West Chester, PA, 1843. Darlington, William (1782-1863). Autograph letter signed to Samuel B. Buckley (1809-84). 2pp. plus integral address leaf. West Chester, Pennsylvania, 28 July 1843. 250 x 197 mm. Lacuna where seal was broken, not affecting text, light soiling along fold lines but very good. From William Darlington, American physician, botanist and member of the House of Representatives, to Samuel Botsford Buckley, best known for his investigations of the botany and natural history of the southern United States. Darlington published several works on botany and natural history, including Flora Cestrica: An Attempt to Enumerate and Describe the Flowering and Filicoid Plants of Chester County in the State of Pennsylvania (1837) and Agricultural Botany (1847); his Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall (1849) and Reliquiae Baldwinianae: Selections from the Correspondence of the Late William Baldwin (1843) memorialized the lives of three important early American botanists. Darlington touches on this last work, and on his friendship with William Baldwin, in the present letter: "Your favor of the 2nd inst. dated at Pilatka [i.e., Palatka], E. Florida, came to hand on the 26th. I am much obliged by your kind attention, in thus remembering me in that distant region: and the more so, as it renews a melancholy pleasure by calling to mind the letters I received from a dear friend (Dr. Baldwin), more than a quarter of a century since, who was there exploring the botany of the same district. Your having met with a lady, there, who recollects my friend, has also excited my sensibilities, and made me wish I could have been with you, in your interesting excursion among scenes, and on grounds, which have been hallowed by the footsteps of Bartram, & of Baldwin. I am the more sensitive to these reminiscences just now, perhaps, from having recently published a small volume of the Botanical Remains of Dr. Baldwin, containing some letters to me from the very region you have been investigating . . ." After promising to send Buckley a copy of the Reliquiae, along with “the long-promised package of specimens; in which I have put up as many of your desiderata as I could obtain,” Darlington laments that “my time for active and efficient herborizing has passed away.” Even so, he still expresses interest in obtaining “some specimens of the Rhizophora” [i.e., mangrove], and in receiving “duplicates, of any new or rare plants, after you have supplied Drs. Torrey & Gray, & those other friends who have a stronger claim on your kindness.” “Torrey” refers to botanist John Torrey (1796-1873), who named the California pitcher plant Darlington californica in Darlington’s honor; “Gray” refers to the eminent American botanist Asa Gray (1810-98), to whom Darlington had given several of Baldwin’s botanical letters to aid in the preparation of Gray’s Monograph of the North American Species of Rhynchospora (1834). (Inventory #: 44092)
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.