Saturday, October 30, 2021

From Garden to Table - Home-Made Spirits - Fine Brandy Shrub with Raisins

John Greenwood (American artist, 1727-1792) Sea Captains Carousing, 1758.  Detail

Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines Cordials & Liqueurs 1909 by Helen S. Wright

FINE BRANDY SHRUB with RAISINS
Take one ounce of citric acid, one pint of porter, one and one-half pints of raisin wine, one gill of orange-flower water, one gallon of good brandy, two and one-quarter quarts of water. First, dissolve the citric acid in the water, then add to it the brandy; next, mix the raisin wine, porter, and orange-flower water together; and lastly, mix the whole, and in a week or ten days it will be ready for drinking and of a very mellow flavor.

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 
1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)
1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)
1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)
1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972
Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 
Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States
Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver
Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.
A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Pound Cake

 

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

In the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was temperate. For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Pound Cake

The name pound cake stems from the fact that early recipes called for one pound apiece of butter, sugar, and flour. Mary Randolph’s recipe is a delicious version of this classic treat and was adapted by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 cup brandy

Boiled Custard for serving (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with vegetable shortening.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl, beating by hand, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually while continuing to beat.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in each one thoroughly before adding the next.

4. Sift the flour with the nutmeg, and gradually add to the butter and sugar, mixing in each addition thoroughly before adding the next one.

5. Add the lemon zest and brandy, mixing until thoroughly combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack, and allow it to cool completely before slicing.

7. Serve with Boiled Custard, if desired.

Research plus images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org. 

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)


Helpful Secondary Sources


America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver Westport, Greenwood Press 2005

A  Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

From Garden to Table - Home-Made Spirits - Juniper Berry Wine made with Whiskey

John Greenwood (American artist, 1727-1792) Sea Captains Carousing, 1758.  Detail

Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines Cordials & Liqueurs 1909 by Helen S. Wright

JUNIPER-BERRY WINE
Take four and one-half gallons of cold soft water, seven pounds Malaga or Smyrna raisins, two and one-quarter quarts juniper-berries, one-half ounce red tartar, one-half handful of wormwood, one-half handful sweet marjoram, one pint whiskey or more. Ferment for ten or twelve days.

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 
1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)
1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)
1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)
1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972
Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 
Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States
Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver
Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.
A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

17C French Hugenots in the American Colonies Growing Grapes & Making Wine

 

From Thomas Pinney. A History of Wine in America: From the Beginnings to Prohibition. 

Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1989.

In 1685 a large migration of Protestants from France had taken place in response to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, whereby Louis XIV suddenly withdrew from the Huguenots the legal protection that they had secured a century earlier. Though the French government tried to prevent a Huguenot emigration, thousands left the country. 

There was a general scramble among the proprietors & promoters of American colonies to attract these unlucky people, for they were intelligent, industrious, skilled, well-behaved, & right-thinking—the ideal colonists. Landlords in Virginia, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, & Massachusetts all tried to put their attractions before various Huguenot communities. Virginia managed to secure some: as early as 1686 one Virginia promoter, with an eye upon the Huguenots, advertised his property in Stafford County as "naturally inclined to vines." 

A Huguenot traveler, Durand de Dauphiné, visiting Stafford County, Virginia the next year, was much struck by the promising terrain & by the wild vines there; he made, he says, some "good" wine from the grapes, & recommended them for cultivation. His account was published in Europe in 1687, but it apparently did not succeed in attracting any Huguenots & did not lead to  winegrowing development in Stafford County.

In 1700 a large body of Huguenots arrived in Virginia under the special auspices of King William & settled on a 10,000-acre tract along the James River donated by the colony. Here, at Manakin Town (near present-day Richmond) they had succeeded by 1702 in making a "claret" from native grapes that was reported to be "pleasant, strong, & full body'd wine." 

The information, recorded by the historian & viticulturist Virginian Robert Beverley, was evidence to him that the native vines needed only to be properly cultivated to become the source of excellent wine & evidently had much to do in starting him on his own experiments. The opinion of Beverley is confirmed by the Swiss traveler Louis Michel, who visited Manakin Town in 1702 & was impressed by the incredibly large vines growing there, from which, he wrote, the French "make fairly good wine, a beginning has been made to graft them, the prospects are fine."

The prospects soon changed for the worse: according to the Carolina historian John Lawson, the French at Manakin Town found themselves hemmed in by other colonists, who took up all the land around them, & so most of them departed for Carolina, where their minister assured Lawson 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."

In Pennsylvania, the 1st winemaker whose name we know was the Huguenot Gabriel Rappel, whose "good claret" pleased William Penn in 1683; another of the earliest was Jacob Pellison, also a Huguenot, as was Andrew Doz, who planted & tended William Penn's vineyard of French vines at Lemon Hill on the Schuylkill. 

Doz, naturalized in England in 1682, came over to Pennsylvania in that same year; Penn called him a "hot" man but honest. The vineyard, which was begun in 1683, stood on 200 acres of land & was described in 1684 by the German Pastorius as a "fine vineyard of French vines." "Its growth," Pastorius added, "is a pleasure to behold & brought into my reflections, as I looked upon it, the fifteenth chapter of John."

Two years later, another witness reported that "the Governours Vineyard goes on very well." In 1690 the property was patented to Doz himself for a rental of 100 vine cuttings payable annually to Penn as proprietor.

William Penn himself was particularly active in seeking to attract Huguenot emigrants to Pennsylvania, & used the prospect of viticulture as a recruiting inducement. His promotional tract of 1683, A Letter from William Penn . . . Containing a General Description of the Said Province , was translated into French & published at The Hague in order to reach the French Protestant community exiled in the Low Countries. 

In his new province, Penn wrote, were "grapes of diverse sorts" that "only want skilful Vinerons to make good use of them." Penn's pamphlet, though written with an eye on prospective French colonists, is ostensibly addressed to the Free Society of Traders in Pennsylvania, incorporated by Penn in London; he concludes by telling this body that the great objects of the colony, the "Promotion of Wine" & the manufacture of linen, are likely to be best served by Frenchmen: "To that end, I would advise you to send for some thousands of plants out of France, with some Vinerons." 

Penn's efforts at recruiting had good results. Many religious refugees made their way to the colony, Huguenots among them; but the French were soon assimilated into the general community rather than maintaining a separate identity. They may have undertaken viticulture at first, but their dispersal through the community meant that those who persisted at it did so as individuals. As Penn told the Board of Trade in 1697, in Pennsylvania "both Germans & French make wine yearly, white & red, but not in quantity for export."

The best known of Huguenot settlements in colonial America are those of New York, at New Paltz & New Rochelle, the one going back to the mid-17C, the other founded towards the end of it. In neither does there seem to have been any attempt at winegrowing, despite the likelihood of their sites & the practice of the neighboring colonies in Massachusetts & Rhode Island.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Another use for corn from the Fields

Man Feeding a Bear an Ear of Corn; PA c. 1840; American Folk Art Museum

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - George's usual Meals with Family & Guests

 Washington Greeting Lafayette at Mount Vernon by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1850-1936) 

For President George Washington, retirement did not mean the end of his life as a public figure. As in the years after the Revolutionary War, guests flocked to Mount Vernon hoping to pay their respects to & share space—however briefly—with the former president. 

George Washington's Return to Mount Vernon

In 1798, according to Mount Vernon’s official records, George & Martha Washington hosted guests for dinner on 203 of the 310 days for which records exist. 

George Washington and Marquis De Lafayette at Mount Vernon by Edward Percy Morgan 1862-1935 

Overnight guests stayed from supper to breakfast at Mount Vernon on 183 of those 310 days.
Martha Washington (1731-1802) - Managed food preparation for family & guests from the Garden to the Table. While George Washington oversaw most aspects of organizing & supervising Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be necessary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon tells us that in the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was usually temperate. 

For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. 

His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. 

Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   

The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." 

He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Additional research plus images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org. 

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver

Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Monday, October 18, 2021

History Blooms at Monticello - Fall's Connecticut Field Pumpkin

Connecticut Field Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)

New World field pumpkins like this 19th century variety were grown in Thomas Jefferson's fields both for the Monticello table as well as for feeding the workhorses, cattle, sheep, and pigs in late summer. Connecticut Field Pumpkin is a traditional pumpkin good for pies, with yellow flesh and soft skin.

For more information & the possible availability for purchase

Saturday, October 16, 2021

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Veal Olives with Herbs & Vegetables

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Veal Olives

Veal olives are “a seventeenth-century variant of the so-called beef or mutton olives” that were stuffed, rolled up, and tied with string to be roasted on a spit or gridiron. Hannah Glasse suggested a lemon garnish for this recipe, which likely could have been a side dish or corner dish for a first or second course.

One of the most valuable tools in the Mount Vernon kitchen was Martha Washington's copy of The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy...By a Lady.  Martha's copy is in the Library at Mount Vernon. Hannah Glasse's (1708–1770) The Art of Cookery...was first published in 1747. It was a bestseller for a century after its first publication, dominating the English-speaking market. It was published in America from 1805.

Mrs. Washington may have owned a number of cookbooks, but her 1765 edition of Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery and a manuscript cookbook (now at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) are the only ones known to survive. The manuscript book  (under the title Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery) is a very early compilation of 16th and 17th century receipts and came into Martha's possession at the time of her marriage to Daniel Parke Custis who died in 1757.

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

2 pounds veal scaloppini

1/2 recipe Mrs. Glasse’s Force-Meat Balls

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed

8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced

2 to 3 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)

Browned bacon strips for serving

Lemon slices for garnish

Directions

1. Spread each piece of veal with about 2 tablespoons of Mrs. Glasse's Force-Meat Balls. Roll the slices, beginning at the long sides, and tie firmly with kitchen string, making “olives.”

2. Combine the breadcrumbs with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

3. Coat the veal olives on all sides with the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs, coating them well.

4. Melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the veal olives on all sides until well browned, adding more butter, if necessary.

5. Stir in the mushrooms, and then pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock, stirring to blend with the butter in the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the olives occasionally, until the veal is fully cooked.

6. To serve, place the veal olives on a platter, and spoon the sauce over the top. Break the bacon strips into pieces, sprinkle over the veal, and garnish with lemon slices.

Research & images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org.

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver

Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

History Blooms at Monticello - Oil from Sesame & a few "Potatoe-Pumpkins"

Note from Monticello's Peggy Cornett

Peggy tells us today that "The Upper Ground Sweet Potato Winter Squash and Sesame seed pods are maturing and ripening at the foot of the Monticello vegetable garden pavilion.

In 1790 Thomas Jefferson described a winter squash that resembled a pumpkin and tasting like the sweet potato, calling it "potatoe-pumpkin." Sesame, which Jefferson called “benne,” was cultivated at Monticello for many years and pressed for oil. Jefferson wrote in 1811, “I did not believe there existed so perfect a substitute for olive oil.”

For more information & the possible availability for purchase

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver

Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Plants to decorate with in Early American Gardens - Sea Lavender was Dried in the Fall

Sea Lavender (Statice) (Limonium latifolium)

Limonium latifolium bears clouds of delicate, lavender-blue flowers that are perfect for arrangements, both fresh and dried, and also blend beautifully in rock gardens, coastal gardens, and other well-draining sites. In The English Flower Garden, first published in 1883, William Robinson called this larger species of Sea Lavender “the finest of all.” 

Long admired as a cut flower, Statice was included in the Garden Notes of 1793 by Lady Jean Skipwith of Virginia, who noted “dried - it retains its colour which renders it ornamental for a Mantel-piece in Winter.”

For more information & the possible availability for purchase

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Gardening Books & the Landscape of Virginia's Lady Jean Skipwith 1748-1826


Lady Jean Skipwith (1748-1826) was born Jane Miller; her father Hugh Miller was a Scottish tobacco merchant who lived in Virginia from 1746 to 1760, and her mother Jane was a member of the well-known Bolling family. Following his wife's death, Hugh Miller returned to Glasgow with his 5 young children; he died there in 1762. Jean (she had changed her name) lived in Scotland until around 1786, then moved briefly to Liverpool before returning to the Elm Hill plantation in Virginia, which she inherited from her father. 

Prestwould, Clarksville, Virginia.  In 1788, Jean married English-born Sir Peyton Skipwith (1740-1805) of Mecklenburg County, VA. Skipwith, one of the wealthiest men in Virginia, had previously been married to Jean's sister Anne (1742/3-1779). Lady Jean gave birth to 4 children in 5 years (all after the age of 40). By 1797 she moved her family from Elm Hill to her husband's new plantation, Prestwould, which still stands. Detailed records of household purchases and garden notes (not to mention her library records) reveal Lady Jean's varied interests. Following her husband's death in 1805, Lady Jean remained at Prestwould until she died in 1826, aged 78.
Sitting high above the merger of the Dan and Stanton Rivers in Virginia, is the family house of Sir Peyton Skipwith  Built by slave labor in 1794, in a Georgian style, Prestwould Plantation remains one of the most complete gentry homes in Virginia. When the house was built, the countryside surrounding it was still a frontier. Stone walls and metal gates surround the lawn. Some original outbuildings and Lady Jean's Garden remain. An original two-family slave house still stands on the property.
Lady Jean not only ran the plantation after her husband's death, but also maintained extensive records of her gardening activities -- what she grew in her gardens, as well as local native plants found on the property. She had a large garden that was based on the traditional English design, but she placed it to the East of the entrance to the house, so that it had a position of prominence and announced to visitors that the gardens were important at Prestwould. She designed terraced garden beds falling toward the family cemetery. 
Lady Jean's gardening records indicate that she found & used numerous Native American plants, such as columbines, bloodroot, Solomon's seal, fire pinks, blue eyed grass, monk's hood, butterflyweed, spring beauty, and Virginia bluebells in her gardens. She also planted Helleborus foetidus, candy tuft, rose of sharon, lantana, mock orange, lilacs, French marigolds, and Lady Banks roses. French marigolds were all the rage in 1791, when they were featured in William Curtis' Botanical Magazine, and Lady Jean accurately described them as "Striped French Marigold" in her records.
Lady Jean's Garden House.  In an 1805 letter to St. George Tucker, Lady Jean's daughter described her mother's gardens: "A spacious, fine garden, to the cultivation of which she is totally devoted -- if you are fond of gardening of flowers and shrubs, as well as fine vegetables, you would delight to see her garden..."
Jean Skipwith's library is one of the very few known southern women's libraries from the colonial period, and is certainly the largest collection assembled by a Virginia woman. Although little is known of Jean Skipwith's education, her passion for gardens and books is obvious. Numerous invoices, lists and inventories, most contained in the Skipwith Family Papers in the library of the College of William and Mary, have allowed the library to be outlined in great detail. 

A bibliography of the collection can be found in Mildred K. Abraham, "The Library of Lady Jean Skipwith: A Book Collection from the Age of Jefferson." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 91:3 (July, 1983), pp. 296-347. The records included here are those from that bibliography, which have been updated where possible and necessary. Abraham identified three major phases of book collecting: from 1781 - 1788, mostly in Liverpool and Scotland before her return to Virginia; from 1788 - 1805, the years of her married life; and from 1806 - 1826, her busiest collecting period. 

During her years in Virginia, Skipwith continued to buy books from London, but also ordered widely from dealers in Petersburg, Richmond, Raleigh, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. At her death, Skipwith bequeathed several books to certain individuals, while willing her two daughters and daughter-in-law "two hundred volumes each to be selected alternately out of the books I died possessed of." 

Her books included...

Traveling memorandums, made in a tour upon the continent of Europe, in the years 1786, 87, & 88 by Lord Francis Garden Gardenstone

The gardeners dictionary containing the best and newest methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, flower garden, and nursery; ... The eighth edition, revised and altered according to the latest system of botany by Philip Miller

Artaxerxes: An English opera : as it is performed at...Covent-Garden by Thomas Augustine Arne

The experienced English house-keeper : for the use and ease of ladies, house-keepers, cooks, &c. : wrote purely from practice and dedicated to the Hon. Lady Elizabeth Warburton ... : consisting of near 800 original receipts, most of which never appeared in print by Elizabeth Raffald

For more Legacy Libraries go to Library Thing. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Natural Style Gardens & Grounds in 18C British America

A Natural Garden in the English Taste. An etching depicting a view of the lake & island in the gardens of Kew Palace, showing various temples & the orangerie, with both English & French inscription. Hand colored. This view of a more natural landscape contains a view of the Lake & Island, with the Orangerie, the Temples of Eolus & Bellona, & the House of Confucius c 1763. This view was engraved for William Chambers’s Plans, Elevations, Sections & Perspective Views of the Gardens & Buildings at Kew, published in 1763. 

Most early American pleasure gardening gentry intentionally adopted classic, practical, geometric, ornamental gardens for their properties.  Their landscape designs did often include avenues of trees leading to the plantation house, like rows of soldiers standing at attention.  

The new "English taste" garden design of the first decades of the 18th-century with its intentional serpentine walks & flowing lines in imitation of Nature was not particularly attractive to early Americans, who were busy carving an obvious order out of the "howling wilderness" that surrounded them.

Scotsman William Murray wrote to his cousin Dr John Murray near Charleston in 1753, advising him to adopt the English Taste for his new landscape plans.  Redesigning their landscape to imitate Nature seemed a little impractical to many American gentry.

In 1789, Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826), noted clergyman & geographer, wrote of one country seat, “Its fine situation. . .the arrangement and variety of forest-trees - the gardens...discover a refined and judicious taste. Ornament and utility are happily united. It is, indeed, a seat worthy of a Republican Patriot.”

Generally, American gardeners shared John Adam’s (1735-1826) negative attitude towards the excesses of the English natural grounds movement. During his 1784 tour of English gardens with Thomas Jefferson, he announced, "It will be long, I hope, before ridings, parks, pleasure grounds, gardens, and ornamented farms grow so much in fashion in America."

In the same year, George Washington (1732-1799) wrote to the wife of Marquise de Lafayette (1757-1834) encouraging her to accompany her husband on a return visit to the new American republic. "You will see the plain manner in which we live; and meet the rustic civility, and you shall taste the simplicity of rural life."

In 1783, Johann David Schoff traveled to Pennsylvania and wrote, "The taste for gardening is, at Philadelphia as well as throughout America, still in its infancy. There are not yet to be found many orderly and interesting gardens. Mr. Hamilton's near the city is the only one deserving special mention. Such neglect is all the more astonishing, because so many people of means spend the most part of their time in the country. Gardens as at present managed are purely utilitarian—pleasure-gardens have not yet come in, and if perspectives are wanted one must be content with those offered by the landscape, not very various, what with the still immense forests."

In the early Republic, many gardeners strove for a balance of useful plants & trees & genteel design. On both town & country plots, most gentry, merchants, shopkeepers, & artisans planned gardens that were both practical & ornamental in geometric patterns.

Some gentry who gardened were aware of the new English natural style & sometimes added serpentine entry roads & paths that meandered through the wooded edges of their grounds, but they overwhelmingly designed their gardens with traditional rectangular beds & approaching straight avenues of trees.

Why were early American gardeners slow to adopt the English natural grounds movement? During the first decades of the 18th-century, English gardeners had begun to rebel against strict geometric gardens with rigidly trimmed topiary trees, and in favor of more natural garden layouts.  The emergence of an informal garden style based on irregular rather than straight lines was influenced, in part, by travel books on the Far East, illustrating the winding paths & random rock formations in Asian gardens.  

English gardeners added Chinese structures to the garden, such as the 1760 pagoda at Kew Gardens. The chinoiserie persisted as books on the concept were published, notably William Chambers’s 1772 Dissertation on Oriental Gardening.  

The reading of classic landscape literature also encouraged the more natural, informal garden-park espoused by Virgil plus the idyllic images of the Roman campagna depicted by the 17-century French landscape painters Claude Lorrain & Nicolas Poussin.

In mother England the landscape garden had become established as the new taste by 1750.  The master of the English landscape garden was Lancelot "Capability" Brown (1716–1783), who transformed English landscapes into Elysian fields, at Blenheim, Stowe, & Claremont. Concentrating on sweeping undulating lines; serpentine lakes & walks; & the play of light & shade by rearranging hills & wooded areas, Brown created a series of picturesque scenes dotted with Palladian temples, classical monuments, & bridges. Brown's principles were expanded by Humphry Repton (1752–1818), whose successful career depended in part on his Red Books, illustrating his clients' estates before & after suggested landscape improvements. Repton introduced more picturesque sensibilities as well as glasshouses full of exotic specimens.

Early American gardeners were engulfed in untamed surroundings & their interest in ancient precedents prodded them toward designing the orderly gardens, that they planted around their dwellings. Early in his 1806 garden book The American Gardener, Philadelphian Bernard M’Mahon (1775-1816), described “ancient gardens,” by which he meant the gardens common a hundred years earlier in Britain & Ireland.

Ironically, just as the English were rebelling against their “ancient” geometric garden designs, M’Mahon found America’s new citizens clinging to the formality of the classical past. Perhaps the young nationals were looking for the security of precedents to reinforce their present unsteady situation. The ordered & hierarchical implications of classical terraced gardens probably appealed to the gentry, who were losing their privilege of rank through association with the British & groping to maintain that privilege through natural, & therefore inevitable, order instead of through historical precedent.

Americans found the enlightened ideas & orderly, geometric gardens of the Italian Renaissance particularly attractive during the early national era. Thomas Jefferson once boasted, “Ours are the farmers who can read Homer.” 

Southern gentlelady, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, recounted in 1742, “I have got no further than the first volume of Virgil…to find myself instructed in agriculture as well as entertained by his charming pen.” 

More than 70 years later, Jefferson’s bother-in-law Henry Skipwith wrote to a friend who was planning an orchard, “Virgil’s Georgics would have given you a full idea of his Quincunx.”  

Library records indicate that America’s literate gardeners were also reading Richard Bradley’s 1725 Survey of the Ancient Husbandry & Gardening, & Adam Dickson’s 1778 Husbandry of the Ancients, published in 1788, and the original writings of Columella, Virgil, Cato, & Pliny, whom they saw as providing models of day-to-day estate & garden management, including food production.

One British visitor to the Chesapeake observed, “Frenchmen...appear to me to be the best judges of gardening in America, perhaps because their own climate & soil are more nearly similar to those of America, than either the English or Scotch.” 

Even Thomas Jefferson, touted by many as a promoter of the English natural grounds movement, claimed to admire the controlled, geometric French gardening above all others.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe, upon his initial tour of America between 1795 & 1798, condescendingly noted the classical influence prevalent in the Chesapeake. He wrote that the gardens at Mount Vernon were “laid out in squares, & boxed with great precision…for the first time again since I left Germany, I saw here a parterre, chipped & trimmed with infinite care into the form of a richly flourished Fleur de Lis: The expiring groans I hope of our Grandfather’s pedantry.” Americans were clinging to European gardening traditions rather than adopting the natural grounds movement.

M’Mahon had come from the British Isles when English landscape architects were abandoning Western traditions of formal garden design & embracing more natural forms, which were applied to the larger expanses they called pleasure grounds. The extreme formality of French & the fussiness of the miniature Dutch flower gardens helped spark this British movement against geometry & artificiality in the garden.

Influenced by writers such as Joseph Addison & Alexander Pope (whom Charles Carroll of Carrollton claimed was his favorite poet), & by the romantic landscape paintings of the French artists Claude Lorraine & Nicolas Poussin, English landscape architects rejected centuries of traditional Western garden design. English garden design reformers, such as Lancelot “Capability” Brown, & their followers favored peaceful landscapes featuring created & controlled green lawns for grazing deer & livestock, stands of needed trees, & serpentine rivers that would invite fowl & animals.

The English landscape itself was to become the ultimate garden. Intricately planned serpentine rivers & lakes reflected “natural” hills planted with carefully chosen trees & shrubs. M’Mahon’s gardening treatise reviewed the use of the popular English ha-ha, a wall or ditch sunk below the level of garden, which was intended to make the gentleman’s lawn appear to flow into the surrounding countryside. In England, where laws kept all but the rich from hunting deer & small game, these ha-has kept the hunting preserve of the gentry secure.

Ha-has were used occasionally in the 18th-century Chesapeake, but they usually surrounded grounds still dominated by formal geometric gardens. The ha-ha was not just an invisible barrier to keep intruders out of the garden & grounds. It was simply the area that divided the stage upon which patricians exercised paternalism safely separated from their hopefully awe-filled audience, all of their lesser neighbors. The ha-ha was a device to make the gentry seem at one with their personal external environment, in which they could place themselves on top but within the safe confines of an invisible wall.

Eighteenth-century English pleasure grounds were never truly natural. As M’Mahon explained, they were planned to look natural & were then decorated, often with classical Roman ruins or oriental ornaments. Chinese garden concepts excited the European gentry, when first reports of them reached Europe in the 18th century; but Western attempts to emulate Oriental design usually resulted only in copies of their architectural features.

Chinese architecture directly influenced some 18th-century American homes & garden structures. Pagodas, garden houses with upswept eaves, & Chinese style bridges decorated a few American garden grounds, but the garden spaces themselves were still divided into geometric partitions, often on terraced falls.

Until fairly recently, garden historians generally agreed that by the end of the 18th century, very few formal gardens, with traditional geometric bed designs, remained in Britain. This may not be the case, but apparently, the British had reached a level of sophistication that allowed them the freedom to resist their highly structured civilization & their hedged landscapes. This change, combined with the need to conserve dwindling supplies of timber & game, led to the natural grounds movement in England. The movement did not spread quickly in America.

Notes on the image: The park buildings depicted were all located at the southern end of the Kew estate - including the Pagoda (1761-2) with the Alhambra (1758) to its left & the Mosque (1761) in the right distance. While the Pagoda has survived, with a few of Chambers’s smaller park buildings (the Orangery & Temples of Aeolus & Beltona), the Alhambra & Mosque have not. The site now lies within the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens. From the late 1740s there are references to the development of a botanic garden on a 9-acre plot to the south of the Orangery close to the House. 

Kew was the country home of the Prince & Princess of Wales, the parents of George III.  On the death of the widowed Princess in February 1772, the King & Queen resolved to move their summer residence from Richmond Lodge to Kew. Writer Fanny Burney (Frances Burney d'Arblay 1752-1840) wrote " The Royal Family are here always in so very retired a way that they live as the simplest country gentlefolks." (Well, not exactly...) 
See:  George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting & Court Taste, London, 2004

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

History Blooms at Monticello - Upper Ground Sweet Potato Squash

Upper Ground Sweet Potato Squash (Cucurbita moschata cv.)

This rare heirloom is a rugged variety that is tolerant of hot, dry weather, rendering it especially well-suited to the South. The vines are vigorous, with large, dark, metallic green-striped leaves, and it produces an abundance of medium-large, round-to-bell-shaped, tan-skinned fruit and moist orange flesh that resembles that of the sweet potato, hence the name. 

In 1790, Jefferson sent to Samuel Vaughan Jr. seed of a melon species resembling a pumpkin and tasting like the sweet potato, calling it “potateo-pumpkin.” The Upper Ground Sweet Potato Winter Squash can weigh up to 20 pounds when ripe.

For more information & the possible availability for purchase

Colonial Era Cookbooks

1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London) 

1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)

1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)

1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)

1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)

Helpful Secondary Sources

America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972

Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown   Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996 

Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown  ABC-CLIO  Westport, United States

Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver

Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Gardening Books owned by Tho Jefferson (1743-1824)

Thomas Jefferson by Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko (1746 - 1817) 

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Virginia lawyer, diplomat, & statesman. Author of the Declaration of American Independence; of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom; & Father of the University of Virginia. First American Secretary of State, & 3rd president of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson was a lifelong, insatiable collector of books. From his book lists & correspondence, scholars know that he had the following book collections. Of these, only the books sold to Congress (section d below) are currently represented in this listing of landscape, garden, & farming books.

Shadwell Library (1757 to 1770)
Jefferson inherited his first library from his father, Peter Jefferson, when the latter died in 1757. On 1 February 1770, a fire destroyed almost all of the books in Jefferson’s home at Shadwell. 

Monticello Library Eventually Sold to Congress in 1815
(circa 1770s to 1815)
Jefferson’s second library & his largest is the book collection he began at Monticello following the fire at Shadwell.  Following the Shadwell fire on 1 February 1770, Jefferson wasted no time in replacing the library he lost.  In his letter to Robert Skipwith dated 3 August 1771, Jefferson invites Skipwith to the “new Rowanty,” evidently a reference to Monticello, his own "mountain of the world," or "Rowandiz, the Accadian Olympos," & to his library there.   Within this 2nd library collection, scholars identify the following sub-collections:

March 1783 Library Reconstructed (circa 1770s to 6 March 1783)
By 4 August 1773, Jefferson notes in his Memorandum Books a count of 1,256 volumes in his library at Monticello. In 1784 as he left America to take up his appointment by Congress as minister plenipotentiary to France, he may have had with him a catalog of the books he owned, along with titles he wished to acquire abroad. Earlier the previous year in Philadelphia, he had noted on page 5 of this catalog a count of 2,640 volumes as of 6 March 1783. He also states that he had placed a checkmark before each title he owned, & that unmarked titles indicate books that he hoped to acquire. Using this specific notation recorded by Jefferson himself in his 1783 Catalog, scholar Thomas Baughn has reconstructed a list of books that Jefferson owned as of this date. A list of this March 1783 Library Reconstructed library is available online.

Books Acquired While in Europe (1784 to 1789)
During his appointment as minister plenipotentiary & later minister to France from 1784 to 1789, Jefferson purchased some 2,000 volumes. Before he returned to America in 1789, he compiled a separate list of the books he acquired while abroad. This 1789 Catalog is a 50-page unbound manuscript in Jefferson’s own hand & is today at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The manuscript pages have been digitized by the Society & are available online. A transcription of this manuscript made by Thomas Baughn is available online.

1783 Catalog (circa 1770s to 1812)
The 1783 Catalog manuscript, a 246-page bound manuscript in Jefferson’s hand, is believed to be a record of his library following the Shadwell fire in 1770. In 1812, when this catalogue became crammed with interlineations, erasures, & marginal insertions, Jefferson made a fair copy of this catalogue, that he probably maintained for his offer to sell his library to Congress in 1814. The 1783 Catalog is today at the Massachusetts Historical Society, available online. A transcription of this manuscript made by Thomas Baughn is available online.

Books Sold to Congress (1815)
When the invading British army burned the congressional library in Washington, D.C. in 1814, an outraged Jefferson promptly offered his own library of 6,700 volumes to Congress to replace the one that was lost.  A 5-volume work, The Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, was published between 1952 & 1959. This is available online online through the Library of Congress; a transcribed electronic version of Sowerby's catalogue is available online.  There is a 2nd manuscript associated with the books Jefferson sold to Congress. In 1823 Jefferson commissioned Nicholas Philip Trist, the young man who would eventually become Jefferson’s private secretary & his grandson-in-law, to recreate a list of the books sold to Congress. This 113-page Trist Catalogue manuscript was rediscovered at the Library of Congress, available online.

Retirement Library (1815 to 1826)
Following the 1815 sale of the bulk of his library to Congress, Jefferson continued to acquire books. The Retirement Library Catalogue in Jefferson’s own hand constituted his 3rd & final library at Monticello. The 83-page bound manuscript is at the Library of Congress, & is available online. After Jefferson died in 1826, his library at Monticello was sold at auction through auctioneer, Nathaniel P. Poor, in 1829 in Washington, D.C. The printed Poor Catalogue is available online.

Poplar Forest Library (1811 to 1826)
After Jefferson’s retirement from public office in 1809, he also maintained a library at his Poplar Forest retreat in Bedford County from around 1811. At his death, his books were inherited by his grandson, Francis Eppes, who offered them up for sale in 1873. There is no separate sale catalogue for this library, except for the portion that was listed in the 1873 auction catalogue of George A. Leavitt, published in New York City. The Leavitt Catalogue was transcribed by John R. Barden in 1999, & edited by Thomas Baughn.
Thomas Jefferson by John Trumbull (1756-1843). Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., Monticello, Virginia.

For more information, go to the Thomas Jefferson's Libraries website at Monticello. See also the Library of Congress' interactive exhibit, Thomas Jefferson's Library.

Jefferson's Books on Landscape, Garden, & Farm

Abercrombie, John Every man his own gardener Being a new, and much more complete, gardener's kalendar than any one hitherto published 1767

Abercrombie, John The gardener's pocket dictionary ; or, a systematic arrangement of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers and fruits 1786

Agricola, Georg Andreas The experimental husbandman and gardener: containing a new method of improving estates and gardens 1726
 
Ambler, Jacquelin A treatise on the culture of lucerne 1800
  
Baird, Thomas General view of the agriculture of the County of Middlesex 1793
  
Bakewell, Robert Observations on the influence of soil and climate upon wool 1808

Baildon, Joseph The laurel. a new collection of English songs and cantatas : sung by Mr. Lowe and Miss Falkner at Vaux-Hall and Marybon-Gardens / Book II

Belsches, R. General view of the agriculture of the county of Stirling 1796
  
Billingsley, John General view of the agriculture in the county of Somerset 1794
   
Binns, John Alexander A treatise on practical farming; embracing particularly the following subjects, viz. the use of plaister of Paris 1803
 
Bordley, John Beale Sketches on rotations of crops, and other rural matters, To which are annexed Intimations on manufactures 1797
   
Bordley, John Beale Essays and notes on husbandry and rural affairs 1799
  
Bordley, John Beale Sketches on rotations of crops, and other rural matters
   
Bordley, John Beale Outlines of a plan, for establishing a state society of agriculture in Pennsylvania 1794
 
Bordley, John Beale Country habitations 1798
   
Bordley, John Beale Husbandry, dependant on Live Stock 1799

Bordley, John Beale Hemp 1799

Bradley, Richard New improvements of planting and gardening : both philosophical and practical 1726   

Bradley, Richard A General treatise of husbandry and gardening 1724
 
Bradley, Richard Ten practical discourses concerning the four elements, as they relate to the growth of plants 1733 

Richard Bradley Dictionarium botanicum: or, A botanical dictionary for the use of the curious in husbandry and gardening 

Chambers, Sir William Plans, elevations, sections, and perspective views of the gardens and buildings at Kew, in Surry 1763

Chambers, Sir William Designs of Chinese buildings, furniture, dresses, machines and utensils, engraved by the best hands, from the originals drawn in China 

Cointeraux, François  École d'architecture rurale 
    
Custis, George Washington Parke An address to the people of the United States, on the importance of encouraging agriculture & domestic manufactures 1808 

Darwin, Erasmus  The botanic garden : a poem, in two parts. With philosophical notes.

Daubenton, Louis Jean Marie Advice to shepherds and owners of flocks on the care and management of sheep 1810   

Dezallier d'Argentville, Antoine Joseph The theory and practice of gardening 1728   

Dickson, Adam The husbandry of the ancients 1788
 
Donaldson, James General view of the agriculture of the county of Northampton 1794
 
Erskine, John Francis General view of the agriculture of the county of Clackmannan 1795

Errard, Charles Parallele de l'architecture antique avec la moderne, suivant les dix principaux auteurs qui ont écrit des cinq ordres
   
Evelyn, John Terra: a philosophical discourse of earth 1787
 
Evelyn, John Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions 1664
  
Fordyce, George Elements of agriculture and vegetation 1771
   
Forsyth, William A treatise on the culture and management of fruit-trees 1802    

Gardiner, John The American gardener: containing ample directions for working a kitchen garden, every month in the year 1804

Gentil, François Le jardinier solitaire, ou, Dialogues entre un 
curieux & un jardinier solitaire

Haines, Charles Considerations on the great western canal, from the Hudson to Lake Erie : with a view of its expence, advantages, and progress. Re-published by order of the New-York Corresponding Association, for the promotion of internal improvements
  
Hale, Thomas A compleat body of husbandry 1758
  
Hales, Stephen Statical essays; containing Vegetable Staticks 1738
 
Heely, Joseph Letters on the beauties of Hagley, Envil, and the Leasowes 1777

Heron, Henry A collection of songs. sung at Marybone Gardens by Miss Thomas / Book V and A collection of songs. sung at Marybone Gardens by Mr. Rennoldson / Book IV
 
Hepburn, Sir George Buchan General view of the agriculture and rural economy of East Lothian 1794

Home, Francis The principles of agriculture and vegetation 1762
   
Home, Lord Kames, Henry The gentleman farmer 1779
  
Jacob, Giles The country gentleman's vade mecum 1717
   
Kirwan, Richard The manures most advantageously applicable to the various sorts of soils, and the causes of their beneficial effect 1796
   
Langley, Batty Pomona: or, the Fruit-Garden Illustrated 1729

Langley, Batty Practical geometry applied to the useful arts of building surveying, gardening, and mensuration

Lastri, Marco Antonio Corso di agricoltura di un accademico georgofilo autore della Biblioteca georgica
    
Livingston, Robert R. Essay on sheep; their varieties--account of the merinoes of Spain, France &c 1809

Logan, George Fourteen agricultural experiments, to ascertain the best rotation of crops 1797

Logan, George A letter to the citizens of Pennsylvania, on the necessity of promoting agriculture, manufactures & the useful arts 1800
 
M'Mahon, Bernard The American gardener's calendar; adapted to the climates and seasons of the United States 1806   

Main, Thomas Directions for the transplantation and management of young thorn or other hedge plants 1807
 
Miller, Philip The gardeners kalendar ; directing what works are necessary to be performed every month 1765

Miller, Philip The gardener's dictionary : containing the best and newest methods of cultivating 1768

Miller, Philip Dictionnaire des jardiniers, contenant les méthodes les plus sûres et les plus modernes pour cultiver et améliorer les jardins potagers, à fruits, à fleurs et les pépinières, ainsi que pour réformer les anciennes pratiques d'agriculture; avec des moyens nouveaux de faire et conserver le vin, suivant les procédés actuellement en usage parmi les vignerons les plus instruits de plusieurs pays de l'Europe...
   
Moore, Thomas The great error of American agriculture exposed : and hints for improvement suggested 1801
  
Mortimer, John The whole art of husbandry: or, The way of managing and improving of land 1721
   
Naismith, John Observations on the different breeds of sheep and the state of sheep farming, in the southern districts of Scotland 1795
   
Parkinson, Richard The experienced farmer 1799

Parry, R. Particulars of the breeding stock, late the property of Mr. Robert Fowler, of Little Rollright 1791

Pearce, William General view of the agriculture in Berkshire 1794

Pelloutier, Simon Histoire des Celtes : et particulierment des Gaulois et des Germains, depuis les tems fabuleux, jusqu'à la prise de Rome par les Gaulois 
  
Peters, Richard Agricultural enquiries on plaister of Paris, also, facts, observations, and conjectures on that substance 1797

Pitt, William General view of the agriculture of the county of Stafford 1794
  
Randolph, John A treatise on gardening 1793 

Reed, Joseph  Lyric harmony : consisting of eighteen entire new ballads with Colin and Phaebe, in score : as perform'd at Vaux Hall Gardens by Mrs. Arne and Mr. Lowe : opera quarta by Thomas Augustine Arne Madrigal and Trulletta. A mock-tragedy. Acted (under the direction of Mr. Cibber) at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden. With notes by the author, and Dr. Humbug, critick and censor-general 

Roscoe, William  An address delivered before the proprietors of the botanic garden in Liverpool previous to opening the garden, May

Seeley, Benton Stowe : a description of the magnificent house and gardens of the Right Honourable Richard Grenville Temple 1783
     
Spurrier, John The practical farmer: being a new and compendious system of husbandry 1793 
 
Stone, Thomas General view of the agriculture of the county of Huntingdon 1793
  
Strickland, Sir William Observations on the agriculture of the United States of America 1801

Taylor, John Arator; being a series of agricultural essays 1813

Trinci, Cosimo L'agricoltore sperimentato, ovvero, Regole generali sopra l'agricoltura 
    
Ure, David General view of the agriculture of the County of Kinross 1797    

Vancouver, Charles General view of the agriculture in the county of Essex 1795
Whately, Thomas Observations on modern gardening 1770

Young, Arthur Rural oeconomy, or, Essays on the practical parts of husbandry 1773
Young, Arthur Proceedings of His Majesty's most honourable Privy council, and information received, respecting an insect 1789

Young, Arthur The farmer's guide in hiring and stocking farms 1771

Young, Arthur Travels during the years 1787, 1788 and 1789 1793 

The Anglo-Saxon version, from the historian Orosius / by Ælfred the Great ; together with an English translation from the Anglo-Saxon by Paulus Orosius

The general history of Polybius / translated from the Greek by Mr. Hampton by Polybius

For more Legacy Libraries go to Library Thing.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

History Blooms at Monticello - Virginia Sweetspire

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)

This handsome North American species is native from New Jersey south to Florida and Louisiana. It was introduced into cultivation in 1744 and was listed in Philadelphia nurseryman John Bartram’s catalogue of 1783. 

Three years later, Jefferson, who was living in Paris at the time, requested Itea from both John Bartram, Jr. and Richard Cary of Virginia. Jefferson also included Itea virginica in his book, Notes on the State of Virginia. Its outstanding fall color is its greatest attribute, and a cultivar, ‘Henry’s Garnet’, received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s award of merit.

For more information & the possible availability for purchase