Letter from William Darlington to Asbury Dickens, Esquire, Secretary of the Columbian Institute, December 14, 1819

ID: SIA RU007051 [SIA_007051_S02_B01_F02_D26]

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Form/Genre: Letters (correspondence)

Date: 1819

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7051, Columbian Institute Records, Image No. SIA_007051_S02_B01_F02_D26

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Summary

Letter from William Darlington to Asbury Dickens, Esquire, Secretary of the Columbian Institute, regarding a national Herbarium. Dated 14 December 1819.

Cite as

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7051, Columbian Institute Records, Image No. SIA_007051_S02_B01_F02_D26

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520

Date

  • 1819
  • December 14, 1819

Restrictions & Rights

  • No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
  • No Copyright - United States

Topic

Form/Genre

Letters (correspondence)

Local number

SIA RU007051 [SIA_007051_S02_B01_F02_D26]

Full Record

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[[underlined]]Congress Hall, Decem. 14. 1819.[[/underlined]] Sir, I had intended, at my leisure, to have submitted at some length, to the Columbian Institute, my ideas respecting the importance of attempting to collect a [[underlined]] National Herbarium [[/underlined]], comprizing specimens of all the native & naturalized Plants of our Country; But perceiving by the Newspapers that an adjourned ^[[insertion]] meeting [[/insertion]] is to be held this evening, and not knowing when the Institute may again assemble, - I beg leave through you, in this hasty manner, merely to suggest the subject, for the consideration of that body. I cannot doubt but those members especially who have a taste for Botanical Science, will admit both the feasibility and the importance of the proposition. If a Botanical Committee were directed to organize a plan, & to solicit [[underlined]] specimens [[/underlined]], accompanied with notes of the place of growth, time of flowering, &c. from the Cultivators of Botany in the different
parts of the United States, & their Territories, there is no question with me but we might, in a very short time, have a respectable & valuable collection of our indigenous & naturalized vegetables. They might easily be arranged, & labelled, either according to the sexual system of classification, or after the manner of Jussieu - so that any plant in the collection could be found at pleasure. In my Herbarium, containing nearly 1000 species, I can lay my hand on any specimen, which may be desired, in half a minute. It would be extremely gratifying to the cultivators of natural science, to be able, when they arrive at the seat of the general government, to see and examine the vegetable productions of ^[[insertion]] our [[/insertion]] extensive & diversified soil. Should these suggestions meet the approbation of the Institute, and that body should think proper to undertake the formation of an American Herbarium, in this City, I would cheerfully contribute specimens of the Plants growing in the vicinity [[end page]] [[start page]] of my Residence, ([[underlined]] West-Chester, Penn[[superscript]]a[[/superscript]].[[/underline]]) - and I should suppose Persons could be found in every district of our Country who would freely undertake to do the same of their respective neighborhoods. - I flatter myself the [[underlined]] motive [[/underlined]] of these few hasty observations, will secure for them the indulgence which they need, for their [[underlined]] manner [[/underlined]],- owing to the circumstances under which they are written. With the best wishes for [[tear in paper]] [[the ?]] prosperity of the Institution, to which you are Secretary, I am, Sir, very respectfully your most obed[[superscript]]t [[/superscript]]. [[underlined]] Wm. Darlington [[/underlined]], M.D. Asbury Dickens Esq Secy. Columbian Institute Washington City [[bracket to right linking the last three lines]]
[[In landscape format]] From W[[superscript]][[underlined]]m[[/underlined]][[/superscript]]˶ Darlington, to the Secretary of the Columbian Institute, dated Decem: 14, 1819. [[double line]] Asbury Dickens Esqr Secy. Columbian Institute Washington City [[single line]] [[paper rotated 180 degrees]] W. Darlington, Dec[[superscript]]r[[/superscript]]. 14. 1819 [[/paper rotated 180 degrees]]