Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Garden and Landscape Design - Yards

Brick-Walled Yard. 1750s Walled Garden & Grounds at Cleve in Virginia. Anne Byrd of Westover (1725-1757) (Mrs. Charles Carter). Brick walls usually surrounded public yards at court houses, state houses, hospitals, churches, cemeteries, prisons, and inns. Wooden fences usually surround yards at private dwellings, but some gentry homes also had brick or stone walls.  A yard is an enclosed division of land usually attached to, or enclosed by a dwelling or public building or outbuildings usually defined by a fence or a wall.  The term court yard usually referred to a public or private entrance greeting and meeting area. Because most courtyards were built to receive carriages and horses, they usually were located on the road side of coastline houses, not on the water-facing facade.

At private homes in rural settings, defined yards often were attached to service buildings used to house livestock or to store firewood or to outdoor kitchens.  In Southern towns, yards sometimes were paved with bricks or crushed shells.  In 1753, in South Carolina Gazette, a dwelling for sale ad noted "a garden at the south front, and a yard lately paved in."

Eventually the term yard evolved throughout the 18C into the description of a cultivated area enclosed or attached to a dwelling that might contain flowers, orchard or shade trees, or a lawn intended to be used as a pleasure ground and exercise area. Other 19C yards remained entirely utilitarian.  In the 18C, the term yard was used to designate practical & often commercial work areas such as, hemp yardswood or timber yards, and even dock & ship yards.By the last quarter of the 18C, folks referred to the enclosed area, where those incarcerated take exercise, as a prison yard. 

North Carolinian William Martin visiting Richmond, Virginia in 1813, wrote, "every private yard is decorated with the handsomest shade trees which our Country boasts." We have dear relatives living in Richmond today. And Richmond's yards still have the handsomest of shade trees, a beautiful town.

Other yards on larger rural properties were meant for livestock such as cow yards, pig yards, barn yards, poultry yards, chicken yards, turkey yards, & goose yards.  Domestic work yards, especially those used to house animals, were usually separated from kitchen & floral or pleasure gardens by fences or walls.

On smaller properties, homeowners often divided the land closer to the rear of the house into yards. These often included a woodyard or a stackyard for storing straw & a fenced family yard, which served as a barrier against potential domestic & wild animal intrusion. 

In his Essays and Notes on Husbandry and Rural Affairs, John Beale Bordley wrote that the family yard should be planted in clean, closely cut grass & that its margins alone should be allowed to contain purely decorative flowers. Bordely explained that the well often stood near the family yard & wood yard. Sheep houses & pigsties commonly had their own individually fenced yards, & many poultry houses, or coops, had a distinct poultry yard often covered with fresh sand & gravel. Sections devoted to animals usually had watering troughs within their yards. The women in the family did the washing & ironing in washhouses, which were usually within or near a separately fenced area where the wash was hung on lines or spread across shrubs to dry. Contemporaries called these areas “bleach yards.”

Often colonials & early Americans would simply refer to their yards. Occasionally writers, especially visitors from England or the Continent, would leave the term yard off of a description of a court yard, simply referring to acourt. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Gardening Books in Early America - Exchanging garden books

Many gentlemen gardeners ordered their design & planting instruction books, as well as seeds, plants, and even their gardeners from England. Despite wide discrepancies in both soil & climate among the colonies themselves and certainly between these "new" lands & mother England, gardeners up & down the Atlantic depended on English garden publications until well after the Revolution.
The British garden books that dominated the American market until the early 19th century, however inadequate & misleading their planting instructions, are valuable tools for reconstructing not only plant materials recommended but also methods used in designing & laying out 18th century gardens for both pleasure and food.

Catalogues of the circulating libraries that blossomed near the Atlantic after the Revolution are one important source in revealing gardening books used during this period. Other documents sometimes mentioning gardening books are letters, inventories, newspaper advertisements, diaries, and broadsides.

Some extant private book collections from the period remain in colonial libraries such as Thomas Jefferson's. Among the surviving libraries are those of the Ridgely family at Hampton in Baltimore County and the books of Charles Carroll the Barrister (1723-1783), housed at his home Mount Clare in Baltimore City.

An examination of the books read by colonial gardeners may help explain their tenacious refusal to let go of the formal garden concepts of the "ancients" -- like the geometric terraces found at both Hampton and Mount Clare--and accept the natural grounds revolution of their English contemporaries.

The surviving letters of 18th century Marylanders such as Henry Callister and Charles Carroll the Barrister often mention gardening books. Henry Callister (1716-1765) spent several years in a Liverpool counting house, before his employers sent him to oversee their store at Oxford on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Evidence of the frequent exchange of books among gardening readers on the Eastern Shore is found scattered throughout Callister's letterbooks.

The Eastern Shore tobacco factor Callister owned the 2 volume collection of Figures of the most beautiful, useful, and uncommon plants described in the Gardeners Dictionary. It had been printed for the author; and sold by J. Rivington in London, from 1755-1760. The illustrator was Philip Miller (1691-1771), one of the most important English horticultural figures of the 18th century.
Philip Miller, Plate CCXX. Ricinus. from Figures of the most beautiful, useful, and uncommon plants described in the Gardeners Dictionary

An acquaintance heard that Callister had the collection and knowing that Maryland's Governor Horatio Sharpe owned the Miller Gardener's Dictionary mentioned to him that Callister might sell the illustrations.

Callister wrote the Governor, offering him the watercolor plates for 15 pounds Maryland currency, which he declared was his actual cost, "Barclay favored me with the intimation of your Excellencies willingness to take off my hands Miller's Cuts. I have accordingly packed them up and deliver'd them to him. You will find inclosed an account of the nett prime cost. As your excellency is possessed of the Dictionary in folio, in which Mr. Millers Design was to adapt those cuts, they will be curious illustrations of his subject. But I have reason to think this was not his motive; your beneficence is seen in your laying hold of the occasion to ease me of a burthersome article' for the piece is indeed costly, and your taste seems to run rather on improvements in agriculture than mere entertainment in botany and natural history. For this I sincerely thank your Excellency."

The Governor did buy the books written and illustrated by Philip Miller, son of a Scotsman who served as a gardener in Kent before becoming a market gardener near Deptford.

Miller's Gardener's Dictionary was the backbone of most American garden libraries. It dealt with all aspects of gardening from kitchen gardens growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables to pleasure gardens. Virginians George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned copies as did many other Chesapeake gentry. The complete title surveys the scope of the work: The gardeners dictionary: containing the methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, and flower garden. As also, the physick garden, wilderness, conservatory and vineyard... Interspers'd with the history of the plants, the characters of each genus, and the names of all particular species, in Latin and English; and an explanation of all the terms used in botany and gardening, etc. It was first published in London in 1731 and revised in many editions over the coming years.

Even Benjamin Franklin, not known to be a gardener, wrote to his wife Deborah Franklin, 27 May 1757: "In my Room, on the Folio Shelf, between the Clock and our Bed Chamber, and not far from the Clock, stands a Folio call'd the Gardener's Dictionary, by P. Miller ... Deliver ... to Mr. (James) Parker"
Frontis Piece from Philip Miller's Gardener's Dictionary. 1731

A copy of Miller's Gardener's Dictionary still exists in the library at Mount Clare in Baltimore City, home of Charles Carroll the Barrister, son of Dr. Charles Carroll (1691-1755). Dr. Carroll came to the colony about 1715 to practice medicine. He became a planter, ship-builder, land speculator, and part-owner of a large iron business. Like many other Maryland planters, the elder Carroll ordered his books directly from England, where he sent his son Charles to be educated. Charles Carroll the Barrister returned to Maryland a few months before his father died. One of the first things the Barrister did after his father's death was to pay debts his father owed a London bookseller.

In 1760, as the son began to plan his new country house near Baltimore, he ordered a copy of Miller's Gardener's Dictionary. By 1766, Charles Carroll the Barrister was ordering his seeds from his British factors by noting specific seed types directly from the English gardening books on his shelves. The Barrister's letters referred to Miller's treatise frequently using it to describe varieties of peach and apricot trees he wished to plant in his garden. He wrote, "The Nursery Man may Look into Millars Gardeners Dictionary where he will See the Names of Each.".

Friday, January 18, 2019

Gardening Books in the early Chesapeake

Practical farming & gardening books far outnumbered books devoted exclusively to pleasure gardening on the bookshelves of colonial & early American gardeners. Agriculture was the main source of income for most colonial families. Once a landowner was producing enough off of his land to support his family, he might have the time & the extra funds to begin to transform some of his land, closest to his house, into a pleasure garden. It was his art.
Often the necessary agricultural instruction books contained information on gardening as well. We can learn which farming books were in use in the colonies from death inventories. Marylanders were fairly faithful inventory recorders. Although scattered estate inventory records dating back to 1674, do exist in the state, these documents are nearly complete after a 1715 law required all executors to make an estate inventory within 3 months of death.

Unfortunately inventory takers were not often very specific when recording book titles & seldom listed authors, so the interpretation of precisely what book was recorded in early property lists is difficult. The 1718 inventory of William Bladen, who was Secretary of Maryland in 1701, & Attorney General in 1707, listed John Evelyn's (1620-1706) The Complete Gardener published in London in 1693. It was a translation of a French work by Jean de la Quintinie (1629-1688). The "Art of Gardening" which appears in several early inventories was probably the work of the English author, Leonard Meager. His book, actually titled The New Art of Gardening, was published in London in 1697.

The extant letters of 18th century Marylanders Henry Callister & Charles Carroll the Barrister (of Mount Clare) often mention farming books. Henry Callister (1716-1765) spent several years in a Liverpool counting house, before his employers sent him to manage their store at Oxford on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Evidence of the frequent exchange of books among gardening readers on the Eastern Shore is found scattered throughout his letterbooks.

After his arrival in Maryland, Callister became acquainted with a prosperous planter William Carmichael, who lived near Chestertown. Callister borrowed Carmichael's copy of Jethro Tull's (1647-1741) Horse-Hoeing Husbandry: Or, an Essay on the Principals of Tillage and Vegetation published in 1733. The book was a classic, and Tull came to be called the "father of modern husbandry." Callister also owned a copy of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort's (1656-1708) History of Plants Growing about Paris, With Their Use in Physick, and a mechanical account of the operation of medicines. Translated into English, with many additions, & accommodated to the plants growing in Great Britain by John Martyn, it was published by C. Riverington in London in 1732.

Callister offered to sell this particular book to a fellow gardener in 1765, "I have a small posthumous work of Tournefort...it gives the description & use of plants in medicine, with their chymical analysis; it is an 2v. 12 degree worth 12/6 Currency. I shall send it if you like. I would now, as it might be return'd if not wanted, but there are a few things in it which I would read first."

The book's author Joseph Pitton de Tournefort became professor of Botany at the Jardin du Roi botanic garden in Paris in 1683, and later made various expeditions in Europe & the Near East in search of plants. In 1688, he took his degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Orange. The book's English translator, John Martyn (1699-1768) was Professor of Botany at Cambridge from 1732 until 1762.

By 1766, Charles Carroll the Barrister was ordering his seeds for Mount Clare from his British factors by noting specific seed types directly from the English gardening books on his shelves. That year he copied a long list of seeds "from Hale's Complete Body of Husbandry," first published in London in 1755/56, asking his English agents to send as many of them as possible to Maryland.

Another book referred to by the Barrister was Thomas Hale's Eden: or a compleat body of gardening...(or ratehr by Sir. J. Hill) published in London in 1756-57. John Hill (1716-1775) was the son of a Lincolnshire clergyman brought up to be an apothecary. During his apprenticeship he attended the lectures on botany of the Chelsea botanic garden. In 1750, he was granted a degree as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of St. Andrews. In 1760, he assisted in laying out a botanic garden at Kew & was a gardener at Kensington Palace. Carroll's copy of Hale's Complete Husbandry still exists in the library at Mount Clare.

The Barrister was also interested in the agricultural reforms sweeping England. He not only knew which specific books he wanted his English agents to buy but was able to direct them to the specific publishing houses in London that stocked the desired works. He ordered, "A new and Complete System of Practical Husbandry by John Mills Esquire, Editor of Duhamels Husbandry printed by John Johnson at the monument... Essays on Husbandry Essay the first On The Ancient and Present State of Agriculture and the Second On Lucern Printed for William Frederick at Bath 1764. Sold by Hunter at Newgate Street or Johnston in Ludgate Street."

The Barrister's distant cousin who signed the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), also ordered farming & gardening books from England. By the mid 1760s, his family's library in Annapolis contained Miller's Dictionary & Richard Bradley's (1686-1732) New Improvement of Planting and Gardening published in London in 1726. Bradley's work appeared in several Maryland inventories in the 1730's. Bradley studied gardening in France and Holland; and in 1724, he was appointed the first professor of Botany at Cambridge.

Another popular English publication in Carroll's library by the mid-1760s was Batty Langley's (1696-1751) New Principles of Gardening... with Experimental Directions for Raising several kinds of Fruit Trees, Forest Trees, Evergreens and Flowering Shrubs. Later the Carrolls added to their library Richard Weston's (1733-1806) Gardener's and Planter's Calendar published in Dublin in 1782. Weston was a thread hosier in Leicester who had travelled in France & Holland as Secretary of the Leicester Agricultural Society.

The letters of Henry Callister & the several Maryland Carrolls show that many of the books owned by Marylanders were imported directly from London in exchange for the annual tobacco shipment or goods such as iron ore. Before the Revolution wealthy planters & merchants depended on their own private libraries often exchanging books with one another. When literate farmers & planters died, their books were passed to others with deliberate care. At the death of Virginian gentleman William Ludlow in the mid 1760s, his books were offered for sale directly to Charles Carroll of Carrollton who chose two gardening books from the Virginian's collection including Batty Langley's treatise.

Direct trade with London booksellers gradually decreased, as tobacco became less important in the economic life of Maryland and as trade was curtailed during the Revolution. As a result, bookstores & circulating libraries began to appear in Annapolis & Baltimore. Their appearance coincided with the rise of a literate merchant class. Before the Revolution, there were a few booksellers in colonial Maryland. William Aikman was an early bookseller in Annapolis who imported quantities of books from London for sale directly to colonial readers. In the Maryland Gazette of June 23, 1774, he advertised for sale "Adam Dickson, A Treatise on Agriculture...2 vol. Edinburgh, 1770."

Several Maryland booksellers quickly realized that not all readers in the new nation could afford to buy books for their personal use & started offering less costly circulating library services to expand their businesses. By 1783, Annapolis had its own circulating library offering a few farming & gardening books to subscribers. These included Richard Weston's Gardener's and Planter's Calendar (published only a year earlier in Ireland) and Thomas Mawe's Everyman His Own Gardener published in London by W. Griffin in 1767. Mawe was the gardener to the Duke of Leeds who only lent his name to give an air of authenticity to the publication actually written by John Abercrombie (1726-1806).

The largest collection of 18th century gardening & agricultural books owned in Maryland is referred to in earliest catalogue of the Library Company of Baltimore. These books formed the nucleus of information for Baltimore farmers for many years. In the December 1780 Maryland Journal, William Prichard advertised that he was opening a bookstore & establishing a circulating library of 1000 volumes in Baltimore. By 1784, a 2nd literary entrepreneur William Murphy opened a circulating library in the city, but the most information remains about the Library Company of Baltimore, which had 60 subscribers & 1300 volumes when it was chartered in 1796. By 1809 when the first catalogue was prepared, the library had over 400 members & 7000 volumes. By the next year there were about 35,000 people living in Baltimore, many visiting the Library Company to borrow an English or classical book on gardening.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Why Garden? To impress Visitors & Passers-By

House & garden tours are not a new phenomenon. Eighteenth-century Chesapeake gentry & artisans alike enjoyed viewing gardens on their journeys & in their local neighborhoods & believed that one could tell a lot about people by the gardens they kept. Serious gardeners & even dedicated gossips recorded their observations. Annapolis silversmith & clockmaker William Faris, strolling the streets of Annapolis, jotted notes in his journal about his neighbors’ gardens.
Jonathan Buddington, View of the Cannon House and Wharf in Lower Manhattan, NY with Passers-By (detail) 1792 

John Adams was an inveterate garden watcher & often judged the status of his contemporaries by what he saw. He took note of Baltimore gardens in the winter of 1777, when the Continental Congress met there. At William Lux’s 1750s country seat, Chatsworth, he noted, “the large garden enclosed in lime and before the yard two fine rows of large cherry trees which lead out to the public road. There is a fine prospect about it. Mr. Lux lives like a prince.” The princely grounds, which included a 164-by-234-' terraced garden, were late sold to become a commercial garden & renamed Gray’s Garden.

Lux chose to protect his investment by building a stone wall directly connecting Chatsworth’s central-axis, symmetrical garden to the house, a feature it shared with several of the earliest Chesapeake gardens. Holly Hill, Maryland’s oldest surviving seventeenth-century brick house, had a geometrically balanced walled garden directly adjoining the L-shaped building. Bacon’s Castle, Virginia’s earliest seventeenth-century brick dwelling, was an exception. It’s rectangular garden was only partially walled & not connected to the main house. The Bacon’s Castle garden was set off to the side & was not a Palladian progression of the geometric lines of the dwelling.

Inside its brick wall, William Lux defined Chatsworth’s grounds by creating eight equal-sized rectangles, or “oblongs” as English garden authority Philip Miller called them. Miller, whose work The Gardeners Dictionary was widely read in the colonial Chesapeake, recommended central-axis gardens with matching squares on either side of a gravel walk leading out from a door at the center of the house. Most colonial gardeners adopted Miller’s advice & build their garden beds twice as long as broad. By mid-century, main-axis symmetry dominated most mid-Atlantic gardens.

William Lux planned Chatsworth’s walled garden before the Revolution, in the still wild Baltimore countryside, & he probably felt safer with the control a wall afforded him. His garden was reminiscent of medieval European walled gardens, which closed out interlopers & in which humans molded nature to their own uses. In late European walled gardens, the owners often toiled to perfect the Neoplatonic ideal of producing perfect examples of flowers & rare plants. There visitors could admire specimens of imported exotic as well as native plants either in pots or planted directly in the soil. And so it was in the colonies. Men & women alike became plant hunters in seventeenth- & 18th-century North America. They excitedly exchanged plants & sent new species back to England & Europe for study. William Byrd, in his diary entry for April 10, 1720, wrote of entertaining guests at Westover in Virginia: “After dinner we walked in the garden and I showed them several rarities.”

By mid-century, city-dwelling gentry, in the quickly growing towns up & down the Atlantic, often build brick-walled gardens as well. Charles Carroll of Carollton incorporated a wall into his grounds in Annapolis in 1774; his neighbor William Paca (1740-99) had enclosed his garden with a brick wall nearly a decade earlier. Brick walls were expensive & available to only a few in early America, but the served useful proposes. They kept vegetables & fruits safe from intrusion, & they announced that the owners were persons of means.

The Paca House garden, reconstructed in the 1970s, is unusual in that its main walk does not lead from a center door on the garden façade, so the garden does not sit on a central axis, relative to the house. The garden, for years buried under a paved parking lot, was restored as a typical geometric & symmetrical garden on the top terraces. The lowest terrace Paca designed with a lake & a summerhouse in a contrived naturalistic style. Charles Willson Peale included this lower terrace in a portrait of William Paca, & it is the only documented space in the garden. Paca had just retuned from England when he began building his garden in the 1760s, so he would have been familiar with the natural style in vogue in Britain at that moment.

Paca’s house, also built in the 1760s, was not at all large compared to the homes of English gentry, but for Annapolis it was quite grand. The brick structure comprises a 48-by-44-' two-story center section & two single-story wings-a kitchen wing of 32 by 16 ' and a corresponding office wing of the same size. Paca purchased two 198-by-198-' lots for his house & gardens. The gardens he planned consisted of three falls, narrowing as the dropped 16 ½ ' to the naturalized lowest level featuring the summerhouse & a Chinese-style bridge over a pond. Archaeologists found that the terrace closest to the house measured 80 ' in width, the next 55 ', & the last 40 '. This design allowed those viewing the two-acre garden from the house to see grounds that appeared larger than reality. Using optics to created an illusion of larger houses & grounds was particularly important in colonial Chesapeake towns, where space was limited, but the need to appear important was boundless.

Chesapeake gentry considered Oriental embellishments, such as the bridge in the Paca garden, high style in this period. In 1762 Philadelphia diarist Hannah Callender wrote of a local garden, “In the midst is a Chinese temple for a summer house.” Using Oriental designs signaled to those passing by & stopping in that the owner was a refined, genteel leader in society. Both summerhouses & temples served as social gathering sites in 18th-century America. Although in the Chesapeake they often sat on naturally elevated grounds, Paca placed his at the of his terraces.

Sloping falls gardens, such as Lux built in Baltimore & Paca built in Annapolis, could be found up & down the Atlantic coast throughout the 18th century. Because the topography of the area allowed it, many Chesapeake gentry whose homes sat on a rise of ground terraced their gardens. Many of these falls sloped down to a body of water, & the main approach to colonial houses was often by water.

Aesthetically, terraces provided a setting for he house, a pleasing view from upper stories, & a platform for surveying the surrounding countryside. A contemporary American garden authority acknowledged the garden as a stage when he wrote “regular terraces either on natural eminences or forced ground were often introduced…for the sake of prospect….one above another, on the side of some considerable rising ground in theatrical arrangement.” Such designs elevated the wealthy owner above the common audience passing by or strolling through. One look at nature so well ordered & the observed could have no doubt that here lived a person destined to be in charge.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, & his father were spending the decade of the 1770s worrying about the political direction of the colony & designing geometric gardens for their Annapolis home. Their gardens covered about 2 ¾ acres. Broadening terraces fell 24 ' from the house to Spa Creek. The garden terrace closest to the water was 50 ' wide, the next ascending terrace 40 ' wide, & the garden terrace, closest to the 45-'-long house, measured 30 ' in width. Their plan made the three-story house seem even more imposing when viewed by visitors approaching from the water, & made the water seem closed & broader when viewed from the house. The younger Carroll realized that a perception of superiority could work to his detriment in society. In a letter to a friend he wrote, “There is a mean low dirty envy which creeps thro’ the ranks and cannot suffer a superiority of fortune, of merit, or of understanding …my fortune will certainly make me an object of envy.” Nonetheless, it was an unsteady time in the colonies, and a visual representation of power & control probably would not hurt.

At the bottom of the terraces, where a walkway ran 400 ' along the water’s edge, the Carrolls places octagonal summerhouses, at each end of the walkway. “I like my pavilions,” wrote the younger Carroll, “they are rather small.” Between the pavilions, ladies often fished off of the walkway.

Many colonials referred to the level area of a terrace as “the flat.” They would plant these flats either in turf or in garden beds. The latter could include ornamental flowers as well as the useful vegetables & herbs that the Carrolls chose for their flats.

Terraced gardens usually had three to five terraces, the flats of which were planted with turf, or flowers, or fruits & vegetables & the sloping fronts & sides faced with turf. Garden visitors & workers moved between levels by walking up & down these grass ramps, called falls or slopes.

“I…oblige myself…to layout the next Garden or flatt from the Terras below.”


Falls appear very early in Virginia. Some speculate that falling gardens existed at Green Spring, build by Governor Alexander Spotswood installed terraced gardens at the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg between 1715 & 1719. Later the governor build his private estate, the Enchanted Castle, near Germanna, where William Byrd II came to call on September 28, 1732, & later reported, “the Garden…has…3 Terrace Walks that fall in Slopes one below another.” In the 1750s Speaker of the House Burgesses John Robinson installed “a large falling garden enclosed with a good brick wall” at his plantation, Pleasant Hill, overlooking the Mattaponi River.

It is certain that Virginian Lewis Burwell in the 1730s constructed a long rectangular garden, about 220 ' wide & extending almost 500 ' south from the house down to he James River, on his plantation, Kingsmill. Three turfed terraces led down to a large enclosed kitchen garden, which was divided into quadrants by two central walkways. Unlike the falls in Maryland gardens, Burwell’s were connected by stone steps rather than grass ramps. This same design was chosen by his cousin Carter Burwell in 1751 for the gardens at Carter’s Grove, near Williamsburg.

Also in the 1730s, Landon Carter, a son of wealthy planter Robert “King” Carter, built similar terraces at Sabine Hall on the north side of the Rappahannock River in Virginia. (He named his estate after Horace’s villa outside of Rome, Sabine Farm.) Landon Carter’s riverfront garden consisted of six deep terraces spanning the width of the house. His terraces were so steep that he “almost…disjointed” his hip by “walking in the garden” in 1764. Steeply terraced gardens could prove deadly in fact. Charles Carroll of Annapolis died, in 1783, as a result of a fall in his garden.

Terraced falls were popular among the Virginia gentry building in towns as well in the 18th century. In the city of Richmond, Colonel Richard Adams and his son Dr. John Adams built homes with gardens falling toward the James River near old St. John’s Church. Farther north, William Fitzhugh added terraced gardens to his home, Chatham, on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg. Nearby, Colonel Frances Thornton & his father adorned The Falls & Fall Hill with terraces to the Rappahannock. In fact, terraced falls were so admired in Fredericksburg, that in 1777 eight lots were offered for sale with the notation that four were already “well improved with a good falling garden.” In 1780 another Fredericksburg newspaper advertisement touted “a good dwelling house with every conveniencey that a family can wish for…a falling garden.”

Greatly enamored of falls gardens, the gentry build them on any available natural rise, not just on riverbanks. In 1747 Colonel John Tayloe built five grassy terraces at Mount Airy, even though the Rappahannock was three miles away. Virginians kept building falls gardens well into the 19th century.

A few English country house gardens of the 18th century are depicted with classical terraces on their grounds, but apparently they were the exception rather than the rule, or they were not notable enough to record. The majority of early America’s terraced gardens were similar to the balanced, rectangular plan portrayed in Englishman William Lawson’s early-seventeenth-century work A New Orchard and Garden. Chesapeake garden design was almost untouched by the excesses & ostentations aspects of Italian Baroque & French grand manner garden styles of the time, & very little influenced by the 18th-century English natural grounds reaction to those formalities. Time, distance, an ideologies blunted their extremes of style.

As the population grew & colonists building in the countryside felt safer from intrusion by unwelcome people & animals, homeowners began to consider the aesthetic possibilities of opening up their gardens to the surrounding landscape. Unlike their English cousins, few in British America manipulated the structure & layout of the existing natural countryside outside of the grounds immediately surrounding their homes, & few owned all the land they surveyed about them.

Up & down the Atlantic seaboard, where the topography allowed, house sitting practices harked back to the defensive habit of building on the high ground. People continued to look for the highest situation, in part so they could remain on vistas & views available from the pinnacle of the property. The famous architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe wrote in 1798, “When you stand upon the summit of a hill, and see an extensive country of woods and fields without interruption spread before you, you look at it with pleasure…this pleasure is perhaps very much derived from a sort of consciousness of superiority of positions to all the monotony below you.”

Visitors often used the powerful verb command to describe the placement of a dwelling on a site surrounded with vistas. People noted that houses on high ground were situated on an “eminence.” Homage to power was due to the owner. Even when the houses themselves were unfinished or left to decay, impressive sites were still admired. In June 1760 Andrew Burnaby was traveling through Annapolis & noted, “the governor’s palace is not finished…it is situated very finely upon an eminence, and commands a beautiful view of the town and environs.” Five years later Lord Adam Gordon similarly described the still unfinished governor’s house: “the Situation is most Elegant…commanding the view of the Town, the River Severn, the Bay, and all the Creeks.”

In British America, gentlemen continued to construct mounts well into the 18th century. The gardens at George Mason’s Gunston Hall in Virginia are flanked by mounts overlooking the Potomac River. British Colonel Secretary William Eddis wrote of a house in Annapolis on October 1, 1769, “The garden is not extensive, but it is disposed to the utmost advantage; the center walk is terminated by a small green mount…commands an extensive view of the bay and the adjacent country.”

Bowling greens--smooth, level lawns used for playing bowls--capped many colonial falling gardens. Most bowling greens measured 100 by 200 ', & many were sunk slightly below the level of the ground surrounding them. Sometimes called “squares” in late-18th- & early-19th-century America, bowling greens offered beauty & ornament as well as recreation. As early as 1666 southern colonials “found…a plaine place before the great round house for their bowling recreation.” In the mid-Atlantic & South, playing at bowls often involved wagering. William Byrd wrote in his diary on May 5, 1721, “After dinner we walked to the bowling green where I lost five shilling.”

Flowers Planted to Impress

Before the Revolution, colonial gardeners sometimes created intricately designed beds of flowers. The most ambitious early gardeners attempted flower knots. In 1749, a house for sale advertisement touted “a garden, genteelly laid out in walks and alleys, with flower-knots, & laid round with bricks.” Flower knots were beds formed into curious, complicated, and fanciful shapes meant to please the eye, especially when seen from a higher elevation.

Flower knot designs sometimes imitated the intricate patterns of the embroidery and cut work executed by needleworkers of the time. The length of the flower knot bed was generally about one and a third times the width. Beds separated by narrow paths were usually mirror images of each other, their patterns repeated at the ends of the sections created within them.

Garden historian Rosemary Verey had written that 18th-century American gardens may have retained their formality because “in England the countryside had already been tamed by years of husbandry, while in America each new plantation was surrounded by wild, untamed land, to be kept at bay, not emulated.” Others, such as Elizabeth Pryor, have speculated that the alluring beauty of the natural landscape surrounding the Chesapeake Bay may help explain why gardeners were not seduced by the naturalistic style sweeping England. The Chesapeake woods, continuously cleared of underbrush by Indian fires, already resembled the “improved” landscape in the watercolors of English landscape architect Humphry Repton. In fact, another visitor to Howard’s home wrote: & “its grounds formed a beautiful slant toward the Chesapeake. From the taste with which they were laid out, It would seem that America is already possessed of a …Repton. The spot thus indebted to Nature and judiciously embellished was an enchanting within its own proper limits as in the fine view which extended far beyond them. The foreground possessed luxurious shrubberies and sloping lawns; the distance, the line of the Patapsco and he country bordering on the Chesapeake.” Another visitor to Belvedere claimed to “rejoice in the vistas and the sensations they inspire.”

Among the Howards’ oldest neighbors was an Irish physician. Dr. Henry Stevenson (1721-1814), who had one of the earliest terraced gardens in the Baltimore area. His grounds displayed a flat four-bed garden on the north side of his home, called Parnassus, which Stevenson started constructing in 1763 & completed in 1769. On the south side of the house, facing the harbor, he built a bowling green & five grass terraces. A roadway wide enough for a horse-drawn wagon bisected the grass terraces up to the bowling green, & Stevenson planted double rows of trees across the width of the house, creating alleys along the outer edge of the fences that lined the terraces up to the house.

Another Baltimore county seat adorned with statues was built by Charles Carroll the Barrister (1723-83) in the early 1760s. Mount Clare stood just a mile from the Patapsco River. Its entrance façade was surrounded by a semicircular white picket fence extending from the dependencies to a spot directly in from of the main doorway. Statues of lions sat on pedestals on either side of the walkway leading to the central door. The terraced garden façade of Mount Clare was popular with visitors.

In 1770, Virginian Mary Ambler visited Mount Clare and recorded that she “took a great deal of Pleasure in looking at the bowling Green & also at the …very large Falling Garden thee is a Green House with a good many Orange & Lemon Trees just ready to bare…the House…stands upon a very High Hill & had a fine view of Petapsico River You step out of the Door into the Bowlg Green from which the Garden Falls & when You stand on the Top of it thee is such a Uniformity of Each side as the whole Plantn seems to be laid out like a Garden there is also a Handsome Court Yard on the other side of the House.”

Garden watcher John Adams, in Baltimore for a session of the Continental Congress in February of 1777, spoke highly of Mount Clare. & “There is a most beautiful walk from the house down to the water; there is a descent not far from the house; you have a find garden then you descent a few steps and have another fine garden; you go down a few more and have another.”

The 18th-century pleasure gardens growing on the hillsides of the Chesapeake Bay were strikingly similar to the pleasure gardens that dotted the hills of Rome during an earlier republican era. Even town gardens of the middling classes harked back to classical precedents. The garden was the gentleman’s stage & a device with which to help define his position in the emerging republic. Order, control, & regularity dominated garden designs as landowners structured their external environments to project a positive image of themselves to passers-by. The 19th century would see gardens grow less & less formal, & in the 1840s Andrew Jackson Downing would vigorously promote an American natural grounds movement.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Gardening Books in Early America - Owned by George Washington 1732-1799

George Washington (22 February 1732 - 14 December 1799), Virginia surveyor, landowner, military leader and statesman. Commander of the Continental Army, President of the Constitutional Convention, and first President of the United States.
1790s  Christian Gullager 1759-1826 George Washington.

George Washington's library at the time of his death ran to some nine hundred volumes, which passed into the possession of his nephew Judge Bushrod Washington along with Washington's papers and Mount Vernon. When Bushrod Washington died in 1826, he willed parts of the library to his nephews George C. and John A. Washington and to his grand-nephew Bushrod Washington Herbert.  Around 1847, a large portion of the books which remained at Mount Vernon were sold to bookseller Henry Stevens, who announced his intention to send them to the British Museum. A group from Boston and Cambridge, MA responded by raising $4,250 and purchased the books for the Boston Athenaeum (along with items to accompany the collection). This collection comprises the major portion of George Washington's library as we know it today.  Other Washington books were sold at auctions in 1876 and in the early 1890s. Information on the books sold in those sales has been included where possible.

Books on Landscape, Garden, & Farm

Title: The hot-house gardener on the general culture of the pine-apple, and methods of forcing early grapes, peaches, nectarines, and other choice fruits, in hot-houses, vineries, fruit-houses, hot-walls, &, with directions for raising melons and early strawberries
Author: John Abercrombie
Info: London : Printed for J. Stockdale, 1789.

Title: Hints on vegetation : and questions regarding the nature and principles thereof addressed to farmers, nurserymen and gardeners
Author: Great Britain (Board of Agriculture)
Other authors: Sir John Sinclair (Author)
Info: London : Printed by B. McMillan ..., 1796.

Title: A treatise upon planting, gardening, and the management of the hot-house
Author: John Kennedy
Info: London, S. Hooper, 1777. 2d ed.

Title: The gardeners kalendar : directing what works are necessary to be performed every month in the kitchen, fruit, and pleasure-gardens, as also in the conservatory and nursery ...
Author: Philip Miller
Info: London : Printed for the author, and sold by John Rivington ... [and 15 others], 1762.

Title: Planting and rural ornament
Author: William Marshall
Info: London, Printed for G. Nicol ... G.G. and J. Robinson ... and J. Debrett ..., 1796.

Title: Le jardinier solitaire the solitary or Carthusian gard'ner, being dialogues between a gentleman and a gard'ner. Containing the method to make and cultivate all sorts of gardens; ... Written in French by Francis Gentil, ... Also The compleat florist: ... By the Sieur Louis Liger d'Auxerre. In three parts. Newly done into English
Author: François Gentil
Info: London : printed for Benj. Tooke, 1706.

Title: New principles of gardening: or, The laying out and planting parterres, groves, wildernesses, labyrinths, avenues, parks, &c. after a more grand and rural manner, than has been done before; with experimental directions for raising the several kinds of fruit-trees, forest-trees ... To which is added, the various names, descriptions, temperatures, medicinal virtues, uses and cultivations of several roots, pulse, herbs, &c. of the kitchen and physick gardens
Author: Batty Langley
Info: London, A. Bettesworth and J. Batley [etc.] 1728.

Title: The universal gardener and botanist or, a general dictionary of gardening and botany. Exhibiting in botanical arrangement, according to the Linnæan system, every tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant, ... By Thomas Mawe, ... And John Abercrombie
Author: John Abercrombie
Other authors: Thomas Mawe (Author)
Info: London : printed for G. Robinson; and T. Cadell, 1778.

Title: The abridgement of the Gardeners dictionary: containing the best and newest methods of cutlivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, flower garden, and nursery; as also for performing the practical parts of husbandry: together with the management of vineyards, and the methods of making wine in England. In which likewise are included, directions for propagating and improving, from real practice and experience, pasture lands and all sorts of timber trees
Author: Philip Miller
Info: London, Printed for the author, 1763. 5th ed.

Title: Catalogue of plants, exotic and indigenous, in the Botanical Garden, Jamaica
Author: Thomas Dancer
Info: St. Jago de la Vega : Printed by Alexander Aikman, printer to the Honourable House of Assembly, [1792].

Title: An heroic epistle to Sir William Chambers knight, comptroller general of His Majesty's works, and author of a late dissertation on oriental gardening. Enriched with explanatory notes, chiefly extraced from that elaborate performance
Author: William Mason
Info: London : printed for J. Almon, 1776.

Title: Descriptions of some of the utensils in husbandry rolling carriages, cart rollers, and divided rollers for land or gardens, mills, weighing engines
Author: James Sharp
Info: [London? : s.n., 1777?]

Title: The Botanical magazine; or Flower-garden displayed: in which the most ornamental foreign plants, cultivated in the open ground, the green-house, and the store, are accurately represented in their natural colours
Info: London: printed by S. Couchman, for W. Curtis, 1793-1800.

Title: The hot-house gardener on the general culture of the pine-apple, and methods of forcing early grapes, peaches, nectarines, and other choice fruits, in hot-houses, vineries, fruit-houses, hot-walls, &c., with directions for raising melons and early strawberries
Author: John Abercrombie
Info: London : Printed for J. Stockdale, 1789.

Title: Essays relating to agriculture and rural affairs
Author: James Anderson
Info: Edinburgh : Printed for John Bell and for G. Robinson, 1784-1796.

Title: A practical treatise on draining bogs and swampy grounds : illustrated by figures : with cursory remarks upon the originality of Mr. Elkington's mode of draining : to which are added directions for making a new kind of strong, cheap and durable fence, for rich lands, for erecting at little expense, mill-dams, or weirs upon rivers ... As also, disquisitions concerning the different breeds of sheep, and other domestic animals : being the principal additions that have been made to the fourth edition ...
Author: James Anderson
Info: London : Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797.

Title: A practical treatise on peat moss, considered as in its natural state fitted for affording fuel, or as susceptible of being converted into mold capable of yielding abundant crops of useful produce; with full directions for converting it from the state of peat into that of mold, and afterwards cultivating it as a soil
Author: James Anderson
Info: Edinburgh, Printed for Robinson and Sons, 1794.

Title: Prospectus of an intended new periodical work, to be called the Bee, or Universal literary intelligencer to be published weekly ...
Author: James Anderson
Info: Edinburgh : Printed by Mundell and Son ..., 1790.

Title: Recreations in agriculture, natural-history, arts, and miscellaneous literature
Author: James Anderson
Info: [S.l. : s.n.], 1799-1800.

Title: Charles Baker's Treatise for the preventing of the smut in wheat
Author: Charles Baker
Info: Bristol : Printed, by John Rose, for the author ..., 1797.

Title: A summary view of the courses of crops, in the husbandry of England & Maryland : with a comparison of their products; and a system of improved courses, proposed for farms in America
Author: John Beale Bordley
Info: Philadelphia : Printed by Charles Cist, 1784.

Title: Purport of a letter on sheep : Written in Maryland, March the 30th, 1789
Author: John Beale Bordley
Info: [Philadelphia : Daniel Humphreys, 1789].

Title: Sketches on rotations of crops
Author: John Beale Bordley
Info: Philadelphia : Printed by C. Cist, 1792.

Title: Sketches on rotations of crops, and other rural matters : To which are annexed Intimations on manufactures; or the fruits of agriculture; and on new sources of trade interfering with products of the United States of America in foreign markets
Author: John Beale Bordley
Info: Philadelphia: Printed by Charles Cist, 1797.

Title: Queries selected from a paper of the Board of Agriculture in London : on the nature and principles of vegetation: with answers and observations
Author: John Beale Bordley
Info: [Philadelphia : Charles Cist, 1797].

Title: A treatise on watering meadows
Author: George Boswell
Info: London, J. Debrett, 1792.

Title: Treatise on agriculture and practical husbandry. Designed for the information of landowners and farmers. With a brief account of the advantages arising from the new method of culture practised in Europe
Author: Metcalf Bowler
Info: Providence, Printed by Bennett Wheeler, 1786.

Title: The orchardist, or, A system of close pruning and medication for establishing the science of orcharding : as patronized by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
Author: Thomas Skip Dyot Bucknall
Other authors: Manufactures Society for the Encouragement of Arts, and Commerce (Great Britain)
Info: London : Printed for G. Nichol ..., 1797.

Title: A treatise, shewing the intimate connection that subsists between agriculture and chemistry : addressed to the cultivators of the soil, to the proprietors of fens and mosses, in Great Britain and Ireland, and to the proprietors of West India estates
Author: Earl Archibald Cochrane of Dundonald
Info: London : Printed by the author, and sold by R. Edwards, 1795.

Title: An account of the culture and use of the mangel wurzel, or root of scarcity
Author: Abbé de Commerell
Other authors: John Coakley Lettsom (Translator)
Info: London : Printed for Charles Dilly, in the Poultrey; and J. Phillips, George-Yard, Lombard-Street, 1787.

Title: Mémoire sur la culture, l'usage et les avantages du chou-à-faucher
Author: Abbé de Commerell
Info: A Paris : chez Petit, [1789]

Title: Lettres d'un cultivateur américain addressées à W.m S...on ecq.r depuis l'année 1770, jusqu'en 1786
Author: J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur
Info: Paris, Chez Cuchet Libraire, Rue et Hôtel Serpente, 1787.

Title: The case of labourers in husbandry stated and considered, in three parts. With an appendix containing a collection of accounts, shewing the earnings and expenses of labouring families in different parts of the Kingdom
Author: David Davies
Info: Bath, Printed by R. Cruttwell for G. G. and J. Robinson, London, 1795.

Title: The farmer's compleat guide, through all the articles of his profession; the laying out, proportioning, and cropping his ground; and the rules for purchasing, managing, and preserving his stock
Author: John Ball
Info: London, G. Kearsly, 1760.

Title: Compleat body of husbandry. : Containing rules for performing, in the most profitable manner, the whole business of the farmer and country gentleman, in cultivating, planting and stocking of land; in judging of the several kinds of seeds, and, of manures; and in the management ... To which is annexed, the whole management of the orchard, the brewhouse, and the dairy.
Author: Thomas Hale
Info: London: : Printed for Tho. Osborne, in Gray's-Inn ; Tho. Trye, near Gray's-Inn Gate Holbourn ; and S. Crowder and Co. on London-Bridge., 1758-1759. 2d ed.

Title: The gentleman farmer : Being an attempt to improve agriculture, by subjecting it to the test of rational principles
Author: Lord Henry Home Kames
Info: Dublin : Printed by James Williams, 1779.

Title: A treatise upon planting, gardening, and the management of the hot-house
Author: John Kennedy
Info: London, S. Hooper, 1777. 2d ed.

Title: Observations in husbandry
Author: Edward Lisle
Info: London : Printed by J. Hughs ... for C. Hitch ... [and 7 others], 1757.

Title: Fourteen agricultural experiments, to ascertain the best rotation of crops : addressed to the "Philadelphia Agricultural Society"
Author: George Logan
Info: Philadelphia : Printed by Francis and Robert Bailey ..., 1797.

Title: A treatise on hemp : in two parts : containing I. its history ... II. the methods of cultivating, dressing, and manufacturing it ...
Author: M. Marcandier
Info: London : Printed for T. Becket, and P.A. De Hondt, 1764.

Title: Arbustrum americanum: the American grove, or, An alphabetical catalogue of forest trees and shrubs, natives of the American United States, arranged according to the Linnaean system. Containing, the particular distinguishing characters of each genus, with plain, simple and familiar descriptions of the manner of growth, appearance, &c. of their several species and varieties. Also, some hints of their uses in medicine, dyes, and domestic oeconomy
Author: Humphry Marshall

Title: The gardeners kalendar : directing what works are necessary to be performed every month in the kitchen, fruit, and pleasure-gardens, as also in the conservatory and nursery ...
Author: Philip Miller
Info: London : Printed for the author, and sold by John Rivington ... [and 15 others], 1762.

Title: A description of the soil, productions, commercial, agricultural and local advantages of the Georgia western territory: together with a summary and impartial view of the claims of Georgia and of the United States to this territory, and of the principal arguments aduced by the purchasers against these claims. Collected and stated from various authentic documents
Author: Jedidiah Morse
Info: Boston, Printed by Thomas & Andrews, 1797.

Title: Observations on the different breeds of sheep and the state of sheep farming in the southern districts of Scotland : being the result of a tour through these parts made under the direction of the Society For Improvement of British Wool
Author: John Naismyth
Other authors: Society for the Improvement of British Wool (Contributor)
Info: Edinburgh : Printed by W. Smellie, printer to the Society, 1795.

Title: Notes on farming
Author: Charles Thomson
Info: New-York : [s.n.], Printed in the year 1787.

Title: An account of the different kinds of sheep found in the Russian dominions, and among the Tartar hordes of Asia ... To which is added, five appendixes tending to illustrate the natural and economical history of sheep and other domestic animals
Author: Peter Simon Pallas
Other authors: James Anderson (Contributor)
Info: Edinburgh, Pkinted [sic] and sold by T. Chapman, 1794.

Title: Agricultural enquiries on plaister of Paris : also, facts, observations and conjectures on that subtance [sic], when applied as manure : collected, chiefly from the practice of farmers in Pennsylvania, and published as much with a view to invite, as to give information
Author: Richard Peters
Info: Philadelphia : Printed by Charles Cist ..., and John Markland ..., 1797.

Title: Observations on the different breeds of sheep : and the state of sheep farming in some of the principle counties of England drawn up from a report transmitted to Sir John Sinclair, chairman of the Society for the Improvement of British Wool
Author: William Redhead
Other authors: Robert Laing (Contributor), William Marshall (Contributor)
Info: Edinburgh: Printed by W. Smellie and sold by W. Creech [et al.], 1792.

Title: The compleat horseman, or, Perfect farrier; in two parts. Part I. discovering the surest marks of beauty, goodness, faults, and imperfections of horses ... The art of shoeing ... riding and managing the great horse. Part II. Contains the signs and causes of their diseases, with the true method of curing them
Author: Jacques de Solleysel
Info: London, for J. Walthoe [etc.] 1729. 4th ed.

Title: The practical farmer : being a new and compendious system of husbandry adapted to the different soils and climates of America, containing the mechanical, chemical, and philosophical elements of agriculture : with many other useful and interesting subjects
Author: John Spurrier
Info: Wilmington [Del.] : Printed by Brynberg and Andrews, 1793.

Title: Every farmer his own cattle-doctor : containing a full and clear account of the symptoms and causes of the diseases of cattle, with the most approved prescriptions for their cure ...
Author: John Swaine
Info: London : Printed for W. Richardson ..., 1786. 3d ed.

Title: An essay on draining and improving peat bogs; in which their nature and properties are fully considered
Author: Nicholas Turner
Info: London : Printed for R. Baldwin, and J. Bew, 1784.

Title: A new system of husbandry. From many years experience, with tables shewing the expence and profit of each crop
Author: Charles Varlo
Info: Philadelphia, The author, 1785.

Title: Wool encouraged without exportation, or, Practical observations on wool and the woollen manufacture : in two parts : part I. containing strictures on appendix no. IV. to a report made by a committee of the Highland Society, on the subject of Shetland wool : part II. containing a brief history of wool, and the nature of the woollen manufacture as connected with it ...
Author: Henry Wansey
Info: London : Printed for T. Cadell, 1791.

Title: A New system of agriculture; or, A plain, easy, and demonstrative method of speedily growing rich: proving ... that every land-owner, in England, may advance his estate to a double value .... Together with several ... instructions, how to feed oxen, cows and sheep
Author: Edward Weston
Info: London, printed for A. Millar, 1755. 2d ed.

Title: A treatise on the propagation of sheep : the manufacture of wool, and the cultivation and manufacture of flax, with directions for making several utensils for the business
Author: John Wily
Info: Williamsburg : Printed by J. Royle, 1765.

Title: Annals of agriculture and other useful arts
Authors: Arthur Young
Info: London : Arthur Young, 1784-1798.

Title: Rural economy : or Essays on the practical parts of husbandry : designed to explain several of the most important methods of conducting farms of various kinds, including many useful hints to gentlemen farmers, relative to the economical management of their business. To which is added The rural Socrates, being memoirs of a country philosopher
Author: Arthur Young
Other authors: Hans Kasper Hirzel (Contributor)
Info: Burlington : Printed by Isaac Neale, 1792. 3d ed.

Title: The country magazine. Calculated for the gentleman; the farmer, and his wife: containing every thing necessary for the advantage and pleasure of a country life. ...
Author: 
Info: London [England : printed for T. Waller, opposite Fetter-Lane, Fleet Street, and to be had of all booksellers and news carriers; and country shop-keepers, if orders are given for the same, MDCCLXIII. [1763]

Title: Essays and notes on husbandry and rural affairs
Authors: John Beale Bordley
Info: Philadelphia : Printed by Budd and Bartram for T. Dobson, 1799.

Title: The complete farmer or, a general dictionary of husbandry, in all its branches; containing the various methods of cultivating and improving every species of land, according to the precepts of both the old and new husbandry. ... Together with a great variety of new discoveries and improvements. ... Illustrated with a great variety of folio copper-plates, ... By a society of gentlemen
Info: London : printed for the authors; and sold by J. Cooke; and T. Hookham, 1767

Title: A practical treatise of husbandry wherein are contained, many useful and valuable experiments and observations in the new husbandry
Author: Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau
Other author: John Mills (Translator)
Info: London : Printed for C. Hitch [and 8 others], 1762. 2d ed.

Title: The practical husbandman being a collection of miscellaneous papers on husbandry, &c.
Author: Robert Maxwell
Info: Edinburgh : Printed by C. Wright and Company, for the author, 1757.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Gardening Books in Early America - Owned by Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Pennsylvania printer, author, inventor, ambassador, scientist, statesman, abolitionist. Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, a founder of the Library Company of Philadelphia and of the first fire department in Pennsylvania, among many other accomplishments.
Benjamin Franklin by David Martin (Scot artist, 1737-1797)  1766

Franklin's extensive library is documented in Edwin Wolf 2nd and Kevin J. Hayes, The Library of Benjamin Franklin. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society and Library Company of Philadelphia, 2006. 

Title: An heroic epistle to Sir William Chambers, knight ... author of a late Dissertation on oriental gardening. Enriched with explanatory notes, chiefly extracted from that elaborate performance
Author: William Mason
Info: London, J. Almon, 1773. 11th ed.

Title: The gardeners dictionary. Containing, the methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit and flower garden, as also, the physick garden, wilderness, conservatory, and vineyard; according to the practice of the most experienced gardeners of the present age
Author: Philip Miller

Title: A treatise on cyder-making, founded on long practice and experience; with a catalogue of cyder-apples of character, in Herefordshire and Devonshire, their different qualities and applications in making either mellow or rough cyder; and the whole process of cyder-making throughout. With instructions for meliorating cyder, preservatives, and remedies for preventing and curing the diseases incident to cyder. To which is prefixed, A dissertation on cyder and cyder-fruit
Author: Hugh Stafford
Info: London, E. Cave, 1753.

Title: Stowe, the gardens of the Right Honourable Richard Lord Viscount Cobham : address'd to Mr. Pope
Author: Gilbert West
Info: London : Printed for W. Russel, 1756.

Title: The universal gardener and botanist or, a general dictionary of gardening and botany. Exhibiting in botanical arrangement, according to the Linnæan system, every tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant
Author: John Abercrombie
Other authors: Thomas Mawe (Contributor)
Info: London : printed for G. Robinson; and T. Cadell, 1778.

Title: A new and complete system of practical husbandry containing all that experience has proved to be most useful in farming, either in the old or new method; with a comparative view of both; and whatever is beneficial to the husbandman, or conducive to the ornament and improvement of the country gentleman's estate
Author: John Mills
Info: London : printed for R. Baldwin, W. Johnston, S. Crowder, T. Longman, J. Coote [and 3 others in London], 1762-65.

Title: The complete English farmer, or a practical system of husbandry founded upon natural, certain, and obvious principles : in which is comprized a general view of the whole art of agriculture, exhibiting the different effects of cultivating land according to the usage of the old and new husbandry 
Author: David Henry
Info: London : printed for F. Newberry, 1771.

Title: The farmer's director or, a compendium of English husbandry. Concisely describing the management of land, and cultivating the several kinds of corn and pulse. Of grasses and plants for the food of cattle, and their several feeding qualities. Of meadows and pastures, and a new system of applying the grass-lands of a farm. With various improvements interspersed through the work. Also an appendix. Containing general observations and directions on various subjects of husbandry. 
Author: Thomas Bowden
Info: London : printed for Richardson and Urquhart, at the Royal Exchange, MDCCLXXVI. [1776]

Title:  Hortus botanicus vindobonensis, seu Plantarum rariorum, quae in Horto botanico vindobonensi ... coluntur, icones coloratæ et succinetæ descriptiones 
Author: Freiherr Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin 

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Gardening Books in Early America - Owned by John Adams 1735-1826

John Adams (1735-1826), Massachusetts lawyer, diplomat, and statesman. Defender of the British soldiers tried after the Boston Massacre, delegate to the first and second Continental Congresses, signer of the Declaration of Independence, ambassador to the Netherlands and to England, drafter of the Massachusetts Constitution, first vice president and second president of the United States of America.
John Adams by John Trumbull (detail), 1793.

"I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine." - 12 May 1780

Most extant books from John Adams's library are currently housed at the Boston Public Library.  Deposited with the Boston Public Library in 1894, the John Adams Library includes over 2,700 volumes collected by the second president during his lifetime (1735-1826) as well as hundreds of additional books later donated by his family members (NB: Books printed after Adams’s death and added to the collection posthumously are not included in Adams's LT catalog). The first published list of Adams's complete deeded library was printed in 1823 in Deeds and other Documents Relating to the Several Pieces of Land, and to the Library Presented to the Town of Quincy by President Adams. This catalog included all volumes bequeathed by Adams in 1822, listing his total gift at 2,756 volumes.

One of the greatest private collections of its day, the Adams Library remains one of the largest original early American libraries still intact. This remarkable original collection of 3,510 books spans the fields of classics, literature, history, politics, government, philosophy, religion, law, science, mathematics, medicine, agriculture, language and linguistics, economics, and travel.

John Adams Books on Landscape, Garden, and Farm

The British fruit-gardener : and art of pruning : comprising, the most approved methods of planting and raising ...

Address of Jonathan Allen, Esq. president of the Berkshire Agricultural Society : delivered before the Berkshire ... John Adams Library copy inscribed on t.p.: 'His Esq. John Adams Quincy Mass.'

An essay on the natural history of Guiana, in South America : containing a description of many curious productions ...

General view of the agriculture in the county of Somerset : with observations on the means of its ...
 
Essays and notes on husbandry and rural affairs Agriculture,  8vo (Listed in Deeds as "Essays and Notes on Husbandry and Rural Affairs, by Bordley." )

The American museum, or Universal magazine : containing essays on agriculture, commerce, manufactures, politics, ... 8vo Vols 12

Advice to shepherds and owners of flocks, on the care and management of sheep : ... Agriculture, English,
8vo Bookplate on inside back cover: Th: Bradlee, 2d. Book binder, no. 7, Congress Street, Boston.


General view of the agriculture of the county of Northampton : with observations on the means of its improvement

A practical treatise of husbandry : wherein are contained, many useful and valuable experiments and observations ...


Communications to the Board of Agriculture : on subjects relative to the husbandry, and internal improvements ...

A treatise of fruit-trees  John Adams' signature on title page: "John Adams."

Additional appendix to the outlines of the fifteenth chapter of the proposed general report from the Board of ... Agriculture  Comprises six numbered reports, by George Fordyce, William Cullen, John Ingen-Housz, James Headrick, Dr. Guthrie and Richard Crawshay.

 A system of vegetables : according to their classes, orders, genera, species, with their characters and differences  8vo Includes: 'An alphabetical catalogue of English and Scotch names of plants' with a separate t.p. dated 1784

The 'botanical society at Lichfield' consisted of 3 members only: Erasmus Darwin, Brooke (later Sir Brooke) Boothby, and John Jackson"


The gardeners kalendar : directing what works are necessary to be performed every month in the kitchen, fruit, and ... 8vo John Adams' signature on title page: "John Adams."

Observations on the different breeds of sheep and the state of sheep farming in the southern districts of Scotland

The experienced farmer : an entire new work, in which the whole system of agriculture, husbandry, and breeding of ...8vo Inscribed on pasted-in plate on inside front cover:

Natural history of the slug worm Inscribed on preliminary leaf: "Adams Library 1799 ..." Vols 1 & 2

General view of the agriculture of the county of Stafford : with observations on the means of its improvement  4to


Arator : being a series of agricultural essays, practical & political: in sixty-one numbers  John Adams' signature (blotted) on title page: "J. Adams."

 Horse-hoeing husbandry : or, An essay on the principles of vegetation and tillage. Designed to introduce a new method .. 8vo John Adams' signature on title page: "John Adams." Inscribed on first leaf: "85/"

Social Info General view of the agriculture in the county of Essex : with observations on the means of its improvement  8vo


Letters from His Excellency George Washington, president of the United States of America, to Sir John Sinclair, ... Inscribed on half t.p.: “For his Excellency John Adams- President of the United States of America with Sir John Sinclar’s compliments and as a mark of his esteem and regard. 5 June 1800.”

The American gazetteer : exhibiting, in alphabetical order, a much more full and accurate account, ...… by Jedidiah Morse   "Read chiefly in the merican Gazeteers, which are a very valuable Magazine of american Knowledge." (Adams' Diary, 10 November 1766)

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