Writing the Landscape
Texts as Representations of and Sources for American Landscape Design History
A 1739 advertisement lists a lot for sale with an “extensive, pleasant, and proﬁtable” garden. Among its holdings in 1770, a colonial lending library lists 27 titles related to husbandry, botany, and gardening. A late 18th-century French traveler gathering information on potential investments for a French-Swiss banking syndicate describes notable gardens along his journey. A Washington, D.C., gardener with a burgeoning nursery business writes in 1804 about the advantages of planting hedges. A collection of house portraits published by subscription in 1808 begins with brief captions praising the setting and beauty of each estate.
Each of these texts provides a glimpse into the world of men and women who shaped the American landscape and offers clues as to how they articulated its meanings. Because gardens were multivalent, touching upon notions of scientific agriculture, picturesque scenery, and national identity, the sources that recorded them are equally diverse, encompassing a wide range of voices and contexts. Some texts give details of a site’s appearance; others convey advice that a landowner or practicing gardener might read. Together they provide evidence of the theory and practice of landscape design in America and demonstrate not just the history of the built environment, but also the ways in which gardening knowledge was structured and aesthetic debates were organized.
The information that may be gleaned from written descriptions is as varied as the sources in which the accounts are found. Documents convey concrete information on the garden’s construction, monetary value, dimensions, historical associations, ownership, specific plant material, and other details. They may also explore less tangible topics such as the philosophical and intellectual aspects of the garden. The particularity of viewpoints expressed in them makes such documents fascinating sources for cultural analysis. For example, Andrew Jackson Downing’s treatise arguing for the appropriateness of certain architectural and landscape styles for the owners’ social standing offers a view of the construction of class in mid-19th-century America.
Critical reading of these sources includes determining, as far as possible, why a text was written and for whom. Moreover, it requires an understanding of the speaker’s voice, ideally including knowledge of gender, nationality, social status, education, religious and political inclinations, race, ethnicity, and specific situation. In addition, for published works such as garden treatises and periodical literature, it entails building a picture of the works’ audiences and their reading practices.
Each Keywords term record distinguishes between “usage” sources and “citations from treatises and dictionaries.” The former include descriptions of sites by contemporary observers: advertisements, ﬁction, travel diaries, etc. The latter include textual sources that were written to instruct and were consulted, presumably, as didactic sources. While these categories are useful for distinguishing between different kinds of information, it must be noted that some sources, particularly periodicals, contain both sorts of writing. For example, A. J. Downing’s The Horticulturist contained general instructions, such as for establishing an orchard, as well as descriptions of prominent gardens of the day. This study of the textual representations of the American landscape begins with a descriptive survey of usage sources, considering the ideological and interpretive implications of these texts. It then turns to the published garden treatise literature examining the types of publications and tracing their history from the 17th through the mid-19th century.
Descriptive Survey of Usage Sources
A systematic survey of primary accounts of American landscape design reveals the complexity of the documentary sources. J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, for example, wrote as a “farmer in Pennsylvania” about his Pine Hill property, allegedly inherited from his father. In Letters from an American Farmer, Crèvecoeur presented himself as “a simple surveyor of lands, a cultivator of my own grounds.” This appellation disguised Crèvecoeur’s origins as a classically educated Frenchman who had been a soldier for 7 years before purchasing his Pine Hill farm in New York for $350. A naturalized subject of King George, he was suspected of pro-Tory sympathies by his patriot neighbors and yet imprisoned by the British garrison in New York. The text is no less complicated than the author. Writing letters addressed to the Abbé Rayal, F.R.S., the book opens by noting that the correspondence was “made public because they [the letters] contain much authentic information little known on this side of the Atlantic.” Rather than private correspondence, however, Crèvecoeur’s epistolary strategy was a literary device. His report of “authentic information” has been characterized variously as “fable,” “emotional history,” and “protomythic imagination at work.” Despite the fact Crèvecoeur has been hailed as an American “literary pathﬁnder” and “the voice of our national consciousness,” and his book was widely read in England and Europe at the time, it was not popular in America.
Despite such complexities, a survey of the sources consulted in Keywords reveals the types of documents containing evidence for garden history and offers some observations on the contexts in which they were produced. Sources for “usage” texts describing the practice and perception of landscape design include diaries and journals, letters, travel literature, ﬁction, history, biography, advertisements, legal documents, and institutional records.
Among the richest sources for garden descriptions are diaries and journals written for private consumption, as opposed to those intended for publication. These sources record a variety of voices: men and women, tutors and planters, urban and rural residents, young and old. Some diaries are records of daily life that mention the garden only incidentally (ex. Philip Fithian, Martha Forman) while others, such as the diary of William Faris, are devoted mainly to garden activities. The commentary in diaries also varies from Thomas Jefferson's self-conscious musings on his garden’s aesthetic program to George Washington’s concern with the everyday details of transplanting trees and training ivy. Diaries reveal the garden as a place for exercise, conversation, botanical experiments, observations of nature, contemplation of beauty, meditation on classical literature, as well as growing, harvesting, and viewing plants. In their intimate accounts of outdoor living space, diarists also record the intricate cultural codes of social interaction. In a short diary passage, Princeton student Philip Vickers Fithian, who was serving as tutor to the Carter children at Nomini Hall in Virginia, described an encounter in the garden between himself and the mistress of the house, giving little description of the form of the garden but instead indicating its function as a social space:
As soon as the Bell rung I had dismissed the Children I took a walk in the Garden; When I had gone round two or three Platts Mrs. Carter entered and walked towards me. I then immediately turn’d and met Her; I bowed—Remarked on the pleasantness of the Day—And began to ask her some questions upon a Row of small slips—To all which she made polite and full answers; as we walked along she would move the ground at the Root of some plant; or prop up with small sticks the bending scions—We took two whole turns through all the several Walks, & had such conversation as the Place and Objects naturally excited—And after Mrs. Carter had given some orders to the Gardiners (for there are two Negroes, Gardiners by Trade, who are constantly working when the Weather will any how permit, working in it) we walked out into the Area viewed some Plumb-Trees. . . . I shall in a proper time describe . . . the Area, Poplar-Walk, Garden, & Pasture: in the mean time I shall only say, they discover a delicate and Just Tast [sic] and are the effect of great Invention & Industry, & Expence.
In Fithian’s account, a New Year’s Eve stroll reveals how the garden operated as a social stage upon which differences in class, status, and race—landowner, educated servant, and slave—were enacted and reinforced. The garden is not merely a setting for a dialogue between an educated man and his master’s wife, but serves as a vehicle by which Fithian can comment without impropriety on his employer. Fithian registers Mrs. Carter’s good breeding by the politeness he is accorded and by her knowledge of the plant material. Her rank is insinuated by her orders to the “Negro” gardeners (presumably slaves) and by the contrast of her own delicate work. Finally, the tutor judges the gardens to be in “Just Tast” and links that taste with the moral virtues of invention and industry, as well as the economic means to afford the expense of maintaining the extensive grounds.
Diary authors, while generally more diverse than those represented in published sources, are still limited to the literate who had both access to materials and the leisure time to compose. As a result, there is little record from the perspective of those who hauled the earth to make terraces or who weeded the beds and rolled the walks. Relatively few texts produced before 1852 by slaves, day laborers, or indentured servants have survived, and the presence of these people in landscape descriptions is almost nonexistent. Most often their appearance is limited to a name on a sales record, plantation role, or brief mention in letters such as in Charles Carroll of Carrollton’s complaint to his father, “I am very glad you have ordered Harry a good whipping; he richly deserves it, he has been exceedingly idle; never was a garden in worse shape than mine.”
Other voices also have relatively little representation in the text sources. The more modest gardens, which are often represented in visual media such as samplers, wall murals, and overmantels, are rarely recorded in the documentary record in any more detail than in a deed or court document. Likewise, while colonial newspapers contained advertisements by and for professional gardeners and although such individuals are occasionally mentioned in correspondence, the gardeners’ own voices were rarely recorded, at least in surviving texts, until the early national period with the development of commercial nurseries and American horticultural publications.
Collections of letters, both sent and received, and letter-books (commonly kept as a place to draft letters, record memoranda, or copy ﬁnished letters) contain a wealth of observations and reﬂections on gardens. When read with an understanding of the relationship of the correspondents and the purpose of the exchange, letters offer a context in which to interpret the gardening activities of the correspondents. For instance, the letters between Charles Carroll of Carrollton and his father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, offer, on the one hand, an intimate portrait of the process of constructing a terraced garden in Annapolis, Md., over the course of ten years (from 1770 to 1780). Their exchange suggests tensions and contradictions such as the constant competition for labor, the elder Carroll’s plans to move because of dissatisfaction with the Maryland legislature’s treatment of Catholics at the same time his son is investing heavily in his Annapolis seat and in the government of the new nation, and the reﬂections of the younger man on the joys of a quiet retreat at the same time he is spending much of his time traveling to Canada and Philadelphia on behalf of colonial independence. The letters also record a father’s advice that “money for show is money wasted” at the same time the son is spending freely for silver, china, carpets, and the creation of a landscape garden. In short, the correspondence reveals that the garden was more than an exercise in botanical knowledge or garden design theory; it provides insight into the garden as the political and social arena of the day.
Letters also provide one of the best views into the lives and gardening activities of women. Because of women’s limited access to publishing opportunities and less visibility in legal records and court documents, women’s interest and involvement in landscape design were recorded less often in published venues than that of men. Women’s correspondence and diaries, however, reveal an active interest in gardens, both in their admiration for visited sites and their own gardening pursuits. Along with details of planting and design, the letters record the pleasure and ideas that the gardens inspired. For example, Fanny Longfellow, writing around 1844, noted with gentle humor the recreational potential of the garden walks at their Cambridge, Mass., home: “They contrived to plant a linden avenue in which my poet [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow], intends to pace in his old age, and compose under its shade, resigning me to all the serpentine walks, where, in the abstraction of inspiration, he might endanger his precious head against a tree.”
The letters of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who had received a classical education and ran her father’s and husband’s plantations in Charleston, reveal the management responsibilities women could assume, as well as the intellectual sophistication they brought to gardening. In a letter describing her plans to plant a cedar grove with under-plantings of ﬂowers and interspersed fruit trees, Pinckney reﬂected,
I have got no further than the ﬁrst volume of Virgil but was most agreeably disappointed to ﬁnd myself instructed in agriculture as well as entertained by his charming pen; for I am persuaded tho’ he wrote in and for Italy, it will in many instances suit Carolina. . . . the calm and diction of pastoral and gardening agreeably presented themselves, not unsuitably to this charming season of the year, with which I am so much delighted.
Letters written by both genders depict gardens as a realm of social interaction, with visits, plants, seeds, and advice being the primary medium of exchange. They also offer a glimpse into the exchange of knowledge that bound together groups of men and women exploring the diversity of the New World’s plant kingdom. This network of gardeners and botanists shared their enthusiasm, along with seeds, cuttings and bulbs, throughout the colonies and across the Atlantic. The correspondence among John Bartram, Peter Collinson, Mark Catesby, Cadwallader Colden, Jane Colden, Carolus Linnaeus, Martha Logan, and Philip Miller is ﬁlled with descriptions of plants, garden experiments, reports of plant hunting excursions, and the trials of pursuing “botanical pleasures.” While these letters are generally concerned with the plant materials themselves, rather than containing descriptions of the spaces in which they were planted, occasional letters are more revealing of the landscape settings. For example, Dr. Alexander Garden’s letter to Cadwallader Colden in 1754 reported a visit to the Bartram Botanic Garden and Nursery in Philadelphia: “He disdains to have a garden less than Pennsylvania, & every den is an Arbour, Every Run of water, a Canal, & every small level Spot a Parterre.” Other letters reveal the social currency of plant exchange among colonial gardeners. For instance, correspondence between Margaret Carroll and George Washington reveals the subtleties of etiquette, status, and social obligation played out as Washington “can no longer refuse the kind and pressing offer” of a mature orange tree to be sent (at the General’s expense) from her greenhouse at Mount Clare in Baltimore to the President’s greenhouse at Mount Vernon.
The published literature of explorers and travelers stands in contrast to unpublished journals, diaries, and letters in that the published authors generally had an explicit message intended for a broad audience. While such publications and their messages changed dramatically from the 15th through the 19th centuries, they bear in common a construction of the “other.” In the early years of settlement and exploration, this construction was a powerful tool of European expansion. As anthropologist Janice Bailey-Goldschmidt has observed:
travel literature . . . was also a kind of “esoteric knowledge” that was both passed around and managed as a source of information and propaganda between competing countries. . . . While the literary intent . . . was to make sense of the unfamiliar in terms of the understood, the fact that myths and inaccuracies about the exotic peoples remained alive for centuries after the original publication of such guides suggests that such literature served primarily to justify European domination over the “strange” or “uncivilized” peoples of the world.
Travel literature is bound less as a genre than as a perspective, and, for early American landscape accounts, was written by those acquiring territories, resources, and subjects under the auspices of colonialism with its supporting ideological formations. Perhaps no forms of knowledge are more redolent with concepts of conquest and control than images of the landscape. Land, in this sense, is territory—the claim of ownership, the stage of colonization and control, and a proﬁt-making resource. Representations of the American landscape, whether written or visual, conveyed ideas that were fundamental to the establishment of European hegemony and the selling of the “New World.” Throughout the history of European exploration, settlement, and establishment of the new American nation, texts describing both the natural and designed landscape were potent purveyors of claims to authority by each new set of leaders.
The earliest accounts of the “New World,” which some scholars have analyzed as promotional literature, were written by members of explorers’ parties. Many of these early descriptions were written explicitly to attract new investors and settlers, and their optimism and exaggeration are evident in descriptions of the landscape. The few examples of landscape design terms, such as “grove” and “prospect,” promoted an impression of the productivity, abundance, and proﬁtability of the new territory. While the texts offer the ﬁrst written evidence of Native American agriculture, their colonizing agenda also tended to suppress evidence of native control of land thereby leaving it open for European claim. For instance, John Winthrop recorded that “the Natives of New England . . . inclose noe Land, neither have any setled habytation, nor any tame Cattle to improve the Land by, and soe have noe other but a Naturall Right to those Countries . . . the rest of the country lay open to any that could and would improve it.”
Travel literature continued after the ﬁrst settlements were established, although it recorded tours of the growing towns and expanding frontiers rather than exploration. These accounts—by tourists, immigrants, and American-born authors written throughout the 18th and ﬁrst half of the 19th century—provide some of the most detailed descriptions of American gardens. Authors such as Rev. Manasseh Cutler, Timothy Dwight, Benjamin Silliman, and Frances Trollope were writing for audiences who expected not only to gain information about distant places, but also to be transported to them by detailed description. Dwight, in his preface, wrote “The reader . . . partakes partially of the emotion, experienced by a traveller, when standing on the spot, which was the scene of an interesting transaction.” While the evocative language makes for some of the most colorful garden descriptions, travel accounts must also be used cautiously with an awareness of the informing discourses of national identity and cultural imperialism, as well as the literary conventions of the genre.
Benjamin Silliman’s writing is an illuminating example of the tropes from the contemporary discourse of landscape theory underlying travel accounts. He wrote Remarks Made on a Short Tour Between Hartford and Quebec (1824) as a follow-up to his Journal of Travels in England, Holland and Scotland (1820). Two parallel passages from the books illustrate how the conventions of landscape discourse transcended the details of the individual scene. Describing Castleton in Derbyshire, England, Silliman recounted the following:
When a traveller approaches the valley, . . . he finds himself, the moment before he discovers the village, winding down the hills, through a gap, where rude and broken rocks overhang the road, and a little way ahead, seem to cross the path, and bar it up completely. While he is engaged in contemplating a scene where every thing is wild, rude and forbidding, and affords no pleasure, except from the contemplation of grandeur, all of a sudden, the valley breaks upon his view, like a fine scene at the rising of a curtain.
Describing the view from Monte Video, the Wadsworth estate in Avon, Conn., Silliman wrote,
Everything in this view, is calculated to make an impression of the most entire seclusion; for, beyond the water, and the open ground in the immediate neighborhood of the house, rocks and forests alone meet the eye, and appear to separate you from all the rest of the world. But at the same moment that you are contemplating this picture of the deepest solitude, you may . . . merely by changing your position, see . . . the glowing western valley, one vast sheet of cultivation, filled with inhabitants.
The sudden unveiling of an unexpected scene and the contrast between the view of wild nature and cultivated settlement are repeated throughout the texts, as are phrases evoking various aesthetics of landscape scenery from the pastoral to the picturesque: “beautiful and grand scenery . . . picturesque appendages . . . rugged mountains . . . shapes of endless variety.” Both accounts are also redolent with imagery of the landscape as a picture and nature as a garden.
For the purposes of tracing the evolution and meaning of American landscape-design vocabulary, the rhetoric of travel literature must be interpreted as part of the broader discourse of aesthetic and political theory within which it was being written and read. For instance, historian Richard Moss has taken Jedidiah Morse’s descriptions of post-Revolutionary New England as representative of the larger tensions within his society between communitarian village life and deference to federal leadership and the opportunities offered by an emerging liberal, capitalist country. Thomas Jefferson's writings, particularly his widely read Notes on the State of Virginia, promoted the idea of the American agrarian republic free from the corruption and venal luxury of 18th century Europe. William Bartram’s Travels, also widely read, not only disseminated information about the vegetation, topography, and native American cultures of the deep South, but also conveyed a botanist’s perception and classification of the landscape.
Other scholars have analyzed American travel literature’s enduring metaphor of the wilderness becoming a garden. These descriptions of the American landscape as a new Eden or paradise were not merely the excesses of literary license projected onto the landscape, but were ideologically charged statements embedding notions of property, wealth, and authority in seemingly natural forces. Travel accounts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries are a rich repository of discourses informing the domestic politics and policies of the young American nation. A passage from Timothy Dwight’s New England travels illustrates the explicit link between the ordering of the land and moral and political meaning:
A succession of New-England villages, composed of neat houses, surrounding neat school-houses and churches, adorned with gardens, meadows and orchards, and exhibiting the universally easy circumstances of the inhabitants, is . . . one of the most delightful prospects, which this world can afford. The conversion of a wilderness into a desirable residence for man is an object, which no intelligent spectator can behold without being strongly interested in such a combination of enterprise, patience, and perseverance. . . . A forest, changed within a short period into fruitful fields, covered with houses, schools, and churches, and filled with inhabitants . . . devoted to the worship of jehovah . . . can hardly fail to delight.
In addition to their ideological subscripts, travel accounts must also be read with an awareness of the conditions that limited the selection of sites described. For instance, when Alexander Hamilton planned his travels along the eastern seaboard in 1744, maps were rare and unreliable, and the only travel guide available was Vade-Mecum for America, or A Companion for Traders and Travellers, which listed existing roads and taverns from Maine to Virginia. Furthermore, each state had its own currency, so to avoid carrying large amounts of cash, Hamilton had to arrange credit in advance. Travel was also dictated by the available modes of transportation and the accommodations en route. Because roadways were minimal and travelers rarely strayed from the main arteries, the number of sites described was limited until the construction of canals and turnpike roads in the early 19th century.
Not only did the difficulties of travel limit the gardens recorded by travelers, but also a small number of sites, famous because of their association with famous owners, became a canon of sorts for regular stops on a tour. For example, one frequent destination, the Bartram Botanic Garden and Nursery, near Philadelphia, was one of the main sources of New World plant material for Great Britain and Europe, although visitors often commented disappointedly on the garden’s lack of ornamental design in its planting arrangements. Mount Vernon was perhaps the most visited garden, especially after Washington’s death when no tour was complete without a trek to his tomb.
Narratives of scientific expeditions, such as John and William Bartram’s travels through the South in search of indigenous flora and fauna, form a specialized subcategory of travel literature. These accounts reveal not only the specimens observed in their natural habitats, but also the organization of botanical knowledge during the Enlightenment. While most landscape descriptions in these expedition narratives are limited to the natural environment, some passages are telling in their application of English-language landscape design vocabulary to the Native American built environment. For instance, William Bartram described the clear-cut approaches to the Mississippian earthen mounds of Georgia as “avenues.”
Another publishing venue for garden descriptions was in a variety of magazines and newspapers. Magazines carried visitors’ descriptions of fashionable private and public gardens, as well as prominent commercial nurseries. For instance, “Constantia” described Gray’s Garden in the Massachusetts Magazine in 1791, and the grounds of the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane were reported in the New-York Mirror in 1834. In addition to garden descriptions, newspapers occasionally announced new public works such as improvements to a town common or the construction of a public bath. They also carried advertisements for public gardens, gardeners’ services, and real estate. The latter, while a testimony to the number of gardens under cultivation, are rarely more informative than the standard notice of a “lot for sale . . . including a fine garden.” Notices for nurseries were often more forthcoming and provide valuable information for the history of plant propagation and trade. For instance, the Prince Nursery, founded in 1737 in Flushing, N.Y., promised in an advertisement in 1767 “a great variety of fruit trees, such as apple, plum, peach, nectarine, cherry, apricot, and pear. They may be put up so as to be sent to Europe.” Nurseries also published catalogues and treatises (discussed in more detail later), which simultaneously promoted an interest gardening and their own products.
Most descriptions were celebratory, praising civic achievements such as New York’s Croton waterworks or acclaiming landmarks for their association with local celebrities. Gardens recorded in newspaper advertisements are often obviously colored by the intent of notices to sell property or attract visitors. Site guidebooks, such as Cornelia Walter’s (1847) guide to Mount Auburn cemetery, were designed to attract visitors and business, and also acted as souvenirs. While clearly promotional and often exaggerated, these descriptions were written to give the reader a sense of touring the grounds, and are invaluable for reconstructing the layout of grounds and for articulating the popular reception of sites. Public gardens such as Columbia Garden and Vauxhall Garden in New York offered enticing descriptions of circuses, fireworks, dancing, and refreshments. Such accounts of public gardens are also among the most revealing for understanding gardens as social arenas. Joseph Delacroix, for instance, promised in the New York Daily Advertiser, a grand gala at his Vauxhall pleasure garden in New York City in 1805, which would include a concert, illuminations, a costume ball, and supper.
Fiction and poetry, although intended to be read as works of imagination, are also useful in elucidating the appearance, function, and conceptualization of gardens as social or symbolic spaces. Some, such as Timothy Dwight’s poem “Greenfield Hill” (1794) and George Ogilvie’s poem “The Planter” (1791) describing Dr. Garden’s Otranto plantation, were based on actual sites. Others are more purely imaginative, such as the garden described in Wieland, a novel by Charles Brockden Brown. Narratives woven about such imagined sites often provide insight into how authors believed gardens could work. In Brown’s gothic tale, for example, the garden temple was both a personal retreat and a family gathering place—a site of refined music, leisure, and celebration suited for such purposes by the emblematic coding affixed to the garden structure.
In addition to fiction, other genres of literature also provide evidence for American landscape design history. Biographies, such as Samuel L. Knapp’s Life of Lord Timothy Dexter, are valuable sources of information for their subject’s estates. Histories, such as Nehemiah Adams’s Boston Common and John Warner Barber’s Historical Collections, not only contain landscape description and commentary, but also often include illustrations as well as quote obscure primary accounts. Early art and architectural histories are also useful compendia of site descriptions as well as articulations of landscape theory. For example, in addition to her descriptions of exemplary sites and praise of the relatively new rural cemeteries, Louisa Tuthill’s History of Architecture (1848) comments on the moral meanings of the garden in mid-19th century America with the following allegory:
Two little girls from a city, had one day taken a long walk beyond the city upon a public road. A sudden shower of rain threatened to drench them to the skin. Several houses upon the road offered themselves as places of shelter; the youngest girl proposed to enter the nearest one. “No,” said the elder, “we will not go in here, nor into the next, but yonder is a neat, pretty cottage, with flowers in the yard; I know they will be kind in there.” “But this is the biggest house,” urged the younger sister. “Oh! but I am afraid to go in here, it looks so dirty and careless; hurry hurry sister! for I know they will treat us well where they take so much pains with their neat house and garden.” And the girl’s reasoning was correct. There was gentleness and kindness within, as well as neatness and taste without.
Similar notions of the connections between morality and landscape design were postulated in essays by authors promoting a variety of social, health, and education reform issues and urging improvements to the landscape as a vehicle for improving the human condition. They argued that access to fresh air, exercise, and natural surroundings was both a source of moral improvement and a civic obligation. Writing in 1838 for the committee on the “Embellishment and Improvement of Towns and Villages” appointed by the American Lyceum, William A. Alcott presented an impassioned plea for the benefits of landscape improvements:
[T]he health, the comfort, the intellectual and social, nay the moral and religious well being of man would be much promoted by a greater regard than is usual, to the structure, arrangement and embellishment of our cities, towns and villages. . . . Provide pleasant walks, roads, avenues, squares, commons, gardens, fountains, baths, &c., and you have done something towards directing the public mind to gratifications more elevating than some of those to which human nature is so prone, and towards which it sometimes seems to flay rather than to walk. Provide pleasant schools and school houses, with play grounds, and gardens, and fields, and lyceums, and cabinets, and collections in natural history, and you have done something more still. Adorn the whole with shade trees, and fruit trees, and fountains, and a thousand things which we have not time to name and you make, at every step, some progress in the great work of human elevation.
Such calls for reform in public health, education, and welfare through landscape improvements did not go unheeded, and the 1830s and 1840s saw an unprecedented initiative in the landscape design of public spaces such as rural cemeteries, city square, public parks and fountains, and botanical gardens.
Various legal documents provide information on landscape design. Deed records, wills, legislative and court records, and contracts all mention gardens, and, while rarely providing the detail given in travelers’ descriptions, they represent gardens as inherited property, exchanged commodity, and so forth. Legislative documents reveal the prescriptive rules governing the use of public and private space, while court records often betray the disparity between the legislated ideal and actual practice. Contracts, one of the few ways to relate gardens to the labor that constructed and maintained them, are valuable in the dating of garden construction and improvements and in determining the costs of that work.
Garden information is also recorded in the archives of institutions and governmental bodies that commissioned landscape improvements. For instance, church vestry records and minute books preserve decisions such as walling a church yard or relocating a burying ground. In the case of the Mall in Washington, D.C., federal documents reveal not only the evolution of design plans but also debates surrounding the appropriateness and value of the competing schemes for the seat of the national government.
Map keys and image captions are useful in determining the relationship between text and image. These and other texts range from a simple label identifying a site or landscape feature to extensive prose providing the narrative for an illustration. For example, Lewis Miller’s mid-19th-century sketchbook often included accounts of his visits or experiences wrapped around sketches of the sites or events. His sketchbook includes a drawing and description of a visit to the “Botanic Garden” in Princeton and another watercolor sketch with an accompanying account of a theft of fruit [Figs. 1 and 2].
Early Garden Literature in America
In contrast to the usage sources describing real or imagined sites, in each Keywords record entry the “citations from treatises and dictionaries” section represents general instruction on gardening theory and practice published in a variety of sources. Much of what landscape historians regard as instructional or didactic sources today would not have been recognized by their readers as a unified literature of gardening. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, horticultural advice was gleaned from a variety of magazines, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs, as well as from garden treatises, dictionaries, and calendars. In addition to works written explicitly for gardeners about gardening, landscape design vocabulary is found in works dealing with topics such as agriculture, husbandry, botany, medicine, cooking, painting and drawing, town planning, architecture, natural science, domestic arts or housewifery, public health, and education reform. These sources, while all containing evidence for American landscape history, were addressed to different audiences at different times for different purposes and therefore employed landscape vocabulary suited to their purposes. For instance, essays on aesthetics include stylistic terms, while instructions to the fruit gardener include technical terms such as those for grafting and pruning. Not surprisingly, works addressed to the ornamental gardener contain references to statuary, grottos, fountains, and temples, while those written for the husbandman discuss utilitarian garden features including bed, walk, orchard, and vineyard.
Much of the foundation for the history of American garden treatise literature has been laid by historians of early American reading practices, book trade, intellectual life, and agriculture. Particularly pertinent is information on the circulation of agricultural literature such as almanacs and agricultural society publications, as well as the history of institutions and individuals promoting agricultural experimentation and research. The history of landscape design literature in Britain and Europe is also useful, but all too often its findings and models are applied uncritically to the American context.
Recent scholarly attention has been directed to the literature of garden design in America, although early garden histories such as Alice B. Lockwood’s survey Gardens of Colony and State (1931, 1934) for the Garden Clubs of America briefly discusses the written sources that were available to American gardeners. U. P. Hedrick’s chapter on the horticultural literature that was published between 1700 and 1860 in his History of Horticulture in America to 1860 (1950) is one of the first in depth studies. While broad in its inclusion of works from agricultural, horticultural, fruit, and garden literatures, Hedrick’s discussion is somewhat limited, however, because he discusses only works published in America, eliminating the imported European treatises that dominated colonial gardening literature at least until the 19th century.
In an important synthesis, Ann Leighton utilized European and American published garden treatises for historical evidence, although she did not address the significance of the literature itself as a corpus. Agricultural Literature: Proud Heritage—Future Promise, A Bicentennial Symposium, contains two papers in particular that contribute to the study of American garden treatise literature. Elisabeth Woodburn’s essay “Horticultural Heritage: The Influence of U.S. Nurserymen” provides a thorough description of garden treatises published in America, with a particular focus on their relationship to the burgeoning American nursery trade. As with Hedrick, however, the inclusion of only American imprints limits her analysis of the significance of the works. In the same volume, Alan Fusonie discusses the 18th-century use of treatises by gentlemen farmers conducting agricultural writing the landscape experiments. His case study of George Washington’s experiments at Mount Vernon is illustrative of the interrelation of gardening with other aspects of plantation management such as husbandry, seed cultivation, crop rotation, and the development of farm implements. The study also demonstrates the array of skills and expertise needed by those promoting agriculture and horticulture in the colonies, and the range of published works consulted by Washington in the course of his own agricultural and landscaping experiments.
Studies focusing on key figures and institutions in the history of American landscape design before 1852 have addressed garden literature. Thomas Jefferson's contributions to American landscape design and his use of garden literature have been well published. Andrew Jackson Downing’s role in the development of American horticultural literature has also been examined in a number of studies. In particular, Charles B. Wood has placed Downing’s publications in the broader context of American architectural publications and examined the significance of technological innovations made in the printing trade during the first half of the 19th century.
Regional studies have provided a picture of the close network of advice provided by domestic and foreign treatises and exchanged among garden enthusiasts. Studies of the Chesapeake region have been particularly fruitful. Barbara Sarudy’s exhaustive mining of archives and newspapers has not only established the books available to colonial gardeners in Maryland, but also presented evidence for their use by their owners in actual landscape design. For instance, in 1766 Charles Carroll the Barrister sent to his British agents seed orders copied directly from “Hale’s Complete Body of Husbandry.” Other examples of regional studies include Charles Hammond and Tamara Thornton’s research in the Boston area, which considers in particular the reading practices of Boston area gentlemen farmers and the formation of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society. Suzanne Turner has searched the Notarial Archives to reconstruct gardening practices in New Orleans. The history of local horticultural and agricultural societies, such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, is also useful in reconstructing regional garden practices.
In addition to agricultural, biographical, and regional histories, several general surveys of American garden treatises have established a baseline history of gardening literature. An early treatment of the literature, Sarah Pattee Stetson’s 1946 “American Garden Books Transplanted and Native, before 1807” provides a concise summary. Brenda Bullion’s dissertation and the chapter from it published as “Early American Farming and Gardening Literature: ‘Adapted to the Climates and Seasons of the United States’” lay out the basic scope and breadth of the types of sources consulted by American gardeners through the mid-19th century. In addition, Therese O’Malley’s research in the importation and adaptation of treatise literature in the New World was, in large part, the genesis of the Keywords project.
Keywords has built on these bibliographic studies to investigate the problem of the influence of treatises on American garden practice. Our first step has been to assess the relative prevalence of these garden texts in the American colonies and nation and then to consider the actual implementation of the ideas, instructions, and designs that the books promoted.
The first issue, that of the distribution of the treatises, was addressed by compiling a bibliography of garden books available in America based on a survey of booksellers’ lists, private and circulating library inventories, and references to authors in letters and diaries. While not a comprehensive survey of every library, the study is revealing of the relative frequency and distribution of the treatises.Although the survey demonstrates the prevalence of gardening books in many of the libraries of gentlemen planters, the actual readers of the books are more difficult to establish. For instance, Joseph Prentis’s library, which was recorded in an 1810 inventory, included several gardening treatises, two of which show evidence of women’s participation in treatise readership. His copy of John Gardiner and David Hepburn’s The American Gardener (1804) is inscribed “Mrs. Basset to Jos Prentis 1809” and Prentis gave his copy of James Hervey’s Meditations and Contemplations (1764), which included a discourse, “Reflections on a Flower Garden,” to his daughter Eliza. It is also difficult to determine, in most cases, whether the books were read by their purchasers, other members of the household, friends, or by the estate’s gardeners. Dell Upton’s analysis of the building trade from this same period suggests that the class boundaries among participants in the building process, at least in the 18th century, were varied.
Evidence suggests that, in instances in the 18th century where there was a specialized gardener, he was hired (or his passage paid as an indentured servant) by a landowner to work on that person’s estate. Gardeners advertised in colonial newspapers, but they appear to have been seeking employment by a single property owner, as opposed to working simultaneously on multiple projects as became the practice in the second quarter of the 19th century. In addition, in slave-holding regions slaves were also trained to tend the garden, although the extent of their role in the design process remains to be studied. An examination of the relative cost of the books may also elucidate their potential market. For example, one might compare the cost of calendars and dictionaries as opposed to more heavily illustrated treatises or the cost of husbandry sources to ornamental gardening works.
The second aspect of our research question, that of the relation between the treatises and landscape practice, is more problematic. General studies of colonial reading practices, booksellers, and information exchange offer an idea of how books were circulated, but assessing the influence of published garden theory and advice on a particular landscape design requires an in-depth study of the site. Upton has argued for American vernacular buildings that “as early as the late 17th century these plain, traditional buildings were constructed from carefully prepared architectural drawings and specifications.”
While the plans for garden architecture such as temples and pavilions rarely survive, specific instances suggest the way in which published treatises were used as models for American garden design. For instance, Charles Carroll the Barrister’s library at his Mount Clare estate contained a copy of Philip Miller’s Gardeners Dictionary with a piece torn from an 18th-century newspaper marking the page describing primroses. In another example, Charles Willson Peale described his use of Gregory’s Dictionary in the design of his obelisk for his garden at Belfield near Philadelphia, Pa. William Chambers was particularly influential for popularizing the Chinese style (chinoiserie) in architecture and garden design, and Chinese elements were incorporated into several American gardens in the late 18th century, including John Haviland’s Chinese Pleasure Ground in Philadelphia and Charles Willson Peale’s Chinese House at Belfield. Thomas Jefferson owned two books by William Chambers on Kew and incorporated designs from them into his plans for Chinese railings at the University of Virginia pavilions. Jefferson’s niece also used the book as a source for an elevation of a garden seat, copying a William Kent design in pen, ink, and wash [Fig. 3].
The comprehensive collection of sources compiled in Keywords is also useful in revealing broad patterns of the transmission of garden knowledge and establishing the significance of published works in the development of American landscape practice in general. Such transmission was not without its complexities; treatise author Thomas Hale noted the resistance of farmers to put advice into practice:
I have spoke often to farmers to recommend setting up of dovecoats; but have found it difficult to make them listen to me. While they have bought pigeon dung at a large price, and fetch’d it from a great distance, they have still been backward to think of keeping pigeons for their supply. There is a superstition among them, that it is unlucky to set up a new dovecoat.
Not only were superstition and resistance to change factors, but the American social and economic context often precluded the implementation of designs in the scale and elaborateness of their British contemporaries. For instance, visual evidence and contemporary descriptions suggest that even in cases where designs are proposed in treatises known to have been in the library of a site’s owner, such as in Batty Langley’s New Principles of Gardening in the library of George Washington and Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the executed designs were much simpler than the treatise templates.
It must be acknowledged that much of what is contained in the publications was not put into practice and also that published literature was not the only source of gardening information. Widely read treatises such as Batty Langley’s New Principles of Gardening (1728) and John Claudius Loudon’s Encyclopaedia of Gardening (1826) contained descriptions and elaborate images of ruins in the garden, yet scant evidence of ruins intentionally used as a garden feature in America has been found. Furthermore, archaeology has revealed gardening practices and features that are rarely discussed in treatises or contemporaneous accounts of gardens. For instance, ditches have been recovered in garden excavations, yet they are rarely mentioned in gardening treatises. Similarly, descriptions of stairs or instructions for building them are rare, yet stone steps were excavated at Kingsmill in James City County, Va., and at Gov. Richard Stockton’s garden at Morven in Princeton, N.J., and are visible in numerous images, such as what appear to be wooden steps in a view of a Pennsylvania farm with many fences [Fig. 4] and at the University of Georgia campus [Fig. 5].
Much garden knowledge was shared orally by gardeners and garden enthusiasts, many of whom learned the trade by apprenticeships. Moreover, the lack of trained gardeners in colonial America meant that professional gardeners were often foreign, particularly British, and thus brought with them the knowledge of their native garden traditions. As late as 1837, Downing commented, “The principle operatives in our best gardens are as yet foreigners, chieﬂy from England—the demand for persons of this description being yet hardly sufﬁcient to make it a distinct trade or profession, as in Europe.” Yet, advertisements for and by gardeners abound in colonial newspapers, and gardeners are mentioned in passing in numerous letters and other documents. Furthermore, there is ample evidence that slaves and indentured servants were involved in the construction and maintenance of gardens. Systematic studies of these gardeners and laborers with an examination of their literacy and access to published sources (as well as their networks, projects, nationalities, wages, and status within colonial economic and social systems) are just beginning and will be an important component in understanding the inﬂuence of published garden writing on the execution of landscape design in America.
Bearing these oral sources in mind, we turned to a variety of texts to understand the terminology of laying out and maintaining a garden from colonial times through the mid-19th century. Keywords term records offer historians an opportunity to play information compiled from treatises and contemporaneous gardens against what is known through archaeology and documentary research of a particular site’s plant material, planting patterns, circulation routes, water management, visual logic, techniques of propagation, cultivation, and harvest, as well as the site’s general design aesthetics or principles.
Overview of Types of Garden Treatise Literature and Related Garden Sources
The American gardener had access to a variety of sources for advice in laying out and maintaining a garden even in the colonial period. Of the possible relevant works, those devoted to husbandry, as opposed to ornamental gardening, dominate library lists and booksellers, catalogues throughout the 18th century. Clearly the successful production of food for the household and labor force as well as crops for trade or export were of primary concern for farm, plantation, or estate managers. Almost as common were herbals, which described the medicinal uses of plants, such as Nicholas Culpepper’s The English Physician Enlarged (1653) and John Parkinson’s Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants, or an Herball of Large Extent (1640). Domestic guides such as housewifery manuals and receipt books also contained information on plants for medicinal and culinary purposes. Much of the same information found in husbandry treatises and herbals was also circulated through more affordable almanacs, which were popular among “middling households.” These sources were more broadly concerned with agricultural enterprises, but they include information relevant for kitchen gardens, orchard and vineyard management, and general advice on propagating, raising, harvesting, and using plants.
Dictionaries, calendars, and treatises on ornamental gardening directed speciﬁcally to the gardener are of particular relevance to garden historians. Authors sometimes published their material in a variety of formats. For instance, Philip Miller published a calendar and a dictionary, as well as an abridged version of his dictionary. The works differed not only in content but also in format, from “small, portly, serviceably bound volumes, comfortable to the hand and suitable for the pocket, to tall, slim, elegantly bound sets, adorned with appropriate engravings—books which appeared quite at home with the theological and the classical works in the library bookcase.”
Dictionaries such as Miller’s popular Gardeners Dictionary (1731) and George Johnson’s A Dictionary of Modern Gardening (1847) were organized alphabetically for easy reference to particular items. The majority of entries were plant species listed by Latin genus with brief descriptions and histories of the plants along with brief instructions for their propagation and care. In addition to plants, the dictionaries included entries on parts and elements of the garden such as the nursery, edging, stoves, and terraces. These entries combined discussion of the element’s purpose and placement within the garden with, in some cases, enough practical details necessary for the execution of the design. For instance, Miller in his 1754 edition of the Gardeners Dictionary devoted eleven pages to stoves, including two full pages of section and plan views. In addition to construction details for the structure, he included speciﬁcations for a heating system, the conﬁguration of beds and walks, and the placement of various exotic plants.
Calendars presented much of the same information as dictionaries, but organized as month-by-month instructions. The advice included directions on propagating plants, creating beds, maintaining paths and walks, fertilizing soil, grafting and pruning fruit trees, harvesting crops, and laying out simple garden plans.
With all their practical advice, calendars and dictionaries were rarely forthcoming about designs for ornamental gardens. For instructions of this sort, the colonial gardener could turn to treatises on ornamental gardening such as Batty Langley’s New Principles of Gardening (1728) and Stephen Switzer’s The Nobleman, Gentleman, and Gardener’s Recreation (1715; later titled Ichnographia Rustica ). While these treatises discussed some of the same practical matters of plant propagation and maintenance, they also dealt with topics such as the placement of a grove, wilderness, or ﬂower garden and the suitability of garden ornaments such as statuary and fountains. It is important to note that these treatises on ornamental gardening represent only a small portion of the gardening texts consulted by American gardeners and that they were read by a fairly limited portion of the population—primarily those people with the resources and education to pursue gardening on the scale and type addressed in the works.
In addition to the instructions in garden treatises, the colonial American gardener could also turn to a variety of treatises in architecture, surveying, and geometry for the information necessary to lay out a landscape garden. Architectural treatises and pattern books provided designs for garden structures such as pavilions, summerhouses, and temples, and some also addressed garden designs. Isaac Ware’s publication of The Four Books of Andrea Palladio’s Architecture (1738) and Colin Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect (1717–71), for example, were staples in colonial lending libraries and were on the bookshelves of many of the colonial elite. Texts on geometry and surveying were also relevant to the gardener. In a country where land was the most important commodity, surveying was a valued skill with applications in gardening as well as commerce and map-making. For instance, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, owner of two geometrically regular terraced gardens, learned surveying and purchased surveying equipment while being educated in Britain; he also owned Wilson’s Theory and Practice of Surveying and Wyld’s Practical Surveyor. Batty Langley, author of numerous garden treatises, published a book with a telling title: Practical Geometry Applied to the Useful Art of Building, Gardening; Mensuration Calculated for the Use of Gentlemen as Well as Artisans (1726).
Sources of aesthetic theory, such as William Gilpin’s Theories on the Picturesque and essays in magazines such as The Spectator, while not addressed speciﬁcally to the gardener, were inﬂuential in disseminating ideas that informed both the perception of the general landscape and the goals of garden design (see the essays by Helmreich and by O’Malley for the signiﬁcance of these sources in visual representations of landscapes and in the styles of landscape design).
History of Garden Treatise Literature in America
The following chronological survey directs the reader to more in-depth treatments of garden treatise literature and highlights some of its signiﬁcant themes. Among these themes are the treatises’ audiences, the relation of European and American sources, the emergence of an American horticultural press, and the growing presence of horticultural professionals, including nurserymen, writers, and landscape designers.
17th-century garden treatise reading in America is less well documented than in the succeeding centuries. This is due in part to the relative scarcity and expense of books and in part to the ﬂedgling status of bibliographic listings in the colonies at the time. The earliest bibliographic listings for America are the theses issued by Harvard College and printed by Cambridge Press beginning in 1642, but the ﬁrst full bibliography did not appear until the 1693 printing of The Library of the Late Reverend and Learned Mr. Samuel Lee. While 18th-century American booksellers’ inventories and other catalogues list works published in the 17th century and earlier, it is difﬁcult to place most of those books in the country before 1700.
Inventories, probates, diaries, letters, and other manuscripts, however, provide evidence of horticultural texts. For example, John Smyth’s papers, recording his years in Virginia from 1620 to 1632, contain a few book titles related to agriculture and husbandry, and Gov. Francis Nicholson’s library is known from a 1695 catalogue in the Nicholson papers. William Penn’s library is indicative of the range of books available, at least to the colonial elite. An inventory taken in 1687 of the books at his Pennsbury estate on the Delaware River, twenty-ﬁve miles upstream from Philadelphia, lists eight titles related to agricultural and horticultural pursuits, all of which were concerned with practical gardening as opposed to the layout of more elaborate ornamental gardens. The inventory lists one husbandry manual (John Worlidge’s Systema Agriculturae; the Mystery of Husbandry Discovered , although, its companion volume Systema Horticulturae is not listed). The rest of the works deal principally with the practical matters of cultivating plant materials. These books include one calendar, John Evelyn’s Kalendarium Hortense, or Gardener’s Almanac (1724), which contains monthly instructions for ﬂower, fruit, and vegetable gardens, as well as six treatises on fruit trees, forest trees, ﬂowers, and vegetables. William Hughes’s The Flower Garden contains an alphabetically arranged description of the culture of ﬂowers. Hugh Plat’s The Garden of Eden purported to be “an accurate description of all ﬂowers and fruits now growing in England.” Charles Cotton’s The Planters Manual: Being Instructions for the Raising, Planting, and Cultivating of all Sorts of Fruit Trees covers both orchard and wall-trained fruit trees. Leonard Meager’s The English Gardener, which was also owned by Francis Nicholson, contains plant lists and instructions for their propagation. M. Cooke’s The Manner of Raising, Ordering, and Improving Forest Trees also included instructions for planting and creating woods, avenues, lawns, and hedges. Finally, the library included The French Gardiner: Instructing How to Cultivate all Sorts of Fruit Trees and Herbs for the Garden, translated by John Evelyn from the original Le Jardinier François written by Nicolas de Bonnefons, a French estate gardener working near Paris.
While Penn’s ideas for his garden included several avenues, a grotto, park, vistas, walks, and an arbor, little was executed that did not pertain directly to the production of food or other commodities. Whether because of Penn’s prolonged absences while on business in England or the practical demands of establishing a new plantation with limited labor, Pennsbury, begun in 1683, appears to have contained only a hops garden, orchards, a kitchen garden, several walled “courts,” a single avenue of cherries, and possibly a vineyard. Its spaces, like the books in Penn’s library, were devoted principally to the cultivation of edible produce.
Much more is known of the gardening literature available to American colonists in the 18th century. Not only are more book lists available from private and circulating libraries, but the literature itself was burgeoning. In England and Scotland alone, more than 600 books were published on botanical and horticultural subjects during the 18th century. Identifying a treatise’s audience, both intended and realized, is an important key to the interpretation of the context of its use of landscape vocabulary. Clues, such as an introduction addressing the reader as “a British subject,” a “practical farmer,” or a “gentleman,” suggest the author’s intended audience. Other evidence is offered by subscriber lists in American published works and by records of a book’s ownership. For example, a copy of Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopedia, or An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (5th ed., 1741) in the Library of Congress Rare Book Collection is inscribed with a list of the owners of the volume. Such evidence suggests that, unlike the 17th century when gardening books are known only in the collections of governors, proprietors, and others among the highest strata of the colonial social, political, and economic elite, the latter half of the 18th century saw a much more widespread audience.
One factor in the expansion of the reading audience was that garden books were available through an increasing number of sources. In addition to the books an immigrant might have brought with him or her, many gentlemen of means had an agent in England, usually in London, with whom they were able to place orders against the credit established by the export of crops such as tobacco. A colonist might also patronize American print shops and booksellers located in urban centers such as Salem, Portsmouth, Worcester, Boston, Leominster, Newburyport, Providence, Albany, New York, Elizabethtown, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Annapolis, Williamsburg, Charleston, and Savannah. Furthermore, in the second half of the century, and as early as 1731 at the Library Company of Philadelphia, lending libraries were established in many East Coast cities. Finally, there was a constant exchange among nurserymen, gardeners, plant collectors, and garden owners of seeds, plants, advice, and books.
As described earlier, the advice on planning, planting, and maintaining a garden was available in a variety of published sources. At least ninety-ﬁve (eighty-six British publications, nine American publications) separate English-language gardening treatises are known to have been in America before 1800. The titles represent the same range of literature described previously and contain a preponderance of practical instruction in fruit and vegetable gardening. Of these, however, many are known only through single copies. For instance, the only known copy of William Lawson’s New Orchard and Garden is listed in the Massachusetts Agricultural Society Library in 1819. The signiﬁcance of these lone works is difﬁcult to assess. Leonard Meager’s The English Gardener (1697) has been described as “directed to . . . middle-class owners of middle-sized gardens [and] was . . . very popular,” and yet we know of only two instances of the work’s inclusion in an American library, those of Gov. Francis Nicholson and William Penn.
In other cases, there is clear evidence of a work’s widespread availability and use. By far the most popular work was Philip Miller’s Gardeners Dictionary. The book was available throughout the colonies in booksellers, lending libraries, private estate libraries, colleges, and advertisements. It was also recommended and praised repeatedly as a useful source. Writing to John Custis in Williamsburg, Peter Collinson declared “Pray have you Mr. Millers Dictionary. . . . It is a Work of the Greatest use and no Lover aought to be without. . . . Indeed there is everything you can ask & think.” In 1753 Pehr Kalm wrote, “I have asked several of the greatest and best horticulturalists both in England and America, what author and what book they had found and believed to be the best in horticulture. . . . They have all answered with one mouth, Miller’s Gardeners’ dictionary . . . no other book is afterwards required.”
Other gardening texts popular in America in the 18th century include John Abercrombie and John Mawe’s Everyman His Own Gardener and Abercrombie’s The British Fruit Gardener, Thomas Hitt’s A Treatise on Fruit Trees, John Kennedy’s A Treatise Upon Planting, Gardening, and the Management of the Hot House, Richard Bradley’s General Treatise on Husbandry and Gardening, John James’s translation of A.-J. Dézallier D’Argenville’s La théorie et la pratique du jardinage, Jean de la Quintinie’s The Complete Gardener, John Parkinson’s Theatrum Botanicum, and Batty Langley’s New Principle of Gardening.
An obvious limitation of imported treatises was the difﬁculty of applying one set of instructions to a variety of local soil and climatic conditions. Stephen Switzer complained that translated works were “deﬁcient” for English gardeners, while American gardeners, such as John Custis, bemoaned the difﬁculty of raising English plants in the climatic extremes of the New World. Almanacs offered some of the earliest practical horticultural advice addressed speciﬁcally to the American gardener, but it was not until the end of the 18th century that landscape design treatises were adapted for Americans.
The earliest American published treatises were selections or “epitomes” from European and British publications often combined with the practical experiences of the authors. Some compilations were as simplistic as Robert Squibb’s Gardener’s Calendar for the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia (1787), which borrowed heavily from John Abercrombie’s Every Man His Own Gardener but adapted it to the southern climate by moving directions one month earlier. Samuel Deane’s New-England Farmer, or Georgical Dictionary (1790) relied heavily on Miller for the nursery and kitchen garden sections and quoted extensively from Chambers’s Cyclopedia, or An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. Other American publications drew upon more extensive experimentation, such as John Beale Bordley’s several publications on agricultural topics, which were based on his experience farming on Wye Island in Maryland. Martha Logan’s brief Gardener’s Kalendar (1779) was based on her experiences in the warmer climate of South Carolina. John Randolph, the King’s last attorney in Virginia, incorporated his own experience with advice from Miller on the kitchen garden to write “A Treatise on Gardening by a Gentleman of Virginia” (1793). Humphrey Marshall, a cousin of John Bartram, established a botanical garden at his estate in Marshallton, Pa., and published a catalogue of trees.
The late 18th-century practice of adapting British horticultural advice for the American climate continued with the publication of new works written speciﬁcally for an American audience. This is not to say, however, that the writings were substantively different from their European counterparts. For instance, William Kenrick noted the inadequacy of much of the advice of “foreign authors [that] . . . They cannot duly appreciate the value of our native fruits,” yet he relied heavily on the European authors listed among his thirty-nine sources cited in his introduction. In another example, Bernard M’Mahon’s American Gardener’s Calendar (1806), “adapted to the climates and seasons of the United States,” included eighteen pages devoted to ornamental designs and planting that were taken almost directly from Humphry Repton, as well as other sections lifted wholesale from John Abercrombie. Even A. J. Downing, a pioneer of uniquely American landscape design, drew heavily on J. C. Loudon, who in turn relied on Dézallier d’Argenville.
Garden treatise literature in the ﬁrst half of the 19th century also represented a period of dramatic change, due in part to changes in early American publishing practice and in part to the ﬁeld of garden and landscape design itself. The lack of enforceable copyright restrictions, the increasing efﬁciency of print shops, and the tariffs on imported books led to a lucrative trade in reprints of European titles. There were also a number of technological changes in the printing process in the second quarter of the 19th century that transformed the publishing industry. George Palmer Putnam, secretary of the Association of New York Publishers compared American publication statistics in 1842 and 1853 and found an increase of about 800 percent in the number of original works published in America, an increase more than “ten times faster than the population.” This growth was due in large part to the introduction of the steam-driven ﬂat bed press and the introduction of stereotyping (1811) and electrotyping (1841). These innovations, together with the introduction of two new papermaking machines in the 1830s, resulted in cheaper materials, reduced labor costs, a more efﬁcient process, and greater ﬂexibility in the production of multiple editions. Technological advances in bookbinding also offered a variety of choices in the appearance of the books themselves. These innovations were particularly suited to architectural and landscape design publications because they allowed the integration of text and images. Downing took full advantage of the relief printing process, and his Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening was fully illustrated with wood engravings. The ease of printing multiple editions also allowed the incorporation of up-to-date information, new ideas, and the latest sites.
Garden treatise publication practices in the 19th century may also be attributed to changes in the profession of landscape design. While other aspects of the landscape design profession, such as accreditation, academic training, and professional associations were still more than ﬁfty years off, the early years of the 19th century saw gardeners promoting themselves in new ways. They organized themselves as businessmen, authors, nurserymen, and designers and promoted those ventures through the publication of tracts, treatises, magazines, and catalogues. For example, in 1807 Thomas Main wrote a small treatise on the advantage of hedges at the same time he was establishing a nursery business specializing in plant material suitable for hedges. Edward Sayers’s American Flower Garden Companion (1838) was sponsored by Grant Thorburn and Joseph Breck, two of the leading seed merchants of the time. In 1828 New York nurseryman William Prince published A Short Treatise on Horticulture, and its subtitle is telling of its promotional purposes:
Embracing descriptions of a great variety of Fruit and Ornamental Trees and Shrubs, Grape Vines, Bulbous Flowers, Green-House Trees and Plants, &c. Nearly all of which are at present comprised in the collection of the Linnaean Botanic Garden, At Flushing, near New York with Directions for their Culture, Management, &c. by William Prince, Proprietor of the Establishment.
One of the most successful promoters of his nursery and landscape-design business through publishing ventures was Downing. Following the lead of Loudon’s Encyclopaedia of Gardening, Downing combined writings on horticulture, landscape, and architecture with great commercial success. By 1853, Downing’s Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Cottage Residences, The Architecture of Country Houses, and Rural Essays sold a combined total of 36,750 copies.
In the second quarter of the 19th century, among the most inﬂuential publishing ventures were periodicals, and promoters of the growing nursery trade were quick to capitalize with magazines directed speciﬁcally to the gardener [Fig. 6]. Nurserymen David and David Landreth (father and son) began the ﬁrst American gardening periodical in 1832 with the short-lived publication of The Floral Magazine and Botanical Repository, one of the ﬁrst American magazines to be printed by lithography. The Horticultural Register and Gardener’s Magazine soon followed, published from 1835 to 1838 and variously edited by Thomas Fessenden, James E. Teschemacher, and Joseph Breck. In 1835 the ﬁrst successful horticultural magazine was founded by C. M. Hovey and P. B. Hovey under the title The American Gardener’s Magazine, and changed two years later to The Magazine of Horticulture, Botany, and all Useful Discoveries and Improvements in Rural Affairs, a title that ran until 1868. The publication included articles by some of the best-known ﬁgures in landscape design including A. J. Downing, who published seventeen articles in the magazine between 1835 and 1841. Downing’s 1836 article entitled “Remarks on the Fitness of the Different Styles of Architecture for the Construction of Country Residences and on the Employment of Vases in Garden Scenery” marked “a radical change in the appearance and format of American architectural books” by integrating wood-engravings on the same page with the letterpress. In 1846 Downing began his own journal, The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste, which became the ﬁrst periodical to publish original landscape and architectural designs as a regular monthly feature. In addition to their dissemination of practical knowledge, Downing pointed out that the periodicals were “working great good for the farming interest, and indirectly for that of gardening, by teaching some of the principles of the arts of culture.”
Horticultural publications in the 19th century contained a range of designs to suit not just the wealthiest members of society but also the middle-class suburban homeowner. This growing audience is reﬂected in publications such as Walter Elder’s The Cottage Garden of America, in which he distinguishes himself from other “American authors on horticulture” who “address the inhabitants of the mansion.” Rather, he states, “we have taken untrodden ground in the ﬁeld; and addressed ourselves entirely to the intelligent cottagers of America.”
Periodicals such as the Horticultural Register and The Magazine of Horticulture, as well as architectural pattern books by authors such as William Ranlett, A. J. Davis, and Downing, addressed this same audience and included designs for grounds as an integral part of plans for middle-income dwellings and the development of suburbia.
The establishment of agricultural societies, horticultural societies, and their libraries also created a new forum for garden writing in the societies’ various publications. These proceedings, annual reports, and addresses helped build new audiences for garden-design literature and established lines of communication among those interested in the applications of scientiﬁc agriculture to farming and horticulture.
The text sources for Keywords were produced in a variety of cultural contexts that informed the production and reception of their meanings. By situating the texts in both their most detailed moments and in the broader currents of their times, the meanings of words become valuable passports to understanding the signiﬁcance of American landscape design. It is, in the end, the association of verbal and visual evidence that enables the historian to understand most fully the coevolution of landscape design and its vocabulary.
- South Carolina Gazette, 1739 (CWF); The Charter, Laws, and Catalogue of Books of the Library Company of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1770); Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville’s letters were published in 1788 and translated into English in 1792 as New Travels in the United States of America (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1964), view on Zotero; Thomas Main, Directions for the Transplantation and Management of Young Thorn or Other Hedge Plants (Washington, D.C.: A.G. and Way, 1807), view on Zotero; William Russell Birch, The Country Seats of the United States of North America (Springland, Pa.: W. Birch, 1808),view on Zotero.
- The biographical details exemplifying the complexities of textual sources for landscape history are taken from Albert E. Stone’s “Introduction” to Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of 18th-Century America (Dallas, Pa.: Penguin Books, 1981), 7–25, view on Zotero. See also a discussion of Crèvecoeur in Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), 107–18, view on Zotero.
- J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of 18th-Century America, ed. Albert E. Stone (Dallas, Pa.: Penguin Books, 1981), 35, view on Zotero.
- Stone, “Introduction,” 19, 21, 25.
- Stone, “Introduction,” 7, 23.
- Philip Vickers Fithian, Journal and Letters, 1767–1774, ed. John Rogers Williams (Princeton: The University Library, 1900), view on Zotero; Plantation Life at Rose Hill: The Diaries of Martha Ogle Forman, 1814–1845, ed. W. Emerson Wilson (Wilmington, Del.: The Historical Society of Delaware, 1976), view on Zotero.
- Barbara Wells Sarudy, “A Chesapeake Craftsman’s 18th-Century Gardens,” Journal of Garden History 9 (1989): 141–52.
- Fithian, entry for Friday, December 31, 1773, Journal and Letters, 77–78, view on Zotero.
- Dana Nelson Salvino has argued that participation in a “reading community” involved an exchange of information and ideas that reinforced a solidarity as well as control over those without access to that knowledge. Salvino, “The Word in Black and White: Ideologies of Race and Literacy in Antebellum America,” in Reading in America: Literature and Social History, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 140–56.
- A notable exception is the recollections of Frederick Douglass describing the Wye House grounds during the ﬁrst third of the 19th century. Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom (Carbondale: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 46–48, view on Zotero.
- Charles Carroll of Carrollton to Charles Carroll of Annapolis, September 29, 1774. Carroll Papers (MdHi Ms. 206, no. 264 ), Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore.
- The Carroll correspondence is in the Carroll Papers at the Maryland Historical Society and on microﬁlm at the Maryland State Archives. A three volume edition of the correspondence has been published in Dear Papa, Dear Charley, 3 vols., eds. Ronald Hoffman, Sally D. Mason, and Eleanor S. Darcy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), view on Zotero. For a study on Charles Carroll of Carrollton’s terraced garden in Annapolis, see Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, “Landscape as Myth: The Contextual Archaeology of an Annapolis Landscape” (Ph.D. diss., Brown University, 1991).
- “The wisest Philosophers, ye greatest poets, and the best men have constantly placed ye most happiness in rural retirement, under the shades of For-rests statesmens [sic] have sought happiness having in vain sought after it in ye perplexed mazes of ambition & interest.” Charles Carroll of Carrollton to William Grace, August 9, 1771. Carroll Papers (MdHi Ms. 203,2 ), Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore.
- Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, “‘As is the Gardener, So is the Garden’: The Archaeology of Landscape as Myth,” in Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake, ed. Barbara J. Little and Paul A. Shackel (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Press, 1994), 131–48, view on Zotero.
- Despite the extensive work on colonial intellectual life by scholars such as Richard Beale Davis and Richard Brown, the study of women’s literacy and reading practices in early America is still a relatively little studied problem. An example of the recent work in the area is E. Jennifer Monaghan, “Literacy Instruction and Gender in Colonial New England,” Reading Practices in America: Literature and Social History, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 53–80, view on Zotero.
- A notable exception to the lack of published garden treatises by women authors is Martha Logan’s The Gardener’s Calendar, published in Charleston in 1779 (reprinted in David M. Tucker, Kitchen Gardening in America: A History (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1993)), view on Zotero. See also the discussion in U. P. Hedrick, A History of Horticulture in America to 1860 (Portland, Ore.: Timber Press, 1988), 471, and in Brenda Bullion, “Early American Farming and Gardening Literature: Adapted to the Climates and Seasons of the United States,” Journal of Garden History 12 (1992): 35, view on Zotero.
- Quoted in Catherine Evans, Cultural Landscape Report for Longfellow National Historic Site, vol. 1: Site History and Existing Conditions (Boston: National Park Service, North Atlantic Region, 1993), 38, view on Zotero.
- Letter to Miss Bartlett, spring 1742. The Letter-book of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, 1739–1762, ed. Elise Pinckney (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972), 36, view on Zotero.
- Cadwallader Colden to John Bartram, Jan. 27, 1746–47. For examples of this correspondence see “Brothers of the Spade: Correspondence of Peter Collinson of London and John Custis of Williamsburg, Virginia, 1734–1746,” ed. Earl Gregg Swem, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 58 (1949): 17–108 [reprinted 1957], view on Zotero; “Letters of Martha Logan to John Bartram, 1760–1763,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 59 (1958): 38–46, view on Zotero.
- Cadwallader Colden, The Letters and Papers of Cadwallader Colden, vol. 4, 1748–1754, Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1920 (New York: New-York Historical Society, 1920), 472, view on Zotero.
- Michael Trostel, Mount Clare: Being an Account of the Seat Built by Charles Carroll, Barrister, Upon His Lands at Patapsco (Baltimore: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland, 1981), 76–79, view on Zotero.
- Janice Bailey-Goldschmidt, “Travel Guides and Picture Books,” in Invisible America: Unearthing our Hidden History, ed. Mark P. Leone and Neil Asher Silberman (New York: Henry Holt, 1995), 22–23, view on Zotero.
- Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf; distributed by Random House, 1993), 9.
- For an analysis of the prose strategies of early narratives and a discussion of their consequences for the formation of an identiﬁable American culture, see Wayne Franklin, Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers: The Diligent Writers of Early America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), view on Zotero; for a discussion of Hakluyt and other promotional literature, see A. L. Rowse, “Introduction,” Voyages to the Virginia Colonies by Richard Hakluyt (London: Century, 1986), view on Zotero.
- William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983), 34–35, view on Zotero.
- Quoted in Cronon, Changes in the Land, 56, view on Zotero.
- Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York, vol. 1 (New Haven, Conn.: T. Dwight, 1821), 13, view on Zotero.
- Benjamin Silliman, A Journal of Travels in England, Holland and Scotland, vol. 2 (New Haven, Conn.: S. Converse, 1820 [originally published 1810]), 116, view on Zotero.
- Benjamin Silliman, Remarks Made on a Short Tour Between Hartford and Quebec, in the Autumn of 1819 (New Haven, Conn.: S. Converse, 1824), 14, view on Zotero.
- Silliman’s landscape descriptions are clearly informed by the tradition of landscape aesthetic theory, particularly the notions of the picturesque espoused by writers such as Thomas Whately and Richard Payne Knight and employed by other travel writers such as Arthur Young. See Helmreich essay, this volume, for a more in-depth discussion of the relation of aesthetic theory and landscape representation.
- Richard J. Moss, The Life of Jedidiah Morse: A Station of Peculiar Exposure (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995), view on Zotero.
- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, ed. Thomas Perkins Abernathy (New York: Harper and Row,  1964), view on Zotero. See also discussion of Jefferson’s notion of agrarian democracy and its implications for American landscape history in Marx, Machine in the Garden, 118–44, view on Zotero, and Denis E. Cosgrove, “America as Landscape,” in Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), esp. 174–80, view on Zotero.
- William Bartram, Travels, and Other Writings (New York: Library of America, 1996), view on Zotero.
- R. Lawson-Peebles, Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America: The World Turned Upside Down (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), view on Zotero; Cecelia Tichi, New World, New Earth: Environmental Reform in American Literature from the Puritans through Whitman (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1979), view on Zotero; Marx, The Machine in the Garden, view on Zotero; Annette Kolodny, “Surveying the Virgin Land: The Documents of Exploration and Colonization, 1500–1740,” in The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), 10–25, view on Zotero; Roderick Nash, “A Wilderness Condition,” Wilderness and the American Mind, 3rd ed. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982), 23–43, view on Zotero; Alan Heimert, “Puritanism, the Wilderness, and the Frontier,” New England Quarterly 26 (1953): 361–82, view on Zotero; Cosgrove, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape, 161–88, view on Zotero; Peter A. Fritzell, “The Wilderness and the Garden: Metaphors of the American Landscape,” Forest History 12 (1968): 16–22, view on Zotero.
- Dwight, Travels, vol. 1, 18 (emphasis in the original), view on Zotero.
- Carl Bridenbaugh, “Introduction,” Gentleman’s Progress: The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton, 1744 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1948), xiv–xv, xxx, view on Zotero.
- James Axtell, “Introduction,” America Perceived: A View from Abroad in the 18th Century (West Haven, Conn.: Pendulum, 1974), 12, view on Zotero; Richard D. Brown, Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700–1865 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 13–15, view on Zotero.
- These sites have also tended to become the focus of scholarly treatment, but deed records, maps, and other evidence suggest that these sites represent only a small portion of America’s landscape-design heritage.
- Joel T. Fry, “An International Catalogue of North American Trees and Shrubs: The Bartram Broadside, 1783,” Journal of Garden History 16 (1996): 3–22, view on Zotero; Timothy Davis, “Mount Vernon Memorial Highway: Changing Conceptions of an American Commemorative Landscape,” in Places of Commemoration: Search for Identity and Landscape Design, ed. Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1999), view on Zotero.
- Amy R. W. Meyers, “Sketches from the Wilderness: Changing Conceptions of Nature in American Natural History Illustration, 1680–1880” (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1985), view on Zotero; Joseph Kastner, A Species of Eternity (New York: Knopf, 1977), view on Zotero.
- William Bartram, Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, 1791, ed. Mark Van Doren (New York: Dover, 1928), 104, view on Zotero.
- “The Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane,” New-York Mirror (February 1, 1834), 241–42, view on Zotero.
- Quoted in Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, 71, view on Zotero. For a history of the Prince Family Nursery, see D. J. and Alan Fusonie, “The Prince Family Nursery: Entrepreneurship Abroad and in New England Prior to 1850,” in Plants and People: Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, 1995, ed. Peter Benes (Boston: Boston University, 1996), 54–65, view on Zotero.
- Examples include Thomas Main’s Directions for the Transplantation . . . [of] Hedge Plants, view on Zotero; William Robert Prince’s Manual of Roses (New York: T. Main and Clark & Austin, 1831), view on Zotero; and David Landreth’s edition of George Johnson’s Dictionary of Modern Gardening (Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1847), view on Zotero.
- Mount Auburn, as the ﬁrst of the rural cemeteries, was among the most widely published. See for example, Cornelia W. Walter, Mount Auburn Illustrated in a Series of Views from Drawings by James Smillie (New York: Martin and Johnson, 1847), view on Zotero; The Picturesque Pocket Companion, and Visitor’s Guide, Through Mount Auburn (Boston: Otis, Broaders and Company, 1839), view on Zotero; Jacob Bigelow, History of the Cemetery of Mount Auburn (Boston: James Munroe and Co., 1839), view on Zotero; Nehemiah Adams, “Mount Auburn,” The American Quarterly Observer 3 (1834): 149–72, view on Zotero. For a detailed history of Mount Auburn Cemetery, see Blanche Linden-Ward, Silent City on a Hill: Landscapes of Memory and Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery (Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1989), view on Zotero.
- Thomas Myers Garrett, “A History of Pleasure Gardens in New York City, 1700–1865” (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1978), view on Zotero; Barbara Wells Sarudy, “‘Genteel and Necessary Amusements’: Public Pleasure Gardens in 18th-Century Maryland,” Journal of Garden History 9 (1989): 118–24.
- New York Daily Advertiser, April 20, 1805, quoted in Garrett, “A History of Pleasure Gardens,” 286, view on Zotero.
- Timothy Dwight, “Greenﬁeld Hill” (1794). Part III is reprinted in The American Landscape: Literary Sources and Documents, vol. I, ed. Graham Clarke (East Sussex: Helm, 1993), 36–87, view on Zotero; George Ogilvie, “The Planter,” reprinted in Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Smith Berkeley, Dr. Alexander Garden of Charles Town (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), view on Zotero.
- Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland, or The Transformation (New York: T. and J. Swords, 1798), view on Zotero.
- Samuel L. Knapp, Life of Lord Timothy Dexter (Newburyport, Mass.: John G. Tilton, 1848), view on Zotero; Nehemiah Adams, Boston Common (Boston: William D. Ticknor and H. B. Williams, 1842), view on Zotero; John Warner Barber published Historical Collections for Connecticut (1836), view on Zotero; Massachusetts (1839),view on Zotero; New York (1841), view on Zotero; and New Jersey (1844) view on Zotero (the latter two were co-authored with Henry Howe).
- Louisa Tuthill, History of Architecture from the Earliest Times: Its Present Condition in Europe and the United States (New York: Garland,  1988), 326, view on Zotero.
- David Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape: The Redeﬁnition of City Form in 19th-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), view on Zotero; George Chadwick, The Park and the Town: Public Landscape in the 19th and 20th Centuries (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966), view on Zotero; Therese O’Malley, “Art and Science in American Landscape Architecture: The National Mall, Washington D.C., 1791–1852” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1989), view on Zotero; Christie H. White, “Reform and the Promotion of Ornamental Gardening,” in Plants and People: The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings, 1995, vol. 20, ed. Peter Benes (Boston: Boston University, 1996), 103–15, view on Zotero.
- William A. Alcott, “Embellishment and Improvement of Towns and Villages,” American Annals of Education (August 1838), 337, 347, view on Zotero.
- Therese O’Malley, “‘A Public Museum of Trees’: Mid 19th-Century Plans for the Mall,” in The Mall in Washington, 1791–1991, ed. Richard Longstreth (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1991), 61–76, view on Zotero.
- The selection of texts surveyed for the Keywords project focuses on designed landscape vocabulary rather than language related more speciﬁcally to agriculture, husbandry, the natural environment, or the vernacular landscape (see O’Malley essay, this volume, for a discussion of these distinctions). The diversity of topics is exempliﬁed by the extracts relevant to garden history published in England’s Annual Register from 1758 to 1790; see Joan Edwards, “The Contribution of an 18th-Century Bookseller to Garden History,” Garden History 8 (1980): 25–40, view on Zotero.
- Percy W. Bidwell and John I. Falconer, History of Agriculture in the Northern United States, 1620–1860 (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1925), view on Zotero; Lyman Carrier, The Beginnings of Agriculture in America (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1923), view on Zotero; Clarence Albert Day, “A History of Maine Agriculture 1604–1860,” University of Maine Bulletin 56 (April 1954): 87–93, view on Zotero; Chester E. Eisenger, “The Farmer in the 18th-Century Almanac,” Agricultural History 28 (1954): 107–12, view on Zotero; Alan Fusonie, “The Agricultural Literature of the Gentleman Farmer in the Colonies,” in Agricultural Literature: Proud Heritage—Future Promise, A Bicentennial Symposium, ed. Alan Fusonie and Leila Moran (Washington, D.C.: Graduate School Press, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1977), view on Zotero; Charles Arthur Hammond, “A Selected List of Agricultural Titles Available in Eastern Massachusetts, 1789–1826,” in Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife [1986 Annual Proceedings] The Farm, ed. Peter Benes (Boston: Boston University Press, 1986), view on Zotero; Rodney Loehr, “The Inﬂuence of English Agriculture on American Agriculture, 1775–1825,” Agricultural History 11 (1937): 3–15, view on Zotero; Rodney Loehr, “Arthur Young and American Agriculture, 1775–1825,” Agricultural History 43 (1969): 43–56, view on Zotero; T. H. Marshall, “Jethro Tull and the ‘New Husbandry’ of the 18th Century,” Economic History Review 2 (1929): 41–60, view on Zotero; National Agricultural Library, Heritage of American Agriculture: A Bibliography of Pre-1860 Imprints, comp. Alan Fusonie (Beltsville, Md.: National Agricultural Library, 1975), view on Zotero; Harold T. Pinkett, “Leadership in American Agriculture: The Published Documentary Heritage,” in Agricultural Literature: Proud Heritage—Future Promise, A Bicentennial Symposium, ed. Alan Fusonie and Leila Moran (Washington, D.C.: Graduate School Press, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1977), 159–71, view on Zotero; Howard S. Russell, A Long Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming in New England, abridged and with a foreword by Mark Lapping (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1982), view on Zotero; Andrea J. Tucher, Agriculture in America 1622–1860: Printed Works in the Collections of the American Philosophical Society, The Historical Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia (New York: Garland, 1984), view on Zotero; Donald Marti, “Agricultural Journalism and the Diffusion of Knowledge: The First Half-Century in America,” Agricultural History 54 (1980): 27–38, view on Zotero.
- Blanche Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature Before 1800 (London: Oxford University Press, 1975); Hunt Institute, Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection at the Hunt Institute, comp. James J. White with the assistance of Elizabeth R. Smith (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University, 1988); Sandra Raphael, An Oak Spring Sylva: A Selection of the Rare Books on Trees at the Oak Spring Library Garden Library (Upperville, Va.: Oak Spring Garden Library; New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989); Raphael, An Oak Spring Pomona: A Selection of the Rare Books on Fruit at the Oak Spring Library Garden Library (Upperville, Va.: Oak Spring Garden Library; New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990).
- Alice B. Lockwood, Gardens of Colony and State: Gardens and Gardeners of the American Colonies and of the Republic before 1840, vol. 2 (New York: Charles Scribner and Sons for the Garden Clubs of America, 1931–34), 5–7. In addition to Lockwood, two early, short articles examined garden literature: Marjorie Fleming Warner, “The Earliest American Book on Kitchen Gardening,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association 1 (1919): 433–42; Hamilton Traub, “The Development of American Horticultural Literature, Chieﬂy Between 1800–1850,” National Horticultural Magazine 7 (1928): 97–103; vol. 8 (1929): 7–17.
- The 1988 Timber Press edition of Hedrick’s History includes an addendum by Elisabeth Woodburn covering the literature from 1860 to 1920. Woodburn has also published a selected sampling of horticultural literature, “American Horticultural Books,” Keeping Eden: A History of Gardening in America, ed. Walter T. Punch (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, Bulﬁnch Press, 1992), 240–59.
- Ann Leighton, Early American Gardens: “For Meate or Medicine” (Boston: Houghton Mifﬂin, 1970); American Gardens in the 18th Century: “For Use or For Delight” (Boston: Houghton Mifﬂin, 1976); American Gardens in the 19th Century: “For Comfort and Afﬂuence” (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987). Leighton’s work, while impressive in its scope, is also of limited use to the researcher given its lack of citations for its sources and images. T. L. Senn’s “Farm and Garden: Landscape Architecture and Horticulture in 18th-Century America,” Agricultural History 42 (1969): 149–57, is a summary of the secondary literature at the time.
- Elisabeth Woodburn, “Horticultural Heritage: The Inﬂuence of U.S. Nurserymen,” 109–41, and Alan Fusonie, “The Agricultural Literature of the Gentleman Farmer in the Colonies,” 33–55, in Agricultural Literature: Proud Heritage—Future Promise, A Bicentennial Symposium, ed. Alan Fusonie and Leila Moran (Washington, D.C.: Graduate School Press, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1977).
- Frederick Doveton Nichols and Ralph E. Griswold, Thomas Jefferson, Landscape Architect (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1978); William L. Beiswanger, “The Temple in the Garden: Thomas Jefferson’s Visions of the Monticello Landscape,” 18th-Century Life 8 (January 1983): 170–88; Thomas Jefferson, The Garden Book, ed. Edwin Morris Betts (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1944); Thomas Jefferson, The Farm Book, ed. Edwin M. Betts (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1953); C. Allan Brown, “Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest: The Mathematics of an Ideal Villa,” Journal of Garden History 10 (1990): 117–39.
- David Schuyler, Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); Judith Major, To Live in the New World: A. J. Downing and American Landscape Gardening (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997); Therese O’Malley, “From Practice to Theory: The Emerging Profession of Landscape Gardening in Early 19th-Century America,” in Botanical Progress, Horticultural Innovation and Cultural Changes, ed. Michel Conan (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2007).
- Charles B. Wood, III, “The New ‘Pattern Books’ and the Role of the Agricultural Press,” in Prophet with Honor: The Career of Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852, ed. George B. Tatum and Elisabeth Blair MacDougall (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1989), 165–89, view on Zotero.
- C. Allan Brown, “18th-Century Virginia Plantation Gardens: Translating an Ancient Idyll,” in Regional Garden Design in the United States, ed. Therese O’Malley and Marc Treib (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, 1995), 125–62; Peter Martin, Pleasure Gardens of Virginia: From Jamestown to Jefferson (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991).
- Barbara Wells Sarudy, “Gardening Books in 18th-Century Maryland,” Journal of Garden History 9 (1989): 107.
- Tamara Thornton, Cultivating Gentlemen: The Meaning of Country Life Among the Boston Elite, 1785–1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989); Charles Arthur Hammond, “‘Where the Arts and Virtues Unite’: Country Life Near Boston, 1637–1864” (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1982).
- Suzanne Turner, “Roots of a Regional Garden Tradition: The Drawings of the New Orleans Notarial Archives,” in Regional Garden Design in the United States, ed. Therese O’Malley and Marc Treib (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, 1995), 163–90; Turner, The Gardens of Louisiana: Places of Work and Wonder (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997).
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, From Seed to Flower: Philadelphia 1681–1876 (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 1976); see also Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, chap. 18, view on Zotero.
- Sarah Pattee Stetson, “American Garden Books Transplanted and Native, before 1807,” William and Mary Quarterly 3, ser. 3 (1946): 343–69. The mostly 19th-century holdings of Dumbarton Oaks are detailed in Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn and Jack Becker, American Garden Literature in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (1785–1900): From The New England Farmer to Italian Gardens. An Annotated Bibliography (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1998).
- Brenda Bullion, “The Science and Art of Plants and Gardens in the Development of an American Landscape Aesthetic” (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1990), view on Zotero; Bullion, “Early American Farming and Gardening Literature: ‘Adapted to the Climates and Seasons of the United States,’” Journal of Garden History 12 (1992): 29–51, view on Zotero.
- ThereseO’Malley, “Appropriation and Adaptation: Early Gardening Literature in America,” Huntington Quarterly 55 (Summer 1992): 401–31, view on Zotero.
- Private libraries examined for garden holdings for this study include those of the following individuals: John Adams, William Bladen, John Beale Bordely, Charles Bulﬁnch, Landon Carter, Charles Carroll the Barrister, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, William Coxe, A. J. Downing, Walter Elder, Jared Eliot, Elbridge Gerry, Hosack, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Pehr Kalm, James Logan (catalogue of titles given to the city of Philadelphia in 1760), Gov. Francis Nicholson, Charles Willson Peale, William Penn, Joseph Prentis, Gov. Horatio Sharpe, Lady Jean Skipwith, John Smyth, and George Washington. Circulating and college library lists consulted include those from the following: Annapolis Circulating Library, Charleston Library Society, Charitable Library Society of Concord (Massachusetts), College of New Jersey, Concord Social Library, Craigie Lending Library, Benjamin Guild Circulating Library, Harvard University, Juliana Library Company (Philadelphia), Library Company of Burlington (New Jersey), Library Company of Baltimore, Library Company of Philadelphia, Massachusetts Agricultural Society Library (1819 list), New York Library Society, Providence Library, Redwood Library Company (Newport, Rhode Island), Union Library Company (Philadelphia), Yale College Library. In addition we used two studies of the 18th-century book trade in Williamsburg, Va.: Gregory Stiverson and Cynthia Z. Stiverson, Books Both Useful and Entertaining: A Study of Book Purchases and Reading Habits of Virginians in the Mid-18th-Century (Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1977), compiled titles from the records of the Williamsburg Printing Ofﬁce, and John Edgar Mulnar, “Publication and Retail Book Advertisements in the Virginia Gazette” (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1978), compiled lists from the Virginia Gazette from 1736 to 1780. We also compiled garden treatises from Charles Evans’s and later supplementary inventories of booksellers in America, 1734–99 (Charles Evans, American Bibliography [Chicago: Privately printed for the author, 1903]). While the data gathered offer evidence of the gardening titles in America and a general impression of their relative popularity and distribution, the ﬁndings are neither comprehensive nor statistically constituted.
- For a more comprehensive survey of architectural literature available in the colonies, see Henry Russell Hitchcock, American Architectural Books: A List of Books, Portfolios, and Pamphlets on Architecture and Related Subjects Published in America before 1895 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1976, reprint of 1962 ed.); Helen Park, A List of Architectural Books Available in America Before the Revolution, new ed., rev. and enlarged (Los Angeles: Hennessey and Ingalls, 1973); and Janice G. Schimmelman, Architectural Books in Early America: Architectural Treatises and Building Handbooks Available in American Libraries and Bookstores through 1800 (New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll, 1999). The contributors to Kenneth Hafertepe and James F. O’Gorman’s American Architects and Their Books to 1848 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001) examine different aspects of book collecting, publishing, and usage in 18th- and 19th-century America.
- Joseph Prentis’ garden is discussed in Martin, Pleasure Gardens of Virginia, chap. 7, view on Zotero. Details of Prentis’s library contents are included in n. 5, p. 220.
- Dell Upton, “Pattern Books and Professionalism: Aspects of the Transformation of Domestic Architecture in America, 1800–1860,” Winterthur Portfolio 19 (1984): 109, view on Zotero.
- Studies such as Stiverson and Stiverson (1975), chap. 2, “The Bookselling Business in Colonial Virginia” (1975) have examined the economics and risks of the book trade, but more might be done on the particular costs of gardening literature, particularly a comparison of American reprints and publications with imported titles.
- Of this large literature see, for example, Brown, Knowledge Is Power; Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt et al., eds., The Book in America: A History of the Making, the Selling, and the Collecting of Books in the United States (New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1939); Kenneth Lockridge, Literacy in Colonial New England: An Enquiry into the Social Context of Literacy in the Early Modern West (New York: Norton, 1974); Jesse Hauk Shera, Foundations of the Public Library: The Origins of the Public Library Movement in New England, 1629–1855 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949).
- Upton, “Pattern Books and Professionalism,” 109, view on Zotero.
- Michael Trostel, Mount Clare: Being an Account of the Seat Built by Charles Carroll, Barrister, Upon His Lands at Patapsco (Baltimore: National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland, 1981), 59, view on Zotero.
- O’Malley, “Appropriation and Adaptation,” 401, view on Zotero.
- Jefferson owned two works by Sir William Chambers: Designs of Chinese Building, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and Utensils . . . to Which is Annexed a Description of their Temples, Houses, Gardens, &c. (London: Published for the author, 1757) and Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Perspective Views of the Gardens and Buildings at Kew in Surry . . . (London: Printed by J. Haberkorn for the author, 1763). See also William Bainter O’Neal, Jefferson’s Fine Arts Library: His Selections for the University of Virginia Together with His Own Architectural Books (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976), 51–57. The seat is of the same design as William Kent’s design for Rousham, which remains in the Rousham collection (John Dixon Hunt, personal communication, 1997).
- Thomas Hale, A Compleat Body of Husbandry containing rules for performing, in the most proﬁtable manner, the whole business of the farmer and country gentleman, 4 vols., 2nd ed. (London: Printed for Tho. Osborne, Tho. Tyre, and S. Crowder, 1758), vol. 1, book 3, 201, view on Zotero.
- Such research may also be valuable for a more judicial use of treatises in historic garden restorations, which have tended to rely on treatise illustrations for the details of planting designs that are rarely preserved archaeologically or illustrated in the historic record. At Hampton, the Ridgely estate in Baltimore, Md., for example, Alden Hopkins used The British Parterre and Kip’s engraving of Fragnall in England for the layout of parterres on the terraces, although there is no evidence to connect either source to Hampton historically. Similarly, the outline and topography of the William Paca garden in Annapolis, Md., were recovered archaeologically, but the planting plans for the terrace beds were taken from period treatise illustrations. A critical awareness of the ﬁctionalized aspects of colonial revival gardens is growing, but further study will help to establish a more accurate understanding of the historical use of treatises (for examples of this literature see Charles A. Birnbaum and Cheryl Wagner, eds., Making Educated Decisions: A Landscape Preservation Bibliography [Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Cultural Resources, Preservation Assistance Division, 1994], view on Zotero). This issue of the relation between treatises and usage is also addressed in the individual Keywords term discussions.
- Naomi F. Miller, Anne Yentsch, Dolores Piperno, and Barbara Paca, “Two Centuries of Landscape Change at Morven, Princeton, New Jersey,” in Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology, ed. William M. Kelso and Rachel Most (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1990), 254–75, view on Zotero.
- A. J. Downing, “Notices on the State and Progress of Horticulture in the United States,” Magazine of Horticulture 3 (August 1837): 9, view on Zotero.
- For instance, in the Public Record Ofﬁce in London are Weekly Emigration Returns that record, as they embarked from England, indentured servants’ names, age, place of residence, and employment including many as “husbandman” or “gardener.”
- Nicholas Culpepper, The English Physician Enlarged: With Three Hundred, Sixty, and Nine Medicines Made of English Herbs That Were Not in Any Impression Until This (London: P. Cole, 1653) (see discussion of Culpepper in Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, 468, and Leighton, Early American Gardens, 154–61); see also John Parkinson, Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants, or, An Herball of writing the landscape Large Extent (London: Tho. Cotes, 1640). Copies of this work were owned by John Bartram (who was given one copy by James Logan and one by Peter Collinson), the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Massachusetts Agricultural Society; a copy is also listed in the Evans booksellers’ records.
- For example, Martha Bradley’s The British Housewife, or The Cook, Housekeeper’s and Gardiner’s Companion (London: S. Crowder and H. Woodgate, 1770) was advertised in the Virginia Gazette in 1771. John Smyth’s papers (1620–32) record his ordering “Markhams and Georges books of all kynd of English husbandry and huswifery, and 2 others for the orderinge of silk and silkworms,” presumably referring to Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife (London: Printed by Nicholas Okes for John Harison, 1631) and The English Husbandman (London: Printed by T. S. for John Browne, 1613).
- Bullion, “Early American Farming and Gardening Literature,” 29–31; David D. Denker, “American Almanacs in the 18th Century,” Journal of the Rutgers University Library 18 (1954): 12–25; Chester E. Eisenger, “The Farmer in the 18th-Century Almanac,” Agricultural History 28 (1954): 107–12; Robb Hansell Sagendorph, America and Her Almanacs: Wit Wisdom and Weather, 1639–1970 (Dublin, N.H.: Yankee, 1970); Marion Barber Stowell, Early American Almanacs: The Colonial Weekday Bible (New York: B. Franklin, 1977).
- The categories of treatise literature presented here reﬂect the focus of the Keywords project of landscape design. This bibliographic organization omits related works on plant physiology, anatomy, and ﬂoras, as well as botanical drawing books and, for the most part, books addressing more strictly agricultural and husbandry topics. For a more thorough discussion of the treatise literature of plant material, see Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature Before 1800,view on Zotero.
- For a complete history of the editions of Philip Miller’s works, see Hazel Le Rougetel, The Chelsea Gardener: Philip Miller, 1691–1771 (London: Natural History Museum Publications, 1990), Appendix, 191–94.
- Stetson, “American Garden Books Transplanted and Native,” 345.
- General dictionaries are also an obvious source of evidence for the understanding of landscape-design terminology, although they tend to be derivative of other, more speciﬁcally garden-oriented texts. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary was a standard work on the shelves of a colonial library, but many of its garden citations are taken from treatises. Likewise, later American dictionaries, such as Noah Webster’s, also drew heavily on landscape treatises as well as on Johnson himself.
- Park, A List of Architectural Books in America; Hitchcock, American Architectural Books.
- For a discussion of the geometry of Carroll’s Annapolis garden, see Kryder-Reid, “Landscape as Myth”; and Mark P. Leone and Paul A. Shackel, “Plane and Solid Geometry in Colonial Gardens in Annapolis, Maryland,” in Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology, ed. William M. Kelso and Rachel Most (Charlottesville, University Press of Virginia, 1990), 153–67. For a reconstruction of Carroll’s library, see Michael T. Parker, “‘The Fittest Season for Reading’: The Library of Charles Carroll of Carrollton” (Master’s thesis, Department of History, University of Maryland at College Park, 1990); and appendix 1 in Kryder-Reid, “Landscape as Myth.”
- Batty Langley, Practical Geometry Applied to the Useful Art of Building, Gardening; Mensuration Calculated for the Use of Gentlemen as Well as Artisans (London: W. and J. Innys, 1726). See also Sarah S. Hughes, Surveyors and Statesmen: Land Measuring in Colonial Virginia (Richmond: Virginia Surveyors Foundation: Virginia Association of Surveyors, 1979).
- Jesse Hauk Shera, “The Beginnings of Systematic Bibliography in America, 1642–1799,” in Essays Honoring Lawrence C. Wroth, ed. Frederick R. Goff. (Portland, Me.: Anthoensen, 1951), 264–65.
- he details of Penn’s library inventory and garden are taken from Charles Thomforde, “William Penn’s Estate at Pennsbury and the Plants of its Kitchen Garden” (Master’s thesis, Public Horticulture Administration, University of Delaware, 1986.) The titles listed in the inventory were in abbreviated form without publication dates or editions.
- Henrey, British and Botanical Literature, vol. II, p. .
- On the ﬂyleaf of the ﬁrst volume is inscribed, in different hands, a list of the owners of the volume, including John Leeds, 1741–1794, and John L. Buzman, 1790–1823. On the title page of vol. 2 is inscribed “Talbot County, Maryland 1747.”
- List of bookseller locations is compiled from Evans’s survey of booksellers in America before 1800. While general merchants often sold popular books such as Bibles, psalters, children’s chapbooks, and primers as part of their merchandise, the more specialized literature of gardening would not likely have been available in these stores (Stiverson and Stiverson, Books Both Useful and Entertaining, 24).
- Circulating library inventories consulted in this study include the following: Harvard University Library (1733); Union Library Company of Philadelphia (1754, 1765); Library of Yale College (1755); Library Company of Philadelphia (1757, 1770); New York Society Library (1758); College of New Jersey (1760); Library of James Logan in Philadelphia (1760); Redwood Library Company, Newport, R.I. (1764); Juliana Library Company, Philadelphia (1766); Providence Library (1768); Charleston Library Society (1770); and Library Company of Burlington (composite of 18th c. holdings). For an in-depth study of the collections of one town’s libraries in the late 18th through the mid-19th centuries see Robert A. Gross, “Reconstructing Early American Libraries: Concord, Massachusetts, 1795–1850,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 97 (1988): 331–451.
- The problems with reconstructing colonial reading practices through the analysis of personal inventories, advertisements, and booksellers’ records is discussed in the introduction of Stiverson and Stiverson, Books Both Useful and Entertaining. The exchange of information in early America is explored in depth in Brown, Knowledge Is Power.
- Popular 18th-century works on husbandry containing garden instruction, at least tangentially, included: M. Duhamel du Monceau, A Practical Treatise on Husbandry (London: J. Whiston and B. White, 1759); Samuel Deane, New-England Farmer, or Georgical Dictionary (Worcester, Mass.: I. Thomas, 1790); James Anderson, Essays on Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Edinburgh: T. Cadell, 1775); Arthur Young, Rural Economy (London: T. Beckett, 1770); William Ellis, The Practical Farmer (Dublin: R. Gunne, 1732); and Richard Weston, Tracts on Practical Agriculture and Gardening (London: S. Hooper, 1769).
- Diane Kostial Maguire, “Garden Books from the 17th and 18th Centuries,” Fenway Court (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1978), 3.
- Miller’s status as the most popular garden author in 18th-century America is indisputable. In addition to testimonies such as those by Collinson and Kalm, Miller’s calendar and dictionary were in the collections of John Bartram, James Logan, Jared Eliot, Joseph Prentis, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Charles Carroll the Barrister, John Adams, David Hosack, Lady Jean Skipwith, Peter Kalm, and Samuel Redwood, and in the following libraries: Library Company of Philadelphia (copy donated by Peter Collinson in 1731), Union Library Company of Philadelphia, Juliana Library Company (two copies), Charleston Library Society, Library Company of Burlington (New Jersey), Yale University Library, and New York Society Library. In addition, the Evans’s booksellers’ lists record seven copies of the calendar and ten of the dictionary for sale; they were advertised in the Virginia Gazette, and three copies sold at the Williamsburg Printing Ofﬁce. Miller was still being cited by 19th-century writers such as William Kenrick; see his New American Orchardist (Boston, 1833).
- Collinson to Custis, March 21st: 1736/7, in Brothers of the Spade (1949), 58.
- Henrey, British Botanical and Horticultural Literature, vol. 2, 217, 219.
- There is evidence for at least ﬁve copies of each of these titles in America before 1800. Although the statistics give only an approximate idea of the works’ circulation and distribution, they do reﬂect their relative popularity. For instance, Miller’s Dictionary is found in thirty-four examples, Abercrombie and Mawe’s Everyman His Own Gardener in thirteen examples, and Batty Langley’s New Principles in ﬁve examples.
- Stephen Switzer, Ichnographia Rustica, or The Nobleman, Gentleman and Gardener’s Recreation . . . (London, 1718), vii.
- Bullion, “Early American Farming and Gardening Literature,” 36.
- Ibid., 32.
- John Beale Bordley, Country Habitations (Philadelphia: Charles Cist, 1798); Gleanings from the Most Celebrated Books on Husbandry, Gardening, and Rural Affairs (Philadelphia: James Humphreys, 1799); Essays and Notes on Husbandry and Rural Affairs (Philadelphia: Budd and Bartram for T. Dobson, 1799). For a discussion of Bordley’s work, see Bullion, “Early Farming and Gardening Literature,” 34–35.
- Bullion, “Early Farming and Gardening Literature,” 35.
- John Randolph, A Treatise on Gardening (Richmond, Va.: T. Nicolson, 1793). The text was subsequently published with John Gardiner and David Hepburn’s second edition of The American Gardener (1818); see Bullion, “Early Farming and Gardening Literature,” 38.
- Humphrey Marshall, Arbustrum Americanum: The American Grove, or An Alphabetical Catalogue of Forest Trees and Shrubs (Philadelphia: Joseph Cruikshank, 1785); Senn, “Farm and Garden: Landscape Architecture and Horticulture in 18th-Century America,” 154.
- Kenrick, The New American Orchardist, vii.
- Traub, “The Development of American Horticultural Literature,” 100–102.
- Other examples of cross-fertilization between British and American 19th-century garden treatises includes Downing’s introduction to Jane Loudon’s treatise, and David Landreth’s edition of George Johnson’s Dictionary of Modern Gardening.
- David Kaser, Messrs. Carey & Lea of Philadelphia: A Study in the History of the Booktrade, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1957). See especially chapter 6, “The Reprint Trade,” 91–115.
- Quoted in Ronald J. Zboray, “Antebellum Reading and the Ironies of Technological Innovation,” in Reading in America, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 180.
- Ibid., 188–90.
- Wood, “The New ‘Pattern Books,’” 184, view on Zotero.
- Main, Directions for the Transplantation . . . [of] Hedge Plants, view on Zotero. Main worked for George Mason on his island estate in the Potomac River in Washington and also supplied hedge plants to Thomas Jefferson.
- Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, 484, view on Zotero.
- Other Prince publications include William Robert Prince and William Prince, The Pomological Manual (New York: T. & J. Swords, 1831), and A Treatise on the Vine (New York: T. & J. Swords, 1830); and William Robert Prince, Manual of Roses.
- Wood, “The New ‘Pattern Books,’” 166, view on Zotero.
- For a fuller discussion of American horticultural periodicals, see Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, 494–98, view on Zotero; Wood, “The New ‘Pattern Books,’” view on Zotero; Bullion, “Early Farming and Gardening Literature," view on Zotero.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Three Centuries of American Art (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1976), 289–90, view on Zotero.
- Wood, “The New ‘Pattern Books,’” 169, view on Zotero.
- Ibid., 187, view on Zotero.
- A. J. Downing, “Notes on the Progress of Gardening in the United States during the Year 1840,” Gardener’s Magazine 16 (December 1840), 645 (quoted in Wood “The New ‘Pattern Books,’” 181, view on Zotero).
- Walter Elder’s The Cottage Garden of America (Philadelphia: Moss, 1849), v, view on Zotero.
- William H. Ranlett, The Architect (New York: Da Capo, 1976 [originally published 1849 (vol. 1) and 1851 (vol. 2)]); A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (New York: D. Appleton, 1850); Downing, Cottage Residences (New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1842); Alexander Jackson Davis, Rural Residences, Etc. (New York: The Architect, 1837). Wood (“The New ‘Pattern Books,’” 168, view on Zotero) has noted the signiﬁcance of the Horticultural Register as a precedent for the presentation of a series of horticultural design plans for residential projects. For a summary of the history of the American suburb, see John R. Stilgoe, Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb, 1820–1930 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988); David Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape: The Redeﬁnition of City Form in 19th-Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), esp. chap. 8; Upton, “Pattern Books and Professionalism.”
- Hammond, “Where the Arts and Virtues Unite,” view on Zotero; Hedrick, A History of Horticulture, chap. 18, 499–513, view on Zotero.