and acquisi- 
tion of them. He purchased a convenient piece of ground on the 
margin of the Schuylkill, at the distance of about three miles from 
Philadelphia ; a happy situation, possessing every soil and expo- 
sure, adapted to the various nature of vegetables. Here he built, 
with his own hands, a large and comfortable house of hewn stone, 
and laid out a garden containing about five acres of ground.* 

" He began his travels at his own expense. His various excur- 
sions rewarded his labours with the possession of a great variety 
of new, beautiful, and useful trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. 
His garden, at length, attracting the visits and notice of many 
virtuous and ingenious persons, he was encouraged to persist in his 

" Not yet content with having thus begun the establishment of 
this school of science and philosophy, in the blooming fields of 
Flora, he sought farther means for its perfection and importance, 
by communicating his discoveries and collections to the curious in 
Europe, and elsewhere, for the benefit of science, commerce, and 
the useful arts. 

" Having arranged his various collections and observations in 
natural history, one of his particular friends [Joseph Breintnall, 

* The ground on which the Botanic Garden is laid out, was purchased at sheriff's 
sale. The deed poll Owen Owen, Sheriff, to John Baetram bears date Septem- 
ber 30th, 1728. The garden was probably commenced soon afterwards. 

The year in which the dwelling-house was erected, may be gathered from 
an inscription on a stone in the wall, viz., "John * Ann Bartram, 1731." 


an enterprising merchant of Philadelphia] undertook to convey 
them to the celebrated Peter Collinson, of London. This laid 
the foundation of that friendship and correspondence, which con- 
tinued uninterrupted and even increasing for near fifty years of 
the lives of these two eminent men. Collinson, ever the disinte- 
rested friend, communicated from time to time to the learned in 
Europe, the discoveries and observations of Bartram. It was 
principally through the interest of Collinson that he became ac- 
quainted, and entered into a correspondence, with many of the 
most celebrated literary characters in Europe. 

" He employed much of his time in travelling through the dif- 
ferent provinces of North America, at that time subject to England. 
Neither dangers nor difficulties impeded or confined his researches 
after objects in natural history. The summits of our highest 
mountains were ascended and explored by him. The lakes 
Ontario, Iroquois, and George ; the shores and sources of the rivers 
Hudson, Delaware, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Alleghany, and San 
Juan, were visited by him at an early period, when it was truly 
a perilous undertaking to travel in the territories, or even on the 
frontiers of the aborigines.* 

" He travelled several thousand miles in Carolina and Florida. 
At the advanced age of near seventy years, embarking on board of 
a vessel at Philadelphia, he set sail for Charleston, in South Caro- 
lina. From thence he proceeded, by land, through part of Carolina 
and Georgia, to St. Augustine, in East Florida. When arrived at 
the last-mentioned place, being then appointed botanist and 

* As evidences of his talents and enthusiastic devotion to. natural science, 
the following passages, from letters of his contemporaries, may not be inajjpro- 

Peter Collinson, writing to Dr. Golden, March 7, 1741, says of John Bar- 
tram "I am persuaded you would have been pleased with him; you would 
have found a wonderful natural genius, considering his education, and that he 
was never out of America, but is an husbandman. * * * * * His observa- 
tions and accounts of all natural productions that happen in his way (and I 
believe few escape him) are much esteemed here for their accuracy." Dr. 
Golden, in a letter to P. Collinson, dated Nov. 13, 1744, says "I had the plea- 
sure of seeing Mr. Bartram at my house, this summer. It is really surprising 
what knowledge that man has attained merely by the force of industry and his 
own genius. He has a lively fancy, and a surprising memory and indefatigable 
disposition." Dr. Garden to Dr. Colden, writing from Philadelphia, Nov. 4, 
17o4, says "One day he dragged me out of town, and entertained me so agree- 
ably with some elevated botanical thoughts on oaks, ferns, rocks, &c, that I 
forgot I was hungry till we landed in his house, about four miles from town." 


naturalist for the King of England,* for exploring the provinces, 
he received his orders to search for the sources of the great River 
San Juan [or St. John's]. 

" Leaving ,St. Augustine, he travelled by land to the banks of 
the river, and embarking in a boat at Picolata, ascended that 
great and beautiful river (near 400 miles) to its sources attending 
carefully to its various branches, and the lakes connected with it. 
Having ascended on one side of the river, he descended by the 
other side to its confluence with the sea. 

" In the course of this voyage or journey, he made an accurate 
draft and survey of the various widths, depths, courses, and dis- 
tances, both of the main stream, and of the lakes and branches. 
He also noted the situation and quality of the soil, the vegetable 
and animal productions, together with other interesting observa- 
tions ; all of which were highly approved of by the Governor, and 
sent to the Board of Trade and Plantations in England, by whose 
direction they were ordered to be published, for the benefit of the 
new colony. 

"Mr. Bartram was a man of modest and gentle manners, 
frank, cheerful, and of great good nature ; a lover of justice, truth, 
and charity. He was himself an example of filial, conjugal, and 
parental affection. His humanity, gentleness, and compassion were 
manifested upon all occasions, and were even extended to the 
animal creation. He was never known to have been at enmity 
with any man. During the whole course of his life, there was not 
a single instance of his engaging in a litigious contest with any 
of his neighbours, or others. He zealously testified against 
slavery ;f and, that his philanthropic precepts, on this subject, 

In a letter to John Ellis, March 25, 1755, Dr. Garden says " When we came 
to Philadelphia, I met with John Bartram, a plain Quaker, but a most accurate 
observer of nature." Writing again to Mr. Ellis, March 21, 1760, Dr. G. says 
My worthy and kind friend John Bartram came from Philadelphia here 
[Charleston, S. C] to see me, about eight days ago." And on March 25, adds 
" I have been lately in the woods for two hours with John, and have shown him 
most of our new things, with which he seems almost ravished of his senses, and 
lost in astonishment." 

* See Peter Collinson's Letters, from April 9 to November 13, 1765, in reference 
to this appointment; which seems to have been procured by the "repeated solici- 
tations" of that faithful friend. 

f Evidences of the zeal and earnestness of John Bartram, in opposition to the 
fearful curse of slavery, are still extant among his manuscript papers. He ap- 
pears to have been among the earliest of our people in denouncing the abomi- 
nation ; and, moreover, to have been in the habit of committing his sentiments 
to paper, on that and all other subjects, with equal fervour and freedom. 


might have their due weight and force, he gave liberty to a most 
valuable male slave, then in the prime of his life, who had been 
bred up in the family almost from his infancy. 

" He was, through life, a striking example of temperance, 
especially in the use of vinous and spirituous liquors ; not from a 
passion of parsimony, but from a principle of morality. His com- 
mon drink was pure water, small beer, or cider mixed with milk. 
Nevertheless, he always kept a good and plentiful table. Once a 
year commonly on new year's day he made a liberal entertain- 
ment for his relations and particular friends. 

" His stature was rather above the middle size, and upright. 
His visage was long, and his countenance expressive of a degree of 
dignity, with a happy mixture of animation and sensibility. 

" He was naturally industrious and active, both in body and 
mind ; observing, that he never could find more time than he could 
employ to satisfaction and advantage, either in improving conver- 
sation, or in some healthy and useful bodily exercise : and he was 
astonished to hear men complaining, that they were weary of their 
time, and knew not what they should do. 

" He was born and educated in the sect called Quakers. But 
his religious creed may, perhaps, be best collected from a pious 
distich, engraven by his own hand, in very conspicuous characters, 
upon a stone placed over the front window of the apartment which 
was destined for study and philosophical retirement. 

' "lis God alone, Almighty Lord, 

The Holy One, by me adored. 

John Bartram, 1770.' 

" This may show the simplicity and sincerity of his heart, which 
never harboured, nor gave countenance to dissimulation.* His 
mind was frequently employed, and he enjoyed the highest pleasure, 
in the contemplation of nature, as exhibited in the great volume of 
creation. He generally concluded the narratives of his journeys 

* "This distich, however," says Professor Barton, "gave offence to many 
of Mr. Bartram's friends." 

There is a tradition in the family that John Bartram was excommunicated by 
the Monthly Meeting of Friends, at Darby, on account and in consequence of the 
above inscription ; but it appears by the records, that his orthodoxy had been called 
in question a number of years prior to that date, and that the views which he 
entertained, had led to his exclusion from the Society, so early as the year 1758. 
The inscription of 1770, it seems, was made for the purpose of testifying that he 
still adhered to his former opinions. 


with pious and philosophical reflections upon the majesty and 
power, the perfection and the beneficence, of the Creator. 

" He had a high veneration for the moral and religious precepts 
of the Scriptures, both old and new. He read them often, par- 
ticularly on the Sabbath day ; and recommended to his children and 
family the following precept, as comprehending the great principles 
of moral duty in man : ' Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly 
before God.' 

" He never coveted old age, and often observed to his children 
and friends, that he sincerely desired that he might not live longer 
than he could afford assistance to himself ; for he was unwilling to 
be a burden to his friends, or useless in society ; and that when 
death came to perform his office, there might not be much delay. 
His wishes, in these respects, were gratified in a remarkable 
manner ; for although he lived to be about eighty years of age, 
yet he was cheerful and active to almost the last hours. His 
illness was very short. About half an hour before he expired, 
he seemed, though but for a few moments, to be in considerable 
agony, and pronounced these words, ' I want to die.' 

John Bartram was twice married. His first wife was Mary, 
daughter of Richard Maris, of Chester Monthly Meeting. They 
were married in January, 1723, and had two sons, Richard and 
Isaac ; the former of whom died young. Isaac died in 1801, 
aged about 76 years. Mary Bartram died in 1727. 

His second wife was Ann Mexdenhall, of Concord Monthly 
Meeting, (then Chester, now) Delaware County. They were mar- 
ried in September, 1729, and had nine children.* Ann Bartram 
survived her husband upwards of six years, having died on the 29th 
of January, 1784, at the age of 87. 

It appears, by the records of the American Philosophical 

* The following statement is taken from a record which he caused to be 
printed, for the use of his children, in a convenient form, to be attached to their 
family Bibles : 

Children of John and Ann Bartram. 

born June 25th, 1730. 
June, 1732. 
" Aug. 27th, 1734 (died young). 
Sept. 21st, 1736. 
, [twins] " Feb. 9th, 1739. 
" June 24th, 1741. 

October 24th, 1743. 
July 6th, 1748. 

James Bartram, 

Moses Bartram, 

Elizabeth Bartram 

Mary Bartram, 

William and Elizabeth Bartraj: 

Ann Bartram, 

John Bartram, 

Benjamin Bartram, 


Society, of which John Baeteam was one of the original members 
(his name standing next to that of Dr. Feanklin, who headed the 
list), that he died on the 22d of September, 1777 ; and conse- 
quently, that he attained to the age of 78 years and 6 months. 

One of the grand-daughters of the venerable botanist, who re- 
collects him distinctly, says he was exceedingly annoyed and 
agitated (and she thinks his days were shortened), by the approach 
of the royal army, after the battle of Brandywine. As that army 
had been ravaging various portions of the revolted colonies, he was 
apprehensive it might also lay waste his darling garden, the 
cherished nursling of almost half a century. 

The following epistle (of which a copy was politely furnished by 
Miss Gibson, a descendant of John Baeteam,) is so admirably 
graphic, and exhibits, withal, such pleasant traits of truthful sim- 
plicity, that the editor cannot but regard it as an appropriate 
appendage to the preceding biographical sketch. It was published 
at London, in the year 1782, in an octavo volume, entitled, Letters 
from an American Farmer, by J. Hectoe St. John, a Farmer in 
Pennsylvania.* It appears that Mr. St. John was a French gen- 

" :: ~ Mr. St. John afterwards returned to France, and was there induced to 
translate his own work into his native language. The French edition, somewhat 
modified and considerably enlarged, was published at Paris, in 1787 (in three 
vols. 12mo.), under the title of " Lettres oVun Cultivateur Americain, adressees 
a Wm. S ox, Esq., depuis Vannee 1770 juxqu'en 1780. Par M. St. John de 
Creveccetjk. Traduites de V Anglais." It is a curious and entertaining' per- 
formance ; containing also some affecting narratives, the perusal of which makes 
one desirous to know more of the man, and of his interesting family. 

The editor has been favoured with the following notice of Mr. St. John, by 
the honourable and venerable Samuel Breck:, of Philadelphia, through the kind- 
ness of his friend, Dr. A. L. Elwyn, of the same city. "In the year 1787, (says 
Mr. Breck,) I arrived at Paris, from the Royal and Military College of Soreze, in 
the then province of Languedoc, where I had spent more than four years. 
Thomas Jefferson, who was our plenipotentiary at the court of Louis XVI., was 
travelling in Italy. A young Virginian, Mr. Short, received me in the Minister's 
name, being his secretary, and made me acquainted with a very amiable French- 
man, who had resided in the United States, and written there a work, entitled, 
' Letters from an American Farmer,' flattering and favourable to our country. 
This gentleman was Hector Saint John de Crevecceur. His work was exceed- 
ingly popular in France, and the fame acquired by it, was a passport to the 
highest circles. The romantic descriptions in which he had indulged, in reference 
to the manners and primitive habits of our countrymen, made some of the great 
lords and ladies of Paris desirous to see a native American ; among others, a 
Polish princess took a fancy to see me, upon St. John's report to her of his 
acquaintance with me, and invited me to dine with her. I went there, accom- 
panied by Mons. Crevecceur. 


tlenian, a native of Normandy ; that at the age of sixteen years 
he emigrated, first to England, and from thence to the North 
American colonies, where he resided nearly twenty-seven years 
(from 1754 to 1781), chiefly in the provinces of New York and 
Pennsylvania. It is understood that he died in 1813, aged about 
82 years. 

The annexed letter purports to be from a "Russian gentleman," 
named Iwan Alexiowitz, and to be descriptive of a visit to the 
Pennsylvania botanist, in the year 1769. Of the writer of the 
letter, the editor has not been able to obtain any authentic infor- 
mation ; but, by whomsoever written, the fidelity of the portraiture 
therein sketched, will not be questioned by any one having the 
slightest knowledge of the history, character, and pursuits of John 

Letter from Mr. Iw n Al tz, a Russian gentleman; 


Examine this flourishing province, in whatever light you will, 
the eyes as well as the mind of a European traveller are equally 

" That gentleman took me, another day, to dine with Mons. De Beaumenoir, at 
his apartments in the Hotel des Invalides, of which he was governor, and who 
had a daughter about to embark for New York, in the same packet that Mr. De 
Ckeveccsur and I had taken passage. She was coming out to America, under 
St. John's protection, to marry M. De la Forest, who was then French consul 
at New York, and afterwards became a man of some note, as a diplomatist under 
Napoleon, who raised him to the dignity of a baron of his empire. St. John 
himself had been made consul-general by King Louis. 

"That kind friend took me, one morning, to visit Brissot de Warville, who 
served Philippe d'Egalite (father of King Louis Philippe) in some capacity, 
and had apartments at his residence, the Palais Royale. There we were received 
by Brissot. The Marquis de Valady, son-in-law of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, 
presented me with a copy of St. John's letters, which I still possess. St. John 
was by nature, by education, and by his writings, a philanthropist ; a man of 
serene temper, and pure benevolence. The milk of human kindness circulated in 
every vein. Of manners unassuming ; prompt to serve, slow to censure ; intel- 
ligent, beloved, and highly worthy of the esteem and respect he everywhere 
received. His society on shipboard was a treasure. 

"He had a daughter, whose early history was marked by some passages suffi- 
ciently curious and eventful, to make her the heroine of a novel. She married 
Mr. Otto, a French gentleman, who was an attache, I think, to the consular 
office ; and who rose under the revolutionary government of France to considerable 
diplomatic rank, even to the embassy of England, for a short time." 

* This is the orthography in the original ; and it is that which prevails in 


delighted ; because a diffusive happiness appears in every part, 
happiness which is established on the broadest basis. The wisdom 
of Lycurgus and Solon never conferred on man one-half of the 
blessings and uninterrupted prosperity which the Pennsylvanians 
now possess : the name of Penn, that simple but illustrious citizen, 
does more honour to the English nation than those of many of their 

In order to convince you that I have not bestowed undeserved 
praises in my former letters on this celebrated government, and 
that either nature or the climate seems to be more favourable here 
to the arts and sciences, than to any other American province, 
let us together, agreeably to your desire, pay a visit to Mr. John 
Bertram, the first botanist in this new hemisphere, become such 
by a native impulse of disposition. It is to this simple man that 
America is indebted for several discoveries, and the knowledge of 
many new plants. I had been greatly prepossessed in his favour 
by the extensive correspondence which I knew he held with the 
most eminent Scotch and French botanists : I knew also that he 
had been honoured with that of Queen Ulrica, of Sweden. 

His house is small, but decent ; there was something peculiar in 
its first appearance, which seemed to distinguish it from those of 
his neighbours : a small tower in the middle of it, not only helped 
to strengthen it, but afforded convenient room for a staircase. Every 
disposition of the fields, fences, and trees, seemed to bear the marks 
of perfect order and regularity, which, in rural affairs, always in- 
dicate a prosperous industry. 

I was received at the door by a woman dressed extremely neat 
and simple, who, without courtesying, or any other ceremonial, 
asked me, with an air of benignity, who I wanted ? I answered, " I 
should be glad to see Mr. Bertram." "If thee wilt step in and 
take a chair, I will send for him." "No," I said, "I had rather 
have the pleasure of walking through his farm ; I shall easily find 
him out, with your directions." After a little time I perceived the 
Schuylkill, winding through delightful meadows, and soon cast my 
eyes on a new-made bank, which seemed greatly to confine its 
stream. After having walked on its top a considerable way, I at 
last reached the place where ten men were at work. I asked if 
any of them could tell me where Mr. Bertram was ? An elderly- 
looking man, with wide trousers and a large leather apron on, look- 
tile Scottish branch of the family. But the botanist himself, and his immediate 
connexions, always wrote the name Bartram. 


ing at me, said, "My name is Bertram dost thee want me?" 
" Sir, I am come on purpose to converse with you, if you can be 
spared from your labour." " Very easily," he answered ; "I direct 
and advise more than I work." We walked toward the house, 
where he made me take a chair while he went to put on clean 
clothes ; after which he returned and sat down by me. " The fame 
of your knowledge," said I, "in American botany and your well- 
known hospitality have induced me to pay you a visit, which I 
hope you will not think troublesome. I should be glad to spend a 
few hours in your garden." " The greatest advantage," replied he, 
" which I receive from what thee callest my botanical fame, is the 
pleasure which it often procureth me in receiving the visits of friends 
and foreigners. But our jaunt into the garden must be postponed 
for the present, as the bell is ringing for dinner." We entered 
into a large hall, where there was a long table full of victuals ; at 
the lowest part sat his negroes, his hired men were next, then the 
family and myself ; and at the head, the venerable father and his 
wife presided. Each reclined his head and said his prayers, divested 
of the tedious cant of some, and of the ostentatious style of others. 
"After the luxuries of our cities," observed he, "this plain fare 
must appear to thee a severe fast." " By no means, Mr. Bertram ; 
this honest country dinner convinces me that you receive me as a 
friend and an old acquaintance." "I am glad of it, for thee art 
heartily welcome. I never knew how to use ceremonies ; they are 
insufficient proofs of sincerity ; our Society, besides, are utterly 
strangers to what the world calleth polite expressions. We treat 
others as we treat ourselves. I received yesterday a letter from 
Philadelphia, by which I understand thee art a Russian : what 
motives can possibly have induced thee to quit thy native country, 
and to come so far in quest of knowledge or pleasure ? Verily it 
is a great compliment thee payest to this our young province, to 
think that anything it exhibiteth may be worthy thy attention." "I 
have been most amply repaid for the trouble of the passage. I 
view the present Americans as the seed of future nations, which 
will replenish this boundless continent. The Russians may be in 
some respects compared to you ; we, likewise, are a new people, 
new, I mean, in knowledge, arts, and improvements. Who knows 
what revolutions Russia and America may one day bring about ! 
We are, perhaps, nearer neighbours than we imagine. I view with 
peculiar attention, all your towns, I examine their situation, and 


the police, for which many are already famous. Though their 
foundations are now so recent, and so well remembered, yet their 
origin will puzzle posterity as much as we are now puzzled to 
ascertain the beginning of those which time has in some measure 
destroyed. Your new buildings, your streets, put me in mind of 
those of the city of Pompeii where I was a few years ago : I at- 
tentively examined everything there, particularly the footpath 
which runs along the houses. They appeared to have been con- 
siderably worn by the great number of people which had once 
travelled over them. But now, how distant ! neither builders nor 
proprietors remain : nothing is known !" 

"Why, thee hast been a great traveller, for a man of thy 
years." "Few years, sir, will enable anybody to journey over a 
great tract of country ; but it requires a superior degree of know- 
ledge to gather harvests as we go. Pray, Mr. Bertram, what 
banks are those which you are making ; to what purpose is so much 
expense and so much labour bestowed?" "Friend Iwan, no 
branch of industry was ever more profitable to any country, as 
well as the proprietors. The Schuylkill, in its many windings, 
once covered a great extent of ground, though its waters were 
but shallow even in our highest tides ; and though some parts were 
always dry, yet the whole of this great tract presented to the eye 
nothing but a putrid swampy soil, useless, either for the plough or 
for the scythe. The proprietors of these grounds are now incor- 
porated ; we yearly pay to the treasurer of the company a certain 
sum, which makes an aggregate superior to the casualties that 
generally happen, either by inundations or the musksquash.* It 
is owing to this happy contrivance that so many thousand acres of 
meadow have been rescued from the Schuylkill [and Delaware], 
which now both enricheth and embellisheth so much of the neigh- 
bourhood of our city. Our brethren of Salem, in New Jersey, 
have carried the art of banking to a still higher degree of perfec- 
tion." "It is really an admirable contrivance, which greatly 
redounds to the honour of the parties concerned, and shows a 
spirit of discernment and perseverance which is highly praise- 
wortky ; if the Virginians would imitate your example, the state 
of their husbandry would greatly improve ; I have not heard of 

* Musquash, the Indian name of the musk rat [Fiber zibethicus, L.) ; an animal 
well known in the United States for its troublesome operations of burrotving in 
embankments along streams. 


any such association in any other parts of the continent ; Pennsyl- 
vania, hitherto, seems to reign the unrivalled queen of these fair 
provinces. Pray, sir, what expense are you at, ere these grounds 
be fit for the scythe ?" " The expenses are very considerable, par- 
ticularly when we have land, brooks, trees, and brush to clear 
away ; but such is the excellence of these bottoms, and the good- 
ness of the grass for fattening of cattle, that the produce of three 
years pays all advances." Happy the country where nature has 
bestowed such rich treasures ! Treasures superior to mines ; I 
said, " If all this fair province is thus cultivated, no wonder it has 
acquired such reputation for the prosperity and the industry of its 
inhabitants." By this time the working part of the family had 
finished their dinner, and had retired with a decency and silence 
which pleased me much. Soon after I heard, as I thought, a 
distant concert of instruments. " However simple and pastoral 
your fare was, Mr. Bertram, this is the dessert of a prince ; pray, 
what is this I hear ?" " Thee must not be alarmed; it is of a piece 
with the rest of thy treatment, friend Iwax." Anxious, I followed 
the sound, and, by ascending the staircase, found that -it was the 
effect of the wind through the strings of an iEolian harp, an 
instrument which I had never before seen. After dinner we 
quaffed an honest bottle of Madeira wine, without the irksome 
labour of toasts, healths, or sentiments ; and then retired into his 

I was no sooner entered, than I observed a coat of arms, in a 
gilt frame, with the name of Jonx Bertram. The novelty of such 
a decoration, in such a place, struck me ; I could not avoid asking, 
"Does the Society of Friends take any pride in those armorial 
bearings, Avhich sometimes serve as marks of distinction between 
families, and much oftener as food for pride and ostentation ? 
"Thee must know (said he) that my father was a Frenchman;* 
he brought this piece of painting over with him. I keep it as 
a piece of family furniture, and as a memorial of his removal 

From his study we went into the garden, which contained a 

* This is evidently a misapprehension on the part of the "Russian gentle- 
man." John Bartram, no doubt, had reference to his remote ancestor, the Norman 
"Frenchman," who "came with William the Conqueror," and "settled in the 
north of England." See his letter to Archibald Bartram, anno 1761. 



great variety of curious plants and shrubs ; some grew in a green- 
house, over the door of which were written these lines : 

" Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, 
But looks through nature, up to nature's God." 

He informed me that he had often followed General Bouquet to 
Pittsburg, with the view of herborizing ; that he had made useful 
collections in Virginia ; and that he had been employed by the 
King of England to visit the two Floridas. 

Our walks and botanical observations engrossed so much of our 
time, that the sun was almost down ere I thought of returning to 
Philadelphia ; I regretted that the day had been so short, as I had 
not spent so rational a one for a long time before. I wanted to 
stay, yet was doubtful whether it would not appear improper, being 
an utter stranger. Knowing, however, that I was visiting the least 
ceremonious people in the world, I bluntly informed him of the 
pleasure I had enjoyed, and with the desire I had of staying a few 
days with him. " Thee art as welcome as if I was thy father ; thee 
art no stranger; thy desire of knowledge, thy being a foreigner, 
besides, entitleth thee to consider my house as thine own, as long 
as thee pleaseth ; use thy time with the most perfect freedom ; I, too, 
shall do so myself." I thankfully accepted the kind invitation. 

We went to view his favourite bank ; he showed me the principles 
and method on which it was erected ; and Ave walked over the 
grounds which had been already drained. The whole store of 
nature's kind luxuriance seemed to have been exhausted on these 
beautiful meadows ; he made me count the amazing number of 
cattle and horses now feeding on solid bottoms, which but a few 
years before had been covered with water. Thence we rambled 
through his fields, where the rightangular fences, the heaps of 
pitched stones, the flourishing clover, announced the best hus- 
bandry, as well as the most assiduous attention. His cows were 
then returning home, deep-bellied, short-legged, having udders 
ready to burst ; seeking, with seeming toil, to be delivered from 
the great exuberance they contained. He next showed me his 
orchard, formerly planted on a barren, sandy soil, but long since 
converted into one of the richest spots in that vicinage. " This 
(said he) is altogether the fruit of my own contrivance. I pur- 
chased, some years ago, the privilege of a small spring, about a 
mile and a half from hence, which at a considerable expense I 


have brought to this reservoir ; therein I throw old lime, ashes, 
horse-dung, &c., and twice a week I let it run, thus impregnated. 
I regularly spread on this ground, in the fall, old hay, straw, and 
whatever damaged fodder I have about my barn. By these simple 
means I mow, one year with another, fifty-three hundreds of ex- 
cellent hay per acre, from a soil which scarcely produced five 
fingers [i. e., Oinquefoil, or Potentilla Canadensis, Z.] some years 
before." " This is, sir, a miracle in husbandry ; happy the country 
which is cultivated by a society of men whose application and 
taste lead them to prosecute and accomplish useful works." " I am 
not the only person who do these things (he said) ; wherever water 
can be had, it is always turned to that important use ; wherever a 
farmer can water his meadows, the greatest crops of the best hay, 
and excellent after-grass, are the sure rewards of his labours. 
With the banks of my meadow ditches, I have greatly enriched my 
upland fields ; those which I intend to rest for a few years, I 
constantly sow with red clover, which is the greatest meliorator of 
our lands. For three years after, they yield abundant pasture ; 
when I want to break up my clover fields, I give them a good coat 
of mud, which hath been exposed to the severities of three or four 
of our winters. This is the reason that I commonly reap from 
twenty-eight to thirty-six bushels of wheat an acre ; my flax, oats, 
and Indian corn I raise in the same proportion. Wouldst thee 
inform me whether the inhabitants of thy country follow the same 
methods of husbandry?" "No, sir; in the neighbourhood of our 
towns there are indeed some intelligent farmers who prosecute 
their rural schemes with attention ; but we should be too numerous, 
too happy, too powerful a people, if it were possible for the whole 
Russian empire to be cultivated like the province of Pennsylvania. 
Our lands are so unequally divided, and so few of our farmers are 
possessors of the soil they till, that they cannot execute plans of 
husbandry with the same vigour as you do, who hold yours, as it 
were, from the master of nature, unincumbered and free. Oh, Ame- 
rica !" exclaimed I, "thou knowest not, as yet, the whole extent 
of thy happiness ; the foundation of thy civil polity must lead thee, 
in a few years, to a degree of population and power which Europe 
little thinks of !" " Long before this happens (answered the good 
man) we shall rest beneath the turf; it is vain for mortals to be 
presumptuous in their conjectures : our country is, no doubt, the 
cradle of an extensive future population ; the old world is growing 


weary of its inhabitants ; they must come here to flee from the 
tyranny of the great. But doth not thee imagine that the great 
will, in the course of years, come over here also ? for it is the 
misfortune of all societies everywhere to hear of great men, great 
rulers, and of great tyrants." " My dear sir," I replied, " tyranny 
never can take a strong hold in this country, the land is too wisely 
distributed ; it is poverty in Europe that makes slaves." " Friend 
Iwan, as I make no doubt thee understandest the Latin tongue, 
read this kind epistle which the good Queen of Sweden, Ulrica, 
sent me a few years ago. Good woman ! that she should think, in 
her palace at Stockholm, of poor John Bertram on the banks of 
the Schuylkill, appeareth to me very strange." " Not in the least, 
dear sir ; you are the first man whose name as a botanist hath done 
honour to America ; it is very natural at the same time to imagine 
that so extensive a continent must contain many curious plants and 
trees ; is it then surprising to see a princess, fond of useful know- 
ledge, descend sometimes from the throne, to walk in the gardens 
of Linnaeus ?" " 'Tis to the directions of that learned man (said 
Mr. Bertram) that I am indebted for the method which has led 
me to the knowledge I now possess ; the science of botany is so 
diffusive, that a proper thread is absolutely wanted to conduct the 
beginner." "Pray, Mr. Bertram, when did you imbibe the first 
wish to cultivate the science of botany ? Was you regularly bred to 
it in Philadelphia?" "I have never received any other education 
than barely reading and writing ; this small farm was all the patri- 
mony my father left me ; certain debts, and the want of meadows, 
kept me rather low in the beginning of my life ; my wife brought me 
nothing in money, all her riches consisted in her good temper and 
great knowledge of housewifery. I scarcely know how to trace my 
steps in the botanical career ; they appear to me, now, like unto a 
dream ; but thee mayest rely on what I shall relate, though I know 
that some of our friends have laughed at it." "I am not one of 
those people, Mr. Bertram, who aim at finding out the ridiculous, 
in what is sincerely and honestly averred." "Well, then, I'll tell 
thee. One day I was very busy in holding my plough (for thee 
seest I am but a ploughman), and being weary, I ran under the 
shade of a tree to repose myself. I cast my eyes on a daisy ; I 
plucked it mechanically, and viewed it with more curiosity than 
common country farmers are wont to do, and observed therein very 
many distinct parts, some perpendicular some horizontal. What 


a shame, said my mind, or something that inspired my mind, that 
thee shouldst have employed so many years in tilling the earth, and 
destroying so many flowers and plants, without being acquainted 
with their structures and their uses ! This seeming inspiration 
suddenly awakened my curiosity, for these were not thoughts to 
which I had been accustomed. I returned to my team, but this 
new desire did not quit my mind ; I mentioned it to my wife, who 
greatly discouraged me from prosecuting my new scheme, as she 
called it ; I was not opulent enough, she said, to dedicate much of 
my time to studies and labours which might rob me of that portion 
of it which is the only wealth of the American farmer. However, 
her prudent caution did not discourage me ; I thought about it 
continually, at supper, in bed, and wherever I went. At last, I 
could not resist the impulse ; for on the fourth day of the following 
week, I hired a man to plough for me, and went to Philadelphia. 
Though I knew not what book to call for, I ingenuously told the 
bookseller my errand, who provided me with such as he thought 
best, and a Latin grammar beside. Next, I applied to a neigh- 
bouring schoolmaster, who, in three months, taught me Latin 
enough to understand LiNNiEUS, which I purchased afterward. 
Then I began to botanize all over my farm. In a little time I 
became acquainted with every vegetable that grew in my neigh- 
bourhood ; and next ventured into Maryland, living among the 
Friends. In proportion as I thought myself more learned, I 
proceeded farther, and by a steady application of several years, I 
have acquired a pretty general knowledge of every plant and tree 
to be found in our Continent. In process of time I was applied to 
from the old countries, whither I every year send many collections. 
Being now made easy in my circumstances, I have ceased to 
labour, and am never so happy as when I see and converse with 
my friends. If, among the many plants or shrubs I am ac- 
quainted with, there are any thee wantest to send to thy native 
country, I will cheerfully procure them ; and give thee, moreover, 
whatever directions thee may est want." 

Thus I passed several days, in ease, improvement, and pleasure. 
I observed, in all the operations of his farm as well as in the 
mutual correspondence between the master and the inferior mem- 
bers of his family the greatest ease and decorum : not a word 
like command seemed to exceed the tone of a simple wish. The 
very negroes, themselves, appeared to partake of such a decency 


of behaviour, and modesty of countenance, as I had never before 
observed. " By what means," said I, " Mr. Bertram, do you rule 
your slaves so well, that they seem to do their work with all the 
cheerfulness of white men ?" " Though our erroneous prejudices 
and opinions once induced us to look upon them as fit only for 
slavery, though ancient custom had very unfortunately taught us 
to keep them in bondage, yet of late, in consequence of the 
remonstrances of several Friends, and of the good books they have 
published on that subject, our Society treats them very differently. 
With us they are now free. I give those whom thee didst see 
at my table, eighteen pounds a year, with victuals and clothes, 
and all other privileges which white men enjoy. Our Society 
treats them, now, as the companions of our labours ; and by this 
management, as well as by means of the education we have given 
them, they are in general become a new set of beings. Those 
whom I admit to my table, I have found to be good, trusty, moral 
men : when they do not what we think they should do, we dismiss 
them, which is all the punishment we inflict. Other societies of 
Christians keep them still as slaves, without teaching them any 
kind of religious principles. "What motive, beside fear, can they 
have to behave well ? In the first settlement of this province, we 
employed them as slaves, I acknowledge ; but when we found that 
good example, gentle admonition, and religious principles could 
lead them to subordination and sobriety, we relinquished a method 
so contrary to the profession of Christianity. We gave them free- 
dom ; and yet few have quitted their ancient masters. * * * * 
I taught mine to read and to write : they love God, and fear his 
judgments. The oldest person among them transacts my business 
in Philadelphia, with a punctuality from which he has never 
deviated. They constantly attend our meetings : they participate 
in health and sickness, in infancy and old age in the advan- 
tages our Society affords. Such are the means we have made use 
of, to relieve them from that bondage and ignorance in which they 
were kept before. Thee, perhaps, hast been surprised to see them 
at my table ; but, by elevating them to the rank of freemen, they 
necessarily acquire that emulation, without which Aye ourselves 
should fall into debasement and profligate ways." 

"Mr. Bertram, this is the most philosophical treatment of 
negroes that I have heard of. Happy would it be for America, 
would other denominations of Christians imbibe the same prin- 


ciples, and follow the same admirable rules. A great number of 
men would be relieved from those cruel shackles under which they 
now groan : and under this impression, I cannot endure to spend 
more time in the southern provinces. The method with which they 
are treated there, the meanness of their food the severity of 
their tasks, are spectacles I have not patience to behold." " I 
am glad to see that thee hast so much compassion. Are there any 
slaves in thy country ?" " Yes, unfortunately ; but they are more 
properly civil than domestic slaves : they are attached to the soil 
on which they live ; it is the remains of ancient barbarous customs, 
established in the days of the greatest ignorance and savageness 
of manners ! and preserved, notwithstanding the repeated tears of 
humanity the loud calls of policy and the commands of religion. 
The pride of great men, with the avarice of landholders, makes 
them look on this class as necessary tools of husbandry ; as if free- 
men could not cultivate the ground !" " And is it really so, friend 
Iwan ? To be poor, to be wretched, to be a slave, is hard indeed : 
existence is not worth enjoying on those terms. I am afraid thy 
country can never flourish under such impolitic government." "I 
am very much of your opinion, Mr. Bertram, though I am in 
hopes that the present reign, illustrious by so many acts of the 
soundest policy, will not expire without this salutary this neces- 
sary emancipation, which would fill the Russian Empire with tears 
of gratitude." " How long hast thee been in this country ?" "Four 
years, sir." "Why, thee speakest English almost like a native. 
What a toil a traveller must undergo, to learn various languages 
to divest himself of his native prejudices and to accommodate 
himself to the customs of all those among whom he chooseth to 

Thus I spent my time with this enlightened botanist this 
worthy citizen, who united all the simplicity of rustic manners to 
the most useful learning. Various and extensive were the con- 
versations that filled the measure of my visit. I accompanied him 
to his fields to his barn to his bank to his garden to his 
study and at last to the meeting of the Society, on the Sunday 
following. It was at the town of Chester, whither the whole family 
went, in two wagons ; Mr. Bertram and I on horseback. When 
I entered the house where the Friends were assembled, who 
might be about two hundred, men and women, the involuntary 
impulse of ancient custom made me pull off my hat ; but soon 


recovering myself, I sat with it on, at the end of a bench. The 
meeting-house was a square building, devoid of any ornament 
whatever. The whiteness of the walls the conveniency of seats 
that of a large stove, which in cold weather keeps the whole 
house warm, were the only essential things which I observed. 
Neither pulpit nor desk, fount nor altar, tabernacle nor organ, were 
there to be seen : it is merely a spacious room, in which these good 
people meet every Sunday. A profound silence ensued, which 
lasted about half an hour ; every one had his head reclined, and 
seemed absorbed in profound meditation, when a female Friend 
arose, and declared, with a most engaging modesty, that the Spirit 
moved her to entertain them on the subject she had chosen. She 
treated it with great propriety, as a moral, useful discourse, and 
delivered it without theological parade, or the ostentation of learn- 
ing. Either she must have been a great adept in public speaking, 
or had studiously prepared herself ; a circumstance that cannot well 
be supposed, as it is a point, in their profession, to utter nothing 
but what arises from spontaneous impulse : or else the Great Spirit 
of the world the patronage and influence of which they all came 
to invoke must have inspired her with the soundest morality. 
Her discourse lasted three quarters of an hour. I did not observe 
one single face turned toward her : never before had I seen a con- 
gregation listening with so much attention to a public oration. I 
observed neither contortions of body, nor any kind of affectation in 
her face, style, or manner of utterance ; everything was natural, 
and therefore pleasing, and, shall I tell you more ? she was very 
handsome, although upward of forty. As soon as she had finished, 
every one seemed to return to their former meditation for about a 
quarter of an hour, when they rose up by common consent, and, 
after some general conversation, departed. 

How simple their precepts, how unadorned their religious 
system, how few the ceremonies through which they pass during 
the course of their lives ! At their deaths they are interred by the 
fraternity, without pomp, without prayers, thinking it then too 
late to alter the course of God's eternal decrees ; and, as you well 
know, without either monument or tomb-stone. Thus, after having 
lived under the mildest government, after having been guided by 
the mildest doctrine, they die just as peaceably as those who, being 
educated in more pompous religions, pass through a variety of 
sacraments, subscribe to complicated creeds, and enjoy the benefits 


of a church establishment. These good people flatter themselves 
with following the doctrines of Jesus Christ, in that simplicity with 
which they were delivered. A happier system could not have 
been devised for the use of mankind. It appears to be entirely 
free from those ornaments and political additions which each 
country and each government hath fashioned after its own 

At the door of this meeting-house I had been invited to spend 
some days at the houses of some respectable farmers in the neigh- 
bourhood. The reception I met with everywhere, insensibly led 
me to spend two months among these good people ; and I must say 
they were the golden days of my riper years. I never shall forget 
the gratitude I owe them for the innumerable kindnesses they 
heaped on me : it was to the letter you gave me, that I am in- 
debted for the extensive acquaintance I now have throughout 
Pennsylvania. I must defer thanking you as I ought, until I see 
you again. Before that time comes, I may perhaps entertain you 
with more curious anecdotes than this letter affords. Farewell. 

Iw N Al TZ. 

*& **. 2 





w 1 s 





London, Jan. 20, 1734-5. 

My good friend John Bartram : 

I now do myself a further pleasure to consider thy curious enter- 
taining letters of November 6. I am only afraid, in doing me a 

* Peter Collinson, F.R.S., and F.S.A., one of the earliest and most constant 
correspondents of Linnaeus, was highly distinguished in the circle of naturalists 
and antiquaries in London, for nearly half a century. He belonged to the 
Society of Quakers ; and his upright, benevolent, active character did honour to 
his religious persuasion. He was born January 28, 1693-4, in a house opposite 
to Church Alley, St. Clement's Lane, Lombard Street, London; but he resided for 
many years at the Red Lion, in Grace Church Street, as a wholesale woollen 
draper, where he acquired an ample fortune. He married in 1724, Mary, the 
daughter of Michael Russell, Esq., of Mill Hill, Hendon. This lady died in 
1753, leaving him two children, a son named Michael, and a daughter Mart, 
married to the late John Cator, Esq., of Beckenham, Kent. They are said to 
have inherited much of the taste and amiable character of their father. 

Mr. Collinson appears to have occupied, in the earlier part of his life, a 
country-house and garden at Peckham, in Surrey (where his brother had also 
a garden) ; from whence he removed in April, 1749, to Ridgeway House at Mill 
Hill, and he was two years in transplanting his collection. The English gardens 
are indebted to him for the introduction of many new and curious species, which 
he acquired by means of an extensive correspondence, particularly from North 
America. Among these was the Collinsonia Canadensis, so called by LiNNiEUS, 
who has given a beautiful engraving of this plant, in his Hortus Cliffortianus. It 
was first imported (sent by John Bartram), in 1735. He enjoyed throughout 
a long life, the communications of most cultivators of science in general, for he 
interested himself about every new or useful discovery, and was one of the first 
who attended to the (then recent) wonders of electricity ; on which subject the 
great Franklin was obliged to him for the earliest European intelligence. 

Nor was his personal friendship less valued by people of distinguished character 
and abilities in various ranks, among which the names of Derham, Sloane, Ellis, 
and Fothergill stand pre-eminent ; as well as those of the accomplished Robert 
Lord Petre, who died in 1742, and the famous Earl of Bute. 

Mr. Collinson became acquainted with Linnaeus, when the latter visited 
London in 1736. He died August 11, 1768, after a short illness, in the 75th year 
of his age, in the full possession of all his faculties, and of all his enthusiasm 

60 PETER COLLINSON [1734-5. 

pleasure, so much time was lost which would turn to a more pro- 
fitable account in thy own affairs. 

Thee writes for some botanical books ; and indeed I am at a 
loss which to recommend, for, as I have observed, a complete 
history of plants is not to be found in any author. For the present, 
I am persuaded the gentlemen of the Library Company, at my 
request, will indulge thee the liberty, when thee comes to town, 
to peruse their botanical books : there is Miller's Dictionary, and 
some others. 

Please to remember those Solomon's Seals, that escaped thee 
last year. 

The great and small Hellebore are great rarities here, so pray 
send a root or two of each next year. Please to remember all 
your sorts of lilies, as they happen in thy way ; and your spotted 
Martagons will be very acceptable. 

The Devil's Bit, or Blazing Star, pray add a root or two, and 
any of the Lady's Slippers. 

My dear friend, I only mention these plants ; but I beg of 
thee not to neglect thy more material affairs to oblige me. A 
great many may be put in a box 20 inches or 2 feet square, and 
15 or 16 inches high ; and a foot in earth is enough. This may 
be put under the captain's bed, or set in the cabin, if it is sent in 
October or November. Nail a few small narrow laths across it, 
to keep the cats from scratching it. 

If thee could procure some layers of the woody vine, with 
variegated leaves, it would be acceptable : also, a root of the 
Aristolochia [by this is meant the Saururus cemuus, L., then 
called Aristolochia, by some], which is of such sovereign remedy 
for sore breasts, would be well worth having. 

I hope thee had mine, per Captain Davis, with a box with seeds 
in sand, and two parcels of seeds per my good friend Isaac Norris, 
Jr. One parcel I sent after him to the Downs ; but whether he 

for the beauties of Nature, attended by far more important consolations and 

The Philosophical Transactions and the Archceologia are enriched with several 
of Mr. Collisson's papers. Dr. Fothergill published an account of his life. 

The garden at Mill Hill, so assiduously cultivated by this gentleman and his 
son, and for many years abounding with rarities and beauties, fell afterwards 
into most barbarous and tasteless hands. After a transient restoration by an 
eminent botanist, it is now (1821), as far as we can learn, almost entirely stripped 
of its chief curiosities. See Biographical Memoir in the first volume of the Cor- 
respondence of Linn^us, and other Naturalists ; by Sir James Edward Smith. 

1734-5.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 61 

Was sailed, or no, before it came to hand, I can't say : but by the 
list inclosed, thee will know if they are come to hand, or if he 
had them. 

Pray what is your Sarsaparilla? The May-apple, a pretty plant, 
is what I have had for some years sent me per Doctor Witt. 
It flowers well with us ; but our summers are not hot enough to 
perfect its fruit. 

The pretty humble beautiful plant, with a spike of yellow 
flowers, I take to be a species of Orchis or Satyrion. What sort 
of root it has thee hath not mentioned. If it is taken up with the 
earth about the roots, it will certainly flower the first, if not the 
second year. I wish thee'd send me two or three roots, if it is 

The Ground Cypress is a singular pretty plant. If it bears 
berries or seeds, pray send some ; and if it bears flowers or seeds, 
pray send some specimens in both states. 

Pray send me a good specimen or two of the shrub, 3 feet high, 
that grows by the water courses. The shrub that grows out of the 
sides of rocks, sometimes five or six feet high, bearing red berries 
hanging by the husks, is called Euonymus, or Spindle tree. We 
have the same plant, with a small difference ; grows plenty in 

Your wild Senna, with yellow flowers, is a pretty plant. Send 
seeds of both this and Mountain Goat's Rue. 

Thee need not collect any more of the White Thorn berries, that 
has prodigious long, sharp thorns. It is what Ave call the Cock-spur 
Thorn. I had a tree last year, that had at least a bushel of berries. 
But haws of any other sort of Thorns will be very acceptable. 

Pray send me a root or two of cluster-bearing Solomon's Seal. 
It is in all appearance a very rare plant, as is the Panax. 

Pray send a root or two of Joseph Breixtxall's Snake-root.* 
Pray send a root of the grassy leaves, that bears pretty little blue 
flowers, that's good against obstructions of the bowels, [probably 
Sisyrinchium, L.] 

When it happens in thy way, send me a root or two of the little 
tuberous root called Devil's Bit, which produces one or two leaves 

* In a subsequent communication, it appears that Dillenius pronounced 
"Breixtnall's Snake-root," to be " Sanicula Canadensis, amplissimo folio laci- 
niato, of Tournefort." See P. Collinson's Letter to Joseph Breintnall, 1738. 

(32 PETER COLLINSON [1734-5. 

I only barely mention these plants ; not that I expect thee to 
send them. I don't expect or desire them, but as they happen to 
be found accidentally : and what is not to be met with one year, 
may be another. 

It happens that your late ships, in the autumn, come away 
before a great many of our seeds are ripe, and the spring I don't 
approve as the best season to send them ; but as it rarely happens 
otherwise, I have taken a method to send some in paper, and some 
in sand. After thee has picked out the largest, which must be 
instantly set, for very probably they were chilled coming over. 
When it is my case, as it often happens, taking the following 
method, I have raised a great many pretty plants out of your 
earth. I lay out a bed 5 or 6 feet long by 3 feet wide ; then I 
pare oif the earth an inch or two deep, then I loosen the bottom, 
and lay it very smooth again, and thereon, (if I may use the term,) 
I sow the sand and seed together as thin as I can, then I sift some 
good earth over it about half an inch thick. This bed ought to be 
in some place that it may not be disturbed, and kept very clear 
from weeds ; for several seeds come not up till the second year. I 
have put some hard-shelled Almonds of my own growth, and some 
soft-shelled from Portugal : they are easily distinguished. 

The almond makes a fine pie, taken whilst a pin can be run 
through them ; for you eat husk, shell, and kernel, altogether. 
They must be first coddled over a gentle fire, and then put in crust. 
I query whether young peaches would be as good, before the shell 
is hard. 

I have put in the sand some vine cuttings, and some of the great 
Neapolitan Medlar, which we always graft on white thorns, and so 
must you. As soon as these cuttings come to hand, soak them all 
over in water for twenty-four hours, and then plant the vines (the 
earth being well loosened) as deep as only the uppermost bud of 
the cutting may be level with the earth. Water them in dry 
weather. These seldom fail growing. The grafts, after soaking, 
may be laid in the earth, or in a moist place, till grafted, which 
should be soon. 

I hope thee will take these two long rambling epistles in good 
part. They are writ, a bit now and then, as business will permit. 
Let me hear from thee at thy leisure, which will much oblige thy 
real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

1734-5.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 63 

Send a quantity of seed of the Birch or Black Beech ; it seems 
to be new. Send me a good root of the Swallow-wort, or 
Apocinon, with narrow leaves and orange-coloured flowers ; and 
of the pretty shrub called Red Root, and of the Cotton-weed or 
Life-everlasting, and some more seed of the perannual Pea, that 
grows by rivers ; this year, or next, or next after, as it happens. 
Pray send me a walking-cane, of the Cane-wood. 

London, January 24th, 1735. 

My good friend, John Bartram : 

I am very much obliged to thee for thy two choice cargoes of 
plants, which came very safe and in good condition, and are very 
curious and rare, and well worth my acceptance. I am very sen- 
sible of the great pains, and many tiresome steps, to collect so 
many rare plants scattered at a distance. I shall not forget it ; 
but in some measure to show my gratitude, though not in propor- 
tion to thy trouble, I have sent thee a small token : a calico gown 
for thy wife, and some odd little things that may be of use amongst 
the children and family. They come in a box of books to my 
worthy friend, Joseph Breintnall, with another parcel of waste 
paper, which will serve to wrap up seeds, &c. But there is two 
quires of brown, and one of whited-brown paper, which I propose 
for this use and purpose, and will save thee a great deal of trouble 
in writing : that is, when thee observes a curious plant in flower, or 
when thee gathers seed of a plant thee has an intention to convey 
me a description of, on both these occasions, thee has nothing more 
to do than to gather branches or sprigs of the plants, then in 
flower, with their flowers on, and with their seed-vessels fully 
formed ; for by these two characteristics, the genus is known that 
they belong to. Then take these, and spread them between the 
sheets of brown paper, laying the stems straight and leaves smooth 
and regular ; and when this is done, put a moderate weight on a 
board the size of the paper. In two days remove the specimens 
into the other quire of brown paper, keeping the weight on ; and 
then in a week or two, being pretty well dried, convey them 
thence into the quire of whited-brown paper. Thus, when now and 
then thee observes a curious plant, thee may treat it in this manner, 
by which thee will convey a more lively idea than the best descrip- 
tion ; and when thee gathers seeds, mark the same number on the 

64 PETER COLLINSON [1734-5. 

seeds as thee marks in the sheet where the specimen is, only writing 
under it the country name. So, once a year, return me the quire 
of whited-brown paper, with the dried specimens tied fast between 
two broad boards ; and then I will send some more in their room. 
When the sheet of paper will hold it, put one, two, or three speci- 
mens of the same plant in the same sheet, so they will but lie 
smooth by each other. 

Besides, what I have further to propose, per this method, is, thy 
own improvement in the knowledge of plants ; for thou shalt send 
me another quire of duplicates of the same specimens ; I will get 
them named by our most knowing botanists, and then return them 
again, which will improve thee more than books ; for it is impos- 
sible for any one author to give a general history of plants. Let 
the specimens be of the length of the paper. 

Thee canst not think how well the little case of plants came, 
being put under the captain's bed, and saw not the light till I went 
for it ; but then, Captain Wright had a very quick passage ; and 
it was put on board in a right month, for when plants are down in 
the ground, and in the winter months, they may be stowed any- 
where ; but it must not be attempted any time this side Christmas. 

The warmth of the ship, and want of air, had occasioned the 
Skunk-weed to put forth two fine blossoms, very beautiful ; but it 
is of the Arum genus. The Sedum is a very rare pretty plant, 
the leaves finely veined ; it came very fresh and green. Thy herb 
Twopence was very acceptable. I have had it, formerly, but I lost 
it. It is a pretty plant. 

The Cane-wood is pretty common in our gardens. It goes, 
here, by the name of the Virginian Guelder Rose \_Spircea opuli- 
folia, L. ?~\. The two laurels were very fresh and lively ; and the 
shrub honeysuckles, which I have had formerly from South Caro- 
lina, flower very fine, but in two or three years went off. Neither 
our soil nor climate agreed with it ; but yours, perhaps, from the 
northward, may do better. The laurel and shrub honeysuckle are 
plants I much value. 

I wish, at a proper season, thee would procure a strong box, 
two feet square, and about fifteen or eighteen inches deep, but a 
foot deep in mould will be enough ; then collect half a dozen 
Laurels, and half a dozen shrub Honeysuckles, and plant in this box ; 
but be sure make the bottom of the box full of large holes, and 
cover the holes with tiles, or oyster-shells, to let the water drain 


better off. Then let this box stand in a proper place in thy 
garden, for two or three years, till the plants have taken good 
root, and made good shoots ; but thee must be careful to water it 
in dry weather. 

I wish that thee would not fail to put three or four specimens of 
the sprigs of the Laurel, with the flowers fully blown (for I long to 
see it) in the paper, transferring them from one to another, as I 
have directed. As my design is not to give thee more trouble, so 
a few specimens will content me. 

I have further to request thee to put up a little box of plants 
(yearly) in earth, such as thou finds in the woods, that are odd and 

What thee observes of the frost, to be sure, had the effect thee 
describes. I once remember one like it in England; but the effects 
were not so severe. I hope, next year, thee will be able to make 
some selections that may make thee some returns. 

The White Flowering Bay [Magnolia glauca, L.~\ is a plant 
that grows in moist places ; the leaves are long, of a bay shape, 
and of a silver colour on the back of the leaves. It bears a fine 
large white flower, like the Water Lily, of a fine perfumed smell, 
which is succeeded with a seed-vessel of a cone-like figure. I have 
a plant that flowers finely, in my garden. It is in abundance of 
places, in Maryland ; but whether it is found more northward, I 
can't say. It is a fine plant to adorn thy own garden. But give 
thyself no trouble about it : and, as the Fir and Cypress cones are 
not found near thee, we will wait for some more favourable oppor- 
tunity to collect them. Send first those seeds that are near thee. 

The- box of seeds came very safe, and in good order. Thy 
remarks on them are very curious ; but I think take up too much 
of thy time and thought. I would not make my correspondence 
burdensome ; but must desire thee to continue the same collections 
over again ; and to prevent trouble, only number the papers, and 
give the country name or any name thee may know it by again ; 
then keep a list of them by thee, with the number to the names, 
and when they come here, those that do not come up, we have only 
to Avrite to thee for the same seed to such a number, to send over 
again. As I design to make a present of part of these seeds to 
a very curious person [Lord Petre,] I hope to procure thee some 
present for thy trouble of collecting. I am thy very sincere friend, 




London, Feb. 12, 1735. 

Dear Friend John Bartram : 

Though I am vastly hurried in business, and no leisure, yet the 
many instances of thy regard for us obliges me to steal time to 
say something farther to thy kind letters. 

I am glad the roots, in a box per Captain Wright, came to 
hand, and were acceptable. I received the box of berries, fresh 
and in good order. The Sassafras was a fine parcel, and the cherry- 
stones, and several others, are what we had not before. I sent 
them to our noble friend. 

The leaves of that Golden Rod are finely scented. Pray, have 
we any of the seed ? Now, dear friend, I have done with thine of 
the 9th of September. And now I shall only tell thee, I have 
received thine of November 18th, December 1st, and the 9th, and 
thine of the 10th, with the invoices. ***** 

The box of specimens, with the seeds, came very dry, safe, and 
well. I think thee has discharged that affair very elegantly, and 
gives us great pleasure ; and conveys to us stronger ideas of your 
plants than can be described, and saves a great deal of writing. 
I shall, at my first leisure, send thee their true botanical names, 
and I shall send thee more paper ; but one quire a year will be 

The box of insects was very prettily and nicely put up, and 
described : but pray chain up that unruly creature, the Smith, that 
he may do us no more damage, next time. I shall have some fresh 
requests to make, as to insects ; which, by enclosed instructions, 
thee may learn thy little boys to catch, and I will reward them. 

Thee will hear at large from me, when I have opportunity to 
discourse w T ith thy noble patron. 

All the things thee wrote for, I shall send ; the small things, by 
Israel Pemberton, and the box of nails per Captain Savage, or 
some other ship, which, I am not yet determined ; but I shall ac- 
quaint thee with it. 

But I almost forgot thy noble present of plants, which came 
very safe and well, to all appearance, and contains a many curious 
plants. This year, pray rest a little from thy labours. I shall 
only ask of thee one set of plants ; and that is, all the sorts of 
Ladies' Slippers thee happens to meet with, if not far to fetch, for 
I expect none from the Doctor [Witt]. He has, indeed, sent me 


a few seeds, but they are fine sorts the large Jacea, or Blazing 
Star [Liatris spicata, Wittd.~\, and two sorts of seeds of Mar- 
tagons, and Clmopodium, a fine plant. 

I have got a box of chestnuts, in sand, and some Spanish nuts, 
and some of our Katherine peach-stones. It is the last (and a 
large) peach that ripens with us in October, but will sooner with 
you. It is a hard, sound, well-flavoured peach none better, and 
clings to the stone. In the little box that the insects came in, 
are some seeds. The China Aster is the noblest and finest plant 
thee ever saw, of that tribe. It was sent per the Jesuits from 
China to France ; from thence to us : it is an annual. Sow it in 
rich mould, immediately, and when it has half a dozen leaves, 
transplant in the borders. It makes a glorious autumn flower. 
There is white and purple in the seeds. 

The Lebanon cone, with a knife carefully pick out the seeds ; 
sow in a box, but large holes in the bottom, and cover with shells, 
in sandy light mould. Let it only have the morning sun. 

I sent two parcels of the Aster, for fear, by sowing late, it 
should not ripen seed. I have sent the Doctor some. 

I am, my dear friend, with hearty acknowledgments for all thy 
pains and trouble, and thy many favours, 

In haste, thine sincerely, 

P. Collinson. 

The Spanish chestnuts, &c, come in a little box, in sand, com- 
mitted to the care of Israel Pemberton. 

We have been largely supplied with Chinquapins from Virginia, 
but I design thee shall have the credit and profit of them, for our 
noble friend knows nothing but that they come from thee. I can 
easily be supplied from that country ; so give thyself no further 
trouble about them, for I know they grow not near you to the per- 
fection they do in that country. 

But one thing, dear John, I must request of thee. Our curious 
botanists are sadly perplexed about the difference between the Red 
and White Cedars.* Pray be so kind to gather three or four 
specimens of each sort, of the size of the paper, branches with their 
leaves ; and when dried, send by first opportunity, the size and 
height of each sort, and their uses, and a few berries of each sort 

* The red Cedar is Juniperus Virginiana, L., and the white Cedar is Cupressus 
thyoides, L. 


by way of sample ; the Red we have, but want seeds of the White 
Cedar. One of my curious friends is writing a book, and wants to 
insert the cedars, red and white, and show their difference, which 
is not particularly described by any author. So pray be exact, 
and thee'll much oblige thine, 

P. C. 

London, February 20th, 1735. 

Respected Friend J. Bartram : 

I have sent the goods, as under, which I hope will meet with 
thy approbation ; and as there was no direction, either to quality 
or quantity, I have done the best of my judgment. When I have 
settled with our noble friend, who takes all the cargo to his own 
account, I will advise thee of the balance. 

Young Israel Pemberton, to whom thou art much obliged, at 
my request, has packed up thy goods with his. * 

Whatever thou finds is not charged in thy bill of parcels, is 
presents for thyself, wife, and children. Receive it in love, as it 
was sent. I shall write thee fuller on all matters, the first leisure. 

I have procured from my knowing friend, Philip Miller, gar- 
dener to the Physic Garden at Chelsea, belonging to the Company 
of Apothecaries, sixty-nine sorts of curious seeds, and some others 
of my own collecting. This, I hope, will convince thee I do what 
I can; and if I lived, as thou does, always in the country, I should 
do more ; but in my situation it is impossible. Besides, most of the 
plants thou writes for, are not to be found in gardens, but growing 
spontaneously a many miles off, and a many miles from one another. 
It is not to be expected I can do as thou does. My inclination's 
good, but I have affairs of greater consequence to mind ; and as I 
have observed to thee before, affairs of this nature should not in- 
terfere with business, and I do request thee not to suffer anything 
thee does for us to interfere with thine. Indeed, for the cargo 
thou sent, there was some reason for thy making it thy business, 
because thee will have some gratification ; but in thy other curious 
collections, which is done purely to oblige us, pray give thy business 
the preference ; but if, in the course of that, without neglecting it, 
thou can pick up what thou thinks will be acceptable, we shall be 
obliged to thee, and study some requital. So for the future, no 
more censure me for not sending the one-sixth part thee wrote for, 

1735.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 69 

for the reasons above ; but yet transmit me yearly what thou wants, 
and anything in my power, or my friend Miller's, will be always 
at thy service ; and if I send thee the same thing two or three times 
over, thee must excuse it, and place it to the multiplicity of affairs 
that fill my thoughts, and not suspect my care ; and then thee will 
deal kindly, and friendly, and lovingly, by 


All these seeds come in Joseph Breintn all's packet. 

London, March 1st, 1735. 

Kind Friend John Bartram : 

I am now just returned to town from paying a visit to a noble 
lord, my most valuable and intimate friend. One of my proposals, 
I sent thee last year, to collect the seeds of your forest trees, was 
for him, as he is a universal lover of plants. I presented him with 
a share of the seeds thou sent last year, which was very acceptable. 
As he is a man of a noble and generous spirit, he very rationally 
considered thy pains and trouble in collecting them, and desired 
to make thee some returns, and left it to me. I thought a good 
suit of clothes, for thy own wear, might be as acceptable as any- 
thing, so have sent thee one, with all appurtenances necessary for 
its making up, which I hope will meet with thy approbation, and 
help in some measure to compensate for thy loss of time. 

My noble friend desires thee to continue the same collections. 
Send the same sorts over again, and what new ones happens in thy 
way, and sent at the same time o' year, and in the same manner, 
will do very well. Please to look in my other letter for my 
further remarks on this head. 

All the seeds were in good order, except the Allspice seed, 
which was musty. Perhaps that was owing to the dampness of the 
roots put up for Sir Hans Sloane. For the future, put up no 
moist thing with the seeds, but send them in a little box by 

If thee can compass to send thirty or forty sorts of your herba- 
ceous seeds every year, it will be sufficient. As to invoice of 
forest tree seeds, their quantity and price is fixed, so thee knows 
what thee does. Thee has had great luck, hitherto, in sending the 
seeds in good order ; I hope the like will attend thee in the forest 


tree seeds. I refer thee to my letters on that head, sent with the 

As our noble friend will be always grateful, I hope it will 
encourage thee to go on ; but yet I would have thee so proceed as 
not to interfere with thy private business. Indeed, the forest tree 
seeds I hope will bring money into thy pocket ; so the time spent 
in making the collection cannot be said to be lost or misspent. * * 

I hope thee hath mine per Captain Richmond ; with a parcel in 
the Library Company's trunk, and a box of seeds, in sand, per 
Richmond. I heartily wish thee and thine health and prosperity, 
and am Thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Pray give nobody a hint, how thee or thy wife came by the suit 
of clothes. There may be some, with you, may think they deserve 
something of that nature. 

If thee observes any curious insects, beetles, butterflies, &c, 
they are easily preserved, being pinned through the body to the 
inside of a little box. When it is full, send it nailed up, and put 
nothing within it, and they will come very safe. Display the 
wings of the butterflies with pins, and rub off the down as little as 
possible. When thee goes abroad, put a little box in thy pocket, 
and as thee meets with them put them in, and then stick them in 
the other box when thee comes home. I want a Terrajrin or two. 
Put them in a box with earth, and they will come safe. They 
will live a long while without food. 

London, August 16th, 1735. 

Kind Friend John Bartram : 

I had the pleasure of thine of June 13th, and am pleased the 
things was acceptable. I have sent the little box of seeds to our 
noble friend. What he raises, I have always share of. The large 
invoice that I sent thee was for him. I hope this will prove a 
good seed year, that thee may be able to send a cargo which will 
produce thee some money here. 

The Water Beech, or Button-wood, is known here as the 
Western Plane, and is in great plenty here, and makes a noble 
tree. Thee need not send any, for it is raised plentifully by cut- 
tings. But as for the Linden, or Lime tree, for aught I know, it 
may be a stranger, so pray send some seed. 

1735.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 71 

There are two captains, Richmond and Wright, whom I love 
and esteem, and will take care of anything for me. If it is a 
suitable time, send what thee canst per them. What is in casks, 
or boxes, tell them I will pay freight for ; but little matters they 
are so kind as to bring free. 

I am mightily pleased with thy account of the Sugar tree. 
Pray send me a little sprig, with two or three leaves dried between 
a sheet of paper, and if thee canst, the blossom. We imagine, 
here, it is a Poplar or Maple ; but when we see the flower, or seed- 
vessel, we shall soon determine. 


My valuable friend, John White, who is curious in our way, 
carried over the best collection of Pears that I believe ever came 
from England. If they come safe, and thrive, at my desire he will 
oblige thee with buds, or scions, at proper seasons. Pray wait on 
him with my respects, and ask the favour. 

As for Plums, Nectarines, and Apricots, I may send thee some 
grafts in the spring ; but it is my firm opinion, if they was budded 
or grafted on Peach or Almonds, which are stocks that produce 
the juices freer than any other, they would succeed much better. 
I should be glad thee'd try, that I may know the event. 

If the frost has such an effect on your vines, which I could 
scarcely believe in so south a latitude to us, you must do as they 
do in Germany. When the frosts set in, dig holes round the vines, 
and lay the last year's shoots in and cover them with earth, to 
preserve from the frosts ; and at spring take them up again, and 
then prune them for bearing. I am glad to hear that the Medlar 
grows. It is the large Neapolitan sort, which produces a large 
fruit. Doctor Witt, at Germantown, wants it much. I sent him 
some at the same time ; but whether he has any luck, I can't tell. 

I shall be careful to send the seeds thee mentions, and what 
others I can collect. 

My kind friend, I heartily wish thee and thy good wife health 
and prosperity. I am thy real friend, 


I have not seen my garden for near two months, having been a 
long journey into Cornwall and Devonshire ; so that what condition 
thy fine plants are in, I can't say. 

72 PETER COLLINSON [1735-6. 

London, March 12th, 1735-6. 

Dear Friend : 

On the other side thou will see thy account, drawn out with as 
much exactness as I could collect it from thy invoices. I have 
endeavoured to do justice between thee and thy noble employer. 
I have shown it to him, and he approves of it, and has ordered me 
to give thee credit for ,18 13s. 3d. ; part of it has been sent to 
thy order, and for the balance, thou may draw a bill on me, or 
order it in goods, which suits thee best. His lordship paid freight 
and all charges on the seeds, being willing to give thee all the 
advantage for thy encouragement. 

The things for thine and thy wife's wear, are a joint present 
from me and his lordship, for thy other seeds, and plants, and 
specimens, &c. 

As Lord Petre desired to see thy letters, they are all there. 
He admires thy plain natural way of writing, and thy observations 
and descriptions of several plants. For want of them, I shall only 
take notice of thy proposal, in one of them, for an annual allowance 
to encourage and enable thee to prosecute further discoveries. 
Lord Petre is very willing to contribute very handsomely towards 
it. He will be ten guineas, and we are in hopes to raise ten more. 
This, we think, will enable thee to set apart a month, two, or three, 
to make an excursion on the banks of the Schuylkill, to trace it to 
its fountain. But as so great an undertaking may require two or 
three years, and as many journeys, to effect it, so we must 
leave that wholly to thee. But we do expect, that after har- 
vest, and when the season is that all the seeds of trees and 
shrubs are ripe, thou will set out ; and them that happen not 
to be ripe when thou goes, they may have attained to maturity 
when thou comes back. We shall send thee paper for specimens 
and writing, and a pocket compass, expect thee'll keep a regular 
journal of what occurs every day ; and an exact observation of the 
course of the river, which, with a compass, thee may easily do. 

It will, we apprehend, be necessary to take a servant with thee, 
and two horses for yourselves, and a spare one to carry linen, pro- 
visions, and all other necessaries. If the spare horse, and the 
man's horse, had two panniers or large baskets on each side, they 
will be very convenient to carry paper, to take specimens by the 
way, and to bring back the seeds ; thee may make a good many 
little, middling, and large paper bags to put the seeds in ; and be 
sure have some good covering of skins over the baskets, to keep 

1735-6.] TOJOHNBARTRAM. 73 

out the rain, &c. Take some boxes for insects of all sorts, with the 
nets ; and on thy return, some particular plants, that thee most 
fancies, may be brought in the baskets, if there is room. 

Thee need not collect any more Tulip cones, Swamp Laurel 
cones, Hickory, Black Walnut, Sassafras, nor Dogwood, Sweet 
Gum, White Oak acorns, Swamp Spanish Oak, nor Red Cedar 
berries ; but all other sorts of acorns, Firs, Pines, Black Gum, or 
Black Haw, Judas tree, Persimmon, Cherries, Plums, Services, Hop 
tree, Benjamin, or Allspice ; all the sorts of Ash, Sugar tree, 
Wild Roses, Black Beech, or Hornbeam ; all sorts of flowering and 
berry-bearing shrubs, Honey Locust, Lime tree, Arrow-wood, a 
particular Locust, Guelder Rose : not anything can come amiss to 
thy friends, and in particular to thy true friend, 

P. Collinson. 

*^ ?l^ *j* 5}C ?JC JJ 5JC 

Dear Friend, As thee has given me many instances of thy 
curious, speculative disposition, it has put me on enlarging thy 
knowledge in natural inquiries, as the earth is filled with wonders, 
and everywhere is to be seen the marks and effects of Almighty 
power. Most things were made for the use and pleasure of man- 
kind ; others, to raise our admiration and astonishment ; as, in 
particular, what are called fossils, being stones, found all the 
world over, that have either the impressions, or else the regular 
form of shells, leaves, fishes, fungi, teeth, sea-eggs, and many other 
productions. That thee may better apprehend what I mean, I 
have sent thee some specimens, in a packet of paper for specimens 
of plants for Lord Petre, with some seeds, and a pocket compass. 
Captain Savage has promised to take care of the parcel. In the 
course of thy travels, or in digging the earth, or in thy quarries, 
possibly some sorts of figured stones may be found, mixed or com- 
pounded with earth, sand, or stone and chalk. What use the 
learned make of them, is, that they are evidences of the Deluge. * 
* * I hope Israel Pemberton is safe arrived, and the little box 
with chestnuts, and all the other parcels, with my letters, and the 
box of insects, are come safe. Pray don't forget, as soon as pos- 
sible, the specimens of Red and White Cedar, and a few white 
cedar berries. 

Dear Friend, I hope mine of the 12th instant, with the paper 
parcels, with seeds and pocket compass enclosed, per Captain 


Savage, are come to hand, as well as the sundry parcels, and 
letters, per Israel Pemberton. * * * * I further took 
notice of thine of November the 3d, in which thee modestly pro- 
poses to be allowed for thy pains and trouble in collecting seeds, 
and to enable thee to penetrate to the original of Schuylkill. His 
lordship is both ready and willing to encourage so laudable a 
design, and will endeavour to engage others to join with him. He 
proposes to be, himself, ten guineas, and to engage some others to 
be ten more. This, he is in hopes, will enable thee to set apart 
one, two, or three months, after harvest or as near as thee guesses 
when all sorts of mast and seeds are ripe. Thee talks of the 
spring, which is no suitable time to set out on such an expedition, 
for the interest of the gentlemen concerned : for what they propose, 
is, that thou may be able to furnish them with sorts of seeds, &c, 
that they had not before, and so desire thou will make some essay 
this autumn, and make some progress on the Schuylkill ; for such 
an expedition may require two or three journeys, to make the dis- 
coveries thou intends. Every uncommon thing thou finds, in any 
branch of Nature, will be acceptable. * * 

With the pocket compass, observe two or three times of the day 
the course of the river, and set it down in thy journal, in which, every 
day, write in short thy observations of that day. There is a dial 
to it, besides, which will be convenient to know the hour of the 
day. * * * * 

Thy account of the effects of the Poison-stick, in thine of the 
9th December, is very extraordinary. Pray send us a specimen of 
the plant, and make further inquiries about it. Give me a list, 
per first ship, what seeds thou Avants. I have the gardener, at 
the Physic Garden at Oxford, will assist me. 

Be mindful of insects of all kinds, and fossils ; any bird's nest, 
that is uncommon in its structure or materials. I have two or three 
humming-birds already ; however, if any more happens to fall in 
thy way, I'll not refuse them. I have heard say, your swallow's 
nest, and your bee's, wasp, or hornet's nest that hangs on the 
boughs of trees, is very curious. 

My dear friend, I wish thee health and increase of thy store, and 
be assured that I am thy real loving friend. In haste, 

P. Colllnson. 
London, March 20th, 1736. 

1736.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 75 

London, April 21, 1736. 

Dear Friend J. Bartram : 

I have now the pleasure to tell thee that I have got subscribed 
twenty guineas, to encourage thee to undertake thy intended expe- 
dition ; and as our gentlemen find encouragement, it will be con- 
tinued annually. This is a pretty sum in sterling money, which I 
hope will enable thee to supply thyself with necessaries from 
hence ; or, if more for thy profit, thou may draw for it when we 
have received thy cargoes. This, I believe thee will think reason- 
able, that the gentlemen should first see what they have for their 
money. This I can assure thee, that thee has to do with people 
that are not unreasonable in their expectations. 

Pray remember two or three specimens of the white and red 
cedars, and, if possible, pray send the berries, or seed-vessel of 
each, in particular the white cedar, for the seeds of this I am a 
stranger to. Half a dozen, per way of specimen, will be sufficient ; 
for though you call it the white cedar, yet we are in doubt what 
class it belongs to, until we see its seed-vessels. Thy subscription 
keep to thyself. Remember the Calceolus Marianus, or Lady's 
slippers, and Gentians. I refer thee to my former letters, for I 
have nothing more to add, but my sincere wishes for thy health 
and safety, and am thy affectionate friend, 


Specimens of the Sugar-tree blossom, and more seed. Remem- 
ber all sorts of Fir and Pine cones, and more Spruce. I am in- 
formed that the Jerseys is noted for producing abundance of Firs 
and Pines. I wish thee could procure some specimens of the 
curious tree in the Jerseys, either the leaves or the blossoms ; or 
both together, would be better. 

I am delighted with reading thine of the 3d November, with the 
pleasing account of thy expedition to the mountains, and the many 
valuable plants thee observed there. I hope thee will make an 
early expedition into those parts. The Thorn that thee tells me of 
must be very curious. It is a pity but it should be propagated. 
It will take easily, if grafted on other thorns in the spring ; which 
would be the most sure way, for seed does not always keep strictly 
to the mother plant. 


I have sent the paper, so pray continue thy specimens of all 

rare plants. 

One of the plants that is not named, that bears spikes of white 
flowers, and the leaves set on the joints like a star, four at a 
joint, i s called Veronica, or Speedwell [doubtless V. Virgi- 

nica, L.] 

If thee can procure some terrapins for Lord Petre, put them 
in a box of earth, and nail cross-bars on the top ; and if thee 
knows what they feed on, put in some food. I know they eat 
apples, cut in slices. 

London, June 1, 1736. 

Dear Friend John Bartram : 

Captain Richmond being a friend of thine, could not let him sail 
without a line, though I have nothing to add to my former, but to 
inquire after thy welfare. For fear my formers, of March 12th 
and 20th, and April 21st, should any miscarry, I will now repeat 
what I then told thee, that I have twenty guineas subscribed to 
encourage thy expedition : so I hope thou wilt proceed. 

A great many of thy seeds are come up ; but I am afraid the 
Tulip Tree cones was not well perfected, for none is yet come up. 
I indeed opened several, and found them imperfect, as well as the 
Sugar Tree. Must in particular desire thee to recruit these two 
sorts, next year. I am afraid the acorns will also fail : so pray 
send a collection of all sorts, especially the narrow-leafed Oaks. 
The seeds of the Jersey Tree are come up. By present appearance, 
it seems to be a Lotus, or Nettle-leaved Tree, which grows com- 
mon in Italy, and Naples, and other parts of Europe. Per my 
next, I may give a more particular account of it. 

The wetness of the mould, in the box of plants, rotted several 
things. I have but one Martagon, and I am afraid it is not the 
marsh one. Not one Lily. Pray be so kind to recruit thee with 
some of the fine large Slippers thou showed Doctor Witt ; and 
pray send some more of that pretty plant thou calls the Rock 
Blood-wort. It was rotted by over Avet. I take it to be a Oistus, 
by its flower. Devil's Bit, or Blazing Star, lost. If the pretty 
Sedum grows near thee, I would be glad of one trial more. All 
the white and red Shrub Honeysuckle failed. This is a ticklish 
plant. One of the Laurel stands. 


Pray send a root or two of the White Minor Hellebore. I have 
two fine plants of the cluster-bearing Solomon's Seal ; but the 
other sorts failed. 

Pray make large holes in next box, and let it be light mould, 
and not clay, for that retains the wet. 

Please to send over some good specimens, with the flowers to 
them, of the five humble evergreen plants that grow in the woods ; 
for I despair to have them in the garden, they are so nice and 
difficult in their culture. 

I am obliged to thee for the canes. I have put a neat head on 
one of them, and use it daily for thy sake. 

Whatever seeds thou sends, for the future, send to me, and I 
shall divide them in proportion to my three contributors. Lord 
Petre is ten guineas, the Duke of Richmond five, and Philip 
Miller the other five. 

I shall now conclude, referring thee to my other letters for what 
former requests and instruction I have made, and hope thee will 
excuse them, from thy loving friend. 


Pray send root or seed of that sweet-scented Golden Rod, thou 
sent the leaves of. 

Pray remember the White Cedar, to send two or three good 
specimens, and half a dozen of its cones, or seed-vessels : and pray 
send me, for a specimen, a little board, about two feet long, of 
each sort of Cedar, for a specimen. I have large trees of Cedars, 
raised from berries, in my garden, which I call Red Cedar ; but I 
never was sure which was either white or red, and wherein the 
difference lay. 

I have a tree of your Acacia, or Sweet White-flowering Locust, 
finely in blossom, has an agreeable scent. 

Friend John, this is only a hint, by the way : Lord Petre is a 
great admirer of your foreign wild water-fowl. If at any time an 
opportunity offers, send him some. Thou will lose nothing by it. 

But this he desired me to tell thee, that he desires thy children 
will brine him up some Red Birds cocks and hens for he has 
an intention to naturalize them to our climate, and I doubt not of 

These tilings I barely mention, for thy notice ; and am thine, 

P. C. 


London, June 6, 1736. 

Friend John : 

By the curious impressions sent per J. Breintnall, I find I 
have the Snake-root of Peter Sonmans, from Albany ; being the 
same recommended per Dr. Witt, who sent me a plant two or three 
years agone. But I don't find, by another impression taken 18th 
August, 1734, that I have what my friend Breintnall calls thy 
Snake-root. As it is difficult keeping thy marks regular to the 
plant thee designs them, so I have some plants in thriving order 
that I can't tell what they are. To inform me, please to send a 
specimen of Aristoloehia,* No. 3 ; a specimen of Panax, No. 5 ; 
Ditto, of Breintnall's Snake-root, | No. 6, and a good specimen 
of the Minor Hellebore, in flower; Ditto, Cotton-weed, No. 17; 
Sarsaparilla, I don't see any, No. 20. 

The Woody Vine has not yet shot. It is, by the berries, a 
Euonymus, or skewer-wood, used by the butchers, [doubtless 
(Jelastrus scandens, L.] 

The Apocinon, or Swallow-wort, with orange flowers [Asclepias 
tuberosa, L.], thrives well. One of the Dwarf Laurel grows well. 

The climbing Apocinon [Gronolobus, MxJ] that thee sent the 
pods filled with silk the seeds are come up. There is a great 
variety of plants, on the continent, that bear seed-vessels of the 
same figure and consistence ; these are all Apocinons, and have 
particular distinctions, from the colour of the flower, shape of the 
leaf, or particular growth of the plant. One would conceive, from 
the great provision made (by our all-wise Creator) for the spreading 
this plant, it was designed for particular uses to mankind ; for every 
seed has a silken thrum [or coma'] fixed to it, sufficient to keep it 
floating in the air, and when the pod bursts, then the wind conveys 
the seed to all quarters. 

If thee'll excuse my bits and scraps of letters, which I write as 
opportunity offers, thee'll oblige thine, 


* Probably Saururus cernuus, L., the leaves of which somewhat resemble those 
of Aristoloehia Serpentaria, L. 
f Sanicula Canadensis, L. 


June 7, 1736. 

Fkiend John : 

I have now a very curious account before me, sent by Paul 
Dudley, from his house in Roxbury, New England, October 24, 
1735 ; who very ingeniously describes the Evergreens of New 
England, in two sheets of paper. 

This is his catalogue : 

White Pine. White Cedar. 

Pitch Pine. Red Cedar. 

Saplin or Pople Pine. Savin. 

Apple Pine. Juniper. 

Hemlock, a small Fir. Holly. 

Balm of Gilead Fir. Ivy, a shrub. 

Spruce Tree, distinguished into Box. 

white, black, and red, from the 

colour of the bark and leaf. 

My kind friend, Dr. Witt, sent me, some years agone, several 
small plants that he called Spruce ; but, by the very particular 
description of P. Dudley, they prove to be the Hemlock ; for I 
have two fine plants, in my garden, which agree exactly with his 
description of the Hemlock ; and, to confirm me that P. Dudley 
is right, I had this year, come from Newfoundland, two fine Spruce 
trees, which both grow, and prove very different plants from what 
the Doctor sent me ; but agree exactly with P. Dudley's descrip- 
tion of the Spruce. This I send by way of information, and to 
put thee on observing what you have, of these kinds, growing near 

Very probably, in process of time, thy noble employers may 
send thee to visit New England, on one side, and Maryland and 
Virginia, on the other : but this by the by. 

But be it how it may, thee may be assured of the friendship of 

P. Collixson. 

If thee observes any sort of fresh-water or river shell-fish, pray 
send me two or three of each sort of shells, as specimens ; or any 
sort of land-snails, &c. Send me two or three shells of a sort, for 

80 PETER COLL1NSON [1736. 

a specimen. My inclination and fondness to natural productions 
of all kinds, is agreeable to the old proverb : Like the parson s 
barn, refuses nothing. 

London, August 28th, 1736. 

Dear Friend John Bartram : 

I received thy entertaining letter, the account of the expedi- 
tion to the Rattlesnake Mountains, which his lordship now has ; so 
can't in particular answer it. 

It was very well thought to put the small specimen of Cedar 
with the little cones in the letter. My friend says it is a true 
Cypress, having both the figure and properties of the common 
Cypress but the cones exceedingly less. The plant thee gathered 
last year, near the mountains, has the appearance, in leaves and 
flower, of Mallows ; but by the particular figure of the seed-vessels, 
it is called an Abutilon. There is another species that much 
resembles Mallows, but the seed-vessel being like a pod, it's called 

I did not send thy goods by this ship, because I am in hopes by 
the next, which sails in two or three weeks, to save the freight. 
Pray send some acorns of the narrow-leaved Oaks, cones of Tulip 
Tree, a specimen in flower of the Sugar Maple, and the seed, 
Flowering Bay cones, and whatever else thou thinks well of ; of 
timber trees and shrubs, &c. 

I am thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Send more Black Walnuts, Long Walnuts, and both sorts of 
Hickory, Acorns of all sorts, Sweet Gum, Dog-wood, Red Cedar 
berries, Allspice, Sassafras ; these will be acceptable to the Duke 
of Richmond ; and Lord Petre will like some more. Pack all the 
seed the same way as last year, for they succeed very well, a few 
excepted. The Acorns and Sweet Gum, and indeed most of all the 
other seeds are finely come up. The greatest deficiency is in the 
Poplar or Tulip cones, and the Sugar Tree. Not one of the Sassa- 
fras, nor Cedar berries, appears, but I presume they lie two years. 

Thy kind neighbour, James Logan, is so good as to order me 
to buy thee Parkinson's Herbal, if I can have it for 25 shillings. 
He has shown a very tender regard for thee, in his letter to me. 

1736.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 81 

It may look grateful, every now and then, to call and inquire after 
thy good friend Logan's welfare. He is a great man in every 
capacity, and for whom I have the highest value. 

Dear friend, I thought when I began, to write but two or three 
lines ; but I go on scribbling till the paper confines me. 


P. C. 

London, Sept. 20th, 173G. 

Friend John : 

I writ thee per Captain Pearce, and I have not much to add, 
but to acquaint thee that I have sent a case of glass, as per bill 
inclosed. ******* 

I have the pleasure to tell thee that the noble Marsh Martagon* 
flowered with me, which thou sent this spring. It is a delicate 

I have sent in a trunk to J. Breintnall, a paper parcel for 
thee, being Apricot, Nectarines, and some fine Peaches and Plum 
stones, of the best sorts. These fruits, I apprehend, will succeed 
better from seed than by grafting, unless on Peach stocks. Sow 
them in a proper place ; if where they are always to stand, it may 
be better. But if they are removed, I apprehend if Apricots, 
Plums, and Nectarines were planted on the margin of a river, or on 
the side of a feeding spring, where they may be always supplied 
with. moisture to their fibres, they would not be so apt to shrivel 
and drop their fruit, in the very hot weather. 

I have further to request of thee, as thee on thy own affairs art 
obliged to traverse the woods, to take all opportunities to make 
observations on the rattlesnake, or, indeed, any other snake. 

That birds, squirrels, &c, are found in their bellies, is notoriously 
known, but the question is, how they came there ; whether the 
snake, lying %)erdue, on a sudden darts on her prey and bites it, 
and then lies on the spot expecting the effect of her poisonous bite 
will at last bring the little animal down dead to her devouring 
jaws. Sir Hans Sloane, and a great many others, are of this 

* This name, Martagon, it is believed, is applied to those lilies which have revolute 
sepals, to distinguish them from those with merely campanulate flowers. The 
" noble Marsh Martagon," here referred to, was probably the Lilium superbiim, 
L., sometimes called Turk's cap. 


g2 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

opinion ; and by an ingenious letter from a curious person in your 
city, their opinion is very much confirmed. But on the other side 
of the question, I have received from my ingenious friends, J. 
Breintnall and Doctor Witt, very particular accounts of the 
power it has over creatures, by charming them into its very jaws. 
Possibly some accidental discovery may be made, when it is least 
thought on. It will require a nice and exact observation to deter- 
mine this matter. If thee knows anything of thy own knowledge, 
please to communicate it. The hearsay of others can't be de- 
pended on. The common and long-received opinion of charming, 
is so riveted in people's imagination, that unless they will divest 
themselves of it, they may not easily distinguish to the contrary. 

Pray has thee heard, or observed, that a certain species of 
locust returns every fifteenth year ? I have been informed of such 
a thing from New England. 

I want very much to be satisfied about the Sugar Maple, as to 
its flowers, if they are white, as thee has informed me before. 
Please, in the spring, to gather some specimens when in flower, 
and send me, and be very particular in thy remarks on it. 

We have raised a pretty many fine plants from the tree in the 
Jerseys. It is a real Lotus or Nettle tree [Celtis occidentalism L.], 
and is a native of your part of the world ; is found in Virginia and 
in other parts. Parkinson knew only of one sort, which is the 
European, with black fruit ; but we have in the gardens two sorts 
from your part of the world, distinguished by the colour of their 
fruit. * * * * 

Dear friend John, I am thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, January 20th, 1736-7. 

Dear Friend John : 

I can't enough admire thy industry and curiosity in descending 
to so many minute rarities that came in the box by Savage ; 
which are things very acceptable, but what commonly escape the 
observation of most, but such a prying eye as thine. They in an 
abundant manner deserve my thanks. 

It is true, in doing this thou hast very much obliged me ; but 
I suspect thee has entailed on thyself more trouble. The sight of 
those glorious large flies [meaning butterflies] thou sent, has not 

1736-7.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 83 

abated, but inflamed my curiosity to ask the same over again, or 
any others thou can add ; for as some of these, notwithstanding thy 
care, are a little torn, I hope in time, with a little practice, we 
shall have them perfect in all their parts, the horns, part of the 
wings, and bodies being deficient ; for I must tell thee, I design to 
bestow some expense on them, and enshrine them between two 
plates of glass, that we may see both sides. I know they are tick- 
lish ware to meddle with, and the very touch of one's fingers robs 
them of their beauty. 

I will a little revive thy memory with our manner of catching 
them. We put sticks into the handle of the nets, two, three, or 
four feet long ; for some flies are shyer than others, and will not 
suffer us to come near them. We always watch till they settle on 
a leaf, &c, then we apply both nets together, the one close under 
the leaf, and with agility clap the other over the fly. Thus she is 
caught between the nets. The next thing is to gently disengage 
the nets from the leaf, or twig, by gently drawing them ; but be 
sure keep them close together, lest she escape in this action. 
Having disengaged the nets, we lay them on the next smooth 
ground, and whilst the fly is between the nets, we turn it on its 
wrong side, and give the body a pretty smart squeeze between the 
finger and thumb, till we hear the ribs crack. This prevents 
further struggling, or beating their wings, to rub off the fine down. 
Then, with a pin, run it through the body ; and having a box large 
enough, we stick it in, with its right side to the box. When we 
come home, we display the wings with pins run through pieces of 
cork, which keep them regular and free from fluttering, as thee 
will find one in a box, for a pattern. 

The two moths are very surprising, the greenish one especially. 
Our virtuosi cannot enough admire it, for the singularity of its 
shape, uncommon to moths. These, I know, are more difficult to 
find, being flies of the night. Our virtuosi either breed them 
from caterpillars, or else dig for their chrysalis in the ground, and 
keep them in earth till they change into flies, and then in an 
hour or two kill them with a hot knitting-needle run into their 
bodies (for they are much harder than flies to kill) ; and then they 
stick them up, as above mentioned. If thee has a fancy to breed 
them, let me know, and we will inform thee in a more particular 
manner. It is a most entertaining and surprising thing to observe 

g 4 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

their changing from the caterpillar to the chrysalis. Every fly 
has a different proceeding. 

Always walk with a box or two in thy pocket, and then thee art 
provided ; for oftentimes, when one least expects, a curious thing- 
is seen, but perhaps lost or broke for want of a proper conve- 
niency to secure it. 

February 1st, 1736-7. 

Friend John : 

I have a strong opinion that our misletoe may be propagated 
with you, in the manner I have often tried with success ; and then, 
again, yours may be with us. I have sent some berries in a box. 

My method is to choose the smoothest part of some branch of 
an apple tree, and thereon I bruise the berry, but not the seed. 
By virtue of the glutinous matter about it, it will stick to the bark. 
The north side of the branch is best. If it sticks but loosely at 
first, yet in a few days there is a mutual attraction on both sides, 
and the seed will be found closely stuck to the bark. It is very 
pretty to see the progress of vegetation, and how the seed pushes 
forth two roots, which insinuate themselves into the bark. 

Its natural way of propagation is by a thrush, that is fond of 
the berries, and lives mostly on them whilst they last. 

It is surprising to think the seed should preserve its vegetating 
quality through the heat of the intestines of the bird, and the 
glutinous part with it, that wherever it lights it sticks fast. But 
such is the order of Providence ; and an evidence of the great 
wisdom and power of the Creator, to whom all things are possible. 

Pray send me some of your berries, for no doubt your misletoe 
differs from ours ; and please to send a specimen of what sorts 
you have. We have but one with us ; but with this difference, 
some are male, and some female that bear berries, others none, 
but the farina to impregnate the female blossoms. I have a pretty 
deal on sundry trees in my garden ; for I try all sorts, by the 
method prescribed. Being an evergreen, it makes a pretty show 
in winter. As this is a secret, thee may make it so, for few believe 
it, but it is fact. ***** 

I am thine, 


1786-7.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 85 

London, Feb. 3d, 1736-7. 

Dear Friend Johx Bartram : 

I am vastly obliged to thee for thy many kind favours, which I 
shall answer in course. But if it is irregular, I can't help taking 
notice of thine of the 18th November, in which thee thinks I have 
neglected to take notice of thy favour by young Israel Pemeer- 
tox, which thee certainly must misapprehend, or else my two 
letters (in answer to that), per Captain Cox, August 16th, and per 
Captain Greex, are not come to hand, for I keep a regular account 
of letters, and by whom answered, so can't mistake. Thee should 
not suspect thy friend, but suspend thy resentment till thee art 
certainly informed how things happened. Thee may assure thy- 
self, thee shall not fail of suitable and grateful returns from me. 
Perhaps I may be slow, but I am sure. 

The box of seeds by Israel, came safe, and was very acceptable 
to thy noble friend. The terrapins which I designed for him had 
bad luck. Some died, others the sailors stole : but Israel made 
all the amends he could, and gave me one that he had. He is a 
very ingenious, kind, good-natured lad. 

I was pleased to hear the few things proved worth your accept- 
ance. I hope this year to send thee something as a reward for 
thy trouble, which is more than I can imagine ; but thee may feli- 
citate thyself that the pains thee has taken is not for those who are 
insensible of it, and who will make suitable returns, though not 
equal to thy deserts. 

Thee writes for scions of pears. If my good friend Johx 
White's collection came safe, he has the best we have in England. 
No doubt, for my sake, he will oblige thee with some scions. 

I never heard it was insects that annoyed your Plums, Apricots, 
and Nectarines. If they are at the root, water that has tobacco 
leaves soaked in it will kill them, by making a basin round the 
tree, and watering it frequently with this water. 

I am amazed to hear that the frost, in your latitude, kills the 
vines in the winter. You must use the German method. Dig a 
trench, or hole close to your vine, and therein lay the young shoots, 
and then cover them with earth, which protects them from the 
frosts, and when they are over, take them up again and prune 
them. Pray how fares it with your wild, country vines ? I am 
strongly of opinion they will be best to make a vineyard, because 
they are habituated to your seasons : but then it will much depend 
on the skill of the person that chooses the vines to propagate. 

86 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

When they are ripe, a knowing person in grapes should ride the 
woods where they grow, and select out those that have good 
qualities, as good bearers, best-flavoured fruit, large berries, close 
bunches, early ripeners, and mark the trees, so as to know 
them again ; and from these take cuttings for a vineyard. In all 
wild fruits, there is a remarkable difference. When these come to 
be cultivated (as all fruits were once wild, and have been improved 
by culture), who knows but you may make as pretty a wine fit 
for your own drinking, and to serve your West India neighbours 
as Madeira, or any other particular country wine ? 

I am pleased to hear the Medlar grows. It is the great sort, 
from Naples. 

Please to remember, as I formerly desired, to get some strong 
plants, of your Ivy, or Bay [Kalmia latifolia, L.], that thee sent 
me some specimens of, and plant in a box, to stand a year, or two, 
or three, till it flowers in the box ; and some of your shrub, white 
and red, Honeysuckles. These are ticklish plants to keep here. 

I now come to answer thy kind letter of September 9th, per 
Budget. I am pleased to hear thee art acquainted with Dr. Witt 


* For the following account of Dr. Witt, the editor is indebted to John F. 
Watson, Esq., author of the interesting "Annals of Philadelphia." It -was fur- 
nished in a letter, dated Gercnantown, May 8, 1848. 

"Dr. Christopher Witt was a character in his day; and, as such, has been 
duly noticed in my Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, vol. ii., pp. 22, 32, 
to wit: He was born in England (Wiltshire) in 1675, came to this country in 
1704, died in 1765, aged 90. He was a skillful physician, and a learned man; 
was reputed a Magus or diviner, or, in grosser terms, a conjurer; was a student 
and a believer in all the learned absurdities and marvellous pretensions of the 
Eosicrucian philosophy. The Germans of that day and indeed many of the 
English practised the casting of nativities ; and, as this required mathematical 
and astronomical learning, it often followed, that such a competent scholar was 
called a 'fortune-teller.' Dr. Witt 'cast nativities,' and was called a conjurer; 
while Christopher Lehman, who was a scholar, and a friend of Witt, and could 
cast nativities, and did it for all of his own nine children, but never for hire, was 
called a notary public, a surveyor, and a gentleman. 

"Dr. Witt accumulated or owned considerable property in Germantown. He 
built the first three storied house ever erected in the place, and it was large in 
proportion. It is still standing ; was the residence, for many years, of the Rev. 
Dr. Blair ; is the same now owned by Colonel Alexander, and called the ' Congress 
Hall,' and is just now to be opened by Mr. Howell, as a superior boarding- 
house. Dr. Witt left all his property to a family of the name of Warmer, he 
saying they had been kind to him, on his arrival, in bestowing him a hat in place 
of his, lost on shipboard. 

"His remains now rest in a family ground, walled up by the Warmers, and 
now situate on the premises of Ann W. Morris." 

1736-7.1 TOJOHNBARTRAM. 87 

an old correspondent of mine, and has sent me many a valuable, 
curious plant. But I am afraid the old gentleman has been too 
cunning for thee. Those fine Lady's Slippers, which make my 
mouth water, have slipped beside it. The Doctor says he would 
have sent them me, but that he was afraid they were spoiled in 
bringing home, for want of proper care to wet the roots by the 

This accident brings to my mind a very pretty method, by which 
plants will keep fresh three or four days on a journey. Take three 
or four largest ox bladders, cut off the neck high, and when a plant 
is found, take it up with little earth to the roots ; put this into the 
bladder, then put water in the bladder, to cover the roots ; then tie 
up the neck of the bladder close round the stalk of the plant, 
leaving the leaves, flowers, &c, without. Large plants won't do so 
well ; but several small plants may be put in a bladder. When 
tied, hang it to the pummel, or skirts of the saddle, or any other 
convenient way thee may choose. If the water wastes, add more. 
Thus plants, with little trouble, may be kept a long while fresh. 
It is always best, if water can be had, to add it immediately at 
taking up the plants. 

But these fine Lady's Slippers, don't let escape, for they are 
my favourite plants. I have your yellow one, that thrives well in 
my garden ; but I much want the other sorts. Pray show the 
Doctor no more. But I find thee has taken the hint thyself. 
Don't say anything I have writ, neither shall I take any notice of 

It is with pleasure, when we read thy excursions (and wish to 
bear thee company) ; but then it is with concern that we reflect on 
the fatigue thee undergoes, the great risks of thy health in heats 
and colds ; but above all, the danger of rattlesnakes. This would 
so curb my ardent desires to see vegetable curiosities, that I should 
be afraid to venture in your woods, unless on horseback, and so 
good a guide as thee art by my side. 

Thy expedition for the curious tree, in the Jerseys, truly shows 
an indefatigable disposition in thee to oblige us here : I hope thee 
will not fail to find some gratitude in us. The seed is exceeding 
fresh, but such as I never saw before ; of a pleasant taste, some- 
thing like Juniper berries. I wish thee had described the tree to 
us ; but, what would have saved thee that pains, would have been, 
to send us two or three specimens of the leaves, or branches, of a 
size proper to enclose between a sheet of paper, and then to tell us 


whether it sheds its leaves, or is an evergreen, and what blossoms 
it has. Do not go on purpose ; but whenever thee goes that way, 
pray procure some. 

The leaves of the Sugar Tree are very informing, and are a 
great curiosity; but we wish thee had gathered little branches 
with the flowers on them, and some little branches with the keys 
on them. The seeds of this tree, (which, by the leaves and keys, 
is a real Maple,) I cracked a many of them, and not one has a 
kernel in them, which I am surprised at. Whether they were not 
fully ripe, thee canst best judge ; but so it is. We must desire 
thee, next year, to make another attempt, and send us some speci- 
mens. Its bearing white blossoms is an elegance above any other 
of this tribe, that I know of ; for we have' two sorts in England 
a major, which is commonly here called Sycamore, and the other is 
a minor, less every way ; and both bear bunches of greenish blos- 
soms, succeeded by keys, like those thee sent. 

From thy assured friend, 


London, February 17, 1737. 

Dear Feiend : 

5jl ,- 5} 5f JjC j 

As thee designs for Virginia, in the fall, I have sent thee circular 
letters to all my friends ; which letters come to J. Logan, to save 
thee postage. I think it would be better to proceed along the bay 
of the Western Shore of Maryland first, and so to Williamsburgh, 
and then up into the country, and so back, as thou proposed ; and 
my reason is, little new, or curious, is to be met with along the 
Western Shore, or in the lower settlements of Virginia. The rare 
and valuable things are to be found above, in the unsettled places ; 
and then thou will proceed directly home with what seeds thou has 
got : whereas, if thou goes the upper way first, thou will have to 
bring what thou has collected down Virginia, and over to Mary- 
land, which will be very troublesome and fatiguing, and a long 
way about. 

I have sent my letters open, that thou may make memorandums 
from some particular contents therein mentioned, and then seal 
them up. Of all my friends in Maryland, I know none that are 
curious in our branch of knowledge ; so that, unless it is in the 

1737.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 89 

course of thy travels, it is not worth thy while to go out of thy 
way on purpose to see them. I would have thee go, if thee can, 
to see Robert Gover, to see the place where some surprisingly 
fashioned angular stones are found. As to the rest, take them as 
it suits thee. But in Virginia, there is Colonel Custis, and Colonel 
Byrd, are both curious men. Pray take down what I have re- 
marked for thee to inquire after, the Umbrella Trees at the first, 
and the Ginseng at the last. 

Then when thee proceeds home, I know no person will make 
thee more welcome than Isham Randolph. He lives thirty or 
forty miles above the falls of James River, in Goochland, above 
the other settlements. Now, I take his house to be a very suitable 
place to make a settlement at, for to take several days' excursions 
all round, and to return to his house at night. * * * * One 
thing I must desire of thee, and do insist that thee oblige me 
therein : that thou make up that drugget clothes, to go to Virginia 
in, and not appear to disgrace thyself or me ; for though I should 
not esteem thee the less, to come to me in what dress thou will, 
yet these Virginians are a very gentle, well-dressed people and 
look, perhaps, more at a man's outside than his inside. For these 
and other reasons, pray go very clean, neat, and handsomely 
dressed, to Virginia. Never mind thy clothes : I will send more 
another year. 

I a little wonder, that the eastern sea-shore, nor the island, 
afforded no shells. That there was none, I am persuaded ; for, 
had they been there, they would not have escaped thee. Pray ob- 
serve if there are no land or river shells, different from what thee 
has sent me. I want a fair specimen of your oysters ; an upper 
and an under shell, both belonging to one another, will be accept- 
able ; but no more. Sassafras berries, the cones of the Swamp 
Rose-bay, or Laurel, are much wanted, and acorns of Willow-leaved 
Oak. Thy last cargo is a fine collection, and came in fine order. 
Tulip Poplar and Sweet Gum are not wanting. I thank thee for 
the Sweet Gum ; but I want some of the Black Gum. Pig-nuts 
will be acceptable : they are a very small species of hickory. Send 
more acorns ; and cones oi; seeds of all the evergreen tribe will be 
acceptable ; and some more Allspice or Benjamin, and any other 
forest trees. ***** 

I sent thee a case of boxes, which are very hard, and will save 
the trouble of making. Thee may cut down the rims, and accommo- 

90 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

date them to thy pocket. Pray take one or two, with the fly-nets, 
in a bag by thy side, and some pins. Perhaps thee may meet 
with something curious, and may want conveniency to catch and 
carry it. If the nets are torn, or worn out, send them back to be 

My wishes are for thy health and safety. 

I am truly thine, 

P. Collinson. 

The wasps, and nests, are all very curious and acceptable. 

London, February 26th, 1736-7. 

Dear Friend John : 

Thou omitted to tell us how many miles thou travelled from 
home. Pray, by the first ship, let me know to what part of the 
country thy inclination leads thee, next fall. 

I believe it will be acceptable to all thy friends, to make a 
general collection of all the Pines, and Firs, your part affords. I 
am apt to think the Jerseys may afford all the Pines and Firs 
mentioned by Dudley, and save a further journey. We are very 
poorly furnished with this tribe. The few seeds, and specimen No. 
113 of the White Pine, is a sort we very much want. The dif- 
ference between Pines and Firs is, that all Pines have their leaves 
set by pairs [or fascicles] ; and in all Firs, the leaves are set 
singly on the branches. 

It is a noble collection of Spruce cones that thee has sent ; but 
we are at a loss to know the plant it belongs to, for want of speci- 
mens. Pray send some by the first opportunity ; for there are 
several sorts of Firs that bear small cones. 

It is a fine parcel of White Cedar, that thee has sent. I wish 
we may be so fortunate to raise some. It is a plant that we 
have not in England. I wish thee would collect a few young seed- 
lings, a foot or two high, and plant in thy garden till they have 
stood a year and taken root, and then send them ; or what would 
be better is, to plant six or eight in a box, about two feet scpiare, 
and if they grow, they may be sent without danger of removing : 
and pray send more seed next year. 

What does thee make of those substances with the sprigs growing 
through them ? I take them to be excrescences, though they have 
some small resemblance of the Cypress cone. 

1736-7.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 91 

But of the great variety of new and curious plants, in the four 
quires of specimens, none strikes me so much as the Laurel No. 
102. What class our botanists will rank it in, I can't say. Had 
we but the flowers, it could then be easily determined. But it has 
all the appearance of a noble plant, and will be, undoubtedly, a 
great ornament to our gardens. By all means, either send seeds 
or plants. I hope some may be discovered nearer home, than to 
go so far. 

All those specimens that have neither flower nor seed-vessel, it 
will be difficult to determine what class they belong to. 

This I must observe to thee : that I really think no pains have 
been wanting to oblige us with a prodigious variety, in every kind. 
As to thy particular regard to me, I am truly sensible of it : and 
that I may not be behindhand in gratitude, I have really taken a 
task on me, which takes up so much of my time, and is so much 
trouble, that for thy sake, only, I undertake it, in hopes twenty 
guineas a year may be of some service : but thee art not sensible 
the time and trouble it takes up, to get these things from on board, 
and from the Custom-house ; and had I not good friends amongst 
the commissioners, I should have a great deal more, and pay a 
duty beside, and what is yet a greater difficulty on me, it happens 
* * * * As to thy objection, as to the size of your Cypress 
cone, it is none ; for the same is to be observed in other seeds. 
There are very small acorns, and very large ones, and yet one as 
much an oak as the other. The cone of the Cypress that sheds 
the leaves, very much resembles the Italian, for size and figure. 
Of this we have raised abundance, from Virginia and Carolina. It 
is a fine tree, and thrives mightily with us. 

London, March 14, 1736-7. 

Friend John : 

I am just now returned from paying our noble friend a visit, 
where I have been viewing his plantations, and concerting measures 
for another progress, if thee thinks proper to undertake one. He 
thinks, with me, that to take a turn through your three lower 
counties, and then along the sea-coasts of the Eastern Shore to the 
capes, and then return round the bay home, leaving the Western 
Shore of Maryland and Virginia for another time ; and the going 
northward in search of Firs and Pines may be for the present 

92 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

deferred. Beside the sorts I mentioned before, that a few of 
each would be sufficient for our two correspondents that did not 
share in the first cargo, I have here added a list of what sorts will 
be acceptable to the general. But this I have to observe to thee ; 
if these seeds can be got nearer home, then there is no occasion to 
go far for them ; for the time spent in journeying, may be spent 
nearer, in gathering : but this we shall leave to thee ; being per- 
suaded all thee does will be for the best. But, if thee should think 
fit to visit the Eastern Shore, I have some particular friends there, 
to whom I shall give thee letters, who, no doubt, will give thee 
hospitable entertainment. 

March 20th. Thy Columbine is in flower, which is earlier than 
any we have, by two months. It is a pretty plant, and more so 
for its earliness. We thought we should have had but a small 
crop of the wild cherries ; for some came up the first year, and 
kept their leaves all winter like an evergreen ; but, to our surprise, 
they are now coming up in abundance, as well as the Red Cedar. 
The Sassafras does not stir yet. There are thousands of the Sweet 
Gum ; some kept their green leaves all winter. 

Inclosed are some berries of the Butcher's Broom and Juniper, 
which grows wild in his lordship's woods, and which he gathered 
with his own hands, March 10th ; so must be full ripe, but will not 
appear till the second year. Where they are sown, be sure keep 
the bed clear from weeds. 

Pray be so kind to mention if those nests are Wasp's, Bee's 
or Hornet's, and send me two or three of the creatures that build 
them. They are very curious : one I gave to Sir Hans Sloane. 

His lordship was mightily pleased with thy journal, but wants to 
know the length of the cave, and how far you went from home. 
He very much desires some seed of that fine Laurel thee discovered 
beyond the Blue Mountains, and some specimens of it when in 
flower, if this can be obtained without difficulty. There is another 
plant that we want seed and specimens of, that is the Papaw. 
His lordship has one plant of it, but they tell us such stories of its 
fruit, that we would be glad to see it ; which may be easily done, 
by gathering two or three bunches of its fruit, full ripe, and 
putting them into strong rum, in a jar or pot, and corking it up 
close, will keep very well here. Specimens of it in flower, will be 

Pray how long does thou think is the course of the Schuylkill ? 

1736-7.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 93 

Pray remember specimens of Sugar Maple, in flower. The 
Berry Tree in the Jerseys are come up freely ; it is real Lotus. 

I believe thee forgot to send the large specimens of White 
Cedar, with the cones on them. I take it, your Spruce is certainly 
Dudley's Hemlock Fir, which is called here the Yew-leafed Fir. 
I believe that tree in the Jerseys, by thy account of it, must be 
the Carolina Cypress. It is a noble, quick-growing tree, and 
thrives well here. 

In thine of September 4th, thee gives a very particular ac- 
count how your Plums are destroyed by an insect. Pray change 
the stock, and graft Plums and Nectarines on Peach stocks, which, 
being a vigorous, free stock, and not liable to these insects, may 
succeed better. Pray try ; I have a great opinion of its suc- 

What thou observes on the vines and their culture, ought not to 
discourage (nor will not,) the indefatigable man. Patience and 
perseverance overcome the hardest things. In time, no doubt but 
a vineyard may be raised, of the select sorts of your country 
grapes. From one vine the branches may be laid down on every 
side ; and in a few years a large spot may be run over. One 
quarter of an acre, or half an acre, with us will yield five and ten 
hogsheads [?] per year, which is enough to make the experiment. 
But the great art, beside planting, is pruning. A person well 
skilled will never want fruit, if the seasons permit. 

Some of the living creatures thou mentions in particular the 
large squirrels, to turn loose in his lordship's woods : but this 
we must leave till we can find a captain that will take care of them. 
If our friend Chakles Reed's son Charles should have a ship, 
we might have some hopes : but to send red-birds or anything else, 
till we have a proper conveyance, is great time and trouble lost. But 
this, I think, may be easily done, to send terrapins ; but put them 
into a cask, with earth at bottom, and holes all round ; but this 
must be in the autumn, after they have had their summer's feed. 
And your water-turtles, no doubt, may be sent the same way, and 
at the same time of year, being taken before they hide them- 
selves in the ground ; and then they will live without food, and 
have a chance of coming safe to us, for the last were all washed 

Dear friend, thy entertaining letters of June 5th and 15th, I 
should have taken notice of sooner, but they have been out of my 

94 PETER COLLINSON [1736-7. 

hands, at his lordship's. Thy account of the White Cedar is very 
satisfactory. It is a very odd whim, in your people, to think that 
the Barberry blasteth corn.* 

Thy journey to the Blue Mountains shows thee art not to be 
daunted by faint-hearted fellows : but yet, where there is a mortal 
enemy near, it requires prudence and caution in every step that is 

If thee apprehends any of the specimens are not exactly named, 
it is but sending me the same over again, with thy remarks. Thee 
forgot a specimen of the Leather-wood. It seems to be baccife- 
rous, or Berry-bearing. Send more seed. All the specimens are 
gone to Oxford. When they are sent back, with their names, thee 
shall hear from me. 

Jf. >; * % % :|: ^ 

Thy letter came too late for Briony seeds ; but I will send some 
next year, and some of those other seeds, thou mentions : but 
as they are plants that are but few of them cultivated in gardens, 
but grow wild up and down the country, that makes the difficulty 
to procure them. * * * * * 

Now, I shall take my leave of thee, wishing thee and thy good 
woman and children, health and prosperity. 

I* am thy sincere friend, 


London, March 22d, 1736-7. 

Dear Friend John Bartram: 

At the receipt of this, go to Mr. Shippen, who is partner with 
our worthy friend J. Logan, and ask for a parcel directed for thee. 
In it, thou wilt find a box with seeds, as per catalogue inclosed, 
with two letters for thee, and two more to gentlemen, my particular 
friends, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Seal them, if they 
will be of any use to thee. James Holliday, Esq., lives on 
Chester River; and George Robins, Esq., on Choptank River. 
These directions, (being in a hurry,) I forgot to set down. There 
is one for Doctor Hill, of London Town; but as that is on the 
Western Shore, lay it by till thou visits that quarter where I 

* This " odd whim," it is believed, was brought from the mother country ; but 
it is not as extensively entertained as some other notions from the same quarter : 
such, for instance, as the transmutation of plants, and the fascinating power of 

1737.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 95 

have many friends, and some of the first rank in Virginia. If let- 
ters will be any service to thee, thou shall not want them. 

Inclosed, is some seed of a noble annual, grows six or seven 
feet high, and makes a beautiful show with its long bunches of red 
flowers : but I am afraid it will be too late to venture it, this year. 
However, sow half, and keep the other till next year. It is called 
the great oriental Persicaria. 

I am, with love, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Pray does the Marsh Trefoil, or Buck-bean, increase, that was 
sent to our friend Charles Reed ? It grows wonderfully, in very 
moist, shallow, watery places. 

I find I had none of the plants of the first cargo grow, as under. 
If it happens in thy way to supply them, pray do. * * * * 

Dittany, good against the bite of snakes, did not grow. 

Devil's Bit, or Blazing Star, this failed. 

Pray has thee happened to be that way, when the wild Lupin 
was in seed? It flowers in the spring, and grows in sand, as thee 
observes. The root is long and stringy; so must be raised from 
seed, being very difficult to transplant. 

Pray have I that plant lately discovered, of such wonderful 
efficacy to cure sore breasts? A sort of Colt's-foot, by the Pala- 
tines called Aristolochia \_8aururus cernuus, L.]. Pray send the 
method of cure, and some seed. 

Pray what are the virtues of the plant sent me by the name of 
the Panax? It grows well, and is called by Tournefort, Aralia 

Thee has twice sent me a catalogue of divers plants thou desires. 
I have sent it to P. Miller, and desired him to plant what he has 
of them in a case, to be ready to be sent by the last ship in the 

London, May 20th, 1737. 

Friend John: 

I here inclose thee the names of the plants, or specimens, last 
sent, as I had them from Dr. Dillenius, Professor of Botany at 
Oxford;* to whom I have yearly imparted of thy seeds. He is 

* The list of plants or specimens, here referred to, as named or remarked 
upon, amounts to upwards of two hundred. The authorities relied upon, seem to 
be Tournefort and Parkinson. 


willing to make thee some acknowledgment for the trouble of col- 
lecting. I could not think of anything I thought would be more 
acceptable than P. Miller's Dictionary, as it contains the whole 
system of Gardening and Botany. By the assistance of that book, 
and Parkinson's, thou will be enabled, by their indexes, to find 
out any plant with a Latin name, that may be mentioned in the 
inclosed catalogue. As I have taken a pretty deal of pains in the 
catalogue, I have the less to write here. 

By what I can observe of the fine Laurels, No. 102 and 108, or 
Chamcerhododendros, their seed seems to be light and chaffy, which 
is the worst sort of seed to send over for keeping; that I don't ex- 
pect we shall ever raise them here, but must depend on plants: so, 
prithee, go at a proper season to the nearest place, and load a pair 
of panniers or baskets, with young plants, and set some in thy 
garden to take root, and send half a dozen at a time: for this 
seems to me to be the most elegant tree that has been discovered 
in your province. 

Indeed, in South Carolina, there is the Magnolia, or great 
Laurel-leafed Tulip Tree, which is an evergreen grows sixty feet 
high its leaves are as large again as yours, and the flowers white, 
of a rose or water-lily figure, but as large as the crown of one's 
hat. There is one in England, that flowers every year finely; and 
I have several plants in my garden. 

Another particular thing I must request, that is, to get a hand- 
ful or two of White Cedar cones, for Philip Miller ; for, in sepa- 
rating the seeds, by accident he had none of the White Cedar 

But what I admire is, that thou doth not tell me how thou 
would have returns made for the twenty guineas. Thou loses time 
in making money, and an opportunity to have sent goods freight 
free, per Captain Richmond or Captain Savage. It is surprising to 
me thou did not send the order with the seeds, and leave it to my 
discretion to send thy returns. Now, as soon as thou can, it will 
be near a twelvemonth before thou will see anything for thy 
trouble; and at last be obliged to pay freight, if a strange captain 
or else not send the goods ; so that, be it as it will, thee art like 
to be a sufferer by thy own neglect. 

Another thing I would gently touch on, and that is, to be as 
close and compact in the packing the seeds as possible ; for the 
freight and charges come to a great deal. The last cargo came to 

1737.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 97 

2. 12s. 6d. Had thee a thought on this, thee would have packed 
some things closer. To give thee an idea of the charge, I shall 
inclose a freight bill, in which the captain has charged primage to 
every parcel, which is not customary ; hut that depends on an 
agreement made in the bill of loading. Next cargo, I shall beg 
the assistance of our friend Israel Pemberton, or Joseph Breint- 
jSTALL, to make the agreement in the bill of loading for thee. 

If another time thee sends any growing plants, a great many 
may be packed close together in a case two feet square, or two 
feet wide, and three long. As to thy care of the names, it does 
not much signify ; for when I see them grow, or flower, can soon 
distinguish them. 

I hope thee will take these friendly hints in good part, as it is 
intended. I am with much love, 

Thy sincere friend, 

P. Colllnson. 

The fine white Lady's Slippers have not 
flowered. We have had an unkindly spring, which has kept the 
plants back ; but most, if not all, seem alive, except the flowering 
Shrub. I must say, I never saw plants taken up with more judg- 
ment, and come better. But great allowance must be made for 
difference in climate, soil, and seasons. We want a little more of 
your heat, at this season of the year, for your country plants ; and 
yet some sorts grow and thrive as well as in their own country. 
The Marsh Martagon is going to flower very strongly. Pray look 
out for two or three roots of yellow-flowering Lady's Slipper : mine 
begins to decline. 

I presume thee continues thy resolution for thy intended pro- 
gress through the lower counties to the Capes, and then round the 
Eastern Shore of Maryland home. But if thee thinks thee can do 
better nearer home, then save thyself that trouble. 

Variety of acorns are wanting. I refer thee to my other letters, 
as to other particulars. 

I hope thou have mine, and the things, by our friend Robert 
Grace, who has taken some pains to make himself master of flux- 
ing metals. He will be able to give our friend Wolley some 
satisfaction as to the richness and quality of his ores. I have 
shown them to a knowing man, who has given me his opinion of 



them, as far as lie could guess, without smelting ; which at my 
leisure shall communicate. 

* * * Dear John, I shall only now acknowledge the 
receipt of thine by Captain Headman. It contains many curious 
remarks and observations in nature, and very pertinently and well 
expressed ; needs no apology for thy natural way of expressing 
thyself; is more acceptable, clear and intelligible than a fine set 
of words and phrases. I take it very kind at thy hands. The 
variety of matter it contains, affords a great pleasure to thy loving 



Our friend Captain Richmond often talks of thee, and of a fine 
Ivy, or Bay, that grows on a bank going down to the river. Pray 
send me a good specimen or two, in full flower. 

London, August 12, 1737. 

Dear Friend John : 

I am now to thank thee for thine, by Lindsay, which contains 
many curious things that deserve my notice and particular re- 
marks ; but at this time of year I am so unsettled between the 
town and country, that I have not really time to consider thy last 
two curious letters. For this reason, don't think I slight them, 
because I am for the present silent about them. I assure thee, 
thou canst not do me a greater pleasure than to entertain me with 
any history of nature. But this I must tell thee, as a friend : I 
am afraid thou takes up too much of thy time to oblige me. I am 
so much thy friend, that I entreat thee not to let any of thy affairs 
suffer on my account. 

Indeed, when thou art collecting, thou art paid for it. I hope 
this year will prove kindly, that we may have a collection of Oaks. 
Send but a few of the White Oak, and Swamp Spanish Oak. I 
believe most thou sent are come up, and thrive finely. We have a 
great quantity of the Cherry up : it is a fine plant. Red Cedar 
comes up very strong ; but I don't yet see the Sassafras. Tulip 
Poplar in great abundance. This, with most other of your country 
seeds, will some come up the first but more the second year. 
Send no more Tulip Poplar. Some of your Swamp Laurel, or Bay 
[Magnolia glauca, L.], is come up, and thrives well ; but we want 


a great deal more of its cones. It is a fine plant ; and when the 
wind turns up the silver side of its leaves, it has a pretty effect. 
As to the Bay Laurel, called Ivy [Kalmia, L.], it is in vain to 
send any of its seed (unless soon as gathered sown in a box of 
mould) ; for it is so small and chaffy, it will not keep. I have had 
a great deal from Virginia ; but none grows. There is no way so 
good as plants. I have sufficient for myself; but Lord PETRE.may 
want some. But a year or two hence may do. I am afraid a like 
fate will attend the seed of that noble Laurel thou discovered near 
the Blue Mountains. A cargo of growing plants will be a rarity 
worth accepting. Next time, thou must try what thou canst do. 

First, get a strong cargo of young plants into thy garden. Pray 
make it thy business this fall ; and when they have stood a year, 
and drawn root, they may with more safety be sent, as opportunity 

I received very safe, thy two boxes by Captain Lindsay. The 
bulbous roots came all in very good order ; seem singular odd 
plants. I shall give thee Doctor Dillenius's opinion of them, 
when he has seen them. I am much obliged to thee for them. 

I have not yet had time to examine thy map up Schuylkill, and 
all the other curious things in that box ; but I shall do it first 
opportunity. Nothing that thou sends is lost or forgot with me. 

But one thing I must tell thee, while I think on it : that I 
admire thou has not given me directions in what nature thou 
would have the twenty guineas remitted, for the last cargo. Thou 
loses time. Certainly the money, or money's worth, would be 
very useful to thee. If to draw on me for it in money will be 
most advantageous to thee, do it ; for it is entirely equal to me in 
what manner thee art paid. 

As I have been up and down in the country, I could not forget 
my friend John, but have collected a variety of seeds ; possibly 
some will be acceptable. They will have this use, to help thee to 
know our wild plants. I would advise thee to sow them all, as 
soon as thou receives them. Prepare a fresh bed of good mould ; 
lay it out regular, and sow the seeds in rows, at a foot or more 
distant ; mark each row with a number, and to that number in thy 
book, write the name. Keep the bed nicely clean from weeds; for 
suffering them to grow is the reason that many small seeds are 
choked and lost ; and observe never to disturb a bed till after the 
second spring ; for some seeds lie two seasons. I have sent thee 


two sorts of Pine, the Silesia Pine, and the Great Stone Pine, with 
the large cone. This grows on the Alps. The seeds are large 
and sweet, and much eaten in Italy. Sow these where they may 
not be dripped on by any trees, and where they may have only the 
rising or setting sun. The Stone Pine ought to be sown where it 
is to stand, for they are difficult to remove. 

Pray does thou take a trip to the Eastern Shore in the fall ? I 
am glad to hear Clay is arrived. I hope thou has mine per 
Richmond. I sent thee a magnifying glass for thy pocket, and 
now send thee Ellis's book. I am, dear John, 

Thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

I hope the cargo by Richmond is come safe. Let me know 
what luck. 

Pray remember to send me the blossom and fruit of the Papaw, 
in a little jar of rum. We never had yet a specimen of this tree 
in flower ; and I want much to see the fruit, which will keep fresh 
in rum. * * * 

[Here follows a long list of European seeds sent.] 

I hope this cargo and that per Captain Richmond will show 
thee I am no slothful, forgetful fellow. 

Pray my love and respects to our friend, Joseph Breintnall. 

Pray send or carry the enclosed letter to Dr. Kearsley. 

I have given Lord Petre the Humming-bird's nest and eggs, so 
pray look out for another. 

London, Sept. 8th, 1737. 

Dear Friend John : 

I can now only tell thee that I have sent a parcel of seeds, in a 
parcel to your proprietor, Thomas Penn. 

Dress thyself neatly in thy best habits, and wait on him for 
them ; for I have in a particular manner recommended thee to him. 
I have desired him to show thee the Natural History of South 
Carolina, in eight books, finely coloured to the life ; so forget not 
to ask that favour. First inquire his most leisure time, and then 
wait on him. 

I hope the goods and box of seeds, per Captain Lindsay, with 

1737.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 101 

these now sent, will let thee see I have not been idle this summer. 
Some may be acceptable. What thee does not like, throw away. 

Pray think of the fine new Laurel. We sadly want a specimen 
of it in flower, with its description. 

Pray remember, without fail if thou' 11 oblige me, to send the 
Papaw fruit, full ripe, sent in a bottle or little jar of rum, and two 
or three specimens of it in flower, with a description of the colour 
of the flower ; for I want to have it engraved and painted. 

I am three letters in thy debt, but no leisure yet. I am just 
going out of town for some time, so must bid thee farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

Thee will see Doctor Dillenius's seeds, by his handwriting. 

London, Dec. 10th, 1737. 

Dear John : 

A little leisure invites me to peruse thy several entertaining 
letters. I shall proceed in order, and begin with thine of Feb. 27th. 

Thy account of the locusts is very curious, and very entertaining 
to me and my friends, and shows that nothing escapes thy notice. 
Their surprising method of darting the sticks is admirable. Pray 
watch, as it happens in thy way, what shape they take as soon as 
they are hatched. Pray have they wings, when they creep out of 
the ground ? Procure me one, if thee canst, in their first state of 
coming out of the ground ; and when the back opens, is it a real 
grasshopper ? for I take it, all grasshoppers are locusts. Set me 
right if I am wrong. 

Pin some of each sort in a box, with a number to each, for I 
have some doubts if they have not three or four different appear- 
ances. First, from the egg, they are a worm or caterpillar ; then 
they go into the ground, and change ; when they come out of the 
ground, their back opens, and produces a monstrous large fly ; 
then, I apprehend, they turn to a grasshopper or locust. 

As to that caterpillar that comes in such numbers, we have 
something like it in England. They will eat the oaks and hedges 
bare, but never kill them, which I take to be owing that, as we 
have not the sun's heat so strong with us, so our vegetation is 
weaker, so the tree by degrees recovers its verdure again ; but 
with you, the heat so rarities the sap or juices in trees, and puts it 


in such vigorous action, and for want of young shoots and leaves 
to divert it, by growth and perspiration, the vessels burst, or the 
circulation stops for want of vent, that the tree soon dies. 

If thee was to observe, all these caterpillars that spin up like 
silkworms produce a large moth; and all chrysales that thee finds 
hang'ng naked, produce butterflies, or day-flies. 

If thee was to take the cluster of eggs round the twigs, and keep 
them till time of hatching, and feed them with the leaves of the 
tree they were found on, thee might see the whole process; or, if 
I could have some sent time enough, with an account of what tree 
they were found on, we have people would think it well worth their 
while to hatch them. This would be a pretty amusement for thy 
children. They would soon learn, if a little instructed. 

I have heard frequent accounts of the prodigious flocks of 
pigeons; but thy remarks on the wonderful provision made by our 
all-wise Creator, for the support of the creation, are well worth 
notice. The balance, kept between the vegetable and the animal 
productions, is really a fine thought, and what I never met with 
before. But it is more remarkable with you, than with us; for you 
have wild animals and mast, in greater plenty than we have. 

I can't help but being of thy mind, with regard to the rattle- 
snake; for, if creatures were bit by him first, I can't imagine they 
could be able to run away. Pray compare notes with Dr. Kears- 
ley, who is of the contrary opinion, and supports it very inge- 
niously. I wish it may be thy lot, without harm, to meet with this 
creature, to observe his motions: but I am confirmed of his power 
over men, in the manner thou mentions, by a very curious friend 
of mine, and a great philosopher, Colonel Byrd, of Virginia, who 
says, you must not think me fanciful, when I assure, I have ogled 
a Rattlesnake so long, till I have perceived a sickness at my sto- 

Now, dear John, I have made some running remarks on thy 
curious letter, which contained so many fine remarks, that it de- 
served to be read before the Royal Society; and thee has their 
thanks for it, desiring thee to continue thy observations, and com- 
municate them. Pray make no apology. Thy style is much be- 
yond what one might expect from a man of thy education. The 
facts are well described, and very intelligible. 

I am, with love, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

1737.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 103 

London, December 14, 1737. 

Dear Friend: 

I now come to take notice of thine of the 26th of April. We 
are much obliged to thee for thy excursion to Conestogo; but it is 
a pity thee should have double trouble; for laying of pea-straw, 
litter, or ashes, or moss, or straw, thick about the roots of vege- 
tables new planted, will very much secure them against the effects 
of the frosts. 

The Gooseberry thou mentions, must be a curiosity. 

Thy observations on the Locust are curious, (but the sticks are 
much more so.) It shows how indefatigable thee art after truth, 
and the processes of nature. It may be very providential, that 
they spread not over the country everywhere. This is undoubt- 
edly to preserve the balance, that more is not produced than is 
necessary for food, and to propagate the species. 

The book mentioned by Switzers, I have sent thee, which I 
hope is come to hand. 

I have heard of thy house, and thy great art and industry in 
building it. It makes me long to see it, and the builder. 

I believe I gave thee a hint that the Bays and the Cypress must 
be protected. But I will send more seed; and, if I can, a Cedar 
of Lebanon cone, which is very hardy, and grows in the midst of 
snow, so will endure your climate; but the cones are rare to get. 

I commend thy caution, not to leave thy home but on the most 
necessary occasions, though it was a tempting expedition to go with 
Friend Wolley. 

Thy caution, relating to the Doctor, is very good. As to what 
he may say of me, I mind it not. I can readily overlook his weak- 
nesses, imputing them more to his natural disposition, which I 
take to be peevish and froward, than to his mind ; for he has many 
good qualities. 

I despair doing anything from the seed of the Laurel and Shrub 
Honeysuckles, the seed is so small and chaffy. If there is any 
likelihood of success, it must be from their being immediately, when 
ripe, sown in a box of mould, and so sent nailed up, only leaving 
some holes for circulation of air. 

Thy thought of collecting the bulbous roots, was exceeding kind. 
They came in perfect order ; so hope to see their appearance in the 
spring. There is one flower amongst the specimens, which is a 

10 4 PETER COLLINSON [1737. 

very double white flower, with small leaves something like Colum- 
bine. This we call the small mountain Eanunculus, as it really 
is.* I had it formerly sent me, by Dr. Witt ; but I should be 
glad of a few roots more. It is a pretty plant, and keeps a long 
while in flower. I hope to send the names of the rest. 

Thy map of Schuylkill, is very prettily clone, and very inform- 
ing ; for now I can read and travel at the same time. Lord Petre 
has seen it, and is much pleased with that and thy journal; for one 
helps to illustrate the other. I intend to. communicate it to a 
curious map-maker : it may be of use to him, in laying down that 
part of the River Schuylkill, undescribed. 

Is there any account of the panthers? Do they attack men, or 
cattle ? To see a live one, I presume, is not very common to Euro- 
peans. The other curiosities, I have made some remarks on in my 
general observations. I hope nothing has escaped me. 

Thy next, in course, is July 6. 

I shall first take notice of thy request to buy Tournefort. I 
have inquired, and there are so many books, or parts, done, as 
come to fifty shillings. The first part may be got, perhaps, second- 
hand ; but the others, are not yet to be expected. Now I shall be 
so friendly to tell thee, I think this is too much to lay out. Be- 
sides, now thee has got Parkinson and Miller, I would not have 
thee puzzle thyself with others; for they contain the ancient and 
modern knowledge of Botany. Remember Solomon's advice ; in 
reading (?) of books, there is no end. 

Far be it from me, that I designed any reflection, or to find 
fault, when I required some information in certain particulars which 
escaped thee. I full well know thy many avocations, and hoped 
thee would not take it in that light, to draw an apology from thee, 
that I should overlook them, considering thy affairs. Yes, all this 
I could readily do, and would have done, if I thought thee had 
taken it in a sense I did not intend. So I hope, for the future, 
thee will never take anything in a lessening way, or, as if I ex- 
pected more perfect matters than the nature of things will allow 
of. I only beg to be informed, and thee has done it ; and I am 
obliged to thee for it. 

Some Wild Crab seed will be very acceptable ; but I believe it 

* It is the Anemone thalictroides, L., or Thalictrum anemonoides, of Michaux. 
See P. Collinson's letter to Joseph Beeintnall, 1738. 

1737.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 105 

will keep better without the apple; for too much moisture may rot 

The manner in which the hornets make their nests, is well worth 
knowing. Ours, in England, make a nest as large, but more 
beautifully coloured, and clouded with light and dark brown. 
They build in hollow trees, and hang them up to the upper corner 
of a barn, close to the ridge. 

Dear friend, I am pleased to hear thee has been in the Jerseys, 
and Kent County, and that thee has discovered the Pitch, or Red 
Pine ; which is a sort we want. All sorts of Pines, and Firs, and 
White Cedar, and Spruce, are plants we want. Yet, as they live 
so remote from each other, content thyself with sending one sort a 
year, unless any sort is near at hand. We expect no unreason- 
able and hard things, and will not have thee exert thyself out of 
reason to serve us. Thy accurate observation, and perfect know- 
ledge in the times of gathering these sort of trees, must be thy 
director in these matters. But though thy excursions are attended 
with difficulties, and great fatigue, yet, the secret pleasure that 
accrues and the new discoveries and the many observations, 
both informing and entertaining, which tend to enrich thy mind 
with natural knowledge, and fill it with exalted ideas of the won- 
derful Hand that made all these things, must yield thee such a 
secret pleasure as will fully compensate for and counterbalance all 
the other. 

I have some pretty young plants from the Spruce cones, which 
is certainly Dudley's Hemlock. 

I hope the Buck-bean is not entirely dead. Pray look next 
year again. The place it was planted in seems very suitable. It 
bears a curious^ elegant flower, and has great virtues. 

I shall endeavour to supply the Squills and G. Lilies. The 
frosts in your country are surprising. It requires, in a gardener, 
great care and diligence to secure and protect his plants against 
these injurious insults of the weather. 

If thee will please to inquire of our worthy and learned friend, 
James Logan, who is well versed in optics, he will tell thee, that 
there is no making a glass to magnify, to such a degree as thee 
wants, in such large dimensions as thee requires ; for, the larger 
the magnifier the smaller the glass : that instead of taking objects 
altogether, they must be taken in parts. The greatest discoverers 
in nature have been obliged to this method. 


My friend Logan tells me thee art very dexterous in detecting 
flowers ; which requires, in some of them, both good eyes and good 
glasses to discover their very minute parts. This is a very curious 
study, and full of wonders, but must take up a great deal of time 
to be exact ; and is a pretty amusement for those that have it 
hang upon their hands. But, for thee and me, I think we can't 
allow it, without prejudice to our other weighty affairs. Yet I 
would not discourage thee, if thy circumstances will permit it. 

Dear friend, thine of the 19th July is before me. * * * * 

It is with great concern I see so many curious insects spoiled. 
Pray keep the Butterflies by themselves ; and then no danger can 
happen. Some of the last are extravagantly fine. The white 
long-tailed Moth is amazing. Now and then, when a fine one 
happens in thy way, take him being always provided with a box 
in thy pocket, when thee walks abroad ; for these insects are seen 
accidentally. If thee was to go on purpose, it is a query if thee 
finds one. There are some new ones amongst these last, that I 
never saw before ; and one that I think is, in all parts, exactly the 
same as here. 

The curious Thorn, thee mentions, I wish thee was to see in 
flower ; for I suspect the owner magnifies its beauties. Get it into 
thy own garden, and see for thyself; and then, if it proves what 
he says, it will be a present worth sending, and our accepting. 

John "White is now here, and gives thee great commendations. 
I am sorry so fine a collection of Pears is so little regarded. 

I am heartily glad thee has so good a friend as James Logan, 
being a man of great compassion and humanity. He writ to me, 
some time agone, in thy behalf, fearing thee had no consideration 
for thy collections. This, I think, was an instance of his great 
regard for thee. No doubt but he considers thee, for any time 
taken up from thy own affairs, (if thee pursues the study of plants,) 
in order to satisfy his inquiries, whose surprising genius has 
enabled him to write very skilful and knowing in this branch of 
natural history, as, I think I may safely say, in all others. 

The Sy sterna Natural is a curious performance, for a young man 
[LlNN^us] ; but his coining a set of new names for plants, tends 
but to embarrass and perplex the study of Botany. As to his sys- 
tem, on which they are founded, botanists are not agreed about it. 
Very few like it. Be that as it will, he is certainly a very ingenious 
man, and a great naturalist. As these were not in our mother 

1737.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 107 

tongue, was the only reason I did not send them to thee. I hope 
not to be forgetful for the future. 

I am thy loving friend, 


London, December 20, 1737. 

Dear Friexd : 

I shall now consider the remaining part of thine of July 19. 

The magic lantern is a contrivance to make sport with ignorant 
people. There is nothing extraordinary in it : so not worth thy 
further inquiry. 

Thee art still desirous of a magnifier for flowers. Pray make 
this complaint to J. Logax, and try his thoughts. As thy inquiries 
seem in some measure to be owing to him, and as thee art his pupil, 
(which no man need be ashamed of,) no doubt but he will furnish 
thee with suitable instruments for that purpose, in order to render 
thy discoveries more perfect so undoubtedly more to his satisfac- 

What I hinted, as to thy cargo coming when I am so much en- 
gaged, is not to have the season altered ; but to show thee, that as 
thee strains a point to serve me, so I strain a point to serve thee. 
Pray pursue the same successful track and method thee has always 
done. But this I tell thee ; what I do, I would do for none but 
thee : and yet, by the sequel of thy letter, thee thinks thyself not 
amply rewarded. Pray, friend John, consider twenty-one pounds 
per annum sterling, returned in goods or money, is a hard case, if 
it will not make near, or quite, or more than forty pounds a year, 
your currency. This, I think, will pay for five or six weeks spent 
annually in thy collection, and hiring a man, and other expenses. 
Supposing thee art in expense, in this affair, ten pounds your cur- 
rency per annum which I don't think, why, to have thirty 
pounds, your currency, in circulation in thy affairs, must certainly 
be a fine thing, and sufficient to content any reasonable person. 
I know thee art a man of more equity than to desire the sub- 
scribers' money for little matters ; and on the other hand, thee art 
so honest to send the most thee can afford to procure for them ; 
more, they don't desire. Then what reason is there for thee to be 
uneasy ? Pray let me hear no more of it. If thee canst not afford 
to go on with this business, tell us so, and it will be at an end. 


Now, friend John, I shall turn over [i. <?., the leaf on which he 
was writing], and never think of the last-mentioned matter, unless 
thee revives it. 

I wonder thou should be sorry to see such a bundle of white and 
blue Lilacs. That wonder might have soon ceased, by throwing 
them away if you had them already. ' But as your neighbours of 
Virginia, in particular Colonel Custis at William sburgh, who has 
undoubtedly the best collection in that country, desired some, I 
thought possibly you might want them, for I never was over to see. 
However, this shall be a caution, to send nothing but what you 
write for. But dost thee know that there is both blue and purple 
Lilacs ? I like thy project of inarching the white and blue toge- 
ther. I have the five colours of the Althea inarched on one 
stock, which looks very pretty when in flower. 

That you have Sloe trees enough, when James Logan writ to 
me for some, is very surprising. I see I must venture to send 
nothing without orders, for fear you have it already. 

That you have neither Horse nor Spanish Chestnuts, nor French 
Walnuts, is not I see, to be helped ; for the last ships go before 
they are ripe, and the first in the spring, when they are rotten. I 
have kept them till near Christmas, and then put them in a box of 
sand, and yet they are lost by over wet or over drought. How- 
ever, as thee art a great judge in these matters, prescribe a way, 
and I will endeavour to follow it. 

I am glad the Junipers grow. Pray does the English broom 
grow ? This may be hardier, and endure your climate better than 
the Spanish. 

It is surprising that your winters kill Wood Sage, for it grows 
on our high hills, and never suffers. Plant it in cases, and house 
it, or else cover it well with pea straw at the approach of winter, 
removing it off in mild days, and covering at nights. I hope the 
seed will come this year acceptable, for I think I gathered it 
pretty ripe. 

Dear friend John, I have thine of August 12th, which gives me 
both pleasure and pain. I dreaded to go on board to see the 
disaster, and so much labour and pains thrown away by such a 
swarm of pestilent beetles. As we say by a fine old woman, 
" There's the ruins of a fine face," so I may say, " There's the 
ruins of fine flies," and such as I never saw before. Pray next 
time divide the precious from the vile; I will send thee boxes 

1737.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 109 

enough. Keep the butterflies, or day-flies, by themselves, the 
moths by themselves, and these devouring beetles by themselves, 
but drown them in rum, or heat them in a gentle oven will stop all 
their further progress. Moths are sometimes subject to breed 
insects which will eat up their bodies, but the heat of a very slack 
oven kills all. Butterflies are not liable to these accidents. But 
at the proper time of sending, they may be collected all in one 
box, and desire the captain to set it in any dry place in the cabin; 
for the last, being put in the Lazaretto, under the cabin, narrowly 
escaped all being spoilt by a bag or barrel of salt being put over 
them, which came through the box. Captain Savage is a won- 
derful good-natured obliging man, and can't prevent the careless- 
ness of his servants. As thee intends to repair that loss, which is 
very obliging, I only just give this hint, that I prefer butterflies 
and moths before beetles ; and reason good, for there is ten times 
the beauty and variety in one as the other. 

I shall now tell thee something which very much pleased me, 
and will surprise thee. The box of turtle eggs (which was an 
ingenious thought of thine to send), on the day I brought it from 
on board ship, being the 20th of October, I took off the lid, having 
a mind to see the eggs, and on peeping about I saw a little head 
just above ground, and while I was looking, I saw the ground 
move in a place or two more. In short, in the space of three or 
four hours, eight tortoises were hatched. It was very well worth 
observing, how artfully they disengaged themselves from the shell, 
and then with their fore-feet scratched their eyes open. They 
have had many visiters, such a thing never happening, I dare say, 
in England before. They seem to be all one sort, but thee men- 
tions two. I tried if they would eat, with Lettuce leaves, &c, or 
if they would drink, but they regarded neither. But after they 
had been crawling about three or four days, they buried themselves 
in the earth in the box, where they continue. Early in the spring 
I design to turn them out at Lord Petre's, who has large ponds, 
if they are water-turtles. I believe it was providential that this 
box was put in the Lazaretto, for the warmth of the ship supplied 
the sun's heat, and brought them to perfection. But the luckiness 
of the thing was their hatching the day they were brought home. 
I have specimens dried of four sorts of your American turtles, but 
these seem different from them all, by the length of their tail, and 
figure of their shell. As for their not eating, and burying them- 


selves, in a state of sleep, the air supplies the vital flame ; and as 
chickens are for some time supported by some part of the yolk in 
their stomachs, in order to sustain them while the remainder of the 
brood is hatching (for if the hen was to leave her charge to go and 
provide food for those first hatched, what must become of the 
remaining eggs ?) ; so I conclude, as these are oviparous, or pro- 
duced from eggs, something of the same proA r ision is prepared to 
support them till next spring. If they were to be all the while in 
motion and action, it would not be sufficient, but as they soon 
enter into a dormant state, it may be sufficient to preserve life. I 
could be glad to see a larger one of this sort of land turtle dried, 
to compare with those I have by me. 

All the other pretty curiosities were very acceptable. As for 
thy kind offer of squirrel skins, I would be far from rejecting it, if 
it would cost thee nothing ; but to give anything, I am no ways 
free for thee to do it, for I presume it is more matter of curiosity, 
than really better than other skins. The shells, with the likeness 
of large snails, are peculiar to your part of the world, but the 
small scallop, found on East Jersey, are found at New and Old 
England. But the present is not the less esteemed, because it 
shows the produce of your shores. 

I am persuaded not one of the red-bellied turtles is hatched. I 
should be glad to see one of these dry. The Panax is a choice 

I am thine, 


January 27, 1737-8. 

Dear Friend: 

I had the pleasure of thine from Maryland. I am glad my 
friends were kind to thee, and that thee found fresh matter of 
entertainment. I can't enlarge now, but to tell thee that all the 
two boxes of seeds, two boxes of plants, one box specimens, one 
box wasp's nest, came all safe, and in perfect good order; which 
is very pleasing, and for which I shall make thee some returns, per 
Captain Wright, with all the goods thee mentions except the 
sewing silk, which is advanced to two shillings a pound. It is 
expected to be cheaper; and unless it is, neither thee nor I shall 

1737-8.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. HI 

have any credit in sending it ; so I would rather have the remainder 
of thy money ordered in other goods. 

I hope to send thee letters to Maryland and Virginia. I have 
wrote, already, to several of my friends in Virginia. 
I am, dear friend, 

Thy sincere friend, in haste, 

P. Collinson. 

Lord Petre has ordered me to give thee two guineas, for thy 
extraordinary trouble about the specimens. 

The Laurels are perfectly fine. That and the White Cedar are 
very acceptable. Thee shall not lose thy reward. 

Dear friend, I must beg the favour of thee to remember what I 
have formerly requested, in behalf of a curious naturalist, who, to 
engage thy memory, sends thee a specimen of his performance. 
He neglected, when in Virginia, to draw the Papaw; and as this is 
a curious plant, in flower and fruit, and not figured by anybody, 
now there is no way to convey to us perfect ideas of this plant, but 
by gathering the blossoms and leaves, and drying them between 
paper; but as the colour and figure of the flower is liable to change, 
then he begs a short description of its colour; or else, to prevent 
further trouble, if some of the flowers growing on a small twig, 
were put into some rum, one small twig would be enough; but thee 
may put several loose flowers in the jar of spirits, and then a 
couple of fruit, full ripe; and if it was not too remote, a couple 
half ripe, for I am informed they grow in couples. 

It is observable, that spirits do very little alter the colour of 
fruits. If they do before thee sends it, pray give a little descrip- 
tion of its colour. Now, by these helps, my ingenious friend will 
be able to delineate the plant and fruit: and if thee will further 
assist him in the height of its growth, and the size of its stem, and 
what soil and place is most natural to it, we shall be all much 
obliged to thee. Pray fail not, and thee will oblige thine, 


If it has any virtues, pray mention them. 


[Not dated.*] 

Friend John: 

I now come to take notice of thy journal. I wish thee had been 
more particular; but possibly time did not admit. It was very 

* The following extracts are from a letter of P. Collinson to Joseph Breint- 
nall, Merchant, Philadelphia; a copy of which was politely furnished to the 
editor, by Edward D. Ingraham, Esq. The date is not fully given in the original ; 
but it is endorsed "Received April 26, 1738." 

London, January 31, [1738.] 
Respected Friend: 

I have several of thy obliging favours. * * * * Thy Snake-root so 
called from thy first importing it, is a Sanicle [Sanicula Canadensis, L.], having 
all the characteristics belonging to that class : but I believe it is not mentioned 
in Miller, because not known when he wrote that book. Thee has many thanks 
from the Royal Society, for thy account of the Aurora Borealis, as mentioned in 
thine of November 24. 

It gives me great pleasure to hear of that generous proposal of your pro- 
prietor, to give you a lot for a Library House ; who, in great gratitude, you should 
choose President of your Society, which may encourage him further. All thy 
observations and schemes relating to it, are an instance of thy zeal for promoting 
the good of mankind, and deserves the greatest commendation from all that are 
well-wishers to so noble and useful a design. Your worthy proprietor may be 
truly said to be a father to his people, when he has the public weal so much at 
heart. I hope ways and means will be found to carry on that laudable work : 
but, really, I cannot flatter thee with hopes of benefactions from hence. The 
love of money is too prevalent, and we have too few generous, public-spirited 
men, considering our numbers : however, I shall not fail to impart your design to 
some likely persons. If I have any success in my solicitations, the Company will 
be sure to hear from me. 1 

I am, with much respect, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

P. S. I have here inclosed the Company's account, which I hope thee will 
find right. 

The pretty white Ranunculus [Anemone thalictroides, L.], that Dr. Witt sent 
me, some time agone, is a neat, delicate, double flower ; but I never knew before, 
it was a Snake-root. It is described by the celebrated Plukknet, who has most 
of your country plants. He names it "Ranunculus nemorosus, Aquileffice foliis, 
Virginianus, Asphodeli radice." 

Virginia Wood Ranunculus, with Columbine leaves, and an Asphodel or 
Kingspear Root. 


We had, last December 5th, a very remarkable and uncommon bloody Aurora 

a P. Collinson not only rendered important aid in establishing the Philadelphia 
Library, but he was, for many years, the faithful agent of the Company, in making 
their purchases in London; and was at all times, a zealous friend and generous 


agreeable to me, to hear that my friends were kind to thee. I 
shall not fail to acknowledge it. But I should have been glad to 
have had thy particular observations on them and their families, 
and their dwellings, and their tastes in life; but this is exacting too 
much from a man of thy active genius, so pray think no more 
about it. 

I am concerned Robert Gover is dead; but I think his son or 
his family, are in being. I wish thee had gone and seen the cliff 
from whence the angular stones were taken, which are so curiously 
formed in squares, that far exceed the lapidary's art. No doubt 
but some belonging to him could have shown it thee : but as this 
is matter of curiosity, and only proposed for thy sake, another time 
may do as well. 

I am sorry our brother Clayton was not at home. It was, no 
doubt, a great disappointment, that you could not open your 
budgets and compare notes. 

I am informed my friend Custis is a very curious man : pray 
what didst thee see new in his garden? But I am told Colonel Byrd 
has the best garden in Virginia, and a pretty green-house, well 
furnished with Orange trees. I knew him well when in England; 
and he was reckoned a very polite, ingenious man. As for my 
friend Isham, who I am also personally knoAvn to, I did not doubt 
his civility to thee. I only wish to have been there, and shared it 
with thee. 

Thee does not mention any animals in this voyage; and yet I 
don't suppose the country destitute. Pray has thee observed two 
sorts of Fallow or small Deer, whose principal distinction, I 
think, lies in their horns ? There is, besides, the smaller Elk, or 
Stag; a pair of them I saw lately, with a pair of Buffaloes that was 
brought to England. But then there is the great Elk, or Moose, 
which I think frequents more to the northward. 

Pray what height and bulk were those fine Pines, with three 
leaves, that thee discovered in the Great Vale? But, as to plants, 
I shall make my remarks when I return them named. 

Thy map was very informing, and gave a pretty idea of thy 

borealis, which was seen all over Europe. Pray does thee remember if it ex- 
tended to your parts ? 

Inclosed in the Library books, &c, is a face-glass. I was at a loss what 
size would be most suitable. This is a middle size, and, I think, sufficient for the 
purpose thou mentions. It cost six shillings. 



journey. Pray what inhabitants didst thee find in the Great Vale, 
whether Indians or English? 

As this journey has proved very fatiguing and troublesome to 
thee, I can't advise another, if it is possible to gratify thy corre- 
spondents without it. 

It was very curious of thee, to collect the two noble chrysalises. 
We wait with impatience their new birth. I wish the heat of our 
climate may be able to perfect them; for the ring of eggs that thee 
collected from the Apple trees, hatched the very next day I had 
them from on board, it being very warm weather : but, in a day or 
two, it changed to very cold, for the season; and I am afraid has 
killed them all, notwithstanding they were kept in the house, and 
fed with the young leaves and blossoms of Apple tree. If ever 
thee meets with any more, I will keep the ring of eggs in a cold 
place till May, and then I don't doubt but to raise them, and carry 
them through their changes ; which will be a great curiosity, and 
is frequently done here, by those that would raise a quantity of 
rare and scarce flies. 

The two muscle shells are great curiosities, and what I never 
saw before; but I apprehend, with you as well as with us, there is 
a great variety of fresh-water and land shells small and great. 
But these require eyes like thine and mine to find them out. If 
thee happens on such another wasp's nest, that the Possum de- 
stroyed in the bush, pray think of me. 

,* * * * * * * * * * 

I have inclosed, in my friend T. Penn's parcel, two cones, and 
some seed of the Stone Pine. Please go to him for them. 
I am, my good friend, thine, very truly, 

P. Collinson. 

One thing I forgot to mention before, and what very much sur- 
prises me, to find thee, who art a philosopher, prouder than I am. 
My cap, it is true, had a small hole or two on the border ; but the 
lining was new. Instead of giving it away, I wish thee had sent 
it me back again. It would have served me two or three years, to 
have worn in the country, in rainy weather. 

1738.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 115 

London, April 6, 1738. 

Dear Friend John : 

The first thing I have to desire of thee, is to send three or four 
or six specimens of the Sweet Gum, in blossom. This being a very 
extraordinary plant, some curious botanists in Holland beg this 
favour, in order to settle its botanical character. I desire speci- 
mens of these others two or three of a sort ; Black Gum, and 
Black Haw, these we desire in blossom, and in fruit and leaf, as 
it happens ; Sugar Birch, Black Thorn, and sorts of White Thorn, 
in blossom and fruit. I have received three sorts of Jaceas from 
Doctor Witt. He distinguishes them by Early Jacea, Elegant 
Jacea, and Gigantic Jacea. I wish thee could find them out, to 
send specimens of them, as they grow in your country. 

Pray look out for a plant or two of White Cedar ; for I am afraid 
that last sent me will go off, though it has a clod of its own earth 
about it. The smell of the leaves, a little dried, smells like to cin- 
namon. It is a fine plant. If mine stands, it will be the only one 
in England ; though I have hopes to raise it from seed, this year. 
Set half a dozen young plants in a box, and let them stand a year 
or two, to strike root, before they are sent. 

Renew thy collecting of acorns ; and if thee can, send specimens 
to each which is a great curiosity. Get what Sassafras berries 
thee can : and send as many Red Cedar berries, in a little box by 
themselves, as thee can afford for half a guinea, being for a par- 
ticular person ; and send some more, what thee can, for thy three 
correspondents. Send more Sugar Maple seed, and Rose Laurel 
cones : and send a specimen or two of the Upland Rose, and the 
Marsh Rose. Try what thee canst do to send us some cones of the 
Long-cone White Pine. It is a very remarkable Pine, having 
five leaves in a sheath ; and the other, from Jersey, has but two 
leaves. I have great hopes most of the plants will grow. They 
promise well ; but I shall defer giving thee an account, till next 

The Terrapins came very safe and well : but I have lost all the 
young ones from the eggs, which were fifteen, which is a great loss. 
If I ever have any more, I will take another method with them. 
But the curiosity was great, and admired by many ; and it was 
very lucky that the first peeped. its head out of the earth, the very 
day I brought the box from on board which I think was the 21st 


October. If I had sent them then directly into the country, I 
had saved them ; but I thought keeping them in town, I could 
better secure them from the cold, and so I lost them all, which I 
was sorry for ; being, I am persuaded, the first that ever hatched 
in England. But I take it, the warmth of the ship contributed 
much to it, and supplied the want of your sun's heat. 

The Terrapins I gave to Lord Petre ; and he thanks thee for 

Doctor Dillenius thanks thee for the seeds and specimens. 
Thy observation on your Pines is remarkable. The Stone Pine, 
and the Long-coned Pine, don't open like yours ; but I think all 
the rest do. 

Thee has obliged me much, with so fine a collection of Wasps, 
with their natural history, which is very entertaining and surpris- 
ing : in particular the clay nests their fabrication, and their pro- 
vision for their young, with all the rest, are evidences of the 
unlimited power and wisdom of the Great Author of all things. 
But that these creatures which are a common pest to mankind 
should have such wonderful instincts bestowed on them, for securing 
themselves and their species, exceeds our comprehension, but raises 
our admiration. It may serve to abate our pride and conceit, when 
we see so much bestowed on these lower classes of being, which is 
not unworthy of our notice : and it is owing to thy indefatigable 
industry, that these things are brought to light. Great is thy 
pleasure, that at the same time thee art obliging thy friend, thee 
art improving thyself in the knowledge of nature. 

Pray look out sharp, next year, and be beforehand with that 
saucy Raccoon, that I may see that pretty nest, built in the bush; 
and send the Wasp, and a better specimen of the clay Wasp ; for 
the last wanted its head. Such a variety of these creatures must 
be very troublesome. We have but one, and that is bad enough, 
that builds its nest in dry banks ; two sorts of Bees the Honey 
Bee, and a large Humming Bee that builds in dry banks ; and one 
sort of Hornet ; and three sorts of Ants. But I am like to intro- 
duce a fourth ; for I found in the earth that the plants came in, the 
outer husk of a chestnut, and in it a colony of very small Ants. 
These I have carried into the country, to see how they will thrive 
in our climate. 

Thee will continue thy observation on the Yellow Wasp. No. 1 

1738.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 117 

and No. 2 may deserve thy notice ; for I find their building, and 
increase, is unknown to thee. 

If another insect, with those surprising long hairs, or horns, 
happens in thy way, pray secure it ; for it is very extraordinary in 
its kind. The beautiful Sea Fly is a great beauty could its wings 
be displayed. Pray never go without a box, and pins, in thy 
pocket. The insect with what thee esteems a long horn, is no 
other than a proboscis, which he uses to suck out the sweets of 
flowers ; for he has two small horns on each side. 

I am glad thee met with such civil treatment in thy expedition 
through the Eastern Shore ; and that thee found such variety of 

I am sorry thee missed some plants that thee observed. I wish 
thee had collected specimens of that Periploca, and that other 
with horned poppy leaves, and the Hypericon, and the Long-leafed 
Large-cone Pine, and a different Swamp Oak. Pray never fail get- 
ting specimens, if thee canst not get plants, or seeds. Provide two 
flat boards the size of the paper thee intends for the specimens : 
between these, put thy paper, and specimens in it, and tie them 
fast. Thus, these may be carried any ways, as it suits thy con- 
venience ; and with safety, too. 

I can't conceive what your Black Thorn is : pray send a spe- 
cimen. We have but one sort, which is the one that bears sloes; 
and but one sort of White Thorn. But I am surprised at their 
size, with you. I question if ever I saw one above the size of the 
small of a common-sized leg ; and that but rare ; for they are so 
useful in making fences, that they are rarely suffered to grow of 
any size. 

The Great Laurel, or Chamaerhododendron plants, promise 
well; which gives me great joy. I am extremely obliged to thee 
for them : and am, with love and respect, 

Thy assured friend, 


London, May 2, 1738. 

Deae Friend: 

I have sent thee, in a little jar, some of our Dens Canis. There 
are white and red flowers. This is in return for those with 


yellow flowers thee sent me, though they did not flower this year. 
If thee meets with any more, pray get them. 

It is a great advantage, to send plants with a sod of earth about 
them ; for, many times there comes up odd plants as it has hap- 
pened this year; for in the sods of Herb Twopence,* is come up 
two sorts of vegetables, the one I don't know, but one appears to 
be a sort of Hepatica, very like ours, but that the stalks of yours 
are very hoary, and not naked, as the footstalks of the leaves of 

ours are. 

I also send thee one of our Humming Bees, from the sound it 
makes. These reside in dry banks ; but whether they make combs, 
as others do, I doubt, for this year I caught one in March, and 
whilst I looked on it, I perceived from round the neck a great 
many young ones creep out. Now, the combs I take to be reposi- 
tories, both for food and to lay their eggs in ; but, the way that 
these breed, and nurse their young up by the heat of their bodies, 
I take it there is no need of repositories for their young. Our 
Black Beetles, breed theirs the same way. 

The jar I have tied in a parcel, with my letter, and one from 
Doctor Dillexius, and directed to our worthy friend James 
Logan, for thee. 

Pray, next year, look out for the flower of the Sweet Gum, and 
the Papaw. Send a few in a little bottle or phial of spirits ; and 
send some dried, in paper. Our friend LixxiEUS, wants them 
much, as thee will see by Doctor Gpoxovius's letter, that I have 
sent to J. Logan. Pray desire him to show it thee. 

Pray my love to Joseph Breixtxall. 

I am thine, 


Pray describe the colours of the flowers of the Papaw, and the 
Sweet Gum ; for they may fade so in paper, and change so in spirits, 
that we may be at a loss to discern them ; and send the seasons of 
their flowering and send two or three of the fairest Gum burs thee 
can get. Pray forget not a specimen of the Black Gum, in flower and 
leaf; for we are at a loss to know what it is ; and a specimen of 
Black Haw [Viburnum prunifolium, L.], in flower and leaf, for 
this we know not. 

* Lysimachia. "Herb Twopence," is one of the common English names of L. 
Nummularia, L. 

1738.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 119 


May, 1738. 

I am exceedingly pleased -with thy long letters, as thee calls 
them ; but I wish they had been as long again. I shall make my 
observations on them, as follows: 

December the 10th. I am almost overjoyed in reading the con- 
tents of this letter, wherein thee acknowledges thy satisfaction of 
my remarks on the Locusts, Caterpillars, Pigeons, and Snakes. I 
am very thankful to thee, and the Royal Society, for taking so 
much notice of my poor performances. It is a great encourage- 
ment for me to continue my observations of natural phenomena. 
If I see any Locusts this year, I shall be very particular in my re- 
marks; as also the Papaw, to gratify thy curious friend, who, thee 
says, will send me a specimen of his performances ; which will be 
very acceptable. 

December the 14:th. I am glad my map of Schuylkill pleases 
thee and Lord Petee. 

The Panthers have not seized any of our people, that I have 
heard; but many have been sadly frightened with them. They 
have pursued several men, both on horseback and foot. Many 
have shot them down, and others have escaped by running away. 
But I believe, as a Panther doth not much fear a single man, so 
he hath no great desire to seize him; for if he had, running from 
him would be a poor means to escape such a nimble, strong crea- 
ture, which will leap above twenty feet at one leap. * * * 

* I take thy advice about books very kindly, although I love 
reading such dearly : and I believe, if Solomon had loved women 
less, and books more, he would have been a wiser and happier man 
than he was. 

In thy letter of December the 20th, thee supposes me to spend 
five or six weeks in collections for you, and that ten pounds will 
defray all my annual expenses : but I assure thee, I spend more 
than twice that time, annually; and ten pounds will not, at a 
moderate expense, defray my charges abroad beside my neglect 
of business at home, in fallowing, harvest, and seed time. 

Indeed, I was more than two weeks' time in gathering the small 
acorns of the Willow-leafed Oak, which are very scarce, and fall- 
ing with the leaves, so that daily I had to rake up the leaves and 
shake the acorns out, before they were devoured by the squirrels 

120 JOHN BAR TRAM TO [1738. 

and hogs ; and I reckoned it good luck if I could gather twenty 
under one tree and hardly one in twenty bore any. Yet I don't 
begrudge my labour ; but would do anything reasonable to serve 
you. But by the sequel of thy letter, you are not sensible of the 
fourth part of the pains I take to oblige you. 

Thee seems to be surprised that I should write that we have 
Sloe Trees enough and James Logan wrote to thee for some. 
But, my good friend, I assure thee, I assert nothing to thee but 
what is real fact. The first I observed of Sloe Trees, was at a 
plantation, whose owner came two years into this country before a 
house was built in Philadelphia. I brought some from there, when 
I settled on my plantation. I saw another tree, near Philadelphia, 
as thick as my thigh ; and, last year, I showed James Logan Eng- 
lish Thorns, Bullaces, and Sloes, growing in a hedge which he 
rides close by, from his house to town, which I believe hath been 
planted twenty years : and many others grow in several distant 
places in the country, but are liable to be bit with the same insects 
as the rest of our stone fruits, except Peaches and Cherries ; and 

are increased by plenty of suckers. 

* * * * * # * 

Now, my kind and generous friend, I shall return thee my 
hearty thanks for thy care and pains which thee hath taken, and 
the many good offices thee hath done for me ; and further, if thee 
finds any expressions in my letter a little out of the way, thee will 
not take it in the wrong sense. I assure thee, I bear thee a great 
deal of good-will ; or if thee thinks I am too short and imperfect in 
explaining any subject, which I give thee any account of, pray let 
me know, and I will satisfy thee according to the best of my know- 
ledge ; for I love plain dealing. 

[December, 1738.] 

Dear Friend : 

I have performed my journey through Maryland and Virginia, 
as far as Williamsburgh, so up James River to the mountains, so 
over and between the mountains, in many very crooked turnings 
and windings, in which, according to the nearest computation I 
can make, betwixt my setting out and returning home, I travelled 
1100 miles in five weeks' time ; having rested but one day in all 
that time, and that was at Williamsburgh. I happened to go in the 

1738.] PETER COL LI NSON. 121 

only time for gathering of seeds the autumnal both in Maryland 
and Virginia ; and the exceeding mild fall favoured the opportunity 
upon and between the mountains, whereby I gathered abundance 
of kinds of seeds in perfection, which have not ripened for several 
years, because of the early frosts, which came a month or six weeks 
sooner than they did this year. Indeed, beyond the mountains in 
Virginia and Pennsylvania, there is a great variety, that I saw ; 
and the inhabitants say, the ground is covered with delicate beau- 
tiful flowers in the spring, which are not to be found after hot 
weather comes on. When I first began to find many curious seeds, 
I wrapped them up in paper separately, and put them in my 
leather bags ; but in riding, and shaking, they fretted the paper, 
and mixed together. So, .afterwards, I gathered all together, as I 
found them, which I send to you all mixed ; and as they are most 
of them perennial, I suppose they will do well enough sown toge^ 

I sent, by friend Thomas Bond, a box of turtle eggs, and 
several roots packed up carefully ; but the captain was so long be- 
fore he sailed, after he talked of sailing within two or three days, 
that I am afraid they were damnified. I sent a box of insects, and 
a jar of Papaw flowers and fruit, which I hope are come safe to 
hand. This hath been but a scarce year for several kinds of forest 
seeds, so could not procure several which thee sent for ; but I have 
made it up, in a great variety of seeds of curious plants which 
grow between and upon the mountains. Next year, there may be 
more plenty of several kinds which you want ; so please to let me 
know what sort will be acceptable : and if you please to order me 
to New England, next fall, I am not much against it, having 
health and prosperity also. I should be glad to have letters of re- 
commendation to thy friends there. 

I received thy letter of July the 10th, with the names of the 
plants I sent last year, with the seeds and Tulip roots ; all which 
I am obliged to thee for. I wish there may be some, differing 
from what we have already; for we have a great variety obtained 
from the breeders, which we have had these many years. The 
Red Lily seldom produces above one flower upon a stalk. This 
year the Medlar bore, which thee sent me for the Neapolitan, 
but I believe it is the English kind. However, one of our Persim- 
mons is worth a dozen of them, for goodness in eating, and as big. 
But we have great variety of them ; some are ripe in the middle of 

122 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1739. 

September, others not till Christmas. They are extremely dis- 
agreeable to eat until they are thorough ripe and will fall with 
shaking the tree : then their pulp is delicious. But their skin, which 
is as thin as the finest paper, still retains an astringent bitterness : 
yet many of our country people are so greedy of them, that they 
swallow down skin, pulp, and seeds, all together. I admire they 
are not cultivated with great care in Europe, instead of many other 
kinds of fruit which are much inferior in goodness. They make 
an excellent liquor, or wine, for pleasant drinking. 

Our friend, Isham Randolph, (a generous, good-natured gen- 
tleman, and well respected by most who are acquainted with him,) 
hath agreed with me to have a correspondence together ; but can't 
tell well which way to carry it on whether back of the moun- 
tains, by the way of Shenandoah, or below the mountains, we can't 
yet tell. 

I think to be diligent in my observation on the flower of our 
Sweet Gum, to gratify thee and thy curious friends. It seems 
strange that some accurate botanist hath not already taken notice 
of it ; but I suppose the difficulty of procuring the flowers, hath 
been some reason of the neglect, for the tree generally groweth 
straight and tall, and seldom bears seed before the tree is forty or 
fifty feet high. 

When I was down in Virginia, my wife sent a box of Allspice 
berries, which I had with some expense of time collected, being 
most of what I could find about where I live, and for twenty miles 

I obtained a sight of the copy of Doctor Gronovius's letter, 
which thee sent to James Logan, just before I sat out for Maryland, 
which a gentleman had copied before Logan sent it back which 
was soon after he received it. If I can any ways, without much 
loss of time, oblige Lixxm*s or Groxovius, at thine or their re- 
quest, I am willing to do it. I perceive they are curious and in- 
genious botanists. 

I have put several Sweet Gum burs in the box of seeds. 

July, 1739. 

Friend Peter Collinson : 

I have received thy kind letters by Wright, which were very 
acceptable, as also the cash, which came in the very nick of time, 

1738-9.1 PETER COLLINSON. 123 

when I wanted to pay the mortgage interest. It was help in time 
of need, and a demonstration of thy regard for my welfare, and 
readiness to oblige me, which lays me under an obligation to watch 
and improve all opportunities wherein I can gratify thee. 

I could get nothing of what thee mentioned thee sent by Captain 
Bream, but a letter by the post, and the print of the Magnolia, 
which James Logan thought had been sent for him. I went to 
our proprietor, and to Captain Bream, to inquire for the box of 
seeds thee mentioned, but they affirmed they knew nothing of such 
a box. 


London, January 26, 1738-9. 

Friend John : 

I am much obliged to thy good wife, for her kind letter in thy 
absence ; and next I must tell thee, I was pleased with thine, to 
hear of thy safe return from thy Virginia expedition ; but am very 
angry with that sorry man Ashton, for not taking in thy cargo of 
seeds. He was under obligations to me. I did not treat him so ; 
but trusted him five pounds' worth of goods, but was three or four 
years getting it ; nay, had it not been for Charles Read, de- 
ceased, who got the money, I much question if he would have 
had honesty or honour enough to have paid it, to this clay ; for 
during the time he owed me the money, he came to England, and 
promised to pay me. I thought him to be a man of honour ; but, 
in short, he slunk away and never paid me, and after that, gave 
Charles Read much trouble to get it, and paid no interest ; so I 
was a loser, for I sold the goods for ready money, and because 
cash fell short, took his note ; and thus he has served me for my 
civility. I shall remember him. 

I am, at present, greatly hurried in business ; so must be very 
short, and only tell that I have sent thee a box of seeds, under 
cover to Thomas Penn, your proprietor, for I was willing to take 
the advantage of the first ship, because the season slips away for 

There is a small packet for Doctor Witt. Pray, somehow or 
other, convey it to him. Some fine Melon seed for Thomas Penn; 
some Burgundy Trefoil [Medicago sativa, L., or Lucerne], for J. 

12 4 PETER COLLIN SON [1738-9. 

Logan ; and pray, where there is sufficient, let him have a share of 

the other seeds. 

The Scorpioides [Scorpiurus vermieulata, L.] is a surprising 
phenomenon in nature that the seed, or fruit, or pod of a plant 
should be so like an animal : for, when these are green, and pretty- 
near full grown, gather one and pin it artfully on thy neckcloth, 
and there is not one in a great many will distinguish it from a 
smooth green caterpillar. Beside this pretty curiosity, this class 
of plants are of great service in hot, dry countries, for green fodder 
for their milk cattle, in the summer months. Please to impart this 
to friend Logan, with some seed of each. 

I have before said sufficient of the Burgundy Trefoil. But lest 
that sent in the autumn should not be perfectly ripe, I have sent 
some more. Doctor Dillexils is of a strong opinion that it will 
prove the best, most productive of herbage, and durable, of any 
grass. It requires some care, at first setting out : so let it be sown 
carefully in your gardens, in order to raise seed for greater crops 

Please to ask friend Logan to let thee peruse the Philosophical 
Transactions, that I send him by Captain Wright. In them, thee 
will find a Dissertation on the Deer and Moose of your Continent. 
We have but an imperfect idea of your male, or buck, of your 
Fallow Deer, as thee will perceive by the print, or figures an- 
nexed. I could be glad to have the scalp of one of your bucks, 
with its horns, full grown, on it. Perhaps this may be attainable 
by thy own procurement, or some of thy friends : and if thee canst 
inform us further, or better, in relation to those animals the Deer 
and Moose thee will much oblige thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Pray remember, for friend Catesby, flowers of the Papaw. He 
will thank thee very kindly for the fruit ; and come they either 
dry, or in spirits, they will lose their colour : so pray describe it 
as well as thee can, that he may be qualified to paint it; and what 
colour is the fruit, when ripe, and its time of flowering, and time 
when the fruit is ripe. 

Possibly some of your Indian traders may procure a Deer, or 
Stag's scalp, with the horns on. 

1738-9.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 125 

London, February 1, 1738-9. 

Dear Friend : 

I forgot in my former, to give thee some account of the success 
of the turtle eggs. Unlucky for thee and for me, the captain set 
the hox in the forecastle of the ship, where it was cold and wet ; 
and notwithstanding thy care in pitching part of it, some water got 
to it, and the earth being cold, chilled the eggs ; and I am afraid 
the box was tumbled up and down, which might bruise the eggs ; 
and I think the eggs were put in too large a quantity of heavy 
earth. I carried them in the mould, and set them in a warm bake- 
house, where they bake constantly every day ; but yet not one 
came to good. Now, before, they were packed in light dry mould, 
in a smaller box and less earth, and set under the cabin, which is 
a very close, warm place, and by that genial heat, which pene- 
trated easily through the earth, supplied the place of the sun, and 
carried them on to maturity. 

But though our success was indifferent in one, the good state 
of the plants that came in the mould, made ample amends. I take 
them very kindly at thy hands. I shall soon expect their appear- 
ance. I have little to wish, but for Dens Qanis with the yellow 
flower. I hope those thou sent, will flower this year ; though I 
suspect it, for I think they are not strong enough. 

The box of insects came in perfect good order are extremely 
fine, and a great variety, and nicely cured and displayed. I desire 
thy acceptance of a piece of Sagathy, in acknowledgment for them. 

It was very lucky to find the chrysalis of that noble fine Moth. 

T* *1* 5|C JJC JjC 5JC 5|S ?(* Jj JjC 

I am much in a hurry ; so cannot but add, I am thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

I dare not look into thy letters, for I know there are many 
things that require my notice ; but I can't yet do it. 

I sent some Ginseng roots to China. If they sell well, a good 
profitable trade may be carried on. In the mean time, sow the 
seed, and raise a stock to furnish my friend, when he returns. I 
intend the benefit for thyself. Keep that a secret, and raise what 
thee canst; for I have an opinion it will turn to account, if my friend 
manages it rightly. 

126 PETER COLLINSON [1738-9. 

London, February 7, 1738-9. 

Dear Friend John : 

Notwithstanding thy cargo of seeds is not arrived, yet, as I 
know thy probity, and the service a remittance may be to thee, 
and as such another opportunity may not offer this year, to send 
halfpence because there is some difficulty attends it, unless the 
captain is in our interest ; for this reason, our right trusty and 
well-beloved Captain Wright has procured for thee ten pounds' 
worth of halfpence : for which I this day took his receipt, and paid 
him the money for them. I wish them safe to thy hands, and am 
thy real friend, 


London, February 7, 1738-9. 

Captain Edward Wright : 

Pray deliver to John Bartram's own hand, ten pounds' worth 
of halfpence, for which I have your receipt ; and my friend John's 
receipt shall be a sufficient discharge for so doing. I am your sin- 
cere friend, 


Captain Wright has also a brown paper parcel for thee. 

Pray remember seed of the Red Cedar, for a friend of Lord 
Petre, for which thou shall be paid thy price, separately a bushel 
or two : and a large quantity small cones of Swamp Laurel, or 
White Tulip Tree \_Magnolia glauca, L.]. 

I hope thy box of seeds, from your proprietor, has come safe to 

I long for next ship, to hear of thy Virginia expedition. 

I fancy, now thee has made what discoveries thee for the pre- 
sent intends, thee will lie still, and let thy correspondent reap the 
benefit of them ; for I know, in rambling to and fro, not many 
seeds can be gathered, or at least, but a few sorts. But, when thee 
knows where to go for a particular plant, and the season of its 
ripening seed is a certainty, it is much securer than going on dis- 
coveries. However, thee will hear more by next ship. 

Friend John, pray call at J. Logan's. I have sent thee a print 

1738-9.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 127 

of the great Magnolia; and with it, thee will see a Catalogue of 
our American plants. 

London, February 24, 1738-9. 

Pensylvania Coffee-House. 

Friend John : 

To-morrow Captain Weight sails : so that I have only time to 
acquaint thee that no ship is jet arrived, that makes me in pain 
for the cargo of seeds, for this year. He has been so good to pro- 
cure for tliv use, ten pounds' worth of halfpence. I paid him 4s. 
6d. for procuring and carrying on board. He has also a piece of 
Sagathy, for thy own wear. 

Captain Bream is not yet got clear off the Channel. He has* 
been stayed some weeks, so that Wright may have a chance of 
getting as soon as him. I think I never remember the like. We 
have had southwest winds, with very short intervals of east-north- 
east, which was so variable, that no ship has got clear of the 
Channel since the 13th December. Some ships have had a terrible 
time on't, lying so long in the Downs. This wind has brought us 
exceeding temperate weather. Our Almond trees were in blossom 
by the latter end of January, and all vegetables in proportion. No 
frost since the 5th of January, and but very slight ones before. 

I have writ by Captain Bream, and sent a box of seeds under 
cover to Thomas Penn ; and a parcel to J. Logan, per Wright. 

But the principal reason of my writing now is, to desire thee to 
procure what plants thee canst of Ginseng, and plant in thy gar- 
den, and raise what thee canst from seed. I am well assured it 
will prove a very profitable commodity to China, who value it 
above anything. 

I have compared yours with the Chinese, and find them in all 
respects the same. Your proprietor was so kind to send me a con- 
siderable parcel, and I have trusted a particular friend with it, to 
carry to China, to see how they approve of it, and to find what 
price it bears ; but my friend is under promise not to discover that 
it is American, for if they know that, they are so fanciful, it may 
not be so good as their own.* 

*." Fanciful'' as the Chinese are, their prejudices on this head were not so 
firmly rooted as those of John Bull. "American" products, and especially the 
Ginseng, soon found a ready acceptance in the "Celestial Empire;" whereas it 


So get a stock by thee, as soon as thee can, and be sure conceal 
thy intention from every one. In twenty-four months my friend 
will be here again from China, and then shall give thee notice. 
Pray send me a root or two in mould, for my garden. 
It is now very late, so must conclude. 

Thy real frend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, April 12, 1739. 

Dear Friend : 

I hope thou has mine per Captain Wright, with the ten pounds 
in halfpence, and a piece of Sagathy. 

And now I shall take notice of thine of December 9th, which 
came very opportunely, and in pretty good season for the seeds ; 
for it was March the 9th I received thy letter, and in about a 
week's time I got the seeds from on board. All seemed in good 
order, but two parcels of acorns that had spired and were good for 
nothing had been better left behind than sent. These I have 
distributed as formerly. 

We think this year thee had better rest from thy labours, for I 
find travelling furnishes little but herbaceous seeds and specimens. 
What thy employers most want, are shrubs and trees ; and I find 
nothing new of these that thee has sent seeds of, but the fine Pine, 
which thou found in the Vale, which seems new to us ; and if thou 
could go at a proper season, and bring a horse-load of cones, it 
would be a very acceptable cargo. This sort, I observe, has three 
leaves in a sheath. The White Pine, of which thee sent a plant 
which thrives finely, is called here, as thee will find by Miller's 
Dictionary, Lord Weymouth's Pine. This sort is scarce and rare 
with us. Now a cargo of this will be very acceptable, and what 
thee must endeavour to collect ; and a quantity of the common Red 
or Jersey Pine, which has only two leaves in a sheath, more White 
and Red Cedar, Rose Laurel cones this was the most valuable in 
the last cargo, Papaw, Sugar Maple, Black Haw, or Indian 
Sweetmeat, Spruce cones, and all the sorts of Firs. 

Perhaps thee'll say these are only or chiefly to be had in New 

required ages and a political revolution to subdue the obstinate prepossessions 
cherished in the mother country against everything coming from or belonging to 
these colonies. 

1739.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 129 

England, or Newfoundland. I should not be against going thither 
for them at a proper time; but first let's get the seeds that are 
nearer home, for by thy several expeditions thee art now fully 
informed where there is the greatest quantity of the kinds we want 
growing ; and if thee should go to New England and bring home 
but little, I think it hardly quits cost. In that country I know 
nobody. After all that I have said, it must be left to thee ; but I 
think it had better be deferred, and only ransack the Jerseys, and 
the country about, if it will afford the seeds we want. And to 
encourage thee to proceed with spirit, I have got another person 
who desires the value of ten pounds sterling of cones of all the 
sorts of Pines thee can get. It is left to thee. Of the Jersey Pine 
I take it there is no great difficulty to get sufficient, and what thou 
can of the other sorts. Thee has not to do with unreasonable 
people. The ten pound cargo put in a case by itself, for I will 
have no more trouble of dividing ; and it would save me a great 
deal of trouble as Lord Petre has half if his was put in a case 
by itself. As to the other half, I may make a shift to divide that. 

In my last I acquainted thee with the fate of the Turtle eggs. 
Some of the roots are alive that came with them, in particular, the 
Dwarf Double Mountain Ranunculus ; and there is another with 
Narcissus leaves, which seems to me what I have had by the name 
of Atamasco Lilio-Narcissus, a pretty flower. None of the yellow 
flowering Dens Cants flowered this year; perhaps the roots are not 
of sufficient maturity. But the box of insects came safe and are 
very fine, in particular that noble moth. The jar with the Papaws 
came safe, and my friend Catesby thanks thee very much. 

Now, dear friend John, I come to thank thee for thy curious 
collection of living plants for myself. But oh ! sad story for to 
tell, not the least glimpse of one was to be seen. If the unworthy 
captain had set that case only in his cabin, all had been safe ; but 
it was stowed on the deck above the hold, and covered all over 
with pipe-staves. But all this might have been tolerable, if that 
mischievous and unruly vermin, the rats, had not fell on board it ; 
for so it was, when I came to get it out of the ship, lo, behold, two 
nests of young callow rats were kindled there ; and I take it, what 
with their trampling, &c, everything above ground was totally 
destroyed ; and I am afraid their excretions have affected the roots, 
for only one appeared to have life. It grieved me to the heart to 
see so many curious things, and so much labour and pains like to 



be destroyed by these nasty creatures, and the neglect of the 

But for the future, I must desire thee to put the living things 
in a less case, which takes up so much room that, unless it is a 
laro-e ship, there is not room for it : for all the sods of plants might 
have been packed in half the room, which would save a great deal 
of freight, for thee knows the earth about them is only intended 
to keep them moist till they come here, and then they are soon 
transplanted ; so that the sods may be thrust as close as possible 
to one another. Two inches of earth below, and covered two 
inches, may be sufficient to convey them hither. Be sure make 
the bottom full of large holes ; and rather make two small cases, 
which are more manageable, and more convenient to be stowed, 
than such a large one as the last, which I believe weighed two or 
three hundred-weight, and as much as two men could carry. 

I have very carefully planted all I could find of the roots, and 
please myself with hopes ; for I have had a many pretty plants 
come out of the earth, beside those intended. 

The White Lychnis I most regret; but pray don't part with it 
till thee has made sufficient increase. The Cluster Cherries thee 
formerly sent us, are grown fine plants ; but what is admirable, 
they hold their leaves all winter, that P. Miller takes them for 
an evergreen, and so do several of your shrubs. 

The Mountain Laurels seem to bud strong this, year; the Goose- 
berry and both the Shrub Honeysuckles grow finely, and most of 
that cargo, also the White Cedar, and sundry others ; which 
gives me great entertainment. 

The Sjjircea, with spikes of white flowers, holds its leaves all win- 
ter is a pretty plant; and an Opulus, as it seems to be, grows 
strongly, and out of the mould is come your Hepatiea; but what is 
surprising, your Herb Twopence [Lysimachia ?~\ scarcely shoots 
two new leaves a year, and I have tried it various w;i . 

Most of the Ferns thee formerly sent me, grow finely. I have 
hopes of these in the sods. I shall conclude, with observing what 
seeds will be acceptable next spring ; and am truly thine, 


Doctor Dillentus, to whom I referred the naming of the two 
quires, has not been well, which thee may perceive per the short- 

1739.] TO JOHN BARTRA.U 131 

ness of the name?, and many wanting ; but such as they are, I give 
thee, as under but I hope the Doctor may review them again. 

>-C ^C jfj ^C %. 

No. 5. Obcliseotheea, Hort. Eltham. or Chrysanthemum. This 
plant I have had long in my garden. I much admire it for 
its duration in flower. My friend Grace can best tell if 
this is his Corona, or Tower flower. Pray ask him. 
[Probably the Obeliscaria pinnata, of CASSINI and De 
Caxdolle ; or Lepachys pinnataj of Raeix. and Torrey 
and Gray.] * * * 

No. 6. The Yapon, of Virginia, or Cassena, of Carolina {Ilex 
Casscna, Mx. and Ell.; I. vomitoria, Ait. & DC.]. The In- 
dians drive a great trade with the berries (to make tea 
with) to the Gulf of Mexico. It is reckoned excellent for 
the miners. It grows nowhere to the northward of that 
island thee found it on, which belongs to Colonel Custis. 
I have it in my garden. * * 

No. 12. It was very ingeniously done, to send the flowers of the 
great Chamcerhododendron, which is a great satisfaction 
to our botanists, and anticipates the pleasure of seeing it in 
flower. Pray thank Mr. HAMILTON in my name for the 
favour, which did us a great pleasure, and saved thee much 
trouble. * * * 

No. 28. This white, long-coned Pine, we have had long in England, 
(but scarce,) called Lord "Weymouth's Pine. (Send cones.) 

No. 29. But what surprises me, that this, which is your common 
Pine, should not be described, or known to be in England, 
by all the search and inquiry that Dr. Dillexius or Phil. 
Miller, has been able yet to make. It is a fine plant. 

* * >k * $> 

No. 69. Christophoriana (Baccis cceruleis,) with blue berries. A 
good plant. "We have it not. [Leontice thalietroides, L.]. 

* # * * 

London, Jnly 10, 1739. 

Dear Friend: 

I am obliged to thee for thine per Headman : and have the 
pleasure to tell thee, that most of the plants in the last cargo thrive 


finely. I never had such luck before. That stately Martagon thee 
sent, found on a bank near Schuylkill, is now near flowering. It 
is five and a half feet high, and will, I believe, have fifteen flowers 
which is prodigious. It differs from the great Marsh Martagon, 
for that will not flower till the middle of August, and another 
sort, I had formerly from Doctor Witt ; but that Avas a smaller 
sort, and never has but four Or five flowers on a stalk. 

I had three of your Red Lilies, that flowered this year, that 
came in the last cargo : they had but one flower on each root. 
Pray, have they no more with you ? 

The Laurels all grow, or Chamcerhododendros ; the two Shrub 
Honeysuckles; and a very pretty plant a species of Hurtleberry, 
a Vitis idcea has been finely in blossom. The Gooseberry, from 
Conestogo, grows well; and above all, the AVhite Cedar thrives 
finely, and the Pine, which is what we call Lord Weymouth'- : 
and a many other pretty plants, which come out of the sods of 
mould, taken up with the plants, two or three sorts of Hellebo- 
rine, as they seem to be ; which shows that your woods are sowed 
thick with rare and odd plants. 

There are several other odd plants, that I can't yet discovei 
what they are : for all these I am much obliged to thee, and hope 
the things per Captain "Wligiit are come safe to hand, and I 
hope will make some part of amends for thy great care and 

I am much obliged to thee for thy kind offers of service. I 
shall ask nothing that I have done sufficiently already. It's fit thee 
should take breath a little. 

As to the Society that thee hints at, had you a set of learned, 
well-qualified members to set out with, it might draw your neigh- 
bours to correspond with you. Your Library Company I take to 
be an essay towards such a Society. But to draw learned strangers 
to you, to teach sciences, requires salaries and good encouragement ; 
and this will require public, as well as proprietary assistance, 
which can't be at present complied with considering the infancy 
of your colony. 

I have sent a few double Tulips, to ornament thy garden, and 
a few seeds ; and some offsets of best breeding Tulips, which are 
endowed with a wonderful faculty to diversify into variety of 
colours. Consult Miller, on their culture. 

The Ranunculuses will not bear your severe frosts without great 

1739.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 133 

tendance, and covering : so I would advise them to be put into the 
ground when their severity is over. 

The pretty Spircea, that thee sent me a specimen of in the quire 
before last, that I doubted if it was of your natural growth, I have 
now a plant in flower, that Doctor Witt sent me, which shows that 
it is. 

I have little more to add, but my love and respects. 

I am thy sincere friend, 


London, September 2, 1739. 

Dear Friend John : 

In thine of last December, thee seems to doubt if the Medlar is 
the Neapolitan ; but I do not doubt it. Perhaps the stock, or soil, 
does not suit it : for they grow here as large as the bottom of a 
common wine-glass. But thy dislike of the fruit may proceed from 
not knowing when they are ripe. * * 

The Persimmon, that thee so much commends, is what I never 
met with from others. But there may be different sorts. That 
which is ripe in September is fittest for us who lie twelve degrees 
more to the north than you do. I have in my garden the tallest 
tree I ever yet saw, sent me some years agone by Doctor Witt. 
It thrives and grows vigorously, and bears blossoms, but no fruit. 
But I have seen fruit ripe in England ; but it has but little reputa- 
tion here, perhaps for the same reason that I assigned for the 
Medlar. We have now plenty of this tree, in some gardens, which 
is much admired for its beautiful green leaves. 

In thine of April 1st, thee observes what difficulty there is to 
raise the White Bryony, which with us is a weed that we can't 
well get rid of. However, I intend to send more seed, for further 
trial. With us, it delights to grow on dry banks, that have stunted 
shrubs growing on them. These it covers, and makes a pretty 
show, when the berries are ripe. 

I hope thee has better success with the Larch cones sent this 
year. I have some fine trees of this kind, sent me from Newfound- 

I am surprised the Gorse should be killed with your cold, when 
they grow in the north of England, where the weather is much 
more severe than in the south. If this was sown on some dry 


banks, in your woods, I can't but think it would succeed better ; 
for thick woods, and the falling leaves, keep off the severe cold. I 
conceive it would be a good protection to any woody plant, if heaps 
of dry leaves were heaped up about it, in sharp weather. It would 
keep the cold from penetrating from above and below ; as for in- 
stance, if the Tree Sage was protected in this manner. As for the 
Wood Sage, that goes down every year. I am glad that thee has 
the Archangel and G-aleopsis; they will endure. 

I do not wonder that neither Rose nor Sweetbriar comes double, 
like their original. Thee hadst a chance for it. But if thee con- 
siders, no full double flowers are apt to produce seed some few 
excepted ; but seed is generally produced from what we call semi- 
double flowers, and these are the more liable to go to single. 

:: * * * 

I have this day received a letter from Petersburgh ; and am as- 
sured, per Doctor Ammann, Professor of Botany there, that the 
Siberian Rhubarb is the true sort. I wish a quantity was produced 
with you, to try the experiment. Both this and the Rhapontic 
make excellent tarts, before most other fruits fit for that purpose 
are ripe. All you have to do, is to take the stalks from the root, 
and from the leaves ; peel off the rind, and cut them in two or three 
pieces, and put them in crust with sugar and a little cinnamon ; 
then bake the pie, or tart : eats best cold. It is much admired 
here, and has none of the effects that the roots have. It eats most 
like gooseberry pie. 

Our friend Catesby gives thee many thanks for thy remembrance 
of him, and for the Papaw blossoms and fruit. 

An acceptable present to Lady Petre, I believe, would be a 
Humming-bird's nest, with eggs. 

I am obliged to thee for thy care of the Sugar Birch (pray send 
me a good specimen of it), and for the Laurustinus thee intends 
me. Pray let it be well grown, and a flowering plant : I am not 
in haste. The root of the Oak shows what a rich depth of soil you 

* * ^ * 

If I write the same things over again, thee must excuse it ; for 
multitude of affairs divert my memory, and my letters are not worth 
copying, being mostly writ behind the counter. 

I have procured the other things mentioned in thy order, which 
I have committed to the care of Lawrence Williams. They are 

1740.] TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 135 

all in a box, marked I. B. No. 1, and thy name in length on the 
side. At the bottom of the box, is a specimen of what our bota- 
nists have dubbed Collinsonia, but I think it should rather be Bar- 
tramia; for I had it in the very first seeds thee sent me. Miller 
is mistaken in making it come from Maryland. Pray fail not, next 
year, to send me some seed for it, for it flowers so late it will not 

ripen here. 


Lord Petre has sent thee a present of PniLiP Miller's second 
part of his Dictionary, in return for the specimens sent him. Thou 
will see a cut in P. M.'s Dictionary, of a Polygala, which is a re- 
puted specific for a pleurisy [doubtless the P. Senega, L.]. 

London, June 10, 1740. 

Dear Friend : 

On the other sides are a miscellany of matters, as they come into 
my noddle. 

I find in the cargo of Martagons, had from thee and others, that 
there is apparently two sorts ; and two sorts of your Lilies with 
single flowers. I have one opened this day, that may be called 
literally the Fiery Lily. It is the deepest flame-colour I ever saw. 
It is really a fine flower, and, I think, of thy sending. The other 
Lilies will not flower this month. * * * 

Thee sent me what we call the Atamasco Lily, from its shape. 
It has a blush of purple before the flower opens ; is white within. 
It is properly a Lilio-N'arciss : the leaves of the last, and flower of 
the first. If, in thy rambles, thee happens on this flower, pray 
send a root or two. And please to remember a lump of Sweet 
Gum ; Sour Gum ; Allspice Gum, if it bears any. Does the Red 
or White Cedar produce any? This last thrives finely. The 
leaves have a fine spicy smell. 

^< ^ * >K * 

I shall conclude with my best wishes for thy prosperity ; and am 
thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

* * ' * * >jc 

Pray see what further Mosses thee canst collect for Doctor 
Dillexius. He defers completing his work, till he sees what 
comes from thee, Clayton, and Doctor Mitchell. 


The Caleeolus, in the last cargo, proves at last a fine red one 
a very curious flower, indeed. M. Catesby has painted it. 

Amongst the last things, there is a very pretty Lychnis, with 
pale blue flowers, and sweet smell; but a many of the lumps of 
mould don't yet appear. I wish the beasts of rats han't killed 
them. The little box, by Seymour, han't fared much better ; for 
they made a nest in that. * 

London, July 22d, 1740. 

Dear Friend : 

I had the pleasure of thine, of April 29th, 1740. Thy experi- 
ment of the usefulness of the Farina, is very curious and enter- 
taining.* Where plants of a class are growing near together, they 
will mix and produce a mingled species. An instance we have in 
our gardens, raised by the late Thomas Fairciiild, who had a 
plant from seed, that was compounded of the Carnation and Sweet 
William. It has the leaves of the first, and its flowers double like 
the Carnation the size of a Pink, but in clusters like the Sweet 
William. It is named a Mule, per analogy to the mule pro- 
duced from the Horse and Ass. 

Writing on these matters, brings to mind the Papaw an In- 
dian fruit, which in our stoves is produced in great plenty. On 
this tree, is very remarkably distinct, male, female, and herma- 
phrodite blossoms, which are very extraordinary to see : but whe- 
ther the last is an assistant in generation, or is a sport in nature, 
is not yet agreed. 

Thy journey to the mountains must be very . delightful, and 
affords a double gratification, to please both thyself and friends. 

It is something particular, in your Yew's taking root as it trails 
on the ground. I never observed ours to do so. * * * 

Of all the American people I ever talked with about your Mul- 
berries (which we have in our gardens), that one of ours, for large- 
ness and flavour, is worth a many of yours : but how it happens 
that Doctor Kearsley thinks the contrary, I can't say. 

* * * * # 

Doctor Witt's hollow-leafed Lavender, is, no doubt, the Side- 

* This, doubtless, refers to the experiments by Joiin Baktram on the Lychnis 
dioica, in corroboration of those upon Indian Corn, then recently made by James 

1740.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 137 

saddle flower ; but what relation it has to Lavender, I must leave 
to him. The plant with tricolor leaves, I am well assured, is your 
fine Olinopodium. Our late severe winter has carried all mine 
off; so pray send me some more seed, and of the Lychnis with 
Crosswort leaves. 

The Doctor did not carefully distinguish, or observe, the fruit 
he mentions, which I take to be no more than an excrescence 
raised by insects, like Galls and Oak-apples ; which have a pulpy 
substance in them of a beautiful complexion sufficient to set a 
breeding woman a longing, and yet are raised only as a proper 
nidus, and vehicle, to contain and nourish the infant insect till it 
is fit to take wing, and provide for itself. It is certainly so, by 
the small white worm which he mentions, which grows brown 
which is then in chrysalis as the fruit grows riper. 

London, October 20, 1740. 

Dear Friend : 

Inclosed is the Mate's receipt for a box of bulbs, directed for 
thee. Make much of them ; for they are such a collection as is 
rarely to be met with, all at once : for, all the sorts of bulbous 
roots being taken up this year, there is some of every sort. There 
is above twenty sorts of Crocus as many of Narcissus all our 
sorts of Martagons and Lilies with Gladiolus, Ornitlwg alums, 
Moleys and Irises, with many others I don't now remember, which 
time will show thee. It is likely some sorts thee may have ; but 
I believe there is more that you have not ; so pray take great care 
of them. Give them a good soil, and keep them clear from weeds, 
which are a great prejudice to these flowers in the spring. 

I have several very curious flowers out of the mixed Virginia 
seeds ; in particular a new Jacea, with hoary rough leaves ; a very 
pretty dwarf Gentian, with a large blue flower, the extremity of 
the flower-leaves, all notched or jagged. The whole plant is not 
above three or four inches high; I am afraid it is an annual.* 
But there is a great variety, besides: a very pretty Gratiola, 
and a Dracoceplialon, it has a labiated flower like Snap Dragon, 

* This, apparently, refers to our Gentiana crinita, though it is seldom so dwarf- 
ish -with us. Authors, generally, speak of it as a biennial : and when I hinted a 
suspicion (in Flora Cestrica) that it might be an annual, I was not aware that 
Peter Coixixson had the same suspicion, nearly a century before. 


and is very near akin to it. Lord Petre has had the greatest 
luck, having the largest quantity of seed. He has two or three 
sorts of fine Chrysanthemums, or Sun-fiWers : Asters, I have a 
fine new sort. Your thickets must make a beautiful show in the 
autumn, with these plants ; for I see they must be in great plenty,^ 
for almost every sod has an Aster growing with the curious 
plant that thee sent. * * 

I hope I shall now see Josselyn's Daffodil, or your Dens Canis, 
with a yellow flower, in perfection. 

I am much obliged to thee for the account of Dr. "Witt's rari- 
ties. Thee has unravelled the whole mystery. 

Pray tell me, is the plant thee calls a Valerian, with blue 
flowers, which came in the last cargo, a native of your country ? 
for it has been long in our gardens. "We call it Greek Valerian 

Every day I expect thy last specimens from Holland. They 
have been long delayed by many accidents, but I can't help my- 
self; for Doctor Gronovius is so kind to fix them neatly on fine 
white paper, that they look as beautiful as so many pictures, and 
names them into the bargain. Neither my skill nor time would 
permit me to do this ; so I am glad to comply with his own time : 
but this will prevent me giving names to the last two quires, till 
next year. I can tell thee in the next edition of Virginia plants, 
thee will see Bartramia. * * 

I am thy true and sincere friend, 


London, December 20, 1740. 

Friend John : 

It is to be hoped that thy patience will be rewarded with some 
knowledge, as the other part of the sheet will inform thee.* 

There are many names not to be met with in old botanists. 
The discoveries of such numbers of plants in your world, has obliged 
our moderns, being new genuses to give them new names. 

* "The other part of the sheet" contains a numbered list, as named by Gro- 
novius of the specimens -which had been sent by John Bartram to P. Collin- 
son. In that list, one of the specimens is thus noticed : 

"Cortus^; sive Verbasci. Fl. Virg. pp. 74, 75. This, being a new genus, may 
be called Bartramia." 

1740-1.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 139 

If thee hast any complaint, Doctor Gronovius is answerable. 
I am, my good friend, much thine, in haste, 


"We are much in fear, lest the rascally Spaniards should fall foul 
on our vegetable cargoes. * * * 

As thee has the Flora Virginica, thee will find most if not all 
the plants mentioned there. I have sent thee a correct preface, 
in our worthy friend J. Logan's parcel. 

Loudon, February 25, 1740-1. 

Dear Friexd : 

I now come to answer thine of November 7th, 1740, and give 
thee some account of thy cargoes. 

The three long boxes of seeds came all safe and in very good 
order, and gave content. The two boxes of plants in earth, were 
of a right size, and came in excellent order ; everything appearing 
as fresh and lively as if that minute taken out of the woods. 

I wish we had been so lucky to have thought of this method be- 
fore : thy pains, and so many fine plants had not been lost. 

One box I gave to Lord Petre, and the other to M. Catesby, 
and reserved only for myself the Lady's Slipper and Ipecacuanha; 
the others I had before ; and the little box of insects was in fine 
order. * * * * 

The box of specimens, with seeds and nests, came very well. The 
mechanism of the last will afford much contemplation. One I 
shall give Lord Petre, and the other keep myself. The Indian 
curiosity and piece of pot, I shall speak more particularly to, at 
more leisure, for now is our greatest hurry. 

In return for so many rare things, I desire thy acceptance of 
four volumes of Natural History, which I don't doubt will give thee 
great entertainment. Thee will find the account of the Sea Muscle 
will explain what thee has formerly observed, and writ to me about ; 
which I had intended to have answered, but that I intended to send 
thee these books, which are much esteemed here. 

I can't enough commend thy diligence in procuring such a noble 
collection of herbaceous seeds. Lord Petre, P. Miller, and Dr. 
Dillexius, have principally shared in them. Then I pick and 
choose what plants I like. A few favourites I sow myself ; but as 

140 PETER COLLINSON [1740-1. 

theirs are botanic gardens, all sorts are greatly acceptable to them. 
I love all fine, showy, specious plants. 

I am extremely obliged to thee for the chrysalises. It is won- 
derful, as thee observes, to see the surprising instinct and contri- 
vance of the creature, to preserve itself from being lost and trodden 
under foot, by the strong web, that both secures it and the stalk of 
the leaf to the twig. * * * 

The shell thee sent is very curious. I shall remember thee for 
it. The petrifactions are as extraordinary : shall at proper time 
further consider them. But pray what distance is the mountain 
from the sea ? 

The cavern thee was so hardy to ramble through every creek 
and corner is a strange phenomenon in nature ; and what can be 
the original cause and intention, or real use of these cavities in the 
earth, is best known to the Great Architect of them. We know of 
little else, than to raise our admiration. They have, indeed, some- 
times served for a retreat and place of hiding, but they are not 
habitable ; though some creature thought fit to use one of its isles 
for its magazine. 

This puts me in mind to ask thee a question, if thee ever met 
with a harmless land animal, about the size of the large gray Fox- 
Squirrel, called a Monach. It has a long brown fur, and seems to 
have much of the squirrel and rat in its composition. It has lived 
several years, running about house like a cat, eats green roots and 
fruits ; was sent me from Maryland, where it is also called One of 
the Seven Sleepers, for it buries itself in the #ellar in September 
or October, as the season happens warmer or colder, and comes out 
again in March or April. I never met with any one mention this 
creature but Lawsox, in his History of Carolina.* 

But now I come to take notice of the main article, and tell thee 
that I have procured twenty pounds, ten shillings, in halfpence, 
which I have put up in a strong cask. Thy name is writ on the 
head at length, and I have ordered D. Barclay to put up two 
pieces cloth in I. Pemberton, Jr.'s goods for thee. * * * 

I could not omit sending thee the above-mentioned <20. 10s. by 
Captain Wright, who is a most obliging man, and he knows thee, 
and perhaps may give the carriage, though I shall not receive the 
money this twelvemonth, nay, I have now some standing two years ; 

f The reference here, is to the Marmot, or Maryland Woodchuck ; called 
Ground-hog in Pennsylvania (Arctomys Monax, Harlan). 

1740-1.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 141 

for it is very hard getting money of great people, though I give 
them my labour and pains into the bargain. They are glad of the 
cargo, but are apt to forget all the rest. They give good words, 
but that will not always do ; but for thy sake, and if it will but 
contribute to keep thee in thy circumstances, I gladly will do all, 
and much more, if it will but be of service to thee, and encourage 
thy ingenuity. * * * * v 

It is very entertaining to survey the great variety of Mosses that 
there is with you, as well as with us. I have sent mine down to 
the Doctor, who admires at thy diligence. He observes paper is 
scanty, so has desired me to send thee half a ream of writing paper, 
which comes in a parcel per Captain Weight, with some paper 
for specimens. The books, Tourxefoet, are a present from Lord 
Petre, which I hope will make thee easy. 

I sent all thou desired to Doctor Lawsox ; doubt not but thee 
will hear from him and Catesbt. The last has a mind to figure 
the Laurel, or Chamserhododendron, and by the fine specimens 
thee hast sent, is pretty able to do it ; but Ave are at a loss for the 
exact figure and shape of the flowers. Thee says it is of a pale 
red, or blush colour ; but in thy last letter thee says they are 
studded with green spots. Now here we are at a loss again, so if 
thee can help us, pray do. Thee tells me that thee has a mind to 
draw or paint it, pray try. One single flower is sufficient, and 
some marks where the spots are ; we can easily add the rest. 
Leaves and seed-vessels we have, and also growing plants. 

Colonel Custis and I. Randolph kindly remember thee. 

The draft of the cavern, and map of thy journal, make each very 
conceivable and intelligible ; but pray what does Whitfield pre- 
tend to do with the five thousand acres of land ? 


Wheat is now seven shillings per bushel, but is expected lower. 
I am, dear John, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Inclosed is a seed-vessel of a plant that may deserve some obser- 
vations. It proves to be a species of Cham^rhododendros. It was 
sent me, with more seed and a specimen, from Russia. It abounds 
in the woods that are found in the neighbourhood of the lake of 
Baikal, in lat. 55, which lies in Eastern Tartary, but now in the 
possession of Russia. Another species of this fine plant is found 


in the country near the Euxine Sea, in Turkey ; and that found 
with you being nearly in the same latitude, it shows the unlimited 
power and goodness of the Creator, that such fine plants, so nearly 
related, should be dispersed in places so remote from each other, 
to gratify and please mankind. It flowers beginning of May ; the 
inside of the flower white, the outside of a faint red or blush 
colour. The green leaves are exactly like yours, and the flowers 
come in clusters, like yours. 

M. Gatbsbt has sent thee his first part as a present. * * 
Inclosed is a letter to Doctor Colden, surveyor-general of New 
York. He may be of great service to thee, to inform thee where 
is the likeliest place to find the Firs. He is a very ingenious man, 
and has writ a very entertaining and informing history of the Six 
Indian Nations, which he has been so kind to send me. Pray go 
soon, and look out sharp for the Balm of Gilead Firs, and Black, 
Red, and White Spruce, as Mr. Dudley calls them. I hope thee 
will meet with more of the White Pine, for our people are insatiable 
after them. 

London, June 6, 1741. 

Dear Friend : 

. I was glad to see thine of December 4th, and March 22d : and 
am sorry for the fate of the two boxes, which are all spoilt. I 
shall answer thine fully by next ship. 

We all hope thee has taken, or will take, a progress to Hud- 
son's River, to find the Balm of Gilead Fir. Pray call on Doctor 
Coldex, at Albany, who may inform thee where these trees grow. 
* * * I saw to-day, at Sir Hans Sloane's, a 
great curiosity, a Porcupine, brought from Hudson's Bay. It 
was two feet nine inches from head to tail, and a foot high, with a 
young one. It was wonderful to observe how this animal, which 
is found in the very hot countries, was so contrived to endure and 
subsist in the coldest ; for it is provided with a very thick fur coat, 
covered with hairs, and in this its quills are secreted ; so that, un- 
less the hair is turned up, they are not discovered : but no doubt 
the creature can erect them for defence. It is a wonderful animal 
of a dark brown ; but its little one was of a shining sleek black, 
and had no quills, but there was some appearance of their coming. 
The Porcupines from the South, are covered all over with quills, 

1741.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 143 

without any other mixture of hair, or down, and their quills four 
times as long. 

M. Catesby is wonderfully pleased with his letter. 

I am thine, 

P\ Collixsox. 

London, July 21, 1741. 

Dear Friend J. Bartram : 

* The Calceolus thrives finely, that thee sent me 
this year ; but did not flower, which I believe is owing to a Corona 
Solis that unluckily grows out of the midst of it, which robs it of 
its nourishment, which I did not know when I planted it and now 
I can't remove it without danger to both. Sure your woods and 
thickets are all flowers. The Mitella has flowered strongly : it is 
a pretty, odd thing. Consult Miller on it. * 

* In answer to thine of December 4, 1740 ; and March 
22d ult. The specimens of Sweet and Sour Gum I received, and 
prove to satisfaction ; but I want the Grum of each sort, and the 
Gum of Arbor Benzoin, or your Allspice Tree. And pray send 
me a Wasp or two, of that sort that builds their nests with clay ; 
for that I had, happened to be broke. Your Valerian \_Polemo- 
niwm\ is pretty, and different from ours. 

We see the particular effects of resentment and antipathy, in thy 
contempt of the Opossum. I have both seen them and handled 
them, and put my hand in ner pouch, and thought her a pretty 
creature, without any offensive smell, or anything disagreeable. * 

* * * I have filled the little box with mould 
that all came with Currant vines from the island of Zante, in the 
Archipelago. In it I have sown seeds of Cyclamens, and Tourne- 
fort's fine Armenian perennial Poppy. * 

* * * My friend Charles Read acquainted 
me thou intended to set out for Albany, May 22d ; a delightful 
month to travel in, when Nature is in all her beauty ; but I con- 
clude that was purely for discoveries against the fall. I hope this 
will find thee safe returned, and everything answering to thy 
wishes. The last seeds came up very well. The Pine seeds, and 
Oaks, came up as thidt: as grass. 

Doctor Dillenius gives his service, and has sent three or four 
reams of the largest size paper, being sheets of his Hortus Eltha- 


mensis; winch will make noble books for specimens. But as freight 
is dear, and captains strangers, I shall defer sending them till I 
have an opportunity by our worthy generous friend, Captain 
WRIGHT, to whom pray my hearty respects. 

Doctor Lawson is likely to go physician to the next supply of 
land forces that are soon intended for Jamaica, to recruit Admiral 
Vernon. Whatever is sent for him, must be directed to me. 

Pray has thee ever* seen the Monack, or Seven Sleeper the 
Moose, Martin, and Black Fox ? Something of this I have hinted 
in my former letters. Should be glad, at thy leisure, of some ob- 
servations on them. * * 

We have had, since the 7th of May, the most delightful summer 
I ever knew. Before that memorable day, there seemed a prospect 
of dearth and famine to all grass-feeding animals ; for we had had 
no rain for months past, that there was no more appearance of 
grass, or herbage, than in winter. But then it pleased God, in 
his great compassion to the work of his hands, which was perishing 
in numbers, to open the windows of heaven, and give us plenty of 
rain, which soon filled up the gaping crannies of the thirsty ground, 
and an abundant plenty of grass ensued, and such a crop of corn, 
of all kinds, was scarcely ever known in England, and the finest 
harvest to get it in. 

Now, dear John, with a cheerful heart, I can bid thee farewell ; 
and am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

The Armenian Poppy is called, by Tournefort, " Papaver 
orieyitale hirsutissimum flore magno." 

London, September 1, 1741. 

Friend John : 

I have little to add to former accounts. I fully expected thy 
last quire of specimens from Holland, in time to send thee their 
names, but they are not yet arrived ; but perhaps they may be- 
fore this ship sails, which I think will be the last from this port 
this year. 

I shall now wait with some impatience ta hear from thee, and 
how thou fared in thy expedition to Hudson's River ; what disco- 

1741.] T0 JOHN BART RAM. 145 

veries thou has made, to tempt thy subscribers to continue their 

The trees and shrubs raised from thy first seeds, are grown to 
great maturity.' Last year Lord Petre planted out about ten 
thousand Americans, which, being at the same time mixed with 
about twenty thousand Europeans, and some Asians, make a very 
beautiful appearance ; great art and skill being shown in con- 
sulting every one's particular growth, and the well blending the 
variety of greens. Dark green being a great foil to lighter ones, 
and bluish green to yellow ones, and those trees that have their 
bark and back of their leaves of white, or silver, make a beautiful 
contrast with the others. 

The whole is planted in thickets and clumps, and with these mix- 
tures are perfectly picturesque, and have a delightful effect. This 
will just give thee a faint idea of the method Lord Petre plants 
in, which has not been so happily executed by any : and, indeed, 
they want the materials, whilst his lordship has them in plenty. 

His nursery being fully stocked with flowering shrubs, of all 
sorts that can be procured, with these, he borders the outskirts 
of all his plantations : and he continues, annually, raising from 
seed, and layering, budding, grafting that twenty thousand trees 
are hardly to be missed out of his nurseries. 

When I walk amongst them, one cannot well help thinking he 
is in North American thickets, there are such quantities. But, 
to be at his table, one would think South America was really 
there, to see a servant come in every day, with ten or a dozen 
Pine Apples as much as he can carry. I am lately come from 
thence, quite cloyed with them. 

Thee will not think I talk figuratively, Avhen I tell thee that his 
Pine Apple stove is sixty feet long, twenty feet wide, and height 
proportionable ; and if I further tell thee, that his Guavas, Pa- 
paws, Ginger and Limes, are in such plenty, that yearly he makes 
abundance of wet sweetmeats, of his own growth, that serves his 
table and makes presents to his friends. Finer I never saw or 
tasted from Barbadoes, nor better cured ; but these trees grow in 
beds of earth, in houses, some twenty, some thirty feet high. It 
is really wonderful, to see how nature is helped and imitated by 
art : but besides, his collection of the West and East India plants 
is beyond thy imagination. 

Here I must end; because it is endless to mention the great 


14 6 PETER COLLINSON [1741. 

variety of contrivances in his gardens, to produce all fruits and 
plants in the greatest perfection. 

So, dear John, farewell, 

P. Collinson. 

I have collected a parcel of mostly Nectarine stones, being a 
fruit most wanted with you. Perhaps they may thrive best on 
their own stocks. The Plum stones are mostly Green Gage, 
which is the best Plum that grows. I apprehend they will all come 
up the first year ; though I am told some will not till the second. 

London, Sept. 16th, 1741. 

Friend John : 

There came up amongst the new sort of Poplar seed, sent in last 
cargo, a pretty many plants that were formerly in our gardens, 
called the Jesuit's Bark Tree. It's a pithy plant, like Elder ; but 
the leaves are longer, and of a deep green. Dost thou know any- 
thing of it? \Iva fruteseens, L.?]. 

Pray send some Ginseng seed ; but roots will be better. I had 
great expectation I had this rare plant, but don't find it proves so. 
The young leaves of the Prenanthes, or Doctor Witt's Snake- 
root, I took for it. 

These are stones of the Katherine Peach ; which is the best late 
peach we have. 

I have sent some Horse Chestnuts, which are ripe earlier than 
usual : hope they will come fit for planting. 


P. Collinson. 

I am glad I can send you Doctor Gronovius's List of your 
plants, collected anno 1740. 

Some Observations on Specimens, 1741. 

No. 1. Sweet Fern. This seems to me a shrub ; but whether Ever- 
green or no, can't tell. \Comptonia asplenifolia, Ait.]. 
Should be glad of a root or two. 

No. 15. Pray send me one or two growing plants of the Ginseng, 
for I mightily want it. Every one expects I have it. 

1741-2.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 147 

Wo. 62. Sea Plum, is a curiosity, especially the large one as big 
as a Nectarine {Prunus Americana, Marshall ?]. 

Your Holly, I am pleased to see : have often heard of it. 

Remember seed of Collinsonia ; for I want it much, for several 

The downy specimen, 69 of Lord Petre, that thou gathered 
near Cape May, is a plant that we have long had in our gardens, 
by the name of Senecio arborescens, or Groundsel Tree [Baccharis 
halimifoUa, L.] ; but ours never seen in this beautiful downy state, 
for which reason we think it the male. If thee happens where this 
shrub grows, again, pray make some observation about it, if there 
is male and female plants. These in haste : I wish thou may guess 
at my meaning. 

Send specimen of Black Gum, in flower. Hast thee observed 
the mechanism of the seed-vessel, when it chips or sprouts ? It 
thrusts off a valve, to let the gemma come forth, which is so hard 
at first, as not to be opened without breaking. The power of vege- 
tation is great. 

I shall soon send thy specimens to Holland, to Doctor Grono- 
vius, from whom thou may expect a good account : but only one 
must stay some time for it. 

London, Feb. 3d, 1741-2. 

Dear Friend John : 

All thy cargoes came safe and well, by Captain Wright : so 
shall defer saying more, till I come to answer thy other letters in 

I have thine before me of March 22d, which, if I remember 
right, I have fully answered per Captain Bream, in mine of Sep- 
tember 16th. 

I must also inform thee, that the box of seeds per Captain 
Brown, and thy letter, are come safe. We have been very fortu- 
nate, to escape the Spaniards in all our cargoes, on both sides. 

In answer to thine of July 22d : 

I am delighted with thy account of your Muscle, and with the 
specimen thee has sent, which confirms all that thee has said on 
this head : and being on this subject, I will send thee a rough 
sketch of a muscle that I discovered by accident in one of our mar- 
kets. It is wonderful to think that anything new is to be disco- 

148 PETER COLLINSON [1741-2. 

vered on our coasts ; but so it is. We have not been able to find 
this described in any book, or author of Natural History. In its 
nature it seems to agree near with our and your Solen by some 
called Razor-shell, by others, Finger-shell, and what thou reckons 
a sort of clams, which I delivered to Sir Hans per thy order. 

I observe that thou takes no notice of any natural history rela- 
ting to the Monac, or ground-hog. As the creature will be as 
tame as a cat (for I gave one to Sir Hans Sloane, who was much 
delighted with it and became a domestic animal, ran up and 
down, like dog or cat, for years), it would be pretty to keep one, 
and observe the provision he makes for his winter's abode, for six 
or seven months sleeping, or living all that time without food. 

I find thee has seen some of the fruit, or nuts, I mentioned ; 
but I don't find the butter-nut which is plenty in New England, 
as a gentleman tells me has yet come under thy notice, with the 
Medlar and Sagamore's head. 

I have much ado to read thy letter ; for some mischievous in- 
sect has eaten thy letter in large holes, in four places. To pre- 
vent this, wrap them up in dry tobacco leaves. 

I shall endeavour to look about the Sweet and Sour Gum. Is 
this last called Black Gum ? Or are they different plants ? I 
hope thou has Doctor Gronovius's names to thy cargo, 1741. 
What notice he takes of these plants, I can't well remember ; but 
will look, at my leisure. 

That some variegations may be occasioned by insects, is certain ; 
but then these are only annual, and cease with the year. But 
those variegations that are permanent, in our Hollies and Philly- 
reas, proceed from a distemper in the juices (like jaundice, in men 
and women). Take a bud from a variegated Jessamine, and insert 
it into a plain Jessamine ; not only the bud will continue its varie- 
gation, but will also infect and impregnate the circulating juices, 
that the branches and leaves, above and below the bud, will ap- 
pear variegated. 

This is a plain demonstration of the circulation of the sap, and 
is a vegetable inoculation, which is very analogous to that practised 
on the human species which I hear is very successfully operated 
with you but obtains little with us ; for we are fearful of bringing 
on a distemper, which oft proves mortal on persons that never 
might have had it in a natural way. I have two children, but dare 
not venture on the experiment, for fear of the consecpiences. 

1741-2.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 149 

I am now about entering upon thy journey to Albany ; but must 
first stop to tell thee that the History that thou so much admired 
at our good friend Governor Morris's, thou may soon have the 
pleasure to call thy own ; for, with what thou sent, and I have 
added, Sir Hans was so pleased, that he said, " What shall I send 
Mr. Bartram?" I proposed his History. He paused. I said 
how acceptable such a thing would be. In short, without entering 
into a detail of a little contrivance, he has sent it thee as a present, 
and it will come by Wright. 

The mole I sent him he was much pleased with, because it was 
new and different from ours, but the insects had made sad havoc 
with it. A better specimen will please better. The bole and blue 
stone I sent him, and others. If thee hast a specimen of petrifac- 
tion gathered on a hill betwixt the Highlands and Shongo Moun- 
tains, that I sent to Sir Hans, I should like such another. 

The Wasps' nests, of both sorts, were new, and pleased much. 
He desires and so do I specimens of the Wasps, that are the 
builders, particularly distinguished. 

I am extremely obliged to Governor Morris, and his son, for 
their kind assistance. Pray, did thee find no sort of shells on the 
verge of those lakes, on the mountains ? 

I am not a little concerned, that thou missed seeing Doctor 
Colden : he is a very ingenious, intelligent man. And also for 
thy disaster, in passing the river. Pray, be very careful for the 
future, and look before thou leaps. 

Of the seeds thou sent, the Rose Laurel are some come up, and 
are very thriving ; Red Cedar, by thousands ; White Cedar, a few; 
Black Haws, none must send a young tree two, three, or four ; 
White Pine, some; Sassafras, a few; Sugar Maple, a few; All- 
spice, a few ; Witch Hazel, one, what they belong to, I can't say. 
Make these queries to Doctor Dillexius. Has thee consulted 
Miller ? The last being new, he may know nothing of. 

Rose Laurel, White Cedar, White Pine, and Sassafras, thou can- 
not send too much, for we can never have enough of them. 

I was out in the country when specimen 105 flowered ; but, by 
making no seed, fancy it is male. 

I heartily wish a subscription may go on for thy encouragement ; 
for thy subscribers may soon be furnished, and then will withdraw 
their subscriptions. Some talk of doing it. 

So much, I think, for thine of July 22d. But, before we part, 

150 PETER COLLINSON [1741-2. 

I must thank thee for thy dissertation on Whitfield. It has af- 
forded some entertainment. He has, for some time, made no noise 
here ; which I presume is on the account of a rich wife, he has 
lately got, which may spoil his spiritual exercises. * 

It's now late ; and it is with much difficulty I have stole this 
time, to assure thee that I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, March 3, 1741-2. 

Dear Fkiend John : 

By our good friend Captain "Wright, I have sent Sir Hans's 
kind present, of his Natural History of Jamaica, in two volumes. 
These I have put in a box, I had made on purpose for them, and 
directed it on two places for thee ; and with it, I sent on board, in 
a canvass wrapper, a large bundle of paper, a present from Doctor 
Dillexius ; which, I think, will furnish thee with paper for speci- 
mens, and for seeds, for thy lifetime. It is fine Dutch paper, and 
very fit for such purposes, because it will bear ink. It is the 
printing [paper] of his Hortus fflthamensis, a very curious work, 
when the cuts are with it. 

I thank thee for the Pellitory of Spain seed ; the name Giron- 
della was by mistake applied to it. I had only one root survived 
the hard winter of 1739-40. The root is esteemed excellent for 
the toothache, if from a cold humor : a little slice laid to the tooth, 
will draw out the cold rheum. 

Amongst the many curious herbaceous seeds, there is the Collin- 
sonia omitted, which I am solicited for, both at home and abroad, 
and can't oblige my friends with ; for, though mine grows strong, 
and flowers finely, yet our summers are not sufficient to bring its 
seed to perfection. For this reason, thee must send all sorts of 
herbaceous seeds over again, as they happen ripe in thy way : for 
unless such plants as increase from the root, most others go off in 
a year or two ; especially those beautiful small yellow-flowering Sun- 
flowers, Obeliscothecas, or Chrysanthemums (all names nearly 
synonymous), which are biennials, and flower, and then die ; and 
by slipping, or laying, or any other art, I have not been able to 
perannuate them : whereas the low, dwarf sort, with a size larger 
flower, continues many years in the ground, and makes a fine show 
all summer, with its yellow flowers with purplish brown bottoms. 

1741-2.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 151 

This, M. Catesby brought first from Virginia. I think thou found 
it there also. 

I am much obliged to thee for the noble Skunk-root. I divided 
it into three parts ; so that I hope I shall now be so furnished as 
not to want again. All the other things were in order : so that I 
now begin to long to see them peep, there being so many fine 
things amongst them. The Chamaerhododendrons move very slow. 
They seem to like Lord Petre's soil better. They seem to die 
daily, with me ; and I have tried them in different methods. 

I was much delighted with the birds' nests in particular with 
the hanging nests, which are most wonderfully fabricated, and seem 
to be of two sorts. As M. Catesby intends to send thee his His- 
tory of American Birds, both he as well as myself desire to know 
the birds that belong to them, for he does not remember to have 
seen them ; and also that bird thou calls a Marsh Wren. These 
thou may send over to his name, for I have the same by me : and 
so, when any eggs come, pray tie a label with the bird's name, ac- 
cording to his catalogue. I desire the little man's acceptance of 
the picture-books, that sent them me. The Swallow's nest is ex- 
actly the same as ours, and built in the same manner, with the 
same materials. But what I greatly want, is the Swallow or Mar- 
ten's nest, that builds in chimneys. These nests are of a different, 
curious make, being a sort of basket-work very pretty, and dif- 
ferent from any nest I ever saw. M. Catesby had one sent him 
from Virginia. And the eggs are different in shape from others. 
This is so nicely constructed, that it requires a very steady hand 
to take it without breaking. 

The two Humming-bird's nests are neatly built ; but it would 
be an addition to their curiosity, to cut off the twig that they are 
built on, with the nest on it. Pray, from what do they gather that 
woolly or downy composition, that is inside of their nests ? for it 
is much finer and softer than sheep's wool. Lady Petre wants a 
nest and eggs, and an old dead Humming-bird cock and hen. 

I observe in the shells of your Muscles, there are rudiments of 
pearl, that is pearl-like protuberances. Is there none ever found 
in them ? I have some, taken out of your oysters ; but those from 
your Muscle are of a better complexion, for they generally partake 
of the complexion of the shell. I think I observe three different 
sorts of Muscles, found with you. 

Pray, from which species of Fir, or Pine, were those bladders 

152 PETER COLLIN SON [1741-2. 

gathered ? Our Balm of Gilead Fir sweats out tears of balsam 
from the buds, in the summer months. 

I thank thee for the Sweet Gum, or Liquid Ambar, as we call 
it, and for the White Cedar Gum. I never saw any before. It 
is odd to call a plant sour Crum, or black Crum, and it not produce 
any. But when thou observes any trees gum, that we have not, 
pray think of me ; and to send me two or three roots of growing 
Ginseng, and Poly gala or Seneka Snakeroot, if they happen to be 
seen in thy route. I want them in my garden and Serpentaria, 
of the shops. 

I have taken care to put the clay Wasps' nests in boxes, to see 
their produce. They are exceeding curious, especially the last 
flat ones, which are prettily marked with ribs, &c. Pray, are these 
a new discovery ? 

Thy account of the Tumble Bug (Beetle) is very curious and en- 
tertaining : but M. Catesby says they have another sort that they 
call so, in Virginia. Pray send two or three more specimens ; for 
I presume they are not scarce. One or two for Sir Hans, with 
thy account, will wonderfully please him. 

I thank thee for thy curious present of thy map, and thy draught 
of the fall of the river Owegos [?]. I was really both delighted 
and surprised to see it so naturally clone, and at thy ingenuity in 
the performance. Upon my word, friend John, I can't help ad- 
miring thy abilities, in so many instances. I shall be sparing 
to say what more I think. A man of thy prudence will place 
this to a right account, to encourage thee to proceed gently 
in these curious things, which belong to a man of leisure, and 
not to a man of business. The main chance must be minded. 
Many an ingenious man has lost himself for want of this re- 
gard, by devoting too much of his time to these matters. A 
hint thee will take in friendship : thy obliging, grateful disposition, 
may carry thee too far. I am glad, and delight much in all these 
things none more : but then I would not purchase them at the 
expense of my friend's precious time to the detriment of his in- 
terest, and business (now, dear John, take me right). I showed 
them to Sir Hans. He was much pleased. Lord Petre deservedly 
much admires them ; and, indeed, does every one that sees them, 
when they are told who was the performer. 

All this is writ by rote, or from memory, for I dare not, nay, I 
cannot look into thy letters ; for I have no time to add more, but 

1742.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 153 

to tell thee in the trunk of the Library Company, thee'll find a 
suit of clothes for thyself. This may serve to protect thy outward 
man, being a drugget coat, black waistcoat, and shagg breeches. 
And now, that thou may see that I am not thoughtless of thy 
better part, I send thee R. Barclay's Apology, to replenish thy 
inward man. So farewell. Success attend thee in all thy expedi- 
tions. The first leisure, will consider all thy letters. They are 
all carefully laid up. The chrysalises are all in fine order. I am 
in hopes of some new beauties. I can now add no more, but that I 
am thine. 


As these are very precarious, uncertain times, I have insured to 
the value of ten pounds, that all may not be lost. 

Inclosed, is the mate's receipt for Sir Hans Sloane's books, 
and Doctor Dillenius's paper. There is a map, and another 
parcel or two, beside, for thee, and Catesby's books ; and Doctor 
Dillenius will send thee his History of Mosses. 

April 25, 1742. 

Dear Friend : 

I have the pleasure of thine, inclosed in friend Bland's letter 
of March the Tth. I think I have answered all the articles per my 
sundry letters ; however, I will again take notice of them. * * 

* * There were some fine insects in the box, and very 
beautiful ; but the major part was sadly eaten, or lacerated, by 
some mischievous insect. It is a thousand pities it can't be pre- 
vented. If there was tobacco dust, or leaves, spread over the bot- 
tom, and the insects pinned on that, it might be a means to prevent 
it for the future. 

The first leisure, I shall show those relating to the animals, to 
our friend Catesby. 

The Monac I know well proved a pretty domestic animal 
lived with Sir Hans Sloane many years, and ran about house like 
a cat, is one of the Sleepers for he made a nest in the cellar, 
and went into it in September, and came out in March or April. 
We were in hopes thee might have known something more parti- 
cular of it, being so remarkable in its nature. 

The box of berries, and map, per Captain Bound, came 


safe and well. I much admire thy performance. It really con- 
veys a good idea of that wonderful natural cascade. 

To-day, I breakfasted with Sir Hans. He always inquires after 
thee. I hope his books, per Wright, will come safe to hand. * 

Doctor Lawson gives his humble service to thee, and our friend 
Woolley. I wish I could have a specimen of that large piece of 
polished iron ore, sent him, last parcel. * * 

M. Catesby desires a dried bird of a night-bird, who has a note 
that sounds like whippeivill, which he chants all night long. 

Pray look after the elk-horns. Perhaps a broad hint may pro- 
cure a gift of those from Governor Morris. 

My first leisure, I shall read over all thy letters, again ; and 
then will take further notice of them. I have sent thy orders for 
next year's collection, by this ship, and by way of New York per 
Captain Gill. So hope there will be no occasion to say more, but 
that I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, May 16th, 1742. 

Dear John: 

Having a little leisure, it gives me great pleasure to review thy 
entertaining letters. Possibly the following hints may have been 
made before ; but that I rely on thy candour to excuse, for I 
keep no copies. 

September 25th, 1740, and September 7th, ditto, are the first 
that comes to hand. I take them in order. 

In thy journey to Minnesink, thou saw the three-leaved and 
long-coned Pine, and a swamp of Spruce, or Fir, like the New- 
foundland sort. Query, if this is not a proper place to collect 
cones, being the sorts we want ? 

Pray send half a dozen yellow wasps, to place with their nests. 

I observe thou mentions three sorts of three-leaved Pines, and 
they are thus distinguished : First, the Great three-leafed Pine [P. 
palustris, L.?] ; Second, the three-leafed Pine whose cones keep 
shut for one, two, or three years [P. rigida, Mill.?] ; Third, the 
Bastard three-leafed Pine [P. variabilis, Lamb.?]. As our knowledge 
of these noble trees is very slender, Lord Petre, as well as my- 
self, desires, when opportunity offers, that thou wilt gather fair 
specimens of each sort, with their ripe cones on them, each dis- 

1742.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 155 

tinguished by its name. Thou may also send two specimens of the 
long-coned or five-leafed Pine, with the cones hanging on. 

It is now a rainy day ; and, being at Peckham, I and my wife 
were agreeably entertained by reviewing thy journey, and thy map 
to Minnesink. 

Pray, how far from the sea is that mountain where thou found 
the figured stones '' 

When the Larix was discovered, were there no old trees that 
yielded turpentine ? For the finest and best sort is made by the 
Venetians from this tree ; whence it has the name of Venice Tur- 

Pray, have we had that new Maple with red stalks, and leaves 
rough ? The large red-flowering Raspberry thou found, is a fine 
showy plant has been long in our gardens ; but I never saw it 
bear any fruit, with us.* The Conestogo Gooseberry, also, annu- 
ally flowers, but the fruit does not set. 

I am much pleased with thy account of Doctor Witt. It is 
confirmed to me, in many instances, in his letters. I believe he is 
very credulous, and deals much in the marvellous. It's plain he 
was mistaken in the Golden Rod ; for no doubt, the pod he men- 
tions that plant bore as thou well observes was but an excres- 
cence. The like I have often observed here, in several plants. 
His Daisy, or double mountain Ranunculus [Anemone tlialic- 
troides, L.], is a pretty thing. * * * * I received the speci- 
mens of Sweet and Sour Gum. They are plants peculiar to them- 
selves, and each a distinct genus. Consult the Flora Virginica. 

Canst thee assign any reasonable conjecture why your House 
Wasps don't sting, in October ? 

Your Greek Valerian thrives well with me. I like it, because 
it comes before ours, and grows lower. 

Thy account of the Muskrat is very just and natural. Few can 
give any reasonable account for antipathies. Some, we suck in 
with our nurse's milk. They often instil into our minds dislikes 
for things they dislike ; and this we rarely get over, but retain as 
long as we live. What parents are frightened at, by their example 
children conceive the same. Perhaps this may be thy case, in re- 
lation to the OjJossum a prejudice arising from some of these 
causes ; or else, really, I can see no reason for it ; for I have had 

* Rubus odoratus, L. It rarely, if ever, perfects its fruit in the gardens here ; 
and is often abortive in its native localities. 

156 PETER COLLINS ON [1742. 

the opportunity of seeing, and handling, and playing with a female, 
that had three young nearly as large as herself; and by frequent 
use, were as docile as cats and in colour, not much unlike. 

This contemptible creature in thy eyes has been remarkably 
distinguished from other animals, in the wonderful provision con- 
trived for the preservation of its young, (as if a creature of great 
consequence) ; and another wonder attending it, is, how the young 
comes so very small to the teat. This, none has yet been able to 
ascertain, but by conjecture; and it has puzzled all our anatomists 
to find the apparatus requisite to carry on this delicate operation. 
Doctor Mitchell, at Urbana, in Virginia, has employed some of 
his leisure time in examining the internal structure of this won- 
derful creature ; and I doubt not, but in time, will clear up the 
doubtful points.* * * * 

London, June 16, 1742. 

Dear John : 

Not any of the wasps belonging to the clay nests, are yet come 
out, nor any of the chrysalises, which we much wonder at ; but 
we are not yet without hopes. 

And, hitherto, as bad luck attends the growing plants. Several 
curious things in the clods of earth don't appear especially those 
Iris-like flowers, from Cape May, which we both so much admire ; 
which may be owing to our long, cold, dry spring. One Gentian, 
with small narrow leaves, appears ; and I think, two of the Witch 
Hazel ; one Snake-root ; the Skunk- weed thrives well ; one Lychnis; 
but I have a Lychnis, from Doctor Witt, different from any yet 
that I have seen. It seems to be the king of that tribe. Its stalk 
is near as thick as my little finger (which is but small, for a man). 
It is now about two feet high, and yet no flowers appear. The 
stalk is most finely spotted, which is very distinguishing from all 
the rest that I have seen. 

One or two of the Sassafras sprout; but I can't depend on 
them, for they will often go off after that. 

The ground-hog, I presume, may be the Monac, of Lawson. 
Does it partake nothing .of our badger which Gesner mentions ? 

* For an interesting paper on this subject, see Proceedings of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, for April, 1848. 

1742.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 157 

Perhaps our learned friend, J. Logan, can show thee its descrip- 

Pray remember some growing roots of Ginseng, and Tennant's 

What thou calls a black scink, we should be glad to know. Send 
a skin, or draw his picture, whether it belongs to rabbit, or squir- 
rel, fox, or what. 

I am delighted to hear that thou has a prospect of a subscrip- 
tion. I wish it may operate. It will be a fine opportunity for us 
both. * * * 

Health and success attend thee. Farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

London, July 3d, 1742. 

Oh ! Friend John : 

I can't express the concern of mind that I am under, on so many 
accounts. I have lost my friend my brother. The man I loved, 
and was dearer to me than all men is no more. I could fill this 
sheet, and many more : but oh ! my anxiety of mind is so great, 
that I can hardly write ; and yet I must tell thee, that on Friday, 
July 2d, our dear friend, Lord Petre, was carried off by the 
small-pox, in the thirtieth year of his age. Hard, hard, cruel hard, 
be taken from his friends his family his country in the prime 
of life ; when he had so many thousand things locked up in his 
breast, for the benefit of them all, are now lost in embryo. 

I can go no further, but to assure thee that I am thy friend, 

P. Collinson. 

All our schemes are broke. 

Send no seeds for him, nor the Duke of Norfolk ; for now, he 
that gave motion, is motionless, all is at an end. 

As I know that this will be a great disappointment to thee, if 
thee hast a mind to send the seeds, as was ordered for Lord P. 
and Duke of Norfolk, on thy own account and risk, I will do 
what I can, to dispose of them. The Duke of Norfolk shall have 
the preference ; but there is no obliging him to take them, as I 
had not the order from him, but from Lord Petre. 

Send those for the Duke of Richmond, and P. Miller. 

Lord Petre was a fine, tall, comely personage, handsome 

158 JOHN BARTRAM [1742. 

had the presence of a prince ; yet was so happily mixed, that love 
and awe were begot at the same time. The affability and sweet- 
ness of his temper were beyond expression, without the least mix- 
ture of pride, or haughtiness. With an engaging smile he always 
met his friends. But oh ! the endowments of his mind are not to 
be described. Few or none could excel him, in the knowledge of 
the liberal arts and sciences. He was a great mechanic, as well 
as a great mathematician ; ready at figures and calculations and 
elegant in his tastes. 

In his religious way,* an example of great piety ; his morals of 
great temperance and sobriety ; no loose word, or double entendre, 
did I ever hear (this is something of the man). For his virtues, 
and his excellencies, and his endowments, I loved him, and he me, 
more like a brother than a friend. 


July the Gth, 1742. 

A few hours past, I received thy letters of March the 3d, and 
20th, and April the 25th, 1742. 

Yesterday the ship arrived, which our dear friend Captain 
Wright sailed in from London, but alas! hath left her captain 
asleep in Neptune's bosom : and now, such a mortal sickness is on 
board, that she is ordered to ride quarantine below the town. No 
goods can be got off. 

I heartily thank Sir Hans Sloane for his kind remembrance of 
me. I long to see his History ; and particularly M. Catesby's 
books, to see what birds he hath figured, before I set out next week 
for a journey along our sea-coast, where I believe there are many 
birds which he omitted to draw which I shall be very particular 
to observe their dimensions, shape and colours, if I can compel 
them, by the charms of sulphur and nitre and lead, to let me dis- 
pose of them as I think most suitable. 

I shall endeavour to procure Lady Petre a humming-bird's nest, 
and eggs, as soon as possible. I have not heard of any being found 
this year. They commonly build their nest upright upon a limb 
of a tree, and a little shake with the fall of the tree separates them. 
The fine, downy composition, is gathered from the stalks of our 

* Lord Petre belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. 

1742.1 T0 PETER COLLINSON. 159 

Fern. The bladders of balm, which I sent thee, I gathered on the 
Balm of Gilead Tree, on the Katskill Mountain, a delicate, fragrant 
liquor, as clear as water. 

I design, next month, to go myself and gather some seed for 
you, which I hope will be as much pleasure to you, as fatigue and 
charge to me to get them. There is no more trust in our Ameri- 
cans, than curiosity. Colonel Salisbury, who lives near them, 
sent me last winter, a very loving letter, affirming he did what he 
could to procure them, leaving orders, when he went to York, to 
gather them ; but at his return, there is none gathered. He sent 
a man on purpose to the mountains, to gather them ; but he said 
the birds had picked all the seed out, being very fond of them. 

I am glad my map and draught were acceptable, although clum- 
sily done, having neither proper instruments nor convenient time ; 
being, most of them, in part of a first day, or by candle-light, 
having no whole original but nature, nor time to take a copy, 
being hurried in gathering or packing of seeds. 

I am greatly obliged to thee for thy necessary present of a suit 
of clothes, which just came in the right time ; and Barclay's 
Apology, I shall take care of, for thy sake. It answers thy ad- 
vice, much better than if thee had sent me one of Natural History, 
or Botany, which I should have spent ten times the hours in reading 
of, while I might have laboured for the maintenance of my family. 
Indeed, I have little respect to apologies and disputes about the 
ceremonial parts of religion, which often introduce animosities, con- 
fusion, and disorders in the mind and sometimes body too : but, 
dear Peter, let us worship the one Almighty Power, in sincerity 
of heart, with resignation to His divine will, doing to others as 
we would have them do to us, if we were in their circumstances. 
Living in love and innocency, we may die in hope. 


July 24, 1742. 
I am just returned from Amboy, and Shrewsbury ; having waited 
on Governor Morris, and discoursed with him about those great 
horns, which I was informed he kept as a curiosity. He told 
me he had sent them to England, several years ago. The beast 
was killed near Albany ; and was supposed to be above fifteen 
hundred pounds weight; and was excellent good eating. The 

1(50 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1742. 

horns differed much, in shape, from those figured in the Transac- 
tions of the Society, for the moose deer. 

I design, as soon as I have gathered the cones of Rose Laurel, 
and White Pine, and Sassafras berries, to go to the Katskill to 
gather the Balm seed ; and, as soon as returned, to gather what 
seed is ripe nearer home ; then, directly to the Five Nations of In- 
dians, up the branches of Susquehanna, having engaged our chief 
interpreter to go with me, the beginning of September ; from 
whence, when I have returned home, I hope to give you a good 
account of my journey. 

Yesterday and to-day, I have been at Philadelphia, looking after 
the goods and presents thee and our friends sent me. I have found 
all that thee mentions, in thy letters which I received. The goods 
answer as well as can be expected, here being such abundance of 
all sorts, in our stores, that they stick on our hands. 

Thy presents of clothes are fine, and very acceptable ; as also 
the curious presents from M. Catesby and Sir Hans. Pray give 
my hearty thanks to them. I hope, by next opportunity, to write 
largely to them ; which I hope will be accompanied with some 
curiosities. I should have sent you some, now; but the ship sails 
sooner than I expected, and I, as aforesaid, just returned home. 

By reason that there is no vessel, that I know of, to sail this fall 
from here, directly to Bristol ; but yet, notwithstanding, to alle- 
viate thy disappointment, I have sent about fifty different sorts of 
seeds of our finest wild flowers, gathered in their best state of ripe- 
ness, and well dried, and sent with Doctor Dillenius's parcel, and 
directed for thee ; and if our winter should prove moderate, and 
any vessel should go from hence to Bristol, before spring, I shall 
endeavour to send a box of roots. 

This comes, with sincere respect and good will, from thy friend, 

J. B. 

September 5th, 1742. 

Dear Peter : 

I am lately returned from the Katskill Mountains, having ga- 
thered a fine parcel of the Balm cones, just at the time of their 
full ripeness ; with many other curious seeds, and other fine curiosi- 
ties. This hath been a happy journey : and I met with our friend, 
Doctor Colden, who received and entertained me with all the 

1742.] PETER COLLINSON. 161 

demonstrations of civility and respect that were convenient. He 
is one of the most facetious, agreeable gentlemen, I ever met with; 
and his capacity thee may judge of, by the last account he gave 
thee of the economy of the Five Nations, and some other subjects 
which he may soon acquaint thee with. I hope to give thee a 
fuller account of him this fall, when I delineate the particularities 
of my journey. 

I received thy kind letter of June the 16th, and the seeds and 
book of Doctor Dillenius, last night. I take it to be the com- 
pletest of that kind that ever was wrote ; for we don't read that 
Solomon wrote of any plants of humbler growth than the Hyssop : 
so I conclude he knew as little of Mosses, as he did of the plants 
that grew beyond Mount Lebanon, or in America. 

I am just setting out towards Susquehanna, to gather seeds ; but 
I question whether I shall go to the Five Nations. Our interpreter 
was obliged to go with a gentleman from Maryland, to treat with 
them, while I was on my journey from Hudson's River; which baffled 
our conclusions. 

December 18th, 1742. 

Bear Peter : 

We are daily expecting Captain Stephens from London, and 
many are almost out of hopes, and afraid the Spaniards have 
catch ed him. 

I hope my cargo, sent in the Constantine, will come safe to thy 
hands. I sent three boxes of shrubs ; but could not conveniently 
dig up, or find, several plants which I thought to have sent, by 
reason of the great snow that fell on the first day of November, 
and the frost and several other snows that followed within two 
weeks after : and I had a grievous bad time to gather the Pine 
cones, near Egg Harbour, for the Duke of Norfolk. I climbed the 
trees in the rain, in a desert, and lopped off the boughs ; then must 
stand up to the knees in snow, to pluck off the cones. But now, 
and for three weeks past, we have had fine weather ; and yester- 
day, the frogs made a noise the birds sang and the bees flew 
about, as in spring ; and I doubt it will be worse in next March, 
if not in April. We, in Pennsylvania, have had a fine plentiful 
harvest this year. 

I have been with our ingenious friend, Colden, who treated me 


162 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1743. 

very civilly, as I have related in two letters to thee. He advised 
me to travel into the Mohawk's country, and to Oswego, and the 
lakes, and he would recommend me to the inhabitants there. 
He believes there is a great variety of plants and other curiosities 
there. But I suppose the death of our dear friend, Lord Petre, 
will discourage such distant travels ; and our Americans have not 
zeal enough to encourage any discoveries of this kind, at their 


Captain Davis, by whom I sent the box of Red Cedar berries, 
and Maple keys, last summer, complains that thee took no care of 
it, but let it stay on board until he was loaded again. Such delays 
will discourage the captains from taking things of that kind, unless 
I pay here. 

May 27th, 1743. 

Dear Friend Peter : 

This day, Captain Rutherford, accompanied with several gen- 
tlemen of distinction from Philadelphia, bestowed upon me the 
honour of a visit. The captain very generously offered to take 
care of any letter I should send to thee ; which opportunity I will 
make use of, notwithstanding a vessel is to sail from Philadelphia 
in about two weeks. I have received all the goods, sent for last 
fall, in good order, and excellent good. The thickset I have a suit 
made of, which pleaseth me exceedingly. I am heartily thankful 
to thee for it. It's a fine present. The silk is very good. 

By thy good offices, our Library Company hath made me a pre- 
sent (with an unanimous consent) of a share during life. Dear 
friend, by these demonstrations of thy particular regard for my 
interest and satisfaction, thee engages to thyself my grateful ser- 
vice and remembrance, for such favours. But to proceed with thy 
letter of February the 15th. 

I am sorry thee overlooked several roots of Ginseng, which I 
put in thy box, and observed when I put them in, just before the 
vessel sailed, a lively bud to each root. 

We have expected Captain Budden in so long, that now his 
employer gives him over for lost, by whom I expected to have 
had more particular orders. 

The Arbor Vitee, which I gathered on Hudson's River, I take to 
be the same kind with that I gathered on James River, I think 

1743.] PETER COLLINSON. 163 

upon Captain Isham, Randolph's land, or very near it. He went 
with and showed it to me, supposing it to be a Juniper. Within a 
few yards, grew the Leather-bark, or Mezereon ; both which I 
believe he would send thee the seed of, if thee writes to him for it. 
He is a man of great humanity, whom my heart opens to receive, 
when I think of him, which is very often. * * * 

My wife is well pleased with the silk thee chose for her. She 
is much obliged to thee for thy care. I am very thankful to my 
good friend, Sir Hans Sloane, for his fine present of five guineas. 
Being he hath so generously bestowed it upon me, I desire thee 
would send me a silver can, or cup, as big and good as thee can 
get for that sum, which I or mine may keep to entertain our 
friends withal, in remembrance of my noble benefactor.* 

June 11th, 1743. 

Friend Petee : 

I have lately been to visit our friend Doctor Witt, where I 
spent four or five hours very agreeably sometimes in his garden, 
where I viewed every kind of plant, I believe, that grew therein ; 
which afforded me a convenient opportunity of asking him whether 
he ever observed any kind of Wild Roses, in this country, that was 
double. He said he could not remember that ever he did. So 
being satisfied with this amusement, we went into his study, which 
was furnished with books containing different kinds of learning ; 
as Philosophy, Natural Magic, Divinity, nay, even Mystic Divinity; 
all of which were the subjects of our discourse, within doors, 
which alternately gave way to Botany, every time we walked in the 
garden. I could have wished thee the enjoyment of so much 
diversion, as to have heard our discourse, provided thee had been 
well swathed from hips to arm-pits. But it happened, a little of 
our spiritual discourse was interrupted by a material object within 
doors ; for the Doctor had lately purchased, of a great traveller in 
Spain and Italy, a sample of what was imposed upon him for Snake 
Stones, which took me up a little time beside laughing at him 
to convince the Doctor that they were nothing but calcined old 
horse bones. 

* This seems to be the origin of the Silver Cup, presented by Sir Hans, in lieu 
of the "five guineas." See John Bartram's letter to Sir Hans Sloane, dated 
November 16, 1743. 

164 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1743. 

Indeed, to give the Doctor his due, he is very pleasant, facetious 
and pliant ; and will exchange as many freedoms as most men of 
his years, with those he respects. His understanding and judg- 
ment, thee art not unacquainted with, having had so long and 
frequent intercourse with him by letters. 

When we are upon the topic of astrology, magic, and mystic di- 
vinity, I am apt to he a little troublesome, by inquiring into the 
foundation and reasonableness of these notions which, thee knows, 
will not bear to be searched and examined into : though I handle 
these fancies with more tenderness with him, than I should with 
many others that are so superstitiously inclined, because I respect 
the man. He hath a considerable share of good in him. 

The Doctor's famous Lychnis, which thee has dignified so highly, 
is, I think, unworthy of that character. Our swamps and low 
grounds are full of them. I had so contemptible an opinion of it, 
as not to think it worth sending, nor afford it room in my garden ; 
but I suppose, by thy account, your climate agreeth so well, that 
it is much improved. The other, which I brought from Virginia, 
grows with me about five feet high, bearing large spikes of dif- 
ferent coloured flowers, for three or four months in the year, ex- 
ceeding beautiful. I have another wild one, finely speckled, and 
striped with red upon a white ground, and a red eye in the middle 
the only one I ever saw. 

Now I will conclude this botanical discourse ; having answered 
thy queries in a letter via Bristol. I believe my subscription our 
proprietor inquired after, is wholly dropped. Some people lay the 
blame upon James Logan, and not without cause. 

Our worthy friend, Doctor C olden, wrote to me that he had re- 
ceived a new edition of Linn^us's Characteres Plantarum, lately 
printed. He advised me to desire Gronovius to send it to me. I 
should be very glad to see it. The first I saw, was at the Doctor's ; 
and chiefly by it he hath attained to the greatest knowledge in 
Botany, of any I have discoursed with. 

June the 21st, 1743. 

Dear Peter : 

If ever I can come to pay you a visit, I would bring abundance 
of trees and shrubs with me, which is very difficult if not impossible 

1743.] PETER COLLINSON. 165 

for you ever to have growing, without one that understands them 
comes with them, and takes particular care of them in their pas- 
sage. But I don't know how to leave my family. I have many 
small children, and none yet grown up to take care of business ; 
and servants, in this country, strive to do as little work, and spend 
as much time as they can in carelessness. * * * I am obliged 
to thee for recommending me to our proprietor. If he would 
please to be so honourable as allow me an annual salary, worth while 
to furnish his walks with all the natural productions of trees, shrubs, 
and plants, which grow in our four governments, I would under- 
take to do it. 

It pleaseth me, that what I sent to Sir Hans and M. Catesby 
proved acceptable. I think that Hanging-bird's nest, belongs to 
the Baltimore bird. The Aralia spinom I brought from Virginia. 
It grows well, with me. * * * The fossil shells are found at 
the distance of a hundred or a hundred and fifty miles from the 
sea, most of the way, by places, from Hudson's Biver to Susque- 
hanna. The Katskill Mountains, are in York government. 

I am apt to imagine our chimney swallows might build in hollow 
trees, before Europeans built chimneys. My Bose is now pro- 
ducing its second crop, out of the centre of its old flowers, which 
many do. 

In the township of Darby, several have joined together and 
signed articles of agreement, pretty much like the Library Com- 
pany at Philadelphia. They advised with me how the books should 
be procured. I told them, I thought thee could send them better 
than any that I knew if thee would favour such a design ; that 
thee had abundance of business other ways ; and that if thee con- 
descended to oblige them so much, it must be more for the love 
and inclination thee bore to the promotion of learning, and thy 
generous disposition to assist those that were thereto inclined, than 
the benefit of what might be thought a reasonable satisfaction for 
thy trouble, in buying and shipping them. However, they being 
very desirous of having the books, assumed the freedom of address- 
ing thee by letter, with a catalogue of the books they want, and a 
bill of exchange, which I put in the box directed to thee. If 
thee pleases to comply with their request, pray pack them up with 
the goods I sent for. 

John Bartram. 

166 PETER COLLINSON [1743-4. 


London, January 16, 1743-4. 

My dear Friend John: 

I was mightily pleased to see the specimens of both sorts Arbor 
Yitce. That of poor Isham's is much the finest ; but the good man 
is gone to his long home, and I doubt not but is happy. I have at 
this juncture writ to his wife, to send some of her people to gather 
and send me some seed. We all esteem it, here, to be an Ameri- 
can plant, and brought by the French from Canada; for, by all 
the Herbals that I have examined, they all make it a native of 
America. I never knew it grew in Germany, till thou informed 
me of it. 

The specimens of Crabs were sufficient to see the species. I had 
not the sort before, but I have seen them described. If they had 
been perfect, they would have been a greater curiosity; but their 
make is so delicate, it is scarcely to be expected whole. If such a 
thing should happen, doubt not of thy care to send it me. There 
is a very great variety of this species. Every part of the world, 
bounded by the sea, furnishes new kinds. 

The eggs thou hast sent, are very pretty, and curious to see sucb 
a variety. But what affords M. Catesby and me great matter of 
speculation, is to see so many sorts of Turtle, which, if we may 
judge by the eggs, are specifically different. But this is like to 
bring some trouble on thee; for we naturalists are impatient, and 
never easy until we are satisfied ; so, what we have to request of 
thee is, that when any of these kinds happen in thy excursions, 
thou will send us a shell or two to each of these kinds, viz. : 

The flatter back, red-bellied water turtle smaller long eggs. 

The common land turtle the next larger and long eggs. 

The round-back, stinking turtle the smallest, pretty long, shin- 
ing eggs. 

The great black turtle with round eggs. 

The great red-bellied turtle with largest sized eggs of all. 

M. Catesby admires so many of these sorts escaped him; but 
it is next to impossible that he could, as a sojourner, make such 
discoveries as a curious man, that is a native. It is really true, 

1743-4.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 167 

what my friend Sam Chew said (who recommended thee to me,) 
that nothing can well escape thee. 

The small nest has this singularity, that it seems all tied, twisted, 
and wove together, with flaxen or hempen threads : nay, some 
white thread-like substance has assisted, with the others, to tie the 
branch and nest together. As these seem to be all the refuse of 
the thread-spinners, which may be thrown out and picked up by 
the birds, for their use, pray how may we conjecture these pretty 
artists were supplied with materials, before the Europeans came ? 
And then, how must we account for another observation that 
birds never alter the original order of their materials for nests, 
but the same instinct, in the choice of them prevails through the 
whole species ? I should further be glad to know the name of the 
cunning fabricator ; for, I take it, I had a piece or two of his opera- 
tions before, which we much admired. 

The logs thou sent me, perforated by the species of bees, pro- 
duced six bees in May and June very lively and brisk ; but the 
clay wasp-nests, that thou sent me from time to time, none ever 
produced any more than one wasp; the reason I cannot account 

I am now, by thine and Colonel Custis's obliging disposition, 
w T ell furnished with chimney swallow's nests, w^hich are deservedly 
to be admired ; but now I want some eggs, to furnish my nests ; 
and some humming-bird's eggs, for I have many nests of this 
pretty creature. But they are so cunning in their contrivance, 
that it is merely by chance when they are found. But if old or 
young ones can be caught, pray send them. 

The substance thou sends me to guess, is, I conceive, belonging 
to a Fungus. * * * * 

I am, in haste, 

Yery much thine, 


London, February 3d, 1743-4. 

I wrote, my dear John, by the King of Prussia, under cover to 
our friend Franklin. 

Now I shall give thee some account of the cargo. The old pro- 
verb is, that there is no fence against a flail; so there is no securing 

168 PETER COLLINSON [1743-4. 

them from the teeth of rats; for, at the corner of each box, they 
had made a proper hole for access, and in each box was a warm 
nest, of straw and the leaves and stalks of the shrubs. It grieved 
me to see how they had stripped the great Rhododendron and 
lesser Kalmias. * * * 

The deciduous shrubs were in good order, and all the sods of 
curious roots, and the Martagons were not hurt. Warneria, or 
Yellow root [Hydrastis Canadensis, L.], is so remarkable, that if 
it had been in the last cargo, I could not help seeing it. It is im- 
possible to account for its absence. Loblolly was eat by the rats ; 
but I hope will shoot from the root. It is one of the charming 
evergreens. Does it stand your winters ? Your Skunk-root is now 
in full flower. * * * Pray tell me, how many species of Solo- 
mon's Seal hath thee observed in all thy travels ? * * 

I find I have three distinct species of Epigcea. This last sent, 
differs from the others. 

The striped Pgrola is a pretty plant, and my favourite. I fancy 
it is very scarce, or else there had been another sod. Gentians are 
also my favourites. 

Thy fine collection of specimens is under Doctor Solander's 
examination. Your autumn flowers I pretty well know ; but pray 
tell me, what are your spring flowers, beside the Puccoon or San- 
guinaria, the little white Ranunculus [Anemone], and Meadia, 
and Orchis, pray, what are the other species with which your 
woods, thickets, swamps, fields, and meadows, are adorned in the 
spring months of March, April, and May ? 

I wish, for my satisfaction, thy good son James would put up a 
quire of specimens of all your flowers, for only those three months, 
I mean only herbaceous or bulbous flowers no trees nor shrubs ; 
for though I have been so many years conversant with your vege- 
tables, yet I think myself entirely ignorant (except the above men- 
tioned) of Flora's beauties, in your spring months. 

Our fields so abound with flowers in those months, that they are 
a flowery carpet. The Primroses, Daisies, and Pilewort [Ranun- 
culus'], are now beginning will be succeeded by the two or three 
species of Crow-foot, called Butter-flowers. Dandelion makes a 
great show ; then the fields are rich with Cowslips, Lady-smocks, 
Caltha palustris, or Marsh Marygolds ; then they are covered with 
blue Hyacinths, Daffodils, Saxifrage, Stitchwort, blue and white 
Violets, and a great variety of Orchis, our woods covered with 

1743-4.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 169 

Anemones, and Periwinkle, and Woodroff [Asperula], with its 
white flowers. 

Now I want to know what you abound with instead of our 
flowers ; for I presume you have not one of them, that are natural 
to your country : but have a progressive set of flowers, for every 
spring month, that differs from ours, and is peculiar to your soil 
and climate. 

I can't add more, but that I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 


[Date obliterated, but some time in 1743-4.] 

Dear Peter : 

I am now returned from my long journey, from the country of 
the Five Nations of Indians, and the Fort of Oswego, on the On- 
tario Lake, having had a very prosperous journey. I also found 
several curious plants, shrubs, and trees, particularly a great moun- 
tain Magnolia \M. acuminata, L.], three feet in diameter, and 
above an hundred feet high very straight, and very fine wood ; 
specimens of which I hope to send by next ship, with a particular 
account of my journey, and the Indians' manner of living, and order 
of their councils ; having been at their chief town, and the meeting 
of the deputies, and the treaty of peace between the Virginians and 

I visited the Salt Springs, and boiled the water thereof into salt. 
I observed the fossil shells all over the country even on the top 
of the mountain that separates the waters of Susquehanna and St. 
Lawrence, in the Vale of Onondago, and on the banks of the Lake 
Frontenac [Ontario]. I designed, when I went from home, to 
have returned by the way of Albany, then to travel from Hud- 
son's River, and climb the Katskill Mountains, to gather the Balm 
of Gilead cones, and Fir cones, on my way to Delaware : but I 
found it impracticable to ride between Onondago and the Mohawk's 
River, and I missed of them, this year ; for there is none to be 
found where we travelled, which was too far westward for them and 
the Paper Birch ; for I find more difference in the kinds of plants, 
in the same distance of longitude, than latitude. If I am employed 
next year, to gather seeds especially of the Fir kinds I design 

170 PETER COLLINSON [1743-4. 

to travel to the Katskill Mountains, and thence back of New Eng- 
land, northeastward ; where I believe I could find many curious 
evergreens that are not yet known, for I can't learn that any 
botanist was ever there, yet. 

I received thine of May the 11th, writ in Sir Hans Sloane's 
letter ; by which I perceive that freedom and openness is exercised, 
in our correspondency, which I love. 

Doctor Gronovius hath sent me his Index Lapidece, and Lin- 
NiEUS, the second edition of his Cliaracteres Plantarum, with a 
very loving letter desiring my correspondence, to furnish him with 
some natural curiosities of our country. I hope by next ship to 
send him some. 

In the mean time, if thee hath an opportunity, pray return my 
thanks to him, for that fine present. 

I am providing to set out, to-morrow, to travel up Delaware, to 
gather some Ginseng roots, to send to thee by next ship. So, in 
great haste, farewell. 

J. B. 


London, March 10, 1743-4. 

Friend John: 

* The prices of microscopes are advanced to a guinea ; 
so have only sent thee one for thyself, and desire thy acceptance 
of it, with a book. * * * * 

At present, can give thee no assurance of any new con- 
tributors : only the Duke of Richmond and P. Miller continue 
who love new things ; but whether so small a subscription will 
countervail thy going among the saints, in New England, I must 
submit to thy consideration. 

I am looking for new subscribers ; am persuaded that many 
would be glad of the opportunity, if they knew where to apply : 
but if the worst comes to the worst, if thou sends over three or 
four five-guinea cases, prettily sorted with something of every- 
thing but in particular, Pine, Fir, and Cedar, and Walnut Hickory, 
I fancy I shall find means to dispose of them amongst our seeds- 
men. But thou must be very particular, and send me an exact 

1743-4.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 171 

list of every individual sort of seed in each of them, and the 
number of the large seeds, and the quantity of smaller sorts. 

I sent all the things to Sir Hans Sloane, and writ him a 
letter to remind him that a ship was going if he had anything to 
send thee. 

Doctor Dillenius has writ thee a letter ; is greatly delighted 
with the last seeds, they are so good ; says that thou art the only 
man that ever did things to the purpose. 

The curiosities for Doctor Geonovius are gone for Holland, 
with the specimens. I have writ, both to him and LlNK&iUS, not 
to forget the pains and travel of indefatigable John Baeteam, 
but stick a feather in his cap, who is as deserving as the rest. 

Doctor Colden, our worthy, ingenious friend, is quite a profi- 
cient. I was surprised with his proficiency in the Linnsean system. 

I am in haste : farewell. 


Oh ! dear John, I long to see thy Journal, and sentiments and 
observations of thy expedition to the Five Nations. It was a 
lucky opportunity. 

I was glad to see cones of the fine Magnolia. The' wood must 
be beautiful. I had specimens, before I saw thine, from Doctor 
Mitchell, of Urbana, in Virginia, two or three years agone, 
where there is a stately tree on the plantation of Nicholas Smith, 
in Essex County, on the head of Piscataway, Rappahannock River, 
in his pasture. It is well known by all, and visited by all tra- 

I now come to take a little notice of thine of the 2d December. 
I was pleased to see the digitated-leafed plant prove a Mallow. I 
know it will be acceptable to Doctor Geonovius. 

Thee need not trouble thyself to send nests of the swallows and 
martens, but the eggs. The chimney one beats them all, for 
curiosity ; but thou and Colonel Custis have well supplied me. I 
only want some whole eggs. 

To be sure, a shell of each sort of your turtles, dried, will be 
acceptable, and if anything remarkable in their head and feet. 
They may be easily cured in a slack oven, after the bread is out. 

172 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1744. 

Pray, how does Doctor Witt do ? I have not heard from him 
this year. * * * * 

* Now, dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinsost. 


July 24, 1744. 

Dear Peter: 

I sent, last spring, by Captain Reeves, my Journal to the Five 
Nations, and the Lake Ontario,* containing a particular account 
of the soil, productions, mountains, and lakes, which I observed in 
our journey thither ;, also the daily proceedings of the Indian 
chiefs, in their assembly, while we were there ; but I have lately 
heard that Reeves is taken by the French. I conclude, that 
which I took so much pains about will never come to thy hands ; 
nor the letter I sent in the same ship, which I have not time to 
write over again, to send by this vessel. I am glad the specimens 
of Crabs were new to thee. I never could yet see any more per- 
fect than those I sent thee. If I find any, I shall endeavour to 
send them. 

I endeavoured to send the Turtle shells by this ship ; but unfor- 
tunately have lost several that I had prepared. 

The bird's nest thee mentions, with flax or hempen threads, is 
mostly peeled off our Apocinums. We call it a yellow bird, 
though it hath a little greenish cast. 

That substance which I sent thee to guess at, was a kind of scum 
on the water of a mill pond, which had been drawn off, and the 
scum settling on the bottom, and being bleached by the rain, dew 
and sun, appears in that form. * * * 

The names of the specimens were very welcome. I hope my 
great Magnolia [31. acuminata, L.] may be different from any thee 
hath yet seen. You are sometimes mistaken in specimens. Our 
friend Doctor Witt is as well as usual. * * 

It is very kind in thee to recommend me to Linnaeus and 
Gronovius. * * * * 

* This Journal was afterwards printed in London : a copy of which is in the 
Philadelphia Library. 

1745.1 PETER COLLIN SON. 173 

December, 1744. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letters of April the 9th, 19th, and 24th, 
with all the books mentioned in those letters, very safe and in good 

The Sesamum seed, which I intend to try to propagate, and give 
thee an account of my success, I am afraid our summers will be 
full short. * * * Our friend Doctor Colden hath 
been this fall at my house, whom I received with much satisfaction. 
Also Doctor Mitchell, who stayed at Philadelphia near three 
weeks, and made me several visits. He is a man of good parts, 
but his constitution is miserably broken. I correspond very freely 
with him and Clayton. 

* I have put two or three handsful of the seeds of a 

climbing species of Euonymus \_Celastrus scandens, L.], which 
Mitchell said thee wanted very much. Its berries make a fine 
appearance, in the fall. It twists about the trees, or poles, like 
hops. * * * * 

December 10th, 1745. 

Friend Peter : 

I have put on board Captain Mesnard, one long cedar box con- 
taining a Hornet's nest, and a variety of seeds, for thee ; and a 
box of curiosities and Musk-rat skin for Gronovius, which I hope 
thee will take care to send him, as soon and safe as possible. * * 
* * * I have sent, by the two last ships to London, five 
boxes in each ship ; three in each of forest seeds, for those gen- 
tlemen thee sent me orders from ; and a box with roots in earth 
for thee in one ship in the other a long cedar box with a variety 
of seeds for thyself, and some curiosities for Sir Hans Sloane and 
for thee. I have sent, also, two quarters of Hickory, and a square 
box of plants in earth, viz., one root of my great Mountain Mag- 
nolia several roots of Papaw, one fine root of our Laurel, full of 
flower buds, one sod of sweet Persian Iris, one sod of the fine 
creeping spring Lychnis, and a sod of what you call Dracocephalum. 
Pray give Catesby one root of Papaw. I sent several in our last 

174 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1745. 

I have received the nails, calico, Russia linen, and the clothes 
for my boys : all which are very good and well chosen, and give 
great satisfaction. The only thing that gives me any uneasiness, 
is, that thee hath sent more than what is my due. 

Now, though oracles be ceased, and thee hath not the spirit of 
divination, yet, according to our friend Doctor Witt, we friends 
that love one another sincerely, may, by an extraordinary spirit of 
sympathy, not only know each other's desires, but may have a 
spiritual conversation at great distances one from another. Now, 
if this be truly so, if I love thee sincerely and thy love and 
friendship be so to me thee must have a spiritual feeling and sense 
of what particular sorts of things will give satisfaction; and doth 
not thy actions make it manifest ? for, what I send to thee for, thee 
hath chosen of just such sorts and colours as I wanted. Nay, as 
my wife and I are one, so she is initiated into this spiritual union ; 
for thee has sent her a piece of calico so directly to her mind, that 
she saith that if she had been there herself, she could not have 
pleased her fancy better. * * * 

In opening those fine cones of Cluster Pine, I observed how close 
the scales adhered, which is contrary to all our Pines and Firs 
(except one species of the three-leaved Pine) ; which, before they 
are well dried, spring open and shed all the seed out, which makes 
them the difficultest to gather. One may, in the beginning of the 
week, see the cones green and before the latter end, all the seed 
that is good will be shed out, especially the five-leaved, which you 
are so fond of and which it is not possible for me to gather any 
great quantities thereof, as I wrote to thee, last year. I design to 
get what I can, yearly ; but, as I can't be in three or four hundred 
distant places in three or four days' time, I can't procure great 
quantities ; and if I depend upon others' assistance, I am sure of 
being deceived. 

As our friend Miller seems to question my account of our Pines, 
I now tell thee I generally take care to speak truth even to those 
that I think will bestow no more pains of examination, than to tell 
me it is not so, to whom silence suits better than arguments as 
ignorance doth to their capacity ; but, as I have a great opinion of 
Miller's learning and judgment, I am engaged in duty and friend- 
ship to inform him the best I can, at present. 

All our Pine cones are two summers and one winter, from their 
first appearance to their perfecting and casting their seed, but this 

1746.] PETER COLLINSON. 175 

one species, which open not till the second or third year after 
they seem perfectly ripe. I have been much surprised at observing 
these trees have upon one branch all the cones of three, four, or 
five years' growth, at once. 

*^^ ^^ ^* ^^ %& *** 

*y **(* *y* ^^ ^W ^^ 

April 12, 1746. 

Dear Peter : 

I have now but little to write, having received no letter from 
thee since last fall. I sent a cargo of forest seeds for my corre- 
spondents, and garden seeds for thee with many curiosities, as 
presents, for several of our friends, in three ships ; but can hear 
nothing, whether they be arrived at London or not. We hear 
there are great troubles in England, and dread the consequences. 

Our friend Joseph Breixtxall, departed this life, the middle 
of last month ; so that now, what letters thee sends for me, let them 
be directed to me, or to the care of I. Pembertox, Jun. ; for every 
merchant of note in town knows me. 

I am mightily pleased with thy letter from Petersburgh, giving 
an account of the Russians' discovery of America. Pray, doth 
thee hear any more of it ? I love to hear of any new discovery of 
any kind. 

April the 16th. 

This day I received thy kind letters of October the 12th, 1745, 
and January the 24th, 1745-6, and Sir Haxs Sloaxe's of Oc- 
tober the 16th, with all the seeds mentioned in those letters, except 
the Strawberry and Sloe, the last of which we have had in the 
country these fifty years. I plant them about my hedges, where 
it grows to a large size. The blossoms are prodigious full, but 
never one ripe fruit. They are bit with the insect, as all our stone 
fruit is, but the Peaches, and some kinds of Cherries overgrow 

I have some hopes of the Horse-chestnuts, though most of them 
were blue moulded, yet some seemed to be pretty sound. But 
alas ! the four fine large roots of Madder, had no more appearance 
of life than if they had been drying in the house a year. 

Jf* >JQ J|* JJC *j^ / J^ JJ 

My pretty plant is just in flower, that thee saith Dillexius 

176 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1746. 

calls a Borage, which I think hath no affinity with it, or likeness 
to it, save only barely in the shape of a single flower ; and I be- 
lieve is as much a new genus as any plant that ever was sent out 
of America; and not the only one that adorns that spacious vale of 
six hundred miles in length, S. W. by West, in which I have 
gathered the finest of my autumnal flowers ; and where, by report 
of the inhabitants, it is like as if Flora sported in solitary retire- 
ment, as Sylva doth on the Katskill Mountains, where there is 
the greatest variety of uncommon trees and shrubs, that I ever saw 
in such a compass of ground. 

I am glad the white-berried Christoplioriana \Actcea alba, Bigel.] 
grows with thee : but thee should have that with great blue ber- 
ries \_Leontice~], which is much the finest plant. There is abun- 
dance of it growing by Rappahannock, in Virginia ; so made no 
question but our friend Mitchell, or Clayton, had sent it to thee 
long ago. It grows nowhere less than fifty miles of me, that I re- 

April the 23d, 1746. 

Dear Peter: 

I have packed up in a box directed to thee, four of our turtles, 
dried after their bowels were taken out, and well washed, having 
preserved their shell, head, feet and tail, entire ; by which you may 
observe the difference of them almost as well as if they had been 
alive. I cannot get any other kinds ; it's too soon in the year. 
These females had the yolks of eggs in them, almost at their full 
bigness, but no whites nor shell to them. It is near a month to 
their time of laying. 

I design, this summer, to collect all our kinds of turtles, with 
the eggs belonging to them with insects and fishes and send 
some or other by every ship that sails from here to London ; so 
that, if some are taken, others may escape. We had extraordinary 
luck, last year. I doubt there will but few sail from here, this 
year. I have expected, by every ship since Hargrave came in, 
last summer, those books Gronovius sent me. Pray what is be- 
come of them ? All the ships that sailed from London, last year, 
for Philadelphia, arrived safe ; yet I have no account of them. 

* J. B. was not then aware that this plant grew, abundantly, much nearer 
to his residence; viz., on the banks of the Brandywine and Susquehanna. 

1746.]. PETER COLLINSON. 177 

How doth our friend Catesby do ? He won't speak a word to 
me, now-a-days. He hath had several opportunities, within these 
two years, of writing to me, and I have sent some curiosities to 
him every year. 

The account of Reaumur, about bees and wasps, was very enter- 
taining. I love Natural History dearly. 

J. Bartram. 


Now, friend John, I come to consider further of some of thy ob- 
servations, by thine of the 10th of December. I am glad to find 
that thee art so well recovered, and that all the goods are come 
safe to hand, and please; which is more than I expected, and 
ought not to excuse thee from being more particular and exact in 
thy orders next time. 

Though thou canst not see, yet I have told thee what inoculating 
on a Peach stock may do. If I am not out in my conjecture as 
it is a free stock, and sends up its sap plentifully, it may assist the 
Nectarine and Apricot, at a season when supplies are wanting. 
As thou hast tried the north side of buildings, and sides of water- 
courses, &c, to no purpose, with Plums, pray give the other fruits 
as fair a chance. 

To prevent the depredations of the Beetle, I confess, is not so 
easy as some other bad effects : yet, as we know the duration of 
this insect is but short, if, while he is so noxious, some contrivance 
could be found out, to disturb or destroy him, you then might hope 
to taste a Nectarine, one of the most delicious fruits in the 
universe, and much exceeds a Peach, in a rich vinous-flavoured 
juice. And an Apricot is also one of the fine fruits. Last year, 
our standards were overloaded, which are allowed to excel the wall 

Suppose, as soon as this Beetle is discovered, if the trees were 
to be smoked, with burning straw under them, or at some distance, 
so as to fumigate their branches at a time the beetles are most 
liable to attack the fruit ; or, if the trees were to be squirted on 
by a hand engine, with water in which Tobacco leaves were soaked; 
either of these two methods, I should think, if they did not totally 
prevent, yet, at least, would secure so much of these fine fruits as 



would be worth the labour of people of circumstances, who are 
curious to taste these delicious fruits in perfection. 

I take it, the reason the Plum succeeds so well, is the frequent 
shaking the trees, by being planted in a frequented place. The 
beetles are tumbled off, or else are disturbed, and frightened from 
settling on the trees : and the ground being trod so much, may be 
a great help, by keeping in the moisture, which is so conducive to 
bring the fruit to maturity. 

This brings to my mind a contrivance I was told, a few days 
agone. An Englishman went and settled at Naples, about your 
latitude, and writ over to P. Miller, that Apricots throve very 
well, but all the fruit dropped off: which he was surprised at ; for 
he expected the finest fruits in that fine climate. But he was mis- 
taken ; for the natural fruits of that country are Figs, Pomegra- 
nates, Olives, Grapes, Oranges, and Lemons. My friend Miller 
writ him word, to lay a great deal of muck (rotten dung and straw 
mixed), or a great quantity of Fern leaves, or any compost that 
would keep the ground moist, and prevent the sun's action, which 
is very penetrating in that country, as well as with you. 

This had the desired effect ; and the gentleman writes him word, 
that since he has practised it, he has never failed of fruit in plenty, 
and in the greatest perfection. 

Now, friend John, improve this hint ; and if your Apricots are 
too forward, plant them under all disadvantages possible ; that is, 
in the most exposed places, and in all the coldest, shadiest aspects 
that can be found. Perhaps, when mountains come to be settled, 
the north sides may succeed with this fruit and others, and may 
not be so much frequented by the Beetles, I apprehend, if your 
Gooseberries were littered, it would prevent their dropping off; 
and if this litter was now and then watered, both under the Apri- 
cot, &c, it would be of service. 

Friend John, I have writ more fully by Captain Mesnard ; but 
this will hint to thee thy good fortune of all thy cargoes coming 
safe, which is great luck, these very perilous times. 

Notwithstanding all my endeavours, I can only raise thee one 
new subscriber, * * who desires a little of everything, and 
the Duke of Richmond and P. Miller are continued. Send them 
any sort of Pine but Jersey Pine ; some acorns, a few of a sort ; 
Sassafras ; Sweet Gum ; Sweet flowering Bay, or small Magnolia, 

1747.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. I79 

or Laurel ; and any new tree or shrub ; and some of .all sorts of 
wild flowers. 

I thank thee for the fine cones of small Magnolia, and the great 
sort \_M. acuminata, L.]. They are so fresh, I hope to raise 
some. Is there no more Chinquapin to be had ? Why does thou 
not raise a plantation in thy own garden of Chinquapin trees, to 
serve thy correspondents ? From the first, we wanted them ; and 
if they had been then sown, by this time thou would have had 
plenty to serve us ; for it is a tree that is not to be had here for 

The Larix and Evergreen seeds, that our friend John Miller 
has collected for thee, I have divided ; and sent half by this con- 
veyance, and half by Mesnard. 

Now farewell. 

London, April 26, 1746. 


July 20tli, 1747. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received six of thy letters, and two of Gronovius, and 
some seeds which I sowed directly ; and though a very w T arm, wet 
season, not one of them is come up. Two of thy letters by the w r ay 
of Boston, and one by the way of York, I received by the hands 
of our friend Benjamin Franklin, and several of the others. He 
was so kind as to tell me to acquaint thee that any letter thee 
pleases to send to me, if thee hath an opportunity by either Boston 
or York, if thee incloseth it in a letter directed to him, he will 
deliver it to me post free ; which is very kind, indeed ; and I hope 
to prevail with him to inclose one in his, when he sends to thee by 
the way of York, by which means I hope we may hear often from 
one another. 

This is like to be a plentiful year for forest seeds. I hope to 
gather a fine parcel ; but how I shall have an opportunity of send- 
ing them, I know not. Thee adviseth me to send them by two 
vessels ; which would do very well, if two vessels should sail from 
here to London. At present, we know of none but Mesnard, 
and he is too soon to send by. * * * 

180 JOHN BAR TRAM TO [1747-8. 

* The cylindrical columns are certainly in New 

England. Benjamin Franklin saw them at three miles distance; 
but being very cold, did not care to turn out of his way. 

Our proprietor is almost as crafty as covetous. He won't sell 
land, because the people being necessitated for land to live upon, 
raiseth its price prodigiously, so that, in a few years, he may get 
five times as much as he could now or may set it at an extor- 
tionate ground rent. 

I design to go to the sea-coast this fall, to fetch from thence 
curiosities of what kind soever I can find. I have wrote to my 
friend to gather what he can for me. 

January the 30th, 1747-8. 

Dear Peter : 

I have put on board the ship Beulah, three boxes of forest 
seeds : No. 1 for the Duke of Argyle ; No. 2 for Squire Hamil- 
ton ; and No. 3 is for thyself. I sent, in a vessel that sailed last 
November, four boxes: No. 1 for Smithson ;* No. 2 for Wil- 
liamson ; No. 3 for Lord Deskford ; No. 4 for Lord Hopetoun. 
I have sent none for the Dukes of Richmond, and Bedford, this 
year ; for I had nothing new to send them, but what I had sent 
them several times before. I sent them a fine parcel of the White 
Pine, last spring, by Seymour. I have not been at the Cedar 
Swamps, myself. I sent several, to gather the Cedar seeds, but 
they found but few ; so I could send but a little seed to each cor- 
respondent that wanted : and it was not safe going beyond our 
mountains, for fear of the French Indians. 

I have not received one letter from thee, this long time. The 
last was dated June the 6th. We are surprised that we have no 
news from London these many months. 

We expect a visit from the French, early in the spring ; and 
numbers of our people are daily exercising and learning the mar- 
tial discipline, in order to oppose them, if they should attempt to 
land, and are making preparations for forts and batteries, to stop 
any vessels that come in a hostile manner. 

* Perhaps an ancestor of him who endowed the noble Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, at the city of Washington, "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among 

1750.] PETER COLLINSON. 181 


London, February 22d, 1750. 

Friend John : 

I have paid thy bill, and sent the two quarto Bibles, val. 14s. 
each cl. 8s. Qd. 

Remember when thou draws, next year, do it in X25 bills; and 
let each bill be a month after the other ; as for instance, one at 
thirty days, one at sixty days, and at ninety days after sight ; for 
these great people are dilatory in paying, and when thy bills 
come, I have a pretext to press hard for thy money which I 
choose not to mix with my other cash. As thine is a particular 
and separate account, I keep it by itself. 

I am now deeply engaged in business ; so must excuse entering 
into particulars. 

* # # * * 5jt 5ji 

The plant thou mentions, of our ingenious friend Kalm's finding, 
I know full well. It is called the Faba JEgyptiaca \Nelumbium, 
Juss.]* It grows in Carolina ; but I did not think it grew so far 
to the northward. The seed-vessel is very curious. I always 
thought the Colocasia was a species of Arum. It is so esteemed 
by the moderns. Pray, if thou visits the place, send me a good 
specimen of the leaves, &c. What blossom it has, I cannot guess. 

If thee hast any young Chinquapins, pray put in two or three 
plants, next cargo. 

But I had almost forgot a material article ; that is, to send me 

* There is a tradition, in the Bartram family, that the Great Water Lily (Ne- 
lumbium luteum, Willd.) was brought by John Bartram from Georgia, or South 
Carolina, and planted in the waters near Philadelphia: viz., in "Brogden's 
ditch," a short distance belowthe city and in " Old Man's Creek," Salem County, 
New Jersey ; in which places, Colonel Carr informs me, it may yet be seen, and 
in the last-named place, abundant. 

It would seem, however, from this letter of P. Collinson, that Kalm had the 
credit even with John Bartram of " finding" the plant, in that vicinity, or, 
at least, of bringing it into notice ; and moreover, it is believed that John Bar- 
tram had not, at that date (1750), been so far south as Carolina. Whether the 
Nelumbium really is, or is not indigenous in the Delaware, or its tributaries, and 
if not, when, and by whom, introduced are questions not easily solved to satisfac- 
tion, at the present day. The letters in which John Bartram speaks of it, are, 
unfortunately, missing. See, further, P. Collinson' s letter of February 2, 1760; 
which is calculated to throw additional doubt on the subject. 


some terrapins ; for I have two gardens walled in, that I can secure 
them from running away. They will come in the box of plants, or 
by themselves, as thee thinks best. The proprietor's gardener sent 
two sorts. The yellow and black I know well ; but there was a 
black flat-shell sort, with most beautifully painted shell round the 
edges, that is very nimble to the other. Pray, let thy lads look 
out sharp for some for me. 


London, January 20, 1751. 

I am very much obliged to my good friend J. Bartram, for so 
fine a collection of growing plants. If they had all come to my 
hand, I should have troubled thee no further; but, to my great 
loss, some prying, knowing people, looked into the cases, and out 
of that No. 2, took the three roots of Chamserhododendron, Red 
Honeysuckle, Laurel, root of Silver-leafed Arum, and the Spircea 
alni folio \CUtlira alnifolia, L.]. These were the most valuable 
part, and what I most wanted. It is very vexatious. Whether 
taken out, on board or coming up from the ship, I can't say ; but 
this is certain, they were gone. I wish Lord Northumberland had 
not the same bad luck ; for, as I peeped in, I could see but very 
little. But, as I have had no complaints, I hope it was otherwise. 

I fancy some of the sailors, having relatives gardeners, seeing 
these plants so carefully boxed up, took them for rarities ; so were 
tempted to steal them, to give to their friends. * 

This day, I gathered the finest nosegay, to carry to town, 
being plenty of Violets, Crocus, Snow-drops, Polyanthos, Single 
Anemone, double and single Stocks, and Wall-flowers, very sweet. 

I conceive the three-leafed Pines growing in a different form, is 
entirely owing to the soil they grow in, and exposure to the sea- 
winds. * * * * 

Did the berries of the evergreen Rhamnus, that was found in 
the Great Plains in the Desert growing five or six inches high, 
amongst the Dwarf Pines, come up, in thy garden? None did 
with me. It was a very rare and curious plant. * 

Thy journal is in the press ; hope to send it by next ship. 

I am thy sincere friend, 


1751.1 TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 183 

March 5, 1750-1. 

My good Friend John : 

Pray what is the reason I have no acorns from that particular 
species of Oak that Doctor Mitchell found in thy meadow \_Quer- 
cus heterophylla, Mx.?]? And I observe, in thy specimens, two 
other narrow-leafed Oaks. As I have now ground enough, I wish 
for a dozen good acorns of each. A few Sugar Maple keys, unless 
thou could send me a young plant. The particular sort of Hazel- 
nut grows, that was sent me two years agone ; but, in removing 
my garden, I lost the early sweet Iris, and the curious species of 
Arum. Pray repair these losses; besides a sweet Spiraea alni 
folio, named Qlethra, by Linnaeus, which I much admire ; but that 
must come in a plant or two; and a plant or two of Ivy, or your 
Laurel [Kalmia, L.J. 

London, March 220, 1751. 

I hope my good friend John Bartram has mine by Budden. 
I am so engaged always, at this time o' year, that I always write 
In a hurry; and write perhaps the same thing over and over again, 
for my memory is burdened with a thousand things. 

I observe four species of Hickory. Send me half a score of each, 
for my own sowing. 

I am much obliged to thee for the cargo in the little box ; it was 
well stuffed. All came in fine order. * 

I believe I told thee of the great loss of the Duke of Richmond, 
my intimate and familiar friend. Next to Lord Petre, none so 
ardently encouraged gardening and plants, and every laudable 
design both in public and private life. 

Pray remember the terrapins and early ripe Indian corn and 
Squash seed. Thine, 


London, April 24, 1751. 

Lest my letters, by other vessels, should miscarry, I here renew 
my orders for seeds, with additions. 


It is very extraordinary, what thou writes of the Larch. It 
grows very fast here, on all soils. 

Pray remember the Faba JEgyptiaca, that our friend Kalm 
found in West Jersey : specimens of leaf, flower and fruit. 

He and his wife arrived safe here. We have had many con- 
ferences. He desires his service ; commends thee in most things, 
but much blames thee for not enriching thy journal [of the expedi- 
tion to Lake Ontario] with a many curious articles which he has 
collected from thy mouth, and which, had he come time enough, 
he would have added. * * * 

The death of our late excellent Prince of Wales 
has cast a great damp over all the nation. Gardening and plant- 
ing have lost their best friend and encourager ; for the prince had 
delighted in that rational amusement, a long while : but lately, he 
had a laudable and princely ambition to excel all others. But the 
good thing will not die with him : for there is such a spirit and 
love of it, amongst the nobility and gentry, and the pleasure and 
profit that attends it, will render it a lasting delight. 

I admire in thine and Kalm's travels, that you got no intelli- 
gence of the great Moose Deer, so celebrated by the first settlers. 
This great formidable animal cannot be extinct. I wish only to see 
a pair of its horns, to compare with the great fossil horns found 
in Ireland, which is certainly extinct in that kingdom. 

Now, my dear John, it's time to conclude, with my sincere wishes 
for thine and family's preservation. 

Thy real friend, 

P. Colliivtson. 

[Date omitted : probably in the summer of 1751. J 

I was delighted to see the son* of my old friend John Bar- 
team. The honesty and good disposition of the youth pleases me, 
as well as his industrious disposition. 

The ship being sold, the poor lad is adrift ; and no passage to 
be had back, without paying for it. He thinks it a hard case, and 
I think so too : for at this time there are very few ships going, 
until about Christmas, which is too long to stay, and then will only 
have the chance to go to Maryland, or Virginia, or West Indies, 

* Moses Baeteam, third son of John Baeteam, bora June, 1732. 

1751.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 185 

which he has been very industrious to find out. He would willingly 
give his labour for his passage ; but neither to your port, nor to 
New York, will they take him, on those terms. As to his hiring 
himself to the West Indies, I can no ways agree to it, though he 
is very desirous of it. But I shall persuade him off of it ; for it 
will be exposing his virtue to too severe trials ; for he must asso- 
ciate with our London common sailors, Avho are a most profligate 
crew, and, if possible, will never be easy until they make him like 
themselves. And then our wages are very low ; the best sailor has 
but 25s. a month. The only method I can advise, is to get him in 
a settled employ in some of your own ships either trading here 
or to the West Indies ; that he may return and pass the winter (if 
from London) under thy inspection. 

As he was very bare of clothes, and those he had in a ragged 
condition, I have, according to thy order, fitted him up in the most 
frugal manner I could. I must say for him, that he was even con- 
tented in his rags, and thought I did too much ; and yet, in his 
poor equipment, I could not see how I could do less. * 

I must acknowledge, my good friend has taken great pains to 
oblige me, with so many entertaining letters. Thy observations 
on the Faba JEgyptiaca \_Nelumbium luteum, Willd.], are well 
worthy our notice. Doctor Gronovius will be delighted with it. 
I have had specimens from South Carolina, but never imagined it 
grew so far to the northward. The specimens are fine. I will 
send one to Holland the first opportunity. Next year, if it is not 
too remote, get more of leaves, fruit, and the flower in its full size, 
which will make the whole complete ; and I have some curious 
botanical friends to oblige with specimens. 

It must certainly be some other sharp, strong-pointed produc- 
tion, that could annoy the scaly sides of the Crocodile ; its belly, 
indeed, is easier penetrated. The Tribulus aquaticus \_Trapa 
natans, L.] is much harder and sharper. 

It is possible this rare plant may have been eradicated from 
Egypt, &c, by the great increase of people, animals, and traffic: 
but in China it subsists, with a variety of rare species, as I have 
seen, and showed Moses, from a Chinese Herbal containing near a 
thousand vegetables all most curiously drawn and painted in their 
natural colours. There are delineated three species, with large 
white, yellow, and purple flowers. These have their seed-vessels 


represented upright : that yours should hang down, is very sin- 

All aquatic leaves have the property thou mentions, I presume, 
from their downy surfaces, though not perceptible to our eyes with- 
out a glass ; as all web-footed fowls shoot off the water from the 
oily downiness that is on the surface. 

Thy expedition up the creek, shows with what energy thou pur- 
sues nature. The hidden deeps cannot secure her treasure. She 
rewards thy labours with her spoils. 

There is great reason to believe, from the beds of petrified shells 
that are found all over the level country below the mountains, and 
confined by the ocean, that its waves once washed the feet of those 
hills, but, on some great revolution, retreated, and left those 
memorials behind it. Indeed, we refer all such phenomena to the 
effects of the Deluge; but it is believed, and also known, that there 
have been great alterations on the face of nature, from earth- 
quakes, &c. That Belemnites are found with sea-shells, I think is 
a confirmation that they are marine productions ; which many 
doubt, but think them stones, after their own kind, which, for 
many reasons, I can by no means agree to. It may seem wonder- 
ful to thee, that new shells are found, not known before : but who 
can tell what lies concealed in the fathomless depths of the ocean ? 
The Belemnites may lie concealed there ; their weight may prevent 
their being washed on the shores. We have a cliff in England, 
near Lymington, that abounds with such variety of shells. I have 
at least twenty different species, large and small, all unknown on 
our coasts, being from the East and West Indies. What a ren- 
versement must this have been ! The productions of the South, 
East, and West, thrown so far to the North ! 

I observe well, in thine of the 26th June, thy account of the 
original building of the Swallows. I think it very feasible ; but 
it is pretty singular none should continue their original institu- 
tion. * * * * 

What thee calls Water Swallows, we call Sand Martins, from 
their building in sandy precipices, near rivers, and in inland places 
remote from them. They are, with us, of a different colour from 
our chimney Martins or house Swallows. 

As to thy desire of an assistant, it would, to be sure, be of great 
service, to relieve and assist thee ; but such as thou'd like is not 

1751.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 187 

to be had : for none care to leave their native land, but those that, 
from their bad principles and morals, cannot live in it. * 

By thine of July 19th, both thy son and myself were glad to 
find some degree of health restored to thy family. 

As Catesby only resided in Virginia and Carolina, it was im- 
possible he could describe more than the animals of those provinces, 
and not all them, neither. 

I shall be pleased to see both your Pheasant and Heath Cock. 
As it may not be possible to procure both cock and hen of each 
species, pray be careful to examine their internal parts, that we 
may be sure ; for in birds, as the cock and hen vary so much, for 
want of certainly knowing which, has made confusion, and multi- 
plied species. 

Their thumping is a very extraordinary action, and Moses con- 
firms thy account. Possibly it is a piece of gallantry the cock 
uses, to recommend himself to the hen. I admire I never heard of 
it before. 

When the skin is stuffed, gentle drying in an oven, after the 
bread is out, will preserve them, packed in dry Tobacco leaves, or 
dust. Vale. 

P. Collinson. 

Mill Hill, September 20 [1751 ?]. 

My dear Friend: 

I have now thine of the 18th June before me, and Moses by my 
side ; so I cannot fail of many intelligences. He has surveyed my 
garden, and finds many things wanting. As the weather has 
proved very fine, I believe he will think his trip hither no ways 

Our good friend, B. Franklin, has some papers on husbandry, 
from a curious friend of mine, from which it's likely thou may 
borrow some useful hints ; but great allowances must be made for 
the difference of our soil and climate with yours. I have also de- 
sired him to let Mr. Eliot, of Connecticut, see them ; for they may 
tend to the improvement of that colony. 

As thy son's inclination is bent to the sea, and he is very de- 
sirous to qualify himself for that business, it would be much to his 
advantage to be settled in some regular, certain employ. Then 
his industry and diligence will be taken notice of, and will be a 


means for his advancement ; whereas, if he is from time to time 
changing his masters, and his ships, he will be lost amongst the 
vulgar. At first, it might be well enough to go abroad and see the 
world ; but when his curiosity has been sufficiently gratified, a set- 
tled employ is to be preferred. He will inform how he employed 
his time here. He was not idle. 

*f* *t^ *j 5JC 3JC 5)C 

I have often with thankfulness observed, how good Providence has 
checked the devouring caterpillars, by a course of natural causes, 
and preserved a balance of his creatures, in the creation. Each 
species has its natural check, which arises from accidents we can- 
not foresee, or prevent. 

If it raises thy wonder, to see how the caterpillar lies in the egg, 
what will it do, if thou was to see the Oak existing in the acorn ? 

I am glad the snakes did not come. There is a sort of natural 
aversion in human nature against this creature. 

But any of the species of turtle, or terrapins, would be innocent, 
and pretty, in my garden; and are easily sent in the fall, in a box 
of leaves, &c, when they have done eating. 

Poor Moses is sadly concerned about paying his passage ; and 
yet there is no remedy. It may be of service to him, in future 
life, to take care and make a sure bargain, and not trust to any 
man's promises ; but have it under their handwriting. Now, 
friend John, farewell ; and remember that I am thy friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Moses can give thee an account of my plants and garden. 

January 11th, 1753. 

I have only just time now to thank my good friend J. Bartram 
for his three kind letters. The seven boxes are come safe, and all 
the others. But Dr. Mitchell is displeased that he has no letter, 
neither the seeds which he says he gave thee orders for. 

Pray thank Moses for his letter; and pray look out, this year, 
for land Terrapins, for my son is very desirous of them. * 

Doctor Kearsley is very much mistaken, to take 
the Mechoacan for the True Scammony ; for I have seen it grow- 
ing several times, raised from true seed, sent from Aleppo. I will 
not deny but it may be a species, as they are both Convolvuluses. 

1758.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 189 

* * * * * * 

Is that charming autumn Blue Gentian [6r. crinita, L.], an an- 
nual, or biennial, or perennial ? 

I shall acquaint Doctor Mitchell with thy reasons for not send- 
ing his order. * * * 

* * I want to know if the Laurel and the Horse-chestnut, 
that Moses carried, grow, and suit your climate. 

The difference is very remarkable between our country and 
yours ; for I have heard thunder but once this year and that at a 
distance ; whilst you have had it so terrible all over your continent, 
as our friend Clayton writes me from Virginia ; and we have 
scarcely had sufficient to make our ingenious friend Franklin's 
experiment. Our summer was wet ; but our harvest good, and our 
autumn long and fine. I gathered such a nosegay, on Christmas 
day, would have delighted thee to have seen it. 

In England vegetation may be said never to cease ; for the 
spring flowers tread so on the heels of the autumn flowers, that the 
ring is carried on without intermission. 

I am, in haste, thine, 


February 13, 1753. 

From my country cottage, called Ridgeway House. Under that title it is to be 
found in our old maps ; so I conclude it little less than 200 years standing ; but 
yet is a tolerable dwelling. 

Dear John : 

Being retreated here from the hurries of the town, while snow 
covers the ground in this Alpine situation (the country, near the 
town, being clear of it), I retired to my study, with a good fire, and 
found great serenity and pleasure of mind in conversing with my 
distant friends. 

Thy sundry packets lay before me. As often as I peruse them, 
I still find entertainment, and much matter for speculation and re- 

The first that I laid my hands on, was the well-wrote disserta- 
tion on your Oaks and Hickories. * Thy descriptions 
are so exact and natural, that I am always delighted with reading 
them; but, my good friend, I must impart to thee my doubts. I 
am afraid the species are so multiplied, that it will be a difficult 
task to distinguish them here. 


The difference between the Lowland White Oak [Quercus bicolor, 
Willd.?] and the Mountain White Oak [#. obtusiloba, Mx.?], is 
purely owing to their situation,* and that cannot be determined but 
by experiments. Take the acorns of each, and plant in thy garden ; 
a few years' observation will put that matter out of doubt. And 
the like may be, in the Swamp, and Mountain Chestnut Oak \_Q. 
Prinus, L. ? and Q. montana, Willd. ?], a difference owing to soil 
and situation not sufficient to constitute two distinct species; and 
so of the Spanish, and Swamp Spanish Oak [$. falcata, and Q. 
palustris, of Mx. ?] I know this tribe of trees sport so, in their 
leaves, that it is easy for thee to collect specimens that shall have 
a great appearance of a distinct species ; but the question is, will 
this hold through the forest ? In England, we have but two spe- 
cies of Oak ; and yet, in the course of my observation, I could ex- 
tend them to variety of species, from the different figure of their 
leaves, and the shape and size of their acorns. 

As an account of your forest trees is a very desirable piece of 
knowledge here, with their properties and uses, since the humour 
of cultivating them is so much indulged : yet, when the Lowland and 
Mountain Oaks grow up here together and no very remarkable 
difference, then our ingenious friend, John Bartram, will be 
arraigned with want of judgment to distinguish things aright. To 
prevent such an impeachment of his skill, I much wish he would re- 
vise his account again, and confirm his opinion with fair specimens 
and acorns, impartially collected ; for I have a great desire to have 
them engraved, and published. Our friend Catesby has, indeed, 
exhibited variety ; but then his work is so expensive, few can afford 
to buy it. * * * 

Ridgeway House, February 13, 1753. 

I now come next to examine thine of June 7th, perhaps over 
again. * * * * 

Thy expedition to the mountains must be an agreeable jaunt 
to one of thy taste, and mine. In these expeditions, forget not 

* Friend Collinson manifests a laudable desire to avoid the unnecessary mul- 
tiplication of species ; but the modern botanists, generally, have sustained the 
views of John Baetbam, in reference to the specific differences of the Oaks here 

1753.1 T0 J0HN BARTRAM. 191 

to collect any insects, or observations on them, that I have not had 
before ; for some frequent the hills others the dales. I don't re- 
member thou ever sent me any of your land-snails, of which there 
must be different species in different places. It delights me, to see 
the boundless variety that fills every corner of the earth and the sea. 

* * What thou names the Sea-beach Cherry, by its leaves 
seems rather a Plum [Primus maritima, Wang. ?]. If we are 
right in the plant, pray send a specimen of the Beach Cherry, 
which will set us right. 

I commend thy method of sowing Parsley, &c, with the Fir seed. 
In the northern province of Germany, where it is sandy and barren, 
and will produce little but Firs and Pines, to prevent the seed- 
lings being burnt up, they sow Oats with their seed, to screen it in 
the summer, and its dry straw protects it in the winter ; for they 
do not reap the oats ; and one reason may be, in such a barren 
soil, they are not worth it. * * * 

Doctor Colden has lately confirmed to me the success of the 
Phytolacca, in cancers. As it is to be applied outwardly, the dan- 
ger is the less. * * 

The White Cedar expedition must be pleasant. But it would 
spoil trade to tell how easily the White Cedar is propagated from 
cuttings. Not one will miss. I have two dozen of the finest, 
straight, upright plants from cuttings thou ever saw ; but this, Gor- 
don and I keep a great secret. 


I presume, before this, thou has received Dr. Buttner's remarks 
on thy Apjyendix to the Medicina Britannica.* I thank thee 
for it; and will take care to send the other to Linn^us. 

* This was a sort of vegetable Materia Medica, reduced to popular apprehen- 
sion, by Tho. Short, of Sheffield, M.D. a 

The American edition was reprinted in Philadelphia, 1751, by B. Franklin, 
and D. Hall, at the Post-office, in Market Street ; " with a Preface by Mr. John 

a This author was, probably, the medical personage referred to, in the first 
volume of Macaulay's History of England, where, speaking of the sudden illness 
of Charles II., (Feb., 1685,) it is stated, that "all the medical men of note in 
London, were summoned. So high did political animosities run, that the presence 
of some Whig physicians was regarded as an extraordinary circumstance. One 
Roman Catholic, whose skill was then widely renowned, Doctor Thomas Short, 
was in attendance. Several of the prescriptions have been preserved. One of 
them is signed by fourteen doctors. The patient was bled largely. Hot iron was 
applied to his head. A loathsome volatile salt, extracted from human skulls, was 
forced into his mouth." 


I can't imagine at the long silence of Doctor Gronovius ; whe- 
ther it is his employ in the government, or whether his taste for Na- 
tural History abates, I can't say ; but this our friend Clayton tells 
me, that he writ him a letter complaining of the expense that at- 
tended the conveyance of his specimens to Holland, and as good 
as forbid his sending more ; so that, it seems to me, the last vice 
that attacks human nature has laid hold on him that is, covetous- 
ness. I wish it may not be so ; but it is more than probable. 
Postage becomes chargeable, and so he is silent. He is two letters 
in my debt, and used to be the most punctual correspondent. 

Many are asking me, why the' name of Hemlock is given to the 
smallest coned Fir, which we call Yew-leafed Fir [Pinus Canaden- 
sis, L.]. 


London, July 19, 1753. 

If my friend John Bartram knew better my affairs, my situa- 
tion in life, my public business, my many engagements and 
incumbrances, instead of being in a pet, that I answer not the 
letter he sends by one ship by the next that sails he would won- 
der I do so well as I do, though he thinks it so ill. * * He 
should never suspect his friend, until he has better foundation for 
so doing. To serve him, I often neglect my own business. His 
surmises are well meant ; yet they arise from want of experience, 
and not knowing me, and the share I have in the busy world, so 
well as I could wish ; then he would not think me so bad a corre- 
spondent. And I dare venture, now I have given him these 
friendly hints, he will not think me so again ; but continue his 
friendly and informing, as well as his entertaining correspondence. 

* * I thought he had known me better, than to think any- 
thing he sends me either lost or neglected. 

Bartram, Botanist of Pennsylvania, and his Notes throughout the work, showing 
the places where many of the described Plants are to be found in these parts of 
America, their differences in name, appearance, and virtue, from those of the 
same kind in Europe ; and an Appendix, containing a description of a number of 
Plants peculiar to America, their uses, virtues, &c." 

The original work is surcharged with all that sort of nonsensical credulity and 
trumpery which disgraced the profession in former times ; but the brief Appendix 
by John Bartram, (noticing some twenty of our indigenous vegetables,) is more 
reputable, and possesses some degree of interest. The book is now exceedingly 
rare. For an opportunity to examine the only copy I have seen, I am indebted 
to the kindness of my valued friend, Daniel B. Smith, of Philadelphia. 

1753.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 193 

The Cranberry thrives -wonderfully, and is in blossom ; every 
way agreeing with ours, but much larger. * * 

Pray give my thanks to Moses, for his two letters. In the box, 
with the other things, I have sent two fine Cedar of Lebanon cones, 
just come from thence. * * * * 

There is a little token, in a box, for Billy,* whose pretty per- 
formances please me much. 

Thy account of the frogs is very humorous ; but would it not be 
more so, to import a cargo of them ? And had I a park, or place 
inclosed, I would wish it. But as it is, strolling people and boys 
would destroy them. A bull-frog would surprise the whole village ; 
but then it would be certainly killed. 

Dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 


August the 20th, 1753. 

Dear Peter: 

I am now very intent upon examining the true distinguishing 
characters of our forest irees, finding it a very difficult task as I 
can have no help from either ancient or modern authors, they hav- 
ing taken no particular observation worth notice. I expect, by 
our worthy friend Benjamin, specimens of the evergreens of New 
England, which I intend to compare with ours, and those of York 
government ; so that I may give a particular account of the ever- 
greens natural to our northern parts, which I hope to send thee, 
this fall or next spring with a fuller account of our Oaks and 
Hickories ; and for thy present amusement, I here send thee, as a 
specimen of my method of proceeding, a near perfect description 
of the characters ojf our Hop Hornbeam. 


I am preparing for a journey to Doctor Colden's, and the moun- 
tains. I design to set out with my little botanist ["Billy"], the 
first of September, which is ten days sooner than usual ; hoping to 
gather the Balm of Gilead and Larix seed which was generally 

* "Billy," the fourth son of John Baktram, discovered an early talent for 
drawing. He was, at this date, in his fifteenth year. 



fallen before I got there. Neither do I design to be in such a 
hurry as I have been. 



Dear afflicted Friend: 

As I have been once near, in some respects, in the same gloomy 7 
disconsolate circumstance with thine, I believe I am in some mea- 
sure qualified to sympathize with one of my dearest friends, in his 
close and tender affliction. It seems hard to have one's dearest 
consort, a loving spouse an affectionate wife an object that we 
love above all terrestrial enjoyments taken from our arms. How 
grievous is it, for one that is thus agreeable, to be torn from our 
hearts ! Her dear sweet bosom is cold ; her tender heart the 
centre of mutual love is motionless ; her dear arms are no more 
extended to embrace her beloved ; the partner of his cares, and 
sharer of his pleasures must no more sit down with her husband 
at his table. Oh ! my dear friend, let us resign all to God Al- 
mighty ; His will be done ! He knows what is best for our ulti- 
mate good. 


After two weeks' sickness, being pretty well recovered, but still 
a lurking fever hanging on me. * * * We set out the 1st of 
September, and travelled forty miles ; the next day we travelled 
near fifty; and the next day crossed the South Chains, being three 
ridges of our Blue Mountain, on Jersey side, where we stayed 
about noon, to rest ourselves, and observe the vegetables that grew 
thereon ; which were, Mountain Chestnut Oak, Mountain or Cham- 
pagne Red Oak, and some Spanish Oak, Sassafras, Chestnut, and 
Maple Ash, black and white, Wild Cherry, Persimmon, and 
three-leaved Pine. Shrubs, Sweet Fern, and, in swampy places, 
Prinos; and very good Fox grapes. * * * * 

We continued our travelling till eleven 
o'clock, near the river ; and then turned on our right hand along 
a road that crossed the Blue Mountain again, being the road the 


people take to Goshen. I took this road, to show my son the bro- 
ken, mountainous, desolate part of the country ; where we took 
the first particular notice of the Alder with a silver colour on the 
under side of the leaf [Alnus incana, Willd.], which is plentiful in 
this part of the country. On the branches of the North River, I 
saw it plentifully in my first journey ; but took no particular notice 
of it, but its largeness. It grows fifteen or twenty feet high, and 
four inches diameter ; whereas ours grows about two. As we came 
down the mountain, on a sunny, rich bank, I found many roots of 
this Wild Lovage, and brought seed to sow in my garden, after 
despairing fifteen years of ever seeing it again. At last we came 
to a little cottage, one hour by sun, and ordered our horses to pas- 
ture. Our host said there was the strangest plants growed on his 
land, that growed anywhere in the country. We went directly ; 
but they all proved to be but common plants to me, though, 
indeed, there were such as did not grow amongst the inhabitants. 

At night, we lodged seven or eight of us (they being two fami- 
lies) in the hut, hardly big enough for a hen-roost I and Billy 
on the ground after a piece of a musty supper. Slept but little 
in this lousy hut, which we left, as soon as we could well see our 
path, in the morning, having paid him half a crown, which he 
charged, and reached Dr. Coldex's by noon. Got our dinner, 
and set out to gather seeds, and did not get back till two hours 
within night ; then looked over some of the Doctor's daughter's 
botanical, curious observations. Next morning, as soon as I could 
see, we hunted plants till breakfast : then the Doctor's son went 
with me to Doctor Jones's, where we observed the Pines, on a 
hio;h hill near the Doctor's. After dinner, we went to the river to 
gather Arbor Vitce seeds ; then returned to Dr. Colden's by two 
hours within night. In the morning, gathered seeds till break- 
fast. These two days I could have refreshed myself finely, if the 
Doctor had been at home, or durst have eaten freely of what was 
set before me ; for they all were very kind. 

July, 1754. 

Dear Peter : 

* * I have examined Hill, now, pretty well, and am very 
well pleased that I have got him, although it be very far from 
being exact, true, or fully intelligible : on the contrary, he hath 

196 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1754. 

not gone half way through with it. There are many great omis- 
sions, and errors, I suppose for want of opportunity to examine 
the subjects himself; and doubtless there are also neglects, by 
being concerned in other business, which diverted him from taking 
so much notice of the minute particulars, as he might otherwise 
have clone : yet, notwithstanding these deficiencies, there are many 
curious observations, and certain truths, contained in it. 

I am much pleased with Dr. Parsons' Analogy. I look upon 
it to be an introduction to a very extensive field of observations. I 
should be glad to correspond with him ; and if he lives near thee, 
or comes to thy house, I wish thee would show him my description 
of our forest trees : but don't hinder thy own affairs about them. 

I have just now received thy letter of May the 2d, 1754. I am 
glad of your remarks on my deficiencies, which I hope you will 
favourably excuse, and consider that my descriptions were done, 
and specimens placed, in the greatest hurry ; most of them by 
candlelight, or First days, being hurried in travelling, and gather- 
ing, drying and sorting seeds, or labour about my farm. * 

November 3, 1754. 

Dear Peter : 

I received thytind letter of July the 30th. Good grammar 
and good spelling, may please those that are more taken with a 
fine superficial flourish than real truth ; but my chief aim was to 
inform my readers of the true, real, distinguishing characters of 
each genus, and where, and how, each species differed from one 
another, of the same genus : and if you find that my descriptions 
are not agreeable with the specimens, pray let me know where the 
disagreement is, and send my descriptions back again that I may 
correct them, or if they prove deficient, that I may add farther 
observations ; for I have no copy, and you have the original. So, 
by all means, send my descriptions back again by the first oppor- 
tunity; for I have forgot what I wrote. 

The microscope I like very well : it is prettily adapted to the 
observation of plants. * * * * 

* * * The great Water Turtle of New England, I 

take to be our great Mud Turtle, which is much hunted for, to 
feast our gentry withal ; and is reckoned to be as delicious a mor- 
sel as those brought from the Summer Islands. * They 

1755.] PETER COLLINSON. 197 

are very large of a dark muddy colour large round tail, and 
feet with claws, the old ones mossy on the back, and often seve- 
ral horse leeches sucking the superfluous blood ; a large head, 
sharp nose, and mouth wide enough to cram one's fist in, very 
sharp gums, or lips, which you will, with which they will catch 
hold of a stick, offered to them or, if you had rather, your finger 
which they will hold so fast that you may lift the turtle by it as 
high as your head, if you have strength or courage enough to lift 
them up so high by it. But as for their barking, I believe thy 
relator barked, instead of the turtle. They creep all over, in the 
mud, where they lie perdu; and when a duck, or fish, swims near 
them, they dart out their head as quick as light, and snap him up. 
Their eggs are round as a bullet, and choice eating. 

As for the Opossums, I can't endure to touch them, or hardly 
look at them, without sickness at stomach ; and I question whether 
any beast of prey is so fond of them as to kill them for food : and 
as they make but little resistance, but by their loathsome scent, 
few creatures will kill them for sport, except dogs. But if Wolves 
or Panthers should chase them, they can creep into less holes in 
a hollow tree, or between rocks, than their pursuers can : or if 
suddenly surprised, there is a tree or bush mostly at hand, where 
they can be secure ; for they can run to the extremity of a hori- 
zontal branch, and lap their tail-end round a slender twig, by which 
they will hang, pendulous, out of the reach of larger animals. 

December 16, 1754. 

And now I have shipped on the Myrtilla, Budden, * * and 
for thyself, one box of plants in moss, and a box of a great variety 
of seeds, and a quire of specimens of our Oaks, with their acorns 
on in perfection, according to thy desire ; besides, my son William 
hath drawn most of our real species of Oaks, and all our real spe- 
cies of Birches, with an exact description of their particular cha- 
racters, not according to grammar rules, or science, but nature. 

March, 1755. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letters of October the 8th and 24th, 
1754 ; am well pleased with the description of the agreeable situa- 

198 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1755. 

tion of thy country-seat ; and more so, that thy heart flows with 
gratitude to our heavenly Father and great benefactor. 

It gives me much satisfaction that Billy's drawing is so well re- 
ceived ; and that thee hath so much regard for my son Moses and 
his welfare. * * * 

I wholly purposed, last fall, to go to the Virginia and Carolina 
mountains ; but now, being certainly informed of the great danger 
of travelling near those delightful situations, I must forbear, at 
present. But I am sadly afraid your ministry will be fooled by 
the French, who, no doubt, will pretend they will not act in a hos- 
tile manner, in order that you may forbid us to drive them back, 
that they may, in the mean time, not only encroach upon us, but 
also fortify themselves strongly in their encroachments. * * 

April 27th, 1755. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letters of January the 5th, February 
the 1st, 12th, and 19th. * * * * 

I design to set Billy to draw all our turtles, with remarks, as 
he has time, which is only on Seventh days, in the afternoon, and 
First day mornings ; for he is constantly kept to school, to learn 
Latin and French. We intend to take notice of the frogs and 
lizards, as they come in our way, or we know where to find them. 
I have often sent thee the seed of our great Aster ; next expect a 
root. * * * * * 

I am well pleased that thee let Philip Miller see my speci- 
mens of Oaks and Evergreens. It's pity but he had wrote to me 
many years ago. Time is now far spent with us both. 

I hope Dr. Fothergill won't condemn me without giving me 
liberty to plead my own cause. I have abundance of undigested 
thoughts to communicate, if I could explain my sentiments so as 
you could understand my meaning. 

Dr. Mitchell sent a letter to Franklin, I believe by Har- 
grave, in which he desired me to send him several boxes of seeds. 
I wish he would write to me more particular, before it is too late. 

Thee writes to me to draw fifty pounds ; but if there should be 
a war with France, I had rather have it in thy hands, if it could 
be secured to my children, if thee or I should die as we are all 

1755.] PETER COLLINSON. 199 

Our Philadelphia people seem at ease, and dissolved in luxury. 
I think two twenty-gun ships could take the town, in two hours' 
time. * * * * * 

Thee art very much mistaken in the striped Maple [Acer Penn- 
sylvanicum, L.] being a seminal variety, or an accidental one 
either. It is a very particular, distinct species, both in its manner 
and place of growth. It hath the most constant appearance of 
any species I know ; and place of growth being particular to the 
northern ridges of our Blue Mountains, from the North River to 
Susquehanna. I never observed one naturally to grow on the 
three southern ridges, or between them and the sea. Kalm looked 
for them on the Katskill. 

I hope to send seeds of the Bartsia, and Christophoriana with 
white seeds. ***** 

My son William is just turned of sixteen. It is now time to 
propose some way for him to get his living by. I don't want him 
to be what is commonly called a gentleman. I want to put him to 
some business by which he may, with care and industry, get a tem- 
perate, reasonable living. I am afraid that botany and drawing will 
not afford him one, and hard labour don't agree with him. I have 
designed, several years, to put him to a doctor, to learn physic 
and surgery ; but that will take him from his drawing, which he 
takes particular delight in. Pray, my dear Peter, let me have 
thy opinion about it. 

I am glad my friend Dr. Fotheegill hath the perusal of my 
notion of the antediluvian impressions of marine shells, in our 
mountainous rocks, or any other of my rambling observations. I 
hope, if I can stand the test with his trial, I shall come out like 
gold well purified. I had rather undergo, now, a thorough purging 
a long fusion, than to have any dross left behind. 

Dear friend, if thee proposes to me any questions of philosophy, 
pray let me have as many as thee pleases, in the fall. It will be 
fine winter diversion. And questions in botany, in spring, that 
I may have the summer to make proper observations of vegeta- 
bles in. 

If there should be a war with France, how shall I send my de- 
scriptions of trees, or Billy's drawings, without falling into igno- 
rant people's hands, that will not take any notice of them or may 
be, throw them away ? Suppose I should direct them (under the 

200 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1755. 

cover) to Mr. Dalibard, Buffox, or Jussietj, or Dr. Groxovius. 
If the French, should take them, and see them directed to such 
noted men, they might take care to send them to them. 

Last war, they took care to send my letters, and part of the 
curiosities, to GrRONOVlUS, as directed ; the rest, Jussieu kept him- 
self. Pray direct me how to act for the best ; for I suppose little 
can be sent in merchant ships, without a convoy, but what will fall 
into the enemy's hands ; and I had rather that the descriptions and 
drawings should fall into learned, than ignorant hands, * 

September the 28th, 1755. 

Dear Peter: 

I have received thy kind letters of March 25, April 23, June 17, 
and July 3d, sent in by Captain Buddex ; also one by 1ST. E., and 
one by New York. 

I have been at Killingsworth, with our friend Eliot, who is a 
good sort of a man, and endeavours for the general good of man- 
kind. His time is fully employed in visiting the sick, looking after 
his farm, supplication and thanksgiving in his family, praying and 
preaching in the pulpit ; and very agreeable in his conversation 
with his friends. 

In my return home, I travelled more back in the country, and 
crossed the North River below the Highlands, and went with my 
Billy to observe the falls of Second River, which are very re- 
markable for such a body of water to precipitate about sixty feet 
perpendicular into a narrow gulf, between two rocks about ten feet 
distance. ***** 

I am well pleased that Billy gives you such satisfaction in his 
drawing. I wish he could get a handsome livelihood by it. Bo- 
tany and drawing are his darling delight ; am afraid he can't settle 
to any business else. Indeed, surveying may afford an opportu- 
nity to exercise his botany ; but we have five times more surveyors 
already than can get half employ. If he could get a surveyor- 
general's office, for life, it might do. 

The specimen of your Oak comes near our White Oak ; yet dif- 
fers pretty much in its acorn-cups : seems to be of the summer 
kind. * * 

I doubt Dr. Coldex can't find that stone, composed 
of sand and cockle-shells. I found it on the south side of the 

1756.] PETER COLLINSON. 201 

drowned lands, near the mountain, on much higher ground than it 
is where the Doctor lives, where most of the stones are composed 
of a coarse, sandy limestone, and scallop shells of a large size and 
particular form, peculiar to this vale. I find, in our present bays, 
or sea, the scallops lie much deeper than the cockle, which lie in 
the sandy shores. If I should travel to the Doctor's again, I de- 
sign to search the south side, and try to find that stone : but there 
is now great alteration since I was there ; and very like, the woods 
in which I found it may now be corn-fields, and it will be like 
searching a needle in a bundle of hay. 


January 20, 1756. 

I have the pleasure to tell my dear friend, that his boxes of 
plants came in fine order, by Buddex. * * 

My son and I were both surprised at the sight of the great Mud 
Turtle. It is really a formidable animal. He bit very fierce at a 
stick. He had near bit my finger. Thy former description is very 
good, excepting his sharp hook at the point of its bill, and his 
shell being very jagged, or notched, near his tail. It made an un- 
couth noise, I can't say barking ; but what a full-grown one might 
do, I can't say. It is really a curiosity, and we are obliged to thee 
for sending it ; for we had no notion of such an animal, for writers, 
in general, content themselves by saying there's terrapins, or land 
and water turtles, &c. 

I wish Billy could get one of this size, and draw it, in its 
natural dress : but pray let the shell be well washed, that the 
sutures of the shell may be well expressed. What eye it has, we 
can't well say, for they seemed closed up, as if asleep. 

All the species of turtles, drawn as they come in your way, with 
some account of them, would prove a new piece of natural history, 
well worth knowing. 

The pretty Frog came safe and well, and very brisk: more of 
these innocent creatures would not be amiss. But pray send no 
more Mud Turtle. One is enough. The other Water Turtle is a 
pretty species ; came very well. 


* I am pleased to hear thy daughter is like to be 

disposed of to thy mind. Poor Moses has been tumbling and toss- 
ing about the world. Inclosed is his letter from Gibraltar. Indeed, 
by what we can learn, the whole globe has been shaken terribly in 
some places, as I find it has reached your continent, also, which 
thou takes no notice of; so I presume could not be very remark- 
able. The terrible lot of Lisbon, being totally ruined, and other 
places, too long even to touch upon, thou'll see in the Magazines, 
or your public newspapers. * * * * 

Billy's drawing and painting of the Tupelo, 
is fine, and is deservedly admired by every one. There is a delight- 
ful natural freedom through the whole, and no minute particular 
omitted the insects on the leaves, &c. It's a pity he had not kept 
it, to add the flowers ; and to have dissected a flower showing the 
style, and stamina, &c, each part distinct by itself, after Lin- 
N^EUs's method, which seems to be the prevailing taste. 

Our friend Colden's daughter has, in a scientific manner, sent 
over several sheets of plants, very curiously anatomized after his 
method. I believe she is the first lady that has attempted any- 
thing of this nature. They are to be sent to Dr. Gronovius ; and 
he, poor man ! I believe is in a bad state of health ; for I cannot 
get a line from him (who used to be very punctual), if he has re- 
ceived Billy's fine drawings of Oaks, and thy system. Though I 
have writ several letters, I shall this day send another. * 

* * I am really concerned there are no acorns. I am afraid 
we shall be outdone by that Alexander. I must not print thy 
list, this year, for that reason. 

By the common Laurel, does thou mean the small Magnolia? 
If thou does, thou should say so ; for the name Magnolia will sell 
a box of seeds. If this is wanting, we shall be undone. 

By all means make Billy a printer. It is a pretty, ingenious 
employ. Never let him reproach thee, and say, " Father, if thou 
had put me to some business by which I might get my bread, I 
should have by my industry lived in life as well as other people." 
Let the fault be his, not thine, if he does not. 

So for this time, dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinsost. 

1756.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 9Q3 

London, February 10, 1756. 

Mr dear Friend John's 

Next letter is May 17th, -which I answered July 8th. * * 

It is true ; I have been in the hot bath ; and just over the 
spring, it is really as hot as one well can bear it. But what is 
that to some hot springs, in other parts of the world, that the 
natives boil their eggs, and dress their victuals, with the hot water? 
It would be exceeding my time, and the extent of this paper, to 
retail the various opinions about this wonderful operation. So, my 
dear John, content thyself. This is one of the many things that's 
concealed from us. 

I before hinted my opinion with relation to Billy. He is now 
come to years of understanding ; and therefore it is time for him 
to consider how he must live in the world, and give up his darling 
amusements, in some degree, that he may attain a knowledge in 
some art, or business, by which he may, with care and industry, 
support himself in life : and as printing is an ingenious art, draw- 
ing and engraving may with advantage be applied to it. I would 
fain have thee embrace our kind friend B. Franklin's obliging 
offer : but, unless Billy w r ill determine to settle close, and apply 
himself, it will never answer the good purpose intended. 

In case of a war, I approve thy plan of directing all to Mr, 
Buffon's, at the Royal Garden, Paris; and then, underneath, 
direct for me. Then I should have it, one time or other. But our 
affairs are so surprisingly situated, that none knows, yet, whether 
it will be war or peace. We continue taking the French ships, 
but they take none of ours. So reconcile this piece of French 
policy, if thou can, and foretell its consequences. * * 

I thought thine and our friend Clayton's observations so mate- 
rial, on Dr. Alston's system, that I put them in the Gentleman's 
Magazine. * * * * 

My dear John, what shall I say to the Great Vale, but admire 
thy account of it, and think how happy will those in future times 
be whose lot it is to cultivate so rich and fertile a tract ? * * 

Thy observation on the Birches, and other trees, is peculiarly 


thy own : pray how does it agree with the sentiments of our great 

botanist, Phil. Miller ? 

* * * * 

No one doubts but that the marble of Tadmor was hewn out of 
the neighbouring mountains : but thy notion of its formation by a 
mixture of slime, or mud, with what thee calls nitrous or marine 
salts, enters not into my comprehension. So thou hath it all to 

But I am thy friend, 


February 18, 1756. 

My first letter to my worthy friend, was of January 20th ; 
which was a sort of general letter, writ in haste, to send by first 

Now I come to consider thine in course. 

I commend putting off thy expedition to the 
western provinces. * * 

We think our weather very inconstant ; but yours is 
much more so. * * 

Thy soliloquy is very pathetic. No part of God's works but 
raise rapturous ideas in a well-disposed mind. * * 

It is said how true I don't know that your vast flocks of 
pigeons, once a year, return from your inland parts, to regale 
themselves on the sea-shore. This I know, that our pigeons are 
great lovers of salts : for our columbarians make salt cakes, to 
engage them to stay at home. * * * 

* * My dear John says truly, his hypothesis is com- 

posed of broken links, for I cannot unite them ; but yet there are 
many ingenious conjectures. But suppositions are endless, and 
we are still in the dark, relating to the many wonderful phenomena 
in nature. The great Author of our being has set bounds to our 
reasoning faculty, that we may be sensible of our imperfections; 
yet has permitted us mental excursions, and those the best con- 
nected and to us most probable may be nearest the mark. 
* * * * 

I am greatly obliged for the last box of seeds thee sent, in 
particular the Cfalega, which we never could raise, though we have 
had seed so often ; so pray send two or three roots more, next 

1756.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 205 

year : but, my dear Jonx, how canst thou imagine I could remem- 
ber a specimen, sent so many years agone ? But Billy's fine 
painting has given me a complete idea of its beauty ; and that fine 
Red Helleborine [Calopogon, R. Br.?], which I have long wanted. 
The female Cornus is exquisitely done. It resembles ours ; and 
yet there is a difference. 

I am very sensible of the great pains Billy has taken, about the 
turtles. I can't reward him equal to his merit. I send him a 
small token, and some fine drawing-paper all in the Library 
Company's box, to B. Franklin, with sundry parcels for thee. 
The Marsh Hawk is admirable. I don't see that either Edwards, 
or Ehret, can much excel it : but I wish he would paint the Pond 
Turtle over again. It is the most indifferently performed ; the 
shell is made almost white, whereas it is black. But then, again, 
I must do him justice. Nothing can be finer executed than the 
Horned Turtle. Such ingenuity brings truth to light. Time won't 
permit what I could say, on this strange creature. What can be 
the use of its horns ? To strike its prey ? I have another request 
to Billy : that is, to draw the wrong side of the Spotted Turtle, 
he has sent with fine Red Helleborine. So paint all the belly-side 
of all the turtles ; for there is always something remarkable there. 
* But, as I hope Billy will go into the printing 

business, I desire he will apply himself diligently, and not think 
on me, or his favourite amusement. 

But yesterday, I had a letter from Dr. Groxoyius. He admires 
much the drawings of the Oaks ; but he can get nobody to 
engrave and print them : so will return them to me. Our friend 
Ehret will do them, he tells me ; but I can't say when. Those 
original drawings of plants were our ingenious friend Catesby's. 
I am, my dear friend, thine in great sincerity, 

P. Collinson. 


February 21, 1756. 

Dear Peter : 

We are now in a grievous distressed condition: the barbarous, 
inhuman, ungrateful natives weekly murdering our back inhabit- 
ants ; and those few Indians that profess some friendship to us, 

206 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1756. 

are mostly watching for an opportunity to ruin us. And we that 
are near the city are under apprehensions, too, from the neutral 
French, which are sent amongst us full of resentment and revenge, 
although they yet appear tolerably civil, when we feed them with 
the best we can afford. They are very fond of their brethren 
the Irish and Dutch Romans, which are very numerous amongst 
us ; many of which openly declare their -wishes, that the French 
and Indians would destroy us all, and others of them privately 
rejoice at our calamities. deplorable condition ! that we sus- 
pect our friend of treachery while he is willing to assist us, and 
can't discover our enemy till it is too late ! 

By what we can understand, by the reports of our back inha- 
bitants, most of the Indians which are so cruel, are such as were 
almost daily familiars at their houses, ate, drank, cursed and swore 
together were even intimate playmates ; and now, without any 
provocation, destroy all before them with fire, ball, and tomahawk. 
They coimnonly, now, shoot with rifles, with which they will, at a 
great distance, from behind a tree, fence, ditch, or rock, or under 
the covert of leaves, take such sure aim as seldom misseth their 
mark. If they attack a house that is pretty well manned, they 
creep behind some fence, or hedge, or tree, and shoot red-hot iron 
slugs, or punk, into the roof, and fire the house over their heads ; 
and if they run out, they are sure to be shot at, and most or all of 
them killed. If they come to a house where the most of the family 
are women and children, they break into it, kill them all, plunder 
the house, and burn it with the dead in it ; or if any escape out, 
they pursue and kill them. If the cattle are in the stable, they 
fire it, and burn the cattle : if they are out, they are shot, and the 
barn burnt. 

If our captains pursue them, in the level woods, they skip from 
tree to tree like monkeys ; if in the mountains, like wild goats, 
they leap from rock to rock, or hide themselves, and attack us in 
flank and rear, when, but the minute before, we pursued their 
track, and thought they were all before us. They are like the 
Angel of Death give us the mortal stroke, when we think our- 
selves secure from danger. 

Pennsylvania ! thou that was the most flourishing and 
peaceable province in North America, art now scourged by the 
most barbarous creatures in the universe. All ases, sexes, and 
stations, have no mercy extended to them. * * * 

1756.] PETER COLLINSON. 207 

* T\ r e have had a fine moderate winter, hitherto. 
The 1st of February, my Crocus was out, and the Aconite the week 
before. The red-flowered, and silver-leaved Maples the Hazel, 
Filbert and Alder much about the same time. The double Snow- 
drop, Claytonia and Paronychia, have been out about two weeks. 
The seeds of Mustard, Orach and Lettuce are come up : but now, 
I suppose they will be nipped. Last night, a snow fell ten inches 
deep ; and now the northwest wind blows very cold. 

May the 30th, 1756. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letters of January 20th, and February 
28th, by Mesnard, and since, some seeds, and two books of Natu- 
ral History ; all which are very acceptable. I am well pleased 
with thy choice of the magazines. I expected greater matters of 
philosophy, and new discovery in Natural History, in Martin's, 
than I found. Billy is much obliged to thee for his drawing- 
paper. He has drawn many rare birds, in order to send to thee; 
and dried the birds to send to his friend Edwards, to whom he is 
much obliged for those two curious books. He spent his time, this 
spring, in shooting and drawing the rare birds of quick passage, 
which stayed with us but a few days, to rest, and fill their bellies, 
on their flight northward, where they breed ; as he observed, by 
the hens having immature eggs in them, which their quick passage 
through our country before, rendered them unobserved. We pro- 
pose to send them by Captain Mesnard, by whom we intend to 
write largely. 

Last night, I was with our friend Benjamin [Franklin], and 
desired his farther advice about Billy ; and reasoned with him 
about the difficulty of falling into good business ; that, as he well 
knew, he was the only printer that did ever make a good liveli- 
hood by it, in this place, though many had set up, both before and 
since he did, and that was by his extraordinary and superior abili- 
ties, and close application ; and merchandizing was very precarious ; 
and extreme difficult to make remittances to Europe. He sate and 
paused awhile, then said that there was a profitable business which 
he thought was now upon the increase ; that there was a very inge- 
nious man in town, who had more business than he could well, 


manage himself, and that was engraving ; and which he thought 
would suit Billy well. * * * 

We had a small shock of an earthquake. It awakened me ; but 
many were not sensible of it. * * 

By the common Laurel, I mean what you sometimes call Ivy 
[Kalmia]. * * * * 


London, June 8, 1756. 

I am obliged to my kind friend, for his letter of the 21st of 

We here are greatly affected at the ravages and cruelties exer- 
cised by your ungrateful perfidious Indians. We hope proper 

measures will be taken to prevent their depredations for the future. 
* % ^ % * 

Why may not a murrain fall upon dogs, as well as amongst our 
bulls and cows ? which has now been many years in several parts 
of this nation. At first, the distemper made great havoc ; but it 
grows less and less, and we hope is now gone off. 

Great and many are the calamities of war, and the expenses that 
attend it. It is new to you, the yoke sits very uneasy ; but we 
have felt it in every sense. We all wish for peace. The ways of 
Providence are unsearchable ; it may be nearer than we imagine. 

I am concerned that I hear nothing from Moses, since the letter 
from him, that I sent thee. How does my friend Billy go on ? 
I shall be glad to hear that he is with our friend Franklin. 

Our friend Golden has writ me how he was obliged to leave his 
habitation. I truly sympathize with him, under such severe cala- 
mities. Oh ! the delights of peace, when every man can sit under 
his own vine and fig tree, and none make him afraid. He has 
sent me the curious stone, thou mentions, that is impressed with a 
species of bivalve shells that I don't remember to have seen. 

About a week ago, I dined with your new governor [William 
Denny]. If I may judge by his countenance, he seems a mild, 
moderate man. He assured me he went over determined, if pos- 
sible, to heal all differences. I heartily wish he may be so happy. 

Our last winter was very mild. The Aconite was in flower about 
the middle of December. Many of your American deciduous trees, 
never lost their leaves. * 

1756.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 209 

* * I wish, if without much trouble, thou could procure for me 
half a dozen plants of ,the small Magnolia, or Sweet-flowering Bay, 
or Swamp Laurel. I wish they could be plants of about two feet 
high, with sods to them. I saw some most delightful fine young 
plants, of that size, sent by J. Alexander. And if a young 
Papaw or two of that size, I should like it well, and a sod or two 
of thy Dittany, and Snakeroot. But, if these things must be 
sought for where skulking Indians molest, never think more on 
them. * * 

I have many of thy letters lays behind, which I shall take notice 
of at my leisure. So for this time, my dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

The Governor will want seeds, &c, to send home. I have re- 
commended him to thee for them. 

As thou art an admirer of Doctor Hill's performances, I per- 
suade myself his History of Plants will not be unacceptable to thee ; 
and, to do him justice, I think he has handled the subject skilfully, 
and treated our friend Linnaeus decently, as ingenious men should 
always do one another, when they differ in judgment. There are 
only eighteen numbers yet published. These are sent with Dr. 
Russel's History of Aleppo, for the Library Company. 


June 12th, 1756. 

Dear Peter : 

I wrote lately, and answered thy letters and presents, and sent 
it by Samuel Fothergill, by the way of Ireland ; and now since, 
by Reeves, I have received thine of February 10th and April 3d. 
Thee mentions the Bath water being warm, and several springs, in 
other parts of the world, being exceeding hot, of which we have 
frequent accounts. But, to render the phenomenon more surprising, 
and the works of Eternal Wisdom more wonderful, there is, as I 
have read, a very cold spring within a few yards of the hot one. 
Nay, even in Iceland, near the base of Mount Hecla, there is a 
very hot spring and a cold one, near one another. What different 
sources these rise from, or what alteration they undergo, in their 
passage to the surface, God Almighty knows. 



I can't imagine how, or after what manner, or with what, James 
Alexander fills so many boxes ; but this I know, he frequents the 
market, and discourses with all the people he can get any intelli- 
gence of, where any trees grow that he wants, and offers them 
money for any quantity they can gather of the seeds, if they will 
bring them to town. So that, when I go to gather seeds, where I 
used to find them, the people near where they grow will not let me 
have them ; but tell me they will gather them all to send to Lon- 
don. But where he gets so much Bog Moss to pack up his trees 
with, unless he fetcheth it from Jersey, I know not, nor what 
variety he puts in his boxes. We always speak friendly together, 
and visit one another ; but do not communicate the affairs of our 

My dear worthy friend, thee can't bang me out of the notion that 
limestone and marble were originally mud, impregnated by a marine 
salt, which I take to be the original of all our terrestrial soils. 


London, July 20, 1756. 

Dear John : 

I have been just perusing Dr. Douglass's Summary. Pray 
tell me, what are those Pines he calls American Pitch Pine, with 
leaves about three inches long, with a prominent longitudinal rib 
instead of a sulcus ? 

In New England, there is another distinct Pitch Pine, called the 
Yellow Pine. If these are peculiar to this country, perhaps our 
friend Eliot, or some of his friends, may inform us. He was 
mightily pleased with thy visit. 

This day I received thy letter of May 30th. It gives me plea- 
sure to hear my old friend is well. I hope he will not expose him- 
self to Indian cruelties ; and yet I want a dozen boxes of seeds. 

I am glad the trifles came safe ; and that Billy has a business 
offers, that may suit his genius. By all means don't delay it ; for 
I think engraving a curious art, and if he succeeds in it, will not 
want encouragement. We want one very much here, skilful in 
engraving birds, plants, &c. Edwards has, in a manner, left off. 
We have engravers enough I may call them scratchers ; but a 
fine hand is much wanted. See Ellis's book of Corallines, at the 


1757.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 211 

Library Company. It was with great difficulty, and a long time, 
to do it as well as it is, which is reckoned well done, in comparison 
with others. 

* * # * 

I have a great opinion of your new Governor.* He assured me, 
he went over with a heart full of good-will, and that he would spare 
no pains to reconcile all parties ; and hoped our friends would de- 
cline a majority, for the present, in the next assembly, and choose 
moderate churchmen ; and then he doubted not but to put the pro- 
vince in such a posture of defence, as to be able to repel your ene- 
mies ; and John Hunt and Christopher Wilson, are sailed from 
Bristol, as deputies from the Society, who come over in a spirit of 
brotherly love, without fee or reward, to restore it amongst you. 
We rely on good Providence to operate with them, in the restoring 
love and unity. 

I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 


January 22d, 1757. 

Dear Peter : 

I have shipped on the Carolina, Captain Duncan, and consigned 
to thee, twenty-six boxes ; the first ten, marked on the sides, are 
for our Governor. * 

Many birds, in their migrations, are observed to go in flocks, 
as the geese, brants, pigeons, and blackbirds ; others flutter and 
hop about from tree to tree, or upon the ground, feeding backwards 
and forwards, interspersed so that their progressive movement is 
not commonly observed. Our blue, or rather ash-coloured, great 
herons, and the white ones, do not observe a direct progression, 
but follow the banks of rivers sometimes flying from one side to 
the other, sometimes a little backwards, but generally northward, 
until all places be supplied sufficiently where there is conveniency 
of food ; for when some arrive at a particular place, and find as 
many there before them as can readily find food, some of them 

* P. Collinson was under the disagreeable necessity of changing this " opi- 
nion" at a subsequent period. See his letter, dated April G, 1759. 

212 PETER COLLINS ON [1757. 

move forward, and some stay behind. For all these wild creatures, 
of one species, generally seem of one community ; and rather than 
quarrel, will move still a farther distance, where there is more 
plenty of food like Abraham and Lot ; but most of our domestic 
animals are more like their masters : every one contends for his own 
dunghill, and is for driving all off that come to encroach upon 

It is very probable that many kinds of birds, in their migrations, 
fly out of our sight, so high as to be unobserved, as for instance, 
our Hooping Cranes, in their passage from Florida to Hudson's Bay. 
They fly in flocks of about half a score, so exceeding high as 
scarcely to be observed, but by the particular noise of their loud 
hooping. We then can but just see them, though so particularly 
directed where to look for them. * * * 

I want the rest of Hill's English Herbal, that I may have them 
bound up all together. I have received twenty-one numbers. It 
seems odd, that in his History of Plants he kept so close to Lin- 
KZEUS, and now, in this, he pulls him all to pieces, and seemingly 
with good reason, too. Poor Lixn^us ! He is an industrious * 
* * [hiatus in MS.'] ; but I always thought he crowded too many 
species into one genus. 


February, 1757. 

I wish my good friend J. Bartram, would peruse a little tract, 
called New England's Rarities, by John Josselyn, and see his 
account of the White Mountain, and Sugar-loaf Mountain, which 
is very extraordinary. If it was peaceable times, who knows how 
thou might be tempted to make them a visit ? 

What was his bird, Pilhannaw ? a monstrous great bird. 

He must have a fine palate, and a good digestion, to say a 
turkey-buzzard was good meat. The porcupine shooting his quills, 
is a vulgar error. 

Pray see his account of the Moose Deer. They were plenty in 
his time [1633 1674], in that remote part where his brother 
lived ; unless he reckons the deer holding up his head with a full- 
grown pair of horns on, it could not be twelve feet high, by the 
method of measuring a horse. The width of their horns, and their 

1757.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 213 

being palmated, agrees nearly with the Irish fossil-horns perhaps 
the same animal. * * * 

I don't know how to distinguish between his Raccoon and his 
Jackal. Are they all one ? or is there with you, the two distinct 
animals, as in other countries of the world ? 

I presume they must have mistook a panther for a lion, espe- 
cially a she lion. But lions are never found in such cold cli- 

* * # # 

The Tyrian Dye was collected from a vein found in a species of 
* ; and I know some other fish beside his scarlet muscle, 
that has the red vein, that will stain linen effectually ; but being 
so long gathering a quantity to dye a cloak or mantle, made it of 
such value as only to array princes. But the discovery of cochi- 
neal reduced the price so, that every common person can wear 

Does he not exaggerate in his article of frogs a foot high ? His 
rattlesnake vapour shows him to be a vapourer. 

* * * * 

He seems enamoured with the young Indian nymphs. What 
sayeth thee to these originals in their native dress ? Have they 
ever been able to charm an Englishman, as they do the French, 
who are not so delicate ? 

As thou loves curiosities and novelties, I herewith send thee a 
book will let thee see the notions of a virtuoso, about one hundred 
years agone. 

* * * * 

I was so extremely pleased with thy letter to Phil. Miller, 
that I had it copied. My observations on it are lost. 

I have lately had a letter from Doctor LiNNiEUS ; and he gives 
his service, and desired me not to forget to tell thee with what re- 
spect Dr. P. Kalm mentions thee in his books of travels in your 
country and Canada. There are only two books published. 

* * * * 

Our friend Neve carefully delivered Billy's drawings, which 
are very elegant, and much admired. I am glad he has found out 
that he may be in a way to rise in the world. Probably there may 
be, at times, some leisure hours in which he may divert himself in 
his favourite amusement ; so have sent him the best books we have 
extant, by which he may improve himself. * * 


It is now the 10th of February, and no seeds are yet arrived. 
* * * * 

If you knew our distress for wheat, we should have your mer- 
chants run all risks, the profit is so great, and insurance, with 
you, on the prime cost, would be inconsiderable. Wheat is now, 
and has been for some time, from eight shillings to 8s. 6d. a 
bushel, sterling. This makes it very hard for the poor ; and if it 
should please God that the present crop on the ground should by 
accidents prove bad, a famine must ensue, unless relieved by you. 
* * * Thou seest we are not without our calamities, no more 
than you. So, dear Jonx, let's be resigned. Trust in Providence ; 
and hope and do all we can for the best. 

I am thy real friend, 


London, March 18, 1757. 

Dear John : 

I was glad at my heart that the ship is come, that brings the 
seeds. Where she delivered her letters, I cannot say ; but hope 
she will come safe into our river. There is a fine cargo of seeds, 
&c, indeed. * * * 

I am extremely pleased with thy account of the migration of 
birds. I shall add each to its bird, in Catesby's History ; which 
will help much to their natural history. By friend Carmalt comes, 
with other parcels, a large brown paper bundle from P. Miller. 
I presume that may prove the books thou wants ; and there is more 
of Hill's Herbal. I know some were taken, on the Lydia. 

Such accidents will happen, these perilous times. I think there 

are three Kew York ships taken. 

* % ^ ^ 

My friend Edwards has a fifth book published. When com- 
plete and delivered, I think he intends to send it to Billy. I have 
sent him a fine drawing-book, which I hope will come safe, for I 
know it will please him. 

I have just scrawled this, as it will be long before any other 

So, dear Johx, farewell. 


1757.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 215 

The Skunk-weed (Arum Betas folio) began to show its flowers, 
7th of February, though we have had a very severe winter. 

% 5fc * ^ 

I shall be heartily glad your treaty with the Indians may pro- 
duce a settled peace, that bloodshed may cease. * * 


September the 25th, 1757. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letter of June the 16th, 1757. I am 
glad that my cargo came safe to your hands, and was in some de- 
gree acceptable ; yet must reckon myself in several cases unfor- 
tunate, and in particular in this, that when I have endeavoured 
to give the greatest satisfaction, my labours have been the least 
valued. Last year, thee wrote to me to send thee a variety of seeds 
of forest trees, shrubs, and plants, to give to thy friends, for that 
they expected thee was able to supply them with a variety ; and, 
according to thy earnest request, I did what I could to oblige both 
thee and thy friends, and freely sent a variety, which came safe to 
thy hand. But when I read these lines in thy letter, " What didst 
mean, to send me so large a box of seeds ? It made much trouble, 
and time, to part it" this answer quite astonished me ; to think 
it a trouble to part a few seeds, sent ready to hand to one's intimate 

I reflected upon myself what pains I had taken to collect those 
seeds, in several hundred miles' travel, drying, packing, boxing 
and shipping, and all to put my friend to trouble ! 

Indeed, my good friend, if thee was not a widower, I should be 
inclined to tell thee that old age advanced as fast upon thee as 
upon myself ! And perhaps these lines may give offence ; for, as 
times go now, we must not complain of either private or public dis- 
appointment, no, not to one's particular friends. * 

* * * My family is generally pretty well, at present ; 
but it is, I believe, the most grievous time for general sickness, in 
the provinces, that has ever been since their settlement. 

My Billy comes on finely with Captain Child, who is very 
kind to him, and keeps him very close to his business. He hath 


sent thee a letter, and acknowledged thy kind present of the draw- 

We want to know how poor Moses fares, and where he is. "We 
were glad to see his letter to thee, and that he showed so much 
respect to his worthy friend. 


[February, 1759.] 

I now come to thank my good friend John Bartram for his 
cargo of plants, and congratulate him on the success that has 
attended all his cargoes of seeds, during this war. All the plants 
seemed in good order ; but why was I tantalized about the dwarf 
Oaks? My son examined everything with great attention, but 
could find nothing we could liken to them, except two or three 
sticks with knobs at their end ; but neither the least root, nor 
fibre, we could discern. We therefore conclude they were by 
accident left behind ; for we are persuaded our ingenious, knowing 
friend, knew better than to send such rootless sticks to produce 
growing plants. 

We have great hopes, as Fort Duquesne is in our hands, and if 
Crown Point is as happily surrendered, all the nations of Indians 
will see it their interest to join us, and establish peace in all our 

Then thou will be able to sally forth again on new discoveries ; 
and I think with safety thou may venture to Fort Duquesne, as 
there will be continual traffic thither, both from your country and 
from Virginia. 

As there is a fine straight road now made, it will be very easy 
of access. Inquire in time what parties of trading people, or 
troops, are going thither, and then join thyself with them. From 
the fort, little excursions may be made every day, and come and 
lie there at night. 

That fine country has been unsearched. So rich a soil will be 
productive of new and rare vegetables, that we are strangers to : 
but as thou art a better judge how safe and practicable such an 
expedition may be, I submit to thee. But, for certain, it must be 
a pleasant one ; and what may be discovered would recompense 
the length of such a journey. 

1759.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 217 

We have had, hitherto, one of the mildest winters that can pos- 
sibly happen in this country all January, south winds, warm and 
mild only two frosty days : and now, this 25th February, the 
Itea, Sweet Bay, Dogwood, &c, have as green leaves on them, as 
in summer. * * * * 

We were sadly disappointed, being in hopes of seeing some 
grafts of the true Newtown Pippin ; but there was none. Pray 
remember, another year ; for what comes from you are delicious 
fruit if our sun will ripen them to such perfection. Our friend 
Benjamin had a fine parcel of the apples came over, this year, 
in which I shared. 

I received Billy's letter. I am pleased to see him improved in 
his writing. I wish I could say as much in his spelling, which 
will be easily attained with application. I send him a book to 
assist him. 

I wish it could be any way contrived for him to give us a draught 
of your great Mud Turtle. Our friend Edwards wants to see it. 
I thought I had lost that thou sent me ; but last year, I saw it 
several times on the water, but there is no catching it : and then I 
would wish to have a larger painted. 

* * * * 

We are of various opinions about Swallows. Some assert that 
they take their winter abode under water ; others say they resort 
in great numbers into caves or caverns, and sleep all winter. But 
the prevailing opinion is, that when food grows scarce, they retire 
to other countries, to the southward, and return in our spring. 
Many want to know if your Swallows are the same as ours. We 
agree on the number of the four species. So, if it can be conve- 
niently done, send a cock and hen of those that can be caught. I 
have writ in my former letters, but by thy answers I know some 
have miscarried these precarious times. 

I have lately been reading Hennepin's Travels who first dis- 
covered the great River Mississippi. He often mentions they 
were sustained by killing goats. Now, I don't remember ever 
reading of any in the country about the lakes, nor with you. They 
must be aborigines, because met with in countries very remote, and 
where no Europeans had been before. 

The present situation of our public affairs makes it very difficult 
how to advise laying out money. Our stocks fall every day. I 


have some thousands lying by me and have done for some time ; 
and I don't know how to lay it out. 

I am thy old friend, 

P. Collixsox. 

London, April 6th, 1759. 

Dear John: 

I have writ largely by Captain HAMMET, in the Dragon, and 
another ship, in answer to all thine. * * 

In the Library Company's trunk, by this ship, is the Magazine 
for last year, and another parcel with books, and some prints for 
thy study. 

I am in haste, thy old friend, 


* * Pray send a sod or two more of thy pretty Pyrola with 
variegated leaves [P. maculata, L.]. It flowered finely last 
year ; but I see no young shoots, which makes me think it will go 
off after flowering. * 

Billy sent me a delightful drawing of what is called, with you, 
the Yellow Root. Pray look out and send me a plant or two ; 
for it seems a new genus [Hydrastis Canadensis, L.]. 

We are all much entertained with thy draught of thy house and 
garden. The situation is delightful ; and that for our plants, is 
well chosen. I shall endeavour to furnish it. * 

Pray give my kind love to my worthy old friend, Doctor Witt. 
I am concerned for the loss of his outward sight. May his inward 
receive a flow of Divine illumination. * * * 

* * I am glad thou hast got the money of the Governor. He 
is an unworthy man, to oblige me to dun him in his government.* 

London, May 29th, 1759. 

I have now only leisure to thank my good friend John, for his 
entertaining letter of January 28th, of two sheets of paper, which 

* I am afraid this was the same Governor, of whom Friend Peter formed so 
favourable an opinion at the dinner table, while he was "new." See his letter of 
June 8, 1756. In a subsequent letter, (dated July 20, 1759.) I find an account, 
in which Jons Baeteam is charged with the "BUI on Gov. Denny, 6. 2s. 6d." 

1759.] TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 219 

I shall take more notice of in process of time : and I have since 
received thine of February 28th, March loth, and April 6th. 

* * The grafts were such poor slender weak things, I am 
afraid they will come to nothing ; besides, there were so few of 
them, our chance was the less. 

I am glad your Governor has paid his bill. I desire to have no 
more to do with so unworthy a person. 

What I have writ before, I Avill repeat again. If thou will im- 
power by a proper writing, signed, and attested under your city 
seal, in which I may be indemnified if any loss should happen on 
thy money laid out in bank stock, or annuities, I will readily do it. 
I have not the least suspicion of thee, my dear friend, but I don't 
think it reasonable to be called to account by thy executors for 
what I did as an act of kindness, having only my labour for my 
pains. * * * 

If any Land or Water Terrapins happen in thy way, save 
them and send them ; but not the great Mud Turtle. I only 
want his shell; and if Billy would paint his curious figure, it 
would be better. If any Orchis, Calceolus Maria, Martagons, 
Lilies, or any other curious plant think on thy old friend, 

P. Collixsox. 

In Jaled Eliot's letter, I perceive thou has a method of 

splitting rocks with water. Pray tell me how that is performed ; 

and give me thy answer to his five cpieries about that operation. 
* * # * 

London, July 20th, 1759. 

I answered my dear John's letter of the 28th January, and 
February 8th, per Captain Simpson, April 9th. 

^ * 5-C * 

I am greatly pleased with thy account of our English wild 
plants. So early as Josselyn, he makes an article, or list, of our 
plants growing in New England, in his time, which came in grass 
seeds, or by strange accidents : as the willow and the Scotch 
Thistle, which I think a fine plant. I had it once in my garden. 

See what climate and soil do. The Yellow Lbiaria is no pest 
with us. I keep it in my garden; and it is very orderly, for the 
sake of its fine spike of orange and yellow flowers. 

The Hypericum keeps always on the borders of our fields ; but 


the Lcucantliemum, or Ox-eye Daisy, overruns some fields. But 
then it makes a fine show.* For that reason I give it a proper 
place in my garden, as I love all flowers. 

>K * * * 

I am concerned to hear poor Dr. Witt, my old friend, is blind. 
A well-spent life, I doubt not, will give him consolation, and illu- 
minate his darkness. I must conclude, my dear John, against my 

Thy sincere friend, 


London, October 10, 1759. 

I received my dear John's letter of the 10th June. His 
hodge-podge digests very well with me. I may give him as good 
as he sends. * * * 

I shall be pleased if the White Campanella is come up. It is a 
stately, fine plant ; but I have lost it, by some accident, though it 
is perennial : so send me seed again. 

Ah ! John, I thought thou had been too cunning to be deceived 
by a Deborah. 

* * * * 

I am much obliged to thee for grafting the Newtown Pippins. 
What fruit comes from you is excellent. I wish our sun may 
bring it to the like perfection. We will give them a fair trial in 
different situations. 

I think thy query needless (if the punch-bowl in the blue rock, 
was that filled by Governor Keith). Doth not thy own memory 
confirm it ? It is really a very remarkable instance of the growth 
of stone, in thy own memory of fifteen years, to be grown up within 
three inches of its surface. 

It was very curious to observe those stone basins, and the 
method of their formation. 

At my leisure I may consider more particularly. All thy re- 
marks deserve my attention : for these wonders in nature would be 
lost, if it was not for thy happy genius and turn of mind for these 

* This Ox-eye Daisy makes rather more of " a fine show" in Eastern Pennsyl- 
vania than is agreeable to the farmers of the present day (1848). It is one of 
the most troublesome intruders in our upland meadows and pastures. 

1759.] T0 JOHN BAR TRAM. 221 

I hope the boxes of seeds will come in time. If this is not too 
late, I can dispose of two or three more. People come at all sea- 
sons " Pray, sir, let me have a box or two of seeds ;" just as if I 
could write into the country for them ; never thinking, they must 
come near four thousand miles. So very thoughtless are the 
generality of mankind. * * * Now, my dear John, farewell. 

In haste 

P. Collinson. 

London, November 8, 1759. 

* * * I am pleased to find thee in such high spirits. Now 
I am convinced more than ever that thou art a deep-rooted bota- 
nist ; for a little enthusiastic turn, probably the effect of your hot 
weather, has set thy ideas a rambling in the wide fields of nature. 
She is not so docile as thou imagines, and will be put very little 
out of her course by all thy inventions. However, by the trials 
thou proposes to make, thou will be convinced of the weakness of 
thy efforts, to produce any settled or remarkable change in her 
laws. Pray, let me know the success of thy experiments. 

It is frequent with, us, after long summer droughts, rains the 
beginning of August, and warm, dry weather ensuing, many trees 
will blossom, too many to enumerate. But then, this is the effect 
of a particular season, and does not happen every year. This 
year, I saw a cherry tree in blossom in August ; but that tree 
may never do so again. It is accidental, and not to be brought 
into practice by art, in the common course of nature. 

It is frequent in curious gardens, whose owners are men of for- 
tune, to plant fruit trees and vines in warm stoves, to bring them 
very early into blossom, to have early fruit. But this so exhausts 
the trees, that new trees must be planted every year. 

* * Thou frequently talks of having sent specimens to me 
and Lord Petre, of this, that, and the other species, as if it was 
but a year or two agone ; when, alas ! he has been dead fourteen 
or fifteen years. All such items are but wasting paper and ink. 

=K * * * 

It must be a surprising fine sight to see the White Calceolus 
\Qypripedium spectabile, Sw. ?] near three feet high ; but your 
warmth and soil greatly promote vegetation. My plant flattered 



me with two strong stems, but no flower. Perhaps next year may 
bring it. * * * 

I am, my dear Jonx, 

Thy sincere friend, 

P. Collixson. 

* * * Prithee, friend John, when thou goes to the Library, 
ask for Josselyn's Two Voyages, a little book of the size of his 
New England Rarities, and a book well worth thy perusal. In 
page 61, he mentions an admirable creature that the Indians call 
a Tree Buck. Pray tell me what thou canst make of it, which he 
says he often found. 

* * * * 

I am concerned for poor Moses. Now he has eat his brown 
bread, his white will come next. I wish he would write a little 
Journal in his own way and style, from his first going to sea to 
this present time. Short hints will do. I question if it is to be 
paralleled. We don't know what human nature will bear until it 
is tried. * * 

London, February 2d, 17G0. 

By Captain Hammet, I wrote my dear John, of his good suc- 
cess ; for both cargoes of seeds arrived safe, in proper time and 
without damage. * * * I apprehend my letter miscarried, 
that I wrote on receiving the two large tortoise-shells. Thine 
and Billy's account of the Snapping Turtle, with his fine draw- 
ing, would make a curious piece of Natural History ; but our 
authors of the Magazine are so careless on these affairs, that I 
don't know how to trust them, and yet it is with regret I cannot 
find a better way to communicate them to the public. 

* # * * 

This reminds me of the elegant species of the Water Lily \_N~e- 
lumbium luteum, Willd.], that is in the Jerseys. Does it occupy 
such a depth of water that the roots can't be come at ? Thou art 
ambitious of plants from us : but here is the most charming plant 
of Asia including China, and Egypt, in thy neighbourhood ; and 
yet so little is thy curiosity, or industry, that thou canst not avail 
thyself of so great a curiosity. Thou that hast springs in thy 

1760.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 223 

garden to make a pond for its reception ; or a river so close by, if 
more proper for its culture. Prithee, John, never more let me 
reproach thy want of taste and curiosity in this article. I wish 
thou could employ some person to gather the seeds when ripe, and 
put in a bottle of water, with a little sand or earth in its bottom. 
I conceive, thus preserved, they would come in a growing state to 
us. This I have mentioned often before ; but roots well packed in 
a great deal of wet moss, in a box, would do better. 

If I was in thy place, I should spare no pains or expense to be 
possessed of a curiosity, that none in the province could boast of 
beside thyself; which thou art ambitious of in other plants in 
no comparison so charming when in flower. * * 

Dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

London, June 6, 1760. 

I hope this will find my good friend arrived safe at his own 
dwelling, from his Carolina expedition. Thine from thence came 
safe to my hands ; and I thank thy good wife for hers. I have 
writ largely by Budden ; but, for fear of miscarriage, I write this 
by way of New York, to inform thee what seeds will be wanting 
next fall. 

And am thy old friend, 


I am charmed, nay, in ecstasy, to see the White Calceolus thee 
sent me in flower ; with Mountain Laurel, Red Acacia, and 
Fringetree, and Allspice of Carolina, all in flower together. 

Remember me to Billy, Moses, and Johnny. 


June 24th, 1760. 

Dear Peter : 

I have now my dear worthy Peter's letter before me, of Feb- 
ruary 10th. I am very sorry that the seeds were damaged by the 
rotten squash. It seemed, when I put it in the box, to be ripe 
enough, and I thought to oblige my dear friend with the best sort 


I ever ate ; but, I believe misfortune will pursue me to the grave, 
let my intention and care be ever so good. 

The seeds that I collected on the South Mountains, on the 
branches of James River, were excellent good. Those that I 
sowed, are come up as close as they can grow, except the Moun- 
tain Angelica; which Clayton tells me will never come up : but 
I hope yet to find him mistaken, though he is a worthy, ingenious 
man. I took such care to gather the seed in several degrees of 


Dear friend, I am going to build a green-house. Stone is got ; 
and hope as soon as harvest is over to begin to build it, to put 
some pretty flowering winter shrubs, and plants for winter's diver- 
sion ; not to be crowded with orange trees, or those natural to 
the Torrid Zone, but such as will do, being protected from frost. 


London, September 15, 17G0. 

I am highly pleased with my friend John's expedition to Caro- 
lina ; because I know how he would be delighted with the striking 
beauties of that fine climate. One of the principal, the great 
Laurel-leaved Magnolia, complimented me this morning with a 
glorious large white flower ; which I raised from seed about twenty 
years agone. It is now about sixteen feet high. This fine tree is 
grown pretty common, and flowers in several places ; but will 
never arrive to the height they do in their native country ; for 
they go much into flowering, and that checks the growth. 

The Atamasco Lily has flowered often with me ; but thou sees 
how plants that are most common, are neglected by those that see 
them every day. They are like our wild Daffodils in our fields no 
one regards them ; but a person of thy curiosity, who never saw them 
before, would admire them. But thou must not accuse Catesey, 
for he has figured the Atamasco Lily. * * 

By the success thou hast had with the seeds from the South 
Mountains, thou sees plainly how they are impaired by transpor- 
tation ; for very few come up with us. * * 

I am pleased thou will build a green-house. I will send thee 
seeds of Geraniums to furnish it. They have a charming variety, 

1760.1 T0 JOHN BART RAM. 225 

and make a pretty show in a green-house ; but contrive and make 
a stove in it, to give heat in severe weather. 

No marvel that the Scotch have sent thee some heath, as it 
grows at their doors ; but we must send many miles for it. 
I am, my dear John, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collixson. 

London, October 2d, 1760. 

By Captain Boletho, I answered my dear Jonx's letter of 
June 16. Before that, I wrote two letters, and for fear of miscar- 
riage, inclosed it to my friend Colden, Postmaster of New York, 
in his packet to forward to thee. And yet thou art always com- 
plaining for want of letters, making no allowance for miscarriages. 
Thine of March 21, I answered September 15th, and yet the good 
man is never easy. If all my correspondents were of thy restless 
turn of mind, I would never set pen to paper. * * 

Now I come to thank my kind friend for his letter of the 28th 
July. I am delighted with his operations on the Larkspur. The 
product is wonderful. If these charming flowers can be continued 
by seed, they will be the greatest ornament to the garden in their 
season of blowing. 

This purple-stalked Martagon is the glory of that tribe. In my 
soil and climate, I had it grow above eight and a half feet high, 
and had twenty-eight flowers on the spike. By all means sow the 
seed directly, for it deserves all our care ; but it never produces 
seed in our climate. * * The yellow-spotted Martagon, thou 
formerly sent me. Catesby figured his from my plant. After 
some years it went off. * * 

It has been long my sentiments, that plants and animals as they 
advance northward, decline in their size. For instance, the croco- 
diles of Carolina, which is the highest latitude they are found in, 
are diminutives to those found in countries between the Tropics. 
So this Pancratium, which I have had from my friend Lameoll, 
as it comes farther north may grow less. Yet it is a very different 
species from that which grows in the Bahama Islands, which I 
have seen flower often. 

^ >fc $ ^ 

The specimens for Miller, I received safe, and thy letter by 
thy kind neighbour the Swede ; but I happened to be out of town 


226 PETER COLLINSON ["1761. 

every time lie called ; so did not see him, or else I should have 
paid him due respect. He is gone to Sweden. Pray, when may 
I hope to see thy Journal to Carolina ? 

The British Chronicle is inclosed, for the sake of William 
Penn's Letter. How customs and manners in the Indians arc 
altered since that time, thou canst hest tell or be informed. So, 
at thy leisure, thy remarks will be acceptable to thy friend, 

P. Collinson. 

B. Fraxklix and son are well ; are gone a tour into "Wales ; 
may expect them in the spring ships. 

London, May 7th, 1761. 

It is a long while since I heard from my good friend Johx 
Bartram. I hope no illness has prevented him giving me that 
pleasure. Not for want of materials, for those are always ready 
to a speculative genius like his. For my part, I have been so 
engaged, I had little room for speculations. 

As I have left off transacting the Library Company's business, 
I miss the opportunity of sending thy last year's Magazine ; how- 
ever, I hope to do it by our friend Fraxklix, who is very well 
and his son. I have the pleasure to see them often. 

The seeds came admirably well, and gave satisfaction. I heard 
quite otherwise of Alexander's. 

My son says, " Father, what is the matter ? friend Jonx has 
quite forgot you, who take so much pains to dispose of his seeds, 
&c. What ! no plants this year ? Sure, he might have sent them, 
having two opportunities, by the two ships in which he sent the 
seeds." Indeed, friend Johx, I leave thee to settle this account 
with my son, who is an enthusiast after Orchis, Lady's Slippers, 
Hellebores, Lilies, and all new things. 

The Yellow Slipper is now in glorious flower ; five shoots from 
.a root, and two flowers on a stalk ; and the white one just now 
peeping out of ground, not half an inch high. What singular dif- 
ference in plants of the same tribe. * * 

Thy old friend, 

P. Collinsox. 

Ptcmembcr me to Billy and Moses and Johxxy. 

1761.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 227 


May the 22d, 1761. 

* * * Thee very unjustly reproacheth me for want of curi- 
osity in the article of the Colocasia [Nelumbium luteum, "Willd.]. 
I have made three trials of it at different times. Twice it miscar- 
ried ; and the last it grows so slow as scarcely to be seen. It will 
be very difficult to send the roots ; they are almost as brittle as 
glass, and run two or three feet deep in the mud. I hope to send 
the seed next fall, and perhaps a root. Doctor Witt and Alex- 
ander went on purpose and fetched seeds and roots ; but both 
miscarried. Spring-water kills them, and the marsh weeds choke 
them.* Billy received the fine present of Edwards, and pro- 
mised me to send a letter of thanks, or else I should have done it. 
* * I sent Gordon a fine parcel of Holly berries, the getting 
of which had like to broke my bones. I was on the top of the 
tree, when the top that I had hold of and the branch I stood on, 
broke and I fell to the ground. My little son, Benjamin, was 
not able to help me up ; my pain was grievous ; afterwards very 
sick ; then in a wet sweat, in a dark thicket, no house near, and a 
very cold, sharp wind, and above twenty miles to ride home. 
Thee may judge what a poor circumstance I was in ; and my arm 
is yet so weak that sometimes I can hardly pull off my clothes : 
Yet I have a great mind to go next fall to Pittsburg, in hopes to 
find some curious plants there. 


London, June 12, 1761. 

I have no letters from my dear friend John since December 6, 
and November 8th, that came with the seeds. I don't think I am 
forgotten, as my friend John is often apt to imagine. If no letter 
comes, I always make allowance for accidents ; of ships being 
taken or cast away, as I am persuaded is now the case. As the 

* The culture of this plant was better understood afterwards, for I have seen it 
flourishing finely in several Botanic Gardens, and, among others, in a pond in the 
old Bartram Garden itself. 


New York packet is more safe and convenient, I write by that, as 
Alexander Colden, the postmaster, is my particular friend. 

Pray, what is the Double Wild Crocus? I thought you had 
none of this species in your country. If thou canst not send a 
root send a specimen of it, that I may see this marvellous fine 
thing. * * * 

The Ivy, Laurel, or Broad-leaved Kahnia, is now in flower. Cer- 
tainly it is one of the finest evergreen shrubs that is in the world. 
The stamina are elegantly disposed in the angles of the flowers ; 
and what a pretty blush, its bullated flower-buds ! But, in a few 
days will the glorious Mountain Laurel, or great Chanuerhodo- 
dendron, appear with its charming clusters of flowers. Prithee, 
friend John, look out sharp for some more of these two fine plants ; 
for one can never have too many. 

* * * * 

I have a sprig (in flower) of the Kalmia in water, and it stares 
me in the face all the while I am writing ; saying, or seeming to 
say, " As you are so fond of me, tell my friend, John Bartram, 
who sent me, to send more to keep me company ; for they will 
be sure to be well nursed and well treated." 

# * * * 

There has been much talk of a peace ; and we have a French- 
man here, that is said to come about it, and yet it seems a great 
way off. What millions of men are slaughtered to gratify the 
wicked, cruel ambition of princes ! 0, dear John, I am much 
affected to see and hear the annual sacrifice of our brave country- 
men. But the necessity of our affairs was such, from French per- 
fidy and treachery, that it was not to be avoided. May the God 
of peace send peace again on the earth, is the earnest prayer of 
thy friend, 

P. Collinson. 


July the 19th, 1761. 

Dear Peter: 

* * * I now send my Journal to Carolina, and some speci- 
mens which my friend Dr. Chancellor hath promised to deliver 
safe to thy hands. The specimens are, most of them, from the 

1761.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 229 

seed I gathered from the South Mountains of Virginia, most of 
which came up last year, the rest this spring. They grow pro- 
digiously. So do my North and South Carolina plants. * 
This extraordinary success with our American plants, hath set me 
all in a flame to go to Pittsburg, and down the Ohio, as far as I 
can get a safe escort. I design to set out the beginning of Sep- 

I have now a glorious appearance of Carnations from thy seed 
the brightest colours that ever eyes beheld. Now, what with 
thine, Dr. Witt's and others, I can challenge any garden in 
America for variety. Poor old man ! he was lately in my garden, 
but could not distinguish a leaf from a flower. 

* * * My son William is safely arrived at Cape Fear, and 
met with a kind reception from Governor Dobbs, and his uncle. 


London, August 1, 1761. 

My dear John 

Is always in the same strain, grumbling and complaining 
makes no allowance for accidents, although I have often ad- 
monished so to do. I writ him a long letter soon after I received 
the Tortoise Shells, with my observations on them. But right or 
wrong, he upbraids me with not doing it in two years. This fre- 
quent censorious temper is not becoming our friendship. The very 
same positive assertion goes on (" No list or letter with the plants 
from Gordon") ; whereas, I inclosed Gordon's list, and advice 
of the plants. 

But if letters miscarry, as both these certainly did, is it friendly 
to censure us so severely with neglect ? Pray, let me never more 
find occasion to remonstrate on this head, for it is disagreeable to 
me, and much more to read what thou writes, after Gordon had 
taken so much pains, and sent two such valuable cargoes, to find 
no thankfulness, no acknowledgments : for who can help long 
passages and accidents at sea ? I saw the plants growing in the 
box and basket, in the finest order imaginable. Well, Gordon is 
so good-natured, he forgives all thy complaints, and will try 
another cargo this fall. 

As times are so perilous, pray don't send thy Journal until a 

230 PETER COLLIN SON [1761. 

peace, which we are in hopes of ; for though I long to see it, it 
would grieve me to the heart to hear of its being taken, as I do 
for the cargo of plants. And then, again, I consolate myself to 
think how many have escaped this war. Indeed, my good friend, 
thou hast much reason to be thankful, since all thy cargoes 
of seeds have come safe. The loss of thy box of plants for my 
near neighbour, Ponthieu, was the more bearable, as they had so 
fine a cargo of Alexander. The great Chamaerhododendron 
and Kalmia Laurel were the largest and finest I ever saw, and so 
fresh, I can't imagine where he gets them. * * But there are 
great complaints of Alexander's seeds. Thine bear the bell : but 
his do well enough for the Scots. 

Thou sees, my dear John, how necessary it is to persevere, and 
mind no complaints ; for if I had, thou hadst never had the Mea- 
dow Sweet, and Polyanthos, which I have been sending at times 
off and on for thirty years past. How often has Doctor Witt up- 
braided me (for he was an everlasting grumbler), that the seeds 
were musty and bad ; sometimes came too soon, then too late, so 
that I believe little or none was raised ; and yet thou finds I hit 
the lucky time at last. Make much of it, for I dare say none in 
your province can show the like. * * Really, friend John, 
complain on. I am now so used to that, I shall not mind it for 
the future. * * But, as thou canst write diverting and curious 
observations, in this manner I expect to be entertained for the 
future ; which will always give pleasure to thy old friend, 

P. Collinson. 

I am greatly concerned to hear of thy dangerous fall. Reflect 
on thy many narrow escapes, and be thankful it was no worse. 
But let me advise thee to be very careful for the future. 

I plainly see thou knowest how to fascinate the longing widow, 
by so close a correspondence.* When the women enter into these 

* This refers to a passage in John Bartram's letter of May 22, 1761, where 
he is speaking of some fine species of Carolina Holly ; " which," says he, " I hope 
to have by the favour of an elderly widow lady [Mrs. Martha Logan, of 
Charleston], who spares no pains nor cost to oblige me. Her garden is her 
delight. I was with her about five minutes, in much company, yet we contracted 
such a mutual correspondence, that one silk bag hath passed and repassed full of 
seeds three times since last fall. I desired her last March to send me some 
seeds of the Horse Sugar or Yellow Leaf. She directly sent me a box with three 
fine growing plants, mixed with several other sorts that she thought would 

1761.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 2Si 

amusements, I ever found them the best assistants. Now, I shall 
not wonder if thy garden abounds with all the rarities of Carolina. 

Governor Dobbs and his Secretary sent me a box with Swamp 
Pines, and tAvo or three of the great Sarracenia, which grows ad- 
mirably, and has shot leaves of a surprising length. I planted 
your sort in the same bog, that the difference in the species may 
be an agreeable sight. * * 

I have often taken notice to thee, how very few of the bulbous 
tribe are found through all the colony countries. But who 
knows what stores of wonderful productions may be discovered 
about the lakes ? If thou art able to make an expedition to Pitts- 
burg, thy penetrating eye will bring hidden things to light, and 
come home fraught with vegetable treasures. * * 

* A day or two agone I was fishing in one of my ponds. 
I caught a perch ; the hook was swallowed so deep, I cut the 
perch in halves to get it out ; but instead of doing it, I threw in 
my line with the half perch on the hook to try what would take it, 
and let it lay in all night. So when I came to pull it out, up 
comes the great Mud Turtle, that I had not seen for a year and a 
half, much grown. By this experiment, I know how to catch the 
devourer. My fish have much decreased ; and now I know the 
poacher. I believe I must transport him. * * My son-in-law 
has built him a large fine house, and has everything to plant. 
Prithee, send a box of your more rare trees ; for I have none to 
spare, of Rhododendrons, Kalmias, Azaleas, Small Magnolia, and 
Sassafras. I can help him with all others. Of the Mountain 
Magnolia, I have fine plants from layers. 

I presume Billy will return laden with curiosities. 


August the 14th, 1761. 

Dear Peter : 

I have just now received two letters that came by the packet. 

* * My Yellow Slipper improves well; but the White de- 
clines. " Send double boxes for Pine and Poavel and TVilliam- 

please, and paid freight, with promises to send any vegetable in her poAver to 
procure : and they thrive finely." 

232 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1761. 

son." Who is this Pine? " Powel and Eddy desire but half 
the quantity of walnuts." Who is this Eddy? " But all desire 
neiv tilings ; they are tired of old ones." Do they think I can 
make new ones ? I have sent them seeds of almost every tree and 
shrub from Nova Scotia to Carolina ; very few are wanting : and 
from the sea across the continent to the lakes. It's very likely 
ignorant people may give strange names to tickle your ears withal ; 
but, as I have travelled through most of these provinces, and have 
specimens sent by the best hands, I know well what grows there. 
Indeed, I have not yet been at the Ohio, but have many specimens 
from there. But in about two weeks I hope to set out to search my- 
self, if the barbarous Indians don't hinder me (and if I die a martyr 
to Botany, God's will be done ; His will be done in all things). 
They domineer, threaten, and steal most of .the best horses they 
can. None could have worse luck than I with your roots sent last 
fall and this spring. * 

The Double Wild Crocus was a mistake. I suppose I meant the 
Ranunculus. * * 

November, 17C1. 

Dear Peter : 

In the little box, No. IX., I have packed up these plants : four 
roots of Mountain Kalmia, a sod of evergreen Andromeda, of 
Sarraeenia, of low Calceolus [Cypripedium acaule, Ait. ?], of a 
lovely evergreen grassy plant perhaps an Asphodel [probably 
XerophyUum asphodeloides, Nutt.]. * * I have just received 
two fine cargoes of fresh plants from South Carolina, from two 
different correspondents. But Dr. Garden hath sent me nothing 
this fall, but thanks in a letter to my son, for a large parcel of 
bulbous roots I sent him. He is so hurried in his practice, that he 
can hardly go out of town. But I am packing up a chest of apples 
for him, which I hope will make him speak by next spring. But 
I can't yet get one plant from Billy. He sent me some in the 
summer, but they were washed overboard by a storm. * * 

* * My correspondents near London write to me as freely 
for the Carolina plants, as if they thought I could get them as 
easily as they do the plants in the European gardens ; that is, to 
walk at their leisure along the alleys and dig what they please out 
of the beds, without the danger of life or limb. * 

1762.] PETER COLLINSOX. 033 


Loudon, April 1, 1762. 

I had my dear John's letter of December 12th, which is 
always acceptable. But what have I to do with Poxthieu, that I 
must be charged double postage ; 20s. for his bill of loading ? 
Why had I the trouble of it ? And then, what is very singular, 
thou mentions no price for either his box of plants, or for that to 
Powel and Eddy. But if thou art so generous to give both, all 
that is at once settled. 

I really believe my honest John is a great wag, and has sent 
seven hard, stony seeds, something shaped like an acorn, to puzzle 
us ; for there is no name to them. I iiave a vast collection of 
seeds, but none like them. I do laugh at Goedon, for he guesses 
them to be a species of Hickory.* Perhaps I may be laughed at 
in turn, for I think they may be, what I wish, seeds of the Bon- 
duc Tree \_Gymnocladiis Canadensis, Lam.], which thou picked up 
in thy rambles on the Ohio. For thou must know there are trees 
of this rare species that grow in the Trench settlements in Canada; 
but whether it grows near Quebec, Montreal, or near the lakes, I 
cannot learn. We have three in our English gardens, that thrive 
finely, and if the war had not broke out, mine would have been the 
fourth. A few days agone, I had a letter from Paris, informing 
me they keep two trees for me, when it shall please God to send a 
peace. This elegant tree has large leaves, divided into many por- 
tions, very much resembling the Angelica Tree. It bears its fruit 
in pods, like the West India Bonduc, or Nickar Tree ; but what 
blossom, I could never learn. This is the only fine tree in which 
the French rival us. But now we have got possession, we shall 
rival them. * * I am always careful of your earth ; for I have 
raised many odd plants out of it, that thou never would think to 
send seeds of. * * * 

* Gordon made decidedly the best guess, for those " stony seeds" were no 
doubt the nuts of the Pecan or Illinois Hickory \Carya olivceformis, Xutt.]. In 
reply to Peter's remarks, John Bartram says, " The hard nuts I sent were 
given me at Pittsburg by Col. BororET. He called them Hickory nuts. He had 
them from the country of the Illinois. Their kernel was very sweet. I am afraid 
they won't sprout, as being a year old." 

ogj. JOHN BARTRAM [1762. 

Thy hypothetical systems on the phenomena in nature, show a 
fertile conception and a fruitful genius ; hut as I have neither 
leisure nor inclination to oppose thy sentiments, I subscribe to 
them. And if I had, it would be fruitless ; for when we had both 
said our say out, it would be all conjecture at last. What I desire 
to see is thy Diary ; which consists of facts that cannot fail to 
give sensible pleasure, by instilling some knowledge into the mind, 
and enlarging my ideas of the inconceivable power and wisdom of 
the great Creator. 

The clearest of friends must part. I regret to lose so valuable a 
member of society. I see our friend Franklin preparing to de- 
part. By him I send the Magazine, and two books which will 
give entertainment to thy speculative genius. 

Thou must take this letter as an instance of great friendship ; 
for I am so hurried in business that I write a bit and a scrap, now 
and then, to show thee Iioav much thou hast the esteem of thy real 



My love to thy wife. 

When thou writes by the packet, always inclose it to my friend 
Alexander Colden, Esq., Postmaster at New York ; and then it 
costs me nothing. 

I have heard nothing, a long time, from Moses, Billy, or 
Johnny. Idont iv ant them to write me letters; but for thee to 
tell me how they go on and how they do. 


May the 10th, 1762. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received thy kind letter of December 31, 1761. 

I am glad my Journal to Carolina is acceptable. I wish my 
remarks on the Ohio may be so too. I have roughly wrote my 
Journal to Pittsburg ; but I should write it over again before I 
send it. But when I can get time to do it, I can't say, nor how to 
send it safe. It is larger than that to Carolina. 

As thee hath made little mention of insects these many years, I 
thought thee had lost thy taste for them long ago ; and the nets 


being broke, I bent my mind to the search of minerals, and espe- 
cially vegetables. As for the animals and insects, it is very few 
that I touch of choice, and most with uneasiness. Neither can I 
behold any of them, that have not done me a manifest injury, in 
their agonizing, mortal pains, without pity. I also am of opinion 
that the creatures commonly called brutes, possess higher qualifi- 
cations, and more exalted ideas, than our traditional mystery- 
mongers are willing to allow them. 

The back parts of the country, where I chiefly travel, do not 
abound with such a great variety of insects as nearer the sea-coast. 
That seems to be, in most countries, the first and main situation or 
resort for most animals. 

*T* *T*' *T* *l x 

Now I hope to be stocked with Padus, as I have received a 
lovely parcel this spring, from Mrs. Logan, my fascinated widow. 
I saw the lovely tree growing in Governor Glenn's garden. She also 
sent me a young tree from there, but the rats almost demolished it. 
I have also fascinated two men's wives, although one I never saw ; 
that is, Mrs. Lamboll, who hath sent me two noble cargoes ; one 
last fall, the other this spring. The other hath sent me, I think, 
a great curiosity. She calls it a Golden Lily. I thought, when I 
planted it, to be the Atamasco, but the bud seems different. 

I am apt to think I have not yet got the true Loblolly Bay, 
though several say they have sent it ; but I believe they are a 
species of Sweet Bay. Though I have walked and rode by 
thousands of them, yet I could not find a good root. The Sorrel 
Tree, and three or four more that I am very fond of, I can't yet 
procure, though I believe my correspondents strive which can 
oblige me most. 


London, May 22d, 1762. 

Whilst my dear John is in melancholy mood for the loss of Pitt, 
I keep myself in ecpial poise ; put the successes in one scale, and 
his two rash French expeditions, on their coasts, in the other, in 
which he wantonly sacrificed so many brave Englishmen, to answer 
no purpose but his vain-glory. Had they been sent then to Mar- 
tinico, some millions had been the difference to England. If we 


consider the number of our snips taken, and their rich cargoes, the 
men useless, and the vast produce of that island kept from us, so 
all things put together (for this is a short sketch), I don't find 
any cause to lament his abdication. We go on full as well without 
him. So prithee, my dear John, revive and don't sink, and be 
lost in doleful dumps under so terrible an event, which portends no 
harm that I can see ; for we have a brave King, and good men at 
the helm. Never fear ; we shall keep Canada, and have a good 
peace ; and Pitt is as well pleased with his mercenary pension of 
3000 per annum, and a title in reversion ; and has cleverly 
slipped his neck out of the collar, when it most became him to 
keep in, to serve his country, but he preferred serving himself be- 
fore it. 

From one melancholy story we come to another ; the loss of so 
many fine plants, which affects me more than the loss of Pitt. 

It is a fair probation, how far the principles of vegetation may 
be maintained when removed from a warmer latitude to a colder. 
Art will assist nature. There are many fine plants that grow on 
this side the Tropics, if we will bestow a south wall on them, will 
thrive and flower well in our northern climate. 

5jC 5|S 5fC 5fC 

I cannot advise, for I am fearful thy grand expedition to the 
Lakes will be too much to undertake without suitable companions, 
for accidents may happen in so long a journey. But if it was thy 
resolution, my advice will come too late. 

So, my dear John, farewell. 


Doctor Solander wrote by a Swedish parson, on the last speci- 
mens. * * * 

It may be twenty years agone since I gave the White Broom to 
our friend Lamboll, which was sent me from Portugal. 

Doctor Gronovius has sent thee a present of a new edition of 
his Flora Virginica, which I have got bound, and given our 
friend Franklin to convey to thy hands with two other tracts. 

London, June 11, 1762. 
Notwithstanding I have wrote so lately by Doctor Shippen, 

1762.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 237 

(May 22,) in answer to thine of the 17th January, and February 
5, yet I can't let the packet sail without a few lines. 

I forgot in my last to tell thee my deciduous Mountain Magno- 
lia, I raised from seed about twenty years agone, flowered for the 
first time with me ; and I presume is the first of that species that 
ever flowered in England, and the largest and tallest. The flowers 
come early ; soon after the leaves are formed. The great Laurel 
Magnolia and Umbrella, both fine trees in my garden, showed 
their flower-buds the first of June. My Red flowering Acacia is 
now in full flower, and makes a glorious show, as well as the 
White. But above all, is the great Mountain Laurel, or Rhodo- 
dendron, in all its glory. What a ravishing sight must the moun- 
tains appear when clad with this rich embroidery ! How glorious 
are thy works, Lord ! They inspire me with adoration and 
M In the sod with thy Sarracenia, is come up a seeming species of 
Orchis, a very singular flower. It would be worth while importing 
sods from wild, boggy, swampy places, where so many odd and 
rare plants grow, for the sake of the uncommon variety they pro- 
duce. * * * 

My dear John, if thou knewest the pleasure thou so often gives 
to thy old friend, by perusing thy Journals ! The time taken in 
digesting them cannot be said to be thrown away, as they afford 
an endless fund of entertainment and reflection from the various 
incidents and objects that diversify every page. 

By thy description, Pittsburg must be a delightful situation, 
both for health, convenience, and trade. No doubt but our people 
will avail themselves of these advantages. When the country 
grows populous and the wood scarce and dear, coal may be of 
infinite service to supply that deficiency. 

What shall we say to the strata abounding with fossil sea-shells, 
petrifactions, &c. ? Very probably, as thou conceives, the sea 
flowed higher, or once overflowed all. All our conjectures may be 
beside the mark, as we know not the true causes of these phe- 

The want of fish in the Ohio, may be as thou observes, from its 
great distance from the sea; but this cannot be the absolute cause : 
for it is Avell known that inland lakes, in many parts of the world 
abound with fish. 

The new species of turtle I should like to see. But there is 

238 PETER COLLIN SON [1762. 

another four-footed amphibious creature, that is peculiar to the 
River Ohio, that may deserve thy farther inquiry. I printed an 
account of it, and the figure, the best I could procure, in the 
Gentleman's Magazine, two or three years agone. 

A skin of this rare creature would be a great curiosity, as well 
as an addition to Natural History. And some more particular 
observations on the Great Buffalo. Their bones or skeletons are 
now standing in a licking-place, not far from the Ohio, of which I 
have two of their teeth. 

One Greenwood, an Indian trader, and my friend George 
Croghan, both saw them, and gave me relation of them : but they 
omitted to take notice what hoofs they had, and what horns. 
These two material articles known, would help to determine their 
genus, or species. Prithee, inquire after them, for they are won- 
derful beyond description, if what is related of them may be 
depended on. I heartily wish thou had been properly informed of * 
them, and the place they were to be found in ; then we should 
have had some certainty. 

Thus, dear John, I scrawl on : but now I must conclude. 

Thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

The last packet from New York was taken : so I am afraid I 
have lost one of thy letters. 

London, July 25, 1762. 

I cannot let our dear Franklin pass over without a line to my 
dear John. In my last of July 9th, by packet, I acknowledged 
the receipt of thine, 10th of May. 

I know thy many avocations ; therefore, will patiently wait thy 
own time for thy Journal to Pittsburg. 

There is no end of the wonders in nature. The more I see the 
more I covet to sec ; not to gratify a trifling curiosity, but to raise 
my mind in sublime contemplation on the unlimited power and 
wisdom of the Great Creator of all things. 

I am glad to hear my two pretty friends, John and Benjamin, 

1762.] TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 239 

are not so squeamish as their father.* How is my friend William 
and Moses ? I expect some discoveries from William, who has 
curiosity and ingenuity. I much wish he could give a sketch of 
the Sensitive Leaf. If he is with his uncle, it may then be no 
difficult thing to procure. I wish I could hear it was once in thy 
own garden, and that I had good specimens. I then could form 
some idea of this waggish plant, as waggishly described. 

Birds and insects have their certain periods. At the time thou 
was on the Ohio, most of the first were absent, and the last in 
their chrysalis state. It requires a year's sojournment to have a 
tolerable knowledge of the animals of a country. 

The Basteria [Calycanthus floridus, L.] my good friend Lam- 
boll sent me many years agone. It is a fine bush, and flowers 
plentifully every year. Its fragrance is smelt at a great distance ; 
is very hardy : as its wood is very aromatic, certainly has eminent 
virtues. Is it noways applied as a medicine ? 

My great Magnolia is full of flowers this year, in which we have 
had the least rain, and longest warm, sultry weather, I ever re- 
member. I have had much to do, with all our watering, to keep 
many of your plants alive. 

* * The Grassy Plant [Xerophyllum ?~] sent last, stands at a 
stay. Send me more, and give me a hint how to manage this in- 
tractable vegetable. * * I have two new Asters come up out 
of the sods, the one perfoliated, which I never saw before. Sure 
your country is inexhaustible in Asters, Virga Aureas, and Corona 

I forget if I ever mentioned two monstrous teeth I had sent me 
by the Governor of Virginia. One tooth weighs 3i pounds, 18 
inches round. The other weighs 13 pound, 13a inches round. 
One other has Dr. Fothergill, and T. Penx another. 

One Greexavood, well known to B. Fraxklix, an Indian 
trader, knocked some of the teeth out of their jaws ; and George 
Croghax has been at the licking-place, near the Ohio, where the 
skeletons of six monstrous animals were standing, as they will in- 
form thee. 

* This refers to John's remark on his repugnance to handling and inflicting 
pain on insects and other animals, in his letter of May 10, where he adds "but 
my sons, John and Benjamin, are not so squeamish. They can handle, and kill 
them too, without any emotion." 

240 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1762. 

Croghan is well known to B. Franklin. To him I have wrote 
a long letter, which I have desired B. Franklin to show thee, 
before he sends it -to Croghan. * * I briefly mention these 
wonders of wonders that, in thy next excursion to the heads of the 
rivers, if thou art within an hundred miles of them, they deserve a 
visit to see, what nobody knows is to be seen in the world beside. 

The Indian tradition is, that the monstrous Buffaloes (so called 
by the Indians) were all struck dead with lightning at this licking- 
place. But is it likely to think all the race were here collected, 
and extinguished at one stroke ? 



August 15th, 17G2. 

Dear Peter : 

I wrote by Budden last, by whom I sent my Journal to Pitts- 
burg, having a fine opportunity by my friend Taylor, who pro- 
mised to deliver it to thee with his own hands. * * Our extreme 
hot, dry weather still continueth, although we have once in two or 
three weeks a shower that wets the ground two or three inches 
deep ; but yet the ground is one foot deep as dry as dust. Yet 
some plants that grow naturally in or near water, bear the dry 
weather as well as any I have. * 

I am obliged to Solander for the names of the specimens of 
my last collection. The names of most are very just, and show 
the great learning and ingenuity of the Doctor ; but as dried 
specimens are not to be depended upon, like the growing plant, so 
he hath mistaken several. I shall begin with remarking a very 
odd, new genus, 54. The Doctor calls it Asclepias linifolia. I 
found one with broad leaves, near the coast of North Carolina. 
The leaves are milky, and I thought it had been an Asclepias at 
first, but observing the leaves growing alternately, the flowers and 
seeds being so very different from that, or any other known genus, I 
concluded it was new. It is surprising how it casts its long, rough, 
misshapen seeds, like bits of rotten wood, out of the top of its long, 
upright pods. I take it, the lower part of the pod contracts as it 
dries, and, by slow degrees, squeezeth the seed out of the top of the 
pod, which openeth by its contraction below. * * 

1762.] PETER COLLINSON. 241 


London, October 5, 1762. 

My dear John : 

"What good luck attends thy Journals ! For thy last was care- 
fully delivered by Mr. Taylor, in a very obliging manner. 

There is an everlasting fund of entertainment and information, 
which will be subjects of consideration at more leisure. But I re- 
mark how few or none of your wild animals came under thy notice, 
except snakes. I expected often to hear the panther had sprung 
out of a thicket, or a bear wakened from his den, or a beaver-dam 
broke up, to observe its structure and artful contrivance, &c 

Your weather has remarkable vicissitudes. Ours has been more 
certain, for all our summer has been a constant hot, dry season, 
all burnt up longer than ever I knew. Plants languishing and 
perishing for want of rain, and many totally killed. But my 
greatest loss has been from a villain who came and robbed me of 
twenty-two different species of my most rare and beautiful plants ; 
took all my fine tall Marsh Martagons, and that thee sent me last 
year, which was different in colour from any I have had before ; 
all my fine yellow Lady's Slippers that I have had so long, and 
flowered so finely every year. These I regret most, for they are 
not to be had again, but by thy assistance ; and though I doubt 
not of thy inclination, yet, as I apprehend, they are found acci- 
dentally, so it may not be in thy power to assist me. * 

* I have what is called the Evergreen Padus, of South Caro- 
lina, but I doubt if it will hold when it grows older, and in our 
climate. I have observed many young, vigorous plants will keep 
their leaves for two or three years, and then become deciduous. * 

* * * I am impatient to see a specimen of the leaves and 
flower of thy Tipitiwitchet \_Sclirankia uncinata, Willd. ?]. Pray, 
good John, never let a letter pass without a specimen, as it ad- 
vances. Is it possible for Billy to paint it ? I am much concerned 
that his affairs are encumbered. Pray take care of this singular 
plant, and protect the root carefully against your severe weather. 


I wish thou could get more of the hard nuts of Colonel Bou- 
quet. If they are Hickories, they are very different from what 


242 JOHN BARTRAM TO 11762. 

thou has sent, or what I have ever seen. I flattered myself they 
were the Bonduc, a most elegant-leafecl tree, found by the French 
somewhere in Canada is in all the rare gardens of France, and in 
some gardens in England. If the war had not broke out, I should 
have had it sent me from thence ; and now I shall have it with a 
peace, which I hope is not far off. * * * 

How early your harvest is, to ours ! which shows your fertile 
soil, and warm climate. And although we are so much advanced 
to the north, yet there are many concurring circumstances that 
give us plentiful crops and a successful harvest. * 

Gout-wort, or what is called Podagraria, is a notorious running 
weed in a garden, for which reason we rarely save the seed of it. 
It is only a native of Europe. You do not abound in umbelliferous 
plants, which are plentiful, and in variety, with us. Our fields and 
banks are overrun with them. But your tribe of Asters exceed 
them. Almost every sod brings over a new one. * * 

By Doctor Shippen I sent thy account, who I 
shall be glad to hear is arrived ; and now at thy request I send it 
again, which I doubt not but will prove right ; and the old proverb 
says, " Right reckonings make long friends." Let those that 
inquire my age know that I am thy senior some months [rather 
more than five years]. * * * 

Dear John, thou must guess at my meaning in many places. I 
write a piece now and then, having variety of affairs on my hands: 
but I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 


December 3d, 1762. 

Dear Peter : 

In answer to thine of May the 22d, brought me by Doctor 
Shippex : I should be glad of an honourable peace, but if 
Louisiana be not delivered to us, we, on the continent, can hardly 
call it a peace, for the French will, directly, by encouraging and 
supplying the Indians, set them against us, and also encroach 
themselves, which will soon cause, first quarrelling, and next a war. 

I can't find, in our country, that south walls are much protection 
against our cold, for if we cover so close as to keep out the frost, 

1762.] PETER COLLINSON. 243 

they are suffocated. I observed at the distance of one hundred 
and twenty miles from Charleston, all the Fig trees are yearly 
killed down to the ground, that are exposed to the south or west, 
hut those in the same garden that faced the north, and were shaded 
from the sun, did well. The hot sun in the day, and the sharp 
frosts in the night, kill them. ***** 

I am obliged to thee for the books and prints thee sent me. The 
print of the Bastard Pheasant, and Cinnamon, I had not before. 
That fine piece of Stillixgfleet's, I had two years ago. The 
miscellanies no way suited my taste, except the Calendar of Flora. 
My head runs all upon the works of God, in nature. It is through 
that telescope I see God in his glory. * * As for 

those monstrous skeletons on the Ohio, I have wrote to thee 
largely, just before I set out for Carolina, and since my return. 
But by thy letter thee seems to think the skeletons stand in the 
posture the beasts stood in when alive, which is impossible. The 
ligaments would rot, and the bones fall out of joint, and tumble 
confusedly on the ground. But it's a great pity, and shame to the 
learned curiosos, that have great estates, that they don't send 
some person that will take pains to measure every bone exactly, 
before they are broken and carried away, which they will soon be. 
by ignorant, careless people, for gain. * * 

My thanks to Groxovius for his new edition of the Flora Vir- 
ginia. It's pity the plants beyond the South Mountain, and the 
draft of that fine country, had not been in it. 


Mill Hill, December 10th, 1762. 

I am here all alone, and yet I have the company of my friends 
with me. This will be no paradox, when I tell thee, on the table 
lie their speaking letters, in that silent language which conveys 
their most intimate thoughts to my mind. In course, thine, my 
dear John, conies first. I thank thee for thine of the loth August. 
I have, in my former letters, acknowledged the receipt of thy 
Journal, which is a lasting fund of entertainment to me and my son, 
these long evenings. * * "Whilst the Frenchman 

was ready to burst with laughing, I am ready to burst with desire 

244 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1763. 

for root, seed, or specimen of the waggish Tipitiwitcliet Sensitive.* 
I wish Billy, when he was with thee, had taken but the least 
sketch of it, to save my longing. But if I have not a specimen in 
thy next letter, never write me more, for it is cruel to tantalize me 
with relations, and not to send me a little specimen in thine of the 
15th of August, nor in thine of the 29th. It shows thou hast no 
sympathy nor compassion for a virtuoso. I wish it was in my 
power to mortify thee as much. 

Don't use the Pomegranate inhospitably, a stranger that has 
come so far to pay his respects to thee. Don't turn him adrift in 
the wide world ; but plant it against the south side of thy house, 
nail it close to the wall. In this manner it thrives wonderfully 
with us, and flowers beautifully and bears fruit this hot year. I 
have twenty-four on one tree, and some well ripened. Doctor 
Fotiiergill says, of all trees this is the most salutiferous to 
mankind. * * * * 

I was much comforted with thy good wife's postscript, that thou 
wast got to the Congaree in health, September 14th. I trust that a 
good Providence will be with thee, in so laudable an undertaking 
as to explore and discover the wonders of his creative power, and 
bring thee home in safety, to the joy of thy wife and family ; and 
in particular of thy affectionate friend, 

P. Colllnson. 

Now, my dear John, look on the map, and see by this glorious 
peace, what an immense country is added to our long, narrow slip 
of colonies, from the banks of the Mississippi to Terra Labrador 
and Newfoundland, &c. See what a complete empire we have 
now got within ourselves ; what a grand figure it will now make in 
the map of North America. 


January the 6th, 1763. 

Dear Peter: 

I received thy kind letter of October the 5th, 1762. I am glad 
thee received my rough Journal by Mr. Taylor. He was always 
ready to do me all the kindness he could. 

* Probably the Schrankia uncinate, Willd., sometimes called Bashful Brier. 

1763.] PETER COLLINSON. 245 

I did not see any wild animals in all that journey, except two 
or three deer ; only one tame bear at the Fort ; nor so much as a 
wolf or fox, to be seen or heard, although I lay six nights in the 
woods, on the banks of the Ohio and Monongahela, and was two 
nights very late on the Alleghany Mountains. 

I am much astonished in reading the histories of Europe and 
Asia, those old, settled, clear countries, that they should abound 
so much with wild beasts of prey, and others for food, as travellers 
give relation of, as also much wild water-fowl, and plenty of fish ; 
all which we had in great plenty sixty years ago, but now very 
few are to be seen. All our small creeks used to abound with 
trouts, but I have not seen one catched these three or four years, 
though travelled more than ever. I did not see one fish catched 
in all my last journey, but at the Water ee, so many great rivers 
as I crossed, nor one wild goose, a very few ducks, and but three 
or four small flocks of turkeys. 

It's very provoking to have so many of thy curious roots stole. 
That rogue was too greedy to take all ; however, my dear friend, 
I shall endeavour to furnish thee again, though they are now very 
scarce with us, as most of the land is cleared where they used to 
grow, quite to the mountains. What our people will do for fencing 
and firewood fifty years hence, I can't imagine.* 

* * By my friend Fishek, by whom I wrote largely, I sent 
the leaves and flower of my pretty Tipitiivitchet. 

I every day expect Colonel Bouquet at my house, Avhen I in- 
tend to mention the Hickory nuts from Illinois. 

By the Indians' description, I am apt to think the Bonduc 
\_G-ymnocladus Canadensis, Lam.] grows down the Ohio, towards 
the Shawnee town. 

I believe the Striped Rose is not a native of Carolina. It is 
pretty double, and smells like the garden roses. 

The long-leaved Sarracenia is a charming plant grows near two 
feet high ; but I found one of that kind on the Wateree that grew 
six inches high was delicately striped with reel and green. I dug 
up several roots and planted them in a box, with many other 

* The apprehensions felt by John Bartkam of an approaching scarcity of tim- 
ber, for fuel and fencing, were extensively prevalent in Pennsylvania, within my 
recollection ; but although more than eighty years have elapsed since the date of 
this letter, there is nothing like a scarcity of wood yet felt. As it regards fuel, 
the discovery of our vast coalfields, has for ever dissipated all fear of that want. 


curious plants that I could not find in seed, to be sent down to 
Charleston, for Philadelphia ; but I can't hear anything of them. I 
doubt they are lost, or spoiled. * * 

As thee observes, we have very few Umbelliferous plants. I 
did not see one new in all the last journey. Perhaps, next fall, I 
may send thee specimens of all the kinds we have. * * 

* * Evergreen Prinos [in James Alexander's list of plants 
sent to England] is what I call Evergreen Privet, or Ink-berries 
[Prinos glaber, L.], in Jersey. * * 

* * I can't find thy amphibious creature, that thee published 
in the Magazine. My Billy has stole two from me to carry to 
his uncle at Cape Fear ; perhaps it was in one of them. Those in 
the Ohio are very odd creatures. 

Amber of a very curious sort is found in West Jersey lately, in 
detached masses, near the surface of the ground, and not far from 
the River Delaware. It is inflammable, nearly transparent, and 
almost as tough as horn, and will turn very smooth for cane heads, 
of a yellowish colour, waved or checkered with a lighter colour. I 
think it was ploughed up in a field, but I can't yet learn, certainly, 
where it was found but I intend to make more inquiry about it. 


London, February 23d, 1763. 

I am greatly rejoiced to read in thine of the 31st of October, of 
thy safe return from thy delightful journey from the terrestrial 
Paradise, for such it must be, that could raise such ecstasies of joy 
at viewing those charming scenes, enriched with such elegant pro- 
ductions. I long to see a sketch of thy Journal. 

The Pyramid of Eden must be a glorious sight in full flower. 
Linnaeus makes it a Swertia is the next genus to the Gentians ; 
and differs from them by having beautiful nectariums, consisting 
of little tufts of small hairs in the hollow of each petal. Doctor 
Garden calls it the glory of the Blue Mountains. I hope we shall 
have seed of it, that Gordon may raise it. * * 

* * I delivered thy letter into Doctor Shippen's own hands. 
I admire he should delay giving it to thee. It is very unpolite to 
keep a letter two or three months by him. It is not using thee as 

1763.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 247 

he would be used himself. He seems a gentleman, but this is not 
gentleman-like to treat thee in this manner. My letter was dated 
May the 12th. December 10th wrote a long letter by packet. 

I inclose Doctor Witt's letter, which may be some entertain- 
ment, as thou knows the man. 

I am thy sincere friend, 


I thank thy wife for her kind intelligence of our friend Frank- 
lin's arrival. * * Give my love to him and that of our family. 

If the small Alligator caught at Pittsburg has a remarkable flat 
proboscis, then it is the animal I published in the Magazine. 

A complete skin of that animal would be a great and a new 
curiosity to all naturalists. Look back to the Magazine, and thou 
will find what I say about it, I fancy about three years agone. 

London, March 11, 1763. 

Being much engaged, I missed the last packet ; but by the Sally, 
Captain Patrick, of Philadelphia, I thanked my dear John for 
the acceptable letter that gave me advice of his safe return from 
the Garden of Eden. 

Since that, I have suffered much concern for the Carolina, Cap- 
tain Friend, being taken by the Spaniards and carried into Bil- 
boa ; but as she was taken eleven or twelve days after the treaty 
was signed, she has been claimed, and I hear, this day, she will be 
delivered. I presume all our seed boxes are on board, but, as is 
customary, all letters were thrown overboard, so shall be at a great 
loss to find things. So pray write by very first, and send to our 
friend Alex. Colden, postmaster at New York, to go by first mail 
from thence, which sails every month. 

I am, in a hurry of business, thine, 

P. Collinson. 

London, April 7th, 1763. 

I am exceedingly engaged in business for your world, yet, as I 
know, it must be very satisfactory to hear that thy boxes arrived, 
and delivered the 6th ; though late, it's better than never, and that 

248 JOHN BAETRAM TO [1763. 

all Louisiana is yielded to us by an honourable peace. I hope 
my dear John will recover his spirits and be no longer in melan- 
choly mood. He sees a good peace can be made without his 
worthy Pitt, who deserted the helm to become a pensioner, with 
3000 per annum, and his wife made a lady. So he is now known 
by the name of the Grand Pensioner, a blast on his reputation 
that will last for ever. 

Now, my dear John, does not the ardour of curiosity burn in thy 
mind to explore the wonders of Louisiana ? 

I joyfully received thine of December 3d, by the hands of 
Friend Fisher, but I have not yet got the turtle, &c, and the 
seeds. I hope there is some of the Pyramids of Eden. * * 

Last warm summer ripened our pears. I never 
had such good seed before. They are of the most delicious sorts ; 
so either thee or thine may hope for choice fruits. They come 
late, but soak them a night in water, that Avill plump them, and 
they'll soon vegetate. 

Pray my love to B. Franklin. I received his kind letter, but 
cannot write more than that I am thine, 

P. Collinson. 


May the 1st, 1763. 

A few days past, with great joy, I received thy agreeable letter 
of December 10th, 1762, and soon after, another dated February 
23d, 1763. I was really afraid my dear friend was dead ; but 
thought surely his son would have let me known it, before now. 

My Loblolly Bay, though grown prodigiously in the summer, is 
entirely killed last winter, though in a warm place. It is in vain 
for us to expect to have the broad-leaved evergreens of Carolina to 
flourish with us in the winter, unless in a green-house. * * * 

I have but one root of the Tipitiivitehet. It bears our winter 
is strong this spring. I sent thee twice of its leaves. Last fall, 
by Fisher, I sent both flower and leaf, with a noble collection of 
Carolina specimens. * * * That they call an 

alligator [at the Ohio], I take to be as much a water lizard ; but I 
believe a new genus, very odd mouth, like a cat-fish, and tail like 
a musk-rat, with a fin round it, nails like a man, with a membrane 

1763.] PETER COLLINSON. 249 

on each side, reaching from the fore to the hind foot, like a flying 

I take our "wild cat to be a lynx, in every respect like a cat, but 
a short tail. Kalm told me it is like theirs. * * 

"We have many accounts from the different 
parts of Europe, of the severe cold of last winter, nay, even from 
Rome ; and yet my dear Peter mentions not a syllable how it 
fared with his garden. * 


London, May 10, 1763. 

I have pleasure upon pleasure beyond measure, with perusing my 
dear John's letters, of October 31st, with the rare plants in Eden, 
which I answered 23d of February. Then I have to thank thee 
for thine, December 3d, and January 6th. My last to thee was 
April 7th, by packet, giving an account of the arrival of the 
seeds, after a visit to Spain. * * 

It is really very wonderful that, as thy ramble was amongst the 
wastes, wilds, and unfrequented countries, no more wild animals 
were seen. From whence, then, comes that vast quantity and 
great variety of skins of animals that I have this year seen in our 
public sales ? What does thou think of two or three thousand 
raccoon skins ? Where do they hide themselves, that thou didst 
not see one ? * * 

* * I can only now acknowledge thy piece of natural history 
of the countries thou passed through ; and the map annexed is both 
entertaining and informing. 

Yesterday I saw at my neighbour Ponthieu's, the Warneria 
[Hydrastis Canadensis, L.], or Yellow Root, in flower. It is 
singular to have no petals. * * 

Think, my dear John, with what amazement and delight I, with 
Doctor Solander, surveyed the quire of specimens. He thinks 
near half are new genera. This will enrich the fountain of know- 
ledge. The Doctor is very busy examining them. I hope soon to 
send thee a list of them. * * But what surprises 

us most, is the Tipitvwitchet Sensitive. It is quite a new species, 
a new genus. It was impossible to comprehend it from any 
description, which made me so very impatient to see it. I wish 
we had good seed ; I doubt not but Gordon would raise it. But so 


many seeds lose their vegetation coming over, that few are raised 
(notwithstanding all his skill), when we consider the infinite quan- 
tity of seeds that we have received from thee, in thirty years past. 

;jc ^ % ~J(. 'Jf. * ^ 

But I will try thy patience no longer, than to assure thee I am 
thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, June 8th, 17G3. 

My dear John: 

I am in high delight. My two Mountain Magnolias are pyra- 
mids of flowers, almost the extremity of every branch is a flower. 
My short and long-leafed Sarracenia, growing close together, are 
both in flower, and make a charming contrast, the one red the 
other a golden hue. Well mightest thou say, how fine they looked 
to see a number together. 

I received thy acceptable letters of April 24th and May 1st. 
My good John makes no allowance for one or two packets that 
were taken thinks enemies, wind, and tide should obey his 
wishes. I never had thy letter with the leaves of Tipitiivitchet, 
yet I never complain, and think my dear friend dead and buried. 
Bad news comes fast enough, and therefore I always think the 
best. I cannot get Solander, who has thy 

list, to settle the names of the last specimens. I want to send 
them to thee. 

Gordon has raised the fine Periploca, from the Ohio. It is 
growing in my garden. 

Pray look, where grows nearest, some Azaleas, Kalmias, and 
Rhododendrons, for my son-in-law, who has lately bought a fine 
estate, and built a noble house, and made extensive plantations, 
and is quite cracked after plants, has plundered my garden all he 
can, and looks with such a longing eye on what remains, that 
unless thou sends me a box of those plants to keep all quiet for 
my own son is so ardent to keep what I have that I shall have 
something to do to manage my two sons. They are so fond of 
plants, and take such care in planting in proper soil and situation, 
it gives me entertainment to see their ingenuity and emulation. 

But my son Cator deserves encouragement; for when he married 
my daughter, about ten years agone, he scarcely knew an apple 

1763.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 251 

tree from an oak ; but by seeing often my garden, and conversing 
with me and his brother, is now resolved, if he can, to rival us. In 
his new, fresh soil, plants thrive finely. 

I wish thou may pick out what I mean : being much engaged, 
can add no more, but that I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

London, June 30th, 1763. 
I am glad, my dear John, I can send our friend Solander's 
catalogue of thy last curious collection of specimens. There are 
wonderful things amongst them, especially the Sensitive, Empe- 
trum, &c. ****** 

They enrich our knowledge, and anticipate our pleasures, and 
give us a good idea of the riches in store, to gratify the botanists 
of after ages. 0, Botany ! delightfulest of all sciences ! There 
is no end of thy gratifications. All botanists will join with me in 
thanking my dear John for his unwearied pains to gratify every 
inquisitive genius. I have sent Linn^us a specimen, and one leaf 
of Tipitiwitchet Sensitive ; only to him would I spare such a jewel. 
Pray send more specimens. I am afraid we can never raise it. 
Linnaeus will be in raptures at the sight of it. How happens it, 
in thy Journal, that thou did not give a sketch, or map, of the 
rivers Wateree and Oongaree ? names I never heard of. ' What 
rivers do they join before they come to the sea ? * * 


P. Collinson. 

London, August 4th, 1763. 

I had the pleasure of my dear John's letter of May 30th, which 
was sensibly abated by the severe disorder thou hast to encounter 
with. I shall be glad to hear thou hast got the victory. At the 
same time it raises in my mind thankfulness for a long series of 
health, without any such calamities, or indeed any other. 

My garden, like thine, makes a glorious appearance ; with fine 
long-spiked purple Ononis ; with the Allspice of Carolina \Caly- 
canthus floridus, L.], abundantly in flower, spreading its perfumes 
abroad ; the delectable red-flowering Acacia ; my laurel-leafed Mag- 
nolia, with its noble blossoms, which will continue for two months 
or more. The great Rhododendron has been glorious beyond 


expression ; and before, I told thee of the Mountain Magnolia, and 
the surprising flowers of the red and yellow Sarracenia. Thus, my 
dear Johx, thou sees I am not much behind thee in a fine show. 
But when thy Eden plants flower, I shall not be able to bear the 
report of them. 

But what delights me is, to hear that our Horse Chestnut has 
flowered. I think it much excels the Virginia, if the spikes of 
flowers are as large with you as with us. To see a long avenue of 
them at Hampton Court, of trees fifty feet high being perfect 
pyramids of flowers from top to bottom, for all the spikes of flowers 
are at the extremities, is one of the grandest and most charming 
sights in the world. * * My dear John, what art 

thou talking of ? Wait two years for the double white Daffodil ! 
Think, man ! and know how to value so great a rarity ; for I 
waited almost all my lifetime, to get this rare flower. I read of it, 
and saw it figured in books, but despaired of ever possessing it. 
But about seven years agone, happening in a tour, forty miles from 
London, my botanic genius carried me into a garden where I 
expected to find nothing ; on a sudden my eyes were ravished with 
the sight of this flower, and my heart leaped for joy, that I should 
find it at last ; and never saw it since in any garden but my own. 
And I tell thee for thy comfort, if thou had not been John Bar- 
tram, thou hadst not possessed such a rarity. But as thou 
grudgest the time, and so little esteems it, I shall be careful where 
I cast my pearls another time. * 

Consider, my dear Johx, what a pleasure I feel, now I can give 
thee an order for a ten guinea box, for young Lord Petre. Little 
did I think, when I gave thee the first like order for his valuable 
father, in the year 1735 or 1736, that I should live to give the 
like for his son. It may be truly said the spirit of Elijah rests 
on Elisha, for he began this year with a box of thy seeds. 

I am delighted with thy dissertation on the good old Doctor 
[Witt], It is very much the idea I had formed of him, from the 
numerous letters of a long correspondence, which has given me 
much entertainment, when he tells of the fascinating power of some 
women over men, and of the effects and fatal consequences of the 
penetrating look of an evil eye from some women. But as thou 
hast summed up his character, upon the whole I believe he meant 
well, did what good he could, and lived up to the convictions of 
his own mind ; so I hope will meet with a suitable reward. 

1763.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 253 

May we persevere in the path of verity and uprightness, that 
our end may be happy, is the sincere desire of thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 

I received my dear John's letter of July 3d. Assure him his 
complaint is not founded on my neglect, for I have writ long letters 
by every packet, and by the Carolina I sent him books, &c. 

I am concerned for the fatal effects of the rising of the Indians, 
but the instructions that are gone over, I hope, will bring them 
again into friendship. 

But, my dear John, I am sorry to say thou art of that unhappy 
cast of mind there is no pleasing. 

Look into Pitt's peace, and see what a pitiful figure we should 
have made, when he adopted Montcalm's boundary for our colo- 
nies. As Pitt did it, and accepted it, and made it the foundation 
of his peace it ivas glorious ! Pray look back and see what 
slaughter and destruction the Cherokees made (when Pitt's British 
glory was lost in Germany) on the back settlements of Carolina ; 
but everything the turn-coat did, was glorious with my dear John ! 
He heard all their cruelties, but did not then open his lips to com- 
plain. Whilst Pitt was sacrificing thousands of the best British 
heroes to his projects on the coast of France, to gratify his vanity 
all was glorious ! 

My dear John, take heart and don't be carried away with 
reports. Revive thy drooping spirits, and look forward and hope 
for the best. 

I have thy charming blue Campanella in flower, six feet high, 
branched on every side. Pray where was the identical spot it was 
found? And the red or purple Ulmaria has flowered, a sweet, 
pretty thing, and quite new. * * Pray how is the 

ulcer ? that affects me with true sympathy. I hope it is better, 
as no mention is made of it. Grlorious Pitt so presides in my 
dear John's mind, he is insensible to complaints, except on the 
sorry peace that hath given so great an empire to Britain ! 

I am cordially thine, 

London, August 23d, 1763. 

254 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1763. 

I have a respect for Mr. Pitt ; and lie has his merits, hut every- 
thing he did was not glorious, though my friend John thinks so. 

We had a long, dry spring, which is succeeded by a long, wet 
summer. I am in pain for our harvest, a great plenty, if the 
weather favours to get it in. 


September 30th, 1763. 

Dear Peter : 

* * I have now travelled near thirty years through our pro- 
vinces, and in some, twenty times in the same provinces, and yet 
never, as I remember, once found one single species in all after 
times, that I did not observe in my first journey through the same 
province. But many times I found that plant the first, which 
neither I nor any person could find after, which plants, I suppose, 
were destroyed by the cattle. * * The first time I crossed the 
Shenandoah, I saw one or two plants, or rather stalk and seed, of 
the Meadia, on its bank. I jumped off, got the seed and brought 
it home, sent part to thee, and part I sowed myself ; both which 
succeeded, and if I had not gone to that spot, perhaps it had been 
wholly lost to the world. John Clayton asked me where I found 
it. I described the very spot to him, but neither he nor any per- 
son from him could find it after. ! what a noble discovery I 
could have made on the banks of the Ohio and Mississippi, if I had 
gone down, and the Indians had been peaceably inclined, as I 
knew many plants that grew on its northeast branches. But we 
are at present all disappointed. My son William wanted to go as 

I read lately, in our newspaper, of a noble and absolutely neces- 
sary scheme that was proposed in England, if it was practicable ; 
that was, to search all the country of Canada and Louisiana for 
all natural productions, convenient situations for manufactories, 
and different soils, minerals, and vegetables. The last of which, I 
dare take upon myself, as I know more of the North American 
plants than any others. But this would alarm the Indians to the 
highest degree. All the discoverers would be exposed to the 
greatest savage cruelty, the gun, tomahawk, torture, or revengeful 
devouring jaws. Before this scheme can be executed, the Indians 

1763.1 PETER COLLINSON. 255 

must be subdued or drove above a thousand miles back. No treaty 
will make discovery safe. Many years past, in our most peaceable 
times, far beyond our mountains, as I was walking in a path with an 
Indian guide, hired for two dollars, an Indian man met me and pulled 
off my hat in a great passion, and chawed it all round I suppose to 
show me that they would eat me if I came in that country again. 

I admire thee should not know the Congaree and Wateree, see- 
ing they are in all the late maps of South Carolina ; both being 
branches of the great Santee River. 

October the 23d, 1763. 

Dear Peter : 

Last night I received thy kind letter of August the 4th, 1763. 
The ulcer in my right leg is finely healed up, but I have a much 
worse one in my left, occasioned by a cut to, or into, my shin bone, 
which is now much exasperated by travelling two journeys, one to 
Little Egg Harbour, the other to Great, with my John, to show 
him the very spot where grew a pretty Ornithogalum, I saw grow- 
ing three years past ; but now not one is to be found. 

I have been the subject of many misfortunes all my lifetime, but 
as many have had worse, and many better than I, so I praise our 
God in leading me about the middle way. 

If I had known the "White double Daffodil had been such a ' 
rarity with thee, I could have sent thee large quantities thirty 
years ago. Our first settlers brought them with them, and they 
multiply so that thousands are thrown away. 

* * I am heartily glad that young Lord Petre is possessed 
of the botanical taste of his father. I wish he may resemble him 
in virtue. I have intended to inquire after him and his mother in 
every late letter. The Pear raised from her seed hath borne a 
number of the finest relished fruit. I think a better is not in the 

* * The most probable and only method to establish a last- 
ing peace with the barbarous Indians, is to bang them stoutly, 
and make them sensible that we are men, whom they for many 
years despised as women. Until then, it is only throwing away 
men, blood and treasure, to make peace with them. They will not 

* This tree, known as " Lady Petre's Pear tree," is still (1848) nourishing at 
the Bartram Garden, standing close by the house. 

256 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1763. 

keep to any treaty of peace. They all are, with their fathers, the 
French, resolved to drive the English out of North America. And 
although some tribes pretend to he neutral friends, it is only with 
a design to supply the rest with ammunition to murder us. Per- 
haps now, and only now, is the critical time offered to Britain to 
secure not only her old possessions, but her so much boasted new 
acquisitions, by sending us sufficient supplies to repel effectually 
those barbarous savages. 

November 11th, 1763. 

Dear worthy Peter : 

I have received my dear friend's letter of August 23d, 1763. 

I think most of our people here look upon all our boasted ac- 
quisitions in North America to be titular, and that only of short 
duration, as the French still claim all one side of the Mississippi, 
and part of our side. They will draw the chief of their fur trade 
near them, and will always be setting the Indians against us, sup- 
pose we do keep possession of the Lakes. But unless we bang the 
Indians stoutly, and make them fear us, they will never love us, 
nor keep peace long with us. They are now got so cunning, they 
will not sell their land, and stand so to their bargain as to let the 
people live quietly upon it. But when they want goods, it is but 
rob the traders, steal horses, plunder and insult the back inhabi- 
tants, and instead of us calling them to account for their mischief, 
we sue to them for peace, and give them great presents to kill no 
more white people for three or four years. By such proceedings, 
they have us in the greatest contempt, believing they may do us 
all the mischief they please, and we are ready at any time to buy 
a peace with them for a few years, under great insults. 

The variety of plants and flowers in our southwestern continent, 
is beyond expression. Is it not, dear Peter, the very palace 
garden of old Madam Flora ? Oh ! if I could but spend six 
months on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Florida, in health, I believe 
I could find more curiosities than the English, French and Spa- 
niards have done in six score of years. But the Indians, instigated 
by the French, will not let us look at so much as a plant, or tree, 
in this great British empire. 

1763.1 PETER COLLINSON. 257 


Ridgeway House, December 6, 1763. 

I am here retired, all alone, from the bustle and hurry of the 
town, meditating on the comforts I enjoy ; and whilst the old log 
is burning, the fire of friendship is blazing warms my imagination 
with reflecting on the variety of incidents that hath attended our 
long and agreeable correspondence. 

My dear John, thou does not consider the law of right, and 
doing to others as we would be done unto. 

"We, every manner of way, trick, cheat, and abuse these Indians 
with impunity. They were notoriously jockeyed and cheated out 
of their land in your province, by a man's walking a tract of 
ground in one day, that was to be purchased of them. 

Your Governor promised the Indians if they would not join the 
French, that when the war was over, our troops should withdraw 
from Pittsburg. They sent to claim his promise, but were shuffled 
off. They resented it, as that fortress was situated on their hunt- 
ing country. 

I could fill this letter with our arbitrary proceedings, all the 
colonies through ; with our arbitrary, illegal taking their lands 
from them, making them drunk, and cheating them of their pro- 
perty. As their merciless, barbarous methods of revenge and re- 
sentment are so well known, our people should be more careful 
how they provoke them. 

Let a person of power come and take five or ten acres of my 
friend John's land from him, and give him half price, or no price 
for it, how easy and resigned he would be, and tamely submit to 
such usage ! But if an Indian resents it in his way, instead of 
doing him justice, and making peace with him, nothing but fire 
and faggot will do with my friend John ! He does not search into 
the bottom of these insurrections. They are smothered up, be- 
cause we are the aggressors. But see my two proposals, in the 
October Gentleman's Magazine, for a peace with the Indians. 

My dear John, I am glad thou art so happily recovered from 
that cruel complaint; and that our good Colonel escaped those 
terrible fellows. I hope such prudent measures will be taken as 
will put a stop to their ravages, and establish a lasting peace. 



The peace that thou art so merry with, in your mock mourning, 
is only glorious by comparison ; I mean by comparing it with that 
peace that Pitt would have made (but thanks to our enemies could 
not). Then you must have been thankful to him and the French, 
that they would allow you to keep your own narrow strip of land ; 
but now your bounds are so extensively enlarged, how ungrateful ! 
how unthankful you are ! for ever grumbling, never pleased. I 
refer thee to the preliminary of Pitt's peace, and Bute's. Facts 
speak louder than faction. We all know here what Pitt's peace 
would have been, and what Bute's is. 

So much for a touch at politics. Now we change the scene to 
something that pleases us both. 

I can tell thee, Gordon has raised the fine, stately, broad-leafed 
Siljjhium, but thou mentions three fine species from New Virginia, 
by the Ohio, and from Pedee River, but which of them ours is, I 
don't know ; but thy specimens will set us right. 

I often reflect with what a numerous train of yellow flowers, 
your continent abounds. Seeds of the two fine red-petaled Rud- 
becJcias will be very acceptable. I have one many years in my 
garden, but then it never ripened seed. 

What a glorious scene is opened in that rich country about Pen- 
sacola if that despised country is worthy thy visitation. But be- 
cause Pitt did not get it, thou canst not venture there on any pre- 
tence ! All beyond the Carolinas is forbidden ground. They are 
none of thy darling Pitt's acquisition ! 

But thy son Jonx may go with a good grace. I am glad to find 
the spirit of Elijah rests upon him. 

Thou cheers my heart and flatters my hopes with thy kind and 
friendly donations. But we are under all the disadvantages to 
show our gratitude. A run of cross accidents always attends our 
cargo, and I never could contrive any ways to prevent it, unless a 
person skilled in those matters could attend upon them and make 
it his delight to nurse them daily. 

I lament with thee the disappointment of so promising an expe- 
dition on the Ohio. Take heart ; other doors may open to gratify 
thy inquisitive genius. 

I was delighted to see the Tipitiwitcliet Sensitive. I instantly 
sent it to Gordon, for his skill exceeds all others in raising seeds. 
Pray, where is poor William and Moses ? As for John, I find 

1764.] " TOJOHNBARTRAM. 259 

he is our right hand man. How happy is it to have children of so 
agreeable a cast ! I speak it feelingly by my own son. 

I hope what I have writ will be read with candour. Our long 
friendship will allow us to rally one another, and crack a joke 
without offence, as none was intended by 

Thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Doctor Solander gives his service ; is obliged to thee for re- 
membering him. 

* * * The first paragraph in my Proposals [for a peace with 
the Indians] is shamefully printed, by omissions is made unintelli- 
gible. No remedy but patience; though it vexes me to the heart to 
have it read as my genuine copy : for it is impossible for me to tell 
the printer's carelessness. * * * 

London, January 1, 1763 [4]. 

I am very thankful to the great Author of my being that I enter 
the new year in perfect good health and spirits. I heartily wish 
the like comfortable situation may attend my dear friend, and his 

It was a pleasure to me to receive thine of the 30th September ; 
but that joy was allayed by the sad accident, which I hope will not 
prove of bad consequence. 

I don't wonder your autumn gardens are so delightful, as your 
country more abounds with stately fine flowers than in the spring, 
and we, through thine and other friends' benevolence, have many 
of these beauties in great perfection, which makes our gardens gay 
to the depth of winter, and if mild, the autumn flowers join the 
spring as they do now. 

Gordon has been fortunate enough to raise one of the fine, tall 
Silphiums, with scaly heads, and we hope some others that have 
not yet flowered. 

The broad-leafed Commelyna, I take to be what was formerly 
called John Tradescant's Spider-wort [?]. We have three 

Thy quick discernment of plants is a knack peculiar to thyself, 
and is attained by the long exercise of thy faculties in that amuse- 


ment, and is like the hare-finders with us. Some can't discover 
them if close under their feet ; others see them at a great distance. 

Indeed, my dear John, I must congratulate thee on that happy 
discovery of my favourite Meadia. It is really remarkable none 
should be found since. 

I hear nothing more of that proposal thou mentions ; but if there 
was any real intention of carrying it into execution, no one pro- 
perer than thyself for Natural History and Botany. 

That the Indians would be alarmed at our sounding or measur- 

ing 5 I don't wonder they should be jealous of the invasion of their 

property. Every man is tenacious of his native rights, and if you 
invade their rights, you must take the consequences. 

Let those be well banged I may say, well hanged that by 
their unjust proceedings provoked the Indians to hostilities, know- 
ing, beforehand, their cruel resentments. 

I am greatly pleased the long-expected Horse Chestnut has 
gratified thee with its beautiful flowers. I think it exceeds a Hya- 
cinth. But to see a pyramid fifty feet high, and every extreme 
bud a blossom, is beyond thy imagination, but is one of the finest 
sights in the world. But pray tell me if your curious people have 
not had these fine trees long before, in your province. Is none at 
your proprietor's ? 

I perceive what thou calls the Double Sweet Daffodil, we call the 
Sweet White Narcissus. That, indeed, may be common, but yet, 
how could I know it ? Remove and part the roots, every other 
year, and they will blow strong and fine ; but let them grow in 
great numbers together, the roots are weakened, and rarely bring 
their flowers to perfection. 

It has been thy patience to wait, but my pleasure to hear of the 
delicious pear, raised from Lady Petre's seed ; but she, dear good 
woman, is gone to rest. 

What I am persuaded will prevent its dropping its fruit, if some 
quinces were planted in the lower part of thy garden, near the 
spring, and graft them with the pear it meliorates the fruit. By 
long experience, all our pears are grafted on quince stocks, and 
succeed better than on pear stocks with us. 

* * John, thou needest not be glad the <100 bill is 

paid, for I am not running away. Any bill thou draws will be 
always paid. If there is any gladness in the case, it is I that am 
to be glad to do it* * * 

1764.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 261 

It is with concern I hear of the insurrection at Pittsburg. In 
such a hurry, I don't wonder the curious things suffered. The 
loss of the alligator is most to be regretted, if it is an alligator, 
which I much doubt, as these animals have never been found 
in such cold latitudes ; but few in North Carolina, and none ever 
heard of in Virginia. * 

I must defer answering thy kind letter of November 11th, being 
much engaged packing goods for your country I mean Virginia 
and Maryland, and am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collixson. 

Pray hast thou got trees in thy garden of that odd kind of 
Hazel nut, that was found in the forks of Schuylkill, beyond the 
Blue Mountains, of which there was plenty ? It seems a different 
species from the Cuckold's nut, which I take to be your common 
sort [?] ; but the Schuylkill nut is very different. * 


March 4th, 1764. 

Dear Peter : 

* * * * My true correspondent, Mrs. Logan, 
hath lately sent me two bulbous roots, of what she calls a white 
Iris, which she had from Georgia, which I hope will be a fine 
curiosity, with several other seeds and roots. * My 
John is a worthy, sober, industrious son, and delights in plants ; 
but I doubt Will will be ruined in Carolina. Everything goes- 
wrong with him there. 

Pray give my respects to the worthy Dr. Solander. I hope 
you have examined the specimens I sent by Captain Budden. 

* * I think our Indians received a full value for that 
cheating walk, and pretended to be fully satisfied with what they 
received above the first agreement ; and as for Pittsburg, they let 
the French settle and build there ; then why may not the English, 
after they had drove the French out, keep possession of it ? And 
as the Indians have committed such barbarous destruction on our 
people, we have more reason to destroy them and possess their 
land than you have to keep Canada. And must all our provinces 
suffer a prodigious yearly expense, and have thousands of our inno- 
cent people barbarously murdered, because some of our traders 
made them drunk, to get a skin cheap, or an Irishman settles on 


a bit of their land, which they will never make use of? And if 
we must not settle any more land, or any of the branches of the 
Mississippi, pray say no more about our great British empire, while 
we must not be a farthing the better for it. 

I should be exceedingly pleased if I could afford it, to make a 
thorough search, not only at Pensacola, but the coast of Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia, and the banks of the Mississippi. I make no 
difference ivho got it, if I could but travel safely in it. * * * 

My dear friend, I am so far from taking offence 
at thy familiar way of writing, that it gives me much pleasure. 


London, March 7th, 1764. 

My dear John : 

Disaffected, ignorant people, are always supposing improbabili- 
ties, and putting worst constructions on the best-intended schemes; 
so do not deserve further notice. 

In thine of August 6th, there was a query Avhy some animals 
saw clear in the night, others not. Inclosed is my friend Doctor 
Parsons' answer, and I have added something. 

Is it reasonable to think the Indians will love us, after such a 
cruel, unprovoked slaughter, at Lancaster, &c. ? I hope the 
authors will be made examples of justice. 

I congratulate thee on so elegant a present, as the charming 
autumn Gentian. The specimen is fine. 

I was in hopes to send the names of the last specimens, but I 
cannot get them from Solander, but I hope to do it by next con- 

My dear John, Providence orders all things for the best. Have 
patience, and see how things will turn. I don't despair of thy 
treading paradisiacal ground, and returning loaded with spoils. 
Nothing concerns me, but that unlucky stroke on thy leg. * * 

I am thine sincerely, 


Pray how goes on Moses ? William was a very 
ingenious lad, but I am afraid made some mistakes, that I hear 
nothing of him. 

1764.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 263 

Johnny seems now to be our sheet anchor. I hope he will 
inherit his father's virtues, and at leisure and suitable opportuni- 
ties, make nature his study. 


May 1st, 1764. 

Dear Peter : 

I have received my worthy friend's letter of January 1st, 1763, 
I suppose it should be '64. * * 

The broad-leaved Carolina Commelyna, and our narrow-leaved, 
is a late fall flower, and very different from the spring Trade- 
scant's Spider wort. 

I had always, since ten years old, a great inclination to plants, 
and knew all that I once observed by sight, though not their proper 
names, having no person, nor books, to instruct me. * * 

My dear friend is much mistaken to think what we call the 
Cuckold nut to be the common sort. With us, one may travel a 
thousand miles and not see one of them ; whereas, formerly, in that 
distance, we might not travel half an hour without being surrounded 
with them. They covered the surface of most of the best ground, 
for which reason they are already almost eradicated among the 
inhabitants, except in fence-rows, and very rocky ground ; but the 
others grow on the steep precipices of rocky mountains, though 
sometimes on declining ground. I observed the Hazel plant in the 
forks of the Schuylkill, thirty years ago ; and since, in York 
government, and Virginia, in several places. The fire burns them 
down to the ground every few years, and the old roots send up 
shoots some two to four feet high, which in a year or two bear 
nuts ; but where they grow in rich low land, they commonly grow 
six or eight feet high, bearing nuts four or six in a bunch. I 
thought you had this sort long ago in plenty. 

* I have not yet consulted the Doctor's letter about 

snakes. I never had an opportunity of examining the affair 
myself, and I can't believe reports, like him. I intend to consider 
it better. 



London, June 1st, 1764. 

I thank my dear friend for his obliging letter of the 4th March. 
It gives me comfort to hear thy leg is healed. As wounds are 
fatal things to some constitutions, take great care for the future. 

Your season in March is something like ours, for then the sharp 
cutting winds do our plants more damage than all the winter before. 

I ought not to envy my friend's happiness, but I should like 
such a mistress as thou hast got, who is always treating thee with 
dainties. A new yellow Lily, and white Iris, will be fine things. 

Before this comes to hand I hope thou will have received Dr. 
Solander's names of the specimens, sent by last packet. * * 
I want to go to Gordon's, to see if he has any 
luck with the Tipithvitchet, and the Tree of Life of Eden. 

I wish we had some wealthy, public-spirited people, who would 
encourage a search of those fine countries, our new acquisitions. 
No one so well accomplished for that work as thyself; but court 
politics so engross the attention of the great men, they have no 
room to think of anything else. It is by no means advisable to 
undertake it at thy own expense. Besides, unless a settled peace 
with Indians, who would venture ? 

I have from China a tree of surprising growth, that much resembles 
a Sumach [probably Ailantlms glandulosa, Desf., introduced into the 
United States some fifty or sixty years after the date of this letter], 
which is the admiration of all that see it. Perhaps thine may be 
the same. It endures all our winters. Thou says thine came from 
the East, but mentions not what country. "VVe call ours the Varnish 

I am really concerned at the present situation of your province, 
under the arbitrary proceedings of the Presbyterians, and the ill- 
concerted plan of opposition in the Governor and his party. I 
hope good Providence will open a way to settle these commotions. 

I have read the able, spirited resolutions of your Assembly, and 
commend their zeal for equity and justice hope it will have a good 

I am pleased with the account of thy family, and am glad John 
inherits the spirit of his father. He will find his advantage in it. 

1764.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 265 

But I am concerned that Billy so ingenious a lad is, as it 
were, lost in indolence and obscurity. 

I am pleased to hear poor Moses, after so many imminent 
dangers, is got into a safe harbour, where I hope he will do well. 
Spare not to draw on me, when thou can do it to advantage. 

I am thy sincere friend, 



August the 19th, 1764. 

Dear Peter : 

I received thine of March the 7th, 1764, with Dr. Parsons' 
letter, both which are very acceptable ; and since, I received Dr. 
Solander's names to the specimens I sent last fall, for which I 
paid half a crown postage from New York. Pray send in the 
merchant ships, or under cover to our friend Benjamin, and then 
I shall have them directly, as I had thine of June the first. * * 
* I sent by Captain Friend, my Journal to Carolina 
and New River. Pray, let our worthy mutual friend Solander 
peruse it. He sent several letters under cover to me, from Swede- 
land, which this day I delivered to Dr. Wrangel, who is, I believe, 
the most indefatigable and zealous minister that ever crossed the 
seas, of any sect whatever. This day, as usual, he preached in 
our township, then came to my house, dined, read the letters I 
gave him, walked in the garden, discoursed a few hours, then forced 
to part to visit the sick in the neighbourhood, and then, though a 
very rainy, stormy day, he must go to town. It is surprising what 
pains he takes to reform the people, by tender preaching, innocent 
persuasion, and pious practice, that he gains the love of all socie- 
ties. It's strange how the pretty Empetrum 
is procured. Since I brought it to Justice Wylie's, and told him 
where I got it, he has sent it several times to Charleston, but none 
grows ; only Lamboll has raised one from seed. I suppose Go- 
vernor Dobbs got his seed from the Justice's, as they are both 
Irish ; and they and the Scots will hang together like bees. * * 

266 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1764. 

September 23d, 1764. 

Dear Peter : 

I received thy kind letter of June the 80th, with the Strawberry- 
seed. The Commelyna I wrote to thee about many years past, 
presently after I found it. * * My neighbour 

Young's sudden preferment has astonished great part of our 
inhabitants. They are daily talking to me about him, that he has 
got more honour by a few miles' travelling to pick up a few common 
plants, than I have by near thirty years' travel, with great danger 
and peril. It is shocking, the plants you have had, many of them 
known a hundred years, and most twenty or thirty, should be 
esteemed at court as new discoveries. Several of my friends put 
me upon sending my new discovered specimens to the King, to try 
my success. Accordingly I have put up a little box of such speci- 
mens as I am sure he never found, and I believe never came to 
England, before I sent them. The box I sent to thy care, with a 
letter to the king, under cover to thee, which pray deliver to his 
Majesty ; or if thee hath not freedom to do it, pray deliver it to 
Dr. Pringle, whom Benjamin Franklin promises to acquaint 
with the whole affair. * * * * 

If I should be appointed, by authority or private subscription, to 
travel through Florida or the Illinois, I am too old to go alone, 
and I think my son William will be a fit person to accompany me, 
as he by this time, I believe, can draw well. 

There is a subscription set on foot at Edinburgh, to enable a 
person to send them plants and seeds for their new Public Garden. 
They wrote to Benjamin to see if I would undertake it, which I 
did ; but how it goes on, I can't say. But I can't expect to be 
able many years to perform such a journey. I should spend a 
whole year there, to make full discoveries. Hitherto, I have 
travelled at my own expense, except to Onondago ; so was obliged 
to make haste home. 

October the 15th, 17G4. 

Dear Peter: 

I received thy kind letter of July the 30th, 1764, with the 
seeds, which were very acceptable ; since which, Captain Falconer 

1764.] PETER COLLINSON. 267 

is arrived, by whom I have received no letters. I sent by Cap- 
tain Budden, by my neighbour Young, my spring specimens, 
and a vial of Chinquapins, to try how they will do that way. 

Various are the opinions of Young's success. Some think he 
will make such an awkward appearance at court that he will soon 
come back again. Others, that the Queen will take care of the 
German gentleman. I think that if he is put under Doctor Hill's 
care, he will make a botanist, as he is very industrious and hath a 
good share of ingenuity. 

I hope thee will find some way to forward the box I sent to 
thee, for the King ; not that I depend on having any such prefer- 
ment as Young had, but chiefly as a curiosity, to see what diffe- 
rence will be made betwixt such rare plants as never grew in 
Europe or Asia, and such as have been growing in the English 
gardens between twenty and one hundred years past ; for such, I 
believe, were most that Young sent. But I and several others 
would be greatly pleased with a list of what he sent, if it could 
readily be obtained. 

My good old friend, I am well assured that thee is well ac- 
quainted with many of the nobility, some of whom, no doubt, are 
men of curiosity. Could not they be prevailed upon to enable me 
to travel a year or two through our King's new acquisitions, to 
make a thorough natural and vegetable search, either by public 
authority, or private subscription ? And I must insist upon two 
articles : first, that I have one to accompany me ; second, to have 
an allowance sufficient to make full discovery, and not be hurried 
for time to make remarks, and carriage to transport what I dis- 
cover. But I can't expect to be able to perform such a task many 
years hence.* I must yield to the infirmities of age, or death. 

November the 22d, 1764. 

Dear Peter: 

I wrote lately by our dear worthy friend, Benjamin Franklin, 
who was sent off here with the greatest demonstration of respect 
in accompanying him to the ship far beyond any that ever sailed 
from America. I being no party man, but wishing for the gene- 
ral good of the province, stayed at home, being extremely hurried 

* He was then in his sixty-sixth year. 


in packing, praying for the desired success ; and that he may at 
his return home be received with as much or more applause, and 
triumph over his enemies. 

I have sent thee and Gordon, each, a box of plants and shrubs ; 
and now I send twenty-two boxes, consigned to thee. * * I 
have also sent a little box, with thy name at large, containing 
above one hundred different kinds of seeds, for thee and Gordon. 
There is a parcel of Chinquapins and Willow-Oak Acorns, that 
was missed in the last packed sixteen boxes, by the extreme hurry 
we were in for above two weeks, day and night First-day not 
excepted. The Captain positively affirmed he would sail by such 
a day, and leave them if they were not brought before, and now he 
stays for sailors. If I had known he would have stayed so long, I 
might have sent every article in order. 


London, April 9th, 17G5. 

I have the pleasure to inform my good friend, that my repeated 
solicitations have not been in vain ; for this day I received certain 
intelligence from our gracious King, that he had appointed thee 
his botanist, with a salary of fifty pounds a year ; and in pur- 
suance thereof, I received thy first half-year's payment of thy 
salary, being twenty-five pounds to Lady day last, which I have 
carried to thy account. 

Now, dear John, thy wishes are in some degree accomplished, 
to range over Georgia and the Floridas. As this is a great work, 
and must be accomplished by degrees, it must be left to thy own 
judgment how to proceed. 

I hope by this packet or by next, to procure letters of recom- 
mendation to the Governors of East and West Florida ; because 
either from them or by the aid of our friend Lamboll, seeds and 
specimens may be sent directly to me for the King. 

It is a great work, but thou must contract it ; and not hurry, but 
take time to make observations on the soil, the country, or to 
gather specimens of Plants, Fossils, Ores, &c, where they can 
conveniently be done, and not too remote for conveyance, either to 
Charleston, St. Augustine, or Pensacola. 

Thou will do well to provide large paper, for the reception of 

1765.1 T0 J0HN BARTRAM. 269 

specimens, and to get a leather cover the size of the paper to 
secure the specimens from wet ; and leather bags for to secure the 
seeds from the rain. 

As for living plants, it will be impossible, unless they grow not 
far from the sea-port. 

Now, as thou knows my love for Natural History, I desire thou 
will provide thyself with little flat boxes fit for the pocket, and 
with pins, that if thou sees any species of insects, to have some 
contrivance to catch them, such as all sorts of Beetles, Bees, 
Wasps, Locusts (that is Grasshoppers, for the Cicadas, that you 
call Locusts, I have enough). Butterflies and Moths are too diffi- 
cult to manage. Pray, look out for all sorts of Land Snails, and 
River Shells, one, two, or three of a sort, is enough, and any other 
production, that I may see the wonderful creatures of this new 
world. Many of these may be stuck thick together in a little box. 

* * Whether it will not be better to go by sea to Carolina, 
taking thy son or a servant with thee, and there hire horses for 
the expedition, than taking so long a journey by land, over and 
over again, without meeting with anything new, this must be sub- 
mitted to thy better judgment and experience to determine. 

For thy health and preservation, thou hast the best wishes of 

thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

About a month agone, I advised my friend John of the King's 
intention, by a Pennsylvania ship and a New York ship. 

At the same time that thou art collecting seeds for the King, 
where thou finds plenty, thou may think on me and thy other cor- 

London, May [1765]. 

I wrote, my dear John, by the packet of April 12th, by way of 
New York, informing of him that he was appointed the King's 
botanist, at 50 per annum, and that I have received the first 
payment of 25, which is carried to account. 

John, thou knows nothing what it is to solicit at court any 
favour ; nay, though it is for their own interest, they are so taken 
up with public affairs, little things slip through their fingers. For 
all I can do, I cannot get thee letters of recommendation to any of 
the Governors. 


All I can at present do, is, our good friend Ellis, who is ap- 
pointed to an office in the Floridas, has writ to the Governors in 
thy favour. I send one here inclosed, and will send the other by 
next ship. * So thou must make the best of it, 

and do what seems most agreeable to thy own inclination. Thou 
may think the appointment not enough. I did not expect any- 
thing. So thou may use it, or refuse it, as thou likes best, or 
search as far as the salary will go to support it. In this case, I 
cannot advise thee. 

As thou grows in years, thou will do well to consider if thy 
present constitution and habit of body can undergo the fatigue of 
such expeditions. * * * 

As the Colocasia seed falls into the water, and finds nourishment 
and protection, until it shoots forth in the spring, so if the seeds 
had been put immediately in a bottle of water, there would have 
been a probability of their growing. I put them, as soon as they 
came to hand, in water and mud, but none makes an offer to 
shoot. Pray tell me, what colour is the flower ? 

I have not seen Young for some time. I conclude he is prose- 
cuting his botanic studies. 

I sent the fine seed-vessel of Faba Egyptifica to the Queen, but 
heard nothing more of it. 

What were the methods observed by the Indians to procure fire, 
before the Europeans came amongst them ? 

If Billy goes the expedition, he may take slight 
sketches of such odd things, and finish afterwards. A single flower 
coloured, is sufficient to carry the idea. * What is 

become of the Bull Grape ? what is its colour, and is it short jointed? 

I am thine sincerely, 


I lament the loss of my oldest correspondent, Doctor Witt. 
What was his age ? [90 years. See Mr. Watson's Letter, p. 86.] 

Our good friend B. Franklin, grows fat and jolly. There is 
hope of accommodation. * * 

London, 19th September, 1765. 

It was highly acceptable to me to hear of my dear John's safe 
arrival in Carolina, and to find his botanic genius began to exert 

1765.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 271 

itself in new discoveries. I wish thou may temper thy zeal with 
prudence, but I do not think it an instance of it, when thou and 
Mrs. Lamboll rambled in the intense heat of a midday sun. 
Perhaps it was to procure thee a seasoning. 

A horse is a necessary article for a King's botanist. But dost 
thou know who thou art to thank for that title ? Between our- 
selves, an old friend, who knew thou deserved it; but under what 
character the King is pleased to rank thee, I do not know. Only 
this I know, he allows thee =50 per annum. Forty pounds [for a 
horse] sink deep [into the fifty], if it was sterling ; but I presume 
that may be about ten pounds sterling. I should think horses 
cheaper where they breed wild, and are had for catching. How- 
ever, when thou hast done with him, the horse will be worth some- 

Keep an exact account of all thy expenses. I know thy economy 
and moderation. But Avant for nothing that nature requires, if it 
is to be had. 

I wish thou may get thy son William to go with thee, who is a 
very ingenious young man, and I believe has a general knowledge 
in natural things, and will be very assistant in procuring them. 

We have such revolutions at court, and so unsettled, I have not 
delivered thy specimens, until more settled times, to take due care 
and notice of them. 

Thy brother's making so free with the King is ridiculous, and 
giving me a great deal of trouble at the custom-house, and himself 
to the expense of 6s. 6d., which I have charged to thy account, or 
else I must dispose of the ores to pay it. You don't know the 
difficulty, trouble, and attendance, to get things to the King. 
Though I undertook it for thee, I shall not for anybody else. 

We have had a long, hot, dry summer. Fahrenheit's ther- 
mometer, in my parlour, was often at 95 ; and in the open air, in 
the shade, at 84 and 85. I have had little comfort this summer, 
for I cannot endure hot weather. * * 

Doctor Solander is a strange, idle man. I cannot get thy 
spring specimens from him, is the reason thou hears nothing from 
me, about them. 

It is wonderful to see the fertility of your country, in Phlox and 
Viburnums. There are many things in the King's specimens that 
set me a longing, which I hinted to thy son John, of this date. 

Thine of May 29th and June 16th I answered, directed to 


General Bouquet, in Florida. Pray remember me respectfully to 
him. The like to my most worthy friend, Mr. Lamboll, not for- 
getting my ingenious friend, Doctor Garden. 

Now, my dear John, farewell. Thou hast the best wishes of 
thy old friend, 

P. Collinson. 


London, 19th September, 1765. 

Friend John: 

Thy good father sends over so many fine specimens for the 
King, that sets our minds a longing for the plants, as under : 

5J2 Sj( 3|C 3JC !|C 3J S]C 

I had the pleasure of receiving a letter from thy father was 
glad to hear of his safe arrival in Carolina. I hope he may have 
his health, that he may be able to gratify his botanic genius, and 
bring the rarities of the new world to light. I wish he may get 
his son William to go with him, or some other companion, for it 
is not fit he should go alone. 

I presume the boxes of seeds that I have ordered will come, as 
usual, by the first ships. I am thy well-wishing friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Thy uncle's making so free with the King to send him ores, is 
ridiculous,* and putting me to a great deal of trouble at the custom- 
house, and himself to the expense of 6s. 6d., which I have charged 
to thy father's account, or I must sell the ores to pay it. He don't 
know the difficulty and trouble to get any things to the King. 
Though I undertook it for thy father, I shall not for anybody else. 


London, November 13, 1765. 

I received my dear John's letter of the 28th August on the 
13th November. I delayed not a minute to return this answer. 

* If the worthy Peter had lived to witness the manner in which kings have 
been made free with since his time, and especially at the present day (1848), he 
would probably conclude that there were some rather more "ridiculous" incidents 
about courts, than sending a few mineral specimens to Majesty. 

1765.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 273 

I am concerned for thy disorder ; but more, to think a wise man 
should have so little prudence to ramble about with Mrs. Lamboll 
in your midday sun, with such a distemper on him. What cannot 
be cured must be endured, for I see no remedy. 

We are now again on a change of the Ministry. Whilst the 
members of the helm are thus fluctuating, no application can be 
made, for those by whom thou wast appointed have been out some 
time, and the set that is come in their room is expected to be 
changed every day. So pray, make no more remonstrances on 
that head, for I am tired with a repetition of them in every letter. 

Thou knows the length of the chain of fifty links ; go as far as 
that goes, and when that's at an end cease to go any farther. 

I have received two half-year's salary of <50, and shall receive 
25 more in March, and so on, and if we live to Michaelmas there 
will be 25 more. This will, in the whole, be 100. Keep within 
this compass, and be not a loser ; nay, if the King lives and thou 
gives him credit, thou mayst be no loser, perhaps a gainer, if you 
both live long enough. 

I allow all thou says. The premium is not equal to the risk ; 
but in these precarious, unsettled times, there is no hope for an 

I beg of thee, don't expose thy health; but return home and wait 
until thy allowance amounts to a sum in hand, and then begin 

I am glad Billy is with thee to take care of thee. Pray, give 
my kind respects to him. 

I doubt not of our good friend Mr. Lamboll's care of the box. 
My kind respects to him. 

I am, my dear John, thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

Our friend Mr. Ellis writ a letter recommending thee to 
Governor Grant, which I hope he hath received. He also wrote 
to the Governor of Pensacola, to the same purpose. 

London, December 28, 1765. 

Dear John : 

I don't know what to add to mine of November 13th, by ship 
Minerva, but to inform thee of my welfare and my hope for thine. 



We hear with concern with what riotous mobs the public tran- 
quillity is disturbed. I hope when our Parliament meets some 
happy medium will be found to allay such unjustifiable proceedings 
and prevent them for the future. 

I condole with thee on the great loss of that worthy man, 
General Bouquet. I am sensible how it afflicts thee to be be- 
reaved of so generous and kind a friend, especially in a country 
where his notice and regard gave such a reputation to thy under- 
taking. However, I hope good Providence will raise thee up some 
other friend to assist thee. 

I have had a letter from thy son, informing me he was preparing 
the seeds, but was fearful they would fall short to supply all my 
orders, which will be a great disappointment to some. 

I lately saw a quire of specimens sent by Doctor Garden to 
Doctor Russell ; amongst them are some curious new species. 
When thine comes to hand, which I conclude I may hourly expect, 
what high spirits will attend our friends Solander and Ellis, on 
the survey of such rare and new productions ! 

I hope by that time this comes to hand the fine temperate 
season will be near concluding. Be sure make a retreat in time, 
before the great heats come on, and sit down under thy own vine, 
and enjoy thy family, contemplating on the wonders thou hast seen, 
and when the evenings grow long, give thy old friend a taste of 
these dainties, who, thou knowest, will relish them as they deserve, 
and treasure them up with the rest of thy curious and ingenious 

As there are few pleasures in this life but what are subject to 
alloys and. disappointments, this I have lately experienced to my 
no small mortification, having been again robbed of my most curious 
plants. What I most regret was thy kind present of Loblolly 
Bays, which throve finely ; thy sod of Orchis in full flower, and a 
too long list to mention here. But amongst others, I regret the 
loss of the long-leafed Sarracenia. As it is a plant of the south 
countries where thou art, or may meet with it in thy passage home, 
pray, contrive to get three or four plants and send me. Thou 
knowest, packed up all over in moss, and tied up with moss round 
each plant, is the way to send them securely. 

My last was by the Minerva, November 13, which I hope is 
come to hand. I therein hinted our change of Ministry, so no 
hopes of additional salary. I therein advised to retire with what 

1766.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 275 

discoveries and collections thou hast made, and wait until thou art 
re-imbursed all thy charges, and until thou hast got stock in hand, 
and then, if in health and strength, may make another expedition; 
for I don't see there is any reason, neither is it required, that a 
man should wear himself out to serve others, on so slender an en- 
couragement. But I was willing to get that, with pretty good 
hopes of doubling it, if that Ministry had continued. 

I am impatient to hear from thee, for I am fearful of the cli- 
mate, and that thy ardency will push thee beyond thy strength, 
and I shall be glad to hear thou art got safe home ; and yet I 
believe it must be delightful passing an autumn, a winter, and a 
spring in so fine a climate. * 

* * Captain Oreys was so obliging as to deliver the quire of 
specimens, but times are so unsettled I keep them by me until 
there is a probability of more leisure to examine them. In the 
mean time, Doctor Solaxder will settle them after the Linnaean 
system. * * 

Pray, remember me sincerely and heartily to dear friend, Mr. 
Lamboll. I feel for him and sympathize with him, for the great 
loss that he has sustained in his son. 

I hear with concern, the great commotions in the provinces, but 
I hope our new Ministry will set all to rights. My dear John, 
farewell, take care of thyself. 


My love to Billy. 


London, March 20, 1766. 

I received my friend John's letter of the 7th December, and 
have the pleasure to tell him that all the boxes came safe and in 
good order, and the seeds well packed. 

I am much obliged to thee for the box of plants, in particular 
for the pretty thyme-leaved Kahnia, which Linn^us now makes 
an . It came in fine order ; as did the Sensitive Briar 

\_Sehranhia uncinata, Willd.], which is growing, and it was kind to 
add Loblolly Bay ; for the rogues came twelve miles to rob my 
garden about two months agone, and stole two fine Loblolly Bays, 


all I had, and many other curious American plants, too long to 
mention. But we are now getting an act of Parliament to punish 
them, by transporting them to you, which you will not thank 
us for. 

The last letter I received from thy father was from Savannah 
town, September 28th, and it came to my hands January 15th. * 

* * I shall be glad to hear he is safe come home. From thy 



London, March 26th, 1766. 

I received my dear John's letter of September 28th, highly 
delighted with the rich cargo that the letter promised, but, (sad 
story to tell !) when I came to see Captain Arbuckle, he said no 
such box directed for me was put on board him. But he promised 
to search everywhere ; and next time I saw him could find nothing, 
and was sure that there was no such box put on board him. Think, 
my dear friend, what disappointment and vexation I was under at 
this great loss. The only way to have prevented it lay at thy 
door ; and that by having a receipt of the captain for the box, and 
inclosing it in thy letter to me. Then I should have demanded 
the box with authority, and made him pay damages if it was lost ; 
but now I had only thy letter to show, and that he did not regard, 
and said thou might intend to put the box on board, but never 
did it. 

The boxes of seeds came all safe and well, and thy son had 
packed them very careful. I was pleased to find he was so capable 
to supply thy place. * One trouble seldom 

comes alone, for it gives me much concern to hear of your trouble- 
some, dangerous journey, from Georgia to St. Augustine. It was 
a great pity you attempted it at so unseasonable a time. 

Thou vexes thyself and me with perpetual complaints, thinking 
it is in my power to redress them ; but really it lays too much at 
thy own door, in being so hasty for the expedition. Thou should 
have staid and got two or three hundred pounds beforehand, and 
then set out. But, as I told thee before, if thou lives, and the 
King lives, thou will be no loser, so pray do not tire me any more 

1766.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 277 

with repetition of complaints, but return home as soon as thou can, 
and sit down and gather strength, and receive thy income. 

It is very fortunate to have so good an opportunity to go to the 
Congress at Picolata. 

Your work for the Duke of Cumberland is fruitless, for the 
British hero is no more. 

The odd scene that an old Spanish town must make to an 
Englishman, must afford him entertainment, to see the different 
modes of the two nations, in their buildings, &c, and I apprehend the 
rural prospects must be fine, and afford a variety of rare plants, &c. 

In this happy climate, turn where one will, new beauties rise. 
Little did I think some months agone, nature's virgin charms were 
reserved to be rifled by an enterprising Bartram ; but pray, take 
care that we are not deprived of these precious spoils. The loss of 
the last hangs heavily on the mind of thy old friend, 

P. Collixsox. 

Pray, remember me to Billy. I am much concerned for the 
disasters that befel him. 

March 27th. My dear Jonx, I have good news to tell thee. 
The box that thou intended by Captain Arbuckle, is safe arrived 
by Captain Ball, at Dover ; advised of it by a very civil letter 
from Mr. Graham, inclosing the captain's receipt for it. 


London, May 5th, 1766. 

I had the satisfaction of my kind friend John Bartram's, Jr., 
letter, March 1st ; and Captain Sparks was so very obliging to 
bring me the box of fossils, which contains many curious articles, 
which, I am sensible, there must be some trouble in getting toge- 
ther. But one cannot tell what judgment to form from these rude 
masses, because every stratum varies, as there may be many on the 
side of the cliff. So no conclusions can be drawn, but on the spot. 
Those fossils that contain shells, are most acceptable to me, as 
something that's probable may be drawn from them. * * In 
fossil wood it is wonderful to see how the lapidescent juices 
have entered into all the pores of the wood, &c. I have some 
large pieces of Hickory, two or three feet long, so very com- 


pletely saturated with petrifying matter, that it is become real 

It is a very fine discovery, the finding that species of stone, 
for the mills, for we are obliged to have all our stones that 
grind wheat from France. * * 

Amongst the millions [of fossil remains] that thou observes, 
are all over the country, I dare say they are found of different 
shapes and sizes, which may determine the species. These are 
undoubted evidences that the sea once covered the level country, 
to near the foot of the first hills ; and in retreating, left these 
marine animals behind. * * When this great 

event happened, or from what cause, is locked up amongst 
the arcana of Providence, beyond human penetration. * * * 
I long to hear of thy father's return, and to know how it fares 
with him. It is now a long time since I had any letter. But 
it was very lucky I got the box from Georgia, with thy father's 
Journal, which I value more than all the rest, and some of 
Billy's fine drawings. I am glad to see that he has not lost 
that curious art, which so few attain. I wish it could any way 
turn to his profit. 

I am no stransrer to the native Bread of Carolina and Vir- 
ginia. It's a Tuber terrce, or Earth Fungus. I have it sent 
me, near as big as my head. In time of want it is of great 
importance to the Indians. They call it Tuckahoe. * * 

Now, friend John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 


Mill Hill, May 28th, 1766. 

I received my dear John's, from Carolina, and accepted thy 
bill for ,150. 5s. 8d. 

I think thou hast done prudently, to settle thy son William : 
for he is an ingenious young man, and I hope his ingenuity 
will prompt him to industry, to improve the talent, that, in thy 
paternal goodness, thou hast bestowed on him. I wish I could 
tell how to write to him, without any expense to him, to give 
him my friendly advice, as I have a great respect for him. But 
one thing is not to be omitted, and that is, to get him a virtuous, 

1766.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 279 

industrious wife, such as knows how to share the toils, as well 
as the comforts of a marriage state. He will not settle rightly 
to business until this is clone ; for then home will be always 
agreeable to him. If this is not done, he'll fall into the snares 
of a loose, unlawful way of life, from whence no good can come, 
but much evil and inconvenience. 

I have read thy Journal over and over, with much entertain- 
ment ; but observe, by the specimens, that nature seems to have 
exhausted her stores in the Carolinas, in the variety of the Mag- 
nolias, Loblolly Bays, Allspice, Stuartias, Red Acacias, Halesias, 
&c. I think Georgia* affords no new plants equal to any of 
these. There are, indeed, some pretty things, but they are not 
striking flowering trees, like the above. 

My dear John, I wonder thou should trouble thyself about the 
Queen, as she has Young, and everything will be shown him. 
It cannot be expected he will favour any one's interest but his 
own. He is now so new modelled, and grown so fine and fashion- 
able, with his hair curled and tied in a black bag, that my people, 
who have seen him often, did not know him. I happened not to be 
at home, so could not inquire what scheme he is upon. 

I shall be glad to hear that thou art safely returned home, and 
in such good health and spirits as will permit thee to sit down 
calmly to reflect with thankfulness on the pleasures and dangers 

I have sent the three quires of specimens to the King, with the 
seeds. It was a great disadvantage to the specimens that they 
had suffered by wet. However, Doctor Solander could discover 
many new, undescribed articles, amongst them, as well as those 
from Georgia and Florida. 

Thy short account of St. Augustine was very acceptable, to see 
the buildings of the Spaniards, and other of their contrivances. 
Pray, tell me what sort of improvements they have made in the 
country, for the support of themselves and their cattle ; what sort 
of fabric was their church, no doubt all the ornaments they carried 
away ; and further tell me, if there are any true genuine Spa- 
niards, tempted by their possessions to remain there. I think its 
situation is pleasant. If no Spaniards are left, it must be a great 
advantage to the English new settlers to enter on their premises, 
and possess their improvements, which I suspect, from their native 
sloth and laziness, are inconsiderable ; for a Spaniard is content 

280 PETER COLLINS ON [1766. 

with a very little, provided lie can but indulge himself with sitting 
in the sun and doing next to nothing. 

In all thy expeditions, didst thee fall in with any Indians ? 
What nation ? and how did they behave ? Is there a disposition 
in them to continue in peace and friendship ? There is much talk 
of civilizing them. A good, sensible man, named Hammerer, a 
foreigner, who was long in London, could not be easy without 
going to reside among the Cherokees, in order to try to bring them 
to a sense of moral duties. 

I have heard that the Opuntia, or Indian Fig, grows in such 
abundance at Augustine, that the fruit was a great food of the in- 
habitants. Is it a different species from those at New York ? I 
conclude the Palmetto arrives to a greater size than those in 

_ * * * * 

Billy's elegant drawings are admired by all that see them. 
When he comes to be settled I must get him to look out for in- 
sects of any kind, for in his warm, southern situation,* these 
creatures increase in size and beauty, with many new species that 
you have not. When thou writes to him, pray give my respects 
and thanks for his curious presents. 

I don't forget my honest friend MoSES, who sent me a very 
sensible, respectful letter ; and remember me to our young bota- 
nist, thy son Johnny. 

People begin to be tired with the same seeds over and over 
again. Could no plan be formed for Billy to send seeds from 
Georgia, to make a little new variety in your cargoes ? * * 

So now, dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

Mr. Ehret, our famous flower painter, was with me, and I 
showed him Billy's paintings. He admired, as we do all, his fine 
Red Centaury ; a most elegant plant, if we can but get it in our 
gardens. His butterflies are nature itself. His yellow fly is ad- 

I am pleased to see that he has got so pretty a way of drying 
fish. By it, we may have a Hortus siccus, or rather, Oceanus 

* About this time, "Billy" took a notion to settle on a plantation, on the 
River St. John, in Florida, where he soon found himself in a very forlorn " situa- 
tion." See the letter of Henry Laurens to John Bartram, August 9, 1766. 

1766.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 281 

siccus of fish ! When I see Solander, he will tell me the species, 
and if it is new will inform thee. * * * 


Schuylkill, at my own house, June, 176G. 

Dear Peter : 

I am now returned to my family ; all of whom I found in good 
health. God almighty be praised for his favours. I am at present 
tolerable well, but can hardly get over the dreadful sea-sickness 
and the southward fever. 

I have left my son Billy in Florida. Nothing will do with him 
now, but he will be a planter upon St. John's River, about twenty- 
four miles from Augustine, and six from the Fort of Picolata. 
This frolic of his, and our maintenance, hath drove me to great 
straits ; so that I was forced to draw upon thee, at Augustine, and 
twice at Charleston. * * * 

I have brought home with me, a fine collection of strange 
Florida Plants ; which, perhaps, I may send sometime this sum- 
mer, some for the King and some for thyself. But I want to 
know how those I sent from Charleston and Georgia are accepted, 
or those I sent last spring to the King, from home. I hope what 
specimens I sent for thyself will give thee great pleasure, as many 
of them are entirely new ; the collecting of which hath cost thy 
friend many score pounds, pains, and sickness, which held me con- 
stantly near or quite two months; in Florida, the fever and jaun- 
dice ; and a looseness through North and South Carolina, and 
Georgia ; yet, some how or other, I lost not an hour's time of tra- 
velling through those provinces ; and when at Augustine, with the 
fever and jaundice, I travelled both by water and land all round 
the town for many miles, and to Picolata, to the Congress, although 
so weak as hard set to get up to bed ; and during the meeting of 
the Governor and Indians, in the Pavilion, I was forced to sit or 
lie down upon the ground, close by its side, that I might observe 
what passed. 



London, August 21, 17G6. 

I received my dear John's letter of June 30th. * 

The Florida Seeds and Fossils came safe, and were delivered to 
the King, who is pleased with them. 

I am much concerned for thy ulcer. Doctor Fothergill is 
gone out of town for two months, else would have sent thee his 
advice. But you have, I should think, skilful people at Phila- 
delphia, though a good old woman's nostrum has carried the prize 
from them all. Pray, consult some Indians : they have done won- 
ders in obstinate cases by their simples. 

I believe our friend William Logan's correspondent is Gordon. 
No one packs better, although thou had bad luck. * 

* * * * 

My friend John makes no allowance for letters miscarrying, 
when seeds don't come that he writ for. Repeat them every letter. 
Remember, the widow in the Gospel succeeded at last by her im- 

The Stuartia flowered for the first time in the Princess of Wales' 
Garden, at Kew, which is the Paradise of our world, where all 
plants are found, that money or interest can procure. When I am 
there, I am transported with the novelty and variety ; and don't 
know which to admire first or most. 

I am ruined with two great robberies ; so I cannot stand in any 
competition. Once, I bore the bell ; but now, I very humbly con- 
descend to be on an equal footing with my neighbours. We have 
got an Act passed this session to transport the rogues ; but we 
must first catch them, and that's not easily done, as they come by 
night. * * * * 

Now, my dear John, farewell. 

P. Collinson. 

We have had a tedious, uncommon wet summer, which threat- 
ened distress and famine ; but more than two weeks past good 
Providence has sent us fine, seasonable, warm, dry weather, for 
our harvest, and our crops are reported to be plentiful. I dare 
say thou wonders at my ignorance in this matter, but thy won- 
der will cease when I tell thee I go every week twelve miles, and 

1766.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 283 

don't see a cornfield. Nay, I may go two or three miles further, 
and not see it ; for our country is an evergreen country, all 
grass for hay, but no dairies. Our fields feed cattle for the 
slaughter, and afford pasturage for sheep that suckle lambs. All 
the winter at Christmas I see the lambkins play in the open 
fields all around me, and hear their tender bleatings, which is 
pastoral and rural. 


August 26th, 1766. 

Dear Peter : 

I wrote to thee last week by the brig Elizabeth, Captain Golley ; 
the day after which I received thy kind letter, the last date of 
which was June the 6th. Am glad to hear thy acceptance of my 
bill for <150. 5s. 8d., and that from Augustine ; and shall be 
pleased with the acceptance of another from Augustine and Charles- 
ton, and to know how our accounts stand. But I am afraid all 
will be thrown away upon him [William]. He is so whimsical, 
and so unhappy, as not to take any of his friends' advice. Mr. 

De Br wanted him to go with him to draw draughts for him, 

in his survey of Florida ; but Billy would not, though by that 
journey he would have had the finest opportunity of seeing the 
country and its productions. 

I have forgot what part of my journal I sent thee from Augus- 
tine, except the Thermometrical observations. I allow that these 
flowering trees thee mentions, in Carolina, are very fine, most of 
which grow in Georgia and Florida ; but then there grow, in both 
these last places, many more curious evergreen trees and shrubs, 
which, if not so beautiful in flowers, come fully up with those, and 
perhaps surpass them in beauty of fruit, and sweet scent, as may 
be observed by my specimens gathered on the banks of St. John's 

I am obliged to thee for sending the specimens to the King, and 
also thy advice about the Queen. I sent, last spring, the seeds I 
collected in East Florida. 

Augustine, now, is in a very ruinous condition to what it was 
when the Spaniards lived there. The soldiers have pulled down 
above half the town, for the sake of the timber, to burn. Most of 

284 JOHN BARTRAM [1766. 

the best houses stand yet, several of which are much altered by the 
English, who drive the chimney through the tops of the house 
roofs, and the sun begins to shine through glass, where before its 
light was admitted between the bannisters ; and where the well- 
cultivated gardens were, it is now grown over with weeds, and is 
the common pasture for cattle. Many of the Orange trees and 
Figs, near or quite a foot in diameter, cut down or grubbed up for 
firewood ; for the English don't make such use of the sour Oranges 
as the Spaniards. Lemons, Limes, and Guavas, are chiefly taken 
care of; but the two latter are most of them killed (especially the 
branches) last winter. So were the Bananas. As for the Figs, 
and Pomegranates, the English are not very fond of them. 

I saw two of the Opuntias, as thick as my middle, and six feet 
high, much branched. They seemed to be nearly the same kind 
with ours ; but I am apt to think the fruit the Spaniards ate so 
much of, was the species of Huica [ Yucca ?], with terrible sharp 
spines at the ends of their leaves, which some call Adam's 
Needles, others, Palmetto Royal, and some Bananas, from their 
fruit, which is sweet, with a little bitterness, and is the chief 
fencing about Augustine, both against man and beast, and is fre- 
quently planted on their sandy ditch-banks.* 

As for the Spanish improvements, I suppose formerly they had 
made some, both considerable and extensive, there being the vestiges 
of large roads to several distant parts of St. John's River, and 
many miles beyond it.f But since the Creek Indians, by the help 
of the English, turned their arms against the Spaniards, they have 
been cooped up within their own fortifications, and could not till 
any ground out of the reach of their cannon balls, neither could 
they keep any cattle out of sight, or cut a stick without a guard. 
The Indians in both these provinces profess a strict friendship, and 
perhaps will keep to it, if the English don't give them just occa- 
sion to break out. There are but very few Spaniards at Augus- 
tine, I think but one of any account. There were four churches 

* There is some uncertainty as to the precise plant here intended, but the 
reference seems to be to the Yucca gloriosa, L. Mr. Elliot describes the fruit as 
a " capsule, oblong, glabrous, pulpy," yet I was not aware that any of the species 
yielded an esculent pericarp. 

f For an interesting sketch and comparative view of the condition and appear- 
ance of this region, half a century subsequent to the date of this letter, see the cor- 
respondence of Dr. William Baldwin, who visited St. Augustine in the spring 
of 1817. 

1766.1 T0 PETER COLLINSON. 285 

belonging to the town, two in it, and the others very near. One 
was the Dutch church, with a steeple, and stone cupola. They are 
built of hewn stone. The more particular description of them, see 
in my Journal. * * * * 

December the 5th, 1766. 

Dear friend Peter : 

I have packed up, and shipped, and consigned these following 
boxes to thy care. * * * P. C. No. 11, on the top 

are plants in earth, for the King. * * P. C. No. 

17, plants in earth, a present to thee. If it is disagreeable to thee 
to have so many boxes consigned to thee, of other people's, pray 
let me know, and I shall forbear. * * I have 

packed up a great variety of curious seeds, for thee and Gordon ; 
and a little parcel of very curious fresh Florida seeds, for our 
friend Ellis, in remembrance of his kind recommendation to the 
Governor of Florida. They were sent to me by Mrs. Lamboll, 
with whom I left a share, which she sowed immediately, and some 
of them produced good seed, of which I send thee a share ; as also 
a few to our gracious King, which pray send to him, with the box 
No. 11, of plants. 

I am surprised that Young is come back so soon. He cuts the 
greatest figure in town, struts along the streets, whistling, Avith his 
sword and gold lace, &c. He hath been three times to visit me 
pretends a great respect for me. He is just going to winter in 
the Carolinas ; saith there is three hundred pounds sterling annually 
settled upon him. 

But Captain Chancelor tells odd stories of him : that he was 
put in prison, from whence he was taken by two officers, and put 
on board ship ; but his friends utterly deny it. It's pity but the 
truth Avas known, and the lying party snubbed. 

* * * December 10th, 1766. This day I met Cap- 

tain Falconer in the street. He spoke very civilly to me, and 
told me he had been Avith thee, and seemed to be wonderfully 
pleased with thy agreeable company and entertainment. He told 
me he intended to sail for London early next spring. This, I hope, 
will be a fine opportunity of sending thee my true and general 
Journal, and the plants I found up St. John's River. 



London, February 10th, 1767. 

On the 4th February, I received my friend John's letters of 
December 6th and 10th, which came very seasonable to relieve all 
our fears : for the seeds, the people were impatient, and, indeed, I 
was very uneasy for thy welfare, under such terrible disorders. It 
gives me comfort to find thou art perfectly restored ; as I know 
the value of health, and partake of it in a degree beyond most 
men ; therefore, I feel the more for my friends who are deprived 
of that blessing of blessings. 

I am glad thou hast sent some plants and seeds to our gracious 
King, as thy annuity is regularly paid. I dare say any of thy 
Journals would be very acceptable to him ; could they be copied 
fair ? Send him every year one ; for he must not be cloyed by 
too much at once. Begin with the first after thou received the 
salary. This would keep thee in his memory. 

I presume, Doctor Hope, Professor of Botany, hath wrote to 
thee of the boxes being detained at Chester, and had them not 
until this winter, by which he thinks the seeds are spoiled. * * 

I am glad the Colocasia is put in water. Now there is hope of 
success in my ponds. I long for a good painting of the flower ; 
but am much concerned for William's unsteady conduct. Nothing 
but marrying will settle him. With a prudent, discreet woman, 
he may return to Florida, and amend his conduct. * * 

I had rather all the plants had been left than the Agave, which 
I have longed to see all my life ; writ to Clayton and others, but 
never could get it ; did not think it grew so far to the northward, 
as with you. Pray, send a good specimen of it in full flower. 
Pray, what is the seed-vessel ? * 

It is late, so, my dear John, adieu. 


I believe there is too much truth in what the Captain says about 
Young. He may live to repent his folly and extravagance. Such 
an opportunity lost is never to be regained, unless he has better 
fortune than he deserves. As a friend, I advised him often to 
economy and industry, and not sacrifice everything to his pleasures; 

1767.1 T0 J0HN bartram. 287 

for I foresaw, by his way of going on, how it must end ; for I 
knew his salary could by no means support his expensive way of 

Mill Hill, April 10, 1767. 

I wrote my old friend largely of February 10th, so have not a 
great deal to add ; but, lest that should miscarry, this will inform 
thee all the boxes came safe and in good order. That for Doctor 
Hope, I forwarded to Edinburgh. * * 

Think, my dear John, by length of time your country produc- 
tions are most, if not all naturalized in our gardens ; but some few 
delicate things will be always acceptable, as thyme-leaved Kalmia. 

I have a sweet plant thy son John sent me last year, which 
thrives finely and flowered as beautiful, and is now set thick with 
flower-buds. * * * 

The plants and seeds for the King were carefully delivered, and 
no doubt but were acceptable. The honour of giving is sufficient ; 
but there is no notice taken of the freight and other charges ; so I 
believe must be carried to thy account ; but then, consider, thy 
salary is regularly paid. * * Our friend Ellis thanks thee for 
his present of seeds. 

Johnny sent me what thou calls a Deciduous Bay, which thrives 
well ; but pray, tell me how it comes by that name. 

The Sarracenia promises well. I was pleased to see it come, 
for the rogues stole our fine old plants. * 

Doctor Fothergill tells me he has ordered some roots of Colo- 
casia to be dragged up for him, and sent over in a cask of water 
[See his letters to Humphry Marshall]; so I hope, by one way or 
another, we shall see this beautiful plant. But I have had no 
description of the flower from any one that has seen it. I want 
much a particular description, but much more a drawing from 
Billy's inimitable pencil. But if he is with you, I am afraid he 
is under such dejection from his late disappointments, that he has 
not spirits to undertake such a business. 

I have often thought what a pity it is that his ingenuity could 
not be of service to him. I have, for years past, been looking out 
for him, but no opening has offered. The difficulties to introduce 
an entire stranger, are insurmountable ; for whilst he is attempting 
to make himself known, he may be starving, which has been the 


case of some ingenious people in his way (that I have known) that 
have been foreigners. If my advice may have any weight with him, 
it is, to get him a good, notable wife, a farmer's daughter, and 
return to Ins estate, and set his shoulders heartily to work to im- 
prove it. A moderate industry goes a great way, too, (in so fine 
a climate,) to supply the belly, as little is wanting for the back. 

The Spigelia I have in great prosperity ; but I lament the loss 
of the Agave. For more than thirty years past, I have wished for 
it. If all the plants had been left, and that sent, I should not 
have regretted so much. I see the heart must not be set on any- 
thing. I dare say it never was in England. A drawing of it in 
flower would be cpuite new. I suppose it is so succulent there is 
no curing a specimen. * * * 

* * * Puccoon [Sanguinaria] and Claytonia, in flower, 
April 5th. 

Don't it make thee smile ? I set out to say little, and now I 
scrawl on ; for I know thou loves long stories. It's past ten 
o'clock : so good night. 


Pray, send specimen of Bee's flower. 


Mill Hill, July 28, 1767. 

I am extremely obliged to my very ingenious friend, William 
Bartram, for so many instances of his respect and regard for his 

* William Bartram, the fourth son of John Bartram, and twin brother of 
Elizabeth Bartram, was born on the 9th of February, in the year 1739, at 
the Botanic Garden, Kingsessing, near Philadelphia. He was educated at the 
old College, in Philadelphia, under the care of Charles Thomson, afterwards the 
well-known Secretary of the Revolutionary Congress. Early in life he mani- 
fested a considerable talent for drawing, especially in delineating objects of 
Natural History, and this predilection occasioned some delay and difficulty in 
deciding upon a profession. At one time he inclined to be a printer ; next, an 
engraver ; but he was finally, at the age of eighteen years, placed with a respecta- 
ble merchant of Philadelphia, where he continued about four years ; after which 
he went to North Carolina, with a view of doing business there as a merchant ; 
but being ardently attached to the study of Botany he soon relinquished his 
mercantile pursuits (in which he was rather unsuccessful), and accompanied his 
father in a journey into East Florida, to explore the natural productions of that 


good father's old friend. I am glad to see amongst so many disap- 
pointments, which give me concern, the spirit of ingenuity is not 

country ; after which, he settled on the River St. Johns, in that region, and com- 
menced the cultivation of indigo, but soon abandoned this business in consequence 
of bad health, and returned about the year 1767 to his father's residence. In 
1772, at the request of Doctor Fothergill, of London, he embarked for Chaides- 
ton, South Carolina, in order to examine the natural productions of the Floridas, 
and the western parts of Carolina and Georgia, chiefly in the vegetable kingdom. 
In this employment he was engaged nearly five years, and made numerous con- 
tributions to the Natural History of the country through which he travelled. 
His collections and drawings were forwarded to Doctor Fotheegill, who defrayed 
the expenses of the expedition ; and in the year 1791, he published an account of 
his travels and discoveries, in one volume, small 8vo, with an account of the 
manners and customs of the Creeks, Seminoles, and other tribes of Indians. 
This work, though shockingly disfigured by typographical errors, soon acquired 
extensive popularity, and is still frequently consulted. 

After his return from his travels, William Bartram devoted himself to Science ; 
and in 1782, was elected Professor of Botany in the University of Pennsylvania, 
which post he declined, in consequence of the state of his health. In 1786, he 
was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society ; and he was also 
a member of several other learned Societies in Europe and America. We are in- 
debted to him for the knowledge of many curious and beautiful plants peculiar to 
North America, and for the most complete and correct list of American Birds, 
prior to the work of Wilson, who was greatly assisted (and, in fact, was in- 
duced to undertake that splendid production, the American Ornithology), by the 
co-operation and encouragement afforded by William Barteam. 

The Botanic Garden, established by his father, was inherited by his brother 
John, and has descended to John's only surviving child, Anne, the wife of Colonel 
Robert Carr ; but William Bartram was taken into partnership by his brother 
John for many years, and subsequently volunteered his assistance until the death 
of John, in 1812. After that, he resided at the garden, in the family of Colonel 
Care. Although so often exhorted to matrimony by his venerable and judicious 
friend, Petee Collinson, William Baeteam was never married. He was a very 
ingenious mechanic, and fond of using tools ; but his greatest delight was in 
drawing and painting. In this employment, he laboured much for others. The 
late Professor Baeton in the preface to his Elements of Botany (published in 
1803), speaks of services rendered as follows : " The greater number of the 
plates by which the work is illustrated, have been engraven from the original 
drawings of Mr. William Bartram, of Kingsessing, in the vicinity of Phila- 
delphia. While I thus publicly return my thanks to this ingenious naturalist, for 
his kind liberality in enriching my work, I sincerely rejoice to have an opportu- 
nity of declaring, how much of my happiness in the study of Natural History has 
been owing to my acquaintance with him ; how often I have availed myself of his 
knowledge in the investigation of the natural productions of our native country ; 
how sincerely I have loved him for the happiest union of moral integrity with 
original genius, and unaspiring science, for which he is eminently distinguished. 
' Sero in ccelum redeat.' " 

In his latter years, William Bartram found a pleasing intellectual resource in 
the contemplation of the vegetable beauties around him, and was particularly 



quite sunk and lost. It would give me and thyself pleasure, if it was 
productive of real advantage, and brought grist to the mill. Time, 
industry, and application, bring things to pass that were not ex- 
pected. I can truly say, I have never had thee long from my 
mind, and watched for any opening that might prove advan- 
tageous ; but fortune has not thrown any in my way ; and to come 
over on speculation and uncertainty will never do. 

I have shown thy performances to many, who deservedly admire 
and commend them, in hopes to find encouragement, but none as 
yet has offered. Yet, as we all have our diversions and amuse- 
ments, perhaps there is not any one, in which the artist exhibits 
superior talents, than in drawing and painting, which must highly 
gratify an ingenious mind. 

When art is arrived to such perfection to copy close after 
nature, who can describe the pleasure, but them that feel it, to see 
the moving pencil display a sort of paper creation, which may en- 
dure for ages, and transfer a name with applause to posterity ! I 
have now before me those elegant masterly drawings, inclosed in 
thy good father's Journal. It's with concern and regret, that I 
see so much skill lavished away on such vile paper, that deserves 
the finest vellum. But I suppose necessity had no law, no other 
was to be had. Poorly set off as they are, they have been much 
admired by the best judges. I am preparing to secure them, by 
fixing them on the best paper, that so many delicate touches, and 
the many-laboured strokes, may not be exposed to accidents. 

The numbers and figures on the drawings, I apprehend, refer to 
some description, but I can find none, which is mortifying ; for 
though the representation is to the life, yet some particular in- 
formation will make the Natural History complete. Pray send it 
by the very first opportunity. I was in hopes the numbers and 
figures referred to, were to be found in thy father's Journal, but 
they do not correspond. * 

The Aromatic Evergreen is a new and very curious shrub. I 
hope I shall find some account of it in the quire of specimens. 

gratified by the visits of botanical friends. He wrote an article on the natural 
history of a plant, a few minutes before his death, which happened suddenly, by 
the rupture of a blood-vessel in the lungs, July 22, 1823, in the 85th year of his 
age. See Encyclopcedia Americana. 

1767.] T0 JOHxV BAR TRAM. 291 

But its seed-vessel is very like what we have from the East Indies, 
by the name of the Annum stellatum. 

Thy sincere friend, 



Mill Hill, July 31st, 1767. 

My dear John hath at last gratified my longing wishes with 
the sight and perusal of his laborious, entertaining Journal, full of 
fine discoveries, useful reflections, and pertinent observations. 

I can take a squib from John Bartram, without the least 
resentment. Friends may be allowed to rally one another, when 
it is not done in anger, or sharp resentment, which I never in- 
tended, however my words may be taken. 

If I can be thought too quick, my dear John, thou wast too slow, 
and so we will let the matter go. 

The King's specimens came safe, and are delivered ; and that's 
all I ever know about them. I am much obliged for those directed 
to me ; there are many new, curious plants among them. If I have 
time, I will give thee Dr. Solander's observations on them, who 
is a very acute botanist, little inferior to Linnjeus ; and not only 
in Botany, but in all branches of Natural History. Think how 
happy I am, at this present writing, to have the two Doctors, 
Franklin and Solander, my guests for a few days, to enjoy the 
delights of Mill Hill. * * * * 

The Agave I have long known, but never imagined it was to 
be found so far northeast as with you, was the reason I never 
mentioned it ; and what I wonder, thou hast never sent me a 
specimen of so singular and so rare a plant, in all thy collections. 

The Spigelia is a pretty plant, and a curious flower. I have 
three roots, by the generosity of our common friend Lamboll. It 
is just now going to flower. I had it many years agone, but, in 
dividing the root, lost it ; as I once did the evergreen Veratrum, 
and Skunk Weed ; so I shall never try the experiment again. 

*r^ *S 3p 5jc ;*; 

I dare say the Gruilandina will be the Bonduc, that I and others 
have in our gardens. I conclude some Indian traders brought the 
nuts to Quebec, from thence to France, and so the French believe 


it grows in Canada, but they never could tell where. I always 
believed it a southern tree, yet it endures all our winters. How 
could my dear John forget to send me some nuts, one at least ? It 
would have helpt to guess what it is. My tree shoots strongly. I 
think its pinnated leaves are something akin to the Angelica tree. 

The Wild Lime \Nyssa candicans, Mx.] is a singular plant. 
Dr. Solaxder wishes for its fructifications. At that season the 
flowers could not be expected ; but probably the fruit lay under 
the trees, and yet none sent is a disappointment ; because the 
like opportunity may not offer again. Some of these nuts should 
have been carefully sent to the King, for the Kew Garden, where 
are all conveniences for raising and protection. 

It is well known the New England people brought over Bees, 
and they may have spread to the Blue Mountains ; but they never 
could have reached to the wilds of Florida ; and it is well known 
the Spaniards have no curiosity, and but little industry. I take 
the Florida Bees to be Aborigines. * * * 

* * I was a long time in hopes of the Fdba Fgyptiaca, but now 
I doubt. The nuts have been kept constantly in water, and are 
yet very fresh, but they do not germinate. I was in hopes the 
colour was like the Chinese, of a fine red shade. If Billy comes, 
I wish a drawing could be made, as there is no drying the flower 
so as to give any good idea of it, being so rare a plant. Suppose 
a drawing of the Fdba was made, and sent to the King, of the 
leaf, flower, and seed-vessel, in a picturesque figure as growing in 
the water ; but it must be on a contracted scale, for no sized paper 
will take in the leaves, &c. 

I have Billy's seven charming drawings before me, have been 
just now pasting them on paper to secure them. * * 

^ if. ^ -if. # if. if. 

I have read thy Journal once over, and am beginning again, 
to make my remarks as I go along, and shall communicate as 
opportunity offers. 

So, my dear John, wishing thee health, which I am much con- 
cerned to hear is so precarious. Cupping used to relieve much my 
brother, for dizziness in his head. Doctor Fothergill is gone 
out of town for two months. However, I shall write to him for 
advice. Am, in the interim, thy sincere friend, in perfect health, 

P. Collinson. 

1767.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 293 

I don't remember thy finding the Red Acacia. It has been so 
loaded with flowers, I am obliged to prop up the branches. It is 
the glory of our gardens, and flowers twice a year. I think it one 
of the finest trees of America. * 

I have sent thy case to Doctor Fothergill, who resides in 
Cheshire for two months, to get rid of too much practice. If it 
comes time enough, will send it by this ship. I wish it may, for 
thou art in a bad way. 

Mill Hill, September 19th, 1767. 

I cannot let this ship sail without inquiring after my dear John 
and family's welfare, and acquainting him with mine. I am, 
thank God, in perfect health, no complaints of any sort attending 
me ; I Avish my old friend could say the like. 

I hope thou hast mine, with Doctor Fothergill's advice, by, I 
think, Captain Falconer, with a box of Tulips and Hyacinths, a 
present from James Gordon, Jr., an ingenious young man who 
deserves thy encouragement, for he has a garden of his own. 

This day thy countryman, Doctor Kuhx, and Doctor Solander, 
dined with me here. He will tell thee of the prosperity of my 
garden, and how all thy kind presents flourish, being now arrived 
to some magnitude and perfection. Unless something new and 
rare, don't trouble thyself in my behalf. 

* * * * 

Thou canst scarcely think, my dear John, what I have been for 
some time employed about : then I will tell thee. After perusing 
thy entertaining Journal, two or three times, I found so many 
curious articles blended together, in the length of seventy-nine 
pages, that it was impossible to find them out, after a tedious 
search. If there had been a large margin left on the sheets, then 
note of the principal matters would have led to the principal sub- 
jects on that page. But as there was no room left for this, I then 
determined to compose three indexes. In the first I selected all 
thy botanic discoveries ; in the first column the page of thy Jour- 
nal, next the particular place, then enumerating the plants there 
found. This is contained in two sheets of paper, which I can pre- 
sently run over, and see the produce of each place in each province. 
The second contained all thy remarks and observations, abridged, 
on the petrified rocks and bluffs. This comprehends a sheet, and 


from this view it is wonderful to think what was the original state 
of all the lower country, throughout all our colonies, once, undoubt- 
edly covered by the sea ; but what great revolution in nature brought 
about this extensive retreat of the ocean, who can pretend to say ? 

The third index contains all the remarkable things not compre- 
hended under the other two. All have the pages annexed ; so that 
for a further explanation, I can immediately have recourse to the 
article itself. 

Now, any curious friend can be entertained, that hath not leisure 
to peruse seventy-nine pages ; yet, what I have done can only 
serve for private amusement. It is too short an abstract for pub- 
lication ; and the original wants more pains and leisure than I am 
master of, to dress it fit for the public, which gives me no little 
concern, that so many useful discoveries should lie concealed. 

What fills us with admiration is the wonderful fossil presents, of 
elephant's teeth, &c, sent over to Lord Shelburne, and our 
friend Benjamin Franklin, by George Croghan. Elephants 
were never known in America ; and yet the great fossil teeth of 
elephants, found under a high bank on the sides of the great lick, 
near the River Ohio, would force one to believe, by their vast re- 
mains, that they once existed there. Some of these great tusks, 
or teeth, were entire, near seven feet long, and of the thickness of 
common Elephant's teeth, of that length. But what increases the 
wonder and surprise is, that with these long teeth (which are fine 
ivory), is found great numbers of grinding teeth ; but the marvel 
is, they are not the grinding teeth of Elephants, as Ave have recent 
Elephant grinders to compare them with. So that this phenome- 
non must be resolved into this conclusion; that these remains 
that George Croghan says are at least of thirty animals, are 
some vast creatures, with the long teeth or tusks of Elephants, but 
with great grinders belonging to some animal not yet known. This 
affords room for endless reflection and admiration, * * 
* * * * 

We have had a continual dripping summer ; but yet some inter- 
vals to get in the harvest, which is plentiful, that I hope will soon 
, reduce the high price of bread. 

Now, dear John, farewell, 

P. Collinson. 

1767.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 295 

Mill Hill, 25th December, 1767. 

I had the pleasure of my dear John's letter of the 14th Sep- 
tember, which is full of many entertaining articles. It is with you 
as it is with us. It was a long while before some of your plants 
could be reconciled to our culture ; but since we have found that 
planting them in our bog earth, and making artificial bogs, I don't 
remember any plant of yours, now, but what takes a liking to our 
country. It may be the same with you, when you have found a 
proper soil, and management. * 

My dear John, don't be astonished at anything. We remember 
and forget, forget and remember. Some years agone I wanted the 
Agave ; being disappointed, I thought no more of it ; but looking 
over the Flora Virginiea, it revived again ; and so we go on, until 
we forget ourselves, and are soon forgot. 

We have no luck with the Colocasia, so give it over ; Billy's 
fine drawing will supply that defect. 

About the latitude 40 is generally allowed to be the finest 
climate for habitation. Home, Constantinople, and Madrid, and 
others under it, are celebrated by travellers for their temperature, 
and choice vegetable productions. To find so remarkable a diffe- 
rence with you, is very incomprehensible with me. The severities 
of your last winter exceed any I have known here about twelve 
degrees to the northward. I never knew a Privet killed by our 
cold ; pray, was it our Privet, or some native plant of yours like 
it ? Is it possible the cold could kill our friend Lamboll's vine 
to the ground, in South Carolina ? Of how penetrating a nature 
must your cold be ! for I never knew an instance here of a Vine 
killed by it. 

These surprising extremes will never tempt me to change cli- 
mates ; for every fruit seems degenerating, that comes from 
Europe, but cherries. Is it not possible these defects can be pre- 
vented by art ? For, as you increase, luxury will increase riches 
will increase ; then rewards will encourage ingenious artists to 
find ways and means to produce our fruits in perfection. This is 
now something the case in England ; Cucumbers at Christmas, 
Green Peas and Beans in February, March, and April, ripe 
Grapes in plenty in May. I have myself seen, more than once, 
some hundred bunches of the finest ripe grapes, in May ; cherries 
ripe in March or April, at a guinea or two a pound. This golden 
gain stimulates every artist to be first at market. 


It grieves me much to hear of poor Billy's adversity ; but I 
hope his virtuous mind will support him under it. Amongst thy 
numerous acquaintance, it will be very hard if he cannot be got 
into some business above the servile drudgery of a day labourer. 
But that should operate in his favour, as an instance of his in- 
dustry and humility, which I hope will be rewarded, at last, with 
something more suitable to his abilities. 

Thy account of Augustine was very pleasing ; but the walling is 
so complicate, I cannot form a tolerable idea of the place. Bray, 
at thy leisure, with Billy's assistance, just draw me the outlines 
on paper, marking each place with its name, and the rivers that 
surround it on the one side and the other. This, I hope, will not 
give much trouble, as it is only composed of lines. If the situa- 
tions of the Forts, Churches, Governor's House, and other public 
buildings, are added, and numbered with the figures, they will 
make it more complete. * * * 


Mill Hill, February 16, 1768. 

I and my son opened my ingenious friend William's inimitable 
picture of the Colocasia \_Nelumbium~\. So great was the decep- 
tion, it being candle-light, that we disputed for some time whether 
it was an engraving, or a drawing. It is really a noble piece of 
pencil-work ; and the skill of the artist is shown in following 
nature in her progressive operations. I will not say more in its 
commendation, because I shall say too little where so much 
is due. 

I wish the King had any taste in flowers or plants ; but as he 
has none, there are no hopes of encouragement from him, for his 
talent is architecture. But I shall show it, with thy other curious 
performances, to Lord Bute, who is the only great man that en- 
courages ingenious men in painting botanic rarities. 

The Wild Lime \Nyssa candicans, Mx.] would make an elegant 
green-house plant, from its being an Evergreen [?]. It's a little 
odd, no tolerably good specimen is sent of it. I wish some nuts 
could be procured. There is no doubt of raising it. 

1768.] T0 WILLIAM BAR TRAM. 297 

The crimson Hibiscus is a charming flower. I could have no 
perfect idea of it, but from thy elegant painting. Pray desire 
father to spare no pains to get us seed from Charleston, where I 
dare say it ripens seed. * * * 

The Scarlet Sage is excessively pretty. It grieves me it is an 
annual, for it will never ripen seed in our climate. So thy paint- 
ing must supply that defect. 

The Lycium is a new species. We have two or three sorts 
that bear purple berries. If berries could be had, it would make 
a variety. 

I wish I had two or three of those olive-coloured snails, found at 
the bottom of St. John's River. Thy good father knows my love 
for these things. 

That rich aromatic Evergreen, Amisum stellatum \Illicium Flo- 
ridanum ? Ellis], is a rich production, which, as the country fills, 
we may hope to be in possession of. 

These short hints receive in earnest of my regard to many other 
curious articles in thy History of Florida, that time will not allow. 
I am sensible of the pains taken in it, and the neatness and accu- 
racy of the performance. But I must not forget to tell thee how 
much I am delighted to see thy progress in the Linngean system. 

I am sensible some expense hath attended in procuring paper, 
paints, &c, for so many rare articles sent me. Pray accept of a 
small token, of a guinea, for I can never retaliate them, than by 
assuring thee I wish it may be ever in my power to serve thee as I 


In haste. 

I have writ something in a hurry, that my ingenious friend 
should not think I paid him the respect he deserved. He has 
amply gratified my wishes to see the Coloeasia, and I desire no 

As both letter and guinea may be lost, I have desired thy father 
to pay it to thee, and I will make myself debtor to him for it. 

I desire he will be very sparing of his time for the future, in 
employing it to oblige me, as there is not the least obligation ; and 
it will make me uneasy to receive further marks of his friendship, 
as I cannot make grateful returns. My love to father. 



Mill Hill, 17th February, [1768]. 

My dear John : 

I have received thy ingenious son Billy's wonderful perform- 
ances ; but, what surpasses all, is the Colocasia. Now I am amply 
gratified, and wish for no more. 

I am sensible there has been much paper, paint, &c, expended 
on my account. I request that thou will pay to thy son William 
the value of a guinea, sterling, in your currency. I intended to 
have put it in a letter, but I recollected I had formerly lost the 
letter, for the sake of the money, and that to boot ; for the low 
officers, that have the handling and sorting the letters, can easily 
feel, and cannot resist pocketing a Aveighty letter. For that reason 
I ask the favour, and I will make myself debtor in thy account. 
What pleasure it must give thee to have such ingenious sons. 
William, and Moses in his way, has obliged me with his curious 
observations; and Johnny in his way for plants and insects ; are 
all very grateful to me, their father's old friend. * * My love 
to them all. 

I saw the box of plants opened for the King. They are in good 
order, and a fine collection as is mine ; but there is some formality 
to deliver a King's box, which will go to Kew garden, where all 
vegetables are treated with the utmost care, and all that art can 
do, to bring them to perfection in our climate. * 

It's late, so adieu. 


Mill Hill, May 17th, 1768. 

I had the pleasure of my dear John's two letters of December 
20th and January 24th. These I received April loth. 

My Colocasia nuts don't appear. I despair of them. They are 
in a pot, in a pond, always covered with water. If any fresh nuts 
offer again, put them instantly in a bottle of water, and so send 
them over. Though Billy's lively drawing gives a clear idea of 
it, yet, to be sure, the real thing is to be preferred to the most 
perfect work of art. * * * 

1768.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 299 

I had some doubts, so carefully examined the Ohio Ele- 
phant's long teeth, with a great irumber (at a warehouse) from 
Asia and from Africa, and found them agree in every circum- 
stance ; and they agree with what is called the Mizmmot's Teeth, 
from Siberia, of which I have many fine specimens, sent me from 

It is all a wonder how they came to America ; and yet a greater 
is, that no Elephant's grinding-teeth are found with them, but very 
larged forked, or pronged teeth, that have no relation to elephants. 
I have one, weighs near four pounds, with as fine an enamel on it 
as if a recent tooth just taken out of the head of the animal. This 
puzzles beyond measure ; from whence no other conclusion can be 
drawn, but that they may belong to a new species of Elephant, that 
has long teeth, with these pronged or forked grinders ; or else they 
belong to some vast animal that have these forked grinders, diffe- 
rent from any other animal yet known. But how they came mixt 
with the Elephant's, is incomprehensible. 

As to the Fossil Horns, digged up in Ireland, that long contested 
point is now settled ; for last year, my friend, the Duke of Rich- 
mond, had a large pair of your country Moose-deer horns sent him 
from Quebec. At the first sight they have not any affinity with 
the Irish Fossil Horns, but come very near to the European Elk. 

So here are two animals, the creature to which the Irish horns 
belong, and the creature to which the great forked or pronged 
teeth belong. Whether they exist, God Almighty knows, for no 
man knows : whether antediluvians, or if in being since the flood. 
But it is contrary to the common course of Providence to suffer 
any of his creatures to be annihilated. * 

It is wonderful the snakes should forget their mutual animosity, 
for the means of keeping one another warm. 

Thy suggestions on the decrease of your animals are very likely 
to be the cause that so few are now found. 

I have the pleasure to tell thee, that the Agave prospers wonder- 
fully. I shall have Solander here to-morrow, will show it him 
as a great rarity, being, I believe, the first that has been seen 
here. But I am not so great a favourite with the ladies as my 
friend John, for Mrs. Bee, notwithstanding all my care and 
indulgence, remains quite inactive, yet I live in hopes. * * * 

If the Pennsylvania first settlers naturalized Bees, in your 
province, then I have no doubt of their extending themselves in so 


fine a climate ; but I thought it too far to come from New England. 
As the Indians have no name for a Bee, that is a plain proof they 

were foreigners. 

*i *!* *K 5^ 

Thy annuity is regularly paid. I am, my dear friend, thine 
whilst I am 

P. Collinson. 

Mill Hill, July 6, 1768. 

This day I was delighted with the sight of my dear John's 
letter of the 15th of May. 

The two prospects of St. Augustine give me and my son great 
satisfaction ; for now thy accurate descriptions are perfectly in- 
telligible. It is conveniently situate for trade, and a safe harbour, 
if the bar could admit vessels of greater burden. The island 
must have a pretty effect from the town. I am much obliged for 
Billy's assistance in drawing the plan. 

The Duchess of Portland dined here, this day. She is a great 
virtuoso, in shells and all marine productions. I took the oppor- 
tunity to show her Billy's drawings. She admired them as they 
deserve. She desires to bestow twenty guineas on his per- 
formances, for a trial. She would wish to have the Faba Egypti- 
aca drawn of the size of that he sent ; and drawings of all Land, 
River, and your Sea Shells, from the very least to the greatest. 

* * * I have further views for Billy if I can bring them to 

Thou hast told me a very pleasing story of your Mocking-Bird ; 
which I have often seen and heard sing, and some of my lady 
friends have kept them seven, eight, and ten years ; but require 
to be delicately and nicely fed every day, with fresh provisions. 
Yet his song, they thought, amply rewarded them for their pains 
and care about them. * * * 

From thy real friend, 

P. Collinson. 


Mill Hill, July 18, 1768. 
This morning, Doctor Fothergill came and breakfasted here. 
As I am always thoughtful how to make Billy's ingenuity turn 


1768.] T0 WILLIAM BART RAM. 301 

to some advantage, I bethought of showing the Doctor his last 
elegant performances. He deservedly admired them, and thinks 
so fine a pencil is worthy of encouragement ; and Billy may 
value himself on having such a patron, who is eminent for his 
generosity, and his noble spirit to promote every branch in Natural 
History. He desires Billy would employ some of his time in 
drawing all the Land, River, and Sea Shells, from the very small- 
est to the largest ; when very small, eight or six in a half sheet, 
as they grow larger, six or four, then two or one, without any 
shade, which oftentimes confounds the shape of the shell. Note 
the place where found, and add if anything peculiar to them 

He is not in haste, and desires nothing may be done in a hurry. 
When two or three shells are done, send them when there is con- 
venient opportunity. 

I further proposed to him, as you have such a variety of Water 
and Land Terrapins, or Turtles, that Billy would take a fit op- 
portunity to draw them all, good, full-grown subjects, as may for 
size, be contained in a half sheet of paper ; and if there is any dif- 
ference between male and female, to give both ; and also be sure 
to give the under and upper shells, and all from live subjects ; 
and give their Natural History, as far as can be collected. I 
doubt not but thy father, &c. will assist thee. As these animals, 
of a proper size and growth, are to be met with casually, so it will 
be a work of time. So send now and then one or two, as it hap- 
pens. And in time, lay out to procure good subjects of those 
three new species, found in West Florida, the Soft Shell, Shovel 
Nose, &c, and that other species of Soft Shell, found in the River 

Set all thy wits and ingenuity to work, to gratify so deserving a 

A few weeks agone, I gave my friend Billy orders to send a 
drawing of the Faba Egyptiaca, like that sent me ; and as many 
Land, River, and Sea Shells, as he can aiford for twenty guineas, 
for the Duchess of Portland. Don't crowd the shells ; a few in a 
sheet shows better ; and be sure no shade. This she does by way 
of specimen. If she likes thy performance, she will give orders to 
keep drawing on, until all the shells are drawn. Send all to me, 
rolled on a roller, and put in a little box, for fear of getting wet. 

I am thy sincere friend, 

P. Collinson. 

302 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1741. 

I doubt not but thy brother Moses, as he walks the fields, and 
woods, and river sides, will assist ; and brother Johnny also, will 
look for Land Shells, Snails, &c. when he goes abroad to collect 
seeds. My respects to thy good father. I wrote him a long letter 
July 7th, in answer to his of 15th May. 

[The preceding is probably the last letter from P. Collinson to 
the Bartrams, as his death took place on the 11th of August, just 
twenty-four days after the date of this to William.] 


July the 22d, 1741. 

Desired friend, 

Sir Hans Sloane : my good, faithful friend Peter Collinson, 
in his last letter to me, that I received, acquainted me that thee 
desired I would send thee some petrified representations of Sea 
Shells. Accordingly, I have sent thee a few, which I gathered 
toward the northward, the latter end of last May, which was 
before I received the before-mentioned letter. I hope these may 
find acceptance ; so as to introduce a further correspondence. 
However, I design to send thee another collection by Captain 
Wright (who talks of sailing by the latter end of August) ; when 
I hope to give thee a fuller demonstration that I am thy vigilant 
and industrious friend. 



I am very much obliged to you for several Natural Curiosities, 

* Sir Hans Sloane, an eminent physician and naturalist, "was born in 1660, 
at Killileagh, in Ireland ; took his degree at Montpellier ; settled in London, in 
1684 ; and became a fellow of the College, and a member of the Royal Society. 
In 1687, he went to Jamaica, as physician to the Duke of Albemarle ; and during 
the fifteen months that he remained there, he made a valuable collection of ob- 
jects of Natural History. After his return to London, he acquired great reputa- 
tion, and an ample fortune. He was Secretary, and, on the decease of Newton, 
President of the Royal Society ; President of the College of Physicians ; Physi- 
cian-General to the Army ; Physician to George II. ; and was created a baronet. 
He died in 1752, aged ninety-two years. Sir Hans bequeathed the whole of his 
immense collection of Natural Curiosities, Medals, and books, to the public, on 
payment of a comparatively trifling sum ; and it constitutes the basis of the Bri- 
tish Museum. His chief work is a Natural History of Jamaica, in two ponderous 
folio volumes. Blake's Biographical Dictionary. 

1742.1 SIR HANS SLOAN E. 303 

Shells and Petrifactions, which my very good friend, Mr. Peter 
Collinson, hath delivered to me with great care ; and for which 
I reckon myself very much obliged to you ; especially on account 
of the remarks that you had sent along with them, in your letter 
to me. 

The triangular arrow-head is of white chrystal, or spar ; the 
like of which, in green jasper, I have had from Tierra del Fuego, 
on the south side of the Straits of Magellan, used by the inhabi- 
tants of that country. The Indian instrument you sent, was the 
head of a hatchet, made of a sort of jasper. This, fitted to a 
handle, was made use of by the Indians of Jamaica, and several 
parts of the West Indies, for making their canoes, before they 
were taught the use of iron and steel. I have one of them fitted 
up for use by them. It's believed they could not make canoes, 
and large periaguas, with these hatchets, before they had first with 
fire made the part of the log, to be hollowed, into coal, to be fria- 
ble, and brought out by the hatchets. 

I have, with the approbation of Mr. Collinson, sent you my 
Natural History of Jamaica, together with the catalogue of the 
plants I found there, referred to in that History ; whereby, you 
may find what has been said by any authors I have seen, that 
write of them. I should be glad to have some seeds, or samples of 
your plants, for my collections of dried herbs, fruits, &c. 

I should be extremely pleased to know wherein I can be useful 
to you, and retaliate the obligations you have laid upon 

Your most humble servant, 

Hans Sloane. 

January 16, 1741-2. 


November the 14th, 1742. 

Respected Friend, 

Sir Hans Sloane: I have received thy kind letter, and curious 
books of thy history of Jamaica, which are very acceptable to me 
(as are all such fine instructions, for I exceedingly delight in read- 
ing books of Natural History or Botany). This noble present 
engageth not only my grateful acknowledgment, but also my 
endeavours to oblige thee with any curiosity my small capacity and 
circumstance will conveniently afford ; and in compliance with thy 

304 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1743. 

modest request, I have first, sent a quire of paper filled with dry 
specimens of plants, numbered, so that if thee wants any more of 
any sort there, or any more particular remarks on any of them, 
please to mention it to each number. Secondly, I have sent thee 
a box of insects, numbered, and a paper with my remarks to each 
number. Thirdly, I have sent thee a collection of curious stones, 
figured with Sea Shells, and some other curiosities, which, if they 
should many of them prove new and acceptable, I shall be well 
pleased. But when I read in thy second volume of thy extraordi- 
nary collection of curiosities, I thought it would be difficult to send 
thee any thing of that nature that would be new. 

I have procured an Indian Tobacco Pipe of stone, entire. It was 
dug by chance out of an old Indian grave ; the figure and dimen- 
sions as in the margin. This I esteem as a great curiosity, and if 
I knew that thee had none of this kind, I should endeavour to give 
thee an opportunity of calling it thy own. 

September the 23d, 1743. 

Respected Friend, 

Sir Hans Sloane : I received thy kind letter of April the 4th, 
1743. I am glad what I sent last fall was acceptable. I have 
filled the two quires of specimens of plants, in their perfect bloom, 
and am collecting a fine variety of Mosses to send with them, which 
I design to send with our dear friend Peter's specimens. 

I have been a long journey this summer unexpected, till a few 
days before I set out ; but having such an Opportunity as very 
likely never to have such another, I embraced it, so could not 
gather insects as I designed. 

I am much obliged to thee for thy kindness in desiring me 
to send thee a catalogue of my botanical books. Indeed it is 
soon done, I have so few of them on Natural History, which I 
love dearly to read. 

The first authors I read, were Salmon, Culpeper, and Tur- 
ner. These James Logan gave me. * * * Doctor Dil- 
lenius sent me Miller's Dictionary, and his own book of 
Mosses. Lord Petre sent me Miller's Second Part, and the 
second book of Turner's complete Herbal ; and thee kindly 
obliged me with thy History of Jamaica. Our friend Peter 
sent me them fine books of Nature Delineated. Catesby sent 




me his books of Birds, and some books of Physic and Surgery, 
which was my chief study in my youthful years. I have heard 
of Petiver's fine collections of Plants and Animals, which thee 
published; nay, I am well acquainted with his nephew, Captain 
G-lext worth, who lived with his Uncle Petiver. He tells me 
he used to change, spread, and dry his uncle's specimens, and 
carried many curiosities between thee and his uncle. 

November the 16th, 1743. 

Friend Sir Hans Sloane : 

I have received thy kind present of a silver cup, and am well 
pleased that thy name is engraved upon it at large, so that 
when my friends drink out of it, they may see who was my 

I received thy kind letter, and have endeavoured to answer 
thy desires. I have sent thee two quires of specimens, gathered 
in their full bloom as many as I could, but several that I 
found amongst the Indians, could not be found with their proper 

* The cup, of which the above is a correct representation, is now the property 
of Isaac Barteam, grandson of the Botanist by his first marriage. 


306 JOHN BARTRAM [174:5. 

characteristics. So pray accept them as I found them, rather 
than none of that species. I have collected several kinds of 
seeds belonging to the specimens, numbered as the specimens 
are to which they belong. I have also wrapped up, in separate 
papers, several of our North American Mosses, and packed them 
up with the seeds. If thee wants more another year, of Mosses, 
Seeds, or Specimens, pray let me know particularly by a letter, 
and I hope to endeavour to procure them for thee. 

I have put in the box of specimens one of our yellow Wasp's 
nests, that was built in my ditch bank. We have another sort 
like these, that build a hanging nest on the twigs of bushes, or 
trees, like our Hornets. 

I have wrapped up in paper some of our Humblebee breed- 
ing cells, or combs, and have procured a large Hornet's nest, to 
send. Dear Sir Haxs, if these few curiosities are acceptable to 
thee, it will not only encourage me to strive to oblige thee 
more, but will exceedingly please thy sincere and obliged friend. 

December the 8th, 1745. 

Friexd Haxs Sloaxe : 

By our last ship to London, I sent thee a Hornet's nest, 
and a bag of our Mosses, with some other odd things. I wish 
they may come safe to thy hands ; but if they should miscarry, 
I have sent another this time, which I shall order Peter to let 
thee have, if the other failed, if not, to keep it himself. He 
wrote to me, last spring, to send a quire or two of specimens, 
but it came to my hands this fall too late to send any this 
year. I desire thee would please to send to me what thee would 
in particular have we to send thee, and I will use all reasonable 
endeavours to oblige thee with any curiosity that is in my power 
to procure. 

However, in the mean time, thee hath fully engaged by thy 
many favours and kindnesses the respect, with the hearty love 
;and good will of thy sincere friend, 

Johx Bartram. 

1736.] TO SIR HANS SLOANE. 307 


Friend J. Bartram : 

Last night, in the twilight, I received the inclosed, and opened 
it by mistake. Last year Peter sent me some tables, which I 
never examined till since I last saw thee. They are six very large 
sheets, in which the author [LiNNiErs] digests all the produc- 
tions of Nature in classes. Two of them he bestows on the 
inanimate, as Stones, Minerals, Earths ; two more on Vegetables, 
and the other two on Animals. His method in the Vegetables 
is altoo-ether new, for he takes all his distinctions from the 


stamina and the styles, the first of which he calls husbands, and 
the other wives. He ranges them, therefore, under those of 
1 husband, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 20, and then of many 
husbands. He further distinguishes by the styles, and has many 
heads, under which he reduces all known plants. 

The performance is very curious, and at this time worth thy 
notice. I would send it to thee, but being in Latin, it will want 
some explanation, which, after I have given thee, thou wilt, I 
believe, be fully able to deal with it thyself, since thou generally 
knows the plants' names. If thou wilt step to town to-morrow, 
thou wilt find me there with them, at E. Shippen's, or J. Pember- 

* James Logan, one of the primitive fathers of Pennsylvania, and greatly dis- 
tinguished for his learning and -worth, was born in England, in the year 1674. 
He came to America in company with William Penn, in 1699. In 1701, he was 
appointed Secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Clerk of the Council. 
He afterwards held the offices of Commissioner of Property, Chief Justice, and 
President of the Council. Upon the death of Governor Gordon, in October, 1736, 
the government of course devolved upon him, as president of the council, and 
during his administration of two years, the utmost harmony prevailed throughout 
the province. 

Several years previous to his death, he retired from public affairs, and spent 
the latter part of his life among his books, and in corresponding with learned men 
in different parts of Europe. He died in 1751, aged seventy-seven years. The 
well-known Loganian Library was bequeathed by him to the citizens of Philadel- 
phia. In 1785 he published his experiments upon Maize, in support of the Lin- 
nsean doctrine of the sexes of plants. The work was afterwards published in 
Latin, at Leyden, 1739, and at London, by Dr. Fothergill, in Latin and English, 
1717. In 1739 he published another Latin tract, at Leyden; and a translation of 
Cicero's treatise, Be Senectute, at Philadelphia, in 1714. Blake's Biog. Diet. 

308 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1738. 

ton's, from 12 to 3. I want also to say something further to thee, 
on microscopical observations. 

Thy real friend, 

J. Logan. 

Stenton, 19th of June, 1736. 


August the 1st, 1738. 

Respected Friend Doctor Dillenitts : 

I am very thankful to thee for thy kind letter, and if thee thinks 
me worthy of thy friendship, and that I can oblige thee, pray write 
often to me, and let me know wherein I can serve thee. * * 

* * I never saw our great Laurel \_It1iododendron~\ grow any 
where but near Schuylkill, though I have been told it grows beyond 
the mountains. Up Delaware river it grows near the water, upon 
the steep bank side, on poor dry soil, sometimes on the flats, high 
up the river, where it is dry, poor, and sandy. There it grows ten 
feet high, but will bear flowers at five feet high, in great white 

Thee mentions the Cornelian Cherry, with a Bay leaf, growing 
in Virginia, mentioned by Doctor Plukenet. I do not, at present, 
know what tree he means, nor how he describes it, never yet hav- 
ing an opportunity of reading that valuable author, though often 
desired it. I believe it neither is, nor was ever in Pennsylva- 

* John James Dillenius, M.D., whose name is familiar to every student of 
< j ; ptogamic Botany, and whose Historic/, Muscorum, published in 1741, still remains 
unrivalled in that department, with regard to botanical learning and criticism, as 
well as specific discrimination, was born at Darmstadt, in Germany, in 1684 or 
1685. He was educated as a physician at Giessen, and while resident there, pub- 
lished several botanical essays, of considerable acuteness. Being brought to Eng- 
land by the distinguished William Sherard, the greatest botanist of his day, who 
had been English consul at Smyrna, Dillenius remained here from August, 1721, 
till his death. He was closely attached to consul Sherard, and his brother 
James, an opulent apothecary, who had a garden at Eltham ; of the rare plants of 
which Dillenius published, in 1732, a splendid history, in two folio volumes, 
under the title of Hortus Elthamensis, the plates, like those of all his other publi- 
cations, being drawn and engraved with his own hand. They excel in character- 
istic fidelity. 

Consul Sherard, in founding his botanical professorship at Oxford, appointed 
Dillenius the first professor, which place he held, fulfilling its duties, with respect 
to the garden at least, very assiduously, till he died there of an apoplexy, April 
2d, 1747, in the sixty-third year of his age. Smith's Linnozan Correspondeiicc. 



nia; although I have observed five or six species of the Cornus 
with us. The Yapon [Ilex vomitoria, Ait.] grows no nearer us 
than about the Capes of Virginia. * * 

The White Pine is a very poor bearer ; I never saw any ripe 
seed on this side the Blue Mountains. On the other side I felled 
a tree about ten inches diameter, and sixty feet high, for the 
seed, and found three or four perfect seeds ; but most of them 
were dropt out, * * * 

I am thy real friend, 

J. B. 


* * * # 

I have sent you with this a few seeds, most of which are 
handsome garden plants. You will find three sorts of snails or 
Mediea, in one paper, which are annuals, and which you may try 
whether they will serve for cattle. You will likewise find a paper 
named Mediea legitima Clusii, or Burgundy Trefoil [Medieago 
sativa, L., now known as Luceime,'] which is still a better sort ; for 
it is perennial, will stand six or more years, runs much in herb, 
and our cattle are greedy of it. This may prove a great improve- 
ment, not only to yourself, but the whole country, Avhich I have 
often heard wants pasture. 

I am your obliged friend, 


Oxford, September 11, 1738. 

P. S. Sow the Burgundy Trefoil very thin, for it spreads much. 

Good Mr. Bartram : 

Herewith, I send you some seeds of officinal plants, and a plate 
of Mosses. The sort marked (*) groweth on trees, hath larger 
dishes than any other known sort, and was formerly observed in 
Maryland, by Vernon. I don't doubt you will find it in your 
country ; and shall be obliged if you will send me some specimens 
of this, as well as other sorts. 

Your last parcel of Mosses, and letter from April 20, is safe 

3io J. J. DILLENIUS [1742. 

come to hands, by the care of P. Collinson. I return you thanks 
for them, and remain your obliged friend 

And humble servant, 

Oxford, October 15, 1740. 

Oxford, June 22, 1741. 

Dear Friend Mr. Bartram : 

I received your letter of December 16, 1740, per post ; and that 
of March 24, was sent to me by Samuel Whyting ; so that I had 
it, together with the Mosses, without any trouble. After two days 
looking over and comparing them with my own, and those I had 
formerly from you, I found but five or six new sorts. There might 
be some more, but as they were in an imperfect state, I could 
make nothing of them. However, I thank you for them, but de- 
sire, for the future, to send me nothing but what hath heads. 

You complain, you never received any paper on my account. 
When I was in London, last Whitsunday, I paid to our friend, Mr. 
Collixson, amongst other things I had of him, for half a ream of 
writing paper, which he had bought for you, November 10, 1740 ; 
and I hope you have received that since. But, finding that you 
are wanting, and sparing paper in wrapping up Mosses, I have sent 
this day se'en night, by our carrier to Mr. CoLLlNSON, a large 
bundle of waste Hortus JElthamensis paper, upwards of ^ C, to be 
forwarded to you ; which I hope you will receive in its time. 
When you have an opportunity, I shall be glad to have one of 
your Muskrat Skins. 

The inclosed Moss, you said grew in a moist shady swamp. I 
should be glad to see it with his heads, which I guess it bears in 
summer as all swamp Mosses commonly do. 

I remain your obliged friend and servant. 

J. J. Dillenius. 


The 14th of the 9th month, 1742. 

Respected Friend Doctor Dillenius : 

I received thy kind letter, accompanied with thy kind present of 

1743.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 311 

thy book of Mosses, which is very acceptable ; as also a great 
parcel of paper for specimens and seed. This summer, I have not 
gathered any Mosses, because I thought thee wanted no more, 
after thy book was published ; and this fall, I have been long sick, 
since I received thy letter. 

When I was upon the Katskill Mountains, last August, I found 
a comical species of Lycopodium, which I gathered but lost it 
upon the mount, in coming down : but if I should ever go there 
again, I intend to search the mounts on purpose, having engaged a 
hearty young fellow to go with me, and concluded to stay on them 
a good share of a week, day and night. But since I have heard of 
the death of my good friend, Lord Petre, I know not whether I 
shall be employed again, and so my journeys may terminate. 
But if I receive orders to travel again, I shall endeavour to serve 
thee. I have collected a large parcel of seeds for thee, and sent in 
a box, directed to P. Collinsox. There is the seed of the varie- 
gated Clinopodium, and Virginia Yucca. This, and the spill- 
ing Yucca, are all the Yuccas I know. I found a plant at the 
falls of James River, which I planted in my garden, and the 
second year, shot up a stalk four feet high, producing a long spike 
of flowers, exceeding sweet smelling, like spice ; but it had the 
exact characteristics of an Aloe. It hath not flowered these two 

November the 29th, 1743. 

Respected Friend, 

Doctor Dillexius : I have sent thee two or three sorts of 
Mosses, that I gathered in the country of the Five Nations, which 
I think are a little different from any that thee has figured. Also, 
I have sent thee a large collection of seeds of our country plants, 
gathered in their proper season, and carefully dried, which I hope 
many of them will grow with thee. 

In looking over thy curious book of Mosses, I can't find any 
figure of the Old Man's Beard Moss,* which I saw grow in Virginia, 
on the trees. It groweth six or seven feet long, and is fine food 

* John does not seem to have been aware at that time, that the "Old Man's 
Beard Moss" is no moss at all, but a regular flowering plant (viz., the Tillandsia 
usneoides, L.) ; and is referred to the same natural family with the delicious Pine- 

312 COLONEL VV. BYRD [1738. 

for horses and deer. Pray, my good friend, write to me, and let 
me know wherein I can do thee any farther service ; which will 
oblige thy sincere friend, 

J. B. 


The 19th of November, 1738. 

Dear Friend Colonel Custis : 

I am safely returned home to my family, which I found in good 
health, as I have been ever since I left thee ; for which I am 
thankful to Divine Providence, whose powerful regard is to all his 

Now, dear friend, I can't forget thy kind entertainment ; and it 
is with a great satisfaction and pleasure that I think upon the 
agreeable hours I spent in thy conversation, as well as thy kind 
expressions at parting, which hath engaged my respect after a par- 
ticular manner. 

I had a successful journey up to, upon, and beyond the Blue 
Mountains, where I collected a fine variety of curious plants. 

There grows on the other side of James River, a little above 
Isham Randolph's, a tree, the kind of which is known in Europe 
by the name of Thuja, or Arbor Vita?, which, if thee could pro- 
cure some seed thereof, if it growed, would be a curious ornament 
in thy garden. I doubt not, if thee was to write or speak to 
Isham, he would procure thee some. He was very kind to me, 
during the time I stayed with him, and sent his man with me to 
the mountains, which was kind indeed. If it lieth in thy way, 
pray, give my love to him. There is the Umbrella-tree cones 
near thee, and the ripe berries of Yapon, and the acorns of the 
Live Oak, growing near Captain Caswell's, would be very ac- 
ceptable to me ; but I know not how to get them to Philadelphia. 


Virginia, the 30th of November, 1738. 

No sooner than yesterday did I receive your kind letter, which 

* Colonel William Byrd, a distinguished citizen of Virginia, was a member of 
the Council about the year 1682. When, in 1699, about three hundred of the 

1738.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 313 

was twice as long in travelling from Philadelphia as the writer was, 
when he favoured us with his company here. I am glad you met 
with so many curiosities, as to recompense the fatigue of a long 
journey ; and it is with particular satisfaction that I hear of your 
having got safe home to your family, and that you found them in 
perfect health. It is always a pleasure to look back upon labour 
past, especially when it procured an improvement of knowledge 
that continues to the end of the chapter. 

I am surprised to understand that M. S. turns out a knave, 
because he had the appearance of a plain, honest man. But no 
faith is to be given to outward appearances, since we are told that 
the Devil himself puts on the clothing of an Angel of Light. How- 
ever, I have learnt, by long experience, to be upon my guard against 
all strangers not well recommended, so that they can cheat me of 
nothing but my civilities, to which all mankind are welcome. 

I expect every day the arrival of a little ship, with Switzers and 
Germans, to settle upon part of my land at Roanoke. But they 
have been now thirteen weeks at sea, so that I am under great 
apprehensions for them. They have purchased thirty-three thou- 
sand acres only, in one body ; so that there are seventy-two thousand 
still remaining, to which your friend, Gasper "VYister, is very wel- 
come, if he, or any of his countrymen, are so inclined. I am 
greatly obliged to you for your good character, and by the grace 
of God shall endeavour never to forfeit it upon any temptation of 
advantage. The land is really very good, for so large a quantity ; 
the climate moderate and wholesome ; the river navigable to the 
great Falls ; and the road to James River very dry and level. 
Besides, I have now a bill depending before our Assembly, to make 
all foreigners that shall seat upon our frontiers, free from taxes for 
seven years, which I have reason to believe will pass. 

If these, and many other advantages, which I have not room to 
mention, will tempt any of your Germans to remove hither, I shall 
be very glad upon the easy terms mentioned in my paper ; and if 

persecuted French Protestants arrived in the Colony, he received them with the 
affection of a father, and gave them the most liberal assistance. His generous 
charity to the poor foreigners is particularly described by Beverly. He had re- 
ceived a liberal education in England, and was distinguished for his literary 
taste, and his patronage of science. He had one of the largest Libraries on the 
continent. In 1723, he was one of the commissioners for establishing the line 
between North Carolina and Virginia. He died about 1743, at an advanced age. 
Blake's Biographical Dictionary. 

314 COLONEL W. BYRD [1738-9. 

you will be so good as employ your interest and kind offices with 
them, for that purpose, it will be an obligation ever to be acknow- 
ledged by him who wishes everything that is good to you and your 
household, and is, without guile, 

Sir, your hearty friend and humble servant, 

W. Bykd. 

Westover, the 23d of March, 1738-9. 


I sent an answer to your kind letter by the post, several months 
ago, and congratulated your safe return to your family. This 
kisses your hand by my friend, Dr. TSCHIPFELY, a Swiss gentle- 
man, who is bound to Philadelphia, to try if he can prevail with 
any of his countrymen to come and settle upon my land at Roan- 
oke ; and if you will be so kind as to lend a helping hand towards 
it, I shall ever acknowledge the obligation. The land is exceed- 
ingly good, with a fine river running through the whole length of 
it, more than a quarter of a mile wide ; full of wild fowl in winter, 
and alive with fish all the year. Very many rivulets and creeks 
run into it on both sides, which help to fertilize the soil, and will 
afford all manner of convenience for mills of every kind. The 
situation is high, and the air very wholesome free from those 
aguish vapours which infect the lower part of the country : and as 
the land lies forty miles on this side the mountains, the Indians 
have no manner of claim or pretence to it, by the last peace we 
made with them. The price I sell this land for, you know, is very 
easy, being no more than ,3 of our currency for every hundred 
acres. The quit-rent is but two shillings a year, and since I saw 
you, I have prevailed with our Assembly to make all foreign Pro- 
testants free from taxes for ten years, that shall come and inhabit 
that part of the country. These, I think, are such temptations and 
encouragements, as are not to be met with elsewhere. Nor will 
the distance exceed seventy miles to a ship landing, and the road 
will be very good, and very level all the way, when we have cleared 
the ridge that we intend ; so that there will be little difficulty in 
bringing the fruits of their industry to market. We have had the 
misfortune, lately, to lose a ship, either by the villany or stupidity 
of the master, which had 250 Switzers and Germans on board, 
with effects to a considerable value. These were to seat on part of 

1739.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 315 

my land, under the conduct of several gentlemen of fortune, who 
came along with them. But these gentlemen perished, and most 
of the people, and very little of their effects is saved. Some few 
of these unhappy wretches are gone upon my land to make a 
beginning, and will soon be followed by more. 

The bearer is a man of skill in his profession ; has been a great 
traveller, and has great knowledge in Chemistry and Surgery. 
Thus, as a virtuoso, I recommend him to you, and likewise as a 
friend of Sir, your most humble servant, 

W. Byrd. 

Mrs. Byrd joins her best wishes with mine, for the happiness of 
yourself and your family. 



Dear Friend Colonel Byrd : 

I received thy kind letter by the post last winter, and another 
dated March the 23d, which I received by the hand of thy friend, 
Doctor Tschifeely, whom I received very kindly, and made as 
welcome as my present circumstances would afford, for thy sake 
having no other acquaintance than thine and another recommenda- 

I have this spring made several microscopical observations upon 
the male and female parts in vegetables, to oblige some ingenious 
botanists in Leyden, who requested that favour of me, which I 
hope I have performed to their satisfaction, and as a mechanical 
demonstration of the certainty of this hypothesis, of the different 
sex, in all plants that have come under my notice. * 

* * I have made several successful experiments, of joining seve- 
ral species of the same genus, whereby I have obtained curious 
mixed colours in flowers, never knoAvn before ; but this requires an 
accurate observation and judgment, to know the precise time. * * 

I hope by these practical observations to open a gate into a very 
large field of experimental knowledge, which, if judiciously im- 
proved, may be a considerable addition to the beauty of the florist's 

316 DR. THOMAS BOND [1738-9. 


Paris, February 20, 1738-9. 

My good Friend : 

As I am writing to my American friends, I cannot forget my 
good friend Bartram, and send you my best respects, and hearty 
desire for your and family's health and happiness, than which 
nothing is more my wish. 

I expected to have given you more pleasure in this letter than I 
find I shall ; for by the assistance of that good man, our friend 
Collinson, I have a particular acquaintance with Monsieur Jus- 
sieu, Professor of Botany at the King's Garden, who is supposed 
to be one of the greatest men in that way in Europe. He pro- 
mised to inform me what were the species of those plants you 
called Incognita, and in others where he thought you were mistaken. 

I gave him all the dry specimens ; five of which were new, and 
pleased him exceedingly, particularly the Seneka Root, which he 
then took to be a Polygala. But I could not meet him anywhere 
this week ; for which reason, I must put it off to the next oppor- 
tunity. He told me the Virginia Seneka Boot was sent him with 
a recommendation and method of use in pleurisies, and repeatedly 
tried with surprising success, and is in the highest esteem with 
him, and many other physicians ; but that another here, of the 
same species, was tried for the want of it, with equal advantage. 

The Ginseng is now here common, but in no esteem. It was 
brought from Canada, and is exactly the same with what you dis- 

I have now spent three months in Paris, the most diligently I 
ever did any in my life, and, I fear, to the prejudice of my tender 
constitution ; but if I was almost sure 'twould kill me, I could not 
avoid tending the curious courses of Anatomy, Surgery, Phy- 

* "Thomas Bond, a distinguished physician and surgeon, was born in Mary- 
land, in 1712. After studying with Dr. Hamilton, he spent a considerable time 
in Paris. In 1734 [?] he commenced practice at Philadelphia. The first clinical 
lectures in the Pennsylvania Hospital were delivered by him. He assisted in 
founding the college and academy. Of a literary society, composed of Franklin, 
Bartram, Godfrey, and others, he was a member ; and an officer of the Philoso- 
phical Society, from its establishment. The annual address before the society 
was delivered by him, in 1782, on The Rank of Man in the Scale of Being. He 
died in 1784, aged 72." Blake's Biog. Dictionary. 

1739.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 317 

siology, &c. And, in short, 'tis impossible there can be better, if 
so good schools in the world. 

My friend Jussieu tells me, that I shall believe myself at 
home, by being amongst so many of my native plants, as brought 
from America by himself ; in quest whereof, he was sent by the 

If I am not otherways too busy, I propose by his assistance, to 
improve myself in that science, at the King's Garden, which is a 
most beautiful place. 

Pray do me the favour to recommend my best respects to your 
good spouse, and assure yourself I am with great esteem, 

Your real friend, 

Tir. Bond. 


Virginia, May 24, 1739. 

Dear Sir : 

According to the method we proposed to correspond, this is the 
first opportunity that has offered since I had the pleasure of seeing 
you : it is by my friend and acquaintance, Doctor Tschiffely, 
who I believe to be a proficient in the art of Chemistry. I take 
him to be a very honest gentleman. He hath a mind to see Phi- 
ladelphia, out of curiosity ; and therefore, I recommend him to 
your friendship. 

I am to acknowledge the letter you wrote by my man Corne- 
lius, which is all that I have received. I have lately had a letter 
from my friend P. Collinson. He makes no mention of my letter, 
via Philadelphia ; so I conclude you did not save the opportunity 
by your latter ships to Great Britain. 

I wish I could entertain you with an account of some new dis- 
covery, since your progress here : but, for the want of a penetra- 
ting genius, in the curious beauties of nature, I must make it good 
in assuring you, that I am with great sincerity of heart, 

Your affectionate friend 

And humble servant, 

Isiiam Randolph. 

If you see any of my acquaintance, make me acceptable to 'em. 


My wife and family join in their best respects to you and Mrs. 


New York, August 18th, 1739. 

Sir : - 

I was favoured with yours of the -7th of last month. I assure 
you, was sorry I had not the pleasure of visiting you a second 
time, being obliged to set out for this place. I am heartily glad 
to hear you intend next month to be in the Jerseys, and from 
thence to proceed to this town ; where I shall be very glad to see 
you. There are a great variety of plants, &c, upon this island. 

As you express a desire to know the distance between New York 
and Albany, how far this Province is peopled backwards, &c. We 
are distant from Albany 150 miles. It is situate on the west side 
of Hudson's River. I went there by water, with our late Gover- 
nor ; and from thence travelled beyond the farthest Palatine Set- 
tlement, belonging to this Province, northwest from Albany, about 
150 or 160 miles, near half-way to our Garrison of Oswego, on the 
great Lake of Cataraqui. 

Several people travel from hence to Albany by land, (and I 
believe it is much the same distance as by water.) From what I 
hear, there is good accommodation on the road. 

Two of our officers went up in a sledge last winter, as several 
people do from hence ; as well as on horseback, in the summer 
time. But more of this, &c, at meeting. 

From, sir, your sincere friend, 

And humble servant, 

Alexander Colhoun. 

P. S. I shall esteem myself very much obliged if you can pro- 
cure for me some Ginseng Root. 

* Mr. Colhoun, as appears by a memorandum in the Bartram Papers, was 
" Surgeon to the Garrison, in New York." 

1740.] TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 319 



London, May 20, 1740. 

Mr. Bartram : 

Your kind remembrance of me, in the three plants you sent me 
with those of Mr. Collinson, encourages me to give you further 
trouble, though not without an intention of retaliation. 

As I have the pleasure of reading your letters, I see your time 
is well employed ; therefore, in what I propose, I shall be cautious 
of desiring anything that may much obstruct your other affairs. 
But, as you send yearly to our good friend Mr. P. Collixsox, the 
same conveyance may supply me ; which I shall confine to as nar- 
row a compass as may be, for I find my taste is agreeable with 
yours, which is, that I regard most, those plants that are specious 
in their appearance, or use in physic, or otherwise. The return 
that I propose to make you, is my book ; but it will be first neces- 
sary to give you some account of it. The whole book, when 
finished, will be in two folio volumes, each volume consisting of 
an hundred plates of Animals and Vegetables. 

This laborious work has been some years in agitation ; and as 
the whole, when finished, amounts to twenty guineas, a sum too 
great, probably, to dispose of many, I chose to publish it in parts : 
viz., twenty plates with their descriptions, at a time, at two gui- 
neas. By this easy method, I disposed of many more than I 
otherwise should. Though I shall set a due value on your labours, 
the whole book would be too considerable to send you at once ; 

* Mark Catesbt, an English naturalist, born about the latter end of the 
year 1679. He visited Virginia in 1712, where he remained seven years, collect- 
ing the various productions of the country, and occasionally transmitting seeds 
and specimens of plants to his correspondents in England, and particularly to 
Doctor William Sherard. On his return to England in 1719, he was encouraged 
by Sir Haxs Sloaxe, Doctor Sherard, and others, to return to America, with the 
professed design of describing, delineating, and painting, the more curious objects 
of nature. He arrived in Carolina, which was selected as the place of his resi- 
dence, in 1722. Having spent nearly three years on the Continent, he visited the 
Bahama Islands, residing in the Isle of Providence, until he returned to England, 
in 1726. His Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, was 
completed in 1748, in 2 vols., folio, with coloured plates. It was republished in 
1754, and 1771. He died in London, in 1749, at the age of seventy. Rees's 

320 MARK CATESBY TO [1740-1. 

Therefore, I propose to send you, annually, a Part (i. e. twenty 
plates with their descriptions), for what you send me. 

I, having already told you what plants I most affect, shall, in the 
general leave it to you what plants to send me, though the speci- 
mens you send Mr. Collustson will somewhat direct me. 

My method has been to set down a greater number of things 
than I could expect to be complied with, to be sent at one time ; 
because, as all things are not at all times to be had, others may 
offer. Thus far, is a duplicate of my first letter to you. 

February 25, 1740-1. 

Mr. Bartram : 

I have received from you a box of plants, containing a tree of 
the Sugar Birch, with others I could not tell, because I have no 
letter, or account of them. I conclude you had not received my 
letter, at your sending away the box of plants, otherwise I might 
have expected the favour of an answer. 

The plants seem to be in good condition, and I heartily thank 
you for them : and in return, desire you'll accept the first part of 
my book ; and for fear of Spanish depredations, I send, as above, 
a duplicate of my first letter. * * * 

In the box you sent, I find there are two plants of Chamcerlio- 
dodendron, which seem not to agree with our climate ; therefore, 
please to send no more, till better encouragement. 

Your beautiful Rock Cistus, which for many years I have re- 
ceived from Carolina, but could never make it blossom, last July 
we were favoured with a sight of its elegant flowers ; the first, I 
dare say, that ever flowered in Europe. It was from a plant you 
sent Mr. Collinson ; the climate from which it came being 
nearer ours, than from whence those came that I was unsuccessful 
in. This plant is again set to blossom, though it increases not 
at all. 

Wishing you all happiness, I conclude, sir, 

Your obliged friend and servant, 

M. Catesby. 

P. S. I must inform you that the part of my book I send you is 
in a more contracted manner, and smaller paper, than that you 
have seen of Mr. Penn's, but in other respects the same. 

1741?] JOHN BARTRAM. 321 


[Without date.] 

Friend Mark Catesby : 

I received thy kind letter of the 29th of November, but thee not 
having inserted when or where it was writ, I am at a loss to know 
where to direct my answer, otherwise than to thee, and to the care 
of our well-beloved and trusty friend, Peter Collinson, who 
merits the esteem and friendship of most of the curious. The 
reading of thy acceptable letter incited in me the different passions 
of joy, in receiving a letter of friendship and request from one so 
much esteemed, and sorrow in considering what time we have lost, 
when we might have obliged each other. It's a pity thee had not 
wrote to me ten years ago. I should by this time have furnished 
thee with many different species of plants, and, perhaps some ani- 
mals ; but the time past can't be recalled, therefore, pray, write 
often to me, and inform me in every particular what thee wishes 
of me, and wherein I can oblige thee ; for when I am travelling on 
the mountains, or in the valleys, the most desolate, craggy, dis- 
mal places I can find, where no mortal ever trod, I chiefly search 
out. Not that I naturally delight in such solitudes, but entirely 
to observe the wonderful productions in nature. 

Before Doctor Dillenius gave me a hint of it, I took no parti- 
cular notice of Mosses, but looked upon them as a cow looks at a 
pair of new barn doors ; yet now he is pleased to say, I have made 
a good progress in that branch of Botany, which really is a very 
curious part of vegetation. 

I am exceedingly pleased with thy proposals, and shall do what 
I can, conveniently, to comply with them. I have a great value 
for thy books, and esteem them as an excellent performance, and 
an ornament for the finest library in the world. 


London [year obliterated]. 

Dear Friend : 

I am much obliged to you for two kind letters, one of them 
dated the 20th of July, 1741, the other the 15th of October fol- 
lowing. The first contained a very accurate account and dissec- 


322 MARK CATESBY [1742? 

tion of the Okamcerhododendron, which gives me so good an idea 
of its form and colours, that are an assistance of the specimens 
you sent, when occasion requires, I shall be enabled to give a tole- 
rable figure of it ; which will be so much the more necessary, as 
there being little probability of ever seeing it in blossom here. 
Those plants you have already sent us, plainly show the aversion 
they have to our soil and climate, by their slow progress and 
stunted appearance. 

In answer to your conjecture, of their growing here as well as 
with you, in the like moist land, I say, that plants, which, in Ame- 
rica, grow in moist land, are generally killed when planted in such 
like here. It is, by experience, found, that a dry, warm soil, is 
most agreeable to American plants even aquatics. This, I con- 
ceive, is not from our too great cold in winter, more than with 
you ; but from a deficiency of heat in our summers ; wherefore, a 
situation by being warmer, may compensate for that difference of 
heat in a wet situation. * * * 

Mr. Clayton mentions a plant in the remote parts of Virginia, 
called Leather-wood. It is a Thymelcea, or Spurge Laurel, per- 
haps the same as your Leather-wood. 

Among the Shell animals of New England, one is called the 
Signce [?]. Its eyes are placed under a covert of thick shells ; 
but so ordered that the part above the eyes is transparent, that 
the creature can see its way, though otherwise it is blinded. 
These are somewhat like the eyes of a Mole, which are covered 
with a thin skin, to fit it for working under ground. 

In New England is also the Monk-fish, having a hood like a 
friar's cowl. In Baker's Cave, in New England, are scarlet 
muscles, yielding a juice of a purple colour, that gives so deep a 
dye that no water can wash out. 

I am told of an animal in Pennsylvania, called a Monax, and by 
some, a Ground-hog. It lives and burrows under ground, and 
sleeps much ; is about the size of a rabbit. I shall be glad of what 
you know concerning it. 

Have you observed any other of the Deer kind, beside the 
Moose, Elk, and common Deer ? Do you think that the Black 
Fox, common in North America, is a different species, or only 
varying in colour from the common Gray Fox ? 

There is a bird in Virginia and Carolina, and I suppose in 
Pennsylvania, that at night calls Whipper Will, and sometimes, 

1746.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 323 

Whip Will's widow, by which names it is called (as the bird 
clinketh, the fool thinketh). I have omitted to describe it, and 
therefore should be glad of it. I believe it is a kind of cuckoo. 

Your House Swallow is different from ours, and singular in its 
tail, and nest, which is artfully made with small sticks, and 
cemented together with a kind of glue. The bird with the nest, 
would be acceptable. 

With what I now send of my book, you have all the American 
small birds that I have figured, except seven or eight, by which 
you may guess what other birds your country affords. But such 
observations may be too troublesome, without a strong inclination. 
New animals of any kind are always acceptable. Birds are best 
preserved (if not too large) by drying them gradually in an oven : 
and when sent, cover them in tobacco dust. There is no other way 
in preserving fish, and reptiles, than in spirits or rum, which 
method will also do for birds. 

I present you now, the second and third parts of my book, in 
retaliation of your kindness. 

* * * I am, Mr. Bartram, with all sincerity, 

Your obliged friend and servant, 

M. Catesby. 

Dear Friend : 

I own myself your debtor, not from design or inclination, but I 
have really been discouraged by my ill fortune, of losing not only 
what I sent to America, but also the two last years' cargoes you 
intended me ; which loss the deprivation of time doubles. Yet, 
nevertheless, your kind intentions equally oblige me as if attended 
with success, and require a retaliation which I shall endeavour, the 
first opportunity, to acquit myself of. In the mean time, accept of 
this book of birds. 

As Mr. Collinson gives me the pleasure of reading your enter- 
taining letters, I find you have sent me a plant of your Anona, 
some seeds of your tall Magnolia, &c, for which I heartily thank 

In a letter to you, in April, 1744, I have mentioned in general 
what will be acceptable ; which I mention, because I don't reniem- 

324 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1742. 

ber any of jour succeeding letters take any notice of your receiving 
it. In it was an account of the Sesamum, &c. 

I am sincerely 

Your obliged friend and servant, 

M. Catesbt. 

April 15, 1746. 


May 26, 1742. 

Respected Friend : 

I have now before me thy two kind letters of February the 2d, 
and March the 13th. I am well pleased those seeds I collected 
for thee were acceptable. 

I find by thy letter, thee supposes I was born in England ; but 
I assure thee I was born in Pennsylvania, and never have been 
out of sight of land since ; and I believe have taken more pains 
after the study of Botany, and the operations of nature, than any 
other that was born in English America, notwithstanding my low 
fortune in the world, which laid me under a necessity of very hard 
labour for the support of my family ; having now a wife and seven 
small children, whose subsistence depends on the produce that is 
raised on my farm, which is situate on a navigable river, near 
Philadelphia. But I have had, ever since I was twelve years of 
age, a great inclination to Botany and Natural History ; but could 
not make much improvement therein, for want of books, or other 
instructions, until I entered into correspondence with my good 
friend Peter Collinson, who engaged, first, Lord Petre, then, 
Philip Miller, and the Dukes of Richmond and Norfolk, to sub- 
scribe thirty guineas, in order to enable me to travel into Mary- 
land, Virginia, New Jersey, and York Government, to search for 
forest seeds, roots, and plants, to adorn their gardens, and other 
apartments where they thought proper to dispose of them. They 
have also sent me varieties of roots and seeds for my garden, and 
several books for my instruction. 

To my friends, Doctor Dillexius and M. Catesby, I sent my 
observations on such things as will be proper materials to assist 
them in composing their fine histories, for which they promised 
me one of their books. 

Sir Hans Sloane desired I would send him some curiosities, 


which I did last fall ; for which, I hear he hath sent me his two 
books of the History of Jamaica, which I expect every day. 

We have great variety of Martagons. I have sent my friend 
Collixson many, which flowered finely in his garden. Thee may 
expect a curious collection of them, and other fine flowers, from 
me by the first opportunity. 

Merchant Willing expresses a mighty respect for thee, and 
saith he will do anything in assisting me to oblige thee. 

What plant Plukexet names a Cyclamen, that is a native of 
our colony, I can't imagine.* Indeed, we have several plants 
whose leaves somewhat resemble it, but they belong to other 
tribes ; and I saw a plant near the mountains of Virginia, whose 
leaves had the appearance of a Cyclamen, in the shape and marks 
of its leaves, but really was a species of the Asarum. If I knew 
how Plukexet described his Cyclamen, I could judge better ; but 
I could never yet have the happiness to read any of that valuable 
author's books, though much desired. I believe there is not one 
of them in our parts. Our Americans have very little taste for 
these amusements. I can't find one that will bear the fatigue to 
accompany me in my peregrinations. Therefore, consequently, 
thee may suppose I am often exposed to solitary and difficult 
travelling, beyond our inhabitants, and often under dangerous 
circumstances, in passing over rivers, climbing over mountains and 
precipices, amongst the rattlesnakes, and often obliged to follow 
the track, or path, of wild beasts for my guide through these deso- 
late and gloomy thickets. * * 

November 24, 1743. 

Respected Friend Catcot : 

I received thy kind present of three books. Grew and Bradley 

* The Editor is indebted to Ms friend, Daniel B. Smith, for the subjoined 
note : 

"The plant here spoken of, as Cyclamen, is no doubt the Dodecatkeon Headia, 
L. Of John Babteam's finding this plant, I have heard Thomas Stewaedson re- 
late the following story. A person visiting the Baeteam Garden, noticed the 
Cyclamen, and told J. B. he had seen such a plant in a certain place, which he 
described, and which was then far in the wilderness. Some months after, J. B. 
met him in the street, and said, 'Well, I have got the plant.' Not recollecting 
the circumstance, he asked, ' What plant ?' J. B. reminded him of the conversa- 
tion at his Garden, and told him he had travelled on foot to the place he described, 
and obtained the plant ! This letter accounts for the great interest he took in it, 
as confirming the accuracy of Plckenet." 

326 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1742-3. 

I had read before ; but now, by thy favour, I have them my 
own ; before, I borrowed them. As for Lobel, I had his long 
ago. There is little in him, but collections from others ; but I am 
obliged to thee for thy good will, in sending them. But I had 
rather thee had sent Tournefort's third book of his Complete 
Herbal, or Botanical Institutions, in English, which I very much 
want ; having never seen it, nor know not where to borrow it. 

I have now sent thee, by friend Willing, a box of curious 
flowering plants, in earth. One root of Yucca, I slipped off one 
of my old roots, in the spring, and planted it for thee, which I 
now send. It grows eight feet high, with near a hundred flowers 
upon one stalk. Thee will also receive a fine collection of seeds, 
of our best flowering wild plants, with my remarks upon each par- 


January 16th, 1742-3. 

Respected Friend : 

If I had not had some acquaintance with thy person and thy 
disposition, I should be apt to think thee could hardly believe the 

* Cadwallader Colden was born in Scotland, February 17, 1688. Having 
received a liberal education, he next applied himself particularly to Medicine and 
Mathematics, and was distinguished for his proficiency in both. Allured by the 
fame of William Penn's Colony of Pennsylvania, and also by some expectations 
from an aunt residing in Philadelphia, he came over to this Province in the year 
1710, where he practised physic for some years with considerable reputation, and 
then returned to England, which he found greatly distracted in consequence of 
the troubles of 1715. After a short residence there, he married a young lady of 
a respectable Scotch family, by the name of Christie, with whom he returned to 
America, in 171G. Governor Hunter, of New York, conceived so favourable an 
opinion of Doctor Colden, after a short acquaintance, that he became his warm 
friend, and offered his patronage if he would remove to New York. In 1718, he 
therefore settled in that city. He was the first who filled the office of Surveyor- 
General in the Colonies. He received also the appointment of Master in Chancery. 
In 1722, he was honoured with a seat in the Bang's Council of the Province, to 
the head of which Board he afterwards rose by survivorship; and in that station 
succeeded to the administration of the government, in 17G0. Previous to this, 
Doctor Colden had obtained a patent for a tract of land, in the then county of 
Ulster (now Orange), about nine miles from Newburgh ; and to this place, which 
in his patent is called Coldengham, he retired with his family about the year 
1730. There he undertook to clear and cultivate a small part of the tract, as a 
farm ; and where his attention was divided between agricultural and philosophi- 

17423.] doctor colden. 307 

pleasure I received, in reading thy agreeable letter of December 
22d, which I received yesterday. It put me in mind of what our 
friend Collinson "wrote to me, last fall, and desired me to call 
and see, for that I should find thee a man after my own heart. I 
had before sent thee three letters, and had no answer, which 
almost discouraged me from writing, yet resolved to write once 

I am now as well in health as I have been for several years ; 
and since my recovery, have been along our sea-coast, as I gave 
thee an account of in my last letter, sent with the walnuts, which 
I am glad are under thy son's care ; but am sorry that thee had 
not received them directly, soon after their arrival at York, for I 
had taken care to keep them in moderate moist vegetative condi- 
tion until the day the sloop sailed with them ; and if they dry or 

cal pursuits, and the duties of his office of Surveyor-General. The spot which he 
had selected for his retirement is entirely inland, and has nothing remarkably 
pleasant in it. At the time he chose it for a residence, it was solitary, unculti- 
vated, and the country around it absolutely a wilderness. It was, besides, a 
frontier to the Indians, who were often in a state of hostility, and committed fre- 
quent barbarities. 

In 1761, Dr. Coldex was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New York; which 
commission he held till near the time of his death ; which took place at his 
country seat, on Long Island, on the 28th of September, 1776, in the 89th year 
of his age. 

Notwithstanding his numerous and important public duties, Doctor Colden 
was zealously devoted to the pursuits of Literature and Science ; and while he 
maintained an extensive correspondence with the learned of the old world, he 
was ever delighted to receive his scientific friends beneath his own hospitable 
roof. In a letter from Doctor Garden to LiNNiEUS, dated Charleston, South 
Carolina, March 15, 17o-3, that gentleman says, " When I came to New York, I 
immediately inquired for Coldenhamia, the seat of that most eminent botanist, 
Mr. Coldex. Here, by good fortune, I first met with John Bartram, returning 
from the Blue Mountains, as they are called. How grateful was such a meeting 
to me ! And how unusual in this part of the world ! What congratulations and 
salutations passed between us ! How happy should I be to pass my life with men 
so distinguished by genius, acuteness and liberality, as well as by eminent bota- 
nical learning and experience ! Men, in whom the greatest knowledge and skill 
are united to the most amiable candour 

Animce, quales ncque candidiores 

Terra tulit. 

"Whilst I was passing my time most delightfully with these gentlemen, they 
were both so obliging as to show me your letters to them ; which has induced me, 
sir, to take the liberty of writing to you, in order to begin a correspondence, for 
which I have long wished, but never before found the means of beginning." 
Rees's Ci/clopccdia ; and the Linncean Correspondence. 

328 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1743. 

mould in the box, I doubt the vegetative life will be destroyed 
before they are planted, which I would have performed in this 
manner ; after a spot of ground is dug, or ploughed, then hoe or 
plough a furrow two inches deep ; then drop the nuts therein 
about six inches asunder, and cover them with earth. Next sum- 
mer, they may grow six, eight, or ten inches high ; then, the 
spring following they may be taken up, and planted in a row for a 
hedge, about five feet distance ; and when they are grown as thick 
as one's arm, they may be plashed in the beginning of March, just 
before the sap interposes between the bark and the wood. Pray, 
is your river frozen so as to hinder boats to pass to and fro ? 
Our rivers are very open this winter ; and, in my garden, the 
Mezereon, Groundsel, Black Hellebore, Henbit, Esula, and Vero- 
nica, are in flower, and many others in bud ; but we had a sharp 
time the beginning of November. * * 

June the 26th, 1743. 

Friend Golden : 

I have lately received orders from London to travel, to gather 
the seeds of the Balm of Gilead, and other species of evergreens. 
The Duke of Norfolk hath subscribed twenty guineas, the Duke of 
Richmond and two other gentlemen fifteen more ; besides, our 
proprietor hath sent me orders to procure some curiosities for 

I am now providing for a journey up Susquehanna, with our in- 
terpreter, in order to introduce a peaceable understanding between 
the Virginians and the Five Nations. We suppose the meeting 
will be in the Onondaga's country, not far from your Fort Oswego. 
We are to set out in a week or two. If thee would please to be so 
kind as to write to the Captain of your Fort, or the Minister in 
the Mohawk's country, in my favour, it might do me a kindness in 
a strange land, if I should return home that way, and through 
Albany, which I can't yet know. 

Neither do I know whether we shall ride any farther up Susque- 
hanna, than the great Western Branch (which runs towards Alle- 
ghany), where one of their chiefs lives, whom we are to take with 
us to the treaty ; and according to his advice we are to proceed, 
either on horseback, or by water, up the river as far as navigable ; 
thence by land to the Onondaga's River. This journey, I hope, if 

1745.] DOCTOR colden. 329 

we have good success, may afford us a fine opportunity of many 
curious observations. 


Coldengham, November 7th, 1745. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

I am much obliged to you for the information in yours of the 
4th of October, which did not come to my hands till the 3d of this 
month. Mr. Colllnson wrote to me that he had forwarded my 
packet to Doctor Gronovius ; and mentioned the curious instruc- 
tions Doctor Gronovius had sent you, and wished I could see 
them. Perhaps Lewis Evans may take the trouble to copy them 
for me. 

The experiments Doctor Fothergill would set you upon, and 
has enabled you to make, may certainly be very useful, if care- 
fully executed. 

We have very few Mineral Springs in this Province.* All that 
I have heard of, is a stream on the south side of Anthony's Nose, 
a mountain in the Highlands, between my house and New York. 
It runs down a precipice into Hudson's River. Sloop men, who 
use the river, say that they have always found it purgative ; and 
lately I heard that a sloop, being in want of water, took in some 
from that stream. They had many passengers, men and women. 
The water proved purgative to all of them. * * * * 

As there is no anchorage on that side of 
the river, near that stream, I never had any opportunity to ob- 
serve it ; and I doubted of the truth of the accounts I had casually 
received of it. But now, if I have any opportunity, I shall take 
some more notice of it. 

There is a good deal of ore found in that hill a mixture of iron 
and copper; and they being mixed, has made the ore of no use. I 
am not sufficiently accpiainted with the methods of trying mineral 
waters. I have never thought on that subject ; but I find that 
Sal Ammoniac will give a blue tincture to anything impregnated 
with copper, and galls give a black to the tinctures from iron. If 

* The waters of Saratoga, now so celebrated, and so much resorted to by the 
fashionable world, were then unknown. 

330 DOCTOR COLDEN [1745. 

my memory do not fail me, I shall try this with galls, and Sal 

My son tells me, that upon a survey in the Mohawk's River, 
they met with a spring which let fall considerable quantities of 
sulphur ; and that the Indians who were with him filled their kegs 
with the water of this spring, to carry home for the use of some 
that were sick. It is not a hot spring. I have never heard of 
any hot springs in this country. Colonel Morris, I remember, 
several years since told me of a very good chalybeate spring, in 
Monmouth County, in East Jersey: and this is all the information 
I can give you, on this subject. I forgot to mention the spring in 
the Onondaga country, which, perhaps, you saw when you were 
there, which throws up a kind of Naphtha, or Petroleum, or Bar- 
badoes Tar. 

Mr. Collinson wrote to me, that he had directed my brother's 
letter to your care, and from thence I concluded that it was put 
up among your papers. I have received a letter from my brother 
since the date of that, which makes the loss of it of no conse- 
quence. I thank you for the piece of news, of the Russian Expe- 
dition to America, which is well worth tbe notice of Great Britain ; 
as likewise for the seeds of Saururus, and Stargrass. 

I inclose a few seeds of the Arbor vitaz. When at my son's, in 
the end of September, I found the seed ripe, and gathered a little; 
but being obliged to return home speedily, I resolved to send my 
son John to gather more, who was then with me. Something 
made me delay it for five or six days ; and when he came, the 
seed were everywhere fallen. I little suspected its being so soon 
gone, otherwise I should have taken care to have got you enough 
to send to your correspondents. 

As to your Philosophical Society, I can say nothing but that, as 
it is certain that some have been too lazy, so others may have been 
too officious ; which makes the more prudent afraid of them. 

Doctor Mitchell writes to me, that he has sent you some ac- 
count of the Virginia Pines. I should be glad to see anything 
that comes from that curious and learned gentleman. 

I heartily wish you and yours all health and prosperity ; and am 
your affectionate friend and servant, 


Since I wrote this, I received by way of London, Doctor Gro- 

1746.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 331 

novius's packet, with Linn^us's Fundamenta Botanica, Critica 
Botanica, and Gronovii Flor. Virg., 1st and 2d parts, and his 
Index suppellect. I have likewise sent away my letters for him 
and Mr. Collinson ; therefore, when you write to Doctor Gro- 
novius, tell him that I received, the 8th of November, those books, 
and his letters dated the 6th of August, and 3d of October, 1743, 
after I had wrote to him. 

Coldengham, May 9th, 1746. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

You must excuse my not answering your kind letter of the 25th 
of January sooner. It was above two months in coming to my 
hand ; and since that time, I have had my head so much set on a 
certain affair, that I could not think of anything else. 

I return inclosed to you Doctor Gronovius's letter to you, and 
am obliged to you for the perusal of it. That part of learning of 
which it treats, I am so little acquainted with, that if I were to 
translate what he writes, it is probable I may make nothing but a 
series of blunders ; but for your satisfaction, I shall turn the first 
sentence the best I can, as it is to show the manner in which he 
intends to publish what you send him ; viz. 

" We must now pass to such stones as have a resemblance of 
some animal, or of its shell or covering, and which authors com- 
monly call petrifactions, and which they make no doubt in pro- 
ducing them as proofs of the ancient deluge. This excellent man 
[John Bartram] observed these, variously situated on the ground; 
some on the surface of the earth, others sunk deep ; for what he 
found in the southern parts of Pennsylvania, towards the great 
Lakes of Canada [is not this a mistake ?], lay on the surface of 
the ground ; and in a journey which he made of some hundreds of 
miles, he found them scattered everywhere."* 

Your account of the Indian grave, is so far from requiring any 
excuse for writing it, that I am much pleased with your account, 
as it discovers how long bread and corn may be preserved, when 
kept in dry sand from the air ; and shows that the Indians did not 
get their Indian corn from the Europeans. 

* For the original of this paragraph, see the letter of Gronovius to John Bar- 
team, dated Leyden, 25th of July, 1744. The query in brackets is Doctor Col- 
den's. Southern is evidently a mistake for northern. 

332 DOCTOR COLDEN [1746-7. 

You may expect to see more from me, when I can obtain any- 
thing that I can think will be entertaining to you ; and which may 
better serve to show how much I value your correspondence, than 
anything I can write at present. 

I am, very affectionately, 

Your humble servant, 

Cadwallader Colden. 

Coldengliam, January 27th, 1746-7. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

It is so long that I have lost the pleasure of my wonted corre- 
spondence with you, that I am afraid of my having fallen under 
your censure ; and which would give me more concern, than the 
censure of some great men in the world. But if you knew the 
true reason of my discontinuing to write, as usual, you would be so 
far from blaming me, that you would pity me. 

I was unexpectedly engaged in the public business, and when I 
entered upon it, I expected it would only have been for one single 
piece of service ; but one drew on another, and I was kept more 
months from my family, than I expected to have been weeks from 

But at last I have got to my country retirement, and to those 
amusements in which I place my delight ; but not to enjoy them 
so fully as formerly, by reason of interruptions which unexpectedly 
break in upon me. 

The distempers which you mention to have been epidemical 
with you, seem, by what you wrote to me, of the same nature with 
the malignant fever that was at Albany while I was there, and 
carried off many. It was of the remittent kind, accompanied with 
profuse sweating and prostration of appetite. Madeira wine 
proved the most effectual specific ; which most people were sur- 
prised at, when I advised it ; but I had so old an authority as 
Hippocrates for the use of wine in some kind of fevers. This 
was attended with so much success, that the use of it became 

It gives me much pleasure to think that your name and mine 
may continue together, in remembrance of our friendship. I do 
not know the plant, of which you send me the description from 
Gronovius. It is none of them I described to him ; and there- 

1743-4.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 333 

fore I suppose you have sent it to him, and that he has honoured 
it with your name. 

It was not possible for me to comply with your desire, of send- 
ing you a plant of the Arbor vitce, for it was the 14th of Decem- 
ber before I returned home from New York. 

All my botanical pleasures have been stopped this summer, while 
I was at Albany. We durst not go without the fortifications with- 
out a guard, for fear of having our scalps taken ; and while I was 
at New York, I was perpetually in company, or upon business, so 
that I shall be a very dull correspondent. However, I designed 
to have sent you something of our transactions, by Mr. Franklin, 
at his return from Boston ; but he stayed so long, that I left New 
York before he returned ; and I was at last exceedingly hurried, 
in leaving that place. If I had stayed one day longer, the river 
had become impassable. 

Now, dear Mr. Bartram, take pity on me, and let me have 
some share of that pleasure which you receive from your corre- 
spondents. I have not a line from any, but a short one from Mr. 
Collinson, of the 3d of August. I expected to have heard from 
Gronovius, by a ship expected from Amsterdam, and by which I 
wrote to him ; but I do not hear that she is arrived. I sowed 
some of the seed of the Arbor vitce, but it failed as yours did. 
Perhaps they may germinate next year. 

Can you give me no hopes of seeing you, in your rambles next 
summer, in search of new knowledge of things ? Pray, make my 
compliments to the good woman, your spouse, and be assured, 
That I am your affectionate, humble servant, 

Cadwallader Colden. 


London, 22d twelfth month, 1743-4. 

Esteemed Friend John Bartram : 

I think myself highly obliged, in the first place to my friend 

* John Fothergill, an eminent physician and philanthropist, was born at 
Carr-end, Yorkshire, England, on the 8th March, 1712, of respectable parents, 
who were members of the Society of Friends. He was educated at Sedberg 
School, Yorkshire, where he obtained a competent knowledge of the Latin lan- 
guage, and some acquaintance with the Gireek. About the year 1728, he was 
apprenticed to an apothecary, at Bradford. After the completion of his appren- 


Doctor Bond, for his favourable description of me, and in the next, 
to thyself, for thy acceptable present, which came safe ; and yet 
more, for thy generous offers of assisting me, in procuring such 

ticeship, he removed to Edinburgh, where he pursued his studies with diligence, 
and graduated on the 13th of August, 1736. He then entered himself a physi- 
cian's pupil, at St. Thomas's Hospital, in London, the practice of which he at- 
tended for two years. After a short excursion to the Continent with a few 
friends, in the spring of 1740, he returned to London, and took up his residence 
in White Hart Court, Grace Church Street, where he continued during the greater 
part of his life ; and where he acquired and established both his fame and his 
fortune. In 1754, Doctor Fothergill was elected a fellow of the College of 
Physicians, at Edinburgh ; and in 1763, a similar honour was conferred upon 
him by the Royal Society of London. These were not the only academical 
honours which his great merits procured for him. He was one of the earliest 
members of the American Philosophical Society ; and in 1776, when a Royal 
Medical Society was instituted at Paris, Doctor Fothergill was one of a select 
number of foreign physicians, whom the Society thought proper to rank among 
their associates. 

Doctor Fothergill had very early acquired a taste for Botany, which he in- 
dulged in proportion as the profits of his practice increased. For this purpose, 
he purchased an estate at Upton, in Essex, containing, beside other lands, be- 
tween five and six acres of garden-ground. In this place, at an expense seldom 
undertaken by an individual, and with an ardour that was visible in the whole of 
his conduct, he procured from all parts of the world a great number of the rarest 
plants, and protected them in the most ample buildings, which England or any 
other country, had then seen. In compliment to his zeal and abilities, the 
younger LiNNiEUS distinguished a plant, of the class Polyandria Digynia [a North 
American shrub, somewhat resembling the Alder, in habit, and referred to the 
natural order of Hamamelacejs], by the name of Father gilla. But the exertions 
of Doctor Fothergill were not confined to Botany ; he studied the other depart- 
ments of Natural History, and patronised its ingenious cultivators. The great 
botanical work by Miller [The Gardener's Dictionary'], was begun and finished 
under the patronage of Doctor Fothergill, to whom it was with great propriety 
inscribed ; but the dedication was afterwards cancelled, at his express solicita- 
tion ; for, although he took pleasure in encouraging ingenuity, he disliked to be 
told of it ; and, indeed, he was averse to dedications in general, considering them 
as a species of literary pageantry, more productive of envy to the patron than of 
advantage to the author. 

Doctor Fothergill was not content with exerting his talents for the benefit of 
science, and of his profession ; his benevolence prompted him to many other 
labours. But the institution of the Seminary at Ackworth, in Yorkshire, of which 
he was the projector in 1778, and to which he was a liberal benefactor, both 
during his lifetime and by his will, was one of the most important plans which 
his zeal to promote the welfare of society led him to undertake. Of his kindness 
and bounty to individuals, there may be mentioned an instance, in the case of his 
worthy but unfortunate friend, Doctor Gowin Knight, who applied to Doctor 
Fothergill in a moment of pecuniary distress, and returned with a heart set at 
ease, by the noble benefaction of a thousand guineas. He also assisted Sydney 
Parkinson in his account of his South Sea voyage; and, at the expense of two 

1743-4.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 335 

natural productions as your country affords. I must own it was 
what I had long wanted, and must have intruded myself into the 
number of thy correspondents, had not my friend P. Collinson 
frequently communicated whatever he could spare me. 

I always admire thy industry and exactness, as well as the sur- 
prising progress thou hast made in the knowledge of plants, a 
branch of my profession, which I have just applied myself to, so 
as to be able to know the principal officinals of our own country, 
and to collect the best accounts I could meet with, of their genuine 
effects. I retain this acquaintance with them, by now and then 
taking a walk 'to Peckham, or Chelsea ; but cannot prevail upon 
myself to launch far into a study, which would rob me of more 
time, to cultivate with success, than my present situation will 
admit of. 

The fossil productions have always suited my inclinations most ; 
but I have made but little progress. I don't so much collect with 
a view to have a great number of odd things together, as to have 
so many productions of different kinds, natures, compositions, 
figures, &c, as, when laid together, may assist me in forming 
some general idea of the production of several of these kinds of 
substances, more consistent with the nature of things, than I have 
yet met with, from others. This is the entertainment of leisure 
hours ; and is a structure which can only be erected from a multi- 
tude of materials, which time, perhaps, may supply me with, and 
the kindness of my friends. 

The Amianthus, or Cotton Stone, was very acceptable. E. 

thousand pounds, printed a translation of the Bible from the Hebrew and Greek 
originals, by Anthony Purver, the Quaker, in 2 vols, folio, 1764, and in 1780, 
published Percy's Key to the New Testament, for the use of his cherished semi- 
nary at Ackworth. 

Finding his pleasant retreat at Upton too remote to be often visited while en- 
gaged in his profession, and yet too much within the sphere of action to be a 
refuge from care and importunity, Doctor Fothergill procured a lease of Lea 
Hall, near Middlewich, in Cheshire, in the summer of 1765, to which secluded 
spot he afterwards made an annual retreat [with his maiden sister, himself, 
moreover, being a bachelor], as long as he lived; commonly leaving London in 
the month of July, and returning in the beginning of October, 

On the 12th of December, 1780, he was attacked by a painful disease, which, 
notwithstanding every effort of the experienced physicians and surgeon, who at- 
tended him, terminated his life on the 26th day of the same month. His remains 
were deposited in the Quaker's burial ground, at Winchmore Hill, about twelve 
miles from London. See Rees's Cyclopaedia, and Blake's Biographical Dic- 


Blaxd had sent me a very little bit, which was the only specimen 
I had, till thine came to hand. 

The fossil shells were likewise very acceptable. Whatever of this 
kind comes to hand, will always he welcome. Elias likewise sent 
me a little hit or two of holar earth. I should he glad to know 
whether you have it in plenty, and to have a pound weight or two 
sent, for experiment. He sent me, likewise, a small, square, black 
Pyrites. Have you these in plenty ? If you have, please to send 
a few of them. Crystals, spars, ores, sulphureous matters, as 
liquid or solid bitumen, if you have any Marcasites, very singular 
earths, stones, and fossil shells, will be agreeable. 

But there is another affair of more consequence than these, in 
which I should be glad of thy assistance. 'Tis possible I may now 
and then have occasion to prescribe for persons in your country. 
I should be glad to be informed of what helps I might expect, 
which are peculiar to your country. In the first class of which, I 
must mention mineral waters. Have you any of considerable note? 
and near the inhabited part ? Hot, or cold ? Chalybeate, sul- 
phureous, or not manifestly either, but salt and purgative ? Tinc- 
ture of galls, oak bark, or green tea leaves made in water, will 
discover the first. If sulphureous, the smell will discover it, and 
its changing silver black ; if salt, the taste will manifest it. After 
I am informed of these circumstances, I can easily give the direc- 
tions how to acquire a still more accurate knowledge of their 
nature and effects. 

The next thing I should be glad to be informed about, is, what 
simples of considerable efficacy, peculiar to your clime, at least in- 
digenous, are in use among your practitioners ; or even celebrated 
among the vulgar. I should be glad of some specimens of such, 
whether roots, leaves, fruits, or what else ; not barely as specimens 
to know the plants by, but a handful or two of each, carefully 
dried, for experiments, with the names they are commonly known 


I am told that the Sassafras tree, when in bloom, casts a most 
delightful fragrance around it. Pray, has ever any trial been 
made to procure a distilled water from the flowers ? I fancy they 
would afford a grateful and efficacious one, unless the odoriferous 
particles are extremely fugitive indeed. I think, if the experi- 
ment has not been made, it would be worth while to have some 
gathered at the proper season, and distilled ; some with water 

1744.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 337 

alone, some with the addition of a third part of rum, molasses 
spirit, or some other spirit, if you have any clean and cheaper. I 
should be glad to have a few dried flowers sent over, and some 
put into a quart bottle when fresh gathered, and some molasses 
spirit or rum, poured upon them, and then close corked. 

Thus thou sees, my good friend, that thy generous offer is like 
to be followed with not a little trouble, and some expense ; but 
whatever of this kind happens, shall be thankfully repaid, and thy 
trouble acknowledged in the best manner I can. 

I am thy obliged friend, 

John Fothergill, Jr. 

P. S. * It just now occurs to my thoughts, 

and which I shall endeavour to think on again, that a collection of 
the several natural productions of your colony, would be a fine ad- 
dition to your Public Library. No one is fitter for the undertaking 
than J. Bartram ; and some means ought to be considered, to 
make it worth his while. This hint may at least be so far useful, 
as to induce thee to keep a part by thee, of everything curious, lest 
thou should be called upon for that purpose. 

J. F. 


July the 24th, 1744. 

Respected Friend Doctor Fothergill : 

I have now before me, thy kind letter of the 22d of 12th month, 
1743-4. I am glad those things I sent thee prove acceptable. 
Perhaps I may send some few curiosities next fall ; but as times 
are so precarious, and my subscriptions this year, are small, I shall 
hardly travel above one hundred miles from home, in each direc- 
tion, and consequently can't find many. 

The Sassafras flowers were all fallen before I received thy 
letter. There is a very penetrating oil extracted from the berries, 
by frying them in a pan, like as you do coffee. We have abun- 
dance of medicinal roots, herbs, and barks, used with success 
amongst the common people, which are extolled for wonderful 
specifics, in many infirmities, upon the first discovery made by the 


338 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1745. 

Indians on most of them. But when our people take them, not 
considering age, constitution, season, nor the particular progress, 
or crisis, of the distemper, but expect an immediate cure upon the 
first or second dose, they are sometimes disappointed. Then it 
is directly discarded and thrown out of use (especially if the 
patient grows worse after taking it), and another famous specific 
gains applause for awhile, then is subject to the other's fate, and 
another taken into favour. 

We have several springs in our province, on which many people 
have bestowed a large income ; but many of them being impreg- 
nated with iron, and not agreeing with all constitutions, so as to 
perfect a cure, they are of late neglected. One of them, I believe, 
might be of great use to mankind under proper regulations. It is 
a large spring, almost big enough to turn a mill, very cold, clear 
where it springs up, but where it runs away there is a great quan- 
tity of reddish, or orange-coloured curdled matter, mixed with the 
current. We have other springs partaking of vitriol, and, amongst 
the mountains, some of alum ; and some places, black, foetid, sul- 
phureous springs. 

December the 7th, 1745. 

Dear Friexd Doctor Fothergill : 

I received thy letter, and a box of vials, and book of L Spa, 

which I am obliged to thee for. I sent to thee by Captain Lisle, 
a box of Sassafras flowers, and other odd things, which I hope 
Peter Collixson will give thee, if they come safe to his hands. 

Doctor Witt tells me he got a good quantity of the expressed 
oil of the berries, drawn at the common oil-mill, and that it makes 
the best minium plaster of all. * * * 

I have not yet made much observation on our mineral waters, 
for want of time to examine them, being hurried in the fall, to 
procure forest seeds for my correspondents ; and indeed, if I 
should make diligent and proper observations on all our mineral 
waters, it would take up most of my time, or, I am sure, more than 
I can spare, beside serving my benefactors in Europe, and my 
plantation at home ; and still worse, because most of the trials 
must be made at great distances from home. * * I 

like very well to serve my country, but as I have nine children 


alive, most of which are not able to help themselves, it is my duty 
to provide for them. ' 

I have lately heard of many mineral waters ; one up the Mo- 
hawk River, that lets fall a quantity of sulphur. The Indians 
fetch the water away in kegs, for the sick to drink. One on the 
Highlands by the North River. Several men and women, passen- 
gers that were going up the river, drank at this spring to quench 
their thirst, which purged them stoutly. * One 

chalybeate spring in East Jersey ; and Doctor Shaw, a brewer in 
Burlington, affirmed to me, that a Spa water broke into his well, 
which he brewed beer with, which affected the beer so much, that 
it purged those who drank it so much, that they thought he put a 
trick upon them. So he was forced to throw away fifty pounds' 
worth of beer, and make use of other water to brew with. Another 
Doctor told me of a spring near him, that if any that had the ague 
should drink of it, they would vomit, and cure them. And one 
that I was lately at, had a vitriolic taste, like copperas water. 


London, 5th mo. 1st, 1769. 

Esteemed Friend : 

I received thy acceptable letter on the 17th of last month ; and 
in a short time after, I also received the box of plants in pretty 
good condition. Most of them will live, and divers of them are 
new to me. One of the Ginseng plants is coming up vigorously. 
I am much obliged to thee for this valuable present, and shall be 
glad to make returns for it, as well as I can. If a copy of 
Purver's Translation of the Bible will be acceptable, please to 
call upon Thomas Fisher, in Philadelphia, and desire him to 
deliver one bound, and place it to my account. The author of 
this great undertaking, like thyself, is self-taught and instructed." 

* Axtho>~y PrKYER was a learned shoemaker, a member of the Society of 
Friends, who, by his own exertions, acquired such a knowledge of the Hebrew and 
Greek languages, that, in 1764, he completed a literal translation of the Old and 
New Testament, with critical notes, a most laborious performance, the fruit of 
thirty years' application. This he was enabled to publish in two folio volumes, 
by the generosity of his friend, Doctor Fothergill, who, " made him a present 
of 1000 for the copy, and took upon himself the expense of printing the work." 
A. Purver was also highly respected as a public minister among Friends. He 
died at Andover, in 1777, aged seventy five years. 


Almost without any assistance, but from books, he has acquired 
the knowledge of many languages ; and the best judges allow that 
this translation is the most faithful one of the original Scripture, 
that ever was made in the English tongue. Let me know if there 
is anything here, in which I can make thee proper satisfaction, and 
I will do it cheerfully. I don't want my friends should make 
brick without straw. 

There will be a considerable demand for American seeds to 
various parts of Germany, and were there any in town, I know 
they might be disposed of. I have a nephew by marriage, who 
lives in our deceased friend P. Collinson's house, and carries on 
the business of a mercer. If Michael Collinson does not choose 
to engage in the business of disposing of the seeds, I know I can 
readily prevail upon him to undertake it. He has no skill in these 
matters ; but he would take care to render a faithful account of 
the sales, and make due remittances. I am afraid of intrusting 
these things to the care of the seedsmen. James Gordon, Jr., is 
I believe, one of the best, yet one cannot be sure that they will 
always continue to be faithful and honest. If Michael Collln- 
son will be kind enough to undertake the affair, no person is more 
proper. I will see him as soon as I can, and endeavour to prevail 
upon him. Should he decline it, and no other person seem more 
suitable, send thy boxes to James Freeman, mercer, in Gracious 
Street ; and any instructions thou thinks proper to me, and I will 
take care they shall be duly executed. 

I am pleased that thy son William is engaged in describing 
the Tortoises of your country. America seems to abound with 
this species of animal, more than any other country. As the in- 
habitants increase, these, as well as the native plants, will be 
thinned ; and it is, therefore, of some consequence to begin their 
history as soon as possible. 

I would not limit him, either in respect to time or expense. He 
may send me his drawings, and accounts of their history, as he 
finishes them ; and I will pay his demands to his order. * 

I shall expect the Colocasia, when convenient to send it, and 
shall do my best to preserve it. I doubt not but my friend, B. 
Franklin, has executed his commission. However, I hope to see 
him, shortly, and shall endeavour to inform myself of what is done, 
and acquaint thee with it. 

The present gardener at Kew is, from general account, a very 

1770.] T0 JOHN BART RAM. 341 

ingenious, sensible, honest man. It will be much in his power to 
determine the royal personages ; and I think it would not be im- 
proper to write to him, if any plants are sent. His name is 
Aiton ; and if a line or two are sent to him, I will take care to 
convey it safely. 

As I wish to make thee adequate satisfaction for the trouble 
thou hast taken, and may take on my account, I should be glad to 
know in what way I can most satisfactorily make thee compensa- 
tion. Through the favour of Providence, and much careful labour, 
I want for nothing ; and therefore would desire that all due satis- 
faction may be given to those who are kind enough to do anything 
for me. 

This, perhaps, will be delivered by Doctor Rush, a young man 
who has employed his time with great diligence and success, in 
prosecuting his studies here ; who has led a blameless life, so far 
as I know ; and it seems but just that those who have endeavoured 
to deserve a good character, should have it when it may be of use 
to them. 

My engagements in the duties of my station, may, perhaps, 
render me a very irregular correspondent ; but my inclination to 
show regard to every person who was the friend of my deceased 
friend, P. Colllnson, will always lead me to be as diligent as I 

I am thy obliged, respectful friend, 


Direct for me, in Harpur Street, near Red Lion Square, 

London, 13th 1st month, 1770. 

Dear Friend : 

I have now before me thy two kind letters of the 26th and 28th 
November last. I have received the box of plants, the cask of 
Colocasia, and the Bull-frogs alive. I likewise received a roll of 
drawings, directed to me, all safe and very acceptable. 

The plants came in good condition. The roots of the Colocasia 
seemed but in a doubtful situation. However, they are planted,, 


part at Kew,* and part in a little piece of water at Upton, my 
little residence, exactly agreeable to thy instructions. 

> ^ ^r* *K 

A place is not yet fixed upon for the Bull-frogs to be put in. 
In the mean time, however, they are kept in a shallow vessel of 
water, the bottom covered with moss, where they may either put 
their heads above or under water, as they like. We have now a severe 
frost ; but when this goes off, they will be set at large, somewhere, 
and in safety. We have none of the kind in England. The King 
is acquainted with their arrival, also the Colocasia, and from whom 
they come. * * * 

Mention is made in thy letter of some drawings designed for the 
Duchess of Portland. I received only one roll, and that directed 
to me, consisting of drawings of the Colocasia, a new species of 
Momordiea, Shells, &c, six in number. If any of them are de- 
signed for the Duchess, be pleased to inform me. If they are for 
me which I hope be kind enough to give me some intimation of 
their value, which I will pay to my kinsman. 

I must still desire that thy son will favour me with drawings of 
the rest of your American Tortoises, with such remarks on them 
as occur to him. As the inhabitants increase, the species of this 
and some other animals, as well as vegetables, will, perhaps, be 
extinguished, or exist only in some still more distant parts. It 
would, therefore, be of great advantage to natural history, to have 
everything of a fugitive nature consigned to paper, with as much 
accuracy as possible ; and in inquiring into the value of these 
drawings, I do not so much want to know at how low a price he 
can afford them, as what, in his own opinion, will be a proper com- 
pensation for his labour and his time. And Avhatever he attempts 
of the kind, let it be well finished ; and I hope he will not find me 
niggardly. ***** 

I hope to send thee, in the spring, some little account of our 
late kind friend P. Collinson's life and services in respect to 
Botany. For several years past, I have left London about ten 
weeks in the summer, and get about one hundred and sixty miles 

* In the Hortus Kewensis (first edition, 1789), this plant is said to have been 
"introduced 1787, by Sir Joseph Banks, Bart." P. Collixson and Doctor 
Fothergill had made repeated attempts, several years before that time, to ob- 
tain it, through the agency of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall ; as 
demonstrated by their correspondence. 

1772.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 343 

from it, in order to recruit my strength against winter, for the duties 
of my station. It was in one of these intervals that our friend was 
carried off, by a suppression of urine. Had I been present, I 
know not that anything more could have been done, to have saved 

When I was informed of his decease, partly to indulge my 
sorrow partly to pay some tribute to his memory, I employed 
myself in drawing a short account of his character. A few copies 
will, I believe, be printed this spring, for the satisfaction of his 
friends ; and I will take care that a few be sent to thee. 

I have not leisure to become a perfect Botanist. I love the 
vegetable creation. I love its rarities, and cultivate it as an 
amusement. Every new plant is an addition to my pleasure. I 
have most of the common produce of America, and they flourish 
with me, more than anywhere else. * * * 

Thy assured friend, 


Esteemed Friend : 

Having an opportunity of sending thee the inclosed performance 
of my friend, John Ellis, by a young man who comes over as an 
apothecary to your hospital, I could not well avoid just sending 
thee two or three lines, though much straitened for time. * * 

Thy son will be kind enough to continue his drawings of any 
nondescripts he may meet with, either plants or animals : and 
I shall endeavour to make him proper satisfaction. 

I hope soon to send thee a short account of the life of our late 
worthy friend, P. Collinson ; at least an essay towards his cha- 
racter. A few copies will be printed, to give amongst his friends ; 
and no one is more entitled to this epithet than thyself. I am, 
with much esteem, 

Thy assured friend, 

John Fothergill. 

Harpur Street, 19th, 8, 1770. 

[No date, probably 1772.] 

Esteemed Friend : 

Constant and various engagements have long prevented me from 
writing to thee. For some years past I have retired from London 


to a considerable distance, for about two months, in order to 
recover strength sufficient to undergo the duties of my profession. 
Here I used to have a little time to correspond with my distant 
friends ; but last year I was wholly prevented. * * 

The Frogs came safe, and lively. I transcribed thy account of 
them, and had it delivered to the King, with an intimation that 
they were in my hands, and should be sent whenever he would 
please to order. No order ever came to me. * * * 

I imagine they are quite forgot, and will never be called for ;* 
and having once made the offer, through a channel of some conse- 
quence, I shall make no farther overture. 

In a letter to my nephew, thou intimates that pro- 
bably "Will. Young may have endeavoured to raise some prejudice 
against thee. He has not. He durst not attempt it, as he knew 
my esteem for thee. He never spoke one word to thy disadvan- 
tage. My silence has been solely owing to incessant occupation. 
I have endeavoured to assist this poor man, and have aided him 
considerably ; but he will not succeed, nor can he be supported. 

A few weeks ago I received a letter and some drawings, from 
thy son William, in Carolina. For his sake, as well as thine, I 
should be glad to assist him. He draws neatly ; has a strong 
relish for Natural History ; and it is pity that such a genius should 
sink under distress. Is he sober and diligent ? This may be an 
uncommon question to ask a father of his son ; and yet I know thy 
integrity will not suffer thee to mislead me.- I would not have it 
understood that I mean to support him. I would lend him, how- 
ever, some little assistance, if he is worthy. He proposes to go to 
Florida. It is a country abounding with great variety of plants, 
and many of them unknown. To search for these, will be of use 
to science in general ; but I am a little selfish. I wish to intro- 
duce into this country the more hardy American plants, such as 
will bear our winters without much shelter. However, I shall 
endeavour to assist his inclination for a tour through Florida ; and 
if he succeeds, shall, perhaps, wish him to see the back parts of 
Canada. Many curious flowering plants will doubtless be found 
about the lakes, that will grow anywhere. 

* About those days, the premonitory symptoms of the American Revolution 
were making their appearance, and his Britannic Majesty had American produc- 
tions to attend to, which were rather more interesting to him, at that time, than 
our bull-frogs. 


We have totally lost, in this country, the Tetragonotheca. Will 
it be possible to get some seeds, or a few roots of it ? I believe 
nobody in America knows it, or where it is to be found, but thyself. 

My garden is pretty large, well sheltered, and a good soil. The 
North American plants flourish with me exceedingly. I have most 
of the common plants usually sent over ; but have room for every- 
thing. I am fond of the Ferns. I have several from America, 
but not all. I do not want to have a specimen of every thing that 
grows, in my garden ; but plants that are remarkable for their 
figure, their fragrance, or their use, are exceedingly acceptable. 

I must own that with this inclination to increase my collection 
of plants, I have very little time to spend amongst them. I see 
them now and then, transiently. But I look forwards, and that it 
is not impossible but I may live long enough to think it proper to 
decline all business. Then an amusement of this kind will have 
its use ; to lessen the tediousness of old age, and call me out to a 
little exercise, when subsiding vigour prompts to too much in- 

I hope thou will perceive from this, that my regard for thy 
deserts is undiminished, and that, for thy own sake, as well as my 
deceased friend, P. Collinson's, I am thy assured friend, 

John Fothergill. 


London, 22d Oct., 1772. 

Respected Friend : 

I received thy obliging letter, and the drawings that accompanied 
it. They are very neatly executed ; and I should be glad to 
receive the like of any new plant or animal that occurs to thee. If 
it was possible to be a little more exact in the parts of fructifica- 
tion, and where these are very diminutive, to have them drawn a 
little magnified, I should be pleased ; and at the same time if the 
plants, or seeds of such curious plants, could be collected and sent 
hither, it would be very acceptable. 

I should have wrote by the person who brought thy letter and 
the drawings over, but he went away before I was apprised of it. 
I shall desire Dr. Chalmers, of Charleston, to make thee a little 
present for the drawings ; and I should be glad to contribute to thy 


assistance, in collecting the plants of Florida, if thou would suggest 
what terms might be agreeable. That no time, however, may be 
lost, should this come to thy hands, at Charleston, I shall desire 
Dr. Chalmers to confer with thee on this subject, and to render 
thee such assistance as may be immediately wanted. 

The drawings I could wish to have pretty correct ; and shall be 
willing to make due acknowledgment for them. 

As I imagine thou art well acquainted with the method of pack- 
ing up plants and seeds, I shall say not much on this head. All 
bulbous roots are easily managed. Let them be taken up when 
the flower fades ; dry them a little in the shade, put them in a 
box, either wrapped up in papers, or in dry sand, and they will 
come very safe. * * * * 

I am not so far a systematic botanist, as to wish to have in 
my garden all the grasses, or other less observable, humble plants, 
that nature produces. The useful, the beautiful, the singular, or 
the fragrant, are to us the most material. Yet despise not the 
meanest. Land, river, or sea shells, would also be acceptable ; 
or correct drawings of them, where the originals cannot easily be 

Mind thy studies in drawing. Thy hand is a good one ; and by 
attention and care may become excellent. 

But in the midst of all these attentions, forget not the one thing 
needful. In studying nature, forget not its Author. Study to be 
grateful to that hand which has endowed thee with a capacity to 
distinguish thyself as an artist. Avoid useless or improper com- 
pany. Be much alone, and learn to trust in the help and protec- 
tion of Him who has formed us, and everything. Fear Him, and 
He will raise thee friends, and keep thy foot from sliding. 

For thy father's sake, I wish thee all good ; and for thy own, 
a constant, reverent trust, and hope in that Power who is ever 
near to help those who confide in him. 

I am, and wish to be, 

Thy friend, 

J. Fotiiergill. 

1774.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 347 


London, 1772. 

My esteemed Friend : 

I received thy kind letter, and am pleased that my employing 
thy son affords both him and thyself some satisfaction. 

He may, perhaps, in the space of two or three years if his life 
is spared get into a good livelihood, by sending boxes of plants 
and seeds to Europe, from those less frequented parts of America. 

The money advanced on his account, viz., 17, I will pay 
James Freeman for thy use. A correspondent of mine, at 
Charleston, has directions to accommodate him, as his occasions 
may require. 

I have lately wrote to William, pointing out what I would 
principally wish him to attend to ; and I hope he will meet with 
suitable assistance, in journeying through those provinces, which, 
at present, are almost an unknown country. * 

By the kindness of my friends, and some expense, I have got 
together a pretty large collection of valuable plants. The North 
Americans prosper with me, full as well as they do anywhere else. 
I have likewise got a fine young Tea tree from China. 

Earnestly desiring for thee all kind of comfort and satisfaction, I 

Thy assured friend, 

John Fothergill. 

London, 8th, 7th month, 1774. 

Esteemed Friend : 

I received thy very acceptable letter of the 14th, 4th month 
last, and am pleased to find thy health so well preserved, so well 
in the evening of life. 

I had a letter the other day from Doctor Chalmers, who men- 
tions that he had a letter lately from William, who was going 
towards East Florida, and well. I have received from him about 
one hundred dried specimens of plants, and some of them very 
curious ; a very few drawings, but neither a seed nor a plant. 

I am sensible of the difficulty he is at in travelling through 
those inhospitable countries ; but I think he should have sent me 
some few things as he went along. I have paid the bills he drew 

348 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1774. 

upon me ; but must be greatly out of pocket, if he does not take 
some opportunity of doing what I expressly directed, which was, 
to send me seeds or roots of such plants, as either by their 
beauty, fragrance, or other properties, might claim attention. 
However, I shall hope he will find means of fulfilling my orders, 
better than he has done hitherto. 

If thy son John meets with anything new in his travels about 
the country, I should be glad if he would send me at least a part 
of his discoveries ; and I hope I may be able to content him for 
his trouble. I am obliged to him for the seeds of the Orange- 
coloured Hibiscus. I have a good many plants of the Illicium. 
I have planted these in the natural ground, and shall give them a 
little shelter in the winter. It has a most grateful fragrance, and 
will be a pleasing green-house plant. 

Please let him know that I received the Turtle in good health ; 
and shall be much obliged to him if he will procure me a male and 
female Bull-frog. Mine are strayed away notwithstanding my 
best endeavours. If they are put up in a little box of wet moss, 
they will come safe ; at least, I received a little American Frog, 
the liana ocellata, in a box of plants, filled up with moss. They 
should be sent in autumn. 

I shall be much pleased to see the Tetragonotlieca. There is 
not, I believe, a plant of it now in England. 

We have got the true Green Tea. I have a plant in the natural 
ground near five feet high. Mine has been sheltered in the winter, 
but old James Gordon left his exposed to all weathers, this last 
winter, and yet it thrives very well. We shall propagate it as fast 
as we can. 

Do not imagine that all the people in this country are against 
America. We sympathize with you much. It may be our turn to 
suffer next. We hope, however, that the impending storm may 
blow over, and that you may be enabled to act your part pro- 

I am thy assured friend, 

John Fothergill. 

* The liberal and friendly sentiments of Doctor Fotheegill, in relation to the 
difficulties of the American Colonies with the mother country, are very remarka- 
ble, and worthy of commemoration. In addition to the feelings and views in- 
dicated in his letters to John Babteam and Humphet Maeshall, there are pre- 
served in Doctor Lettsom's edition of his works, two Addresses to his countrymen, 

1743.1 J - F - gronovius. 349 


November the 30th, 1743. 

Respected Friend Doctor Gronovius : 

I received thy kind letter, and Linn^us's Characters, with thy 
Index Lapiclece, by the hands of my friend Phineas Bond. I 
have got them neatly bound up together in one book ; since which, 
I have received the second part of the Flora Virginica ; all which 
I am very much obliged to thee for, and shall endeavour to send 
thee specimens of what I suppose may be acceptable. I have put 
in the box, a glass bottle with one of our red-bellied snakes * * 
[Hiatus in MS.~\ 


Dear Sir : 

In the month of Juny I was surprised to see such a variety of 
natural things, which you are pleased to send to me. I assure 
you I shall always endeavour to deserve your favour, and not keep 
your observations for my own, but make them public to the learned 
world. And, to be short, I shall give you an account how I pro- 
posed to go on. First, I propose to dispose all what you send me 
in their orders, vid., regnum lapideum, vegetabile and animale ; 
and secondly, in their classes, genera, and species. This being 
done, I endeavour to explain every particular, of which I give you 
the following scheme about the petrifications. 

Transeundum nunc est ad tales lapides, qui simulacrum ani- 

at home, which, for vigour of style, cogency of appeal, and the sturdy spirit of 
freedom which they breathe, will compare favourably with the patriotic mani- 
festos issued by our revolutionary fathers. 

* John Frederic Gronovius, a physician and botanist of considerable learn- 
ing, was born in Holland, in 1690. He took his Doctor's Degree at Leyden, in 
1715. He received from Clayton various specimens of Virginian plants, which 
he, with the assistance of Linnaeus, then resident in Holland, arranged according 
to the Sexual System, and with proper specific characters, descriptions, and 
synonyms, published under the title of Flora Virginica, in 1739, in 8vo. In 1740, 
he published his Index Siippellectilis Lapidece, or a scientific catalogue of his own 
collection of Minerals, drawn up under the inspection and with the assistance of 
Linnaeus. In 1755, came out his Flora Orientalis, in 8vo., the materials of which 
were afforded by the very magnificent Herbarium of Rauwolf, collected in his 
travels in the East, during the years 1573, 1574, and 1575. Gronovius died in 
1762, at the age of 72 years. 

350 J- F. gronovius [1743. 

malis, vel ejus tectum et domicilium representant, quales Petri- 
FICATA appellare eonsueverunt authores, quceque in veritatem dilu- 
viance inundationes adducere non dubitarunt. Hcec vario sita 
loco observavit vir egregius [Joannes Bartram] ; alia quippe in 
superficie terrce, alia in prof undo. Quce enim in Australi [?] 
Pensilvanice plaga, immensos Canada? lacus resjnciens, occurrebant, 
in superficie terrce jacebant: imo in itinere, quo aliquot centum 
milliaria absolvit, ea ubique sparsa reperit.* **** 
And in this way I propose to go on with every particular subject 
you send me. In things now which are extra sphceram ?neam, I 
address niyselv to such gentlemans, which I know that have any 
notion of them. You never can believe how our Virtuosos are 
pleased to see the cells of the Wasp nests filled with Spiders, of 
which they never have heard before. Professor Muschenbroek 
and Luiiots cannot enough admire that mechanica. They hope 
with me to give you a good account of it ; only we wish you could 
sent to us at an occasion one of the Humble Bees himself, and also 
one long, blac Wasp num. 25 and 26. We have discovered, that 
all the chrysalides of them, and those that are still in their silk 
folliculus are still in life. So that you see by this way everything 
will be welcome. 

Pray, can you tell me how goes the Loadstone Rok, out of 
which you split the Cotton Stone, num. 6 ? Doth she go from 
east to west, or from south to north, or else way ? You send to 
me a shell with a sort of a Lapster in it. The shell is the Cochlea 
perlata Bonan. rar., class 3, num. 167. The animal in it is the 
Heremite Krab of Catesby, Nat. Hist., vol. 2, tab. 33, fig. 2, the 
Soldger of Rochefort, p. 122. * * * But the paper wherein 
it was involved, was inscribed with the name of Antiqua. I wish 
to know if this is the Indian name. It will be very convenient 
always to have the Indian names. As much as possible you 
must endeavour of the conchas bivalves to get both the valves. 
You never can belive what a great rarity there is amongst the 
muscles num. 1, and particular amongst the small ones, of which I 
find severall different varietys. I belive upon strik enquiry, that 
in your sea and rivers, are to be found all the species of Conchas 
and Cuchlece, which are to be found everywhere ; for I see that 

* For a translation of this passage, see Doctor Colden's letter to John Bar- 
tram, under date of May 9, 1746, page 331. The word "Australi" is evidently, 
as Doctor Golden suggested, a mistake for Boreali. 

1743.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 351 

under num. 2, amongst the Salt Water Shells, you send a valva 
cava pectinis aurit., but the other ones are the most curious to 
my knowledge only to be found at Curacao, in the West Indies, 
and at Amboina in East India ; they are one of the valvse of the 
Ostrea perlata capite foraminoso Petiv. mus. n. 823, and Concha 
suhrotiuiJa, una valva perforata, cujus multiplices sunt varietates, 
Gualt. Ind. test. tab. 97. * * * * * 

Your consideration upon the fragments of variety of pots, num. 
4, is really some thing news. I don't find any mention about 
the earthen pots of the old Indians, before they were acquainted 
with the Europeans, in our Voyageurs, except Sloane, Introd. p. 
47 et 70 ; who, tabula 2, gives the figure of an Urna, found in 
Jamaica. So that your pot is a great antiquity, worth to be set in 
a public Musceum. 

I admire so many things discovered by you in Pensilvania, 
which are the same in Germany. It brings me in mind a pro- 
blema of the botanist, that Plantce alpince ubique ewdem ; planto3 
ejusdem climatis fere ewdem ; and at present by your observation, 
we may conclude, terram ejusdemque contenta sub eodem scepe 
eadem : for num. 7, the marble of your contrey is the Stalactites 
calcis solidce, Supell. p. 15, No. 12. 


You shall very much oblige the learned world with your commu- 
nications ; particular with your Yournal to the Five Nations. I 
am particularly desired by some learned gentlemen to ask you 
about the Loadstone, of which they wish to know what the longest 
and the thikkest piece was you remember to have seen ; and if you 
could spare, to have a little pieces of the same you send me, which 
is the most curious they ever have seen, to make experiments 
with it. 

As soon I have an occasion to send to Mr. Collinson some- 
thing, I shall send to you the sheeds you want to compleat your 
Characters, besides another copy of the Characters for a pocket- 
book ; and another copy of my Index supellectilis. Pray, my 
service to Doctor Phineas Bond. 

We hath here this winter, one of the Dutch ministers from 
Pensilvania, studiing in physick. I have seen him once in my 
house, but seeing that he was a man of no knowledges of all, I 
would not los my time with him. 

Now, dear sir, I finish these, with many thanksgivings for so 

352 JOHN BARTRAM [1745. 

many curious things, which I hope, in short, to make public to the 
whole world, and do as Plixius says : ingenuum est profiteri per 
quern profeceris. 

Wishing you all health and prosperity, 

I remain your most obedient servant. 

J. F. Groxovius. 

Leyden, 25th of July, 1744. 


December the 6th, 1745. 

Esteemed Friexd Doctor Groxovius : 

I have received thy kind letters of July the 25th, 1744, and 
April the 14th, 1745, with thy observations on the Shells that I 
sent thee, and the skin of the Fish, with its fins curiously displayed 
on paper ; all which was very acceptable. But as I did not re- 
ceive a line from thee since I sent those curiosities to thee, about 
two years ago, until late this fall, so I could not procure any Fish, 
nor Insects for thee. But since I received thy letters, I have rode 
about the country to gather what I could for thee, and particularly 
to the Loadstone cpiarry, and bought a few Loadstones, two of 
which I send to thee for those two gentlemen who were so desirous 
of them ; with whom I should be glad to correspond by letters ; 
for I am ready to learn of any learned person that will be so kind 
as to instruct me in any branch of Natural History, which is my 
beloved amusement. 

The Loadstone lieth in a vein of a particular kind of stone 
[Serpentine ?] that runs near east and west for sixty or seventy 
miles or more, appearing even with, or a little higher than its sur- 
face, at three, five, eight, or ten miles distance, and from ten to 
twenty yards broad, generally mixed with some veins of cotton 

The earth of each side is very black, and produceth a very odd, 
pretty kind of Lyclinis, with leaves as narrow and short as our 
Red Cedar, of humble growth, perennial, and so early as to flower, 
sometimes, while the snow is on the ground [probably Arenaria 
stricta, Mx.] ; also, a very pretty Alsine [perhaps Cerastium vil- 
losum, Muhl., 0. oblong if olium, Torr.]. Hardly anything else 
grows here. Our people call them Barrens; but if this black 
light mould be spread upon other kinds of soil, it will produce corn 

1745.] T0 J - F - gronovius. 353 

and grass, finely. See more in the papers in which I have 
wrapped some of both the common rock and loadstone. 

I have sent thee many curiosities in a box directed to thee ; 
which I hope our worthy friend, Peter Collinson, will send to 
ttiee according to my direction, if the French and Spaniards 
don't hinder him from the opportunity of obliging us. Indeed, it 
is very discouraging to think that all my labour and charges, may 
very likely fall into such hands as will take no farther care of 
them, than to heave them overboard into the sea, as I suppose they 
did all that I sent last year, by the Queen of Hungaria. If I 
could know that they fell into the hands of men of learning and 
curiosity, I should be more easy about them. Though they are 
what is commonly called our enemies, yet, if they make proper use 
of what I have laboured for, let them enjoy it with the blessing of 

I have sent a variety of the clay-cells, which the singing Wasps 
built last summer ; but the wasps were gone, or dead, before thy 
instructions came to my hands. I believe we have a great variety 
of these kinds. I design, next summer (if my affairs go on pretty 
well), to make a fine collection of insects and fishes for thee. 

I sent by the last ship, to Mr. Collinson, a Muskrat's skin, 
with its feet, tail, and part of its head, for thee to make particular 
observations thereof. 

***** * * 

I have sent thy observations on the Shells, I sent thee, to our 
friend Dr. Colden ; and thy letter to him, with the book for the 
Doctor at New York, who died a few days before I received 

Dr. Colden and I often send letters to one another. He is a 
worthy gentleman, of pleasant and agreeable conversation, and 
great humanity. He staid at my house one night, last year ; and 
next dav, I went with him to James Logan's, and from thence to 

Doctor Mitchell lodged several nights at my house. Last year, 
he came up to town for the advantage of better health. He is an 
ingenious man : but his constitution is miserably broken, and if he 
don't remove soon from Virginia, he can't continue long in the 
land of the living. 

Our friend, Dr. Phineas Bond, gives his service to thee. He 
hath a great respect for thee. 


,354 j. f. gronovius [1746. 

I have lately been upon the branches of the Susquehanna, to 
the mountains, to fetch some roots of my great Magnolia [31. 
acuminata, L.] ; and measured a common dry leaf fourteen inches 
long, and seven broad, the trees very large and straight. I have 
not yet received those books thee was so kind as to send, for which 
I return my sincere love. I hope they are coming in the next ship 
from London. 

%+ *} 5f 5jC 5JC 3JC 2fs 

I shall be much obliged to thee, if thee would please to write all 
thy further observations which thee pleases to communicate to 
me in English ; which I can understand much better than Latin, 
which is troublesome to me to understand your sentiments. But 
now, dear sir, pray make use of every opportunity, that falls into 
thy hands, to write to me. A brisk and cheerful correspondence 
is very agreeable to thy sincere friend, 

John Bartram. 

I have a copy of my Journal to Onondaga, twice, which hath 
been taken ; since which, I have not wrote it over again. Perhaps 
I may send it, next summer, again. 


Dear Sir : 

The 19 of May I hath the favour to get your letters, dated the 
16 Novemb. and 6 December, 1745, with a good number of ex- 
ceeding fine curiosities, which I partly, for short time and several 
occupations, have examined, and of which I send to you my obser- 
vations, having the occasion that my friend, Dr. Dundas, is going 
to London. I wish you would examine if the Muskrat hath not 
four mammas two at the breast and two at the belly. 

Professor Muscheneroek is much obliged to you for the account 
you have given of the loadstone, and the situation of the rokke, 
of which he at an occasion shall make use, and remember you as is 

I am sorry your voyage [journey to Onondaga] is fallen into 
the hands of the French ; but I hope this present warre may be 
soon turned into peace ; and by that occasion we may see another 

1746.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 355 

I am sorry you hath not received the books I hath send to you : 
wherefore I send to you another copy of the Characters of 
Lixn^us ; and an edition of the Systema Natural in octavo, 
which is very convenient for the pocket : besides, two copies of the 
New Chimney, translated into Dutch, of which you will be so kind 
to send one at an occasion to Dr. Coldex, who hath been so kind 
to communicate that book, in English, to me. That invention 
hath found a great applause in this part of the world, which is the 
reason that I could not hinder to let it be translated into Dutch. 
and no doubt soon into French. In the plate, you shall see a little 
alteration, what is occasioned by very skilfull people. 

I send also a copy of my Index Lapideai ; but at present my 
collection is three times larger, so that I think for a new edition. 

All things you send to me came very well over, except the two 
fishes, which were spoiled. I take, therefore, the liberty to com- 
municate to you two prescriptions ; of which one is a varnish that 
preserves the fishes, and any other thing, in a great perfec- 

tion, viz. : 

R. Gumm. Copal, giij. 
Sandarach. a gij. 
Spirit, villi rectificatiss. ftijss. 
M. lege artis. 

- B v 

The other is a powder, by which any creature, as quadrupeds 
and birds, are preserved and become very hard. I have several 
times made the experiment with a fowl, larger than a duck, putting 
him, with his excrementse and all, into a box, which is well closed. 
and putting this dose of a powder all over it : when the creature 
became in few weeks very hard. 

R. Pulv. aloes, 3iij. 
Myrrhge, 3ij. 
Alumin. a 3j. M. f. Pulvis. 

I don't doubt it will do very well with the fishes, without taking 
the intestines out of them, except they may not be too thick [or 
large] ; then the intestina must be carefull (by a gentle hole, made 
in the mids of the belly) taken out. 

I hope you received my letter dated in April, 1745, by Mr. 
Schoemaker, to whom I pray my service : likewise to Dr. Colden, 

356 F. gronovius [1746. 

Dr. Phineas Bond, and James Logan. I hope that he will re- 
member me concerning the desperate affairs of our Synodus? 
which are in the hands of Mr. Peters, according to the last 
account of it. 

I am sorry to hear that Dr. Mitchell is so ill. I hope he may 
recover soon. 

Yesterday night, I got a letter from Mr. Collinson, dated the 
16 of May, in which he acquaint me that Dr. Mitchell was taken 
by the Tiger privateer, from St. Malo, Captain Pallier, who took 
from him all his learned observations ; for which I am sorry.* 

As you doth not mention a word of the caracter of a new genus 
of plants, I suspect that you know nothing of it. You must know, 
that with the assistance of Linnaeus, and other friends, we dis- 
covered severall new genera, quite different from al these which 
are known : and so there is made one Bartramia, and another 
called Coldenia. 

I can't say positively in what book they, with severall other new 
characters, are printed ; but I am sure that they will be found, or 
in Fauna Suecica, or the Acta Suecica ;f which books were in 
April send from Stockholm by sea, so that they are expected here 
every day : when I shall send to you that book, if there are send 
duplicates of it. However, that you should know what plant it is, 
I send to you the character. 


Lappula benghalensis tetraspermos, ribesii folio, echinis orbiculatis 

ad foliorum ortum plurimis sessilibus. Pink. Almag. p. 206, 

tab. 41, fig. 5. 
Cal. Perianthium quinquepartitum, laciniis linearibus, infra apicem 

acuminatis, deciduis. 
Cor. Petala quinque cuneiformia, unguibus longitudine calycis, 

limbo patente obtuso. 
Stam. Filamenta decern capillaria, longitudine tubi corollse. 

Anther at subrotundae. 
Pist. Creirmen subrotundum. Stylus capillaceus, longitudine 

staminum. Stigma simplex. 

* P. Collinson, through whom this letter was sent, adds in a note "but Dr. 
Mitchell is arrived safe, with his wife, at London, and is much recovered." 

f The genus probably first appeared in the Flora Zeylanica, p. 174, published 
in 1747. 

1746.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 357 

Peric. nullum. Fructus globosus echinatus, dissiliens in 
Semina quatuor aut quinque ; hinc convexa, echinata spinis 
hamatis, inde angulata. 
Facies Triumfettce et JJrence ; sed diversissima planta.* 


Teucrii facie bisnagarica tetracoccos rostrata, pilis scatens ? foliis 
profunde venosis. Plukn. Aim. p. 363, tab. 64, fig. 6\ 

Cal. Perianthium tetraphyllum, foliolis lanceolatis erectis. 

Cor. monopetala infundibuliformis, longitudine calycis ; limbo 
patulo obtuso equali quadrifido. 

Stam. Filamenta quatuor, tubo corolla; inserta. Antherce sub- 

Pist. G-ermina quatuor ovata. Styli totidem capillares, longitu- 
dine staminum. Stigmata simplicia persistentia. 

Peric. nullum. Fructus ovatus scaber compressus, rostris quatuor. 

Sem. quatuor acuminata, hinc convexa, scabra, inde angulata. 
Facies J\ T euradce, sed diversissima planta. 

Pray, when you write to that learned gentleman, send to him a 
copy of this character, and acquaint him that I, with great plea- 
sure, perceived by your letter that my pakket is come to his hands ; 
but that I am extremely sorry that his things for me were taken 
by the privateers. 

Pray acquaint me in your next, how it goes with your learned 
newly erected Society, and what improvements they have made. 

This is all, dear sir, what I could perform since the 19 of May, 
being now obliged by the departure of my dear friend, Doctor 
Dundas, to finish these ; wishing you and all friends health and 
prosperity, wherewith I remain 

Your most obedient servant, 

Johannes Fredericks Gronovius. 

Ley den, 2 Juny, 1746. 

* This plant, on which it was then proposed to establish the genus Bartramia, 
was finally referred to Triumfetta, of Plum, and Linn. It is now the Triumfetta 
angulata, Lam. Diet. DC. Prodr. 1, p. 507 ; T. Bartramia, L. (partly) ; Willd. sp. 
pi. 2, p. 854 ; Lappago Amboinica, Rumph. Amb. 6, p. 59 ; Bartramia, Lam. III. 
tab. 400, f . 2 ; B. Lappago, Gaertn. Fruct., tab. 111. 

The name was afterwards (1789) given, by Hedwig, to a genus of humble 

358 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1750. 


The 15th of 12th month, 1746. 

Dear Friend Doctor Gronovius : 

I received thy kind letters of June the 2d, and September 
the 9th, 1746 ; also the second edition of Linneus's Cha- 
racters, and thy Index ; all which impressions thee sent me 
before. But the Sy sterna Nature, which is now received, I 
never had before. I have not travelled much abroad, this 
year, by reason of the wars and troubles, both in Europe and 
on our back inhabitants. The French Indians have been very 
troublesome, which hath made travelling very dangerous beyond 
our inhabitants, where I used to find many curiosities ; and, in- 
deed, these troublesome times are a great hindrance to any curious 
inquiries. While we may daily expect invasions, we have little 
heart or relish for speculations in Natural History. * * [Cetera 

j. f. gronovius to john bartram. 

Dear Friend : 

It is more than four years that I have not heard from you, of 
which the last war was the cause. I let you know by these that I 
am printing a new edition of my Index supellectilis lapidea; ; 
wherein you shall find the names of all the minerals and fossils 
you ever had send to me, with an encomium and thanks of all the 
benefits you have bestowed upon me. As soon as this book is 
printed, I shall send a copy of it for you to Mr. Collinson, who 
is now my only correspondent in London, being our good friend 
Mr. Catesby dead. You perceive how I expect to hear from you. 

The bearer of these is Mr. Adolf Benzel, son to the Arch- 
bishop Eric Benzel, of Upsala, whom I recommend to you. 
Wherewith, I remain 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

John Fred. Gronovius. 

Leyden, 2 July, 1750. 

1752.] J. F. gronovius. 359 

[The Editor is indebted for the following letter, to his friend 
Doctor Gray, of Cambridge, who is in possession of the original.] 


November 30, 1752. 

Dear Friend : 

I received thy kind letter of March the 24th, 1752, by Mr. 
Schlater, which pleased me well. Pray, how doth the Water 
Mill prove ? Doth it answer expectation ? After what manner doth 
it work ? I should be glad to know something of the nature of it. 

I am in expectation of enjoying great satisfaction by thy next 
letter, and Kalm's Catalogue of Plants, which thee mentions thee 
designs to send me. I sent thee last spring, a box of fossils, and 
curious stones, with a letter ; but have not yet received any 

I have not travelled much this year, it being a very bad seed 
year. I hope next may be better ; and I design to travel most of 
the season, if Providence affords me health and opportunity, when 
I hope to pick up some curiosities for thee of the fossil kind. 

I have had several accounts from curious observers, of manv 
fish which have been catched near the middle of the sea, in which 
there have been shell-fish, and sand reptiles, and several such like 
submarine fish, whose abode is on sandy shoals ; which inclines me to 
query whether there may not be vast chains of mountains, of many 
hundreds of miles extent in the sea, as well as at land ; and 
whether the tops of these may not be large sand-banks, which may 
produce food for many kinds of fish (that never swim near the 
shore), which resort to these banks for their daily food, whose 
summits may be nearer the surface than most people may expect, 
and where they may suppose it to be unfathomable ; as there are 
islands already known, many of which are dispersed in most parts 
of the sea, at unequal distances, where ships take their course in 
sailing to the East and West Indies ; and it's very likely many 
more are yet undiscovered, by reason of the vast tract of sea where 
ships have not yet sailed, as may be observed by consulting the 
Sea Journals. 

These islands being the tops of vast mountains, appearing above 
the surface, so I think it's very likely that hundreds of them may 

360 J- F. gronovius [1752. 

be placed as different in altitude as magnitude, or distance ; so, 
consequently, many of them may be in the reach of common 
sounding, not yet known, by reason that the navigators never 
sound but when they expect they are near some coast. But if our 
cruising vessels (for merchant ships can't lose so much time, unless 
in a calm), were to sound every day far from shore, perhaps they 
might find fine banks, where many kinds of fish frequent for food, 
and might be improved for good fisheries, for the benefit of man- 
kind. Query, whether these vast chains of mountains, if there be 
such, may not be, in part, the cause of the currents in the sea, 
which our navigators complain so much of ; and is it not probable, 
that there may be various kinds of fish in the great vales, between 
these ridges, which never appeared, nor can live, near the surface 
of the water ? 

Thy answer to these queries will be very acceptable to thy sin- 
cere friend and well-wisher, 

John Bartram. 

P. S. Our worthy friend Benjamin Franklin, desires thee to 
send him a Dutch translation of his new-invented stove, or fire- 
place ; and one book of his Electrical Experiments, if it be translated 
into Dutch. He wants to make a present of them to a friend in 
York. He is willing to satisfy thee for them, cost what they may. 

Thine, as before, 

J. B. 


Dear Friend : 

I received your letters, dated January and November, 1751, 
March and November, 1752 ; besides one of your son Moses ; and 
lately, by my good friend, Mr. Collinson, yours of 6 of Novemb. 

My own and public affairs, and an indifferent health, have 
hindered me to show my thankfulness to all my friends and bene- 
factors, being in great fear to become totally paralytic ; but since 
I turn myself to a way of living, as our old patriarchs did, I am 
quite recovered, for I drink no wine, coffee or the, but only small 
beer, and milk mixed with water. My dinner consisted in gruttos 

1754.] TO JOHN BAR TRAM. 361 

and greens boiled in water, without butter, * * avoiding all 
the delicate aromata which the East and West Indies send to us. 
What a change it must make in my body, that was from his yought 
customed at dinner and supper, to a bottle and a half wine, besides 
the rest when I get a friend ! However, I can tell to you, that I 
left it all at once ; in three days the swelling of my feets and cruel 
pains went off, and I my selv became not at all week, but contrary 
I get a great strength, and sleep exceeding wel. So that I at 
present am entirely at the service of my friends ; and now my 
worthy friend, the Rev. Mr. Schlattek, returning to you, I take 
the opportunity to send these to you. 

I am obliged to you for the description of the gape near the 
Blew Mountains, all filled with stones. Betwixt Utregt and the 
Loo, a country place builded by King William the III., is the 
country all covered with sand-hills for about eighteen Dutch miles ; 
but heer and there some low planes for a quarter of an hour, 
which are all fild with stones, les and great, some larger than my 
head, and most part flint stones. I believe realy all the country 
under the sand there is covered with such stones. I have seen in 
Flanders, when the King of France made a neAv rode about Brus- 
sels, that they removed some immense sand-hills, and found at last 
the ground all filled with loose stones all roundish, and here and 
there some petrifications of a yellowish colour, but not separated ; 
but shells of differend kind and cochles joined to one another by 
the same calcarea materia of which the stones consists, so as 
Rumphius represents in tab. 58, E. 

I am infinitely obliged to you for the petrified shells, with the 
belemnites and other stones. I was surprised to see these shells, 
for as much as I know, they are originally from the coast of Sicily, 
and that way, under the name of Bucardia, of which several other 
species are to be found upon the Alpes in Switzerland, and upon 
the Mounts of in Italy ; but this particular species was never 

met calcinated or petrified. It is pity it was broken. Question is, 
how now, and when, these creatures are brought from Sicily to 
your country. It must be agreed, that there must have been a 
passage by water betwixt these two places ; but what time it was 
so, no body can say. That all the petrifications should be attri- 
bute to the general deluge, is what I never shall agree ; but I 
think, that with good reason we may derive them from the time of 

362 J- f. gronovius [1754. 

the creation of the world, so that they should not be taken for 
diluviana, but antediluviana. 

It is also probable that after the creation, there have been as well 
storms as in our time, when the sea overflowed several countrys. To 
these overflowings I attribute the strata, and per consequence, so 
many strata there are, so many overflowings there have been. We 
see that confirmed in this country ; for when we dig three feet, 
Ave find a stratum all of shells, the same as we have at our sea- 
coast, under it a stratum of clay, and then again a stratum of 
shells. It is also confirmed, that before the sand-hills were thrown 
up by a great storm, this country was not habitable in winter time, 
by the overflowing of the sea, and that the few inhabitants of it 
were obliged to remove to Batavodurum, which is thirty-six miles 
from hence. 

So farther, I suppose the sea had overflowen the land, and left 
there a stratum of shells ; this was easily overspread by the flying 
sand, upon which the waters coming, or by the rain, or by any 
other way, and standing there make a sedimentum, out of which 
there becomes by time a marshy ground, being the matrix of the 
Sjihagnum and likely sort of plants ; and from which, in time, by 
the accession of other particulars, are produced the different sorts 
of clay and humus, and so by succession we get a fertile ground. 

It is a great hardship to me, I must tell you, that the water-mill 
of Mr. Genete is woll finished, but the experiment is not yet 
taken with it. Every one talks very indifferently of it, and the 
most part have no opinion of it. * * * * 

That there are vast chains of mountains in the sea, where they 
are called islands, and banks, is not to be contradicted, and I 
believe several petrified subjects are the prove of it. * * 

Yea, I believe that Majorca and Minorca are only the tops of 
mountains standing in a large province under sea, where many 
fishes find their food. We know by Mr. Cleghorn's observations, 
that there is no places where more variety of fishes is, than at 
Minorca ; and I have by reports of some of our sea officers the 
confirmation of it. 

And now lastely to your letter dated the 6 of December, 1753, 
which I get by our good friend Mr. Slatter, I hope you shall 
hear from him, that he hath been here with good success ; at list I 
have contributed what is in my power. He hath a great patrone 
to Mr. Thomson, the minister at Amsterdam, to whom I commu- 

1744.1 TO JOHN BARTRAM. 363 

nicated Mr. Peters' letters ; having Mr. Thomson promised me 
to give answers to them in my name. When you see Mr. Peters, 
tell him that. 

I send you here a copy of the new-invented stove : but of a 
Dutch translation of his experiments upon the electricite, I don't 
know anything. But in few days I go to Amsterdam ; if I find 
it there, I shall send it immediately to Mr. Collinson, by a friend 
that goes in a few weeks to London. Pray my service to Mr. 
Franklin. I wish I could do to you and him any service. I 
wish you good success with your book about trees. Wherewith 
wishing to you all health and prosperity, I remain, dear friend, 
your most obedient servant, 

Joh. Fred. Gronovius. 

Leyden, 10 Juny, 1754. 


June the 3d, 1744. 

Doctor Mitchell : 

I have now before me thy kind letter of May the 5th, which 
pleaseth me well. I should have been exceedingly pleased to have 
been acquainted with thee when I travelled in your country, in the 
year 1738, when I lodged in Fredericksburgh ; from whence I 
travelled near sixty miles down Rappahannock, thence over Dra- 
gon Bridge to John Clayton's (where I was disappointed of seeing 
him, he being gone towards the mountains), thence to Williams- 
burgh ; so up James River to Goochland, where I saw a pretty 
little tree of the Arbor vitas, on the west bank of the river. It 
was about six inches diameter. Thence travelling to your Blue 
Mountains, headed Rappahannock, fell upon the branches of 
Shenandoah, a great branch of Potomac, kept the great vale, 
between the North and South Mountains, till crossing Susque- 

* John Mitchell, M.D., a botanist and physician, came from England to 
Virginia, about the year 1700. He died in 1772. His residence was chiefly at 
Urbana, a small town on the Rappahannock, about seventy-three miles from 
Richmond. He appears to have been a man of observation, acuteness, and enter- 
prise, as well as learning. Among his various publications, was a useful work on 
the general principles of Botany, containing descriptions of a number of new 
genera of plants, 4to., 1769. The worth and scientific labours of Dr. Mitchell 
will be effectually commemorated among Botanists, by the beautiful little Ame- 
rican perennial which bears his name (Mitchella repents, L.). Blake's Bioy. Diet. 

364 D R- JOHN MITCHELL [1747. 

hanna, took the nearest way I could, home. Since which time I 
have travelled many times over East and West Jersey, and up the 
North River to the great falls of the Mohawks' River, and twice 
climbed up the great Katskill Mountains (which is near three times 
as high as any other I ever climbed), where is a fine prospect over a 
great part of New England. These mountains produce the greatest 
variety of plants and trees, of any particular spot of ground I 
know of. The Balm of Gilead Fir grows here a hundred feet 
high, very straight ; so doth two or three kinds of the Newfound- 
land Spruce Firs, with several kinds of curious pines, and a fine 
species of the Paper Birch, whose bark yielding leaves [or laminse] 
above three feet square, of fine paper for either writing, drawing, 
or printing, and several other species of Birch ; Cherry trees 
five feet high, not of the bird, clustered kind ; Quicken Tree [Mor- 
bus] fifteen feet high ; a fine species of Viburnum, with broad 
leaves, shaped like a heart ; several species of the Ar alias, and 
Araliastrums, Christophorianas, Lady's Bowers, Herb Paris 
[Trillium], with many other very odd kinds of plants and shrubs; 
and upon the same ridge with your South Blue Mountain, by 
Hudson's River's bank, grow large trees of the Arbor vitce, and 
in the swamps, fine Larch Trees. This last sheds its leaves in 
autumn, though a fine resinous tree. Last July I went with our 
interpreter [Conrad Weiser] to Onondaga, to make peace 
between your people and the Six Nations, on the account of the 
skirmish with your back inhabitants ; from whence I went down 
the river to the great Lake Frontenac [Ontario]. In this journey 
I observed many curious trees, shrubs, and plants, particularly a 
fine Magnolia [31. acuminata, L.~\, above sixty feet high, and 
three diameter, the cones three or four inches long, the leaves a 
foot long, and six inches broad, a little hairy, the winter bud 
covered with down, or short hairs, to defend it from the severity 
of the cold, in that rigorous climate. I sent a specimen of it to 
our friend Peter, last fall. He writes me, thee sent him speci- 
mens of the same species three years ago. * * 


London, June 2, 1747. 


I have a long while waited an opportunity of writing something 

1747.1 T0 J0HN bartram. 365 

to you, that might be acceptable, and am glad of this opportunity 
of doing it. I am desired to get a parcel of seeds for the Duke of 
Argyle, and know of none whom I would sooner depend upon than 
you, to do it. He would have a large quantity, but fears the 
season may be too far advanced, before you receive this, to collect 
them, and so desires you would send as many as you can afford for 
five pounds. If they please, I doubt not but he will desire more 
as well as my Lord Bute, who gave me this commission. They 
desire chiefly flowering trees and shrubs. Some of the new Mag- 
nolia, if you can get it ; and particularly some of the White Cedar, 
which I told them you would be sure to send. 

Mr. Collinson tells me he has sent for seven such parcels this 
year, already ; so I doubt not but you ma} r have some that are 
curious, collected. He [the Duke] has many of the common 
things already, and wants chiefly the PapawTree, or Anona, the two 
new Ohamcerhododendrons, Sugar Tree, Orange Apocynum [Ascle- 
pias tuberosa, L.], Scarlet Spiraea, Euonymus scandens [Celas- 
trus], the large Ketmia, with flowers like Cotton, Leonurus [?], or 
Oswego Tea [evidently a mistake, Leonurus for Monarda didyma~\, 
the new Pines, which I think you said you had seen ; he has all the 
common sorts. 

I am glad to hear that your industry this way is like to be of 
some service to you. I hope it may be in my way to promote it, 
which you may depend upon. This is the only way I ever knew it 
of any service to anybody ; for Botany is at a very low ebb in 
England, since the death of Lord Petre. Dr. Dillenius is like- 
wise dead. I should be glad to hear from you, and what new 
plants you find. 

I have wrote a long letter to Mr. Franklin, which I hope he 
will receive, and desired a specimen of the water that turns iron to 
copper, and the earth, salts, &c, about it, which I would analyze : 
and should be glad of an account of its effects with you, and the 
way of operating with it there, to see if it would do the same here. 
I likewise desired some specimens (and a quantity of them), of the 
blue stones in your Yellow Springs, which pray tell him of, if mine 
to him should miscarry. I fancy it may be more in your way than 
his to procure them, by which you would highly oblige me. 

Remember me particularly to him, and your good spouse, and 
Dr. Bond. I have nothing worth Avhile to say to them, else should 
not fail to do it. 

3(36 DR. JOHN MITCHELL [1750. 

You may direct the box of seeds, &c, to the care of Mr. Col- 
LINSON, with the others. 

From your humble servant, 

John Mitchell. 


I have received several letters from you, since my last, for which 
I return you thanks. The reason why I have been so long in 
writing to you, is, that I have been in Scotland, and over most of 
that country, with the Duke of Argyle, since my last to you ; and 
since my return here, have been so engaged in writing some other 
things, which has disagreed so with the state of my health, that it 
gives me pain even to sit down to take a pen in my hand, and very 
often I am unable to do it, on account of a vertiginous disorder 
which it has occasioned, and brings on ; so that you must excuse 
me from writing fully and particularly to you, till I can do it with 
more safety. 

The plants and seeds which you sent for the Duke of Argyle, 
came safe to hand ; and I have long ago paid Mr. Collixson for 
them. I lately, likewise, got two or three seeds of the new Mag- 
nolia from him, which I carried to the Duke, but there is none of 
them come up ; and it is to be feared that we cannot expect any 
from about eight or nine seeds which I had, as they are so apt to 

miscarry, at the best. 


I have been obliged to give over my botanical pursuits, for some 
time, so that I have not anything to say to you on that head at present. 
But I have often mentioned you to several great men, whom I have 
had an opportunity of seeing here, who are very glad to hear of 
industry and laudable endeavours, but are very backward in re- 
warding them, at least, with anything that is real and substantial ; 
which is the most of what I can say on that head, although if it 
lies in my power to recommend you to anything or to be of any 
service to you, in any shape, you may freely command, and depend 
upon Your very humble servant, 

John Mitchell. 

London, August 1, 1750. 

1751.] t0 john bart ram. 367 

Dear Sir : 

I received yours, in which you complain that you had neither 
received any letter from me, nor any account of the seeds you sent 
me, which I am surprised at ; I having wrote you a letter par- 
ticularly for three boxes of seeds the last year, of which I have 
received only two. * * * 

* * * You must excuse me, if I do not write to 
you so often and fully as I would incline to do. I have had so 
much business of that kind upon my hands, since I came to Eng- 
land, that I have contracted a disorder by it, which makes me 
unable to pursue it any longer, or even to sit down to write a 
letter, especially that requires any thought, without being sensibly 
the worse for it. I hope, however, to be able, some time or other, 
to make amends for my omissions of this kind. 

We have had two great losses, lately, in Planting and Botany, in 
England, which will hardly be repaired, I am afraid, and are 
rather greater than the loss they sustained by the death of Lord 

The Duke of Richmond, and the Prince of Wales, are sus- 
pected both to have lost their lives by it, by being out in their 
gardens, to see the work forwarded, in very bad weather. The 
Prince of Wales whose death you will hear of by these ships 
manifestly lost his life by this means. He contracted a cold, by 
standing in the wet to see some trees planted, (through a sort of 
obstinacy against any precautions of that kind, which it seems the 
whole family are blamed for,) which brought on a pleurisy, that he 
died of, lately. 

If anything occurs worthy your notice, I shall consider of it, at 
more leisure, by next opportunity. 

I am, sir, your most humble servant. 

John Mitchell. 

London, March 30th, 1751. 


Because I have an opportunity of writing to you, sir, I would 

* Peter Kalm, a celebrated naturalist, and pupil of LmsMva, was a native of 
Finland, born in the year 1715. Having imbibed a taste for the study of Natural 
History, he pursued his inclination with much zeal and industry. His reputation 
as a naturalist caused him to be appointed Professor at Abo ; and in October, 

368 PETER KALM [1749. 

have the honour to tell you, that I now have come here to Quebec. 
I do now send my servant-man from me to Philadelphia, to gather 
there seeds of all trees and herbs he can find, or which I have 
found there before. 

I am obliged to stay here myself to the middle of September, to 
have several seeds, which not can be ripe before ; and when I have 
gathered them, I think to retourn from hence, and will have the 
honour to see you in the beginning or middle of October. 

I have found great many trees and plants, which I not have 
seen before ; but you have in Pensylvania, too, great many trees 
and herbs, that do not grow here : Poplar, Sweet and Sour Gum, 
Laurel, Chesnut, Mulberry trees, Black Walnut, Sassafras, Mag- 
nolia, and great many others you can't find here. The Oaks of 
all sorts have taken leave, only some small shrubs of Black Oak 
do grow here by this town. 

I have made great many observations in all parts of the Natural 
History. If you do see Mr. Evans, pray remember my most 
humbly duty to him, and tell him that I hope to satisfy his 
curiosity in true maps of Canada : but the map of Canada he was 

1747, he set out upon his travels, sailing from Gottenburg for America, where . 
he arrived the ensuing year. 1 Having spent two or three years in travelling 
through Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, and the adjacent Provinces, he re- 
turned to his Professorship at Abo, in 1751. His discoveries in Botany materially 
enriched the Species Plantarum of his great master. Professor Kalm's travels in 
America have been published in English, and are quite interesting ; though he 
seems to have been remarkably credulous ; and moreover, it is alleged, has taken 
to himself the credit of some discoveries which rightfully belonged to John Bar- 
traji. He departed this life in the year 1779, aged 64. His name has become 
enduringly associated with a genus of our most elegant evergreen Shrubs. 

a Air. Kalm came to America by way of England, whence he brought the follow- 
ing letter of introduction ; for a copy of which, the editor is indebted to E. D. 
Ingraham, Esq. 

"To Ben. Franklin, Philadelphia. 

"London, June 14, 1748. 

" Friend Franklin : 

" The bearer, Mr. Kalm, is an ingenious man, and comes over on purpose to 
improve himself in all rational inquiries. He is a Swede per nation ; and is, as 
I am informed, employed by the Academy of Upsal to make observations on the 
pts of the world. I recommend him to thy favour and notice. By him I send 
the first volume of the Voyage to Discover Northwest Passage. I hope the 
pacquet, &c, sent under the care of Hunt and Greenleaf is come safe to hand. 

" I am thy sincere friend, 

"P. Collinson." 

1749.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 369 

so kind and write for me, had once (it was not far from it) thrown 
me in the other world. The reason was, that he has not put down 
a great river between Fort Ann and Crown Point, that runs in 
Woodcreek. My guides did not very well know the way, and we 
did go down this river, where such Indians did live that do kill all 
the English the see ; but to our happiness we did by good time 
find that we were wrong, and returned. 

Fifteen years ago, when the French King did send several of his 
learned men to Swedland to measure there a degree of latitude by 
the North Pol, our King in Swedland did let them have all thing 
the wanted gratis, or for nothing. In recompense thereof, the 
French King have given orders to his gouverneurs here in Canada, 
that I too shall have everything as victuals, lodgings, men to carry 
me to which place I will, &c, for nothing. It is not permitted to 
me to pay any thing, but the French King he pays that all. 

You can, sir, inform my man in several thing where he can find 
some rare plants, pray do it. Show him all places, where you 
have seen some small Mulberry Trees, or Grapes, but especialement 
Mulberry Trees, these I cannot have too many. I am persuaded 
it will be a pleasure for you to assist me. When I do returne from 
hence, then I can inform and satisfy your curiosity in great many 
thing in all parts of Natural History. My respect, sir, to madam, 
your wife. My man he can in great many things, too, satisfy 
your curiosite. 

I am, sir, your most humble servant, 

Peter Kalm. 

Quebec, the 6th day of August, 1749. 


Mr. Bartram : 

I return you my thanks for many curious seeds, which my good 

* James Gordon was an eminent nurseryman at Mile-End, near London, who 
introduced many new plants to the knowledge of the curious, or rather cultivated 
with great skill and success, such as were communicated to him from various 
quarters, by the collectors and naturalists of that day ; among whom were Bar- 
tram, Collinson, Ellis, and many others. He was a frequent correspondent of 
Llnn^us, and sent him several living plants, especially of North American 
origin. The famous Loblolly Bay, of our Southern States (which was named 
Franklinia, by Marshall), is referred to Gordonia, a genus which commemorates 
the name and botanical services of this gentleman. 


370 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1750-1. 

friend, Mr. Peter Collinson, has given me through your means. 
If there is any seeds here, which you think worth your having, 
please let me know, and I'll endeavour to procure you some of 
them ; and I am, 

Sir, your obliged servant, 

James Gordon. 

London, Mile-End, March 8, 1750-1. 

[On the back of the preceding, Peter Collinson wrote the 
subjoined paragraph : ] 

" Our friend Gordon is a very modest man, and can't speak 
himself; but a few Magnolia cones, of the two or three sorts grow- 
ing with you, will be acceptable to him." 


[Not dated.] 

To Monsieur Dalibard, a Paris : 

Our very worthy friend, Benjamin Franklin, Esq., whom I 
have the pleasure (as well as honour) to be intimately acquainted 
with, showed me a letter wherein thee mentioned a book thee 
designed to send me, which will be very acceptable, for I love 
Botany, and Natural History, exceedingly. 

I shall be well pleased to correspond with one so curious, and 
shall make use of all opportunities to oblige ; and as an introduc- 
tion, I have sent a little parcel of seeds, and specimens, which I 
gathered. But as you are possessed of so large a part of North 
America, I suppose it will be difficult to send you any plant that 
you have not, although I believe we have several which you want ; 
but the difficulty is, to know which they are. If I had a catalogue 
either of what you have, or what you want, I will endeavour to 
supply you, which I suj>pose must be carried on by the good offices 
of Benjamin Franklin here, or my first correspondent in London, 
the generous Mr. Peter Collinson, who is ready to oblige all 

* Mons. Dalibard was a French botanist, who, in 1749, published a duodecimo 
volume, entitled Flora. Parisiensis Prodromus. His name is commemorated by the 
genus Dalibarda, L. 



[Not dated, 1752 or 3.] 

Respected and worthy Friend: 

I received, about two months past, a letter from thee dated 
August the 10th, 1750. f I was exceedingly pleased to receive so 
kind a letter from one that so deservedly hears so superior a cha- 
racter for learning ; but was very much concerned that I could not 
have had it sooner than above two years after it was wrote ; and 
much the same misfortune happened to several pamphlets thee 
sent to Dr. Colden and Mr. Clayton, which our worthy friend 
Benjamin Franklin showed me last week, which he had just 
received, and intended to send according to direction, by the next 

I travelled, in 1751, most part of the autumn, and found several 
new species of plants, and shrubs, which I should have sent to thee, 
if I had known they would have been acceptable. 

We have four or five beautiful species of Jacobcea [Liliwrri], that 
you have not in Europe. One species grows in our marshes, 
another on flat stiff ground, another on cold shady banks, by the 
rivers, another on loose slaty soil on the great mountains ; and 
most of these species are much valued by the Indians, and back 
inhabitants, for the cure of the same diseases that the ancients used 
their Jacobcea for, though not one of them knew the name of the 

I hope thee hath received the Medicina Britannica.% I hope 
to send thee some specimens next fall. We are all surprised that 
we have not one letter from Peter Kalm. 

[Also without date, perhaps 1753.] 

To Linn^us : 

Respected friend, As I wrote to thee last spring, and have yet 
received no answer, I have not much to say. 

* No biographical notice of " the immortal Swede" is deemed requisite here, 
except perhaps, merely to say that he was born May 24th, 1707, and died 
January 11th, 1778, aged near seventy-one years. 

f The letters from Linn^us to John Baeteam are all missing. 

\ An American edition of a work with that title, with notes and an appendix by 
John Baeteam, published at Philadelphia in the year 1751. 

372 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1753. 

Pray, how doth our friend Kalm go on with his history of our 
country plants ? He promised me to send me one, as soon as 
printed, and that he would do me justice in mentioning what plants 
or specimens I showed him ; hut I never can get a letter from him 
since he left my house. I should be very well pleased to see what 
he hath wrote of our plants. 

I here send thee two specimens of a curious evergreen Veratrum 
[probably Helonias bullata, L.]. It grows in wet, swampy, shady, 
cold ground. The root is white and fibrous, from which proceeds 
sixteen, more or less, of longish narrow leaves, pointed at the ex- 
tremity. The leaves of the second year lie on the ground, spread 
in rays round the summer's leaves, which stood more erect, yet 
bending towards the ground, and surrounding a central bud which 
is set in the fall, and if for flowering, is like a pointed cone whose 
base is near an inch diameter, which next spring shoots up a single 
stalk eighteen inches high, with short pointed leaves set without 
order round it, gradually diminishing in magnitude unto the spike 
of flowers, two or three inches long, the petals of a flesh-colour, 
the apices [anthers] bluish, and standing out longer than the 
petals, which makes a pretty appearance. See the imperfect 
specimen, as it flowered after transplanting. 


February the 12th, 1753. 

Respected Friend Eliot : 

I have been long waiting for an answer to my letter which I 
sent last spring; but lately our good friend Benjamin told me 
our letters had miscarried. So now I venture to trouble thee with 
a few more of my rambling observations. * * 

* Jaeed Eliot, minister of Killings-worth, Connecticut, graduated at Yale Col- 
lege, 1706 ; ordained 1709 ; and died 1763, aged 78. He was a botanist, and a 
scientific and practical agriculturist. The White Mulberry tree was introduced 
by him into Connecticut. He discovered a process of extracting iron from black 
sand. He was the first physician of his day, in the Colony. Living on the main 
road from Boston to New York, he was visited by many gentlemen of distinction. 
Doctor Franklin always called on him when journeying to his native town. 
For forty years he never omitted preaching on the Lord's day. Blake's Biog. 
Diet. Of that worthy man, St. John de Crevecoiuk, in his " Lettres d'un Culti- 
vateur Americain," says, " Qui ne connoit de reputation le savant Eliot, ce digne 
ecclesiastique, ce vertueux et utile citoyen ? Qui n'a pas lu ses ouvrages agri- 

1756.] jar ed eliot. 373 

I have, in my travels abroad, but much more near home, observed 
with concern, our approaching distress on the account of our want 
of timber for fencing, and indeed many of our necessary uses. A 
great part of the country that "was first settled, hath not near tim- 
ber enough on each tract for one set of new fence, nor one half of 
the old good enough to keep a cow in the field, or a horse out.* 
Ditching helps us very little ; and a quick hedge less, by reason of 
the horned cattle and sheep. The latter kill the Quickset, with 
cropping the tender shoots ; and the former, not only with brows- 
ing, but when it is grown, they twis^t and break the bushes, and 
tear down the bank with their horns, tho' never so well turfed with 
grass. I have made great, deep ditches, and consequently, high 
banks ; if I made them steep, the frost and rain would moulder 
and wash the bank down ; if I made them wide and slanting, the 
cattle would climb up and tread them down ; if the ditch is nar- 
row, they step over. About sixteen years past, I planted a hedge 
of Red Cedars (one foot long), on a small bank, about two feet 
asunder. They grew so well, that in three or four years I had a 
fine hedge four feet liisrli, two feet thick, and so close that a bird 
could not fly through it. Then I thought I had been furnished 
with the only material that was requisite for a strong, lasting, 
beautiful fence, that had all the good properties that the others 
wanted; as, first, it would grow well on all our different soils; 
secondly, none of our cattle would crop them ;f thirdly, * * * 
[Reliqua desunt.~\ 

March the 14th, 1756. 

Dear Friend Eliot : 

I have, since I left thy house, been very much hurried in tra- 
velling, and sending my curiosities to Europe ; after which, I 
married my daughter to a worthy young man, whose house is in 
sight of mine, and about half an hour's walk. Since which, our 
friend Benjamin Franklin hath been a great while in the back 
parts of our country, building forts. Since his return home, he 

* This apprehension was very prevalent among the old farmers of Pennsylvania, 
until -within a few years past ; but the threatened evil was always exaggerated, 
and since the working of the coal mines, the alarm has almost wholly subsided. 

f Experience has shown that the Red Cedar (and probably every other thorn- 
less plant) is unfitted to make an effective hedge, in this region. It is believed 
that the Crataegus Cras-GalU, L., aifords the best material for hedging, though 
even that requires great care and skilful management, to insure a perfect hedge. 

374 JOHN BART RAM TO [1757. 

is so much engaged in public business, that we had no convenient 
opportunity of sending a letter until now ; but I assure thee, I 
have not forgot thee, nor the agreeable hours I spent with thee. 

I have often thought, that your salt marsh mud, may be so 
ordered as to be of extraordinary benefit to your country, and you 
have enough of it. Suppose you were to dig a large quantity of 
it, and haul it to shore, as you may easily do in the winter, when 
the ground is froze. Our ditchers choose to do it in winter ; they 
are not so subject to catch cold. They have strong, tight boots. 
They dig ditches twelve or fourteen feet wide, and four feet deep, 
to drain our marshes ; and we commonly dig pits eight feet deep, 
to mend them, or to haul the mud on our fast land to enrich it, 
which will last near twenty years. You should put a layer of mud, 
half a foot or more thick, then such a quantity of common mould, 
then a layer of mud, stratum super stratum, until your bed is four 
feet thick. Let it lie and ferment a year ; then cut down to the 
bottom, and toss it all together into another bed, and let it remain 
half a year longer, or more, then spread it on your ground. 

I have had an account from Sicily, that they manure their wheat 
ground there with salt, mixed after this manner with mould ; but 
it is observed that the salt fetched from one place doth not agree 
with all sorts of the soil on the island, but they adapt the salts 
made in different parts to the different soils. Perhaps, if required, 
I may give thee a more particular account ; but our travellers into 
the different parts of the world are very deficient in relating the 
true methods of agriculture, which the inhabitants practise in their 
respective countries. They think, if they relate their observations 
of the old ruins, the extravagant diversions of the people, their 
government, and superstition, then, they think they have done 
much ; although it is little more than what many of the former 
travellers have done long before them. 

January the 24th, 1757. 

Worthy Friend Eliot : 

I did not receive thy kind letter of March the 14th, until lately. 
Our friend Benjamin had put it in his drawer, and could not find 
it, when he looked for it. 

I am sorry thee did not get my son's drawings. The rector got 
all of them. My son wrote thy name on those for thee ; and the 

1757.] jared eliot. 375 

hollow stick was filled with indigo seed. I am often recollecting 
our conversation with pleasure. 

I am apt to think, that if your salt marsh, that is drained, was 
ploughed and planted with Indian corn for several years, it would 
bring it into good order for corn or grass. That crude, saline 
nature, should be exposed to dews, and rains, and sun. 

I told thee, that I had been informed that the grindstones, and 
millstones, were split with wooden pegs, drove in ; but I did not 
say that those rocks about thy house could be split after that 
manner ; but that I could split them, and had been used to split 
rocks, to make steps, door-sills, and large window-cases all of 
stone, and pig-troughs, and water-troughs. I have split rocks 
seventeen feet long, and built four houses of hewn stone, split out 
of the rock with my own hands. My method is, to bore the rock 
about six inches deep, having drawn a line from one end to the 
other, in which I bore holes about a foot asunder, more or less, ac- 
cording to the freeness of the rock ; if it be three or four or five 
feet thick, ten, twelve, or sixteen inches deep. The holes should 
be an inch and a quarter diameter, if the rock be two feet thick ; 
but if it be five or six feet thick, the holes should be an inch and 
three quarters diameter,, There must be provided twice as many iron 
wedges as holes ; and one half of them must be made full as long 
as the hole is deep, and made round at one end, just fit to drop into 
the hole ; the other half may be made a little longer, and thicker 
one way, and blunt-pointed. All the holes must have their wedges 
drove together, one after another, gently, that they may strain all 
alike. You may hear by their ringing, when they strain well. 
Then, with the sharp end of the sledge, strike hard on the rock, 
in the line between every wedge, which will crack the rock ; then 
drive the wedges again. It generally opens in a few minutes after 
the wedges are drove tight. Then, with an iron bar, or long 
levers, raise them up, and lay the two pieces flat, and bore and 
split them in what shape and dimensions you please. If the rock 
is anything free, you may split them as true, almost, as sawn tim- 
ber ; and by this method you may split almost any rock, for you 
may add what power you please, by boring the holes deeper and 
closer together. * * * 

376 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1755. 


April the 20th, 1755. 

Worthy Friend Philip Miller : 

I have received thy kind letter of February the 19th, 1755, 
which gave me much satisfaction ; and some uneasiness, that so 
many years have elapsed wherein we might have reciprocally com- 
municated our observations to each other : and although thee had 
incomparably the advantage over me, yet, notwithstanding, I love 
to peep into the abstruse operations of nature. Perhaps I might, 
by thy familiar instruction, have made some remarks that might 
have been satisfactory. But, for the time to come, I hope we may 
double our diligence, if the war with France do not obstruct our 

The Catalogue of Shrubs and Trees is very acceptable, or any 
other books in Natural History. I have thy first and second book 
of the Gardener's Dictionary, one sent me by Lord Petre, the 
other by Dr. Dillenius. 

I design to take particular care to send those seeds thee men- 
tioned, which I can procure ; and if thee will please to send by the 
first opportunity, it may come to me soon enough to send, next 

* Philip Miller, a celebrated gardener and botanist, was born in Scotland, 
in 1694. His father had the superintendence of the Physic Garden at Chelsea, 
belonging to the Apothecaries' Company, and founded by Sir Hans Sloane ; to 
which appointment he himself succeeded in the year 1722. In this situation, he 
became distinguished by his practical knowledge of plants, and especially by his 
skill in their cultivation. In 1731, appeared the first edition of the " Gardener's 
Dictionary,'" in folio, the most celebrated work of its kind; which has been trans- 
lated, copied, and abridged, at various times, and may be said to have laid the 
foundation of all the Horticultural taste and knowledge in Europe. Linnaeus 
said of this Dictionary, "non erit Lexicon Hortulanorum, sed Botanicorum." 

Miller continued to attend to his duties, and his favourite pursuits, to an 
advanced age ; but was obliged at length, by his infirmities, to resign* the charge 
of the garden. He died soon after, at Chelsea, December 18, 1771, in his seventy- 
eighth year. Rees's Cyclopced. 

* Mr. Ellis, (who, however, had been engaged in a controversy with Miller,) 
in a letter to Dr. Garden, dated January 2, 1771, says, "Philip Miller, the 
Gardener of Chelsea, is turned out of his place for his impertinence to the Apotheca- 
ries' Company, his masters. They have got a much better one, Forsyth, late 
Gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, who has an excellent character, and 
will revive the credit of the garden, which was losing its reputation, and every- 
thing curious was sent to Mr. Aiton, the Princess of Wales' Gardener at Kew." 

1755.] PHILIP MILLER. 377 

fall, any other curiosity thee pleases to mention : for time is so 
far spent, past our meridian, that the affair calls for diligence. 

I design to collect specimens of our Pines, just when they are in 
flower, and the young cone just impregnated, which is to ripen, 
not this ensuing fall, but the next ; when it immediately dis- 
charged its seed, before it is well dry ; whereas other trees keep 
their cones shut for several years, containing perfect ripe seeds, 
and then discharge them. Pray, do all your European Pines set 
their cones on the same spring's shoot, and perfect them the suc- 
ceeding year or the second year's wood, as, by your draught, the 
Scotch Pine doth ? Although the species of Pines, and Fir, may, 
many of them, be distinguished by their cones, in Europe, they are 
no certain distinguishing character in America, except Lord Wey- 
mouth's Pine. * * * * 

* * I am obliged to thee, for thy good advice, to 
contract my descriptions. I own, the leaves, acorns, and espe- 
cially the cups, are very material in ascertaining the different spe- 
cies of our Oaks ; yet the description of the bark, and form of 
growth, are useful helps, in our mature Oaks. I can often dis- 
cover our different species of Oaks, one from another, by their 
form of growth, half or a whole mile distance ; and I am sure he 
must be very sharp-sighted that can know them, at half that dis- 
tance, by their leaves, acorns, and cups, all together. 

I take thy offer very kindly, to assist me in understanding 
Linnaeus' s system, which I am acquainted with in some degree ; 
having several books of his setting forth, which Dr. Gronovius, 
my good friend, hath sent me ; and Mons. Dalibard sent me his 
Catalogue of Plants growing near Paris ; and Hill hath nearly 
translated Linisleus's Characters. But I find many plants that 
do not answer to any of his Genera, and are really new. 

I have an account that he hath published, lately, two books con- 
taining all our North American plants which Kalm observed, when 
he was with us. I showed him many, that he said were new 
Genera, and that Linn^ius must make many alterations, when he 
was by him more truly informed of their true characters, as I 
should soon see when they were printed. I long to see these books, 
to see if they have done me justice, as Kalm promised me. Dr. 
Gronovius promised to send them to me, as soon as they came to 
his hand. 

I shall be much obliged to thee for thy Figures of Plants, as 

378 PHILIP MILLER [1756. 

soon as finished. I love to see nature displayed, in all its 

I shall be glad to assist thee with any new plant, or shrub 
either dead or alive in substance, or a particular description ; as 
thee pleases to inform me after what manner it will answer thy 
intention the best. 



Dear Mr. Bartram : 

I have been favoured with your three kind letters, and the two 
boxes of plants which you was so good as to send me ; for which I 
return you my thanks. To the first of your letters, I returned an 
answer in September last ; but for fear it may miscarry, I beg leave 
to repeat the substance of that, here. I am sorry so many years 
passed without our having had an intercourse by letters, as I am 
sensible how many observations I have lost, which must have fallen 
in your way to have made. As 1 seek after truth, so I shall 
always be glad to receive any informations from my friends, even 
if they should contradict what I may have published, yet I shall 
never think it derogatory to my character to own my mistakes, 
and rectify them. * [Hiatus in 31S.~\ * I have 

not seen what Dr. Linnaeus has published from Kalm's observa- 
tions, which he has mentioned in his Species of Plants, where he 
has added many new names to them, and inserted some which may 
probably be new. 

Kalm has published two volumes of his observations, in the 
Swedish language ; but as I do not understand it, so I have not 
been curious enough to send for the book, nor do I hear any good 
character of it. * * * * 

I sent you four numbers of my Figures of Plants, some time 
since, by our friend Mr. Collinson ; and should have now sent 
you the others which are published, had I not waited for some 
which will be better coloured ; for the persons employed to have the 
care of this work, have not done me justice, so I have been obliged 
to take it out of their hands. * * * * 

I have also sent you a few plants of some of our best sorts of 
Roses, which I wish may prove such as you have not already ; for, 

1756.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 379 

as I am unacquainted with what has been sent you from England, 
so I am at a loss to guess what I should send ; but this, I hope, 
you will soon set me right about. So I shall add no more, at pre- 
sent, but to assure you I am your sincere friend and servant, 

Philip Miller. 

Chelsea, Feb. 2, 1756. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

I have just now been favoured with your kind letter, dated the 
ninth of December ; and although I wrote a long letter to you a 
few days past, yet I take this opportunity to acknowledge the 
receipt of yours, especially as I made a mistake in my last, in the 
name of the ship by which I have sent you some seeds, with a bas- 
ket of Ros'es and Cedar cones. This mistake was occasioned by my 
waterman, who carried the things to the ship ; but the enclosed 
note will set that right. 

I am glad you like my Figures. I hope to send you some much 
better done, having changed my engraver. 

You mention that you want the Norway Maple. Had I known 
this sooner, you should have been supplied ; for we have a large 
tree in our garden, which produces plenty of seeds, and young 
plants come up in all the borders near it. The cuttings will also 
grow, like willows. If another ship departs from hence, soon, I 
will send you plants of it. 

As you desire to know my wants, that you may supply them, so 
I must desire you will acquaint me with what things you want from 
hence, that I may make you some returns ; and although in my 
other letter I pretty fully told what would be acceptable, yet have 
I here sent you a list of some things taken out of the Flora Vir- 
ginica y which book I suppose you have, so will soon know what I 
mean by the names. Some of these you was so good as to send 
me, in the last box ; but as they were in a bad condition, so I 
can't tell, yet, which of them are alive, as they had no titles to 

I shall take every opportunity to write to you, and shall always 
be glad to hear from you, being your obliged friend and servant, 

Philip Miller. 

Chelsea, Feb. 18, 1756. 

380 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1757. 

Dear Me. Bartram : 

I received your letter dated the third of November last. I have 
the disagreeable account, that neither of ray letters, wrote last 
summer, have come to your hands ; for which I am extremely sorry, 
because there were some queries therein which I should have been 
glad to be informed about, especially at this time, when I am re- 
vising the Gardener's Dictionary. One was, to know the charac- 
ters of the Gale asplenii folio \Comptonid\, which you say is not 
of the same genus with the Candleberry bush. I find there are 
authors who have ranged it with the Liquidambar ; but I doubt 
much of their being right ; so I shall be much obliged to you, if 
you can send me a perfect specimen, that I may determine its 
proper genus. * * * Your observations on the 

male and female flowers on the same, and also on different trees, 
are fully confirmed by many repeated observations and experiments, 
as you will see in this edition of the Dictionary ; however, I shall 
not omit mentioning yours with the others. * * *, * 

Pray, to what size does the Balm of Gilead Fir grow, in your 
country, and what is the soil in which it lasts the longest ? for 
there is but one place, in England, where the trees live more than 
ten or twelve years. * * * * 

Pray, let me hear from you, which will greatly oblige your sin- 
cere friend and servant, 

Philip Miller. 

Chelsea, Feb. 15, 1757. 


June the 20th, 1757. 

Dear Friend Philip Miller : 

I have received thy kind letter of February the 15th, 1757, 
with six good cones of the Cedar of Lebanon, as also a fine parcel 
of the numbers of the Gardener's Dictionary, and of the Figures 
adapted to them ; for which favour I am much obliged to my 
worthy friend. * * * * 

I have now sent thee, as thee desired, some specimens of the 
Gale asplenii folio. It differs much from Gale Candleberry Myrtle, 
and from the Liquidambar, and is, I believe, a new genus. 

The basket thee mentions, with the Norway Maple, had also 

1758.] PHILIP MILLER. 381 

some Roses in it. I told my friend, Dr. Bond, if he would take 
care of them, he should have one half of them, if no others could 
show a better right to them. The Roses all died ; but two or three 
of the Maples are alive, as the Doctor tells me, and one or two is 
enough for me, of a sort. * * * * 

Any sort of foreign trees and shrubs, that will bear our frost, 
will be acceptable. I have sent thee some specimens, and seeds, 
in a paper parcel, directed for thee to the care of P. Collinson. 

Pray, my good friend, write often to me, and let me know 
wherein I can particularly oblige. 

philip miller to john bartram. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

I received your letters, the first dated October the 13, and the 
other November the 12, as also the box of plants. * * 

The specimens you were so good as to send me by Captain Lyon, 
would have been a treasure, had they arrived safe ; but his ship 
was taken by the French, so those are all lost : which is a great 
misfortune at this time, when they would have been of great service 
to me, in ascertaining the names of some plants which remain 
doubtful. For, though many of the plants of your country do 
begin to thrive here, in several gardens, yet they are not come to 
the state of flowering, or producing their fruit ; for which reason, 
fair specimens of them are of more value here, than they would be 
if they could be obtained here : and as my Hortus siccus is now 
replete with near ten thousand specimens, so I am very solicitous 
to make it as complete as I can. 

I am afraid the cutting of the great Toxicodendron is perished ; 
for it lay at the bottom of the box, where there had been wet. I 
am very desirous to get all the species of this genus which I can, 
and am making observations on their flowers and fruit : for Doctor 
Linkeus has joined these to his genus of Rhus, with which all the 
species of Toxicodendron, which I have yet examined, will by no 
means agree ; for these are either male and female in distinct 
plants, or have male flowers in separate parts from the fruit on the 
same plant, which, according to his own system, must remove them 
to a great distance from the Rhus. The species I have, at present, 
in our garden, are these, viz.: Toxicodendron triphyllum glabrum, 

382 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1758. 
triphyllum folio sinuato pubescente, rectum, foliis mi- 

noribus glabris, and the foliis alatis fructu rliomboide, Hort. 

Eltham. If you can add to these, you will greatly oblige me. * 
If our friend Mr. Collinson thinks this a good opportunity for 
me to send you the remaining numbers of my Figures of Plants, 
they shall come now ; but if he judges otherwise, they shall be 
sent by the first opportunity. * * I have the 

plant which Doctor LlNN^us has named Bartramia, just begin- 
ning to flower in our stove : so I propose to send you a specimen 
of it, when it is perfectly dry. The flowers are so small as not 
to be discerned, by my eyes, without a glass. 

* * * * * * * 

The Mountain JIagnolia, which you mention, we have not in 
our garden : so if you can spare me a plant of it, you will much 
oblige me. 

I shall miss no opportunity of writing to you, and shall send 
you plants of any other sorts you desire from hence ; and there- 
fore wish you will send me a list of them, that I may have an op- 
portunity of showing you the pleasure I shall have in supplying 
you : for, as you observe, we may not long have it in our power to 
oblige. But you complain of age too soon. I am now entering on 
my sixty-fourth year ; and, bless God, I am still hearty and well. 
Though not so active as formerly, yet can go through fatigue ; and 
so long as I have health, am contented with doing what is in my 

I sincerely wish you health and happiness ; and remain your 
sincere friend, 

Philip Miller. 

January the 12, 1758. 


June the 16th, 1758. 

Worthy Friend Miller : 

I have received two very kind letters from my dear friend this 
spring, one dated August the 2Gth, 1757, and the other, January 
the 12th, 1758. I received, last summer, thy Figures of Plants to 
the number xxm, and with them, the Gardener's Dictionary, to 
number xxv ; and this spring, I have received number XXVI to 
number xliii. Now, how the eight numbers miscarried, I know 

1758.] PHILIP MILLER. 383 

not. I have received every article our worthy friend Peter 
mentioned, in the letters I received from him ; and I have always, 
ever since I corresponded with him, found him to be as faithful, 
careful, punctual and true a correspondent as I believe ever lived : 
so that if they had ever come to his hands, he would have given 
me some account of them. 

* * * * 

Strange it is, but very true, that many seeds of plants we take 
little care of, as not being of general use, will keep good in the 
ground for seven years or more, before they all come up, and 
perhaps the ground tilled every year, too ; but the nutritious 
grains, pulse, and other esculents, that are adapted for our general 
support, generally come up the first year they are sown. Oh ! the 
wisdom of Divine Providence ! The more we search into it, the 
more wonderful we discover its powerful influence to be. 

[The following notice of the pernicious and troublesome weeds 
in Pennsylvania, accompanies the rough draught of the above 
letter to P. Miller, and seems to have been appended to it ; 
though P. Collinson apparently refers to it, in his letter of July 
20, 175 ( J. See page 219. As it presents an interesting account 
of the weeds of Eastern Pennsylvania, ninety years since, I have 
concluded to insert it ; and cannot but remark how truly the state- 
ment describes the actual condition of the farms in that region.] 

A brief account of those Plants that are most troublesome in our 
pastures and fields, in Pennsylvania ; most of which were brought 
from Europe.* 

The most mischievous of these is, first, the stinking yellow Li- 
naria. It is the most hurtful plant to our pastures that can grow 
in our northern climate. Neither the spade, plough, nor hoe, can 
eradicate it, when it is spread in a pasture. Every little fibre that 
is left, will soon increase prodigiously ; nay, some people have 
rolled great heaps of logs upon it, and burnt them to ashes, 
whereby the earth was burnt half a foot deep, yet it put up again, 
as fresh as ever, covering the ground so close as not to let any 

* In the third volume of the Annals of the New York Lyceum, there is an in- 
teresting notice, by the late E,ev. L. D. von Schweinitz, of the plants of Europe 
which have become naturalized in the United States. 


grass grow amongst it ; and the cattle can't abide it. But it doth 
not injure corn so much as grass, because the plough cuts off the 
stalks, and it doth not grow so high, before harvest, as to choke 
the corn. It is now spread over great part of the inhabited parts 
of Pennsylvania. It was first introduced as a fine garden flower ; 
but never was a plant more heartily cursed by those that suffer by 
its encroachments. 

The common English Hypericum \_H. perforatum, L.] is a very 
pernicious weed. It spreads over whole fields, and spoils their 
pasturage, not only by choking the grass, but infecting our horses 
and sheep with scabbed noses and feet, especially those that have 
white hair on their face and legs. This is certain fact, as gene- 
rally affirmed ;* but this is not so bad as the Linaria. The hoe 
and plough will destroy it. 

Wild Chamomile, called Mathen \Maruta Cotula ? DC], is 
another mischievous weed. It runs about and spreads much, 
choking not only the grass, but the wheat, more than the other 
two ; but hath not yet spread so generally as they. But this may 
be killed by planting Indian corn, or sowing buckwheat on the 
ground, for several years successively. I had it brought many 
times in dung ; but when I find it I burn it root and branch. 

Leucanthemum is a very destructive weed, in meadow and 
pastux-e grounds, choking the grass and taking full possession of 
the ground, so that the fields will look as white as if covered with 
snow ; but the hoe and plough will destroy this weed. 

The great English single-stalked Mullein, grows generally in 
most of our old fields, and with its broad spreading leaves, takes 
up some room, in our pastures ; but it is easily destroyed with the 
plough, or scythe, having only single tap roots. 

Saponaria is more difficult to eradicate, as it runs deep, and 
spreads much under ground ; but it is not yet spread much in the 
country. With care we may keep it under. 

The great double Dandelion is very troublesome in our meadow 
ground, and difficult to eradicate ; but the hoe and plough will 
destroy it. 

Oroio G-arlick is greatly loved by the horses, cows, and sheep, 

* This is the opinion which universally prevailed, half a century since, among 
the farmers of Eastern Pennsylvania ; but I am now led to suspect its accuracj". 
by the fact, that the Hypericum still abounds, and the disease has disappeared. 
See "Agricultural Botany.'" 

1758.] IN PENNSYLVANIA. 385 

and is very wholesome early pasture for thorn ; yet our people 
generally hate it, because it makes the milk, butter, cheese, and 
indeed the flesh of those cattle that feed much upon it, taste so 
strong, that we can hardly eat of it ; but for horses and young 
cattle, it doth very well. But our millers can't abide it amongst 
corn. It clogs up their mills so, that it is impossible to make 
good flour. 

Docks are very troublesome in our mowing ground ; and, with- 
out care, they spread much by seed. They stifle the grass by their 
luxuriant broad leaves. 

The Scotch Thistle \_Cirsium horridulum ?~\ is a very trouble- 
some weed, along our sea-coast. The people say, a Scotch minister 
brought with him a bed stuffed with thistledown, in which was 
contained some seed. The inhabitants, having plenty of feathers, 
soon turned out the down, and filled the bed with feathers. The 
seed coming up, filled that part of the country with Thistles. 

The foregoing are most of the English plants that have escaped 
out of our gardens, and taken possession of our fields and meadows, 
very much to our detriment. 

I now make a few observations on some of our native plants, 
that are very troublesome, in our fields and meadows, and are with 
difficulty eradicated. 

We have four kinds of the Bubus, beside our common black 
Raspberry. The great upright Bramble grows near an inch in 
diameter, and eight feet high, in good ground, though commonly 
about two-thirds of that magnitude. This grows in our old fields 
and hedges, bears berries plentifully, and spreads much under 
ground, sending up abundance of shoots at uncertain distances. 

Another kind is much like the former, but more weak and lean- 
ing, bears plentifully, and spreads as the other. Any piece of the 
root left in the ground, though a foot deep, will soon send up a 

Another kind, we call the Running Briar [Bubus Canadensis, 
L., or Dewberry], and is the most troublesome kind. It roots very 
deep ; and if we grub them up half a foot deep, they will shoot, 
from the remaining root in the grounds several branches, which 
will run on the surface two, three, or four yards in one summer, and 
dip into the ground, where they take firm root, from whence they 
will run, and take root as before ; whereby they soon spread over 
much ground, and neither the plough nor mattock can easily 



destroy them. Mowing will kill them in a few years, if repeated 
three or four times a year. They bear a large black berry, and as 
good as the others, and is the first ripe, near the latter end of 

The fourth sort grows about three or four feet high, upright, 
and one side of the leaves of a fine silver.* These grow in few 
places ; but where they take root they seem to spread and cover 
the ground. 

The next native, that is troublesome in our old fields, is a late- 
flowering, perennial, white Aster, with a spreading top [A. eri- 
coides, L ?], the flower much like your single daisy. These will 
spread all over a field so thick as to destroy all the grass, and 
most herbs, too, except your Hypericum, which only is a fit match 
for it ; both which no creature likes to eat. Ploughing destroys 
most of the old roots, but increaseth the young ones, from seed ; 
for the year after a crop of wheat is cut, a field will appear as 
white as snow, when the plant is in flower. 

The lesser Ambrosia is a very troublesome weed, in plantations 
where it hath got ahead. It is an annual, and grows with corn, 
and after harvest it shoots above the stubble, growing three or 
four feet high, and so thick that one can hardly walk through it. 
It is very bitter, and if milk cows feed upon it (for want of enough 
of grass), their milk will taste very loathsome. It seldom grows 
to any head the next year, nor until the field is ploughed or sowed 

We have another weed, called Cotton Groundsel \Erechtites hie- 
racifolia, Raf.], which grows with us six or seven feet high, and 
the stalk at bottom, near as thick as my wrist, in our new cleared 
land after the first ploughing, in the spring, or in our marshes, the 
year after they are drained and cleared. It grows there all over, 
so close that there is no passing along without breaking it down, 
to walk or ride through it ; but in old fields, or meadows, there is 
not one stalk to be seen. Now, if we put the question, how comes 
this to grow so prodigiously on the new land ploughed ground, and 
perhaps not one root growing within several miles, the answer is 
very ready : it is natural to new land and not to old.f But our 

* This perhaps refers to the Rubus euneifolius, of Puksh's Flora, published more 
than half a century afterwards. 

f This "very ready" answer, might, perhaps, be very satisfactory, if we knew 
precisely what was meant by a plant being "natural" to land; but the naked 

1758.] IN PENNSYLVANIA. 337 

philosophers say, that every plant is produced from the seed of the 
same species ; but how came the small seed of this plant there, in 
such quantities as to fill a field or meadow of one hundred acres 
as full of plants as they can stand ? 

One day when the sun shone bright, a little after its meridian, 
my Billy was looking up at it, when he discovered an innumera- 
ble quantity of downy motes floating in the air, between him and 
the sun. He immediately called me out of my study, to see what 
they were. They rose higher and lower, as they were wafted to 
and fro in the air, some very high and progressive with a fine 
breeze, some lowered, and fell into my garden, where we observed 
every particular detachment of down, spread in four or five rays, 
with a seed of the Groundsel in its centre. How far these were 
carried by that breeze, can't be known ; but I think they must 
have come near two miles, from a meadow, to reach my garden. 
As these are annual plants, they do but little harm in the country. 

The Phytolacca is troublesome in our new cleared meadows, and 
new fields. It comes up from the seeds being carried all over the 
settled parts of the country, by the birds, which are fond of them ; 
but these may be easily destroyed by grubbing them up. Some- 
times a very severe winter kills many of them, as they are natives 
of the Southern Provinces. When I first travelled beyond the 
Blue Mountains, I saw not one ; but now there is enough of them. 

Our Elder is exceedingly troublesome in our meadows. The 
roots run under ground and spread much ; and I do not know that 
mowing will ever kill it ; and grubbing will kill little more than the 
mattock takes up, for if there is but a little bit of the root left in 
the ground, it will grow. I have had a root growing in my kitchen 
garden about thirty years. It was ploughed once every year, and 
generally grubbed and hoed once, or mostly twice, every summer ; 
yet, last summer, two stalks put up, and if there is an inch of root 
left in the ground, if it be two feet deep, it will put up again. In 
short, I believe there is not a shrub in the world, harder to eradi- 
cate than our Elder. I wish I had some of your Elder seed to 
sow. I hear it grows much larger than ours. 

Those above-mentioned, are most of the troublesome weeds that 
frequent our meadows, pastures, and corn-fields ; but in our 

phrase leaves us, I think, about as wise as we were before. The phenomenon 
observed by "Billy," as described in the next paragraph, seems to afford quite 
as intelligible a clue to the mystery, as the above natural theory. 

388 PHILIP MILLER [1758. 

kitchen gardens, we have many that are troublesome enough, such 
as the Chickweed, which was brought from England. There is no 
getting rid of it. It flowers and seeds most part of the year. 

The Henbit is also another, that flowers and seeds most of the 

Shepherd's Purse is very plentiful in good ground ; but many 
people make a good boiled salad of it ; so is our wild Purslane 
very troublesome, though good when boiled. The small running 
Mallow is pestering enough ; and two or three kinds of Veronica. 
The Malvinda [jSida /] is very bad ; and so is the Mollugo. One 
very tall species of the Amaranth is very troublesome, but some boil 
it. to eat: and a species of Orach, which we call Lamb's Quarter, is 
very tender when boiled. Docks and Sorrel are plague enough in 
our pastures, meadows, and gardens, the last of which is very 
hard to root out. These are most of the noxious weeds of our 
gardens, that make us have so much work to destroy them, every 
year, beside the grasses. 



I was yesterday favoured with your letter, dated June 16th, 
1758, by which I am informed that part of the numbers of my 
Figures of Plants, which I sent you, have miscarried ; which gives 
me some concern, because they were duly sent as opportunities 
offered. ***** 

I sent to Mr. Collixsox all the remaining numbers of my 
Figures of Plants, and also those of the Gardener's Dictionary, 
which have been printed since the last I sent you ; which are 
directed for you, and Mr. Collixsox promised me to forward 
them immediately to you ; so I hope you will receive them safely. 
In your next, pray inform me what numbers are wanting in each, 
that I may replace those which are lost. * * 

In the clod of earth which you sent me, there came up one sort of 
Crataegus, which flowered last spring, and has now ripe fruit upon 
it. which is small, round, and black ; but it came too late to be in- 
serted in the Dictionary, so may be brought into a supplement. 

There is no determining the difference between C'ratcegus, Jles- 
pilus, and Sorbus, either by the number of their styles, or that of 

1758.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 389 

their seeds. The latter is very inconstant in all the poiniferous 

fruits. Apples and Pears have sometimes five, at others, six or 

seven seeds in each ; so that to make that a character of the genus 

would be very absurd. Doctor Linx^us has joined so many 

genera together, as occasions confusion. The Apple and Pear are 

undoubtedly of different genera. They 'will not take upon each 

other, either by budding or grafting [?] ; and it is well known, from 

experience, that all trees of the same genus will grow upon each 


***** # 

I want much to see a specimen of a female plant of the Crale 
Asplenii folio \_(Jomptonid\. I have only yet seen the male with 
its catkins, for we have not any female plants here, so far as I can 
learn ; and I am in great doubt about the character of it. If you 
have any of the female plants, and will be so good as to send me a 
plant or two, as also a dried specimen, you will much oblige me. 

^^ *|^ ?p 3jv 3|* yfi 


The method in which I was under a necessity of publishing the 
Gardener's Dictionary, has in some measure prevented my insert- 
ing several new plants, which have come to my hands after the 
initial letters of their titles were passed over. I shall be obliged 
to add an Appendix to it, in which I propose to take notice of as 
many plants as shall come to my knowledge : so that, whatever 
you are so good as to send to me, shall be gratefully therein men- 
tioned. I am your obedient humble servant, 

Philip Miller. 

Chelsea, Aug. 28, 1758. 

Dear Mr. Bartram : 

I was this day favoured with your letter, dated 28th of Septem- 
ber last, by which I am informed you have not received any letter 
from me since that bearing date of the 30th of May last. I wrote 
to you the 16th of July, to acknowledge the receipt of the speci- 
mens which you was so good as to send me in Mr. Collinson's 
box, and to return you my thanks for them : and as you was so 
kind as to offer me plants of those sorts which you had in your 
garden, so I most earnestly wish to have of them, as I believe there 
are some new genera amongst them. The plant with a long spike 
of white flowers, and grass leaves, appears to me to be an Ornitho- 

390 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1755. 

galum [probably the Helonias asphodeloides, L. ; Xeropliyllum, of 
Mx.] ; but the flowers are so much compressed as to render the 
distinguishing characters very doubtful. 


The Yellow-root [Hydrastis Canadensis, L.] has flowered, and 
ripened seeds, in our garden, two years past, from some roots 
which were sent me from the inland parts of your country. It is 
a new genus. I have figured, and described it, by the title of 

The dale Asplenii folio has produced male flowers in our gar- 
den, the last year ; but as there was no appearance of female or 
hermaphrodite flowers, nor any rudiment of fruit, so I suppose it 
to be male and female in different plants. The two specimens you 
was so kind as to send me, were one male and the other female : 
so I shall be glad to be informed if they were taken from the same 



Your Dwarf Cherry [Oerasus pumila, Mx. ?] I believe is the 
same which I have figured. The stones came from Canada to 
Paris, and were sent me from thence. It produces great numbers 
of flowers along the branches, so makes a good appearance in the 
spring, and the fruit is black, about the size of our small black 
cherries, here, but of a disagreeable flavour. The plant propagates 
so fast, by cuttings and layers, that it is now common in our 
gardens. * * * * 

I am your friend and servant, 

Philip Miller. 

Chelsea, Nov. 10, 1759. 


October the 12th, 1755. 

Respected Friend, Dr. Garden : 

I received thy kind letter of May the 18th, 1755, which was 

* The Comptonia asplenifolia, Ait., is now known to be a Monoicous plant. 

f Alexander Garden, M.D., F.R.S., a native of Scotland, and educated at 
Edinburgh, resided at Charleston, South Carolina, where he was extensively en- 
gaged in the practice of physic for near thirty years. He married there, on 
Christmas eve, 1755, as appears from one of his letters to Mr. Ellis, with whom 
he maintained a frequent scientific and friendly intercourse, and by whom he was 
introduced to the correspondence of Linnaeus. Botany, and some of the more 

1755.] DOCTOR GARDEN. 391 

very acceptable, as will also be any of your country seeds of plants, 
or shrubs ; some of which are hardy enough to endure our severe 
winters. Of the Catalpa, I have enough from Dr. Witt. Very 
few of those seeds thee sent me, came up ; only the Indica, and 
the Thea, which I find to be a Sida ; two or three plants of a 
smooth, oblong, thick, shining leaf, growing opposite. Pray, what 
is your Palmetto royal ? How high doth it grow, before it bears 
fruit ? which is very pretty tasted. I am apt to think I have three 
come up. The leaves are shining, something like parsley, and 
grow opposite. 

I hope thee art fallen into good business : being so much con- 
fined in town, I shall be glad if it don't endanger thy health. 

As to the sudden changes of heat and cold, in your climate, as 
well as ours, I suppose they are caused by our open exposition to 
both. As we are situated so near the open sea, and southern 
heats, so we are also exposed to the greatest extremity of the 
northern blasts, a little tempered by the intermediate heat in ade- 
quate degrees to the power and progress of the southern currents 
of air : for I can't find that there is, in all North America, any 
chains of mountains so high as to intercept the currents of the air 

obscure departments of Zoology especially Fishes and Reptiles were his con- 
stant resources for amusement and health, amid the sometimes overwhelming 
duties of his profession, and the inconveniences of a delicate constitution. In 
Natural History he was, throughout, a zealous and classical Linncean. No one 
welcomed the publications of the Swedish luminary, from time to time, with more 
enthusiasm, or was better able to appreciate them; for he had felt by experience 
the insufficiency of preceding systems of Botany, and had been, in consequence, 
near giving up the science in despair. 

When the political disturbances of America came on, Dr. Garden took part 
with the British government ; and, like many others, suffered a very considerable 
loss of property. He returned to Europe, about the end of the war, with his wife 
and two daughters, residing for some years in Cecil Street, in the Strand. A 
pulmonary consumption, confirmed by the effects of sea-sickness, terminated his 
life, April 15, 1791, in the sixty-second year of his age. His son conformed to 
the new American government, and remained in Carolina. 

The cheerful, benevolent character of Dr. Garden is conspicuous in his letters. 
His person and manners were peculiarly pleasing ; and he was a most welcome 
addition to the scientific circles in London, as long as his declining health 
would permit. In compliment to his botanical attainments and services, his 
friend, Mr. Ellis, dedicated to his name that elegant and delightful shrub, the 
Gardenia florida, commonly called Cape Jessamine, of which so many other species 
have been since discovered, that it is now one of the most extensive, as it is cer- 
tainly one of the most beautiful and fragrant genera in the whole vegetable 
kingdom. Smith's Linncean Correspondence. 

392 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1756. 

of the frigid zone, from the highest latitudes, all the way over land, 
as there is in Europe and Asia, which have also the great advan- 
tage of having the sea north of them, except about Nova Zembla. 

As for rain, I suppose it to be collected from the sea, the rivers 
and lakes, vegetables and mountains. The sea affords materials 
abundantly for the formation of rain, as it is continually in agita- 
tion, especially near the shore, the waves dashing and breaking 
against it into steam, and rising in vapour. The rivers afford 
large quantities of vapour, both from their even surface, their 
agitated waves, and at their falls, as may be observed in a frosty 
morning in a thick fog. Plants and trees send up great quantities 
of vapour, from which, perhaps, most of dews are formed ; and 
lastly, the mountains not only collect and condense the vapours, 
by their coldness and height, but also direct the course of the 
rains, in some situations ; as is evident on the coast of Coromanclel 
in Asia, Mount Atlas in Africa, the Cordilleras in America, with 
many others, too tedious to name ; all which are, doubtless, very 
instrumental in furnishing the inland parts of the globe with the 
necessary liquid element. * * * 

March the 14th, 1756. 

Respected Friend Doctor Garden : 

I have just received thy very kind letter of February the 13th, 
1756, but alas ! very short. I am glad that the bulbous roots 
flourish with thee. I sent thee a fine variety of Tulip roots ; but 
they all came too late, though sent by the first opportunity. 

I long to see thy Journal to and from Saluda. Pray, what is 
your Palmetto Royal ? Is the fruit wholesome to eat ? Is it a 
tree or shrub ? How soon doth it bear from seed ? I am glad 
thee art so well settled in business, and I hope art possessed of a 
sweet, dear, agreeable consort. This winter, I have married my 
daughter Mary to a very worthy, rich young man, who lives in 
sight, and about half an hour's walk distant from my house. 

I am much obliged to thee for thy kindness for my son Wil- 
liam. He longs to be with thee ; but it is more for the sake of 
Botany, than Physic or Surgery, neither of which he seems to have 
any delight in. I have several books of both ; but can't persuade 
him to read a page in either. Botany and drawing are his delight; 
but I am afraid won't get him a living. I have some thoughts of 

1756.] DOCTOR GARDEN. 393 

putting him to a merchant. I have wrote several times, last fall, 
to Peter Collinson about him, and expect an answer by the first 
ships. ****** 

I have often thought of proposing a scheme, which I am apt to 
believe would be of general benefit to most of our colonies, if put 
in practice ; and as a particular curious friend, I first acquaint 
thee with it, and perhaps I may mention it to my friend Peter 

It is, to bore the ground to great depths, in all the different 
soils in the several provinces, with an instrument fit for the pur- 
pose, about four inches diameter. The benefit which I shall pro- 
pose from these trials, is to search for marls, or rich earths, to 
manure the surface of the poor ground withal. Secondly, to 
search for all kinds of medicinal earths, sulphurs, bitumens, coal, 
peat, salts, vitriols, marcasites, flints, as well as metals. Thirdly, 
to find the various kinds of springs, to know whether they are 
potable, or medicinal, or mechanical. 

Now, to bring this into practice, suppose there was appointed, 
in every province, a curious, judicious, honest, careful man, as 
overseer ; that he should choose such men as understood boring in 
rocks and earth, and furnish them with proper instruments ; that 
he, or any whom he may depute under him, shall take particular 
care to write down, in a book for that purpose, the time and place, 
when and where, they began to bore, and the particular depth of 
every stratum they bore through, examining curiously the contents 
of the bit, every time the auger is drawn out, and the depth from 
whence it was drawn. Minute it down, so that they may know 
the exact depth, whether it be marl, chalk, coal, salt, or any 
other mineral ; or the springs of water, and how deep they are 
from the surface, so that every proprietor may know what riches 
are in his possession, and may guess what expense he must be at 
to come at the benefit of them. I am persuaded that most sandy, 
desert soil, hath under it a large bed of marl, or saline earth, 
which, if brought on the sandy surface, would make the surface 
fruitful ; and most countries, far from the sea, have vast beds of 
rock salt, at uncertain depths, which, if they were discovered, 
would be of great advantage to the inhabitants. Moreover, how 
exceeding useful and satisfactory will it be, to curious philosophi- 
cal inquirers, to know the various terrestrial compositions that we 

394 DOCTOR GARDEN [1760. 

daily walk over. By this method, we may compose a curious sub- 
terranean map.* * * * * 

I want much to come to Carolina, to observe the curiosities to- 
ward the mountains ; but the mischievous Indians are so treache- 
rous, that it is not safe trusting them, even in their greatest 
pretence of friendship. They have destroyed all our back inhabi- 
tants. No travelling, now, to Doctor Golden' s, nor to the back 
parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, nor Virginia. 

Pray, how far do you commonly reckon it, from Charleston to 
the Cherokee Mountains ? I should be glad to search them, if it 
could be done safely ; but must wait till these troublesome times 
are over. 

You have growing with you a pretty sort of a red flower, the 
root of which is a sovereign cure for the worms, f as I am informed. 
Pray send it me ; I want it much. 

Have you the right Senna, growing plentifully ? Thee promised 
me some seed. 

I believe I can make most of your perennial plants live over our 
winters, by covering them over with straw ; but some of your 
shrubs and trees will not. I suppose they are such that naturally 
grow to the southward of you ; and though they seem to grow and 
seed with you, yet can't bear much more cold. 


October 26th, 1760. 

My dear Friend : 

I have received two very kind letters from you, since you left 
this place, neither of which it has yet been in my power to answer. 
Ever since I saw you, I have lived in a greater hurry than when I 
had the pleasure of your agreeable company. Often since our 
parting, have I reflected with concern, that I had then so little 
time to enjoy you. 

* This "scheme" of John Baeteam's if original with him, would indicate 
that he had formed a pretty good notion of the nature and importance of a Geolo- 
gical Survey and Map, more than half a century before such undertakings were 
attempted in our country, or even thought of by those whose province it was to 
authorize them. 

f No doubt the Spigelia, Marilandica, L., commonly called "Carolina Pink." 

1761.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 395 

I read with great satisfaction your account of the rarities of 
North Carolina. 

I examined the tree in my garden, which I formerly took to be 
a Holly, like Mr. Wragg's ; but I find it quite different, as is 
likewise that one in Governor Glen's garden, which is of the same 
kind as mine. It is a new genus, and a beautiful enough Ever- 

My close confinement deprives me of that happiness which I 
would have, in searching our woods. 

Your plants, in my garden, thrive surprisingly well, and they 
are now ready for your boxes ; one or two are dead. 

As I met lately with Lee on Botany, I bought two copies, one 
of which I have sent you, and beg you'll accept of it, from 

Your sincere friend, 

Alexander Garden. 

Inclosed you have a letter from Mrs. Logan, which has been 
with me some time, for want of an opportunity. 

Dear Sir : 

I received your kind letter, with your present of apples and 
plants, for both which please to accept of my thanks. The apples 
were extremely good, and have kept much beyond any that ever 
I had before. You made me very happy in the Newfoundland 
Spruce, Hemlock Fir, and Kalmia. I wanted these very much, 
and you gave me fine thriving plants. The others, viz., the 
Lavender, Sabina, and RJiamnus, with the Fraxinellas, are all 
growing beautifully, so that I expect to have great pleasure in 
them all the summer. 

I hope you may have like pleasure in those that I now send you. 
I need not tell you to plant them out immediately, and in a 
shady moist place. The box is rather too full ; but the reason is, 
my not choosing to remove the earth from the roots of the plants 
as they grow, so that earth taken up with them soon filled up the 

Your four Umbrellas are all alive, and very thriving ; so is the 
great Magnolia. The Atamasco Lilies are all alive ; the Four- 
Leafed Bignonia, and the fine blue purple flower. 

I could not find the Worm-grass root, so that I am afraid it is 

396 DOCTOR GARDEN [1761. 

dead ; but I shall soon replace it to you with some others. The 
Asarum, and Solarium triphyllum [Trilliurri], are both in good 
health, and blooming. I sincerely wish they may arrive safe. I 
have watered them again, to-day ; and the Captain says, that he'll 
sail to-morrow. May God grant him a speedy and prosperous 
voyage, and thus give you a further opportunity of viewing and 
admiring the beauties of some more of his amazing and wonderful 
works. How eminently happy are these hours, which the humble 
and philosophic mind spends in investigating and contemplating 
the inconceivable beauties and mechanism of the works of nature, 
the true manifestations of that supremely wise and powerful Agent 
who daily upholds and blesses us. 

May that fatherly Being continue to enlighten your mind, till 
that hour come, when the parting of this veil will lay before your 
eyes a new and more glorious field of contemplation, and still more 
unutterable sights of bliss. 

Be assured that I offer, in great sincerity, my kind respects to 
all your family. 

And am, dear friend, yours, 

Alexander Garden. 

February 23d, 1761. 

N. B. I should be much obliged to you for some Hyacinths, 
and some Narcissus with the largest Nectariums, we call these 
Horsenecks. * * * * 

My worthy Friend : 

I received your obliging letter, informing me of the safe arrival 
of the plants. I rejoice with you, on your increasing collection of 
these curious productions of the allwise hand of our omnipotent 
Creator. May your soul be daily more filled with an humble admi- 
ration of his works, and your lips exercised in his praise. How 
glorious are those hours of contemplation and enjoyment, that the 
ravished soul passes through, when viewing the wonderful manifes- 
tations of his power, wisdom, and goodness. When this scene of 
things passes away, and the great and first Author of all leads us 
to fields of a more rich and fertile clime, there shall we proceed 
with fresh vigour, and enlarged faculties, to view him nearer, wor- 
ship and adore more strongly, and live more willingly within the 

1762.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 397 

pale of universal love. How great is our God ! How wonderful 
are his works, sought out of all them that take pleasure therein. 

Your letters particularly give me pleasure. They always con- 
tain something new and entertaining, on some new-discovered work 
of God. ***** 

I could not get Beureria [Calycanthus], when I sent the box ; 
and my own had died in the winter ; but I'll try to get two or 
three plants this year. * * * * 

This will be delivered to you by a lady, whom I have the honour 
to be acquainted with, and who has a very pretty taste for flowers, 
and the culture of curious plants. She intends to pay you a visit, 
while she stays at Philadelphia ; and I take the liberty to beg 
your civilities to her, not doubting but it will give you joy, to see a 
lady coming so far, to view and admire your curiosities. 

My wife offers, along with me, our best respects to your wife, 
and all the rest of your good family. 

Believe me to be yours, 

Alexander Garden. 

June 17th, 1761. 


March the 25th, 1762. 

I received thy very kind letter of February the loth, am glad 
my remarks of the Ohio gave thee such satisfaction. 

I have just received two very loving letters from New England, 
one from Doctor Gale the other from Doctor Eliot, a very 
worthy Presbyterian minister [see page 372], one that spends his 
time in pious exercise, and in promoting the general good of man- 
kind. He found out the method, about three months past, to make 
out of sea-sand excellent iron. One hundred weight of sand will 
yield fifty of good iron. I think little coal will do it. It was 
advertised in the York paper, a month past ; and many curious 
people thought it so very improbable, that they gave little or no 
credit to it. He sent me a specimen of both the sand and iron. 
I showed it, not only to our smiths, but to the owners of the fur- 
naces and forges, and they allowed it to be very fine, and some 
thought it would make choice steel. And now, dear friend, not to 
keep thee too long upon the rack, and as mutual friends should 

398 JOHN BARTRAM TO [1762. 

always ease, and not torment explain, and not perplex one ano- 
ther, the sand out of which he makes his iron, is not the white 
crystalline sand ; but a black, bright, fine mixed sand, in great 
beds, that will adhere to the magnet, as the filings of iron. But 
the grand query is, from whence it came, and how it got there. 

My dear worthy friend, I am much affected every time that I 
often read thy pious reflections on the wonderful works of the 
Omnipotent and Omniscient Creator. The more we search and 
accurately examine his works in nature, the more wisdom we dis- 
cover, whether we observe the mineral, vegetable, or animal king- 
dom. But, as I am chiefly employed with the vegetable, I shall 
enlarge more upon it. 

What charming colours appear in the various tribes, in the 
regular succession of the vernal and autumnal flowers these so 
nobly bold those so delicately languid ! What a glow is en- 
kindled in some, what a gloss shines in others ! With what a 
masterly skill is every one of the varying tints disposed ! Here, 
they seem to be thrown on with an easy dash of security and free- 
dom ; there, they are adjusted by the nicest touches. The verdure 
of the empalement, or the shadings of the petals, impart new liveli- 
ness to the whole, whether they are blended or arranged. Some 
are intersected with elegant stripes, or studded with radiant spots ; 
others affect to be genteelly powdered, or neatly fringed ; others 
are plain in their aspect, and please with their naked simplicity. 
Some are arrayed in purple; some charm with the virgin's white; 
others are dashed with crimson ; while others are robed in scarlet. 
Some glitter like silver lace ; others shine as if embroidered with 
gold. Some rise with curious cups, or pendulous bells ; some are 
disposed in spreading umbels ; others crowd in spiked clusters ; 
some are dispersed on spreading branches of lofty trees, on 
dangling catkins ; others sit contented on the humble shrub ; 
some seated on high on the twining vine, and wafted to and 
fro ; others garnish the prostrate, creeping plant. All these 
have their particular excellencies ; some for the beauty of their 
flowers ; others their sweet scent ; many the elegance of foliage, 
or the goodness of their fruit : some the nourishment that their 
roots afford us; others please the fancy with their regular 
growth: some are admired for their odd appearance, and 
many that offend the taste, smell, and sight, too, are of virtue in 

1766.] DOCTOR GARDEN. 399 

But when we nearly examine the various motions of plants and 
flowers, in their evening contraction and morning expansion, they 
seem to be operated upon by something superior to only heat and 
cold, or shade and sunshine ; such as the surprising tribes of the 
Sensitive Plants, and the petals of many flowers shutting close up 
in rainy weather, or in the evening, until the female part is fully 
impregnated : and if we won't allow them real feeling, or what we 
call sense, it must be some action next degree inferior to it, for 
which we want a proper epithet, or the immediate finger of God, 
to whom be all glory and praise. 

***** * 

I don't dwell so long in the vegetable kingdom, as though I 
thought the wisdom and power of God were only manifest therein. 
The contemplation of the mineral, and especially the animal, will 
equally incline the pious heart to overflow with daily adorations 
and praises to the Grand Giver and Supporter of universal life. 
But what amazing distant glories are disclosed in a midnight scene ! 
Vast are the bodies which roll in the immense expanse ! Orbs be- 
yond orbs, without number, suns beyond suns, systems beyond 
systems, with their proper inhabitants of the great Jehovah's 
empire, how can we look at these without amazement, or contem- 
plate the Divine Majesty that rules them, without the most humble 
adoration ? Esteeming ourselves, with all our wisdom, but as one 
of the smallest atoms of dust praising the living God, the great 
I AM. 


S. Carolina, February 12th, 1766. 

My dear old Friend : 

How do you do ? It is so long since I had a line from you, and 
then it was so short, containing no botanical news, that I scarcely 
could believe it came from you. 

Think that I am here, confined to the sandy streets of Charles- 
ton, where the ox, where the ass, and where men as stupid as 
either, fill up the vacant space, while you range the green fields of 
Florida, where the bountiful hand of Nature has spread every 
beautiful and fair plant and flower, that can give food to animals, 
or pleasure to the spectator. 

400 JOHN BARTRAM [1757. 

Pray, out of the abundance of what you see, send me some 
curiosities, particularly seeds for my garden. But let these be 
confined wholly to what is new and curious. Some young plants, 
in a box, would be very acceptable. 

My best wishes always attend you ; and I am, dear sir, 

Yours, &c, 

Alex. Garden. 


[Not dated.] 

My dear Friend : 

It appears to me to be an age since I have had the pleasure of 
hearing from you. Pray, write me, and tell me what you are 
doing ; for I know you can't be idle. Tell me what you are dis- 
covering ; for I know your imagination and genius can't be still. 
How many wonders of creation do you daily see ? Why won't you 
let me know a few ? 

Some time since, I had the inclosed from your wife, which I 
now send to you. 

Your friend, Mr. Lamboll, informed me of this conveyance, 
and I am just to send him this letter. Remember me to your son: 
and I am, dear sir, 

Yours, &c, 

Alex. Garden. 

I have your letter to your son, which I shall send by first oppor- 
tunity ; but at present, all communication is stopped. 


January the 24th, 1757. 

Respected Friend Jane Colden : 

I received thine of October the 26th, 1756, and read it several 
times with agreeable satisfaction ; indeed, I am very careful of it, 

* Miss Jane Colden was the daughter of Doctor Colden, of New York. Some 
brief but interesting notices of this accomplished lady, may be found in the first 
volume of the Unnazan Correspondence, published by Sir J. E. Smith ; and also in 
the Selections from the Correspondence of Cadwallader Colden, in the forty-fourth 
volume of Silliman's Journal, by Professor A. Gkat. 

1757.] T0 JANE COLDEN. 401 

and it keeps company with the choicest correspondence, Euro- 
pean letters.* 

The Viney plant thee so well describes, I take to be the Diosco- 
rea of Hill and Gronovius ; though I never searched the cha- 
racters of the flower so curiously as I find thee hath done ; but 
pray search them books, thee may presently find that article. 

I should be extremely glad to see thee once at my house, and to 
show thee my garden. My Billy is gone from me to learn to be 
a merchant, in Philadelphia, and I hope a choice good place, too 
(Captain Childs). I showed him thy letter, and he was so well 
pleased with it, that he presently made a packet of very fine draw- 
ings for thee, far beyond Catesby's, took them to town, and told 
me he would send them very soon. I was then in a poor state of 
health ; but am now well recovered. We very gratefully receive 
thy kind remembrance, and my two dear friends, thy father and 
mother. I want once more to climb the Katskills ; but I think it 
is not safe to venture these troublesome times. 

I have had several kinds of the OocJdeata, or Snail Trefoil, and 
Trigonella, or Fenugreek; but, being annual plants, they are gone 
off. The species of Persicary thee mentions, is what Tournefort 
brought from the three churches, at the foot of Mount Ararat. 

The Amorpha is a beautiful flower; but whether won't your 
cold winters kill it ? 

If the Rhubarb from London be the Siberian, I have it. I had 

the Perennial Flax, from Livonia. It growecl four feet high, and 

I don't know but fifty stalks from a root ; but the flax was very 

rotten and coarse. The flowers were large and blue. It lived 

many years and then died. 

John Bartram. 

john bartram to b. franklin. f 

July 29th, 1757. 

Dear Benjamin : 

I now take the freedom of thy usual benevolence, and favour of 
thy wife, to inclose this letter in hers ; hoping this way we may 

* That letter, however, which would now be read with so much interest, is 
among the missing ; as well as those from Linnjeus, and many others. 

f Benjamin Franklin was horn in the year 1706, and died on the 17th of 
April, 1790, aged eighty-four years and three months. No intelligent reader on 
either side of the Atlantic, will require to be informed of the history or career of 
Doctor Franklin. 



keep the chain of friendship bright. While thee art diverting 
thyself "with the generous conversation of our worthy friends in 
Europe, and adding daily new acquisitions to thy former extensive 
stock of knowledge, by their free communications of their experi- 
mental improvements, thy poor, yet honest friend Baktram, is 
daily in mourning for the calamities of our provinces. Vast sums 
spent, and nothing done to the advantage of the King or country. 
How should I leap for joy, to see or hear that the British officers 
would prove by their actions, the zeal and duty to their prince and 
nation, they so much pretend in words. 

I am not insensible of the burden thee art charged with ; and 
perhaps thee may meet with some that are not so sincere as our 
dear Peter, who. Captain Lyon told me, in a grateful zeal, was, 
he believed, one of the best men in London. 

Pray, my dear friend, bestow a few lines upon thy old friend, 
such-like as those sent from Woodbridge. They have a magical 
power of dispelling melancholy fumes, and cheering up my spirits, 
they are so like thy facetious discourse, in thy southern chamber, 
when we used to be together. 

We have had this summer abundance of thunder, which hath 
done much damage. Several houses have been much shattered. 
In one house, two young women were killed, one of which had a 
child in her lap two weeks old, which was found on the floor, and 
still liveth. All in the room were so stupified, that they can't 
give any account how they were hurt. One saith, he saw a ball of 
fire break into the room, and spread about. Several were singed, 
as with fire. 


London, January 9, 1769. 

My dear old Friend : 

I received your kind letter of November 5, and the box directed 
to the King is since come to hand. I have written a line to our 
late dear friend's son, (who must be best acquainted with the usual 
manner of transacting your affairs here,) to know whether he will 
take charge of the delivery of it; if not, to request he would inform 
me how, or to whom, it is to be sent for the King. I expect his 
answer in a day or two, and I shall when I see him, inquire how 

1769.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 403 

your pension is hereafter to be applied for and received ; though I 
suppose he has written to you before this time. 

I hope your health continues as mine does, hitherto ; but I wish 
you would now decline your long and dangerous peregrinations, in 
search of your plants, and remain safe and quiet at home, employ- 
ing your leisure hours in a work that is much wanted, and which 
no one besides is so capable of performing I mean the writing a 
Natural History of our country. I imagine it would prove profita- 
ble to you, and I am sure it would do you honour. 

My respects and best wishes attend Mrs. Bartram, and your 

With sincere esteem, I am, as ever, 

Your affectionate friend, 

B. Franklin. 

P. S. January 28. The box is delivered, according to Mr. 
Michael Collinson's directions, at Lord Bute's. Mr. Collin- 
son takes it amiss that you did not write to him. 

I have sent over some seed of Naked Oats, and some of Swiss 
Barley, six rows to an ear. If you would choose to try some of it, 
call on Mrs. Franklin. 

London, July 9, 1769. 

Dear Friend : 

It is with great pleasure, I understand, by your favour of April 
10, that you continue to enjoy so good a share of health. I hope 
it will long continue ; and although it may not now be suitable for 
you to make such wide excursions as heretofore, you may yet be 
very useful to your country, and to mankind, if you sit down 
quietly at home, digest the knowledge you have acquired, compile 
and publish the many observations you have made, and point out 
the advantages that may be drawn from the whole, in public un- 
dertakings, or particular private practice. 

It is true, many people are fond of accounts of old buildings, 
monuments, &c, but there is a number, who would be much better 
pleased with such accounts as you could afford them ; and for one 
I confess, that if I could find in any Italian travels, a receipt for 
making Parmesan cheese, it would give me more satisfaction than 
a transcript of any inscription from any old stone whatever. 


I suppose Mr. Michael Collixsox, or Doctor Fothergill, 
have written to you what may be necessary for your information, 
relating to your affairs here. I imagine there is no doubt but the 
King's bounty to you will be continued ; and that it will be proper 
for you to continue sending, now and then, a few such curious 
seeds as you can procure, to keep up your claim. 

And now I mention seeds, I wish you would send me a few of 
such as are least common, to the value of a guinea, which Mr. 
Foxcroft will pay you for me. They are for a particular friend 
who is very curious. 

If in anything I can serve you here, command freely, 

Your affectionate friend, 

B. Franklin. 

P. S. Pray, let me know whether you have had sent you any of 
the seeds of the Rhubarb, described in the inclosed prints. It is 
said to be of the true kind. If you have it not, I can procure 
some seed for you. 

London, Jan. 11, 1770. 

My ever dear Friexd : 

I received your kind letter of Nov. 29, with the parcel of seeds, 
for which I am greatly obliged to you. I cannot make you ade- 
quate returns, in kind ; but I send you, however, some of the true 
Rhubarb seed, which you desire. I had it from Mr. Ixglish, 
who lately received a medal, of the Society of Arts, for propa- 
gating it. I send, also, some green dry Pease, highly esteemed 
here as the best for making pease soup ; and also some Chinese 
Garavances, with Father Navaretta's account of the universal 
use of a cheese made of them, in China, which so excited my 
curiosity, that I caused inquiry to be made of Mr. Flint, who 
lived many years there, in what manner the cheese was made ; and 
I send you his answer. I have since learnt, that some runnings 
of salt (I suppose runnet) is put into water when the meal is in 
it, to turn it to curds. 

I think we have Garavances with us ; but I know not whether 
they are the same with these, which actually came from China, 
and are what the Tau-fu is made of. They are said to be of great 



I see that 

I shall inquire of Mr. Collinson for your Journal 
of East Florida is printed with Stork's Account. 

My love to good Mrs. Bartram, and your children. With sin- 
cere esteem, I am ever, my dear friend, 

Yours affectionately, 

B. Franklin. 

London, Feb. 10, 1773. fy. \J\^'> 

My dear good old Friend : 

I am glad to learn that the Turnip seed, and the Rhubarb, grow 
with you, and that the Turnip is approved. 

It may be depended, on, that the Rhubarb is the genuine sort. 
But, to have the root in perfection, it ought not to be taken out of 
the ground in less than seven years. 

Herewith, I send you a few seeds of what is called the Cabbage 
Turnip. They say that it will stand the frost of the severest 
winter, and so make a fine early feed for cattle, in the spring, 
when their other fodder may be scarce. I send, also, some seed 
of the Scotch Cabbage ; and some Peas that are much applauded, 
here, but I forget for what purpose, and shall inquire, and let you 
know, in my next. 

I think there has been no good opportunity of sending your 
Medal,* since I received it, till now. It goes in a box, to my son 
Baciie, with the seeds. I wish you joy of it. 

* This Medal, -which is of gold, and -weighs four hundred and eighty-seven 
grains, was sent by a society, at Edinburgh, established in 1764, for the purpose 
of importing seeds of useful trees and shrubs. 

The Medal is now in the possession of Mrs. Joxes, a descendant of the distin- 
guished botanist. 

406 JOHN CLAYTON [1760. 

Notwithstanding the failure of your eyes, you write as distinctly 
as ever. 

With great esteem and respect, I am, my dear friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. Franklin. 

Paris, May 27, 1777. 

My dear old Friend : 

The communication between Britain and North America being 
cut off, the French botanists cannot, in that channel, be supplied 
as formerly with American seeds, &c. If you, or one of your sons, 
incline to continue that business, you may, I believe, send the 
same number of boxes here, that you used to send to England ; 
because England will then send here, for what it wants in that 
way. Inclosed, is a list of the sorts wished for here. If you con- 
sign them to me, I will take care of the sale, and returns, for you. 
There will be no difficulty in the importation, as the matter is 
countenanced by the ministry, from whom I received the list. 

My love to Mrs. Bartram, and your children. I am ever, my 
dear friend, 

Yours most affectionately, 

B. Franklin. 


Gloucester, July 23d, 1760. 

Dear Sir : 

Having so fine an opportunity by my neighbour, Captain 
Richard Bentley, I have sent you inclosed some of the seeds 

* Jhn Clayton, an eminent botanist of Virginia, was born at Fulham, in the 
county of Kent, in Great Britain. He came to Virginia with his father, in the 
year 1705, and was probably then in his twentieth year. His father was an 
eminent lawyer, and was appointed Attorney-General of Virginia. 

Young Clayton was put in the office of Peter Beverly, who was Clerk or 
Prothonotary for Gloucester County, Virginia. He succeeded Mr. Beverly as 
clerk of that county, and filled the office fifty-one years. He died on the 15th of 
December, 1773, in his eighty-eighth year. 

During the year preceding his decease, such was the vigour of his constitution, 
and such his zeal in botanical researches, that he made a botanical tour through 
Orange County ; and it is believed that he had visited most of the settled parts of 

1760.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 407 

you seemed desirous of having, when I had the pleasure of your 
agreeable companj' here. I hope you got safe and well home, 
and that you found your good wife and family all in perfect health. 

As we were just beginning a acquaintance, the parting with 
you so soon made me very melancholy for some time ; and I have 
since frequently wished that I could have prevailed with you, by 
some means or other, to have stayed with me much longer. 

I quite forgot to show you my specimens of dried plants, of which 
I have a pretty large collection, also, a few other natural curiosities. 
Several plants, too, in my garden, which I wanted much to have 
your opinion of, were entirely forgot to be shown you. But I hope, 
if ever Providence orders it so that you should have a call into 
this province again, you will make me ample amends for this last 
transient visit. 

If you have any of the seeds ready of the underwritten plants, 
the bearer will give 'em a safe conveyance to, dear friend, your 
most sincere friend and humble servant, 

John Clayton. 

August 30, 1760. 

Dear Sir : 

Captain Bentley not setting out for Philadelphia so soon as he 
intended, gives me the further opportunity of writing to you ; and, 
as he tells me, he believes he shall stay there till the latter end of 
September, and promises me to take particular care of anything 
you shall please to send by him, I think it is happened very luckily 
for me, especially as the season will be tolerably good for removing 
rooted plants ; and he proposes coming from your city in a vessel 
down Delaware, and then in his own vessel down Chesapeake Bay, 
quite to within about three miles of my house. It will do much 

Virginia. As a practical botanist, he was perhaps inferior to no botanist of his 
time. He left behind him two volumes of manuscript, nearly ready for the press, 
and a Hortus siccus, which were unfortunately destroyed by the torch of an incen- 
diary. He is chiefly known to the learned, especially in Europe, by the Flora 
Virginica, published in 1739, at Leyden, by Gronovius. It is to be regretted 
that succeeding botanists are in the habit of referring to that Flora, as the work 
of Gronovius, though its great value is derived from the masterly descriptions 
communicated to the Leyden Professor by Clayton. In America, his name is 
familiar to every student of Botany, from the prevalence of the pretty little plant 
(Claytonia Virginica), dedicated to his memory. See Barton's Med. and Phys. 
Journ., vol. ii. 

408 JOHN CLAYTON [1761. 

better than sending by the shallop to Colonel Hunter's, as was 
concluded upon, when I had the pleasure of your company here. 

I presume there will be no occasion to put you in mind of the 
plant you were so kind to promise me ; yet I can't forbear men- 
tioning that the Meadia, Arbor Vitas, and Northern Spruce Fir, 
were to be among 'em. I shall be always very ready to retaliate 
your favours, and am, dear sir, your sincere friend and most humble 

John Clayton. 

Dear Friend : 

I have sent you, inclosed, some seed of a new plant, which I 
presume is a stranger in your northern part of the world. Indeed, 
it grows here only in the southern parts of the colony. I have it 
in my garden, but have quite forgot whether I showed it to you, 
when I had the great favour of your company. If I did, I believe 
I told you that it was to be called Amsonia, after a doctor, here ; 
but I think the name inscribed upon the inclosed more proper, as 
it answers to the particular form of its seed. 

I intend to send you some seed of our thorny Sensitive Plant, 
\_Schrankia f] by the first opportunity that oifers, after it is ripe ; 
And remain, dear sir, your sincere friend 

And most humble servant, 

John Clayton. 

September 1st, 1760. 

February the 23d, 1761. 

Dear Friend : 

I received your agreeable letter of the 16th of November last, 
about a month ago, and am very much obliged to you for the seed 
therein inclosed. It was a long time in coming, and had passed 
through various hands, insomuch that the folds were quite worn 
out ; and some person or other had taken out the paper with the 
striped Stock July flower seed ; the loss of which I regret very 
much, as it is so great a curiosity. I was a little doubtful of my 
Pyrethrum seed ; but, as you guess, it was really the very best I 
had. If, hereafter, I should happen to save any better, you may 
depend upon participating with me in that, as well as in the others 
you mention in the letter ; for, at present, I have not one grain of 
the seed of Stoechas, nor of the Tetragonotheca, nor StapTmagria. 

1761.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 409 

I am very glad to hear that you are perfectly well recovered of 
your troublesome cough and fever. I assure you, I was under a 
good deal of concern for your going away, with such a disorder 
upon you. 

There was one paper of seed you were so kind to send me, in- 
scribed Dracocephalum, which, by the appearance and smell of the 
dry calyces, I take to be the same plant which I have had several 
years in my garden. It is called three-leaved American Molda- 
vica, with a strong scent of Balm of Gilead. 

I have a species of Aconite [A. uncinatnm, L. ?] in my garden, 
which grows about five feet high. I found it at our little South- 
west Mountains. The flowers are blue, and grow in the same 
manner as those on your large tall species, according to your 
description. In its natural place of growth, it blossoms in Octo- 
ber ; but in my garden it is about three weeks forwarder. You 
say you never found any real species of the true Aconite, ex- 
cept that tall one, near our South Mountains. Now I should be 
glad to know what you take our Stagger-weed to be. 

The places you mention for our meeting at again zfre, my dear 
friend, such as I fear I shall never be able to travel to. 

Captain Bentley, at his return, told me he was at your house, 
but could not see you, because, as some of your family informed 
him, you were gone a long journey in search of plants, &c, and 
could not be expected at home while he stayed. 

When Mr. Franklin was at Vwlliamsburgh, he desired me if 
I had occasion to write to you, or Doctor Garden, by the way of 
Philadelphia, to send the letters under a cover directed for him, in 
order to save paying postage ; but now, as he is not in America, 
I don't know very well how to act, if I should have no other way 
of writing to you than by the post. 

I have sent you, here inclosed, three papers of seeds, such as 
I judged would be most acceptable. They are all natives of 

This comes by a young gentleman, a friend and neighbour of 
mine, whose name is Richard Blacknall, who, I am confident, 
may be relied upon for his utmost care of a box of rooted plants 
if you'll please to be so kind as to send it by him, to, dear friend, 
your most sincere and affectionate friend, 

John Clayton. 

Pray, don't forget to put a root or two of Madder in the box. 

410 JOHN CLAYTON [1763. 

Dear worthy Friend : 

I have been in great expectation, a long tedious time, of having 
the satisfaction of receiving a letter from you ; but alas ! my 
wishes and expectation have hitherto been quite disappointed ; and 
if it was not for my correspondence with Mr. Collinson, and now 
and then meeting with persons from Philadelphia, I should be 
totally in the dark as to your being still in the land of the living. 

I have wrote to you several times, since I received your enter- 
taining, agreeable letter ; and the last I sent, was (I think) by one 
Mr. Wm. Adcock, who, I am informed, lives in your city, and is in 
partnership with one Mr. JonN Peyton, an elderly man, and I 
have great reason to believe that that letter, with several sorts of 
seed inclosed, got safe to your hands. 

I hear, by common fame, that you have made some excursions, 
in quest of vegetables, as far as the Lakes Michigan and Superior, 
and should be highly delighted with some few sketches, or an epi- 
tome of voifr travels and discoveries in the vegetable kingdon. I 
had much rather have it from you, than at second-hand from our 
friend Collinson, who is generally, upon such a topic, too concise. 

I should, in particular, be very glad to know if you saw any- 
thing of the Canada Bonduc, or Nickar-tree \Grymnocladus Cana- 
densis, Lam.], and if you brought any of the seed home with you. 
I should esteem it a great favour to be admitted to participate 
with you in that, or any other curious seed, where your stock is 

This comes by a gentleman of Philadelphia, Mr. Willing, who, 
I understand, sets off from Colonel Byrd's the beginning of next 
month ; and who, I dare say, will take particular care of any 
letter or parcel you shall please to send me, and forward it (in 
case he should not return soon to Virginia) by a safe, careful 
hand, to Colonel Byrd, whom I have the honour to be well ac- 
quainted with, and without vanity, esteem him one of my friends. 

I wish you and all your family, health and prosperity ; and am, 
dear sir, your sincere, affectionate friend, 

And humble servant, 

John Clayton. 

March 16, 1763. 

1764.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 411 

February 25, 1764. 

Dear Friend : 

I received your agreeable letters of the 16th of June, and 3d of 
December last, about ten days ago, and am really concerned to 
hear that my last letter went to you by the post ; for I fully in- 
tended and directed it to go by the favour of Mr. Willing, brother 
to Colonel Byrd's lady, who was at that time setting off for Phi- 
ladelphia ; but the person I intrusted it with, instead of sending it 
to Westover, (Colonel Byrd's seat, upon James River,) put it into 
the post-office at Williamsburgh. 

The reading the account of your travels, and the many curious 
and uncommon vegetables which you discovered in your long 
journey, gave me a vast deal of pleasure ; and at the same time 
excited in me a longing desire to partake of the seeds, or roots, of 
such of 'em as are not too great favourites with you to be parted 

By your short description of the evergreen shrub, growing over 
Colonel Chiswell's lead mine, I conjecture it may perhaps be a 
species of the Taxus (Yew tree) ; for we have some of those trees, 
more shrubby than the European kinds, growing in the western 
parts of what you call Old Virginia. 

Your new Osteospermums, Silphiums, and Chrysanthemum*. 
must certainly be delightful plants. I heartily wish it was in my 
power to see 'em all, and your other curious plants and flowering 
shrubs ; at the same time, too, to have the conversation of my 
Avorthy friend in his garden. 

I sow always my Stavesacre seed in the autumn, for if it is kept 
till spring, not one seed in a hundred will come up, and those that 
do, make poor stunted plants, and flower so late that the frost 
kills 'em, before the seed is perfected. I have not, at this time, 
any of the seed, nor of the red Chelone ; but will take care to save 
some of both this year, in order to be sent you by the first oppor- 
tunity ; or by the post, under cover, as this goes, to Mr. Franklin. 

I should be very glad of a little seed of the Carolina Tipiti- 
witchet, or Sensitive Plant, with a few directions as to the time of 
planting, and the soil it most delights in, &c. I dare say, my 
friend Mr. Franklin would be kind enough to frank a small 
parcel of seeds from you to him, who is your sincere and affectionate 

John Clayton. 


Dear worthy Friend : 

I received the favour of your letter by Mr. Fox, with some 
curious seeds inclosed, for which I am much obliged to you, and 
return you my hearty thanks. 

I now send you the seed of the red flowered Chelone and the 
Staphisagria, which I saved this last year out of my garden, and 
hope they will prove acceptable. 

We have had, hitherto, a very severe winter. The frost set in 
about the latter end of December, and has continued, with very 
few and short intermissions, and now and then very intense, and 
accompanied with abundance of snow to this day ; and even now, 
there is no prospect of its breaking up. 

I was taken with an intermitting fever, about the latter end of 
October, -which reduced me so low, that I have been confined to 
my house almost ever since. All my hopes are, that I shall 
recover my usual good health in the spring. 

My garden is entirely ruined with the cold piercing winds and 
frosts. All the flowers which were in the leaf, tender, as Nar- 
cissus, Polyanthus, Ixia, Leucojum, &c, are destroyed. I fear 
much that it has been severe with you. 

I sincerely wish you health and happiness ; and remain, dear 
friend, your affectionate friend, and most humble servant, 

John Clayton. 

Feb. 6, 17C5. 

peter templeman to john bartram. 


As the surest method of improving science, is by a generous 
intercourse of the learned in different countries, and a free com- 
munication of knowledge, the Society established at London for 
the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, take 
this liberty of addressing themselves to you, to intreat the favour 
of an answer to the following inquiry : 

Do any herbs, or species of grass, grow in your country, during 
the most inclement part of the year (which we consider to be the 
months of December, January, February, March, and April), so as 
to supply all sorts of cattle, at that time, with a vegetating food ? 

1760.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 413 

Induced by reason and analogy, we are inclined to think that 
the common Parent of all has not left the preservation of such 
animals solely to the care and industry of man, to furnish them at 
that season of the year with dry fodder only ; hut that proper 
herbs and vegetables are afforded them to support themselves, at 
least in some tolerable condition. 

We know that nature has disseminated her bounties variously, 
through the habitable world, so that some species of fruits and 
herbs arise spontaneously in one country, and others in another ; 
but that most of them are capable of being transplanted, and will 
thrive in the most distant regions. 

It is the business of the philosopher and naturalist to explore 
these treasures of nature, and spread the knowledge and use of 
them for the benefit of mankind. 

Such are the sentiments of the Society I have the honour to be 
secretary to, and they address themselves to you as animated with 
the same generous way of thinking. 

All the plants, herbs, and grasses, which grow here, in England, 
both in winter and summer, are enumerated in Ray's synopsis. 

If there are any other species that flourish in the winter season 
with you, not cited by Ray, and proper for the food of cattle, in 
the above-mentioned months, the Society beg the favour of you to 
transmit an account of them, with the nature of the soil they grow 
in, and the culture they require : and intreat you to procure a suf- 
ficient quantity of the seeds of each kind, to try the experiment of 
their thriving here, in England, and to send, at the same time, a 
botanical description of them. 

Your kindness in answering these requests will lay an indispen- 
sable obligation on the Society to requite the favour, whenever 
they shall have it in their power ; and, with the greatest pleasure, 
they will embrace the opportunity. 

I have the honour to subscribe myself, in the name of the 

Your most obedient humble servant, 


Strand, London, September 16, 1760. 

414 MARTHA LOGAN [1760. 



I have, last week, received both your favours, with the seeds 
therein mentioned, for which am much obliged ; and wish you had 
been so kind to let me know what we have that would have been 
most acceptable to you ; but, as you did not, have sent, inclosed, 
the little bag, which contains some variety, but few of a kind (as 
you requested). The middle division is flowering shrubs, trees, 
and vines, which we esteem, and wish they may be new to you. 

I doubt not you have many things which I should be glad of. 

I do again assure you of the truth of my assertion, relating to 
the striped Stock Gillyflowers. If the seed should produce you 
flowers of a plain red, I beg you'd not be discouraged, but make a 
second trial the next season ; by which I am persuaded you will 
be convinced of the truth. 

The seeds I sent you, by the name of Virgin Stock, was of the 
same little flower you so much admired in my garden, and hope 
they have succeeded with you ; but have again sent a few more, 
for fear of any accidents ; and am, with greatest sincerity, sir, 
Your assured friend and humble servant, 

Martha Logan. 

Charleston, 20 December, 1760. 
My best wishes attend your family. 

Sir : 

I wrote you, some little time since, requesting your instructions 
in my flower garden, which I hope you will grant. 

I make no doubt you have received the seeds I sent by Doctor 
Garden's conveyance, and wish they may succeed to the uttermost 
of your desires ; and if it is in my power to oblige you with any- 

* Martha Logan, a great florist, was the daughter of Robert Daniel, of South 
Carolina. In her fifteenth year she married George Logan ; and died in 1779, 
aged seventy-seven. At the age of seventy, she wrote a treatise on gardening. 
Blake's Biogr. Dictionary. 

1761.] T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 415 

thing in tins province, only let me know, and you shall find, no 
person more ready. 

5JC 'I* *f~ *t~ *r* 

In the mean time, I remain, with true regard, sir, your assured 
friend and humble servant, 

Martha Logan. 

February 20, 1761. 


Dear Brother : 

I hope you're all in good health, as we enjoy at present, thanks 
be to the Almighty. I have nothing strange to acquaint you with. 
I send my son, Bill, by Captain Gulley. I expect he will in- 
cline to stay with you awhile, to go to school. 

Dear brother, I make bold to trouble you for one favour more, 
which shall always be acknowledged ; that is, that you and your 
sons, Isaac and Moses, will take into your care my son Bill ; 
hoping and not doubting but you'll instruct and advise him for 
the best, to his advantage and credit. Cousin Billy adviseth me 
to put my son Bill to school, in Philadelphia, for several reasons 
assigned ; but I shall leave that to your judgment. If he stayeth 
in Philadelphia, I have wrote my cousins, Isaac and Moses, to let 
him live with them. If out of town, beg you'll let him live with 

This notion has happened so suddenly, that I am unprovided to 
send but little with him ; but, whatever charge and trouble you're 
at, on his account, shall be as soon as possible paid, with many 
thanks for your care and trouble. 

From your brother, &c. 

William Bartram. 

[Cape Fear, N. O], Aug. 5th, 1761. 


October 18, 1761. 

Madam : 

I received your favour by Captain North, and am much obliged 
for taking the trouble of answering mine, in Mr. Bartram's ab- 

416 JOHN BARTRAM [1761. 

sence. I hope he is, by this, returned to his family, and well. 
Pray, give my respects to him, and tell him I should be very glad 
he would tell Mr. Ratlive what the Andromeda, on the road he 
mentioned to me, is, and I will most certainly get it, and send at 
a proper season. But I cannot find it out from Doctor Garden. 

Mr. Ratlive is my neighbour, and will inform me better than 
any letter can. 

I herewith send some roots of the Indian or Worm Pink [Spi- 
gelian as the seeds were all fallen, before I had yours about them. 

In the same tub, are some slips of Mrs. Bee's little flower, lest 
the seeds should fail. The berries on the trees are not yet ripe 
enough ; but, if I live, your spouse may certainly expect them, 
with the other things. I am, with great truth, your well-wisher 
and friend, 

Martha Logan. 



My friend, George Bartram, showed me two letters, and two 
coats of arms, that thee sent him, wherein thee desired me to 
write an account of our family ;* but, as I was but young when 

* The following sketch was obligingly furnished by Edward Armstrong, Esq., 
of Philadelphia, a gentleman eminently distinguished for his attainments and 
skill in historical, genealogical, and heraldic lore : 

"It has not been in the power of the writer of this note, from the materials 
within his reach, to throw any light on the early history of the family of Mr. 
Bartram, beyond that to be obtained from the account preserved by Mr. Bar- 
tram himself, unless the arms found among his papers, and which correspond 
with those of the Bartrams of Scotland, should be accepted in proof that he was 
of Scottish origin. 

" The names Bartram and Bertram are the same, as records abundantly 
prove ; and it appears to be of Norman origin. Although there are instances of 
those who left England, went over to the Conqueror, and returned with him to 
partake the results of his achievements, it does not appear that 'this was the case 
with any Bertram ; at all events, we cannot find the name in England, prior to 
the conquest. In Nace's" roll of the companions of the Conqueror, said to be the 
oldest list extant of the warriors who fought at Hastings, and which is now in the 
British Museum, but formerly belonged to Battle Abbey, we discover a Robert 
Bertram. In a list prepared by Fox, ' out of the ancient chronicles of England, 
touching the names of other* Normans which seemed to remain alive after the 

a Preface to 1st Ellis's Gen. Introd. to Domesday IX. 


my father and uncle died, so the best account I could have "was 
from my grandmother, who lived some years after. She told me 
that my great grandfather's name was Richard Bartram. He 
lived in Derbyshire, and his father before him. Richard Bar- 
tram had one son, called Johx, who married my grandmother, in 
Derby. They settled in the town of Ashburn, in the Peak, where 
they lived, and had three sons and one daughter. From thence 
they removed to Pennsylvania, before there was one house in 
Philadelphia. My grandfather, and his elder son, John, died 
about sixty years past, and my uncle Isaac a few years after, both 
bachelors. My father married, and had three sons and one 
daughter, who died a young woman. We three sons are, at pre- 
sent, all living. I am the eldest, and have six sons and three 
daughters alive. My brother James is the next, hath had one son 
and two daughters, which are all dead. His eldest daughter left 
five daughters. My youngest brother, William, liveth in North 
Carolina, hath one son and two daughters. 

This is the best account I can give of our family. There was 

battel, and to be advanced in the seigniories of this land,' there is to be seen the 
name of E. Bertram.* But whether he is identical with William de Bertram, 
who is described in Domesday b as holding under the king as a tenant in cajntt. 
cannot perhaps now be decided. 

"This William, says Kelham, c is supposed to have been the eldest son of 
Richard Bertram, by Sibil, his wife, only daughter and heir of John* Mitford, 
Lord of Mitford, in the county of Northumberland, from whom Robebt Mitford, 
the proprietor of the castle and manor of Mitford, was descended. He is also 
said to have been the founder of the Priory of Brinkburn, in Northumberland. 

"In the reign of Edward I., 129G, the name of John Bertram appears as a 
burgess in the submission of the Borough of Inverkeithyn, d a town about ten 
miles northwest of Edinburgh, and in the county of Fife. The name is afterwards 
to be found scattered at intervals through the Scotch and English records. It is 
also found in other counties than that of Northumberland ; namely, in Kent, 
Sussex, Cumberland, &c. In the county of Kent, there was, in the year 1247, a 
Ralph Bertram, 8 Rector of Buckland." 

" The arms of John Bartram, as found among his papers, are as follows : Gu. 
on an inescutcheon or. betw n an orle of eight crosses pattee ar. a thistle-head ppr. 
Crest out of an antique crown or. a ram's head ar. Mottoes, ' J'avance,' in one 
riband, ' Foy en Dieu,' in another." 

a Second vol. of New Eng. Genealog. and Antiquar. Reg. 25, a recently esta- 
blished, but very valuable periodical. 

b 1st Ellis, 382; Domesday, 47. 

c Kelham's Domesday, 42; 1 Dugdale's Baron. 543; 2 Dugdale's Monas. 
Anglican. 153. 

A 1st Rotuli Scotice, 159. e 4 Husted's Kent, 52. 


418 JOHN ST. CLAIR [1761. 

here, some years past, a Presbyterian minister, come from Scotland. 
He said that two brothers of our name came with William the 
Conqueror, one of which settled in the north of England of which, 
I suppose, my family came and the other settled in Scotland, of 
which, I suppose, your family came, which corresponds with thy 


Belville, Nov. 4th, 1761. 

My dear Sir : 

I congratulate you on your safe arrival from Pittsburg, but at the 
same time I am vexed they should have let you go thither alone. 
This I must attribute to Captain OuRRY's not being at Bedford 
when you passed that way ; and I am afraid you met with nothing 
worth your while during your migration. That you found every- 
thing in good order at home, I am thoroughly persuaded of, from 
Mrs. Bartram's great care. In this you have the advantage of 
me, that have no wife. 

My greenhouse and stove are in a very flourishing state. I want 
you much to see them, and to consult you about many things ; and 
before winter is over, I will come to pass a couple of days with you. 

* * 5|C * * * 

I give you many thanks for the valuable [Pecan~] Hickory Nuts, 
I should have thanked you sooner for them, but I waited to see if 
I was to go on the expedition that is fitting out. Now I find that I 
am not to go ; but from my numerous acquaintances that are going 
to that climate, I may expect everything, in May, that grows in 
our islands ; so that if you want anything (be what it will) from 
these parts, let me know it. I have sent a venture of strong beer 
and the choice pieces of beef to my good friend Governor Worge, 
at Senegal. He is to make me thereturn in African trees, shrubs, 
plants, and seeds. He is an excellent gardener, and I am sure 
will do me justice, as far as lies in his power. 

If you will send anybody to this place, to bring a cow for Mrs. 
Bartram, she will oblige me in accepting of her. She is of the 
famous Rhode Island breed. * * * * 

I am, with great esteem, dear sir, your most obedient and most 
obliged humble servant, 

John St. Clair. 

1761.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 419 


Dear Sir : 

It being upwards of two years since I had the pleasure of a 
letter from you, I was willing to trouble you with a few lines, in 
order to be informed whether or not you have received a parcel, 
directed to you from me. It was the latter part of my works, 
called Gleanings, containing 100 coloured prints, with their de- 
scriptions in French and English. The book was very firmly 
bound and gilt. It was papered up, and delivered to our good 
friend, Mr. P. Collixsox, in the month of January, anno 1760, 
in order to be sent with shop goods from him to Pennsylvania. It 
was directed to you, not only on the paper in which it was packed, 
but also withinside of the book ; I think it was on the back of the 
title-page. I understood, by Mr. Collixsox, that the ship in 
which it was sent arrived safe ; but he could not tell me whether 
you had received the book or not. If you have not received it. 
it must have been secreted by some person who has no right to it. 
If you have seen or heard of a book answering the above descrip- 
tion, it is certainly of right your property. 

I should be very sorry to think it is not come to your hands. I 
shall be glad to hear of you and your father by the packet, or any 
other convenient means, the first opportunity ; and if I find you 
have not received the book in question, I will, by such means as 
you shall direct, convey to you another copy of the same book in 
black prints ; for if the first be miscarried, I cannot afford another 
neatly coloured, as the first was. 

- George Edwards, the father of ornithologists, was born at Stratford, Essex, 
in the year 1693. He was brought up to trade; but the great powers of his 
genius began to be developed by the perusal of books on Natural History and 
antiquities, and at the expiration of his apprenticeship he travelled abroad, 
visited Holland, and, two years after, Norway. He corresponded much witli 
Linx-Eus. The first of his learned and valuable labours appeared in the History 
of Bird.", 4 vols. 4to., in the years 1743. 1747, 1750, and 1751; and in 1758, 
1700, and 1764 three more 4to. volumes were added, called Gleanings of Natural 
History, two most valuable works, containing engravings and descriptions of 
upwards of six hundred subjects in Natural History, never before delineated. 
This worthy man died 23d July, 1773, in the 81st year of his age. Blake's Biogr. 
Diet., and Rees's Cyclop. 

420 JOHN BARTRAM [1761. 

These books contain all the small birds you were so good to send 
me two or three years ago. 

Pray my kind respects to your father and all friends, and 
accept the same yourself, from 

Your obliged friend and servant, 

George Ed/wards. 

College of Physicians, Warwick Lane, 
London, November 15, 1761. 


December the 27th, 1761. 

Dear Brother : 

We have now very sharp weather : our navigation is quite 
stopped. I sent thee a box of Plum suckers and young seedlings 
of my English kinds, and wrote to thee, Billy, Dr. Green, and 
the Governor, and delivered the letters into Captain Sharpless's 
hands ; but whether he is got out, I can't say. He set out from 
Philadelphia a little before the cold set in, and was to take some 
loading in at Cohanzey. Cousin Billy is now at my house, where 
I am glad to see him ; but he keeps very close to school. He tells 
me you have a root you call Tanyers, which I have often heard 
the Carolina people talk of.* I wish thee would put one or two in 
a box of plants for me. 

We have had as healthy a fall as ever I knew, but now I am 
afraid of mortal sickness. Two of my neighbours are to be buried 
xo-day, by two or three days' sickness. 

I and most of my son Billy's relations are concerned that he 
never writes how his trade affairs succeed. We are afraid he doth 
not make out so well as he expected. I should be glad he could 
gain credit, as Isaac and Moses have. They began with a little, 
and have unexpectedly dropped into fine business fulfilled the 
proverb, First creep, and then go. 

I have a great mind to drink, next fall, out of the springs at 
the head of Cape Fear River and Pedee, if God Almighty please 
to afford me an opportunity. 

* Tanyer (called Tallo or Tarro by the New Zealanders, the Arum esculentum, 
Linn., or Colocasia esculenta, Schott.), is still cultivated occasionally in the gar- 
dens of Southern States, for the sake of the cormus or tuberous rhizoma, -which is 
used at table as a substitute for the potato and yam. 


Cousin Billy desires to be remembered to thee and sister ; so I 
conclude with much love to thee and sister, and remain your affec- 
tionate brother, 

John Bartram. 


December the 27th, 1761. 

My dear Son : 

Cousin Billy tells me that your Loblolly Bay, or Alcea, bears 
a very sweet blossom. I wish thee would look well out for some 
of its seed ; perhaps it is not all shed, nor the water Tupelo. I 
want seed of everything we have not ; and thee is a good judge of 
that. The Alcea and the Horse Sugar I want much. They are 
very difficult to transplant. I had them from Charleston, but they 
are gone off. Perhaps your northern one may do better. It is 
strange that the red sweet Bay, some of which grows naturally in 
Virginia, should not bear our frost ; and yet the great Magnolia. 
that grows naturally on the south of Pedee, seems to bear our frost 
tolerably. "What havoc our present frost will make with the rest, 
I can't yet say ; but, however, I want to try all, to be enabled to 
judge which of your plants will bear our rigorous frost, and what 
will not. 

Thee disappointed my expectation much, in not sending me any 
seeds by Captain Sharpless ; and I know your seeds were, some 
or other, ripening from the day thee set thy foot on Carolina 
shore, until Sharpless's departure, and such as were within a 
mile or two of thy common walks, or most of them within sight. 
And yet I have not received one single seed from my son, who 
glories so much in the knowledge of plants, and whom I have been 
at so much charge to instruct therein. 

The fall is the best time to sow the native seeds. Spring may 
do ; but many miss coming up that year. 

I don't want thee to hinder thy own affairs to oblige me ; but 
thee might easily gather a few seeds, when thee need not hinder 
half an hour's time to gather them, or turn twenty yards out of 
thy way to pluck them. 

I remain thy loving father, 

John Bartram. 

422 JOHN BAR TRAM [1702. 


November the 9th, 1762. 

Dear Children: 

I am now returned home in good health, in which I also found 
my family ; God Almighty alone be praised. 

I had the most prosperous journey that ever I was favoured 
with. Everything succeeded beyond my expectation ; and my 
guardian angel seemed to direct my steps, to discover the greatest 
curiosities. The presence of God was with me; and my heart 
overflowed with praises and humble adoration to Him, both day 
and night, in my wakeful hours. 

I met with Mendenhall, a few miles after we parted, sixty 
miles from his house ; so I set off directly to the Wateree, to 
SAMUEL Wtlt's, where I was recommended; but he was not at 
home, nor was expected for many days. He was gone a survey- 
ing ; but it soon rained after I came, and he soon came home, and 
received me very friendly ; and next day lent me his horse, to ride 
over the Congaree about seventy miles, to Georgia. 

In this ride, I found a wonderful variety of rare plants ami 
shrubs, particularly a glorious evergreen, about four or five feet 
high, and much branched, in very small twigs growing upright. 
The leaves are much like the Newfoundland Spruce, rather smaller, 
and grow around the twigs close, like it. The seed is very small, 
in little capsules, as big as mustard \Cyrilla racemiflora, L. ?]. 
Stayed at Wyly's two whole days, to rest my horse ; then set 
forward to the Moravian town, which is two hundred and fifty 
miles from Charleston ; "Wyly's is one hundred and twenty ; the 
ferry over the Congaree is one hundred and forty to Charleston. 
From the Moravian town it is thirty long miles to the settlements 
in the bottom, and a very bad road. The bottom is near twenty 
miles broad, and pretty good land. When I came to the last 
house, I inquired the way to the mountain, about ten miles off. 
They said there was four hunters just going over to the mine, and 
to Holston's River. This I took as a great Providential favour, 
indeed. * * * We headed the east branch of the Yadkin, in 
the mountain, and lodged on a little branch of the New River, at 
the distance of seven miles, or, as some said, fifteen, from the head 


of Dan ; so that I believe Haw River doth not reach the South 
Mountain, but heads in the high hills on the south side of the 
bottom, which is near ten miles across. 

These South or Alleghany Mountains, are really very high on 
Carolina side, and steep, full as high, if not higher, than our Blue 
Mountains ; and still grow much higher against Georgia. There 
is much middling good land, and fine savannas, and plentiful 
streams, on these mountains ; but it's so cold and wet, and the 
snow frequently two feet deep in winter (some say in October and 
November, but I believe not commonly then), that it must be un- 
comfortable living. It is commonly said, that it always snows or 
rains here. It rained the first day ; but then it cleared up. We 
set out, after killing a deer and breakfasting on it ; then rode a 
good pace till toward night. One of the hunters killed two deer, 
part of which we ate, and left the rest. Next morning we set out, 
and cleared the mountain about noon ; thence had four or five 
miles to the mine. The afternoon was spent about the mine, and 
on the banks of New River, about ten yards over. Next morning, 
the overseer rode with me, crossed the river in a boat, and away 
to Fort Chesel [?], towards Holston's River ; then to the Ferry, 
thirty miles, where it was three hundred yards broad. It was 
quite dark before we got to the house. The next day we travelled 
till dark, and went supperless to bed, on the ground, by the east 
branch of New River. Set out early, and by noon my guide 
parted with me, and I set forward alone ; being obliged to my 
guide, and very thankful to Providence, being now on the branches 
of Staunton, and amongst the inhabitants. 

Pray give my love to brother, sister, and cousins. 

I was pleased with Billy's temperance and patience, in his 
journey, and shall soon be daily expecting a packet of seeds, and 
a box of plants from you ; which, with hearing of your welfare, 
will make glad the heart of your loving father, 

John Bartram. 


May the 19th, 1765. 

Dear Son : 

I having now a fine opportunity, by my friend Smith, send these 

424 JOHN BARTRAM [1765. 

few lines to let thee know we are all well at present, and have been 
all winter, God Almighty he praised. 

Lord Gordon was twice at my house last week. General Bou- 
quet, the Governor, and many of the chief gentlemen came with 
him ; and yesterday, I waited upon them at the General's. His 
Lordship is going to Quebec, taking all the sea-ports in his way. 
He earnestly invited me to go with him in this journey, and he 
would bring me back again, all at his own expense. At the same 
time and place, the General as several times before offered to 
take me with him to Pensacola, to find me a man to wait upon 
me, and an escort through the dangerous passes, and it should 
not cost me a farthing. These are very generous offers. I should 
rather choose the last ; but now can't comply with it. 

I wait to hear further from Europe. We have expected two 
vessels, and the packet to York, for several weeks. My last letter 
was dated the 10th of February, mentioning that Lord Bute and 
the Earl of Northumberland declared that it was necessary that 
the Floridas should be searched ; and that I was the properest 
person to do it. How this affair will turn out, I can't yet say ; but 
I have just wrote to Peter that I must have a companion. 

My eyesight is so well returned, that I wrote this by candle- 
light, and without spectacles. 

Pray remember my love to brother, sister, and cousins ; which 
also receive thyself, from thy affectionate father, 

John Bartram. 

June the 7th, 1765. 

Dear Son William : 

Soon after Cousin Smith set off for Cape Fear, I received a par- 
ticular account that our King had appointed me his chief Botanist ; 
and I am ordered to go directly to Florida, and I have taken 
passage in a vessel bound to Augustine, and thence to Pensacola, 
with my good friend, General Bouquet for whose sake I go 
sooner than I intended. Perhaps the vessel may touch at Charles- 
ton. It's some question whether I shall not stay about Augustine, 
or Georgia, this summer, and perhaps winter in the Peninsula, or 
East Florida : but I can't yet tell which, till I speak with Governor 
Grant, and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, whom I must 
consult. I am daily waiting for further orders, and recommenda- 

1765.] TO MRS. BARTRAM. 425 

tions from court ; but our friend Peter ordered me to take my 
son, or a servant with me. And as thee wrote to me last winter, 
and seemed so very desirous to go there, now thee hath a fair 
opportunity ; so pray let me know as soon as possible. 

Our vessel is to sail in about two or three weeks ; therefore, I 
advise thee to sell off all thy goods at a public vendue, and give 
thy accounts into the hands of an attorney there, properly proved, 
who will recover thy debts better, and with a quicker despatch than 
thee can thyself; and write directly to thy creditors, to let them 
know how the affairs stand. 

I believe thy best way to meet with me, will be about St. Au- 
gustine. I wish thee could send a letter to me there, as soon as 
possible. I intend to hover about there, or Georgia, till near 

Direct thy letters to the care of the Governors, at both places, 
for me, which will be the likeliest places for me to meet with them 
or thee. I suppose that vessels pass frequently between Charleston 
and Georgia, or Augustine. Please to send them under cover to 
Dr. Garden, or Thomas Lamboll, who I shall write to send them 
directly to Augustine, or Georgia. But pray let me know soon, 
whether thee will come or not, that I may provide myself with 
another companion. Perhaps next spring I may go to West 
Florida ; but can't say where yet. But, in the mean time, assure 
thyself that I remain thy loving father, 

John Bartram. 

Thy brother George [i. e. brother-in-law, George Bartram, 
who married Ann Bartram, November 6th, 1764], or his brother, 
who wants thee to come home and join in partnership with them, 
desired me to write to thee. 


Savannah, September 4th, 170-3. 

My dear Spouse : 

This day we arrived at Savannah town, in Georgia, by ten 
o'clock. This was reckoned a very hot day, here, with thunder 
and showers, thermometer 86. They have had here, as well as at 
Charleston, the hottest summer and dryest, and wettest August, 

426 JOHN BARTRAM [1765. 

that hath been for many years. Many great bridges are broken 
down, and we were forced to swim our horses over ; but, God 
Almighty be praised, we are got safe into Georgia ; and strange it 
is, that in all this dreadful season for thunder, and prodigious rain, 
we have not had occasion to put a great coat on, in both the Caro- 
linas, nor rested one clay, on the account of rain. But we can't 
expect to be favoured so, long ; however, God's will be done. 

We are now hearty, and have a good stomach. The people say, 
that if we can weather this month, we need not fear. We have 
been pestered, these two mornings and evenings, with very large 
mosquitos ; but their bite is not near so venomous as the small sort 
at Charleston. 

The land, in general, is pretty good most of the way from 
Charleston to this town, and the people very civil to us. We have 
just been with one of the Governor's council, Mr. Habersham, to 
whom our worthy friend, Doctor Wkaxgel, recommended me, to 
wait on the Governor ; who received us with exceeding civility, 
offering to do me all the kindness that lay in his power ; nay, that 
if any unforeseen accident should happen, if I wanted anything 
that he could help me to, he would immediately do it. 

We design to set out, to-morrow, toward Augusta, one hundred 
and fifty miles up the river ; where I have many great recommen- 
dations from the chiefs in Charleston : but, whether I shall set out 
from there, through part of the Creek Nation to Augustine, or 
come back again to this town, I can't say until I consult some very 
knowing gentlemen, at or near Augusta. 

We are obliged to be at, or near, Augustine, by the first of 
October, or thereabouts ; so that we have but about a month to 
travel five hundred miles in. 

My dear love, my love is to all our children, and friends, as if 
particularly named, which I have not time nor room, at present, to 
do. It is by the Governor's favour, as well as information, that I 
met with this opportunity to deliver it to his care, in a letter to 
Mr. Lamboll. 

Our son Billy, I hope, if we have our health, will be of great 
service to me. He desires to be remembered to his mother, bro- 
thers, sisters, and friends. 

September the 5th. Thermometer 80. Just ready to set out 
toward Augusta, when we have breakfasted. Perhaps the next 

1762.] TO MRS. BARTRAM. 427 

letter may be dated from Augustine ; but if we come back to this 
town, we shall be for writing here. 

However, dear love, in the mean time, I remain thy affectionate 

John Bartram, 

In great haste. 

This town is prettily situate on dry sandy ground, and generally 
good water. Great ships lie close, too, and safe harbour. 


Fort Pitt, 3d February, 1762. 

Dear Sir : 

The gentleman who will have the pleasure to deliver you this, is 
Lieutenant Brehm, an engineer sent by General Amherst to our 
most remote posts, to the westward. He has been round Lake 
Erie, and through Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. 

I thought it might be agreeable to you to know what nature pro- 
duces, in those wildernesses ; and though the gentleman had obser- 
vations of another kind to make, he may perhaps satisfy, in some 
respects, your curiosity, as you will certainly do his, by the large 
collection you have in your garden. 

I should be much obliged to you, to send me, at your leisure, a 
catalogue of trees and plants, peculiar to this country, which are 
not natural to the soil of Europe ; as I propose to send a collection 
to a friend, when we have more peaceable times. 

I expected to have had the pleasure to see you, this spring ; but 
I find I am to be confined here some time longer. 

I am with great truth, dear sir, 

Your obedient humble servant, 

H. Bouquet. 

Fort Pitt, 15th July, 1762. 

Dear Sir : 

I received your letters of May the 3d, and June the 11th, which 

* Henry Bouquet is believed to have been, at the date of this letter, a Colonel 
in the British Army ; was evidently an intelligent, polite, and obliging gentleman, 
and ever ready to promote the interests of natural science. He appears subse- 
quently to have attained to the rank of General, and to have died in the service, 
in Florida. 

428 DR - H - sibthorp [1762. 

have given me great pleasure. I am much obliged to you for the 
curious list of North American Trees and Shrubs you sent me. I 
hope to understand it better, when I see the originals in your 

This war will not last for ever ; and I hope we shall have some 
leisure, hereafter, to study the productions of nature, and bestow 
some time in cultivating plants, instead of destroying men. 

I am glad of the success you have had, in the few plants you 
got, hereabout ; and wish New River and Pedee may reward you 
for your trouble, if you undertake that journey, which, I fear, must 
be attended with great trouble and fatigue. 

I got, a few days ago, a very great curiosity, from about six 
hundred miles down the Ohio ; an elephant's tooth, weighing six 
pounds and three quarters, and a large piece of one of the tusks ; 
which puts it beyond doubt, that those animals have formerly ex- 
isted on this continent. 

I sent your letter to Mr. Kenny. 

I am with great regard and friendship, dear sir, your most 
humble servant, 

Henry Bouquet. 



As a correspondence, and communication of seeds and speci- 
mens, might be serviceable to both of us, I've the more particu- 
larly been desirous of cultivating such, and for that purpose have 
forwarded letters, by friend Collinson and others, to you hereto- 
fore, in hopes of an answer. * * As no part of Europe 
has a larger collection than the Sherardian and Du Bois's, many 
from Catesby, Houston, Gronovius, Clayton, and others, are a 
further addition, with Morison and Bobart's collections. And the 
North American plants thrive well in our soil, being swampy, or 
low. Many from different parts, gardeners and others, send seed. 
Many boxes come through your friend Collinson's hands, which 

* At the close of this letter, the writer (in the original) gives his address as 
"Dr. Sibthoep, Professor of Botany at the Physic Garden, at Oxford." Although 
a genus of plants was dedicated to him for his services, it is alleged that he did 
much more for the science, by raising up a son (Dr. John Sibthorp) to cultivate 
it, than by any writings or investigations of his own. See Rees's Cyclopaedia. 

1762.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 429 

are often, by our custom officers and others, too much jumbled 
together, and, in regard to their quantity, oft best suitable to 
nurserymen, than those more curious. Could you favour our 
garden with a small box of a few of each sort you may have 
gathered, fresh and good, and any seeds of perennial plants, the 
more ornamental the more preferable, any pains you take shall be 
most gratefully acknowledged and requited. Nothing is more 
agreeable than the variety of Firs, Evergreens, or forest trees to 
us. Some of the Spruce and Balm of Gilead we have. The 
Weymouth Pine seed has miscarried, as well as the Magnolias. 
But nothing, indeed, can come amiss : and as I understand from 
your neighbour, Mr. Fraxklix, who has done us the honour, to- 
day, of taking a degree, and now ranks Doctor of Civil Law, with 
us, you are about entering on a large excursion, I heartily wish 
you a safe return, and that you may meet with many curious 
plants. And as he encourages me to write again, and promises 
more particularly to forward this, I flatter myself I may have the 
satisfaction of adopting your name in our public garden. * * 

I shall add no further, at present, than my best wishes for your 
health, and a prosperous journey, and hopes of hearing from you 
by letter, directed, as below, to your faithful friend, 

And very humble servant, 

Humphrey Sibthorp. 

Oxford, April 30, 1762. 


[Not dated. Autumn of 1762.] 

"Worthy Friexd : 

I have received thy kind letter of April the 30th, 1762, which 
is the second letter I ever received from thee ; the first of which 
was left in town by the person that should have delivered it, long 
after it was dated. I thought to have answered it, but no oppor- 
tunity offering soon, I drove it off from time to time, till I was 
ashamed of it, and now beg pardon. And now, if peaceable times 
come, I intend to double my diligence, for I am better stocked 
with materials than formerly, having now searched our North 
America from New England to near Georgia, and from the sea- 
coast to Lake Ontario, and many branches of the Ohio : so that 

430 JOHN BAR TRAM [1763. 

now there are very few plants in all that space of ground but what 
I have observed, nay, have most of them growing in my own 

I am just returned home from a very successful journey over 
the Congaree, near Georgia, and then up, across the country, to 
the Moravian Settlements, up to the head of the Yadkin, and over 
the South and Alleghany Mountains, to the New River, a great 
branch of the Ohio, on which I travelled four days, and toward 
Holston's River. In this journey I found many rare plants and 
shrubs, and gathered much seed, part of which I send to thee. 
It is very good and ripe ; and when I was upon the Wateree, I 
dug up many curious roots, of sorts which I could not gather seed 
from. These I planted in a box, to be sent one hundred and 
twenty miles to Charleston, to be sent to Philadelphia, which I 
have not vet received. 

I was, several years ago, at Charleston and Cape Fear, and 
settled such correspondence there, that I have most of their Ever- 
greens and Plants growing in my garden ; and hope to have all 
that our climate will bear. 


April 26th, 1763. 
I received thy kind and agreeable letter of February the 10th. 

* Daniel Charles Solander, LL.D., F.R.S., under librarian of the British 
Museum, was born in Nordland, Sweden, Feb. 28th, 1736 ; studied at Upsal, 
where he became a favourite pupil of, and received the degree of M.D. 
He came to England in 1759, being consigned by his great preceptor, with pecu- 
liar earnestness, to the care of Mr. Ellis. He was universally esteemed here 
for his polite and agreeable manners, as well as his great knowledge in most 
departments of Natural History. Being engaged by the illustrious Banks, to 
accompany him in his voyage round the world, with Captain Cook, he was ever 
after the companion and friend of that distinguished patron of science, and was 
domesticated under his roof, as his secretary and librarian. 

His life was suddenly terminated by apoplexy, on the 16th of -May, 1782, at 
the age of 46. The dissipation of London society seems to have induced in him 
pernicious habits of indolence, and to have developed unfilial traits of character, 
rarely witnessed in a votary of " the amiable science." The evidences of this arc 
furnished by the neglect of his epistolary correspondence with his great master, 
Linnaeus; and still more strongly in the neglect experienced by his aged and 
doating mother; several of whose letters to her son, it is said, were foui!<! 
unopened after his death ! See Smith's Linncean Correspondence. 

1763.] T0 DR - solander. 431 

1762, and a number of curious pamphlets, which I wish had been 
in English, for Latin is too hard for me. 

I was so hurried, last year, in travelling, that I had not time to 
answer thy letter to my desire, but desired our worthy friend 
Peter to return my respects, and show thee the specimens I col- 
lected in the Carolinas, and New Virginia, which I sent last fall. 

I have a glorious sight of curious plants, from the Carolina and 
Alleghany Mountain seeds, coming up, which in time may furnish 
my friend with variety of specimens : and I have engaged to go 
with Colonel Bouquet down the Ohio to the Mississippi, when peace 
is proclaimed, and he hath particular orders where to go, and what 
to do, of which he is in daily expectation : so that, at present, it is 
uncertain whether he will set out or return. But I shall not like 
to be at New Orleans, or Mobile, in the latter part of summer, 
when fevers are dangerous. 

If I should perform this journey, and Providence grant me a 
safe return in health, I hope to make fine discoveries in this wil- 
derness country. As the Colonel will take time to do his business 
well, so I shall have time to make full discovery of what comes in 
my way. 

We have had a cold, constant winter, and late spring ; but I 

have known it much colder. 


But most of the trees, or shrubs, that cast their leaves annually 
there [in South Carolina], will bear our frosts tolerably well. 
The Bignoniafoliis conjugatis ran up the northeast corner of my 
house last summer, twenty feet high, the leaves and vines of which 
are now very green. But one at the southwest end is bare of 
leaves, though the vine is green. The Carolina Myrtles, several 
sorts, all growing near the coast, keep their leaves green all winter : 
but, I think, shed them in the spring, when young leaves put forth. 
They cast them in the winter, with me, although I have one sort 
from Jersey, that keeps them on till summer. 
The Basteria, or Sweet Wood [Galycanthus floridus, _.], was ex- 
posed to the severity of last winter ; yet I find not one bud hurt. 
But the Bignonia, or Yellow Jessamine [G-ehemium nitidum, Mx.], 
being an evergreen, is hurt, though under shelter. The Melia, 
that I left out, is wholly killed. The Alcea [G-ordoniaf] is killed, 
root and branch. 

432 DR. JOHN HOPE [1763. 

dr. solander to john bartram. 

Sir : 

Mr. ILeggblad, that delivers this letter, is a Swedish clergy- 
man, that proposes to stay among you for some time. He is a 
lover of Natural Philosophy, and goes now into a country so well 
known to you, that nobody's friendship can be to more advantage 
to him than yours. I therefore will make myself so free, and beg 
the favour that you will give him advice how he best may employ 
the hours he can spend, in collecting plants, insects, and other 

How much I have been delighted in looking over the specimens 
you last sent to Mr. Collinson, I shall tell you in a letter that I 
intend to write next week. At the same time, our mutual friend, 
Mr. Collinson, likewise proposes to send you a letter. 

Just now, at present, I am so hurried, that I have no more time 
than only to recommend the above-mentioned clergyman to your 
friendship, and to assure you that I always with great regard, 

Your most affectionate and sincere friend, 

Daniel C. Solander. 

London, July the 1st, 1763. 

dr. john hope* to john bartram. 


The great reputation which you have justly acquired, by many 
faithful and accurate observations, and that most extraordinary 
thirst of knowledge which has distinguished you, makes me ex- 
tremely desirous of your correspondence. 

If you will be so kind as send me a few seeds of your new dis- 
covered plants, I shall on my part make a return of whatever is in 
my power, that I shall judge agreeable to you. 

* John Hope was Professor of Botany at Edinburgh, and died in the year 1786. 
" This gentleman (says the Botanical Editor of Rees's Cyclopaedia, Art. Hopea,) 
richly deserves commemoration, as being one of the earliest lecturers on Vegetable 
Physiology, as well as an experienced practical botanist. Those who knew his 
personal merits, will readily accede to anything that may serve to embalm so 
worthy a name." 

1764.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 433 

It will be agreeable to you to hear that Mr. Samuel Bard, son 
of your friend Mr. Bard, of New York, is making most wonderful 
progress in Botany, and has made a beautiful collection of near 
four hundred Scots plants ; by which he undoubtedly will gain the 
annual premium. 

I am, sir, with very great regard, 

Your most obedient servant, 

John Hope, 

Professor of Medicine and Botany, 
in University of Edinburgh. 
Edinburgh, 4th November, 1763. 


October the 4th. 1764. 

Worthy Friend : 

I have received your proposals by the hands of our dear friend 
Benjamin ; and since, by a letter from the worthy, humane Dr. 
Bard, of New York, in which he inserts a paragraph of a letter 
from his son (whose person and activity I am not a stranger to), 
wherein he writes to the same effect as thee wrote to Benjamin 
Franklin, signifying that you had laid a new botanic garden, 
to be stored with exotics ; that you were forming a laudable ami 
very necessary plan of storing your bare country with variety of 
forest trees ; that many gentlemen of rank and fortune had counte- 
nanced this scheme with an annual subscription, to enable a 
botanist to make your desired collections ; and that my answer 
was desired, whether I would undertake to supply your demands, 
which I consent to do, if your generosity is equal to them ; for the 
charges of collecting rare vegetables are in proportion to the dis- 
tance from home, and hazards and dangers in collecting them. 
I have, in thirty years' travels, acquired a perfect knowledge of 
most, if not all of the vegetables between New England and 
Georgia, and from the sea-coast to Lake Ontario and Erie. 

Now what I have not yet discovered, is our new acquisitions in 
the mountains of Georgia, in East and West Florida, up the Mis- 
sissippi and the country of the Illinois, Lakes Michigan and Huron, 
the upper lake. I suppose no great variety there. 

All the plants north of 33 degrees will grow in the open ground 


434 DR. JOHN HOPE ["1765. 

at Edinburgh, and those in Georgia and East and West Florida 
with a protection from hard frost. 

I have now sent, as a present, for thy curious amusement, one 
hundred specimens, some rare, with my remarks upon them, and 
to your new garden a parcel of curious seeds, near one hundred 
and fifty different species ; and our friend, Mr. Franklin, engaged 
me to send you a box of forest trees and shrubs, in which I am 
going to pack above one hundred different kinds, and send them 
in the next ship for London, which will sail in three weeks. 

In the box of seeds I have put a capsula of the true Colocasia 
[Nelumbium luteum, WillcL], with some nuts, just gathered. Plant 
them in Avet mire ; they will not live anywhere else. The stalk 
and leaves grow five feet high, and often that depth in water. 



I was favoured with your letter of the 4th of October, and soon 
thereafter had the pleasure of receiving the small box of seeds and 
specimens of rare plants, which you was so good as to send me, 
and for which I heartily thank you, and shall be very glad of an 
opportunity of testifying my sense of your kindness. 

The Society which was established here about a twelvemonth ago 
for importing foreign seeds, has it chiefly in view T to import the 
seeds of useful trees, and in the second place ornamental shrubs. 

As the members of this Society reside in very different and dis- 
tant parts of Scotland, it is impracticable to attempt the importation 
of young trees or shrubs, and on this and other accounts have 
entirely laid aside all thoughts of importing them, confining them- 
selves entirely to the importation of seeds. 

* * * # 

As there is annually a ship or ships loaded with lintseed, which 
come from Pennsylvania to Leith, or some other port of Scotland, 
you will have an easy opportunity of sending such seeds as are 
ready at the departure of these ships. * * * If it 

is not inconvenient, we would be glad to have specimens of the 
wood of every tree of which you send us seeds ; and you have an 
easy way of executing this, by making the tops, bottoms, sides, 
and divisions of the boxes of different wood, numbering each with 

1771.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 435 

references to the catalogue: the whole constituted in the same rough 
way packing boxes are usually made, beginning with all the woods 
of one genus, as the Pines, and then the Oaks, &c. * * 

Although, from the tenor of this letter, trees and shrubs only 
are the general objects of the Society, yet some of us are desirous 
of having a few of new and curious plants, particularly those used 
in medicine or in dyeing. I should be particularly fond of having 
the seeds of the Lobelia syphilitica. 


Wishing you much health and success, I am your most obedient 

John Hope. 

Edinburgh, March 7, 1765. 

Sir : 

You will recollect that some years ago, you sent to a Society at 
Edinburgh, a parcel of seeds, of crop 1765, amounting in all to 
<15, which seeds, by being sent to Ireland, instead of the port of 
London, according to directions, occasioned not only very great 
trouble and expense, but likewise the loss of the seeds ; as, upon 
their being re-shipped and landed at Chester, they were there 
seized by the Custom-house officers, and, after a deal of work to 
obtain their release, sent by land to London ; from whence they 
were again reshipped for Edinburgh ; but so late, that they only 
came in time to be sown in the year 1767, and the greater part of 
them good for nothing, to the great disappointment of the mem- 
bers of the Society. 

When I talked of this subject to my much esteemed friend, Mr. 
Peter Collinson, and informed him how discouraging this would 
be to the Society for importing foreign seeds, which had been lately 
established, and the funds of which at that time narrow, the ex- 
cellent old man insisted that the Society and you should bear an 
equal loss, on this unlucky occasion. Accordingly, one half of the 
charge, viz., 7 : 10, was paid by the Society to Mr. Collinson on 
your behoof. And the managers of the Society, in order to make 
some amends to you for your loss, had intended to enlarge their 
commissions, annually ; but you, discouraged, as it would seem by 
that loss, somehow declined answering their commissions to the full, 
which necessarily behooved to stop all further correspondence. 

The funds of the Society being now fully sufficient to answer all 

436 TH'OMAS LAM BOLL [1764. 

demands, cannot be so properly applied as to make up to you the 
loss you sustained, on the above parcel of seeds. I shall therefore 
pay to any person you please to name, the above sum of 1 : 10. 

The managers of this Society are very sensible of your great 
botanical merits, and would incline that the payment presently to 
be made to you, should in some degree convey with it the sense 
they have of your merit ; and therefore, would incline, instead of 
the 1 : 10 in specie, to send you a gold medal, or piece of silver 
plate, of at least equal value, with a suitable inscription thereupon.* 

Be pleased, therefore, to inform me which will be most agree- 

I heartily wish every good thing to you and to your family, and 
am, with much regard, sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

John Hor-E. 

Edinburgh, 23d March, 1771. 


South Carolina, Charleston, November 11th, 17G-3. 

Dear Friend Bartram : 

Since my last of the 8th inst., per Captain Mayson, he told me 
he should not sail before Saturday ; so I have got one other flour 
barrel filled for you with potatoes, mostly what are called Brim- 
stone ; and another box with some young Loblolly Bays, one 
Senna bush, and the shrub you desired in earth. * * * 

Doctor Garden is in a very dangerous and critical state, with 
an abscess in his lungs ; and intends to leave this province soon, 
for his health. 

I remain, with compliments, 

Your real friend to serve, 

Thomas Lamboll. 

South Carolina, Charleston, September loth, 1704. 

Dear Friend Bartram : 

Your renewed favour of the 14th ult., with a box containing 

* A gold medal, weighing one ounce and seven grains ivas subsequently sent. 
See page 405. 

1765.] T0 JOHN BAR TRAM. 437 

Mrs. Baetram's kind and acceptable present of Angelica, and 
some dried apples, came safe to hand the 5th inst. On receipt 
thereof, I opened the box, and sent Mrs. Garden her parcel. 
What we had is excellent good, and well deserves mine, Mrs. 
Lamboll's, and our family's thanks, which we hope you will both 
accept of. I flattered myself (and therefore delayed writing until 
this day) I should have got the Umbrella Trees, to send by this 
opportunity ; but the person I depended on does not yet appear, 
and I would not miss writing. Mrs. Lamboll, however, by way 
of return, has, in the mean time, filled your barrel with Pomegra- 
nates, China Oranges, and Sour Oranges, directed for you, on one 
of the heads. * * * * * 

Mr. Dennis Rolle, member of Parliament for Barnstaple, who 
arrived here some weeks ago, from London, has honoured me with 
a visit or two. He purposes settling a little colony of his own, in 

I conclude with my wife's and own compliments, to yourself and 

Your sincere friend, to serve, 

Thomas Lamboll. 


Charleston, in South Carolina, August 31st, 1765. 


On the 24th inst., I received your acceptable letter of the 4th 
13th inst., with the seeds there inclosed ; and the box of Lilies, 
from [query, for ?] Doctor Garden, in good condition ; and for 
which myself and wife are obliged and thankful, both to you and 
your good father. He and your brother, Mr. Wm. Bartram, left 
us, the 29th inst., in forenoon, to prosecute their intended journey 
by land, through this province and Georgia, to East Florida. 
Both of them were then in good health and spirits, proposing not 
to exceed the last of September, in their researches through the 
woods, on account of a Congress that is to be held at Augustine, 
the 1st of October. 

Our Stramonium is not yet in blossom ; but you may be sure of 
some of the seeds of it, when ripe. 

438 HENRY LAURENS [1766. 

Mine and Mrs. Lamboll's best compliments to jour good 
mother, and self, concludes me, sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

Thomas Lamboll. 


Charleston, S. C, 9th August, 1766. 

Sir : 

I have had the pleasure of hearing, from some of our acquaint- 
ance here, that you were safely arrived in Philadelphia, but that 
good news has been somewhat abated by Captain Eastwick's 
account, that you were very sick, when he left that city. I hope 
soon to know, from your own hand, that you are recovered, and as 
well re-established as we poor brittle clay-shells can expect to be, 
at threescore and ten. 

Since you left Carolina, I have prosecuted my long-intended 
voyage and journey through the southern parts of this country, 
and Georgia, to East Florida ; and was near five weeks in the last- 
mentioned province ; in which time I thrice visited the River St. 
John, often landed upon each shore, exploring the swamps and 
hummocks, pine barrens, and sand barrens, between the great lake 
and the ocean ; and you may be sure I did not carelessly pass by 
your son's habitation. I called upon him twice ; and as a confir- 
mation of it, you will find inclosed in this, a letter from him, wrote 
after my second visit. 

Your knowledge of that country, together with the addition of 
Mr. William Bartram's remarks upon his further experience, 

* Henry Laurens, of South Carolina, -was born in the year 1723. His manly 
virtues, together with his services and sufferings during our Revolutionary 
struggle, have rendered his name and memory dear to every American patriot. 
Having presided in the Provincial Congress of Carolina, and succeeded John 
Hancock as President of the Continental Congress, and undergone a tedious and 
cruel imprisonment in the Tower of London, he finally had the honour to be one 
of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty of peace, which sanctioned our 
national independence. He was, moreover, the father of the gallant Colonel 
John Laurens, one of the last, and bravest, of the martyrs to American liberty : 
and of Martha Laurens Ramsay, one of the most gifted, pious, and exemplary 
ladies of the age in which she lived. Henry Laurens died at Charleston, in the 
year 1792, aged 09. 

1766.1 T0 JOHN BARTRAM. 439 

renders it unnecessary, as it would be unedifying, for me to trouble 
you with my few general observations ; but I hope you will not 
think me quite impertinent, if I detain you to say a word or two 
touching the particular situation and circumstances of that poor 
young man ; and the less so, when you know that it is done partly 
at his request. 

His situation on the river is the least agreeable of all the places 
that I have seen, on a low sheet of sandy pine barren, verging on 
the swamp, which before his door is very narrow, in a bight or 
cove of the river, so shoal, and covered with umbrellas, that the 
common current is lost and the water almost stagnated, exceedingly 
foul, and absolutely stank, when stirred up by our oars, on both 
days of my landing there, though, at the same times, the river was 
said to be rather high, and the stream running down strong, 
beyond the cove. This, I should think, must make the place 
always unhealthy, as well as troublesome to come at, by water 
carriage, especially in dry seasons. 

The swamp and adjoining marsh which I walked into, will, 
without doubt, produce good rice, when properly cleared and culti- 
vated ; but both seem to be narrow, and will require more strength 
to put them in tolerable order, than Mr. Bartram is at present 
possessed of, to make any progress above daily bread, and that of 
a coarse kind, too. 

There is some Cypress, which, if he had a little more strength, 
he might soon convert into shingles and ready money. 

The Pine land (I am sorry to differ in opinion with you) is very 
ordinary ; indeed, I saw none good in the whole country ; but that 
piece of his may justly be ranked in an inferior class, even there. 

At my first visit, your son showed me the growth of some peas, 
beans, corn, and yams, planted only four days before, in the sand 
on the swamp-edge, which then looked very flourishing : but when 
I called three weeks after, although there had been much rain in 
the mean time, the progress was barely perceptible ; a remark that 
we both concurred in. 

I found that he had, according to my advice, continued to clear 
the swamp, and in that time cut clown part of an acre of trees ; 
but that sort of work goes on very heavily, for want of strong 
hands. He assured me that he had but two, among the six 
neo-roes that you gave him, that could handle an axe tolerably ; 

440 HENRY LAURENS [1766. 

and one of those two had been exceedingly insolent. I encouraged 
and pressed him to put a little rice in the ground, even at that 
late day (5th or 6th July) ; and he promised to do so the day 

The house, or rather hovel, that he lives in, is extremely con- 
fined, and not proof against the weather. He has not proper 
assistance to make a better, and from its situation it is very hot, 
the only disagreeably hot place that I found in East Florida : but 
it should be remarked, that the weather had been uncommonly 
temperate. His provision of grain, flesh, and spirits, is scanty, 
even to penury, the latter article very much so. His own health 
very imperfect. He had the fever, when I was first with him, and 
looked very poorly the second visit. I am determined, by the next 
conveyance, to send him a little rum, wine, sugar, tea, cheese, 
biscuit, and other trifles, and charge the small amount to your 
account ; though I would most freely give him the whole, but for 
fear that you should take it amiss. 

Possibly, sir, your son, though a worthy, ingenious man, may not 
have resolution, or not that sort of resolution, that is necessary to 
encounter the difficulties incident to, and unavoidable in his present 
state of life. You and I, probably, could surmount all those hard- 
ships without much chagrin. I very believe that I could. But, at 
the same time, I protest that I should think it less grievous to dis- 
inherit my own son, and turn him into the wide world, if he was of 
a tender and delicate frame of body and intellects, as yours seems 
to be, than to restrict him, in my favour, just in the state that 
your son is reduced to. This is no doubt more than ever you 
apprehended ; and admitting that my account is in part erroneous, 
(which I do not admit, meaning to speak nothing but truth,) yet 
the general outlines of the foregoing description must affect and 
grieve you. But it is by no means my design, or intention, to 
compass any particular end by colouring too strongly. In fact, 
according to my ideas, no colouring can do justice to the forlorn 
state of poor Billy Bartram. A gentle, mild young man, no 
wife, no friend, no companion, no neighbour, no human inhabitant 
within nine miles of him, the nearest by water, no boat to come at 
them, and those only common soldiers seated upon a beggarly spot 
of land, scant of the bare necessaries, and totally void of all the 
comforts of life, except an inimitable degree of patience, for which 

1766.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 441 

he deserves a thousand times better fate ; an unpleasant, unhealthy 
situation ; six negroes, rather plagues than aids to him, of whom 
one is so insolent as to threaten his life, one a useless expense, one 
a helpless child in arms ; * * * * distant thirty 
long miles from the metropolis, no money to pay the expense of a 
journey there upon the most important occasions, over a road 
always bad, and in wet weather wholly impassable, to which might 
be enumerated a great many smaller, and perhaps some imaginary 
evils, the natural offspring of so many substantial ones ; these, I 
say, are discouragements enough to break the spirits of any modest 
young man ; and more than any man should be exposed to, without 
his own free acceptance, unless his crimes had been so great as to 
merit a state of exile. 

I had been informed, indeed, before my visit to Mr. W. B., that 
he had felt the pressure of his solitary and hopeless condition so 
heavily, as almost to drive him to despondency. He expressed an 
inclination to decamp from the place that I have endeavoured to 
describe ; but was supported, by advice of a friend, to wait until he 
should see me, who waa then daily expected in East Florida. He 
did not open his mind so fully to myself; but rather modestly 
appealed to me, upon his circumstances and situation, accompanying 
his complaints with the most dutiful and affectionate mention of his 
father, to whom he requested I would take some notice of them in 
my next letter : in answer to which, I gave him my sentiments 
very candidly, encouraging him at the same time to persevere until 
he should hear from you. I have presumed to say so much, in 
consequence of my promise to him upon that request, as well as 
from a natural and irresistible inclination to relieve every virtuous 
man in distress : and as the foregoing representation can have no 
evil effects, however it may be imperfect, or appear to be officious, 
I trust that I shall not suffer under your candid interpretation. 

After this account of your son's circumstances, I might add a 
list of several necessary articles beside exchange of good negroes, 
in place of almost useless ones, that are wanting and will be wanted 
to mend them a little ; but no doubt he has given some needful 
hints on that head, and if his modesty has restrained his pen, you 
will, if you pay any regard to what I have been so bold as to write 
upon so slight an acquaintance as ours, cheerfully and quickly give 
orders to supply him with such things as shall be necessary to 

442 JOHN HILL [1766. 

make his banishment less galling, and present him with some pros- 
pect of reaping the fruit of his labours. 

Here I shall drop the subject ; and, after presenting Mrs. Lau- 
rens's and my own hearty good wishes, put an end to this long 
letter, subscribing myself, sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

Henry Laurens. 


London, Dec. G, 17GG. 

Sir : 

There is wanted here, on a very particular occasion, four 
pounds of the root of Lobelia supltiUtiea, or the Blue Cardinal, 
dry'd, to be used in medicine. My Lord Bute has given me per- 
mission to desire you to gather and send it over. 

The same occasion wants, also, two ounces of the root of Actcea 
racemosa ; and eight ounces of Collinsonia root. If you will take 
the trouble of adding these, it will also be very acceptable. 

I believe the name of Doctor Hill is known to you, although 
we never corresponded. I always have, and always shall espouse 
your interest. 

I am your faithful, humble servant, 

John Hill. 

Please direct the roots to me, at my house in Arlington Street, 
St. James's. 

* Sir John Hill, an indefatigable book-maker, and a person of mucli notoriety 
in his day, was born in 1716. Possessed of some talents, great industry, and 
infinite assurance, he made lofty pretensions to science, though the scientific of his 
own time, and since, have ever regarded him as an empiric, both in Medicine and 
Natural History. Peter Ascaxius, in a letter to Lixx.eis, dated London, April 7, 
1755, says, "Dr. Hill, the too famous naturalist of England, is in the lowest 
possible condition. I do not think any mortal has ever written with more impu- 
dence or more ignorance. His only excuse is, that he must write in order to 
exist." Yet he obtained the patronage of the great especially of the Earl of 
Bute ; and was such an assiduous courtier, that Linnaeus, in allusion, it is said, 
to his obsequious habits, named a plant Ilillia parasitica I This remarkable man 
died in November, 1775, aged fifty-nine years. 

1768.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 443 


Killingworth, 3d January, 1768. 

Dear Sir : 

I have not bad the pleasure of a line from you for a long time ; 
and had I not accidentally seen in one of the public papers, you 
was set out to visit Pensacola, or "West Florida, I should have 
been inclined to think you either had lost all remembrance of me, 
or that you had taken your leave of this world, and called to have 
acted your part in some happier state of existence. But, by the 
favour of a visit from my good friend, Captain Smitii, I am in- 
formed you are still alive and well, and that you, not long before, 
was inquiring for an opportunity to write me. 

I should be infinitely delighted to spend one evening with you 
(I mean a winter evening), to hear the journal of your travels into 
that southern part of America, and the just remarks you must have 
made, in your tour. 

I want to know whether, in any of your travels, either in the 
Alleghany Mountains, or elsewhere, you have ever found any evi- 
dent traces of the Deluge, or monuments of antiquity. If there 
ever was an universal Deluge, I cannot but think it must have left 
some evident traces of it, yet to be seen, in every part of the 

Have they any animals, serpents, or beasts of prey, in those 
southern Colonies, not common to us ? Have you ever had such a 
description of the Cortex Peruvianus, as that you would know the 
tree from whence it is taken ? I have heard much of the stones, 
made use of to extract the poison of vipers ; are those stones natu- 
ral, or factitious ? 

I wrote you some time since whether ever you received it, or 
not, am not able. to say to request of you, whether ever you have 
met with the Cicuta, of Doctor Stork, or the Meadow Saffron. 
A description of the latter, I now inclose you. If but one half of 
the virtues, he ascribes to it, are in the plant, I should think it a 

* Benjamin Gale graduated at Yale College, in 1733. He was an eminent 
physician and agriculturist; and was deeply concerned also in politics. He 
invented the drill plough ; wrote a Dissertation on the Prophecies : and published 
a Treatise on Inoculation for the Small-pox. He died at KiRingworth, the town 
in which he first settled, in 1790, aged seventy-five. Blake's Biogr. Diet. 

444 c - M - WR ANGEL [1769. 

happy discovery, to find it in America. If found in America, pray 
send me the seeds of both. 

I "want to know the botanical name of the American Blood-root 
\_Sanguinaria Canadensis, L.]. Its virtues are great, and many; 
particularly, I look upon it a specific in the nervous headache, or 
sick-headache, as it is commonly called. 

Inclosed I send you a news letter, in which is inserted the natu- 
ral history of Black Grass [Agrostis Indica, L.?], at the request of 
our good friend Mr. Collinson. Have you ever met with any 
grass similar to it, in any of the interior parts of this Continent ? 
The conjecture I make, as to its origin, appears to me somewhat 
probable. Perhaps your knowledge, in that matter, may deter- 
mine the affair. 

When your leisure will admit, and any opportunity presents, I 
should be pleased to receive a line from you. 

My best regards to your son ; and believe me, dear sir, that I 
am your most obedient and most humble servant, 

Benjamin Gale. 

My spouse [the daughter, it is believed, of Jared Eliot] re- 
quests her regards may be presented to her father's friend. 


Stockholm, in Sweden, July the 2d, 1769. 

Dear Sir and beloved Friend : 

"Whenever I think of America (which I do every day of my life), I 
think at the same time of you, and your house ; and as ingratitude 
is what I detest, I cannot but bear you the warmest gratitude for 
all the civilities you Avere pleased to show me, while I had the 
pleasure to cultivate a friendship with you, at a nearer distance. 

I always looked upon myself as one of your family, being happy 
enough to be counted so, by you and yours. 

It grieved me, when I was in America, that your great merit 
had not, in my native land, received the marks of esteem, in the 
public, as it deserved ; and therefore it gives me great satisfaction, 
when I now assure you, that you are well known here, from the 
throne to every one that regards learning ; and the Society of 
Science, in Stockholm, which has from its first institution been 

1769.] TO JOHN BART RAM. 445 

known for the greatest delicacy in choosing members of distinction 
and note, has manifested their great regard for you by choosing 
you a member, unanimously, at the proposal of Professor BERGIUS.* 
I had the pleasure to be present, in the Society, that same day, 
when you were proposed, and to deliver to the Society the drafts 
of your son, and some other things, in your name ; which were 
received with much satisfaction. 

Doctor Linnjeus is so used to receive presents from all quarters, 
that he hardly thinks of it ; and therefore I took the liberty to 
give what was intended for him, to the Society, as I expected that 
they would show more gratitude ; and I hope to have your appro- 
bation in it. 

Your son's correspondence with Professor Bergius will no doubt 
be of great use to him, and do him much honour. 

I have not been like Professor Kalm, in taking the honour to 
myself of what belongs to others. I have given my dear friend, 
Mr. John Bartram, Jr., his due ; and I hope he will not repent 
of what he has done for Professor Bergius, who is a man, here 
and abroad, of great repute ; and at the same time very attentive 
to anything that is done for him. He expects that his correspon- 
dent will send him some seeds. 

You will, no doubt, be glad to hear that I have been received in 
my native land in the best manner I could wish for. His Majesty, 
the King, has shown me the greatest marks of clemency, and I 
am now officiating, at his court, as first Chaplain, with great satis- 
faction, and have a prospect of being extremely well settled at 

* The Diploma, or certificate of membership, sent by this Society to John 
Bartram, is in the following words : 

"Academia Regia Scientiarem Stockholmensis solo, quo potest, modo indi- 
care voluit, quanti faciat praeclara in Scientias, prasertini Historiam Naturalem, 
merita Viri celeberrimi, Domini Johaxnis Bartram, Botanici Regii in America 
Septentrionali ditionis Anglicanae ; ideoque hunc Dominum Bartram in suam 
Societatem et inter Academic Membra recepit, die 26 Aprilis, A 17G9. Eum 
itaque, nomine Acadeniioe R ae Stockholmensis, hisce Litteris Socium saluto. In 
rei acta; fidem, Sigillum Academise Majus subjungo. 


"Acad. R. Scient. Stockholmensis 
"Secretarius perpet." 

The seal, somewhat defaced and obscured by time, appears to have, for a de- 
vice, a vertical star or sun, sending down its radiance upon the figure of a globe, 
and other scientific emblems ; surrounding which, is this inscription : "Kongl. 
Svenska Wetenskaps Acad. Sigil." 


home ; and the poor state of my health, in which I have been for 
some time, hinders me from thinking of ever returning to America. 
Indeed, I should not be able to go through the hardships any more, 
which a faction of ungrateful hearers laid me under. Notwith- 
standing all this, my heart is always in America; and when I 
think of my friends there, it makes me wish to be amongst them. 

I wish you and yours all the prosperity which this troublesome 
life will admit of ; and beg to be kindly remembered to your dear 
spouse, and all the family, and am, with the greatest sincerity, 
Dear sir, and beloved friend, 

Your most humble and affectionate servant, 

C. M. Wrangel. 


Dear Sir : 

Your favour of the 1st November is before me, inclosing the 
account between yourself and my clearest father, which I find to 
agree with the account current as per ledger ; and which I have at 
last been lucky enough to discover. 

I must beg you will let Billy continue the account up to the 
time of my poor father's decease, I mean as far as he is able, 
mentioning the number of boxes ordered, and sent ; and if you are 
furnished with the names of the persons for whom they were 
designed, I shall be glad to have them. 

I was, my dear sir, so entirely a stranger to my dear father's 
money affairs, that I positively assure you I was uncertain on 
which side the balance lay between you. Judge, then, of my 
amazement, when I discovered by you, and confirmed by the 
account, which has but just appeared, what an astonishing balance 
was against me ; and in consequence of the idea I entertained, of 
something very inconsiderable subsisting betwixt you, I ventured, 
upon that supposition, long since to settle everything ; and should 
have been highly obliged to have had earlier information how 
things stood, soon after the news of my dear father's demise 
reached Philadelphia ; as very disagreeably, the book which alone 
could afford matter of information, was unaccountably mislaid at 
the time of my father's removal from Grace Church Street, and 
only very lately come to light. 

* The only son of Peter Collinson, the old and faithful friend of John Bartram. 

1771.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 447 

I am projecting a little tour through France, part of Spain, and 
Italy ; but this will not be attended with the least postponement 
to finally balancing the above account, as I shall take care your 
drafts on me shall be properly honoured ; so that you may draw 
how and when you please for it. When you draw, do it for near 
the whole, if you please, at once. It will be the most agreeable 
to me, to finish at once, if we can. If I go, it will be in a month's 
time ; and my absence will be about six or seven months. 

You have, sir, of course, I conclude, heard from Dr. Fothergill 
that I have let my premises at Mill Hill for two years, with a 
reserve, in the lease, that not a single plant or the soil that con- 
tains them, is upon any terms to be moved ; for, even yet there 
are still some very few fine plants remaining, of the rich collection 
which your bounty furnished us with, the miserable remains of 
three most cruel robberies, which have torn the garden all to pieces, 
and left me only the wretched apprehension of finding fresh 
devastation on every little absence from home. This, with some 
other unimagined and disagreeable circumstances operating, ren- 
dered a residence at Mill Hill both uncomfortable and inconvenient, 
at present. 

As no notice has been taken, to me, of the draft of the 
Colocasia, I conclude the Doctor will convey the same to the Duke 
of Portland, agreeably to your orders. Sir Wm. Bretton is 
acquainted with your pleasure respecting the King's bounty. 

I should think some very singular kinds of fresh-water shells 
might be met with, on the shores of your vast interior lakes ; and 
some of the land tribe, as well as river, I think must be a curiosity 
here, even in the best cabinets. I should be very glad to see a 
specimen or two of them. 

I shall always find myself happy in hearing of the prosperity 

and health of a gentleman for whom my most valued parent felt 

the sincerest regard and friendship to his latest hour ; and I am 

sure it will be ever with the truest respect that I shall be, dear sir, 

Your faithful and most obliged servant, 

Michael Colllnson. 

Manchester Buildings, March 1st, 1770. 

Manchester Buildings, Jan. 9th, 1771. 

My dear Sir : 

It was with great pleasure, soon after my return home from the 


Continent, that I received your agreeable favour of the 1st October 
last ; and believe the account of boxes sent in 1767 and 8 to be 
right, though I have not been able to ascertain it, to a box, which 
is of little importance, as I have a most implicit confidence in 
your honour, and shall instantly direct the payment of the balance 
of the account, whenever you please to order it, to be paid to Mr. 
Freeman, or otherwise, which I shall not be sorry for, as it is a 
kind of weight upon me, especially as it is so very considerable, 
and unexpected by me. However, I have a principle of honour in 
my heart, which, if I know it, can never be capable of a shuffling 
or dishonest action. You may, therefore, my dear sir, be entirely 
satisfied, and make your demands whenever it suits you best. 

In the course of my late tour, the objects that most struck me 
were the following : the forest of Fontainebleau, about thirty-five 
miles south of Paris, in which there is a most romantic range of 
rocks, not lying in strata, but roughly piled one upon another, and 
covered with silver bark Birch, and our common Juniper, groAving 
ten and fifteen feet high ; the wonders of Pont du Gard, a Roman 
work, being an astonishing aqueduct thrown across a deep valley, 
and joining two rocky mountains. This is situated near Nismes 
and Montpellier. Here, among the rocks, grew Myrtle ; what we 
have by the name of the Lycian Cedar, Arbutus ; a fine species of 
Prickly Broom, and Wild Figs. * * 

I was, my dear sir, delighted beyond measure, at perceiving the 
line which nature had drawn in the different latitudes, where one 
species and tribe of plants ceased, and another commenced. 

* The lakes Garda, of Geneva, and Maggiore, are 
noble little Caspians here ; but yet, how diminutive they appear in 
comparison with your Huron, Superior, &c, &c. ! Upon a very 
lofty Tyrolese mountain, which with great labour I ascended, I 
found two species of Rhododendron, one in full bloom, and tinging 
the highest crags with the richest glow of colouring. Many other 
rare plants grew here, and upon Mount Cenis, the specimens of 
which, and account of, would have given infinite pleasure to my 
most dear parent, had Providence spared his life a little longer. 

I make no doubt but you have seen the little pamphlet of some 
anecdotes of his life ; for the principal part of which, I think my- 
self highly obligated to my valued friend Dr. Fotheruill. If 
you have not, I have any number of copies at your service ; and 

1771.] TO JOHN BARTRAM. 449 

am, dearest sir, with true affection and esteem, your obliged and 
very faithful friend and servant, 

Michael Collinson. 

Manchester Buildings, June 28th, 1771. 

Dear Sir : 

Both your favours of the 29th April, and 3d of May, are come 
to hand, for the last of which my best acknowledgments are due. 
I have accepted the bill for ,200, and shall punctually discharge 
it when due. I have also inclosed the account between us ac- 
cording to the best lights I can obtain : for the furnishing of which 
I am obliged to have recourse to the account you sent me in 
October last, of the boxes sent in 1767, and 1768, for my father's 
memorandums were so perplexed, that without yours and Gordon's 
assistance I could have made nothing out. As I have a full confi- 
dence in your honour, I can implicitly rely on what you say is 
right ; and will to the best of my ability, faithfully on my side 
discharge the demand upon me, which being so very considerable, 
has, I confess, been a stroke upon me ; especially, being unac- 
quainted with my dear father's concerns, and neither, for so con- 
siderable a time, hearing anything from yourself, nor being able to 
discover the account itself; which was somehow mislaid at the 
time of my father's breaking up, in Grace Church Street. I really 
judged the balance, if anything, to be but very trifling. 

The truth is, latterly my dear parent found those things a 
trouble to him, which was none a few years since, as he evinced on 
many occasions ; and which has occasioned me much confusion and 
trouble. His situation, too, in point of circumstances, was likewise 
mortifying. His business, at last, totally declined ; and you will- 
sir, I am sure, from the goodness and humanity of your own heart, 
and your long and unremitted friendship for him, be shocked when 
I tell you, that he solicited a small pension for an age near seventy- 
five great part of which was employed in pursuits advantageous 
to his country and was refused ! 

I am very certain that the King's bounty is regularly, and will 
always continue to be paid. My father received the half year to 
Lady Day, 1768, which was the last payment due in his lifetime ; 
and in the September following, the Deputy Privy Purse applied 
to me to know whether I would receive the six months then due. 



which I declined ; and I have since introduced Mr. Freeman to 
Mr. Matthias, and I heard Mr. Matthias assure Mr. Freeman 
that it should be regularly paid, and that with as little trouble to 
Mr. Freeman as possible. 

I think myself equally honoured and obliged by your favourable 
sentiments on my little remarks whilst abroad. I kept a daily 
journal of what struck me most during the whole expedition, for 
the advantage of my future memory and hours. 

Your most sensible and pertinent remarks on your important 
quarter of the globe, I shall beg leave to consider some future 
opportunity ; for neither my head nor paper will permit me to 
say more, but that I am, with high esteem and affection, dear sir, 

Very faithfully yours, 

Michael Collinson. 

Manchester Buildings, Aug. 16th, 1771. 

Dear Sir : 

I wrote you, a few weeks since, inclosing the account, as well as 
I could make it out, and also mentioning that I should duly dis- 
charge your draft upon me for <200 sterling, which I have since 
done ; and shall be very glad to settle, as soon as may be, the 
remainder of an account concerning which I have such uncertain 
documents to direct me, and in which I have so much to trust to 
your honour. * * 

I am highly delighted and obliged by your partial comment on 
my little remarks of Italy, &c. My notes, which I am recopying 
in order to serve for an occasional retrospect, and to assist my 
memory hereafter of past scenes, are indeed so multitudinous, that 
I am, on the revisal, surprised at my past labours, which were in- 
deed daily, nay, frequently hourly repeated ; as, on such occasions, 
the memory is too fallible to be depended much on, and I wished 
in particular to preserve the general idea of the country through 
which we passed, and the spontaneous productions of it. 

Our route, my dear sir, comprehended a tract of about seven 
thousand miles, in which there was much to admire and observe. 

The Orange and Limon and Pomegranate gardens, the last of 
which is also indigenous everywhere, first made their appearance 
about Toulon and Nice, and afterwards in greater plenty between 
Rome and Naples, on the very beach of the Mediterranean Sea : 

1772.] T0 JOHN BAR TRAM. 451 

particularly near Mola de Gaeta and Terracina, perfuming the 
air, after sunset, with their excessive fragrance. On the quays. 
at Marseilles, we met with a very singular and most excellent 
species of China orange, brought from the Isles of Hieres, just 
by, the pulp of which is of the deepest crimson possible ; and 
which we met with nowhere else. But, for magnificence of size, 
surely the limons of Naples exceed everything ; which the com- 
mon people devour at a vast rate, sour as they are, and with as 
high a gout as ours here do the China orange. This operating 
with the salubrity of the sea and mountain air, I think, is a great 
means of preservation to this filthy generation, and secures them 
from the eifects of their own excessive nastiness. 

I am well assured that the Alps, and even Apennines, in point of 
elevation, much exceed any of the mountains of North America : 
though, at the same time, they fall greatly short of the tremendous 
region of the Andes, or Cordilleras ; and the lakes of Italy, though 
far surpassing any here, in this island, are yet but as the drop of 
the bucket, in comparison with your amazing inland oceans, Erie. 
Huron, &c, &c. The largest in Italy, are Lake Garda, and Lake 
Maggiore, the banks of which abound with the common eating 
Spanish Chestnut, and a few Italian and English Oak. That of 
Garda is about thirty-five miles long, and ten and fifteen broad, 
and abounds with tench and perch. Maggiore, near Milan, is 
near fifty miles in length, and about seven, four, and three broad. 

I am, my dear sir, very respectfully, and very affectionately 

Michael Collinsox. 

Manchester Buildings, March the 6th, 1772. 

My dear Sir : 

Your two most acceptable favours of the 12th of October, and 
17th of December, came safe to hand ; and I wish you to believe, 
that no person whatever can receive greater satisfaction than I 
feel, from the very pleasing picture you have drawn, in the former, 
of the domestic felicity of your family ; which I hope will be as 
permanent as I am sure the cordiality of my wishes are truly 
sincere for its long, very long continuance. 

Condamine is a very instructing little book ; but I have never 
yet met with any work that is fully satisfactory, respecting the 


country of France and Italy, &c. The traveller has generally ex- 
erted his abilities in deciphering some obsolete vestige of antiquity, 
or in describing the works of art, whilst the natural history of each 
kingdom is quite neglected. He is wafted from city to city, and 
all the intermediate space, which I think a naturalist would wish 
to know something about, is, for what he says of it, a mere vacuum. 
or little better. 

We were not, my dear sir, nearer to the grand Canal of Lan- 
guedoc, to my great regret, than Montpellier, and which is but a 
short distance from it. I very particularly wished to see it, as 
well for its own importance, as for the reason of botanizing in the 
hills of Narbonne, through which place we should of course have 
passed, and which are famous for most valuable productions in the 
vegetable world, and remarkably so for the Orchis tribe my 
favourites if we are to believe Parkinson's Herbal. Many very 
curious fossil shells are likewise picked up in the chalky hills of 
Narbonne. There is, however, a most magnificent work lately 
finished, at Montpellier. and of miles in extent, being a noble 
aqueduct constructed of an elegant white stone, and designed to 
convey water from the mountains to a grand reservoir, for the 
service of the city ; and I think I never tasted any water so 
deliciously pure and sweet. It is built on the principle of the 
famous Roman one, at Nismes, not many miles distant, with this 
dhTerence, only, the former one consists of only two tiers, or rows 
of arches, whereas the Roman one has three. My companions 
trembled for the imagined fervour of an Italian sun ; and therefore 
were impatient to push away, before the heats commenced, so that 
Montpellier was our furthest point west in the whole journey.