This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"J. W., Jr.," Sewickley, Pa., says: " Your Charleston correspondent (page 157, May number) may be interested to know these items gathered from Michaux's "Travels to the Westward of the Allegany Mountains in the States of the Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and Return to Charleston through the Upper Carolinas; * * * Undertaken in the year X (1802) * * * by F. A. Michaux, M.D."Translated from the original French by B.Lambert. London: 1805. I omit a portion of the rather long title.
"Dr. Michaux sailed from Bordeaux, on his second visit to this country, in September, 1801, arriving in Charleston October 9th, 1801. In the following spring he went to New York, thence to Philadelphia, and thence, on June 9th, 1802, he started West, via Shippensburg, Pittsburg, Wheeling, Marietta, etc.
" The book, 350 pp., 8vo, is full of interesting information, not only pertaining to his special study, botany, but to the inhabitants of the country - their manner of living and modes of travel. The closing statement made by the author dispels the idea that he died in Madagascar in 1802. He says: 'I remained in Carolina until March 1st, 1803, at which time I embarked for France.'"
We have also the following note from a Charleston correspondent: "Andre Michaux's Botanic Garden was situated on the Ashley River, ten miles from Charleston, S. C. It is entirely destroyed. There is, however, a rumor that when the Drayton and Middleton places were established the rare plants and trees were removed from the Botanic Garden and planted elsewhere, the gardens being then deserted and gone to ruin. In the year 1808 the Drayton garden, also on the banks of the Ashley, was rich with native shrubs and trees, collected by Mr. Charles Drayton. Viburnums and Gardenias grew there in grand luxuriance. The old Drayton Hall is now almost in ruins, and phosphate companies have dug deep valleys and high hills where the gardens used to be, though some beautiful trees still remain. The Magnolia Gardens, which the Rev. Mr. Drayton cultivates with most loving care, adjoin Drayton Hall. For over thirty years the present occupant has continued the work begun by his father, and certainly it must be acknowledged that throughout the length and breadth of this great country a more exquisitely beautiful growth of Azaleas, Camellias and Magnolias cannot be found".
And "A. G.," Cambridge, Mass., remarks: "Your correspondent, on page 157, says that 'after publishing a botanical work in America, Michaux returned to France, where he published another book.' You might have corrected that".
[As a general rule we let our correspondents have their say - preferring, when corrections are necessary, to let them come from other pens than ours. In this way we, as well as our readers, often learn things neither of us might have known if the Editor took on himself the office of monitor on every occasion. Perhaps it would have been well if we had departed from this rule in the case of the reference to Michaux, quoted from " Ramsay's History".
It should not be forgotten that there were two Michaux's - Andre the father, and Francois Andre the son. The father travelled through the Atlantic States during the period between 1785 and 1796. It was he who established the Charleston Botanic Garden. In 1801 his "Oaks of North America" was published in Paris. In 1803 the "Flora of North America," by him, was also issued in Paris. He is said to have died in Madagascar in 1802. This work, published under his name, is said however to have been prepared by Richard. There is nothing in the work to indicate that it was issued after Michaux's death, or by any other than himself. Even the preface is signed by his name.
F. A. Michaux, the son, visited Charleston in 1802, and was there in 1803, and the work referred to by "J. W." gives the account of his wanderings. In 1810 he issued his "North American Sylva," building evidently on his father's work on the oaks. - Ed. G. M].