Sunday, September 20, 2020

"Botany & Friendship" A Circle of Transatlantic Plant Exchange for Thomas Jefferson

 Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Thaddeus Kosciuszko

"Botany & Friendship"
A Circle of Transatlantic Plant Exchange

"Altho' the times are big with political events, yet I shall say nothing on that or any subject but the innocent ones of botany & friendship." -- Jefferson to Madame de Tessé, October 31, 1803

In August 2001 a letter from Italy arrived at CHP headquarters. The correspondent, a 1998 fellow at Monticello's International Center for Jefferson Studies, wrote to thank us for the gift of a Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), which he had planted in his European garden. Obviously writing as the summer-flowering tree blossomed, the former ICJS fellow reported that "it has grown by now to about 6 feet and gives me continuous pleasure: I call it my Jefferson Tree."

I was immediately struck by the similarity in sentiment of this 21st-century letter compared to one Thomas Jefferson wrote to Madame de Tessé March 27th, 1811:

"Since I had last the pleasure of writing to you, I have to acknowledge the receipt of . the seeds of the . Koelreuteria, one of which has germinated, and is now growing. I cherish it with particular attentions, as it daily reminds me of the friendship with which you have honored me ."
This "cherished" tree is native to China, where it was once planted at the graves of high governmental ministers. The first seeds to arrive in Europe were sent during the mid eighteenth century by Pierre Nicholas le Chévron d'Incarville, a French Jesuit Father stationed at a Peking missionary. According to Stephen A. Spongberg in A Reunion of Trees (Harvard University Press, 1990), a Russian caravan likely transported these seeds across Mongolia and Siberia to London's Kew Gardens and the Jardin du Roi in Paris. Goldenrain trees were growing in European botanical gardens by 1763 and were probably already popular flowering novelties by the time the Comtesse sent her gift. What she could not have known was that the seedling Jefferson nurtured is believed to be the first goldenrain tree ever cultivated in North America. Because the tree is short-lived, there are no original goldenrain trees surviving from Jefferson's time, but trees from succeeding generations continue to thrive at Monticello, and it is a descendant tree that now grows in the Italian garden of our former research fellow.

For Jefferson, a shared interest in botanical subjects strengthened bonds of companionship for a lifetime. His friendship with the Comtesse Noailles de Tessé, aunt of the Marquis de Lafayette, began when he was serving as Minister to France from1784 to1789, and continued until her death in 1814. The Comtesse was a connoisseur of gardening and the fine arts, and their mutual love of plants is well chronicled through their correspondence. She was most interested in the plants de Virginie and Caroline and requested a long list of oaks, pines, and desirable shrubs such as the American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).

While still living in Paris, Jefferson implored American naturalists and nurserymen to send plants for her gardens at Chaville, her beautiful country estate near Versailles. After his return to Virginia, Jefferson continued this quest firsthand, and wrote to the Comtesse on March 11, 1790 that he had seen to the collection of young plants "in most perfect condition," and had attended to the packing himself. Each plant was carefully labeled and layered into boxes of fresh moss, which he then carried to Richmond for the precarious and uncertain journey to France. His parcels included umbrella magnolias, tulip poplars, mountain laurels, red cedars, sassafras, persimmons, dogwoods, oaks, and sweet shrubs.

Because Chaville was a Crown property, many of Jefferson's specimens shipped during the 1790s were likely eventually "nationalized" soon after the proclamation of the French Republic, when trees and shrubs were salvaged from émigré estates to enrich the Jardin du Roi in Paris. André Thoüin, gardener-in-chief, was commissioned to select rare exotics from the Crown properties that might prove useful to the nation. He chose 148 species from Chaville in the presence of the estate's gardener Cyrus Bowie, including many from North America.

Coincidentally, André Thoüin also exchanged plants with Jefferson throughout the ensuing years. Jefferson often shared Thouin's shipments with like-minded American plantsmen, such as Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon and David Hosack of the New York Botanical Garden. Evidently, Jefferson planted many seeds at Monticello as well. When a package of 700 species arrived in 1808, he told his granddaughter Anne "that they will contain all the fine flowers of France, and fill all the space we have for them."

Jefferson's Garden Book contains few specific references as to the many varieties from Thoüin, but diary entries indicate a wide diversity of plants, from Spanish broom to sprout kale to "Ximenesia Encelioides," most likely Verbesina encilioides (Golden Crownbeard) an annual aster from the American southwest and Mexico. Perhaps a clue to the identity of some may come from a c.1786 listing of plants that Jefferson himself sent from Paris to Francis Eppes, a friend and father of Jefferson's future son-in-law, John W. Eppes. This list includes "roses of various kinds," carnations, pinks, an assortment of fine bulbs, and a number of annual flowers such as "Velvet Amaranth," (possibly the velvety crested Cockscomb, Celosia cristata). It also contains Jefferson's only mention of the "delicious" flowering Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) and the "three-coloured Amaranth" or Joseph's coat (Amaranthus tricolor), so popular in the Monticello gardens today.

Marquis de Lafayette that, "The state of the ocean . continues to be, so desperate that it is vain to attempt anything.." The blockades placed on the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812 further complicated plant exchange, and valuable shipments both to and from Thoüin and Madame de Tessé were "captured on the high seas" and left to rot in British warehouses.

In later years Jefferson's gardening interests turned more toward the culture of flowers, vegetables, and plants that repaid the labors of the year within the year, so that ".death, which will be at my door, shall find me unembarrassed in long lived undertakings." In this regard, he found the Comtesse's tenacity to plant long-lived trees all the more admirable, acknowledging, "There is more of the disinterested & magnanimous in your purpose."

On December 8, 1813, in his final letter to the Comtesse and just a year before her death, Jefferson discussed the botanical specimens collected by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. He described some as curious, some ornamental, some useful, and some that "may by culture be made acceptable on our tables." Jefferson had at Monticello one little shrub from the Expedition - a snowberry bush (Symphorocarpus albus) - that was destined for her, but it is not known if it ever successfully made the transatlantic passage.

Peggy Cornett
Director, Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants
January 2002

Friday, September 18, 2020

Philadelphia Quaker Writes of Gardens - Hannah Callender (Mrs Samuel Sansom) (1737–1801).


The Fair Quaker, July 11, 1787 British Museum 63.533.2 

When researching gardens in Colonial America in 2010, I was excited to find the newly published  Diary of Hannah Callender (Mrs Samuel  Sansom) (1737–1801).  She was sort of a bundle of contradictions. She was a well-to-do, proper Quaker from Philadelphia. Although she was a woman, she was well-educated. Her pre-arranged marriage was surely no match of love, but she managed to maintain her sassy independence by climbing in her chaise & traveling about the Philadelphia & New York. 

After Hannah married, she left her family's mostly agricultural Richmond Seat, set in “a fine Woods,” with an orchard, flower, and kitchen gardens. After the birth of her 1st child, she often set off to visit neighbors. And she wrote down what she saw at the country seats she visited. She kept writing for 30 years, from  age 21 in 1758 through 1788. Along the way, she include little gems describing the gardens & grounds she came upon.

In 1758, she briefly noted her visit James Hamilton’s Bush Hill, “... a party to bush hill. . . in the afternoon, a fine house and gardens, with Statues..." 

In June of 1759, Hannah wrote of Bayard’s country seat, near New York, “...took a walk to - Boyard’s Country seat, who was so complaisent as to ask us in his garden. the front of the house, faces the great road, about a quarter of a mile distance, a fine walk of locas trees now in full blossom perfumes the air, a beautiful wood off one side, and a Garden for both use and ornament on the other side from which you see the City at a great distance. good out houses at the back part. they have no gardens in or about New York that come up to ours of philadelphia...”

On that 1759 trip to New York, she wrote “...a good many pretty Country seats, In particular Murreys, a fine brick house, and the whole plantation in good order, we rode under the finest row of Button Wood I ever see...”

As autumn was approaching in 1759, she wrote of Richmond Seat, the country estate & farm of her father William Callender Jr. on the Delaware River in Point-No-Point near Philadelphia, “Morn: 8O'Clock Daddy and I went to Plantation . . . the place looks beautiful. the plat belonging to Daddy is 60 acres square: 30 of upland, 30 of meadow, which runs along the side of the river Delawar, half the uplands is a fine Woods, the other Orchard and Gardens, a little house in the midst of the Gardens, interspersed with fruit trees. the main Garden lies along the meadow, by 3 descents of Grass steps, you are led to the bottom, in a walk length way of the Garden, on one Side a fine cut hedge incloses from the meadow, the other, a high Green bank shaded with Spruce, the meadows and river lying open to the eye, looking to the house, covered with trees, honey scycle vines on the fences, low hedges to part the flower and kitchen Garden, a fine barn. Just at the side of the Wood, the trees a small space round it cleared from brush underneath, the whole a little romantic rural scene.”

In 1761, she visited the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem, PA, “... Sister Garrison with good humour gave us girls leave, to step cross a field to a little Island belonging to the Single Bretheren, on it is a neat Summer house, with seats of turf, and button wood Trees round it.”

In the summer of 1762, Hannah described the estate of the late Tench Francis Sr. "... the House stands fine and high, the back is adorned by a fine prospect, Peter’s House, Smiths Octagon, Bayntons House &c and a genteel garden, with serpentine walks and low hedges, at the foot of the garden you desend by sclopes to a Lawn. in the middle stands a summer House, Honey Scykle &c, then you desend by Sclopes to the edge of the hill which Terminates by a fense, for security, being high & almost perpendicular except the craggs of rocks, and shrubs of trees, that diversify the Scene.”

William Russell Birch, “View from Belmont Pennsyl.a the Seat of Judge Peters,” in The Country Seats of the United States (1808),

She was drawn to the estates high above the Schuylkill River. Another 1762 jaunt took her to William Peter's Belmont, “. . . went to Will: Peters’s house, having some small aquaintance with his wife who was at home with her Daughter Polly..."from the Front of this hall you have a prospect bounded by the Jerseys, like a blueridge, and the Horison, a broad walk of english Cherre trys leads down to the river, the doors of the hous opening opposite admitt a prospect the length of the garden thro' a broad gravel walk, to a large hansome summer house in a grean, from these Windows down a Wisto terminated by an Obelisk, on the right you enter a Labarynth of hedge and low ceder with spruce, in the middle stands a Statue of Apollo, note: in the garden are the Statues of Dianna, Fame & Mercury, with urns. we left the garden for a wood cut into Visto’s, in the midst a chinese temple, for a summer house, one avenue gives a fine prospect of the City, with a Spy glass you discern the houses distinct, Hospital, & another looks to the Oblisk.” 

Belmont long remained one of Hannah's favorite sites. Twenty-three years later, she again described  Belmont, now Richard Peters, “the highest and finist situation I know, its gardens and walks are in the King William taste, but are very pleasant.” 

Recent photo of Belmont Mansion in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Belmont is now the home of the Underground Railroad Museum.

In 1768, she wrote of Edgely, the country seat of Joshua Howell, “...went to Edgeley. Joshua Howel has a fine Iregular Garden there, walked down to Shoolkill, after dinner. . . walked to the Summer House, in view of Skylkill when Benny Played on the flute.”

In 1785, Hannah again traveled to James Hamilton's Bush Hill, “ Hambleton’s Bush hill [estate,] walked over that good house, viewed the fine stucco work, and delightful prospects round...”

In 1785, she also revisited Belmont, “...crossed Brittains bridge, to John Penns elegant Villa, passed a Couple of delightfull hours, mounted our chaise and rode a long the Schuilkill to Peters place the highest and finist situation I know, its gardens and walks are in the King William taste, but are very pleasant..."

Hannah & her husband maintained a residence in Philadelphia & one in the country called Parlaville, a suburban retreat located about 2 1/2 miles north of the city on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Hannah Callender Sansom and Samuel Sansom and their family lived in Philadelphia but often visited their country retreat at Parlaville.  In 1785, they planned new landscaping & gardens for Parlaville with a "...brick mansion, with a piazza & back buildings, together with a stone coach and stabling, ans a garden to the west and an inclosed lawn to the south..."  Here her family could go skating, sledding, take country walks and drives, garden, and have pet dogs. Hannah wrote “rose blythly to sow my seeds” called gardening “the primitive occupation of man, designed by the almighty for a happy life!” During the spring of 1785, Sansom obtained a “variety of Trees, flowers, and plants” for Parlaville, “went nine miles up Schuikill for white pine trees.” Several days later she acquired “two Tuby Rose [tuberose] roots...”  The year she stopped writing her diary was the year her first grandchild was born.

Friday, September 11, 2020

1700 John Lawon writes of Food eaten by Native Americans in the Carolinas

Image after a Watercolor drawing of Indian Village of Secoton by John White (created 1585-1586)

A NEW VOYAGE TO CAROLINA, by John Lawson 1709

Venison, and Fawns in the Bags, cut out of the Doe's Belly; Fish of all sorts, the Lamprey-Eel excepted, and the Sturgeon our Salt-Water Indians will not touch; Bear and Bever; Panther; Pole-cat; Wild-Cat; Possum; Raccoon; Hares, and Squirrels, roasted with their Guts in; Snakes, all Indians will not eat them, tho' some do; All wild Fruits that are palatable, some of which they dry and keep against Winter, as all sort of Fruits, and Peaches, which they dry, and make Quiddonies, and Cakes, that are very pleasant, and a little tartish; young Wasps, when they are white in the Combs, before they can fly, this is esteemed a Dainty; All sorts of Tortois and Terebins; Shell-Fish, and Stingray, or Scate, dry'd; Gourds; Melons; Cucumbers; Squashes; Pulse of all sorts; Rockahomine Meal, which is their Maiz, parch'd and pounded into Powder; Fowl of all sorts, that are eatable; Ground-Nuts, or wild Potato's; Acorns and Acorn Oil; Wild-Bulls, Beef, Mutton, Pork, &c. from the English; Indian Corn, or Maiz, made into several sorts of Bread; Ears of Corn roasted in the Summer, or preserv'd against Winter.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

South Carolina - Design Components of Gardens

Landowners in eighteenth century South Carolina tended to jeep one eye on the sun and the other on the latest, most fashionable garden design, as they planned the gardens and grounds around their homes. Carolina gardeners used the same traditional European design components as their fellow colonists up and down the Atlantic coast, but they seldom forgot to plan for the oppressive Carolina summer heat. Shady trees and cooling water played a large part in the colonial South Carolina garden design.

Charles Fraser (1782-1860) Golden Groves The Seat of Mrs (John) Sommers Stono River. Carolina Art Association Gibbes Museum, Charleston, South Carolina

Trees - Alleys and Avenues

Garden planners charted walkways, alleys, and avenues to form the basic skeleton of their gardens. Most colonial British Americans called the entire outdoor area surrounding their living quarters “gardens.” Property owners often divided these garden areas into geometric beds for growing flowers and vegetables; yards for enclosing a variety of outdoor work; and larger turfed open areas for playing lawn games or visiting with friends and family.

South Carolinians especially enjoyed alleys of trees, because they offered cooling shade for year-round exercise. Alleys also directed the onlooker’s line of sight, defined garden compartments, and added ornament to the grounds. Gardeners usually planned an alley as a walkway bordered with single or double rows of trees or hedges. Alleys leading from a center door of a dwelling through the center of an adjoining garden were wider than subsidiary intersecting walkways.

Occasionally garden architects intentionally manipulated the perspective, so that the apparent size of an alley was lengthened by gradually narrowing the width of the alley towards the far end. Some gardeners called those walkways between beds of plants bordered by low-growing shrubs alleys.

On May 22, 1749, in Charleston, a landowner advertised, A garden, genteelly laid out in walks and alleys, with flower-knots, & laid round with bricks” for sale in the South Carolina Gazette.

Plantation owners in mid-eighteenth century South Carolina often employed even larger avenues of trees as well. Garden architects designed avenues as wide, straight roadways approaching plantation houses or public buildings lined with single or double rows of trees and often cutting through a lawn of grass. Planners left avenues wide enough for a horse or carriage to pass, and some were much wider with many being the width of the house. Avenues leading to the entrance façade of a dwelling were wider than subsidiary intersecting ones and often were wide enough that the entire façade of the house was visible from the far end. Usually a 200’ long avenue was about 14-15’ wide, a 600’ avenue was about 30-36’ wide, and a 1200’ long avenue was about 42-48’ wide. Gardeners occasionally manipulated the perspective of even these broad avenues as well, so that the apparent size of an avenue was lengthened by gradually narrowing the width of the avenue towards the far end. In the colonies, the term avenue also referred to a public tree-lined town street.

In May, 1743, Eliza Lucas Pinckney wrote from Charleston, "I…cant say one word on the other seats I saw in this ramble, except the Count’s large double row of Oaks on each side of the Avenue that leads to the house--which seemed designed by nature for pious meditation and friends converse.”

Growing an avenue of trees took special planning and many years. Often the avenue of trees was planted years before the house was built on the property. On June 18, 1753, William Murray wrote to John Murray Esquire of Murraywhaithe in Charleston, "By all means mention the fine Improvements of your garden & the fine avenues you’ve raised near the spot where you’r to build your new house.”

Twenty years later, commercial nurserymen promoted grown trees for sale to the Charleston public. On January 1, 1776, an advertisement in the South Carolina and American General Gazette offered, "For sale…Magnolia or Laurels fit for Avenues…any height from three feet to twenty.”

By this time a French visitor noted that avenues of trees lined the public streets of Charleston as well. He wrote in 1777, "There are trees along most of the streets, but there are not enough of them to make it pleasant to promenade along the streets in the heat of the day.”

Nurseries growing trees for decoration and for food flourished in South Carolina. Planters usually enclosed private or commercial nursery gardens to grow young plants, especially fruit trees which were practical as well as ornamental. On June 5, 1736, landowner Daniel Wesshuysen advertised, A Plantation containing 200 Acres…An orchard well planted with peach, apple, cherry, fig and plumb trees; a vineyard of about two years growth planted with 1200 vines; a nursery of 5 or 500 mulberry trees about two years old, fit to plant out” in the South Carolina Gazette.

Eliza Lucas Pinckney wrote in 1742, "I have planted a large figg orchard with design to dry and export them. I have reckoned my expense and the prophets to arise from these figgs.”  Nearly 20 years later in 1761 she was still fretting about a nursery when she wrote, "I will endeavor to make amends and not only send the Seeds but plant a nursery here to be sent you in plants at 2 years old.”

David Ramsay noted that Henry Laurens’ Charleston garden wasenriched with everything useful and ornamental that Carolina produced or his extensive mercantile connections enabled him to procure from remote parts of the world. Among a variety of other curious productions, he introduced olives, capers, limes, ginger, guinea grass, the alpine strawberry, bearing nine months in the year, red raspberries, blue grapes; and also directly from the south of France, apples, pears, and plums of fine kinds, and vines which bore abundantly of the choice white eating grape called Chasselates blancs."  Gardeners up an down the Atlantic seacoast experimented with growing grapes for wine throughout the eighteenth century.

Drayton Plantation

Trees - Clumps, Groves, and Thickets

Owners of larger plantations also used clumps of trees for shade and decoration. They often intentionally planted clusters of trees or thickets of shrubs on the pleasure grounds near their dwellings to relieve the monotony of open ground. Some South Carolinians were lucky enough to have their clumps ready made. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt noted on his 1796 visit to Drayton Hall, "The Garden here is better laid out…in order to have a fine garden, you have nothing to do but to let the trees standing here and there, or in clumps, to plant bushes in front of them, and arrange the trees according to their height. Dr. Drayton’s father…began to lay out the garden on this principle and his son…has pursued the same plan."
Drayton Plantation

Trees - Bird-songs, Dovecotes

Landowners also took advantage of shady groves, which were small clusters of large, spreading shade trees either occurring naturally and intentionally left in the landscape or purposefully planted in the pleasure grounds near a swelling in the eighteen century. Usually the term grove referred to large trees whose branches produced food attracting local songbirds. At Crowfield Eliza Lucas Pinckney noted “a thicket of young tall live oaks where a variety of Airry Chorristers pour forth their melody.”

Birds were prized in South Carolina for both their songs and their taste. In the South Carolina Gazette on June 5, 1736, an advertisement for the sale of a plantation near Goose Creek offered “A Plantation containing 200 Acres…a necessary-house neatly built, and above it a dove-house with nests for 50 pairs of pigeons.” And a 1772 ad in the South Carolina and American General Gazette offered a plantation to be rented on the Ashley River near Charleston which contained “two well contrived AVIARIES.”

Dovecote from Shirlet Plantation

But Eliza Lucas Pinckney also realized that to some colonials, a grove was a solemn place for spiritual contemplation. She worried about the symbolism when she wrote to a friend in 1742, "You may wonder how I could in the gay season think of planting a Cedar grove, which rather reflects an Autumnal gloom and solemnity than the freshness and gayty of spring. But so it is…I intend then to connect in my grove the solemnity (not the solidity) of summer or autumn with the cheerfulness and pleasures of spring, for it shall be filled with all kind of flowers, as well wild as Garden flowers, with seats of Camomoil and here and there a fruit tree-oranges, nectrons, Plumbs."

A 1770s poem commemorates Alexander Garden’s Otranto near Charleston, “There midst the grove, with unassuming guise/But rural neatness, see the mansion rise!”

Trees - Wilderness, Mazes, and Labyrinths

South Carolina planters also adopted the European concept of wilderness for their pleasure grounds. A wilderness was an ornamental grove of trees, thicket, or mass of shrubbery intentionally set in a remote area of an eighteenth century pleasure ground, pierced by walks often forming a maze or labyrinth. Gardeners designed these green puzzles to confound guests as well as to offer cool exercise and privacy for courting.

On February 2, 1734, a landowner advertised in the South Carolina Gazette "To Be Let or Sold…A delightful Wilderness with shady Walks and Arbours, cool in the hottest seasons.” In May, 1743, Eliza Lucas Pinckney wrote of William Middleton’s Crowfield, "My letter will be of unreasonable length if I don’t pass over the mounts, Wilderness, etc.”

Plants - Beds, Edging, and Borders

However, trees and water did not push traditional garden components out of South Carolina gardens, especially those gardens on smaller plots in the town of Charleston. The flower knots mentioned in the May 22, 1749 South Carolina Gazette ad were flower beds formed into curious, intricate, and fanciful figures meant to please the eye especially when seen from a higher elevation such as a second story window, a mount, or a belvedere. Gardeners planned knot designs to be symmetrical. Sometimes they imitated the intricate shapes and patterns of the embroidery and cut work done by contemporary needleworkers. Flower knots were separated by paths and walks. The length of the flower know was generally about one and a third times the width, sometimes up to one and a half times but seldom longer. Beds separated by narrow paths were usually mirror images with patterns repeated at the ends and sides of quarters.

The term bed commonly was used to describe a level or smooth piece of ground in a garden, often somewhat raised for the better cultivation of the plants with which it is filled. Often beds were also referred to as squares, and they were usually designed in geometric shapes. Beds were separated by walkways and were often two, three, or four times the width of the central garden walks. Most beds were used to grow vegetables, although beds of flowers certainly existed in eighteenth century South Carolina. In 1756, Martha Daniell Logan advised, “Trim and dress your Asparagus-Bed.”


South Carolina gardeners also planted hedges or bushes or woody plants in a row to act as defensive fences, decorative land dividers, or windbreaks. On May 22, 1749 notice was given in the South Carolina Gazette that land, “Will be raffled…a garden, genteelly laid out in walks and alleys, with… cassini and other hedges.” Charles Fraser remembered that in the 1790s in Charleston, "Watson’s gardens (was), a beautiful cultivated piece of ground, between Meeting and King-streets..adorned with shrubbery and hedges.”

Water - Basons and Canals

Water played a more important part in colonial South Carolina gardens than those to the north. Gardeners often dug basons or reservoirs of water into their pleasure grounds near their dwellings. In 1743 Eliza Lucas Pinckney wrote that at William Middleton’s Crowfield, “As you draw nearer…a spacious bason in the midst of a large green presents itself as you enter the gate that leads to the house..” Richard Lake advertised in the South Carolina Gazette on January 30, 1749, “To be sold…a very large garden…with a variety of pleasant walks, mounts, basons, and canals.”

Some affluent south Carolina homeowners constructed artificial canals near their gardens and homes, some were even navigable. These waterways afforded irrigation, decoration, and fish. On May 22, 1749, the South Carolina Gazette noted that in Charleston land was to be, “raffled…a garden…at the end of which is a canal supplied with fresh springs of water, about 300 feet long, with fish.” A French traveller wrote in 1769 that at Middleton Place, “the river which flows in a circuitous course, until it reaches this point, forms a wide, beautiful canal, pointing straight to the house.”

Water - Fountains, Cascades, Grottoes, and Bath Houses

More elaborate waterworks were also available to South Carolinians. On November 17, 1752, in the South Carolina Gazette a professional garden architect offered, “To Gentlemen…as have a taste in pleasure..gardens…may depend on laving them laid out, leveled, and drained in the most compleat manner, and politest taste, by the subscriber, who perfectly understands…erecting water works…fountains, cascades, grottos.” A cascade is an artificial rocky waterfall that noisily breaks the water as it flows over stone steps. In the eighteenth century, cascades usually were designed so that the water splashed over evenly stepped stone breaks with a slight lip on the top of each course. A grotto is an artificial subterraneous cavern meant to add mystery, ornament, coolness, bathing, and privacy to a garden.

Some South Carolina grounds contained bath houses sitting ready for a cooling dip. In 1733 an ad in the South Carolina Gazette noted “A Plantation about two Miles above Goose-Creek Bridge..[had] frames, Planks & to be fix’d in and about a Spring within 3 Stones throw of the House, intended for a Cold Bath, and a House over it.”

Charles Fraser (1782-1860). Entrance to Ashley Hall with Fishpond near Charleston, South Carolina.

Water - Fish Ponds

But by far the most popular South Carolina garden water decoration was also the most practical, a fish pond. Landowners usually dug these ponds close to their homes to serve as an artificial fresh water reservoir stocked with fish. On August 4, 1733 an advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette noted, “To be sold…a garden on each side of the House…a fish-pond well stored with pearch, roach, pike, eels, and cat-fish.” In the same paper on June 5, 1736 another ad told of a “Plantation containing 200 Acres…An artificial fish-pond, always supplied by fresh water springs, and well stored with several sorts of fish.”

Eliza Lucas Pinckney described Crowfield’s pond in May, 1743, “a large fish pond with a mount rising out of the middle--the top of which is level with the dwelling house and upon it as a roman temple. On each side of this are, other large fish ponds.” (13) Another South Carolina Gazette notice on July 13, 1745 advertised, “To be sold…six Acres of Land, with a Dwelling house, Kitchen, two Summer houses, a large Garden and a Fish Pond.” A similar South Carolina Gazette ad on July 9, 1748, noted property, “TO BE SOLD…a beautiful Pond, supplied with Fish at the End of the Garden.” Richard Lake’s January 30, 1749 South Carolina Gazette notice also promoted “a very large garden…with a large fish-pond.” Again on May 22 of 1749 a South Carolina Gazette ad touted “a kitchen garden, at the end of which is a canal supplied with fresh springs of water, about 300 feet long, with fish.”

On June 18, 1753, William Murray advised John Murray Esquire of Murraywhaithe of Charleston, “You’ll certainly dig a Fish pond & another for geese & Ducks & one Swan.” Charles Fraser remembered French Quarter Creek near Charleston as the Seat of the Lake Bishop Smith “Brabant, or Brabants…having a fine garden, shrubbery and ornamental lake…long known as ‘the Bishop Fish Pond’.”

Plants - Greenhouses and Botanical

Some South Carolina gardeners planted tender plants in wooden-box beds and pots in glass greenhouses where delicate plants could be pampered away from winter weather. An advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette on November 14, 1748 offered a, “Dwelling-house…also a large Garden, with two neat Green Houese for sheltering exotic Fruit Trees, and Grape-Vines.” Exotic plants captured the fancy of colonials early in the century; and by the end of the eighteenth century, formal botanical gardens dotted the Atlantic coast. These were both outdoor and indoor, public and private garden areas, where proud collectors displayed a variety of curious plants for purposes of science, education, status and art.

One notice in the Charleston Courier on May 11, 1807 extolled the “Botanick Garden of South Carolina…as large a collection of plants, as any garden in the United States, and it is peculiarly rich in rate and valuable exoticks…Lovers of science…acquire a knowledge of the most beautiful and interesting of the works of nature. The Florist may be gratified with viewing the productions of the remotest clime, and the Medical Botanist with the objects of his study…affords an agreeable recreation both to those who visit it merely for amusement, and who seek…information.”

Sites and Sights - Seated, Command, Eminence, 
Vistas and Prospects

Collecting rare plants gave the colonial gardener status, but even more important was where the owner built his home and how he designed and maintained the grounds surrounding it. South Carolina homeowners in the eighteenth century knew that their home and grounds were a direct reflection of themselves and other ability to control their affairs. The eighteenth century was the culmination of thousands of years of agrarian society. The nineteenth century would bring the industrial revolution. But until then, mankind based its economy on its ability to manipulate nature in order to raise an trade crops. The work day was measured by the rising and the setting of the sun. One strong storm or flood could ruin a year’s work. And when people could raise enough crops and food to sustain a comfortable life, they challenged nature even further by manipulating their outdoor environment into a living art form, a garden. Most societies even gave the garden religious symbolism. The garden was the balancing point between human control on the one hand and mystical nature on the other. In the garden one could create an idealized, highly personal order of nature and culture.

Visitors judged both towns and homes on where and how they were planned by their originators. Both houses and towns were esteemed if they were “seated” on the highest “eminences” with the most advantageous “prospects” and “vistas.” Lord Adam Gordon visited Charleston on December 8. 1764; and he declared that “The Town of Charleston is very pleasantly Seated, at the conflux of two pretty rivers, from which all the Country product is brought down, and in return all imported goods are sent up the Country.” Towns and houses were noted to “command” vistas and prospects of the neighboring countryside. There was a component of inherent power in being able to survey and control the land around.

When Jedidiah Morse wrote his 1789 American Geography he noted that in Charleston, "The streets from east to west extend from river to river, and running in a straight line…open beautiful prospects each way…These streets are intersected by others, nearly at right angles, and throw the town into a number of squares, with dwelling houses in front, and office houses and little gardens behind.”

Colonial men usually planned the home and garden sites and escorted visitors around the grounds; bit the colonial woman usually managed the maintenance of the garden once it was in place. Henry Laurens noted in 1763, “Mrs. Laurens is greatly disappointed, as she is not yet able…to get into our new House & become mistress of that employment which she most delights in, the cultivating & ornamenting her Garden.”

A French visitor reflected on the site of a “small plantation, named Fitterasso..situated on a small eminence near the river. The site for the house, for none has hitherto been built, is the most pleasant spot which should be chosen in this flat, level country, where the tedious sameness of the woods is scarcely variegated by some houses, thinly scattered and where it is hardly possibly to meet with a pleasant landscape. His garden is separated from the River by a morass, neatly drained; the whole extent of the northern bank of the river is nearly of the same description. Dr. Baron intends to purchase the intervening space, and to convert it into meadow-ground. This alteration will improve the prospect, without rendering it a charming vista.”

A February 2, 1734 advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette offered a house, "on an island which commands an entire prospect of the Harbor.” The term prospect appears time and again in colonial references to gardens. A prospect was an extensive or commanding sight or view of vital importance in closing a site for a dwelling or garden in the eighteenth century. When describing William Middleton’s mount at Crowfield in 1743, Eliza Lucas Pinckney noted, upon it as a roman temple. On each side of this are other large fish ponds properly disposed which form a fine prospect of water from the house.”

On May 22, 1749, the house “Belonging to Alexander Gordon…From the house Ashley and Cooper rivers are seen, and all around are vista’s and pleasant prospects” was advertised in the South Carolina Gazette. Vistas were planned as intentional viewpoints for surveying pleasant aspects of the adjoining landscape in eighteenth century gardens and pleasure grounds up and down the Atlantic seacoast.

Sites and Sights - Mounts

Colonial gardeners often constructed artificial viewing sights to survey their gardens and the nearby countryside. These mounts usually consisted of a pile of earth heaped up to be used as the base for another structure such as a summerhouse or as an elevated site for surveying the adjoining landscape or as an elevated post for defensive reconnaissance or just a spot for fresh and cooling air in the summer. Occasionally gardeners planted their mounts with ornamental trees and shrubs. Mounts were often formed from the earth left from digging of cellars and foundations. Walks leading up the slope of a mount sometimes had their breadth contracted at the top by one half to add the illusion of greater length.

Eliza Lucas Pinckney described Crowfield’s mount in 1743, “to the bottom of this charming sport where is a large fish pond with a mount rising out of the middle--the top of which is level with the dwelling house and upon it is a roman temple.”  Many gardeners constructed more than one mount on their grounds. An advertisement offered for sale "a very large garden both for pleasure and profit, with a variety of pleasant walks, mounts, basons, canals” in the South Carolina Gazette on January 30, 1749.

Mounts and bowling greens were components of English gardens long before the natural garden movement swept England in the eighteenth century. Colonials looked to traditional English garden design for their models as an ad in the 1739 South Carolina Gazette attests, “To be sold a Plantation…on Ashley River, within three Miles of Charleston…the Gardens are extensive, pleasant and profitable, and abound with all sorts of Fruit trees, and resemble old England the most of any in the Province.”

Bowling Greens

The British American colonial bowling green evolved from a formal space dedicated to playing bowls to an open level green where people gathered for recreation and social affairs. Bowling greens were found in both public and private garden spaces and offered a smooth level turfed lawn which certainly could be used for playing bowls. Bowling greens could be circular or rectangular, those often measuring 100’ x 200’, and they were often sunken below the general level of the ground surrounding it. Eliza Lucas Pinckney noted that at Crowfield, “is a large square boleing green sunk a little below the level of the rest of the garden with a walk quite round composed of a double row of fine large flowering Laurel and Catalpas which form both shade and beauty.”

Sometimes called a square in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century America, the bowling green offered beauty and ornament as well as recreation. Bowling greens appeared early in South Carolina. A traveler noted on July 30, 1666, in Port Royal South Carolina, “a plaine place before the great round house for their bowling recreation.” An ad in the South Caroline Gazette on October 10, 1740 noted, TO BE LET…the house near Mrs. Trott’s Pasture, where the Bowling Green sits.”

Arbors and Bowers

South Carolina garden planners often trained plants into living arbors or bowers, which were open structures formed from trees, shrubs, or vines closely planted and twined together to be self-supporting or climbing up latticework frames. The size of eighteenth century arbors varied greatly. Arbors offered shade, privacy, or protection to many people such as gatherings of troops, picnickers, or worshipers or to a few people such as an arbor over as bench in a garden. Some colonials referred to a shaded alley or walkway as an arbor. On February 2, 1734, a landowner advertised in the South Carolina Gazette property “with shady Walks and Arbours, cool in the hottest seasons.”

English Style - Natural, Romantic

Certainly components and concepts of the natural English garden abounded in the South Carolina countryside as Eliza Lucas Pinckney noted in mid-century. Apparently she planter her fig orchard in something other than rigid rows. In April, 1742 she wrote, “I have planted a large figg orchard…but was I to tell you…how to be laid out you would think me far gone in romance.” She also noted at Crowfield that From the back door is a spacious walk a thousand foot long; each side of which nearest the house is a grass plat enameled in a Serpenting manner with flowers.” 

Another natural garden component was the use of vines trained to grow up wood and brick walls and columns of dwellings and outbuildings offering fruit, decoration, shade, bird food, and fragrance. In 1743 Pinckney noted that Middleton’s "house stands a mile from, but in sight of the road…as you draw nearer new beauties discover themselves, first the fruitful Vine mantleing up the wall loaded with delicious Clusters.”

Despite the preponderance of traditional English garden components, South Carolinians attempted to adopt the new English garden designs which were more natural than geometric. Even so, a French traveler noted in 1796 that Middleton “is esteemed the most beautiful house in this part of the country…The ensemble of these buildings calls to recollection the ancient English country seats…badly kept…the garden is beautiful, but kept in the same manner as the house.”

As late as 1806 emulation of English gardening concepts was a selling point as property changed hands in South Carolina. In the Charleston Courier in 1806 an advertisement for a plantation for sale outside of Charleston noted “the handsomest Garden in the state, and laid out when belonging to the late Mr. Williamson, by English Gardeners…and has since been much improved and additions made also by another English Gardener.”

South Carolina gardeners used the beauties of the natural countryside and adopted those European concepts that were both pleasing to the senses and practical to adorn the landscape they worked and played in daily. Whether these Carolina gardeners possessed a formal education and knew of Dutch, French, and English garden influences or knew nothing of classic design, most of them maintained their grounds as an art form, where they manipulated nature into their own unique concepts of order, utility, and beauty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Early American Plant Lists - Thomas Jefferson's Kitchen Herbs

Thomas Jefferson’s Plant List From His Garden Book, 1767-1821 Dates refer to first mention of a plant in Jefferson’s documents, which include Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, edited by Edwin Betts, 1944, unpublished memoranda at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Library of Congress and Princeton University Library. Quotation marks designate varieties undescribed in the literature and are generally Jefferson’s personal names.
List compiled by Peter Hatch.


Pimpinella anisum Anise @1820
Ocimum basilicum Basil @1820
Carum carvi Caraway @1820
Chamaemelum nobile Chamomile 1794
Coriandrum sativum Coriander @1820
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop 1794
Lavandula angustifolia Lavender 1794
Melissa officinalis Lemon Balm 1794
Origanum vulgare Marjoram, Pot @1820
Origanum Majorana Marjoram, Sweet 1794
Althea officinalis Marshmallow 1794
Mentha sp. Mint 1794
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary 1794
Ruta graveolens Rue 1794
Salvia officinalis Sage 1794
Satureja hortensis Savory, Summer @1820
Satureja montana Savory, Winter 1820
Artemisia abrotanum Southernwood 1794
Tanacetum vulgare Tansy 1794
Artemisia Dracunculus var. sativa Tarragon, French 1806
Thymus vulgaris Thyme 1794
Artemisia Absinthium Wormwood 1794

Early American Plant Lists - 1802 Catalog - Bernard McMahon - Philadelphia

Bernard McMahon - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Ireland, Bernard McMahon moved to Philadelphia in 1776 and by 1802 had established a seedhouse. In 1802 published a broadsheet catalog that included 720 species and varieties of seeds and roots. This was America’s first seed catalog.  Southern Garden History Plant Lists

Sold by Bernard McMahon, Seedsman, No. 129, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
The Generic and Specific Names and Distinctions, according to the Sexual System of the celebrated LINNAEUS, are annexed to the common, for the use of such Ladies, Gentlemen, and Gardeners, as wish to become scientifically
acquainted with the Plants they cultivate.

Listed in the following categories, the list has been sorted alphabetically by the botanical name.


McMAHON'S Generic & Specific names McMAHON'S Common Names

Acer pennsylvanicum Pennsylvannia Maple
Acer pseudo platanus Sycamore, Great Maple
Acer rubrum Red Flowering Maple
Acer saccharinum Sugar Maple
Achillea ageratum Sweet Milfoil, Maudlin
Achillea Ptarmica Sneeze-wort, Milfoil
Aconitum napellus Monk's hood
Adonis autumnalis Flos Adonis
Aesculus Hippocastanum Common Horse Chestnut
Aesculus Pavia Scarlet Flowering Horse
Agrostemma coronaria Painted Lady, Rose Campion
Agrostemma coronaria Red Rose Campion
Agrostemma coronaria White Rose Campion
Alcea chinensis China Hollyhock
Alcea rosea Double Holyhock
Allium ascalonicum Schallot
Allium Cepa ‘Deptford’ Deptford Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Long Keeping’ Long Keeping Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Portugal’ Portugal Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Red Spanish’ Red Spanish Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Silver Skinned’ Silver Skinned Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Strasburg’ Strasburg Onion
Allium Cepa ‘Tree Onion’ Tree Onion
Allium Cepa ‘White Spanish’ White Spanish Onion
Allium fistulosum ‘Welsh Onion’ Welsh Onion
Allium Porrum Broad English Leek
Allium sativum Garlick
Allium Scorodoprasum Rocambole
Alllium Schoenoprasum Chives
Aloe africana Aloe
Althea officinalis Marsh Mallow
Alyssum minimum Sweet Alysson
Amaranthus bicolor Bicolor Amaranthus
Amaranthus caudatus Love-lies-bleeding
Amaranthus hypocondriacus Prince's Feather
Amaranthus maximus Tree Amaranthus
Amaranthus spica Spike Amaranthus
Amaranthus tricolor Tricolor Amaranthus
Anagalis arvensis Pimpernel
Anemone coronaria Anemone
Anemone Hepatica Hepatica
Anemone hortensis Double Anemone
Anemone pulsatilla Pasque-flower
Anethum azoricum Finochia
Anethum dulce Sweet Fennel
Anethum Goeniculum Common Fennel
Anethum graveolens Dill
Angelica archangelica Garden Angelica
Annona triloba Papaw Tree
Antirrhinum Toad Flax
Antirrhinum majus Red Snapdragon
Antirrhinum majus White Snapdragon
Antirrhinum viscosum Spanish Snap-Dragon
Apium crispum Curled Parsley
Apium graveolens North's Large Celery
Apium graveolens Smallage
Apium graveolens ‘Italian’ Italian Celery
Apium graveolens ‘Solid’ Solid Celery
Apium radice esculenta ‘Large Rooted’ Hamburg Parsley
Apium rapacca Turnep Rooted Celery, Celeriac
Apium sativum Common Parsley
Aquilegia canadensis Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis Double Columbine
Aralia spinosa Angelica Tree
Arbutus Arbutus, Strawberry-Tree
Arbutus uva ursi Trailing Arbutus
Argemone mexicana Mexican Poppy
Artemesia Absinthium Wormwood
Artemisia Dracunculus Tarragon
Asparagus vulgaris
Asparagus vulgaris
Asparagus vulgaris ‘Large
Aster chinensis Double Blue China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Purple China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Purple China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Purple Striped China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Red Bonnet China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Red China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Red Striped China Aster
Aster chinensis Double Striped China Aster
Aster chinensis Double White China Aster
Aster chinensis Double White China Aster
Aster chinensis Quilled China Aster
Astragalus uliginosus Milk Vetch
Atriplex hortensis Orrach
Azalea nudiflora Upright Honeysuckle
Bellis perennis fistulosa Double Quilled Daisy
Bellis perennis hortensis Double Daisy
Berberis canadensis Canada Berberry
Berberis vulgaris Berberry
Beta vulgaris Long Red Beet
Beta vulgaris Mangel Worzel, Root of Beet, Root of Scarcity
Beta vulgaris Turnep Rooted Red Beet
Betula alba vulgaris White Birch
Betula Alnus Common Alder
Betula Alnus glauca Silver leaved Alder
Betula papyracea Paper Birch
Bignonia Catalpa Catalpa
Bignonia radicans Red Trumpet Flower
Borago officinalis Borage
Brassica Botrytis Large Late Cauliflower
Brassica Botrytis True Early Cauliflower
Brassica capitata Red Pickling Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Early Battersea’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Early Heart Shaped’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Early Russia’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Early Sugarloaf’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Early York’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Large Battersea’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Large Drum-headed’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Large English’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Large Flat Dutch’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata ‘Late Sugarloaf’ Cabbage
Brassica capitata Large Scotch Cabbage Cabbage
Brassica caulorapa Turnep, Rooted Cabbage
Brassica caulorapa Turnep, Rooted Cabbage
Brassica italica White Cauliflower, Brocoli
Brassica ‘Early Green’ Brocoli
Brassica ‘Early Purple’ Brocoli
Brassica ‘Large Late Purple’ Brocoli
Brassica napus Cole, Rape
Brassica napus Common Colewort
Brassica napus Jerusalem Kale
Brassica napus Rape
Brassica Rapa Early Dutch Turnep
Brassica Rapa Early Green Turnep
Brassica Rapa Early Stone Turnep
Brassica Rapa Large Norfolk Field Turnep
Brassica Rapa Large Red Turnep
Brassica Rapa Large Tankard Turnep
Brassica Rapa White Round Turnep
Brassica Rapa Yellow Turnep
Brassica saubauda Anjou Savoy Cabbage
Brassica saubauda Green Savoy Cabbage
Brassica saubauda Milan Savoy, Savoy Cabbage
Brassica saubauda Yellow Savoy Cabbage
Brassica subellica Brown Curled Borecole
Brassica subellica Brussels Sprouts
Brassica subellica Green Curled Borecole
Browallia scoparia Browallia
Bupleurum rotundifolium Annual Hare's-Ear
Calendula Cape Marigold
Caltha palustris Double Pot Marigold
Calycanthus floridus Calycanthus
Campanula medium Blue Canterbury Bells
Campanula medium White Canterbury Bells
Campanula persicifolia Peach-leaved Bell-flower
Campanula pyrimidalis Pyrimidal Bell-Flower
Campanula Rapunculoides Nettle-leaved Bell-Flower
Campanula Rapunculus Rampion
Campanula speculum Venus's Looking Glass
Canna Cannacorus Scarlet Indian Shoot
Canna Cannacorus Yellow Indian Shoot
Cannabis sativa Hemp
Capsicum frutescens True Cayenne Pepper
Capsicum indicum Cherry Pepper, Capsicum
Capsicum indicum Large Globe Pepper,
Capsicum indicum Large Heart Pepper,
Capsicum indicum Long Drooping Pepper, Capsicum
Capsicum indicum Long Orange Pepper,
Capsicum indicum Long Small Upright Pepper, Capsicum
Capsicum indicum Long Yellow Pepper,
Capsicum indicum Red, Guinea Pepper
Cardamine pratensis Lady's Smock
Cardiospermum corindum Heart Pea
Carpinus betulus vulgaris Hornbeam
Carpinus ostrya Hop Hornbeam
Carum Carvi Carawary
Cathamus tinctorius Bastard Saffron
Ceanothus americanus New-Jersey Tea-Tree
Celosia cristata Branching Cockscomb
Celosia cristata Buff Cockscomb
Celosia cristata Giant Crimson Cockscomb
Celosia cristata Purple Cockscomb
Celosia cristata White Cockscomb
Celosia cristata Yellow Cockscomb
Celtis occidentalis Nettle Tree
Centaurea Cyanus Blue Cyanus
Centaurea Cyanus Purple Cyanus
Centaurea Cyanus Red Cyanus
Centaurea Cyanus Striped Cyanus
Centaurea Cyanus White Cyanus
Centaurea moschata Purple Sweet Sultan
Centaurea moschata Red Sweet Sultan
Centaurea moschata White Sweet Sultan
Centaurea moschata Yellow Sweet Sultan
Cephalanthus occidentalis Button Tree
Cercis canadensis Judas Tree
Cerinthe majus Great Purple Honey-wort
Cheiranthus annuus French Ten Week Stock
Cheiranthus annuus Prussian Ten Week Stock
Cheiranthus annuus Purple Ten Week Stock
Cheiranthus annuus Scarlet Ten Week Stock
Cheiranthus annuus White Ten Week Stock
Cheiranthus cheiri Bloody Wallflower
Cheiranthus cheiri Yellow Wallflower
Cheiranthus incanus Queen's Stock, Gilliflower
Cheiranthus incanus Twickenham Stock
Cheiranthus incanus albus White Stock, Gilliflower
Cheiranthus incanus coccineus Scarlet Brompton Stock, Gilliflower
Cheiranthus incanus glabrus
Cheiranthus maritimus Virginian Stock
Chelidonium minus Celedine
Chenepodium scoparia Belvidere, Summer
Chenopodium glaucum Oak-leaved Chenopodium
Chionanthus virginica Fringe Tree
Chrysanthemum coronarium Double White Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum coronarium Double White Quilled Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum coronarium Double Yellow Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum coronarium Double Yellow Quilled Chrysanthemum
Cichorium endiva Broad Batavian Endive
Cichorium endiva Green Curled Endive
Cichorium endiva White Curled Endive
Cochlearia officinalis Scurvy-grass
Coix Lacryma jobi Job's Tears
Colchicum autumnalis Colchicum
Colutea arborescens Bladder Senna
Colutea frutescens Scarlet Colutea
Convolvulus batatas Sweet Potatoes
Convolvulus hederaceous Ivy leaved Convovulus
Convolvulus lusitanicus Blue Con. Minor Convovulus
Convolvulus purpureus Blue Con. Major Convovulus
Convolvulus rubra Red Con. Major Convovulus
Convolvulus tricolor Striped Con. Major Convovulus
Coriandrum sativum Coriander
Crambe maritima Sea Kale, Sea Cabbage
Crataegus coccinea Cockspur Hawthorn
Crataegus oxyacantha English Hawthorn
Crepia rubra Purple Hawkweed
Crocus autumnalis Blue Autumnal Crocus
Crocus sativus officinalis True Cultivated Saffron
Crocus sativus vernus Blue Spring Crocus
Crocus sativus vernus Yellow Spring Crocus
Cucumis Anguria (in sorts) Water Melons
Cucumis colocyntha Coliquintida, Bitter Gourd
Cucumis Melo Black Rock Melon
Cucumis Melo Carbuncled Rock Melon
Cucumis Melo Early Cantaloupe Melon
Cucumis Melo Early Jerusalem Melon
Cucumis Melo Early Rocket Melon
Cucumis Melo Early Romana Melon
Cucumis Melo Golden Rock Melon
Cucumis Melo Green Fleshed Melon
Cucumis Melo Green Fleshed Nutmeg Melon
Cucumis Melo Japan Rock Melon
Cucumis Melo Large Mogul Melon
Cucumis Melo Musk Melon
Cucumis Melo minus Dwarf Melon
Cucumis Melo minus Jerusalem Pickle
Cucumis Melo minus Pomegranate Melon
Cucumis sativus Early Frame Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Early Prickley Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Green Cluster Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Green Roman Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Long Green Turkey Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Long Prickley Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Long White Turkey Cucumber
Cucumis sativus Short Prickley Cucumber
Cucurbita Melopepo
Cucurbita Pepo Cashaw Pumpkin
Cucurbita Pepo Pumpkin
Cucurbita Pepo Thick Fleshed Italian Pumpkin
Cucurbita verrucosa Warted Gourds
Cupressus disticha Deciduous Cypress
Cupressus sempervirens Cypress
Cupressus thyoides White Ceda
Cyclamen autumnalis Autumnal Cyclamen
Cyclamen vernus Spring Cyclamen
Cynara cardunculus Cardoon
Cynoglossum linifolium Venus's Navel-Wort
Cytissus Laburnum Laburnum
Daphne Mezereum Mezereon
Datura Stramonium Double Purple Stramonium
Datura Stramonium Double White Stramonium
Datura tatula Thorn Apple
Daucus carota Early Horn Carrot
Daucus carota Long Orange Carrot
Delphinium ajacis Double Blue Rocket Larkspur
Delphinium ajacis Double Purple Larkspur
Delphinium ajacis Double Rose Larkspur
Delphinium ajacis Double Striped Blue Larkspur
Delphinium ajacis Double Striped White Larkspur
Delphinium ajacis Tall White Rocket Larkspur
Delphinium consolida Branched Larkspur
Delphinium elatum Bee Larkspur
Delphinium minus Dwarf Rocket Larkspur
Dianthus Caryophillus simplex Clove Pink
Dianthus Caryophillus simplex Manchester Pink
Dianthus Caryophillus simplex Pheasant-eyed Pink
Dianthus Caryophylus maximus Double Carnation
Dianthus chinensis Double China Pink
Dianthus imperialis Imperial Indian Pink
Dictamnus albus White Fraxinella
Dictamnus rubra Red Fraxinella
Digitalis alba White Foxglove
Digitalis ferruginia Iris-colured Fox-glove
Digitalis purpurea Purple Foxglove
Diospyros virginiana Persimmon, American
Dipsacus fullonum sativus Teasel
Dodecatheon Meadia Virginian Cowslip
Dracocephalon canariensis Balm of Gilead
Dracocephalon Moldavia Moldavian Balm
Echinops strigosus Globe Thistle
Ervum lens Lentils
Erythronium Dens Canis Dens Canis, Dog's Tooth
Euonymus europeus Spindle Tree
Euonymus sempervirens Evergreen Spindle Tree
Euphorbia lathyris Caper Spurge
Fagus Castanea Chesnut
Fagus ferruginea American Beech
Fagus pumila Chinquapin, Dwarf
Fagus sylvatica vulgaris Beech
Franklinia alatamaha Franklinia
Fraxinus americana Carolina Ash, Red Ash
Fraxinus excelsior English Ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica Pennsylvannian Ash
Fritillaria imperialis Crown Imperial
Fritillaria persica Persian Fritillary
Fumaria Capnoides White Fumitory
Galanthus nivalis Double Spring Snowdrop
Galanthus nivalis Single Spring Snowdrop
Gaultheria procumbens Mountain Tea
Genista italica Lucca Broom
Geranium africanum Geranium
Gleditsia tricanthos Three Thorned Acacia
Gomphrena Amaranthoides Purple Globe Amaranthus
Gomphrena Amaranthoides Spiked Amaranthus
Gomphrena Amaranthoides Striped Amaranthus
Gomphrena Amaranthoides White Globe Amaranthus
Gossypium Xylon americanum Green Seeded Upland Cotton
Halesia tetraptera Snowdrop Tree
Hedysarum coronarium Red French Honeysuckle
Hedysarum coronarium White French Honeysuckle
Hedysarum onobrychis Saintfoin
Helianthus annuus Tall Double Sunflower
Helianthus indicus Dwarf Double Sunflower
Hesperis tristis Night Smelling Rocket
Hibiscus brasiliensis Okra
Hibiscus syriacus Althaea Frutex, Syrian
Hibiscus trionum Bladder Ketmia
Hieracium aurantiacum Orange Mouse-ear
Hippocrepis unisiliquosa Horse-Shoes
Hyacinthus orientalis Double Hyacinth
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop
Iberis Candytuft
Iberis pyrimidalis Pyrimidal Candytuft
Iberis umbellata Normandy Candytuft
Iberis umbellata Purple Candytuft
Impatiens Yellow Balsam, Touch me
Impatiens Balsamina Balsam, Balsamine
Impatiens Balsamina Double Purple Stiped Balsam, Balsamine
Impatiens Balsamina Double Red Balsam, Balsamine
Impatiens Balsamina Double Red Striped Balsam, Balsamine
Impatiens Balsamina Double White Balsam, Balsamine
Impatiens Balsamina Immortal Eagle Flower
Ipomea coccinea Scarlet Ipomea
Ipomea Quamoclit Wing'd leaved Ipomoea
Iris persica Dwarf Persian Iris
Ixia chinensis Chinese Ixia
Juglans alba White Walnut
Juglans alba minima Pignut Hickory
Juglans alba odorata Balsalm Hickory
Juglans alba ovata Shell-barked Hickory
Juglans nigra Black Walnut
Juglans oblonga alba Butter Nut
Juniperus bermudiana Bermuda Cedar
Juniperus communis Common Juniper
Juniperus thurifera Spanish Juniper
Juniperus virginiana Red Cedar
Kalmia angustifolia American Laurel
Lactuca sativa Aleppo, Spotted Coss Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Brown Dutch Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Cabbage Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Capuchine Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Early Forcing Coss Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Egyptian Coss Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Grand Admiral Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Green Coss Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Hammersmith Hardy Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Honey Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Imperial Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Large Royal Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Mogul Lettuce
Lactuca sativa New Zealand Cabbage Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Prince's Cabbage Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Royal Cabbage Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Silicia Lettuce
Lactuca sativa Tennisball Lettuce
Lactuca sativa White Coss Lettuce
Lathyrus americanus Lord Anton's, Cape Horn
Lathyrus latifolius Everlasting Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Blue Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Painted Lady Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Purple Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Scarlet Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus White Sweet Pea
Lathyrus tingitanus Tangier Pea
Laurus Benzoin Benjamin Tree
Laurus nobilis Sweet Bay
Laurus Sassafras Sassafras Tree
Lavatera arborea Tree Mallow
Lavatera trimestris Red Lavatera
Lavatera trimestris White Lavatera
Lavendula spica Lavender
Lepidium crispum Curled Cress
Lepidium latifolium Broad-leaved Cress
Ligustrum vulgare Privet
Lilium candicum Jacobaea Lily
Linum flavum Perennial Flax
Linum usitatissimum Flax
Liquidamber styraciflua Sweet Gum
Liriodendron Tulipifera Tulip Tree, Poplar
Lithospermum officinalis Gromwell
Lobelia cardinalis Scarlet Cardinal's Flower
Lobelia silphilitica Blue Cardinal's Flower
Lotus tetragonolobus Winged Pea
Lunaria biennis Honesty, Satin Flower
Lupinus hirsutus Large Blue Lupin
Lupinus luteus Yellow Lupin
Lupinus pilosus Rose Lupin
Lupinus varius Small Blue Lupin
Lychnis chalcedonica Scarlet Lychnis
Lychnis viscaria Catchfly
Magnolia acuminata Cucumber Tree
Magnolia glauca Swamp Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora Laurel-leaved Magnolia
Malva crispa Curled Mallow
Malva orientalis Oriental Mallow
Malva peruviana Oriental Mallow
Martynia annus Martynia
Marubium vulgare Horehound
Matricaria Parthenium Feverfew
Medicago intertexta Hedgehogs
Medicago muricata Horns
Medicago sativa Lucern
Melia Azadarach Beed Tree
Melissa officinalis Balm
Mentha arvensis Corn Mint
Mentha piperita Pepper Mint
Mentha viridis Spear Mint
Mespilus canadensis Dwarf Red Medlar
Mespilus Pyracantha Pyracantha, Evergreen
Milium arundinaceum Guinea Corn
Milium effusum Millet
Mimosa humilis spinosa Sensitive Plant
Mirabilis Jalapa Gold Striped Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa Purple Striped Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa Red Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa Red Striped Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa White Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa White Striped Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis Jalapa Yellow Marvel of Peru
Mirabilis longiflora Sweet Scented Marvel of Peru
Momordica Elaterium Squirting Cucumber
Monarda fistulosa Crimson Monarda
Morus alba White Chinese Mulberry
Morus nigra Black Mulberry
Morus rubra Red Virginian Mulberry
Myrtus angustifolium Narrow leaved Myrtle
Myrtus latifolium Broad leaved Myrtle
Narcissus jonquilla Double Jonquil
Narcissus majus Great Daffodil
Narcissus tazetta Polyanthus Narcissus
Nepeta Cataria Nep, Catmint
Nerium Oleander Rose Bay
Nicotiana angustifolia Virginia narrow leaf'd Tobacco
Nicotiana rustica Common Tobacco
Nicotiana tabacum Virginia Broad leaf'd Tobacco
Nigella damascena Love in a Mist
Nigella hispanica Spanish Fennel Flower
Nolana prostrata Nolana
Nyssa sylvatica Upland Tupelo Tree
Ocymum minus Bush Basil
Ocymum vulgaris Sweet Basil
Oenothera biennis Primrose Tree
Origanum heracleoticum Winter Sweet Marjorum
Origanum Marjorana Knotted Marjorum
Origanum onites Pot Marjorum
Ornithogalum pyramidale Star of Bethlehem
Papaver dubium Double Carnation Poppy
Papaver nigra Maw
Papaver rhoeas Double Dwarf, Corn Poppy
Papaver somniferum White Poppy
Passiflora caerulea Passion Flower
Pastinaca sativa Large Dutch Parsnep
Phalaris canariensis Canary
Phaseolus coccineus Scarlet Bean
Phaseolus purpureus Purple Flowering Bean
Phaseolus purpureus White Flowering Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris Battersea Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Bishop's Black-eyed Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Black Speckled Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Canterbury Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Corn Running Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Cream colored Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Dwarf Dutch Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Lima Running Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Negro Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Purple Speckled Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Scarlet Runner Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris White Dutch Running Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris White Dwarf Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris Yellow Dwarf Beans
Phleum pratense Timothy-Grass
Phlox Purple Lychnidea
Phlox White Lychnidea
Physalis Alkekengi Alkekengi
Phytolacca decandra Poke
Pimpinella anisum Anise
Pinus Abies Norway Sprunce Fir
Pinus Abies alba White American Fir
Pinus Abies balsama Balm of Gilead Fir
Pinus Abies canadensis Hemlock Spruce Fir
Pinus Abies nigra Black American Fir
Pinus Abies picea Silver Fir
Pinus alopecuroides Fox-tail Pine
Pinus cedrus Cedar of Lebanon
Pinus inopa Jersey Pine
Pinus Larix Larch
Pinus pinaster Pinaster
Pinus pinea Stone Pine
Pinus resinosa White Pitch Pine
Pinus strobus New England Pine, White
Pinus sylvestris Scotch Pine
Pinus taeda Frankincense, Black Pitch
Pinus verginica Yellow Pine
Pisum sativum Blue Union Peas
Pisum sativum Crown, Rose Pea
Pisum sativum Crown, Rose Peas
Pisum sativum Dwarf Marrowfat Peas
Pisum sativum Dwarf Sugar Peas
Pisum sativum Early Charleton Peas
Pisum sativum Early Forcing Peas
Pisum sativum Early Frame Peas
Pisum sativum Early Golden Hotspur Peas
Pisum sativum Essex Reading Peas
Pisum sativum Field Peas
Pisum sativum Glory of England Peas
Pisum sativum Green Nonpareil Peas
Pisum sativum Green Rouncival Peas
Pisum sativum Large Marrowfat Peas
Pisum sativum Leadman's Dwarf Peas
Pisum sativum Nichol's Early Peas
Pisum sativum Spanish Dwarf Peas
Pisum sativum Spanish Morotto Peas
Pisum sativum Tall Crooked Sugar Peas
Pisum sativum White Rouncival Peas
Pisum sativum Whole and Split Peas
Pisum sativum Wrench's Hotspur Peas
Plantago media Plantain
Platanus occidentalis Western Plane
Poinciana pulcherrima Barbadoes Flower-Fence
Polemonium album White Greek Valerian
Polemonium coeruleum Blue Greek Valerian
Polyanthes tuberosa Double Tuberose
Polygonum Fagopyrum Buck Wheat
Polygonum orientale Persicaria
Poterium sanguisorba Garden Burnet
Primula Auricula Auricula
Primula elatior Polyanthus
Prinos verticullatus Black Alder, Winter-Berry
Prunus Lauro-cerasus Oriental Laurel
Prunus lusitanica Portugal Laurel
Quercus Suber Cork-Tree
Ranunculus Ficaria
Ranunculus asiaticus Double Persian
Ranunculus asiaticus Ranunculus
Raphanus sativus Black Spanish Radish
Raphanus sativus Early Frame Radish
Raphanus sativus Early Short-topped Radish
Raphanus sativus London Radish
Raphanus sativus Red Spanish Radish
Raphanus sativus Red Turnep Radish
Raphanus sativus Salmon Radish
Raphanus sativus White Short-topped Radish
Raphanus sativus White Spanish Radish
Raphanus sativus White Turnep Radish
Reseda Luteola Weld, Dyer's Weed
Reseda odorata Mignonette
Rheum raphonticum True Turkey Rhubarb
Rhododendron maximum Dwarf Rose Bay
Rhus Toxicodendron vernix Poison Sumach, Varnish
Rhus typhinum Virginian Sumach
Ricinus majus Palma Christi Major
Ricinus minus Palma Christi Minor
Robinia hispida Rose Acacia
Robinia pseudo acacia Virginia Acacia
Rumex Acetosa Garden Sorrel
Rumex scutatus French Sorrel
Ruta graveolens Rue
Salvia hispanica Spanish Sage
Salvia officinalis Sage
Salvia Sclarea Clary
Salvia violacea Purple Clary
Sanguisorba officinalis Field Burnet
Saponaria officinalis plena Double Soapwort
Satureja hortensis Summer Savory
Satureja montana Winter Savory
Scabiosa alba White Sweet Scabious
Scabiosa atropurpurea Purple Sweet Scabious
Scandix cerefollum Chervil
Scorpiurus vermiculata Caterpillars
Secale cereale hybernum Winter Rye
Secale cereale vernum Spring Rye
Senecio Jacobea Double Purple Jacobea
Senecio Jacobea Double White Jacobea
Silene armeris Red Lobel's Catchfly
Silene armeris White Lobel's Catchfly
Silene quinqus vulnera Dwarf Lychnis
Sinapis alba White Mustard
Sinapis nigra Brown Mustard
Sium Skirret
Smyrnium olusatrum Alisander, Alexander
Solanum Lycopersicum Love Apple
Solanum Lycopersicum Tomatoes, Love Apples
Solanum Melongena Purple Egg Plant
Solanum Melongena White Egg Plant
Solanum pseudo capsicum Jerusalem Cherry
Solanum tuberosum Potatoes
Soldanella alpina Soldanella
Solidago canadensis Golden Rod
Spartium junceum Spanish Broom
Spartium multiflorum White Portugal Broom
Spartium scoparium Common Broon
Spinacia oleracea Berry-headed Spinach
Spinacia oleracea Bordeaux Spinach
Spinacia oleracea Prickly Spinach
Spinacia oleracea Red Leaf'd Spinach
Spinacia oleracea Spinach
Spinacia oleracea Strawberry Spinach
Spirea ulmaria Meadow Sweet
Staphylea trifoliata Bladder Nut
Syringa alba White Lilac
Syringa violacea Purple Lilac
Tagetes erecta Double Lemon African Marigold
Tagetes erecta Double Lemon Quilled Marigold
Tagetes erecta Double Orange African Marigold
Tagetes erecta Double Orange Quilled Marigold
Tagetes petula Double French Marigold
Tagetes petula Sweet Scented Marigold
Tanacetum vulgare Tansey
Thuja occidentalis American Arbor Vita, Tree
Thymus serpyllum Lemon Thyme
Thymus vulgaris Thyme
Tilia americana Linden, Lime
Tradescantia virginica Virginian Spiderwort
Tragopogon purpureum Salsafy
Triconanthus Serpent Cucumber
Trifolium purpureum Red Clover
Trifolium repens White Dutch Clover
Trigonella Foenumgraecum Fenugreek
Triticum Summer Wheat
Triticum hybernum Winter Wheat, Lamas
Tropaolum majus Large Nasturtium
Tropaolum majus Small Indian Cress,
Tropaolum minus Large Nasturtium Nasturtium
Tropaolum minus Small Nasturtium
Tsuga chinensis Chinese Arbor Vite, Tree of
Tulipa gesneriana Tulip
Ulex europaeus Furze, Whins
Urica pilulifera Roman Nettle
Vaccinium hispidulum Cranberry
Valeriana locusta olitoria Corn Salad
Valeriana rubra Red Valerian
Verbascum Blattaria Moth Mullein
Veronica virginiana Veronica, Speedwell
Vicia Faba Beans
Vicia Faba Broad Spanish Beans
Vicia Faba Dwarf Beans
Vicia Faba Early Beans
Vicia Faba Early Hotspur Beans
Vicia Faba Early Lisbon Beans
Vicia Faba Green Genoa Beans
Vicia Faba Green Nonpareil Beans
Vicia Faba Horse Beans
Vicia Faba Large Token Beans
Vicia Faba Large Windsor Beans
Vicia Faba Mumford Beans
Vicia Faba Sandwich Beans
Vicia Faba Turkey Longpod Beans
Vicia Faba White Blossom Beans
Vicia sativa Common Vetch, Tare
Viola tricolor Heart's Ease
Vitis Burgundy Vines
Vitis Cape of Good Hope Vines
Vitis Lisbon Vines
Vitis Muscat of Alexandria Vines
Vitis vinifera Vines
Xeranthernum annuus Purple Xeranthernum
Xeranthernum annuus White Xeranthernum
Zanthosilum fraxinifolium Ash-leav'd Tooth-ache
Zea Mays Indian Corn
Zea Mays minus Chicken Corn
Zinnia multiflora Red Zinnia
Zinnia pauciflora Yellow Zinnia

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Water Cress

A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Cresses, Water

Cresses, Water,...grow in standing water, and may be propagated by throwing the seed in a standing water, and not cutting it the first year. From its agreeable warm taste, it is much esteemed in England, and is very good eating in Scorbutic cases, and is a great Dieuretic..

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

1709 John Lawson's Descriptions of the Carolina's Vegetables, Fruits, & Nuts

John Lawson (1674-1711) sailed from London to the Carolinas in 1700, when he was 26 years old, after a friend told him that the Carolinas were the best part of America to visit. He set sail almost immediately arriving 1st in New York, then traveling on to the port of Charles Town, modern Charleston, in the summer of 1700. From there he began a 57 day trek that covered nearly 600 miles. They journeyed up the Santee River in a canoe large enough to hold 6 Englishmen, 4 Indians, & their equipment. They traveled up the Yadkin River valley to present-day North Carolina. All along the way, John Lawson recorded his observations in what became his 1709 book, A New Voyage to Carolina.

When he returned to London to publish his book, Lawson reportedly met James Petiver—an apothecary known for his vast collection of natural history specimens. Petiver asked Lawson to send him specimens of dried plants, after he returned to the New World. Petiver also supplied Lawson with apothecary & botanical materials. Lawson asked Petiver for varieties of grape vines & stone fruits to take back to North Carolina, as well as information on making wine & distilling spirits. 

Lawson sailed back to North Carolina in the spring of 1710, & began fulfilling his promise to Petiver. He sent packets of dried plants to him in 1710 & 1711. The plants usually reached London some 3 months after being shipped out of Norfolk, Virginia. These dried plants eventually found their way to the Natural History Museum (British Museum), where they can be viewed today. Lawson began collecting plants even as he led colonists south toward New Bern. On May 10, 1710, he collected a huckleberry & wrote this note: “The largest huckleberry... green berries on the stem... we’ve gotten in Norfolk County in Virginia.” 

The winter of 1711, Lawson left New Bern during the last week of January. On January 29 he recorded collecting a “spontaneous of Carolina growing on a Fork of Neus River & in other places... had from flowers, like drops of blood a few... sweet herb.” Two days later, he stopped at William Hancock’s “on the south side on Neus Rv.” There, he collected specimens of American olive, which he described as “a pritty tree growing on a sandy point by the water side.” 

He founded 2 settlements in North Carolina: Bath & New Bern, both at the coast. In September 1711, Lawson & his associate Christopher von Graffenried were captured by Tuscarora Indians while ascending the Neuse River. The Tuscarora released von Graffenried, but they subjected Lawson to ritual torture, typical of warriors, & killed him. Shortly thereafter, tensions between the Tuscarora & their allies & settlers erupted into a bloody conflict known as the Tuscarora War, lasting until the defeat of the Tuscarora in 1715. The colonists gathered their own American Indian allies, especially from among the Yamasee & Cherokee, traditional enemies & competitors of the Tuscarora.

The plants Lawson gathered during this trip were sent to England from Virginia in July. Lawson’s last letter to Petiver was written in July 1711 from Virginia. Petiver got the letter in London on October 20, 1711, almost exactly a month after Lawson’s death.

A New Voyage to Carolina; Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of That Country: Together with the Present State Thereof. And A Journal of a Thousand Miles, Travel'd Thro' Several Nations of Indians. Giving a Particular Account of Their Customs, Manners, &c. by John Lawson 1709

Of the Corn of Carolina.


THE Wheat of this Place is very good, seldom yielding less than thirty fold, provided the Land is good where it is sown; Not but that there has been Sixty-six Increase for one measure sown in Piny-Land, which we account the meanest Sort. And I have been inform'd, by People of Credit, that Wheat which was planted in a very rich Piece of Land, brought a hundred and odd Pecks, for one. If our Planters, when they found such great Increase, would be so curious as to make nice Observations of the Soil, and other remarkable. Accidents, they would soon be acquainted with the Nature of the Earth and Climate, and be better qualified to manage their Agriculture to more Certainty, and greater Anvantage; whereby they might arrive to the Crops and Harvests of Babylon, and those other fruitful Countries so much talk'd of. For I must confess, I never saw one Acre of Land manag'd as it ought to be in Carolina, since I knew it; and were they as negligent in their Husbandry in Europe, as they are in Carolina, their Land would produce nothing but Weeds and Straw.


 They have try'd Rye, and it thrives very well; but having such Plenty of Maiz, they do not regard it, because it makes black Bread, unless very curiously handled.


 Barley has been sowed in small quantities, and does better than can be expected; because that Grain requires the Ground to be very well work'd with repeated Ploughings, which our general Way of breaking the Earth with Hoes, can, by no means, perform, tho' in several Places we have a light, rich, deep, black Mould, which is the particular Soil in which Barley best thrives.


The naked Oats thrive extraordinary well; and the other would prove a very bold Grain; but the Plenty of other Grains makes them not much coveted.


 The Indian Corn, or Maiz, proves the most useful Grain in the World; and had it not been for the Fruitfulness of this Species, it would have proved very difficult to have settled some of the Plantations in America. It is very nourishing, whether in Bread, sodden, or otherwise; And those poor Christian Servants in Virginia, Maryland, and the other northerly Plantations, that have been forced to live wholly upon it, do manifestly prove, that it is the most nourishing Grain, for a Man to subsist on, without any other Victuals. And this Assertion is made good by the Negro-Slaves, who, in many Places, eat nothing but this Indian Corn and Salt. Pigs and Poultry fed with this Grain, eat the sweetest of all others. It refuses no Grounds, unless the barren Sands, and when planted in good Ground, will repay the Planter seven or eight hundred fold; besides the Stalks bruis'd and boil'd, make very pleasant Beer, being sweet like the Sugar-Cane.


There are several sorts of Rice, some bearded, others not, besides the red and white; But the white Rice is the best. Yet there is a sort of persum'd Rice in the East-Indies, which gives a curious Flavour, in the Dressing. And with this sort America is not yet acquainted; neither can I learn, that any of it has been brought over to Europe; the Rice of Carolina being esteem'd the best that comes to that Quarter of the World. It is of great Increase, yielding from eight hundred to a thousand-fold, and thrives best in wild Land, that has never been broken up before.

        Buck-Wheat.        Guinea-Wheat.

Buck-Wheat is of great Increase in Carolina; but we make no other use of it, than instead of Maiz, to feed Hogs and Poultry : And Guinea Corn, which thrives well here, serves for the same use.

        Pulse. Busshel-Bean.

Of the Pulse-kind, we have many sorts. The first is the Bushel-Bean, which is a spontaneous Product. They are so called, because they bring a Bushel of Beans for one that is planted. They are set in the Spring, round Arbours, or at the Feet of Poles, up which they will climb, and cover the Wattling, making a very pretty Shade to fit under. They continue flowering, budding, and ripening all the Summer long, till the Frost approaches, when they forbear their Fruit, and die. The Stalks they grow on, come to the Thickness of a Man's Thumb; and the Bean is white and mottled, with a purple Figure on each side it, like an Ear. They are very flat, and are eaten as the Windsor-Bean is, being an extraordinary well-relish'd Pulse, either by themselves, or with Meat.

        Indian Rouncevals.

        Pease and Beans.

We have the Indian Rounceval, or Miraculous Pease, so call'd from their long Pods, and great Increase. These are latter Pease, and require a pretty long Summer to ripen in. They are very good; and so are the Bonavis, Calavancies, Nanticokes, and abundance of other Pulse, too tedious here to name, which we found the Indians possess'd of, when first we settled in America; some of which sorts afford us two Crops in one Year; as the Bonavis and Calavancies, besides several others of that kind.

        Eng. Bean.

Now I am launch'd into a Discourse of the Pulse, I must acquaint you, that the European Bean planted here, will, in time, degenerate into a dwarfish sort, if not prevented by a yearly Supply of foreign Seed, and an extravagant rich Soil; yet these Pigmy-Beans are the sweetest of that kind I ever met withal.


 As for all the sorts of English Pease that we have yet made tryal of, they thrive very well in Carolina. Particularly, the white and gray Rouncival, the common Field-Pease, and Sickle-Pease yield very well, and are of a good Relish. As for the other sorts, I have not seen any made tryal of as yet, but question not their coming to great Perfection with us.


The Kidney-Beans were here before the English came, being very plentiful in the Indian Corn-Fields.


The Garden-Roots that thrive well in Carolina, are Carrots, Leeks, Parsnips, Turneps, Potatoes, of several delicate sorts, Ground Artichokes, Radishes, Horse-Radish, Beet, both sorts, Onions, Shallot, Garlick, Cives, and the Wild-Onions.


The Sallads are the Lettice, Curl'd, Red, Cabbage, and Savoy. The Spinage round and prickly, Fennel, sweet and the common Sort, Samphire in the Marshes excellent, so is the Dock or Wild-Rhubarb, Rocket, Sorrel, French and English, Cresses of several Sorts, Purslain wild, and that of a larger Size which grows in the Gardens; for this Plant is never met withal in the Indian Plantations, and is, therefore, suppos'd to proceed from Cow-Dung, which Beast they keep not. Parsley two Sorts; Asparagus thrives to a Miracle, without hot Beds or dunging the Land, White-Cabbage from European or New-England Seed, for the People are negligent and unskilful, and don't take care to provide Seed of their own. The Colly-Flower we have not yet had an Opportunity to make Tryal of, nor has the Artichoke ever appear'd amongst us, that I can learn. Coleworts plain and curl'd, Savoys; besides the Water-Melons of several Sorts, very good; which should have gone amongst the Fruits. Of Musk-Melons we have very large and good, and several Sorts, as the Golden, Green, Guinea, and Orange. Cucumbers long, short, and prickly, all these from the Natural Ground, and great Increase, without any Helps of Dung or Reflection. Pompions yellow and very large, Burmillions, Cashaws, an excellent Fruit boil'd; Squashes, Simnals, Horns, and Gourds; besides many other Species, of less Value, too tedious to name.

Fruits & Nuts
Exotick Fruits we have, that thrive well in Carolina; and what others, it may reasonably be suppos'd, would do there, were they brought thither and planted. In pursuance of which, I will set down a Catalogue of what Fruits we have; I mean Species: For should I pretend to give a regular Name to every one; it's neither possible for me to do it, nor for any one to understand it, when done; if we consider, that the chiefest part of our Fruit came from the Kernel, and some others from the Succours, or Sprouts of the Tree. First, we will begin with Apples; which are the

Golden Russet.

Pearmain Winter. Summer.
Harvey-Apple, I cannot tell, whether the same as in England.
Winter Queening.
Leather Coat.
        The Golden Russet thrives well.

        The Pearmains, of both sorts, are apt to speck, and rot on the Trees; and the Trees are damaged and cut off by the Worm, which breeds in the Forks, and other parts thereof; and often makes a Circumposition, by destroying the Bark round the Branches, till it dies.

        Harvey-Apple; that which we call so, is esteem'd very good to make Cider of.

        Winter Queening is a durable Apple, and makes good Cider.

        Leather-Coat; both Apple and Tree stand well.

        The Juniting is early ripe, and soon gone, in these warm Countries.

        Codlin; no better, and fairer Fruit in the World; yet the Tree suffers the same Distemper, as the Pearmains, or rather worse; the Trees always dying before they come to their Growth.

        The Redstreak thrives very well.

        Long-stalk is a large Apple, with a long Stalk, and makes good Summer Cider.

        We beat the first of our Codlin Cider, against reaping our Wheat, which is from the tenth of June, to the five and twentieth.

        Lady-Finger, the long Apple, the same as in England, and full as good. We have innumerable sorts; some call'd Rope-Apples which are small Apples, hanging like Ropes of Onions; Flattings, Grigsons, Cheese-Apples, and a great number of Names, given according to every ones Discretion.


        The Warden-Pear here proves a good eating Pear; and is not so long ripening as in England.

        Katharine excellent.


        And several others without Name, The Bergamot we have not, nor either of the Bonne Chrestiennes, though I hear, they are all three in Virginia. Those sorts of Pears which we have, are as well relisht, as ever I eat any where; but that Fruit is of very short Continuance with us, for they are gone almost as soon as ripe.


        I am not a Judge of the different sorts of Quinces, which they call Brunswick, Portugal, and Barbary; But as to the Fruit, in general, I believe no Place has fairer and better relisht. They are very pleasant eaten raw. Of this Fruit, they make a Wine, or Liquor, which they call Quince-Drink, and which I approve of beyond any Drink which that Country affords, though a great deal of Cider and some Perry is there made. The Quince-Drink most commonly purges those that first drink it, and cleanses the Body very well. The Argument of the Physicians, that they bind People, is hereby contradicted, unless we allow the Quinces to differ in the two Countries. The least Slip of this Tree stuck in the Ground, comes to bear in three years.


 All Peaches, with us, are standing; neither have we any Wall-Fruit in Carolina; for we have Heat enough, and therefore do not require it. We have a great many sorts of this Fruit, which all thrive to Admiration, Peach-Trees coming to Perfection (with us) as easily as the Weeds. A Peach falling on the Ground, brings a Peach-Tree that shall bear in three years, or sometimes sooner. Eating Peaches in our Orchards makes them come up so thick from the Kernel, that we are forced to take a great deal of Care to weed them out; otherwise they make our Land a Wilderness of Peach-Trees.
They generally bear so full, that they break great part of their Limbs down. We have likewise very fair Nectarines, especially the red, that clings to the Stone, the other yellow Fruit, that leaves the Stone; of the last, I have a Tree, that, most Years, brings me fifteen or twenty Bushels. I see no Foreign Fruit like this, for thriving in all sorts of Land, and bearing its Fruit to Admiration. I want to be satisfy'd about one sort of this Fruit, which the Indians claim as their own, and affirm, they had it growing amongst them, before any Europeans came to America. The Fruit I will describe, as exactly as I can. The Tree grows very large, most commonly as big as a handsome Apple-tree; the Flowers are of a reddish, murrey Colour; the Fruit is rather more downy, than the yellow Peach, and commonly very large and soft, being very full of Juice. They part freely from the Stone, and the Stone is much thicker than all the other Peach Stones we have, which seems to me, that it is a Spontaneous Fruit of America; yet in those Parts of America that we inhabit, I never could hear that any Peach-Trees were ever found growing in the Woods; neither have the foreign Indians, that live remote from the English, any other sort. And those living amongst us have a hundred of this sort for one other; they are a hardy Fruit, and are seldom damaged by the North-East Blasts, as others are. Of this sort we make Vinegar; wherefore we call them Vinegar-Peaches, and sometimes Indian-Peaches.


This Tree grows to a vast Bigness, exceeding most Apple-Trees. They bear well, tho' sometimes an early Spring comes on in February, and perhaps, when the Tree is fully blown the Cloudy North-East-Winds which attend the end of, that Month, or the beginning of March, destroy most of the Fruit. The biggest Apricock-Tree I ever saw, as they told me, was grafted on a Peach-Stock, in the Ground. I know of no other sort with us, than the Common. We generally raise this Fruit from the Stone, which never fails to bring the same Fruit. Likewise our Peach-Stones effect the same, without so much as once missing, to produce the same sort that the Stone came from.

 Damson, Damazeen, and a large round black Plum are all I have met withal in Carolina. They thrive well enough; the last to Admiration, and becomes a very large Tree, if in stiff Ground; otherwise they will not do well.


 Of Figs we have two sorts; One is the low Bush-Fig, which bears a large Fruit. If the Winter happens to have much Frost, the tops thereof die, and in the Spring sprout again, and bear two or three good Crops.
The Tree-Fig is a lesser Fig, though very sweet. The Tree grows to a large Body and Shade, and generally brings a good Burden; especially, if in light Land. This Tree thrives no where better, than on the Sand-Banks by the Sea.


We have the common red and black Cherry, which bear well. I never saw any grafted in this Country, the common excepted, which was grafted on an Indian Plum-stock, and bore well. This is a good way, because our common Cherry-Trees are very apt to put Scions all round the Tree, for a great Distance, which must needs be prejudicial to the Tree and Fruit. Not only our Cherries are apt to do so, but our Apples and most other Fruit-Trees, which may chiefly be imputed to the Negligence and Unskilfulness of the Gardener. Our Cherries are ripe a Month sooner than in Virginia.


Goosberries I have seen of the smaller sort, but find they do not do so well as in England, and to the Northward. Want of Dressing may be some Reason for this.


Currants, White, Red, and Black, thrive here, as well as any where.


Rasberries, the red and white, I never saw any Trial made of. But there is no doubt of their thriving to Admiration, since those of the Country do so well.


The Mulberries are spontaneous. We have no others, than what I have already mentioned in the Class of Natural Fruits of Carolina.


Barberry red, with Stones, and without Stones, grow here.


 Strawberries, not Foreign, but those of the Country, grow here in great Plenty. Last April I planted a Bed of two hunded Foot in Length, which bore the same Year.


 Medlars we have none.


All sorts of Walnuts from England, France, and Maderas, thrive well from the Nut.


No Filberts, but Hazle-Nuts; the Filbert-Nut planted, becomes a good Hazle-Nut, and no better.


As for that noble Vegetable the Vine, without doubt, it may (in this Country) be improved, and brought to the fame Perfection, as it is, at this Day, in the fame Latitude in Europe, since the chiefest part of this Country is a deep, rich, black Mould, which is up towards the Freshes and Heads of our Rivers, being very rich and mix'd with Flint, Pebbles, and other Stones. And this sort of Soil is approv'd of (by all knowing Gardeners and Vigneroons) as a proper Earth, in which the Grape chiefly delights; and what seems to give a farther Confirmation hereof, is, that the largest Vines, that were every discover'd to grow wild, are found in those Parts, oftentimes in such Plenty, and are so interwoven with one another, that 'tis impossible to pass through them. Moreover, in these Freshes, towards the Hills, the Vines are above five times bigger than those generally with us, who are seated in the Front-parts of this Country, adjoining to the Salts. Of the wild Vines, which are most of them great Bearers, some Wine has been made, which I drank of. It was very strong and well relisht; but what detains them all from offering at great quantities, they add, that this Grape has a large Stone, and a thick Skin, and consequently yields but a small Quantity of Wine. Some Essays of this Nature have been made by that Honourable Knight, Sir Nathanael Johnson, in South Carolina, who, as I am inform'd, has rejected all Exotick Vines, and makes his Wine from the natural black Grape of Carolina, by grafting it upon its own Stock. What Improvement this may arrive to, I cannot tell; but in other Species, I own Grafting and Imbudding yields speedy Fruit, tho' I never found that it made them better.

 New planted Colonies are generally attended with a Force and Necessity of Planting the known and approved Staple and Product of the Country, as well as all the Provisions their Families spend. Therefore we can entertain but small hopes of the Improvement of the Vine, till some skilful in dressing Vines shall appear amongst us, and go about it, with a Resolution, that Ordering the Vineyard shall be one half of their Employment. If this be begun and carried on, with that Assiduity and Resolution which it requires, then we may reasonably hope to see this a Wine-Country; for then, when it becomes a general Undertaking, every one will be capable to add something to the common Stock, of that which he has gain'd by his own Experience. This way would soon make the Burden light, and a great many short and exacter Curiosities, and real Truths would be found out in a short time. The trimming of Vines, as they do in France, that is, to a Stump, must either here be not follow'd, or we are not sensible of the exact time, when they ought to be thus pruned; for Experience has taught us, that the European Grape, suffer'd to run and expand itself at large, has been found to bear as well in America, as it does in Europe; when, at the same time, the same sort of Vine trimm'd to a Stump, as before spoken of, has born a poor Crop for one Year or two; and by its spilling, after cutting, emaciated, and in three or four Years, died. This Experiment, I believe, has never fail'd; for I have trimm'd the natural Vine the French way, which has been attended, at last, with the same Fate. Wherefore, it seems most expedient, to leave the Vines more Branches here, than in Europe, or let them run up Trees, as some do, in Lombardy, upon Elms. The Mulberries and Chinkapin are tough, and trimm'd to what you please, therefore fit Supporters of the Vines. Gelding and plucking away the Leaves, to hasten the ripening of this Fruit, may not be unnecessary, yet we see the natural wild Grape generally ripens in the Shade. Nature in this, and many others, may prove a sure Guide. The Twisting of the Stems to make the Grapes ripe together, loses no Juice, and may be beneficial, if done in Season. A very ingenious French Gentleman, and another from Switzerland, with whom I frequently converse, exclaim against that strict cutting of Vines, the generally approved Method of France and Germany, and say, that they were both out in their Judgment, till of late, Experience has taught them otherwise. Moreover, the French in North Carolina assure me, that if we should trim our Apple and other Fruit-Trees, as they do in Europe, we should spoil them. As for Apples and Plums, I have found by Experience, what they affirm to be true. The French, from the Mannakin Town on the Freshes of James River in Virginia, had, for the most part, removed themselves to Carolina, to live there, before I came away; and the rest were following, as their Minister, (Monsieur Philip de Rixbourg) told me, who was at Bath-Town, when I was taking my leave of my Friends. He assur'd me, that their Intent was to propagate Vines, as far as their present Circumstances would permit; provided they could get any Slips of Vines, that would do. At the same time, I had gotten some Grape-Seed, which was of the Jesuits white Grape from Madera. The Seed came up very plentifully, and, I hope, will not degenerate, which if it happens not to do, the Seed may prove the best way to raise a Vineyard, as certainly it is most easy for Transportation. Yet I reckon we should have our Seed from a Country, where the Grape arrives to the utmost Perfection of Ripeness.