This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
IN the fall of 1871, I received from E. S. Brownell, of Essex Junction, Vermont, seedling potatoes of three different kinds, one of which I have tested under very unfavorable circumstances, and find it so good that I can but hope it may be further tried the coming season, and then offered to the public, should it prove worthy. The name he has given it, is, " Beauty of Vermont." He writes me it was from seed of the Early Rose, in 1870. I would describe the potato as of medium to large in size; color of skin very much like its parent, the Early Rose; flesh a light straw color; eyes small and few; shape oval flattened, and roundish, varying somewhat like the Early Rose; stem set in shallow cavity; smooth and fair. Quality: cooks mealy, evenly through, without hard or watery core, and as good, if not a little better, than the best for the table; no unpleasant flavor is left in the mouth when eaten, but a desire for more; one of the most productive varieties, healthy and strong, ripening about a week later than the Early Rose. On the whole, a most promising variety.
Westborough, Mass. W. H. White.
Accompanying this note, you will receive a few Potatoes, - raised from seed by myself As you will perceive, they resemble in color and general appearance the Carter, a seedling from which variety, - grown near the vicinity of the Mercer, - it is. Its edible quality is fully equal to that of its parents, and its character as a yielder is far better than that of either of them, being in this particular better than any white variety with which I am acquainted. Its history I will give you as briefly as possible.
Seven years ago last spring I sowed forty seeds, all from the same parentage; in the autumn, I saved the produce of those which gave promise of being superior; this culling left me twenty-five varieties for further experiments. In the succeeding spring I selected such of those as had kept well, and were free from disease. I continued this course each season, selecting such only as were of superior edible character, as well as great yielders, and free from disease. This severe test left me three years since but this one variety, which I shall call the Wendell Potato. I have cultivated it since, in order to try it fully, in juxtaposition to the Mercer, Pinkeye, Yam, June, Merino, and a few others, and it has proved itself a far more prolific variety than either of them - except the last, which you are aware is red in color and of inferior character, and has never shown the least indication of disease, even during the season of 1858, when every one of the other varieties were seriously affected by it I am thus particular in giving you the whole history of this seedling, not only because I am convinced that it is a valuable acquisition, but because I feel a little vain of my success. Yours very truly.
Herman Wendell, M. D.- Albany, October 30th.
P. S. I shall place in the care of R. H. Pease - successor to Emery & Co. - of this city, a few of the Potatoes for sale, from which they may be obtained by those wishing to give it a trial - Country Gentleman.
We are glad that occasionally an effort is made to originate new and improved varieties of the Potato, - an article that plays such an important part on every man's dinner table should surely not be overlooked.