This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Among the heirlooms of the family of the celebrated McMahon, of Philadelphia, are busts of William Bartram, Muhlenberg the famous botanist of Lancaster, Linnaeus, and McMahon, carved for McMahon's library by Philadelphia's famous artist Rush. Though everything else has passed from the family, these treasures have been hoarded to the last. The granddaughter, who owns them, now finds herself necessitated to take charge of her own four orphaned grandchildren, the eldest not seventeen, though her own income is less than a thousand dollars a year. She now proposes to dispose of these busts, and devote the proceeds to the education of these children.
It is scarcely necessary to say anything of the services of the eminent men whom these busts represent. McMahon was to American botany what Gordon and other English nurserymen were to the botany of that country - the intelligent care-taker of the seeds and roots of the botanical collectors of his time, and raised for them the plants necessary to perfect their studies. Nuttall commemorated his services and his friendship in the genus Mahonia. His grand work, "McMahon's American Gardening," the first complete American treatise on horticulture, is still a standard work, though nearly a century has passed since its inception.
The American Philosophical Society, the Historical Society, or the Academy of Natural Sciences, would make excellent depositories for these treasures, if any public spirited citizens desire to purchase and present them. Still, should no means be found to secure them for the city, whose reputation these worthies did so much to honor, there is nothing to prevent the learned institutions of other cities possessing them.
The lady, while anxious to get all she can for the purpose desired, leaves it to us to fix the amount to be asked for them, and we suppose $500 will be considered reasonable for the four.
Should no one feel at liberty to subscribe the whole amount, we should be glad to have the names and stated sums for which others would co-operate.