Letter from Dr. Daniel Drake to Dr. Charles Wilkins Short, 10 January 1817.



Letter from Dr. Daniel Drake to Dr. Charles Wilkins Short, 10 January 1817.


In his 10 January 1817 reply (to Charles Wilkins Short), Drake states the high probability of there being two species of the coffee nut tree but that no one had recognized it. He also mentions that he had accepted a professorship at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.



Short, Charles Wilkins (1793-1863) Papers, 1802-1869, Filson Historical Society






Mss. A S559 f84


Cincinnati Jan 10th 1817
Dear Sir!

I beg you to accept my thanks for
having commenced a correspondence which
I hope will be mutually beneficial to us.

I have examined the Gymnocladus
Canadenssis with no other view than to as-
certain its generic characters; & your obser-
vations and suggestions concerning it are
new to me and beyond anything contained
in the treatises to which I have access.

Pursh recognizes that one species
(without varieties). His specific characters, ta-
ken from [Wibdenow?] are "[G foliis bipinnat
foliolis ovalibus acuminatis bubescentibus?]." He
adds the seed pods are large & of a dark brown
[Michaux?] the younger, who had better opportu-
nities for judging this tree than [Pursh?] is also
silent respecting varieties. In Europe, I perceive
by Rees' [Cyclopedia?] there is supposed to be only
a Single species and no variety, but as
it does not bear fruit in that part of
the Continent where it has been planted the En-
glish & French Botanists could not have made
the observations with which you have favoured
me. I am not greatly inclined to admit
the existence of the two Species but your Drawings
and descriptions certainly render it highly
probable that there are two varieties. Next Sum-
mer will enable us to decide on your conjec-
ture. Should I collect any worthy of your
notice I will transmit it promply.

I have Signified to the Trustees of
the Transylvania University my accept-
ance of the professorship and hope to be in
Some tolerable State of preperation by next
winter; till which time I do not expect to See
Lexington. Ms. Drake offers her thanks
for the kind anxiety you express concerning
her health and comfort. She anticipates much
relaxation and amusement from a winter
residence in your emporium fashion
taste & Science.

I received yesterday a long letter
from Mr. Nuttall dated at Charleston
(S.C.) whence he was about to sail for
Phila. He expects to pass this way next
fall on his tour to California "which centre
all his present wishes". He mentions that at
Lexington he met with his friend Dr. Lyttle
with whom he made some excursions.
[I suppose?] (forgetting the name of Short) that
he means you and mention the circumstance
that you may know to enquire at the Post office.

Please to make our united respects to
Mrs. Short and believe me yours
very sincerely -
Dan Drake
Dr. Short
[Cincinnati o. 12'h]
C.W. Short M.D.


Drake, Daniel, “Letter from Dr. Daniel Drake to Dr. Charles Wilkins Short, 10 January 1817.,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed June 21, 2024, https://filsonhistorical.omeka.net/items/show/5201.