Popular Science Monthly/Volume 40/April 1892/Sketch of John and William Bartram
|←Bad Air and Bad Health I||Popular Science Monthly Volume 40 April 1892 (1892)
Sketch of John and William Bartram
DURING the century which preceded the American Revolution the science of the colonies, like their commerce, was tributary to that of the Old World. Fabulous reports in regard to the natural resources of America had been brought home by European voyagers, and the cultivators of all sciences and arts were looking to that vast unexplored region for products which should increase the knowledge of the naturalist, the resources of the physician and the agriculturist, the profits of the merchant, and the enjoyment of the man of leisure. The function of those colonists who inclined to natural history was that of explorers and collectors, and among the earliest and most notable of these American collectors were the subjects of this sketch.
The grandfather of the elder Bartram, also named John, came from Derbyshire, England, to Pennsylvania in 1682. He brought his wife, three sons, and one daughter, and settled near Darby, in Delaware (then Chester) County. The third son, William, was the only one who married, his wife being Elizabeth, daughter of James Hunt, Both families belonged to the Society of Friends. The children of William were John (the botanist), James, William, and a daughter who died young. The second William went to North Carolina and settled near Cape Fear; John and James remained in Pennsylvania.
The date of John Bartram's birth was March 23, 1699. But little is on record concerning his early years. Like the majority
of boys in the colonies, he was brought up to a farming life, and his education was only such as the country schools of the time afforded. After reaching adult years he studied Latin a little, so as to be able to pick out the descriptions of plants in the Latin works of European botanists. In a sketch of John Bartram, written by his son William, it is stated that he had an inclination to the study of physic and surgery and did much toward relieving the ailments of his poor neighbors. In January, 1723, he married Mary, daughter of Richard Morris, of Chester Meeting, by whom he had two sons — Richard, who died young, and Isaac, who lived to old age. His wife Mary died in 1727, and in September, 1729, he married Ann Mendenhall, of Concord Meeting, who survived him. John and Ann Bartram had nine children, five boys and four girls. Of these the third son was William, he and his twin
Bartram's House in 1887. (From a photograph furnished by Mr. Thomas Meehan.)
sister, Elizabeth, being born February 0, 1739. The ground on which John Bartram laid out the first botanic garden in America was on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, at Kingsessing, near Gray's Ferry (now within the city limits of Philadelphia), and was bought by him September 30, 1728. "Here he built with his own hands," says William, "a large and comfortable house of hewn stone, and laid out a garden containing about five acres." A view of this house, which is still standing, is given in the SKETCH OF JOHN AND WILLIAM BART RAM. 829
accompanying picture. The year of its erection is shown by a stone in the wall on which is cut "John ^ Ann Bartram, 1731." Another inscription on a stone over the front window of his
study reads :
Tis God alone, Almighty Lord, The Holy One, by me adored.
"John Barteam, 1770."
That the building was a labor of love is attested by the care be- stowed upon the carved stone-work around the windows and doors and the pillar under the porch. John Bartram must have been a good stone-cutter and mason, for this was one of four stone houses that he built in his lifetime.
Nearly all the extant information concerning the lives of the two Bartrams has been embodied in the Memorial of John Bar- tram, by William Darlington, published in IS-IO. This volume contains the sketch of John Bartram by his son William, with some additions by the editor, and over four hundred pages of corre- spondence. About a fourth of these letters are from his friend Peter Collinson ; the others are from eminent botanists in Europe and America, and from Bartram to these various correspondents. Darlington also reprinted a sketch of John Bartram, which ap- peared in the Letters from an American Farmer, by J. Hector St. John, published in London soon af tei Bartram's death. The " let- ter" describing Bartram purports to be written by a Russian traveler, who is evidently a myth, although in all imj)ortant re- spects the account represents the botanist as he was. As to how Bartram's interest in botany was aroused, the " Russian gentle- man " has a very pretty story, telling of a sudden conversion after the botanist had married ; but Bartram himself is better author- ity, and he writes to Collinson, May 1, 1764, "I had always since ten years old a great inclination to plants, and knew all that I once observed by sight, though not their proper names, having no person nor books to instruct me."
He was encouraged to study systematically by James Logan (founder of the Loganian Library, in Philadelphia), who gave him several botanical works. In order that his explorations, begun at his own expense, might be extended, Bartram's friends prompted him to seek the patronage of some wealthy and influential person in the mother-country. Accordingly, a quantity of his specimens and a record of some of his observations were sent to Peter Col- linson, a Quaker merchant in England, who was greatly inter- ested in horticulture. Bartram's consignment secured his inter- est, and led to a correspondence, which lasted nearly fifty years. The first letter in Darlington's collection is from Collinson, under the date January 20, 17;54-'35, and refers to letters from Bartram of the preceding November ; hence this correspondence probably
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began when Bartram was about thirty-five years of age. In his early letters Collinson makes many inquiries about American plants and requests for specimens. He sends Bartram seeds, roots, cuttings of trees, vegetables, and flowering plants culti- vated in England, packages of paper in which to preserve speci- mens, and gives him directions for collecting and drying plants. From time to time he sends presents of cloth and other articles for the use of the botanist or his family. For Bartram's " im- provement in the knowledge of plants " he early offers, if dupli- cate collections are sent, to " get them named by our most know- ing botanists, and then return them again, which will improve thee more than books." In this way the learning of Dillenius, Gronovius, and other eminent men was brought to the aid of the humble colonist. Collinson obtained for Bartram many orders for seeds and roots of American plants, and early secured for him the patronage of Lord Petre, whose gardens and hot-houses were probably the most extensive in the kingdom. This noble ama- teur ordered quantities of seeds from time to time, and when Bar- tram asked for a yearly allowance to enable him to extend his ex- plorations, Lord Petre agreed to contribute ten guineas toward it. As much more was obtained from the Duke of Richmond and Philip Miller, and the twenty guineas were paid each year till 1743, when Lord Petre died. The first expedition that Bartram made with this assistance was an exploration of the Schuylkill River. He transmitted his journal of the trip and a map of the river to his patrons, and with both of these Collinson reported Lord Petre to be much pleased.
Besides plants, Collinson asks Bartram at various times to send insects, birds, and their eggs and nests, terrapin and other turtles, snakes, shells, wasps' and hornets' nests, and fossils, which last were then regarded as " evidences of the Deluge." " My incli- nation and fondness to natural productions of all kinds," he writes, "is agreeable to the old proverb, ' Lil-e the parson's ham — refuses nothing.'" During the second year of his allowance Bartram complains that it does not recompense him for his labors, and he also finds fault with Collinson for giving him seeds and cuttings that he has already, and for not having answered some of his let- ters. Collinson, in a business-like reply, shows that Bartram's complaints are due to his ignorance of commercial affairs and the difficulty of transatlantic communication, and to his ex- ceeding the commissions of his patrons — whereupon the botanist promptly apologizes.
In 1738 Bartram made a journey of five weeks through Mary- land and Virginia to Williamsburg, then up the James River, and over the Blue Ridge Mountains, traveling in all about eleven hundred miles. Most of the botanist's expeditions were made
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without any scientific companion. " Our Americans," he Avrites to a correspondent, " have very little taste for these amusements. I can't find one that will bear the fatigue to accompany me in my peregrinations."
In an undated letter, written probably in 1730, to Colonel Byrd, of Virginia, Bartram reports that he had been making " micro- scopical observations upon the male and female parts in vegeta- bles," He had also made, he says, " several successful experi- ments of joining several species of the same genus, whereby I have obtained curious mixed colors in flowers, never known be- fore," To this he adds : " I hope by these practical observations to open a gate into a very large field of experimental knowledge, which, if judiciously improved, may be a considerable addition to the beauty of the florist's garden," It was in this " field of experimental knowledge " — namely, cross-fertilization — that Dar- win afterward won a share of his fame. Bartram evidently dis- cussed this subject with Collinson, for the latter writes in 1742: "That some variegations may be occasioned by insects is cer- tain ; but then these are only annual, and cease with the year," Permanent variegations, he says, are produced by budding — a sort of inoculation.
That Bartram had a hostility to superstition, tempered with much considerateness for persons, is shown by a letter in which he tells of a visit to Dr. Witt, of Germantown, another of CoUin- son's correspondents. He says : " When we are upon the topic of astrology, magic, and mystic divinity, I am apt to be a little troublesome, by inquiring into the foundation and reasonableness of these notions — which, thee knows, will not bear to be searched and examined into : though I handle these fancies with more ten- derness with him than I should with many others that are so superstitiously inclined."
One of the botanists whose offices Collinson had secured in identifying Bartram's specimens was Prof. Dillenius, of Oxford, and in 17-40 Collinson writes for some mosses for him, saying, " He defers completing his work till he sees what comes from thee, Clayton, and Dr. Mitchell." In the same year a list of speci- mens which had been named by Dr. J. F. Gronovius, of Leyden, was returned, and contained this entry : " Coyivsce sii'e Verhasci, Fl, Virg., pp. 74, 75. This being a new genus, may be called Bartramia." The name Bartramia is now borne by a diff'er- ent plant — a moss growing in the Berkshire Hills of Massa- chusetts.
Bartram's correspondence with Gronovius began about 1743, and extends over a dozen years or more. Gronovius writes at length, very appreciatively, and makes many requests. He sends his books as they appear, and before the publication of his Index
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Lapidse, sends a transcript of the passage, in Latin, in which he is to give Bartram credit for his fossil finds.
Among the European scientists whom Collinson made ac- quainted with Bartram's work was Sir Hans Sloane, physician and naturalist, who succeeded Newton as President of the Royal Society. At his request Bartram sends him, in 1741, some "petri- fied representations of sea-shells." The next year Sloane sends to Bartram a silver cup inscribed :
" The gift of S' Hans Sloane, Bart.
To his Fr" John Bartram.
A figure of this cup is given by Darlington. Sloane also sent Bartram his Natural History of Jamaica, in two ponderous folio volumes.
About this time a correspondence began between Bartram and Dr. John Fothergill, a wealthy physician and naturalist, who, like Sloane, had first received some of Bartram's specimens from Col- linson. Dr. Fothergill wishes to know what mineral springs there are in America, and Bartram sends him what information he has and can get from others.
Bartram also exchanged letters with Philip Miller, author of the Gardener's Dictionary, with George Edwards, who in 17GC sends his book, containing descriptions of birds that the Penn- sylvanian had sent him, with Prof. John Hope, of Edinburgh, and with the ablest observers of nature in the colonies, among whom were Dr. John Mitchell, Rev. Jared Eliot, John Clayton^ Cadwallader Golden, and Dr. Alexander Garden.
In 1744 he writes, "Dr. Gronovius hath sent me his Index Lapidae, and Linnseus the second edition of his Characteres Plantarum, with a very loving letter desiring my correspondence, and to furnish him with some natural curiosities of our country." The same year he sends to England his Journal of the Five Na- tions and the Lake Ontario, describing a journey he had made the preceding fall. It contained an account of the " soil, produc- tions, mountains, and lakes " of those parts of Pennsylvania and New York through which the route lay ; and gave the proceed- ings of a great assembly of Indian chiefs held to treat with the agent of the Province of Pennsylvania, whom Bartram accom- panied. This journal was afterward published in London.
The visit of Peter Kalm to America took place in 1748 to 1751. He traveled through Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, and ad- joining provinces ; made the acquaintance of the Gray's Ferry botanist, and obtained much assistance from him. It has been alleged that Kalm took to himself the credit of some discoveries which rightfully belonged to Bartram. This would not be sus- pected from reading Kalm's Travels, in which he gives Bartram
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a page and a half of hearty commendation, saying among other things: "We owe to him the knowledge of many scarce plants, which he first found, and which were never known before. . . . I likewise owe him many things, for he possessed that great qual- ity of communicating everything he knew. I shall, therefore, in the sequel frequently mention this gentleman." On nearly every one of the next twenty pages credit is given to Bartram for in- formation.
In 1751 Benjamin Franklin and D. Hall published at Phila- delphia an American edition of Dr. Thomas Short's Medicina Britannica, " with a Preface by Mr. John Bartram, Botanist, of Pennsylvania, and his Notes throughout the work ; . . . and an Appendix, containing a description of a number of Plants peculiar to America, their uses, virtues, etc." The notes told where the plants were found in America, and how they differed from the English varieties.
John Bartram's son William begins to figure in his father's correspondence when about fifteen years old. At that time Bar- tram sent some of William's drawings of natural objects to Col- linson, and took him on a trip to the Catskills. In 1755 Bartram writes : " I design to set Billy to draw all our turtles with remarks, as he has time, which is only on Seventh days in the afternoon, and First-day mornings ; for he is constantly kept to school to learn Latin and French." This attention to the languages indi- cates that Bartram was determined that his son should not suffer from the lack that had limited his own reading of works on nat- ural history. Williarn was then attending the old college in Philadelphia.
The same passage shows also that Bartram's ideas about Sun- day occupations were somewhat unusual for that generation, and in fact it is stated that he was excommunicated by his brother Quakers about this time for his independent religious views. The question of an occupation for William now came up, and in the letter just quoted his father asks Collinson's advice in the matter. " My son William," he writes, " is just turned of sixteen. It is now time to propose some way for him to get his living by. I don't want him to be what is commonly called a gentleman. I want to put him to some business by which he may, with care and indus- try, get a temperate, reasonable living. I am afraid that botany and drawing will not afford him one, and hard labor don't agree with him. I have designed several years to put him to a doctor, to learn physic and surgery ; but that will take him from his drawing, which he takes particular delight in. Pray, my dear friend Peter, let me have thy opinion about it." Franklin offered to teach William the printing trade, but Bartram was not quite satisfied with the prospects for printers in Pennsylvania, and
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Franklin then suggested engraving. But William iDecanie nei- ther printer nor engraver. At the age of eighteen he was placed with a Philadelphia merchant, Mr. Child, where he remained about four years.
Bartram's science was largely practical. He wrote to Dr. Alexander Garden, of Charleston, in 1755, suggesting a series of borings on a large scale, to search for valuable mineral products. He gives as another reason the satisfaction to be derived from knowing the composition of the earth, and adds, " By this method we may compose a curious subterranean map.'"* " This scheme of John Bartram's," says Darlington—" if original with him— would indicate that he had formed a pretty good notion of the nature and importance of a geological survey and map, more than half a century before such undertakings were attempted in our country, or even thought of by those whose province it was to authorize them."
Bartram was evidently much interested in geological subjects ; thus, in 1756 he writes, " My dear worthy friend, thee can't bang me out of the notion that limestone and marble were originally mud, impregnated by a marine salt, which I take to be the origi- nal of all our terrestrial soils."
In 1760 he makes a trip through the Carolinas, his Journal of which he wrote out and sent to England. The following sum- mer, William, then twenty-two years old, went to North Carolina and set up as a trader at Cape Fear, where his uncle William had settled when a young man. That year John Bartram makes a journey to Pittsburg and some way down the Ohio River, keep- ing a journal, as usual, which is sent to his English friends. Nearly all of these trips were made in autumn, so as to get ripe seeds of desirable trees and plants.
Bartram had too tender a feeling toward animal life to be much of a zoologist. He says on this score : " As for the animals and insects, it is very few that I touch of choice, and most with uneasiness. Neither can I behold any of them, that have not done me a manifest injury, in their agonizing mortal pains with- out pity. I also am of opinion that the creatures commonly called brutes possess higher qualifications, and more exalted ideas, than our traditional mystery-mongers are willing to allow them." His ideas concerning animal psychology were thus clear- ly in advance of his time.
The war with France, known to Americans as the French and Indian War, resulted in extending the British possessions in America as far west as the Mississippi River. Immediately a de- sire was expressed in England for a thorough exploration of this great accession of territory. Bartram writes in 1763 that this could not be made without great danger from the Indians. His
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own expeditions had been very short during the hostilities. The late war had shown the colonists what atrocities the savages were capable of, and the prevailing feelings toward the red men had become dread and hatred. " Many years past in our most peace- able times," writes Bartram, " far beyond the mountains, as I was walking in a path with an Indian guide, hired for two dollars, an Indian man met me and pulled off my hat in a great passion, and chawed it all round — I suppose to show me that they would eat me if I came in that country again." In two other letters he says that the only way to make peace with the Indians " is to bang them stoutly." The question arises whether the combative dis- position of the botanist thus revealed might not have been one of the reasons for his exclusion from the Society of Friends.
In 1764 Bartram sends to England his Journal to Carolina and New River. In this year, one Young, of Pennsylvania, managed to gain the favor of the new king, George III, by sending him some American plants, and obtained sudden preferment. It was said that all the plants had been sent to England before — many of them by Bartram, The friends of our botanist, feeling that he was much more deserving of such favor, urged him to send some specimens to the king, which he does through Collinson, desiring that he may be given a commission for botanical exploration in the Floridas. April 9, 1765, Collinson writes, " My repeated solici- tations have not been in vain," and reports that the king has appointed Bartram his botanist for the Floridas, with a salary of fifty pounds a year. This appointment continued till the death of the botanist, twelve years after. Bartram accordingly made an expedition in the South the next fall. He was then sixty-six years old ; and, although his eagerness for exploring was undiminished, he felt the need of a companion on this trip, and got William to go with him, the latter closing out his not very successful business at Cape Fear in order to do so. In his sketch of his father, William states that he had been ordered to search for the sources of the river San Juan (St. John's), and that he ascended the river its whole length, nearly four hundred miles, by one bank, and descended by the other. He explored and made a survey of both the main stream and its branches and connected lakes, and made a draught showing widths, depths, and distances. He also noted the lay of the land, quality of the soil, the vege- table and animal productions, etc. His report was approved by the governor of the province, and was sent to the Board of Trade and Plantations in England, by which it was ordered published " for the benefit of the new colony." Bartram collected a fine lot of plants, fossils, and other curiosities on this trip, which were forwarded to the king, who was reported to be much pleased with them. His journal is still extant, in a volume with an Ac-
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count of East Florida, by William Stork, published in England. It is evident from this production that the botanist was not a ready writer. His observations are minute and sagacious, and his language is simple, but his sentences are loosely strung out, and the record is the barest statement of facts. His Journal to the Five Nations, however, is much more readable.
William seems to have been much taken with Florida, and accordingly his father helped to establish him as an indigo- planter on the St. John's River. After about a year of disas- trous experience he returned to his father's home and went to work on a farm in the vicinity. Collinson had been watching for an opening for William in England, but so far nothing had come of it. The next year he writes that the Duchess of Portland, a " great virtuoso in shells and all marine productions," had just dined at his house, and, having seen William's drawings," she de- sires to bestow twenty guineas on his performances for a trial.'* The kind of objects she wants drawn are told. The same month, July 18, 17G8, Collinson writes to William that he had also secured an order from Dr. Fothergill for drawings of shells, turtles, terra- pin, etc. This was probably the last letter of Collinson to the Bartrams, as he died on the 11th of the following month. Dur- ing his long friendship with John Bartram the two men had never seen each other.
William now began to send drawings and descriptions to Dr. Fothergill from time to time. In 1773 he began explorations in the Floridas, Carolina, and Georgia, the expense of which for nearly five years was borne by Dr. Fothergill, and to him William's collections and drawings were turned over. William made many contributions to the natural history of the country through which he traveled, and in 1791 jDublished his Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, together with an account of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and other tribes of Indians which he visited. His attitude toward the red men is much more favorable than that of his father. The volume contains many engravings of plants and birds from the author's own draw- ings. Of this book Coleridge said : " The latest book of travels I know Avritten in the spirit of the old travelers is Bartram's account of his tour in the Floridas. It is a work of high merit every way."
Among the influential friends of the elder Bartram was Benja- min Franklin. While in England Franklin writes to him and sends him seeds of garden vegetables at various times ; and when the Revolution had stopped his sending seeds to England, Franklin offers to sell them for him in France.
Among the testimonials to his botanical achievements that Bartram received was a gold medal, weighing 487 grains, from
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a society in Edinburgh, founded in 17G4, for obtaining seeds of useful trees and shrubs from other countries. This medal is in- scribed, " To Mr. John Bartram, from a Society of Gentlemen at Edinburgh, 1772 " ; and on the reverse, " Merenti," in a wreath. The medal is figured in Darlington's Memorials, and when that book was published was in the possession of a Mrs. Jones, a de- scendant of the botanist. April 2G, 1769, the Royal Academy of Sciences, of Stockholm, on the proposal of Prof. Bergius, elected Bartram to membership. Another honor that he received from the same country was a letter from Queen Ulrica, and with this may be mentioned the opinion passed upon him by Linnaeus, who called Bartram the greatest natural botanist in the world. Bar- tram was one of the original members of the American Philo- sophical Society, and contributed many papers to its Trans- actions.
The closing years of John Bartram's life were the opening years of the Revolution. He was living when independence was declared in the neighboring city of Philadelphia, but died the following year, September 22, 1777, at the age of seventy-eight. A grand- daughter, who remembered him distinctly, has stated that he was exceedingly agitated by the approach of the British army after the battle of Brandywine, and that his days were probably short- ened in consequence. The royal troops had been ravaging the country, and he was apprehensive lest they should lay waste his darling garden.
His son William describes him as " a man of modest and gentle manners, frank, cheerful, and of great good nature ; a lover of justice, truth, and charity. . . . During the whole course of his life there was not a single instance of his engaging in a litigious contest with any of his neighbors or others. He zealously testified against slavery, and, that his philanthropic precepts on this sub- ject might have their due weight and force, he gave liberty to a most valuable male slave, then in the prime of his life, who had been bred up in the family almost from infancy." He was of an active temperament, and often expressed the wish that he might not live to be helpless. This desire was gratified, for he died after only a short illness.
No picture of him is known to exist. In regard to his physical appearance William states : " His stature was rather above the middle size, and upright. His visage was long, and his counte- nance expressive of a degree of dignity with a happy mixture of animation and sensibility." Concerning Bartram's ability as a naturalist there are enthusiastic opinions extant in letters by Franklin, Collinson, Golden, and others well qualified to judge.
William Bartram, after the death of his father, continued in the pursuit of natural history. The Botanic Garden was inher-
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ited by liis brotlier Jolin, wlio took William into a partnership which lasted many years. After this arrangement terminated, William continued to assist his brother till the death of the latter, in 1812. The garden then descended to John's daughter Anne, the wife of Colonel Robert Carr, in whose family William resided from that time until his death. He was never married. In 1782 William Bartram was elected Professor of Botany in the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania, but declined the position on account of ill health. He became a member of the American Philosophical Society in 178G, and was elected to other learned societies in both Euroi)e and America. He was an ingenious mechanic, and, as before intimated, was skillful in drawing and painting. Most of the illustrations in Prof. Barton's Elements of Botany were from his drawings. His botanical labors brought to light many inter- esting plants not previously known. But this was not his only field. He made the most complete and correct list of American birds before Wilson's Ornithology, and, in fact, his encouragement and assistance were largely instrumental in making that work possible. Among William Bartram's scientific correspondents were the Rev. Henry Muhlenberg and F. A. Michaux, to whom he furnished seeds. A manuscript diary of William Bartram, pre- sented to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1885, by Mr. Thomas Meehan, is rich in ornithological and botanical notes, and contains also weather notes and records of personal ex- periences which are of great interest. His death occurred sud- denly from the rupture of a blood-vessel in the lungs, July 22, 1823, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. Besides his Travels, Will- iam Bartram was the author of Anecdotes of a Crow, and Descrip- tion of Certhia. In 1789 he wrote Observations on the Creek and Cherokee Indians, which was published in 1851, in the Trans- actions of the American Ethnological Society, Vol. III.
In the old stone-house the great fireplace has been filled up, but few other changes have been made. The building is full of curious turns and cubby-holes. Connected with a cupboard in the sitting-room is a recess running behind the chimney, which furnished a safe depository in winter for si^ecimens that frost could injure. Back of the sitting-room, in the wing of the build- ing, is an aj)artment with large windows looking toward the south which was the botanist's conservatory. Here were reared such plants as could not stand a Pennsylvania winter — gathered in Florida or the Carolinas, or sent from Europe. In the grounds close to the river is a great imbedded rock, hewn flat, in which is cut a wide, deep groove. This is the nether stone of John Bar- tram's cider-mill. The Botanic Garden remained in the posses- sion of Colonel Carr till about 1850, when it became the property of Mr. A. M. Eastwick. This gentleman had derived much pleas-
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ure from visiting the garden as a boy, and was resolved to pre- serve it without the sacrifice of a tree or a shrub. In 1853 a Handbook of Ornamental Trees, by Mr. Thomas Meehan, was published, the main purpose of which, as stated in its preface, was to describe the trees then in the Bartram garden. After Mr. Eastwick's death, the fate of the garden was for some time dubi- ous. His executors saw no duty but to get as much money out of the estate as possible. About 1880 Prof. C. S. Sargent, of Harvard University, obtained the promise of a private subscrip- tion to buy the old garden, and a price was agreed upon, but the executors withdrew from the agreement. In 1882 Mr. Thomas Meehan became a member of the Common Councils of Philadel- phia and at once introduced a scheme for small parks for the city, in which the Bartram place was included. Repeated re- elections enabled him to follow the matter up, and finally, in the spring of 1891, the city took possession of the property, and put a superintendent in charge of it. The great gale of September, 1875, and some fifteen years of neglect had had their effect among the trees, but many planted by the botanist's own hands yet remain. It should be a source of gratification to all cultivators of science that this relic of the beginnings of botany in America is now as- sured of preservation.
��Mb. "W. W. Rockhill was credibly assured during his travels in Thibet that wild men were to be found in the eastern part of that country. His informant, a Mongol who had accompanied a Chinese trader in quest of rhubarb, described these savages as covered with long hair, standing erect, and making tracks like men. The author is of the opinion that they were nothing but bears ; but he acknowledges that intelligent and educated Chinese, well acquainted with the appearance and habits of bears, believe that primitive savages are to be found in the Thibetan mountains ; and he himself speaks of a forest fire in the Horpa country having driven out of the woods a number of hairy wUd men, clad in skins and speaking an incomprehensible language. The Indian traveler Kishen Singh and Lieutenant Kreitner testify to the existence of wild men in those parts, and the former minutely describes them and their habits. It is curious, too, the Athenajum remarks, that the habitat of the wild man, whose progenitors may easily have relapsed into savagery, owing to the exceptional sterility and inaccessi- bility of northern Thibet and its adjacent deserts, should be the same as that of the wild camel and the wild horse, which there is good reason to believe are the prototypes of the domesticated varieties.
Me. E. H. Max says that the little island of Chowry has for generations en- joyed the monopoly of pottery manufacture in the Nicobars. The work of pre- paring the clay and of molding and firing the finished vessel devolves on the female members of the community. The inliabitants of the island seem to guard their art jealously, and the value of trade-marks is recognized. No vessels are made especially by the Nicobarese for funeral purposes, but cooking-pots are among the personal and household articles that are laid on a grave after an inter- ment. The people have no knowledge of anything like the potter's wheel.
example, blood charged with poison which have escaped from the skin and lungs, and been rebreathed into the system—would have the same favoring effect upon them as the un-healthy tissue. Both are likely to present them with the food they require. If this be so, then just as the bacteria that cause disease are favored by the external poisons they find ill vitiated air, so also they may be internally favored by the unhealthy slate of the bronchial and lung tissues of those persons who habitually breathe the poisons of shut-up rooms. Thus, these organic poisons, both within and without a man, would tend to make him a prey to those illnesses in which the success of the germ depended upon its proper—might we say—food being supplied to it; and it would seem probable that, by constant attention to the purity of the air which we breathe, we might do much toward securing individual exemption from the danger of infectious diseases. An instructive passage in Dr. Carpenter (p. 365) which bears on this point should be read. It is also worth quoting Prof. Nussbaum (see an interesting article by Mrs. Priestley, May, Nineteenth Century, p. 825): "It is known with certainty that the cholera bacillus is dangerous only to those persons whose stomach is not in a healthy state, and jeopardizes life only when it passes into the intestines. A healthy stomach will digest the bacillus, and therefore it does not reach the intestines in a living state." It is, perhaps, right to refer here to a theory that in the blood and connective and lymphatic tissues (Klein, p. 243) there exists a clan of protective cells (phagocytes), whose office it is to overpower invading bacteria of a dangerous character; and, according to Metschnikoff (Ann. de l' Institut Pasteur) these can, in case of need, emigrate to any part of the body which is invaded by parasites.