« AnteriorContinuar »
1818 deviates from the English copy in are, page 7, Jan. 25, Proportional Lo. Hive Chronological Cycles, twelve Em- garithms for noon, for 5974 read 4974. der days, and twelve moveable Feasts.” Page 50, May 8, Equation of time, for This declaration of Mr. Hitchcock at 4, 43, 6 read 3, 43, 6. Page 52, lat. Georonce exposes him. It is not true; before gian, for 8, 4. read 0, 4, Page 53, May 29, three respectable persons I have com- Longitude noon, for 0. 7. S. 25, read pared my edition with the English, and 0. 7. 8. 25. Page 98, Sept. 27, Sun's find it corresponds in every particular. long. for 184.108.40.206, read 6. 3. 44.57.
He goes on to say that, in my Page 103, Proportional Logarithm for Almanack for 1817, I have used the sign noon, for 4033 read 4833; for midnight, Virgo for that of Scorpio. There is such a fer 4647 read 4947. Page 115, Oct. 9, similarity between the two characters as Moon's Semidiameter (noon) for 1557 to offer some excuse for this neglect, and read 1657. These are errors important be admits, as a reason why he discover- to be corrected, and it is a duty incumbent ed it, the fact that it was not possible. on every one to lend his aid toward per
He then endeavours to impress on the fection, and far more praise-worthy to public the belief of his having corrected admonish, than to draw a publisher beall the errors in the English Nautical Al- fore the public, who at least aims to de manack for 1818, merely because he has, serve a share of general patronage. To in the pursuit of his business, discovered close, the celebrated Nevil MASKELYNE, a few of minor importance. The fact Astronomer Royal, has been dead seis, I republish the Nautical Almanac for veral years; since then the Nautical Althe use of Navigators, and I offer “ten manack has not been so correctly publish. dollars for the discovery of an error in ed. We take it “ for better for worse," the figures.” I commenced the work in and where an error is discovered, correct 1811, and in no instance have I printed a it; and I now challenge Mr. Hitchcock wrong figure; the pages he refers to are to point out one instance where I have used generally by Astronomers, and al- deviated from the copy in a figure. If though I would willingly bestow every he does, he shall have the reward offered, reasonable attention to make those pages · which appears to be his aim. I will also correct, that he might copy rather than be thank him to publish the many letters he at the trouble of calculating, still I would has received from me, and which are so rather ten errors should escape me there, “evasive and unsatisfactory.” Perhaps than one by which the mariner should others may understand them if he canbe deceived. I am led to this remark by not. I have one from him, but, I shall his shameful neglect, in the examination only say that it has no tendency to prove of that Almanack, and shall point out er- that perfectior. is the lot of man. rors which I have corrected in my edi
Respectfully yours, tion, of more importance to the mariner
EDM. M. BLUNT. than all the services he ever rendered December 1, 1817. that useful class of society. The errors
E America, the vegetable productions lightened travellers have visited North
ART. 2. FLORA AMERICAE SEPTENTRIONALIS, or a systematic arrangement and description of the Plants of North America, &c. By Frederick Pursh, & vols. 8vo. with 14 Engravings. London, 1814.
discovery of this Continent have attracted the no- America with the special intention of tice of European writers and botanists, studying the plants which it produces. travellers, and settlers. The Potato, Through the exertions of those worthy Maize, and Tobacco, were in the first in- collectors and visiters, our vegetables bestance introduced into Europe, afterwards came gradually known, Cornut began the stately trees and handsome shrubs by describing those of Canada ;
Banister, which adornour forests, and lastly most of Diitchell, and Clayton, those of Virgiourornamental plants; and their value was nia ; Catesby, and Walter, those of the much increased by the facility of their Carolinas; Cutler those of Massachucultivation and naturalization.' Garden- setts, &c.' Linneus introduced into his ers and collectors have often been sent works those collected and communicated from England, France, and Germany, by Kalm, Bartram, and Colden, from espressly for the purpose of collecting Pennsylvania and New-York; Aiton des
cribed those cultivated in the Royal Gar- provinces, the Antilles or West Indian den of Kew, in England: Wildenow, Íslands, the British possessions, New those sent him by Muhlenberg, &c. Siberia, &c. This oversight, is howe, But notwithstanding the merit of those ver so common, that it escapes general labours, they were only partial, and no notice, and has perhaps originated in the general work on the vegetable produc- wrong belief that the United States tions of North America had been at- form the whole of North America, or in tempted, except a mere catalogue by the want of a specific national name; but Forster, in 1777, when the Flora boreali- until such a name be adopted, every local Americana of Andrew Michaux was pub- work on the United States ought to bear lished at Paris in 1803. This author had that name, instead of the enlarged and travelled many years in North America, extensive appellation of North America. from Florida to Hudson Bay, where he In his preface Mr. Pursh gives a long was sent by the French government to account of his labours, while in the collect for the Botanical garden of Paris. United States, from 1799 to 1811, and His work was a great addition to the of the ample' means within his power, Botanical knowledge of America, but both in America and Europe, for the was not exempted from defects ; many completion of this Flora. It appears that well known plants were omitted, very he lived mostly in the U. S. in the humble few cryptogamous were described, and character of gardener to Mr. Hamilton not a single Fungus; many good names of Philadelphia, and Dr. Hosack of were changed without necessity, several New-York, or was for some years emnew genera were badly named, &c. But, ployed by D. Benj. Barton, as a collector nevertheless, the variety of new genera of plants. He travelled' from North and new species described, the new ob- Carolina to Maine, but never visited the servations on the old species, and the southern nor western States. The writer collective utility of such a general work, of this article knew him in 1804, while still rendered it the best manual on our he was Mr. Hamilton's botanical gardenindigenous botany.
er, and he appeared to be intelligent and Eleven years afterwards, a second zealous in his profession, but not equal to Flora of North America is printed in the task he has since undertaken ; the England by Frederick Pursh, which now same opinion is entertained by those who claims our attention ; but in this interval knew him in New-York, at a later period, many other valuable additions to our when he had in charge the Elgin garden. Botany were published by Muhlenberg, His materials for a general Flora of the Wildenow, Persoon, Bosc, Michaux, U. S. were very scanty when he left this Junr. Turpin, Robin, Rafinesque, Eddy, country for Europe, and therefore the &c. which are more or less connected Flora which has since'appeared must with the above work, although often have been compiled in England, of which omitted in it, and shall therefore claim we have sufficient proofs by accounts likewise a share of our notice.
from thence, and by the whole tenor of This work is dedicated to the Vice the work. It has however received the President of the Linnean Society of Lon- kind assistance of Mr. Lambert, who don, Mr. A. B. Lambert, who has patro- appears to have done for Pursh what nised the undertaking, and at whose ex- Richard did for Michaux, helping him in pense it was printed, a conduct deserv- the arrangement, synonimy and definiing the thanks of all the botanists both in tions of the species, &c. Europe and in our country.
The sources which Mr. Pursh acknow. We shall in the first instance offer a ledges to have consulted in the United remark on the title of this work, which States, are the herbariums of Messrs. may likewise apply to the Flora of Mi- Enslen, Lyon, Peck, Lewis, Leconte, chaux, and several other works on North &c. (but he does not even mention those America. A Flora is a botanical work of of Dr. Eddy, and Mr. Rafinesque,) and a local nature, whose object is to acquaint in England the Herbariums of Clayton, us with, or describe the plants of a pecu- Walter, Catesby, Plukenet, Pallas, Bradliar district, state, or country. A Flora bury, Nuttall, Menzies, Sherard, Lamof North America ought therefore to enu- bert, Banks, &c. this fact conveys an merate the plants found all over that Con- idea of much labour and investigation. tinent, while Mr. Pursh only pretends By the list of authors and works conto acquaint us with the plants of the suited or quoted, it would appear that United States, Florida, Canada, &c. Mr. Pursh has been at least very indusHe ought to have reflected that North trious and inquisitive, but when we reAmerica includes, besides, the Mexican flect that he has totally neglected the
tracts published in the United States, by ficient credit for these, without assuming. Drs. Brickell , Cutler, Eddy, Mitchell
, those which belong to others. Many Mr. Rafinesque, &c. besides the travels species, and even a few genera, although and works of Schoepf, Castiglione, Bosc, not new, are introduced for the first time Desvaux, Robin, &c. published in: Eu- in the Flora of the United States; among rope, we must form a different judgment, the
genera the following deserve notice, and tax him with wilful neglect in the Androsace, Alchemilla, Özytropis, Glycirmost important instance.
hiza, Lotus, Cristaria, Elæagrus, DiaThis Flora being ushered forth with pensia, Chondrilla, Santolina, Thalia, an apparent confidence, and with the Diotis, Sehizea, Chiococca, Ceropegia, Ercharacter of an elaborate classical work, vum, Cytisus, Evolvulus, Phellandrium, deserves still more an accurate investi- Sibbaldia, Fritillaria, Peplis, Tigarea, gation and criticism. In Botany, as in all Calligonum, Myagrum, Cheiranthus, &c. the sciences which are daily improving, These plants are arranged according to the last works are always reckoned the the sexual system of Linneus, with some best: this Flora will therefore be the trilling alterations:, strange as it may manual and director of the American seem, notwithstanding the superstitious botanists, probably for many years to veneration which the disciples of Linneus come, or until a better one is undertaken, entertain for that most trivial part of the and as it is likely to carry with it a great labours of that great man, almost every authority, perhaps more than it really one of them endeavour to alter or mend deserves, it becomes incumbent on us that falling system: they may be comto warn them of the omissions, errors, pared to masons endeavouring to sustain, mistakes, misnomers, and plagiarisms by patch-work, an old building erected by which it contains.
an able architect with bad materials, and It will be proper to acquaint our now falling to ruins. Of all the alterareaders first with the general tenor of the tions ever proposed to the sexual systen, work, which we shall endeavour to do as that of Brotero in the Flora Lusitanica is concisely as possible, since such among the best, or in fact the only good one; them as will feel the greatest share of in- but as it reduced at once the 24 classes of terest in our remarks, probably possess Linneus into 12, it was considered as too the volume, and are therefore already ac- bold by the patchers, and neglected by, quainted with their scope.
them. Let us hope that the labours of The whole work contains about 3500 Jussieu, Decandolle, Brown, and Rafispecies of plants, including 82 in a parti- nesque, will soon supersede those wretchcular supplement; but exclusive of the ed attempts. cryptogamous, which are omitted, except The definitions or characters of the the ferms. Michaux's flora contained genera and species are given in Latin; but about 2000 species only, which shows the observations on the species are in what a rapid increase in the knowledge English: the former appear to be elaboof our plants has taken place within a rate, and often accurate; the synonimy is short period; but that number might not extensive, but selected, and rather have been carried to above 4000 if all deficient in American authors. In the the phenogamous plants omitted by Pursh observations, many commendable and had been added ; and to 5000 at least, if useful remarks are introduced, such as he had included all the cryptogamous. the states, situations and soils where the About 370 new species are introduced plant grow, the months in which they here for the first time; but among those blossom, the colour of the flowers, the about 100 new species were discovered uses of the plant, some vulgar names and by Capt. Lewis, about 45 by Mr. Brad- several other additional illustrations. bury, about 10 new species by Mr. Ens- Twenty-four plates, in which 27 new len, about 20 new species by Mr. Lyon, plants are figured, adorn this work; but about 18 new species by Mr. Nuttall, many appear to have been drawn on dry about 15 new species by Mr. Menzies, specimens, and not very accurately. about 15 new species by Mr. Frazer, 12 Eight new genera are proposed in this new species by Mr. Rafinesque, 2 new Flora, Calochortus, Lewisia, Clarckia, Chispecies by Dr. Eddy, and about 40 by maphila, Ammyrsine!! Seymeria, BartoMessrs. Vanvleck, Kinn, Nelson, Peck, nia!! Apios ; but a great many more Pallas, Mason, Miller, Leconte, Muhlen- could have been established with great berg, Colmaster, Tilden, Bartram, Mac- propriety, as will be perceived by our kenzie, &c. leaving therefore only 88 subsequent remarks on those genera. species, or thereabouts, as really disco- Whoever undertakes a general Flora, vered by Mr. Pursh: he will deserve suf- must avail himself of all the prerious la. bours on the same subject: omissions, un- the following naturalized genera! Phylless wholly unavoidable, become errors, lirea, Syringa, Borrago, Arctium, Vesiand are always defects. Mr: Pursh might caria, Symphytum, Hyacinthus, Nigella, not be acquainted with the catalogue of Adonis, Hemerocallis, Anethum, Moluthe plants of North America, by the Rev. cella, Althea, Tragopogon, Scabiosa, CalenDr. Muhlenberg, although published in dula, Spinacia, Cucurbita, Celosia, &c. 1813, (one year previous to his own Flora,) and many more, most of which are owing to the war; yet we find in that enumerated by Rafinesque, in a disserCatalogue, which may be deemed a sy- tation on the naturalized plants of the nopsis of our genera, more than 20 of our U. S. in the Medical Repository, for phenogamous genera, btally omitted by 1811, No. 56. The following genera Pursh, such as Rivina, Fuchsia, Amyris, which had been naturalized, but of Tordylium, Elliotea, Coccoloba, Cesalpi- which some species have since been nia, Quassia, Swietenia, Winterania, Sesu- found really native, have also been nevium, Maurandia, Carica, Clusia, Hip- glected! Spartium, Lolium, Nyctago, pomane, Epidendrum, &c. This omission Brassica, &c. was perhaps unavoidable, owing to Mr. If therefore nearly 100 phenogamous Pursh's being unacquainted with the fact genera really found within our territory of their having been found on our conti- are omitted and neglected by Mr. Pursh, nent many years ago; but even in this we may easily conjecture how many case ignorance stamps a degree of imper- species must be in the same predicament. fection on the whole work, and this siig- Úpon a slight research, it appears that he ma will increase, together with our asto- has neglected to notice more than 100 nishment, when we shall perceive him species of well known plants, besides about neglecting other labours, published while 60 new species described by Mr. Rafihe was in America! Of the discoveries nesque, about 40 new species described and additions published since 1814, by by Messrs. Cutler, Brickell, Schepf, Messrs. Bigelow, Barton, Elliot, Eaton, Bosc, Desvaux, Bartram, &c. about 200 Rafinesque, &c. he cannot be presumed new species of the Flora of Lousiana, to have had a previous knowledge, and and more than 200 new species noticed even if he had, no blame could be attach- by Dr. Muhlenberg, making togeth:r an ed to him for neglecting them, since strict aggregate number of above 600 phenogajustice only requires that botanists should
mous species known or published preacknowledge and adopt what has been vious to 1814. To which might be adpublished before the period or date of ded, many more discovered, previous to their own works, or such unpublished dis- that period, by Messrs. Elliot, Leconte, coveries as may be cominunicated to Bradbury, Eddy, Torrey, Ratinesque, them for publication.
Whitlow, Baldwin, Collins, &c. but not Among other phenogamous genera yet published. omitted by Pursh, the following may de- It is hardly to be supposed that he was serve attention, Acanthus, Chrysophyllum, ignorant of so many additions to AmeriPeucedanum, Cassine, Aretia, Lantana, can Botany, of which a great proportion &c. mentioned by Robin in his Flore had been published in New-York, while Louisianaise, Paris, 1807 ; a work with he was in that city or its neighbourhood, which he appears to be totally unac- and some published or republished in quainted : a synoptical compendium of it Paris ! for instance the new genera and has lately been published in New-York, species of Mr. Rafinesque after being in which 50 new genera, and nearly 200 published in New York in the Medical new species unknown to Pursh, have been Repository, were afterwards printed in the established by Rafinesque.
first volume of the journal of Botany, by Moreover, the new genera Diphryllum, Desvaux, in Paris ! Those omissions are Phyllepidum, Shultzia, Odonectis, Tso- therefore unaccountable, unless we suptria, &c. and Purshia, dedicated to pose that Mr. Pursh has omitted them himself!! published by C. S. Rafinesque in order to set off with more advantage in the Medical Repository of New-York, his own discoveries, or rather to hidlo 1808, No. 44, of which Mr. Pursh must those which he has copied or stolen from have had knowledge, and has wilfully them, that he might not be compelled to omitted for some purpose which can on- disclose the sources from which he dely be guessed at. He has introduced in rived such plagaries. his Flora many of the naturalized plants, We are sorry to be compelled to tax which form an important feature in the this author with such despicable motives; botany of every country, but has omit- but we do not perceive any other to ted as many more, since he has neglected which it might be ascribed, and we have abundant proofs that he has concealed and liberality; it might be tedious to encircumstances relating to some of the ter at length on the particulars of each new plants, which he has taken the liber- pilfering he is guilty of; we shall there ty to describe as his own, while he knew fore forbear to dwell on them, but shall well, that the first discovery, and even merely enumerate them. publication did not belong to him ; he has The Ceanothus herbaceus of Rafinesque, even in some instances dared to publish Med. Rep. has been described by him as them again under the very same names a new species under the name of C. pegiven them by the original discoverers, rennis. while sometimes he has concealed his pil- The Asclepias viridiflora of Raf. Med. ferings under different names.
Rep. has been given as a new species by It will be necessary to notice such of Pursh under the same identical name ! those daring attempts as we have been The Allium triflorum of Raf. Med. able to detect.
Rep. is likewise described, under the The Drosera filiformis was discovered same name, as his own discovery! in 1802 by C. Š. Rafinesque in a journey The Alisma subcordata of Raf. Med. to the sea-shore of New-jersey, in com- Rep. is the Alisma trivialis of this Flora! pany with Col. Thomas Forrest, com- The Phemeranthus teretifolius, a new municated in 1803 to Dr. Muhlenberg, genus mentioned by Rafinesque in his to Mr. Hamilton, to whom Mr. Pursh observations on American botany, Med. was then gardener, and to Mr. Pursh Rep. 1811, and completely described in himself, and published in 1808 in the Me- 1814 in the Mirror of Sciences, has been dical Repository, in 1809 in the Journal of named Talinum teretifolium by Pursb, Botany, &c. nevertheless, Mr. Pursh in- although it differs from Talinum (or ratroduces it in his Flora, in 1814! as a new ther Talinium) by having a calyx diphylspecies, under the same name, stating lous, and only one stigma ! that he had discovered it in the same The Chironia amena of Raf. Med. place, near Tuckerton, in 1805! and Rep. has been named Sabbattia stellaris, without noticing in the least the above without reference to the former name. circumstances. A plate of that plant, en- The Gerardia maritima of Raf. in Med. graved by said Rafinesque, and intended Rep. is stated to be a variety crassifolia to form a part of a selection of rare Ame- of G. purpurea, but without reference. rican plants, had been sent in 1808 to Dr. The T'sotria medeoloicles of Raf. in Mitchill of New-York, and is now depo- Med. Rep. is introduced as a N. Sp. of sited in the Lyceum of natural history of Arethusa medeoloicles, without reference, N. Y. together with many other plates of &c. new plants.
The errors, misnomers, and blunders, Dr. Eddy of New York, published in scattered through the whole work, are 1807, in the Medical Repository of N. Y. numberless, and it is sometimes very a catalogue of the plants of Plandome on difficult to perceive or detect them; Long-Island, where he characterizes a some of them are copied from authors new species of Gerardia, which he calls of some respectability, which render G. glauca ; Mr. Pursh seven years after them still more dangerous, as botanists wards describes the same prant, under of a common stamp are very easily led the name of Gerardia quercifolia, with- to believe, that what is adopted by an out noticing at all the former name and eminent author, cannot be erroneous, claim of Dr. Eddy ; but he does not errors are therefore followed by the crowd omit to state that he has ascertained this of copists and compilers, without ex: plant to be the same as the Rhinanthus ercising any criticism. It would be well virginicus of Linneus, although it is a if such authors would read at least the real Gerardia.
philosophia and critica botanica of LinIn an excursion to New-Jersey made neus, which is the spelling-book of boby Dr. Eddy, Mr. Leconte, and Mr. tany; but it is much to be doubted Pursh, a very rare new species of Schizea whether Mr. Pursh ever read it, when was discovered by Dr. Eddy; Mr. Pursh he has given to one of his new genera did not find a single specimen ; but one the abominable name of Ammyrsine, was lent to him, with a positive injunc- which is obviously erroneous, for three tion that Dr. Eddy meant to publish that different reasons, according to the rules species: however Mr. Pursh has publish- established by Linneus himself. ist. ed it under the name of Shizea pusilla as That name contains the linnean generic his own discovery.
name of Myrsine entire, with the addition From the above instances some idea of a syllable. 2d. It might be conceived may be formed of Mr. Pursh's delicacy to be a compound of two old generie