Puslapio vaizdai

were provided gratuitously with land, and were required to pay in labor for the other advances made them, according to indentures executed before their emigration. They cultivated corn, indigo, the olive and the vine. They had no slaves. In 1776 they had cleared twenty-three hundred acres of land, were provided with a good stock of domestic animals, had raised produce enough for their own consumption, and had exported sixty-seven thousand five hundred pounds of indigo. The capital advanced by the company was £30,000 sterling. But the settlers became dissatisfied, altercations arose between them and the proprietors, and finally the establishment was entirely broken up. The settlers principally removed to the capital.

The length to which this article is already protracted will not admit of our tracing the history of the Floridas under the British administration, nor after its retrocession to Spain. A review of this portion of their history is the less necessary, as the work of Mr Forbes furnishes nearly all that could be desired in relation to the most interesting portion of this period. His work relates principally to the history and condition of Florida, and more particularly of East Florida while it was a British province, and furnishes, either from his personal observations, or from unpublished documents, much valuable information. We regret that we have not room to speak of the work more particularly. In that part which relates to the early history of the country, and which is very compendious,

there are some errors.

Of Mr Darby's book we cannot speak with so much commendation. It is principally a loose compilation, drawn up with the air of precision, but without that accuracy in details which can command confidence. Take for example the following geographical description on the first page.

This country, as ceded to the United States by the recent ratified treaty with Spain, has the Atlantic ocean and the Bahama channel to the east; Florida or Cuba channel south; the gulf of Mexico west or south-west; Perdido bay and river west; and Alabama and Georgia to the north.


Florida has an exterior limit on the Atlantic ocean, between the mouth of St Mary's river and Cape Sable Upon the gulf of Mexico between Cape Sable and the inlet of Perdido



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Passing over the assumption, that this country, as ceded by the late treaty, is bounded on the west by Perdido bay and river, it may be observed, that here is a particular statement of the extent of the outline of the country, which one would naturally suppose must be founded on precise information. But on examination it will be found to be only a rough estimate, not even founded on the best information that might be obtained. Of the maritime border we are not aware that there has been any admeasurement. But of the interior limits, the western border, which is here stated at forty miles, measures on Mr Darby's own map at least fifty miles. Along Alabama and north latitude 31° to the right bank of the Chatahouchee river,' which is here stated at a hundred and forty miles, according Mr Ellicott's official survey is a hundred and thirtyfour miles. 'Thence with Georgia, down Chatahouchee river, to the junction of that stream and Flint river' is stated at forty miles. Mr Ellicott's survey makes it twenty-five miles. Thence to the source of St Mary's river,' stated at a hundred and forty miles, according to Mr Ellicott is a hundred and fifty-seven miles. Down the St Mary's to the mouth' is stated at eighty miles. The course of the St Mary's, as laid down in Mr. Ellicott's maps, if measured in all its windings, is at least ninety miles.


In the map which accompanies this volume, the peninsula of East Florida is laid down nearly half a degree wider, than we find it in the best marine charts. The author has also made too high an estimate of the superficial extent of this country. But we do not mean to enter into a minute examination of the book. We cannot, however, forbear remarking, that for a work under the assuming title of a memoir on the geography and natural and civil history of Florida, a country about which so much has been written, and which has been the

theatre of so many interesting events, this is but a slight and superficial performance. There are many old and rare books, which contain interesting notices of this country; and a memoir on its natural and civil history, such as might be drawn up from these ample materials, would form a very interesting work. Many of these works, it is true, are not often met with, and for this reason such a work as we have mentioned would be the more valuable. Nearly all the works of value relating to Florida, as well as to every other part of America, are to be found in the library of the Boston Athenæum, as well as in the Ebeling library at Cambridge. We had intended to annex a list of the choicest books relating to this subject, to be met with in these collections; but it is time to bring this article to a close.

ART. V.-American Med Cushingng a collection of

the native Medicinal Plants of the United States, containing their botanical history and chemical analysis, and properties and uses in medicine, diet, and the arts, with coloured engravings. By Jacob Bigelow, M. D. Rumford Professor and Lecturer on Meteria Medica and Botany in Harvard University. Boston, Cummings & Hilliard, 1817— 1821. 6 nos. or 3 vols. imp. 8vo.

A large portion of this work has been before the public long enough to have been duly appreciated; and several notices of it, more or less extended, have already appeared in the literary and scientific journals of the day. We have not, therefore, made it the subject of this article, in the expectation of giving any wider diffusion to the high reputation of the author, than that which the well known character of his writings has already gained him: but we mean to consider it, in a botanical point of view only, for the single purpose of ascertaining what additions it has made to the science of natural history. The task of investigating our botany has, in times past, been too much abandoned to the zeal and curiosity of foreigners, and, with a few honorable exceptions, while we ourselves were devoted to the more profitable employments of commerce and agriculture, a Catesby, a Kalm, a Michaux, or a Pursh was reaping a harvest of fame on our own soil, and teaching us to admire the grandeur of our own majestic forests and luxuriant savannahs. But now that botanical science is flourishing among

us under the
back upon its
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and Colden,
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of three kind
some section
Pursh; or c
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inquire how fa
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Although e
first became
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and although
tobacco and of

us under the legitimate auspices of Americans, we can look back upon its progress without feeling mortified by the retrospect, when we find it cultivated not only by Clayton, Bartram and Colden, but more recently by Muhlenberg, Barton, Bigelow, Elliott and Nuttall.

On examining the printed sources, from which a knowledge of our botany may be derived, we shall perceive them to be of three kinds: either botanical works exclusively devoted to some section of the country, like the Floras of Gronovius and Pursh; or collections entering into more entensive publications, such as the Species Plantarum; or detached notices scattered through periodical journals, elementary treatises, histories and itineraries. And, although several authors have professed to give us a collection of the plants of this whole continent, we believe' that hardly a single vegetable of North America has been described, always excepting the plants of Mexico and Greenland, which cannot be indicated growing spontaneously within the present enlarged limits of the United States. The few plants which naturalists have collected in Canada, and even those in the Banksian Herbarium, as described by Pursh, which were brought from the North-west Coast, from Labrador, and from Hudson's Bay, we think may all be found in this country. And for this reason we protest against the comprehensive title, which several modern writers, Michaux, Pursh and Nuttall, have seen fit to assume for their works considering the botanical collections, which have appeared under the name of North American plants, to be rightly appropriated to the states and territories of our republic, stretching, as they now do, from the lakes to the gulf of Mexico in one direction, and in the other from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, and embracing in these boundaries every conceivable variety of situation, climate and soil. Having premised these considerations, we propose, in the first place, to take a brief review of the principal botanical works that have been published relating to the United States, and next to inquire how far these works will go towards affording us the materials for a perfect history of our plants.

Although every navigator, from the time that Europeans first became acquainted with this country, was struck with the richness and profusion of our vegetable productions, and although several plants, such as the sassafras, ginseng, tobacco and others, soon became important objects of com

mercial enterprise, we find little scientific attention to have been paid to our botany at a very early period. How interesting our scenery appeared to Europeans may be judged from the account of Gosnold, the first who explored New England, the least favored, perhaps, in its vegetable aspect, of any part of the United States. This navigator represents himself to have been utterly astonished at the rich appearance of the country, which seemed to him like one extensive park planted by the hand of nature, where he saw deer wandering at large in stately forests, and innumerable plants blooming around him spontaneously, which were highly prized and cultured with solicitude in England. But the vague and cursory notices of our vegetables given by early travellers are not of much use to the botanist at this time, excepting that they sometimes enable him to establish, what might otherwise be doubtful, the birth-place of plants, which are now common to both the old and new worlds. In this way, for instance, we know that some of our most common plants, such as the Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, were introduced from abroad; and that others, like the Pyrola umbellata, which we hear of as a medicine among the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, or the Drosera rotundifolia, mentioned by Josselyn, are indigenous to America as well as Europe.

The earliest systematic work on the botany of this portion of America is by Cornuti, (often incorrectly called Cornutus), entitled a History of the Plants of Canada, a small quarto volume in Latin, printed at Paris in 1635, containing descriptions and coarse engravings of sixty or seventy of the most remarkable plants found in New France. Cornuti briefly enumerates the medical uses and botanical characteristics of these few plants, and, as none of them had ever before been described, the book once attracted so much notice as to be spoken of with respect by Haller in his Bibliotheca Botanica.

Beside what is contained in Cornuti, some information with regard to our botany may be gleaned from several other collections published in the same century, particularly Gerard's Herbal, Ray's History of Plants, Plukenet's Almagestum, Amaltheum and Phytographia. One or two of the provincial histories also contain such botanical intelligence, as their authors could gather without any well directed views of science. The most complete work of this kind is Brickell's Natural History of North Carolina, printed in 1737, which is occasionally

quoted by th New France, fording a few of nearly a hu these books, li too superficial much applicat Previously, by Linnæus a in exploring scientific disc this country is and the Balia meridional pa of their climat of every kind, natural history miliar to philos therly sections folios of Piso d Sloane on the appeared, whe

jects in the r work, which namely, Cates its into the ne author, Mark

: had

spent sever employed in the ation of that


upon, at the su the assistance of

other philosoph to America, wit and delineating fruit of his voya first appeared splendid colore drawings and second edition which both, and

original impressi

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