This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Among the recent deaths is that of the above excellent gentleman, well-known as the purchaser of Bartram's celebrated botanic garden from the son-in-law and grand-daughter of America's early botanist. The lovers of Arboriculture, and indeed the students in many branches of our early history, owe him thanks for the care with which everything relating to the great botanist has been pre-served. Mr. Eastwick, like so many of Philadelphia's most enterprising citizens, commenced life in humble circumstances, and by the death of his father was left an orphan at an early age. His excellent mother, to whom he was ever devoted, gave him all in her power, the best education she could afford, and a love of honest in-dependence that never failed him in after-life. From a zealous apprentice to a journeyman careful of his employer's interests, he rose to the distinction of inventor, partner, contractor, and we may say finally millionaire. The events of the war, as in so many cases, made great inroads in this latter distinction, much to the regret of his fellow citizens, as he was public spirited as he was wealthy, and the whole city would have prospered by his increase in success.
But we have to do chiefly with the Bartram Gardens. These were popular as a resort for young Philadelphians, and as a boy Mr. Eastwick was a frequent visitor and lover of them, and in his boyish dreams often imagined that he might some day be rich, and if so and could buy them he would. A contract with the Russian government to build and equip the railroad from Moscow to St. Petersburg was very successful, and money remitted to Philadelphia invested in mortgages. It so happened that his agent had placed some in this way on the Bartram Gardens, and thus when the Russian business "campaign" was ended, and Mr. Eastwick returned to his own land, the descendants of the great botanical patriarch, aged and childless, were only too glad to sell entirely to one whom they felt would care for it, the whole property of their ancestors. A new house was built for the new proprietor's own family rather than destroy the dwelling which the old botanist built literally with his own hands, and which still stands, and still bears the famous Unitarian inscription, which in those early times made him " worse than an infidel " to his zealous religious friends.
Every tree, every walk, every vine-clad arbor was preserved with jealous care; and the lovers of the great botanist have been at all times permitted to see and examine them. Mr. E., however, felt what few could feel as he knew, that in the wonderful growth of Philadelphia, the arboretum grounds could not remain a garden forever; and it was therefore no use to plant new trees to take the place of others as they decayed year by year. Some have died out in the fullness of a good old age. In another fifty years there will probably be few of the grand old remains of Bartram's planting left,- and ere another century, paved streets, brick buildings, and a little city yard will cover the ground where so many botanical loves lie buried. But we all like to keep off these decrees of fate from affecting these famous spots as long as possible, and in this good work, A. M. Eastwick, was one of the botanist's best friends.