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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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929. BOTANY, School of.—
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929. BOTANY, School of.—

It is time to
think of the introduction of the school of Botany
into our institution. (University of Virginia).
* * * 1. Our first operation must be the se
lection of a piece of ground of proper soil and
site, suppose of about six acres, as M. Correa
proposes. In choosing this we are to regard
the circumstances of soil, water, and distance.
I have diligently examined all our grounds with
this view, and think that on the public road, at
the upper corner of our possessions, where the
stream issues from them, has more of the requisite
qualities than any other spot we possess.
One hundred and seventy yards square, taken
at that angle, would make the six acres we
want. * * * 2. Enclose the ground with a serpentine
brick wall seven feet high. This
would take about 80,000 bricks and cost $800,
and it must depend on our finances whether
they will afford that immediately, or allow us,
for awhile, but enclosure of posts and rails.
3. Form all the hill sides into level terraces of
convenient breadth, curving with the hill, and
the level ground into beds and alleys. 4. Make
out a list of the plants thought necessary and
sufficient for botanical purposes, and of the
trees we propose to introduce, and take measures
in time for procuring them. As to the
seeds of plants, much may be obtained from the
gardeners of our own country. I have, moreover,
a special resource. For three and twenty
years of the last twenty-five, my good old
friend Thonin, superintendent of the Jardin
des Plantes at Paris, has regularly sent me a
box of seeds of such exotics, as to us, as would
suit our climate, and containing nothing indigenous
to our country. These I regularly
sent to the public and private gardens of the
other States, having as yet no employment for
them here. * * * The trees I should propose
would be exotics of distinguished usefulness,
and accommodated to our climate;
such as the Larch, Cedar of Libanus, Cork,
Oak, the Maronnier, Mahogany? the Catachu
or Indian rubber tree of Napul (30°), Teak
tree, or Indian oak of Burmah (23°), the
various woods of Brazil, &c. The seed of
the Larch can be obtained from a tree at
Monticello. Cones of the Cedar of Libanus
are in most of our seed shops, but may be had
fresh from the trees in the English gardens.
The Maronnier and Cork tree I can obtain
from France. There is a Maronnier at Mount
Vernoa, but it is a seedling, and not, therefore,
select. The others may be got through
the means of our ministers and consuls in
the countries where they grow, or from the
seed shops of England, where they May
very possibly be found. Lastly, a gardener of
sufficient skill must be found. [58]
To Dr. Emmett. Washington ed. vii, 438.
(M. 1826)


Dr. Emmett was Professor of Natural History in
the University of Virginia.—Editor.