The past winter, though in general moderate and pleasant, was characterized by two remarkably cold days, said to be the coldest for thirty years. Not having seen the " oldest inhabitant," I am unable to give you his opinion on the subject.

In the early part of February, in writing to a friend, I stated that "the new varieties of grapes appear to do well here, (latitude 41° 30 N.) I am keeping records for future publication," etc. The observations made within a few days (April 10th) as to the effects of the frost, (which were unknown to me at that time,) enable me to state positively the condition of vines which were left in the open air during the winter of 1860-61. The thermometer indicated, January 13, 1861, twenty, twenty-nine and a half, and thirty-six degrees below zero at three localities in this vicinity. My residence is in the Highlands of the Hudson, at an elevation of about four hundred feet above the Hudson River. On the eighth of February the weather was again at near the same temperature, cold enough to test in the most satisfactory manner the hardiness of our native grapes. It may be received as an axiom, that all such as withstood this test are hardy beyond dispute. The two cold terms alluded to were of short duration, and were succeeded by moderate, clear weather. Undoubtedly the sun shining upon the frozen plants had as much to do with their injury as the extreme cold itself. This is the experience of many intelligent persons.

My attention was called to it a year ago by H. W. Sargent, Esq., who had exposed one of his favorite Evergreens. He found that the south side of the tree was injured by the sun's rays, while the north side of the same tree was in no manner hurt. Again, Mr. Cornell, of New Windsor, informs me that an Isabella vine set on the north side of his barn, where there is seldom a ray of sunshine even in summer, has come out unscathed; while his vineyard of the same grapes is almost if not quite destroyed for fruiting the coming season. On my own grounds, the more tender varieties are not injured where they laid down upon the ground, and were partly covered with leaves or snow, which was sufficient to shield them from the sun while in a frozen state. I have made a list of such grapes as I am cultivating, and the condition they were in, to show the effects produced upon them, which you are at liberty to publish for the benefit of your readers. If others similarly situated will do the same, we shall soon gather a large fund of reliable information upon grape culture which will be of great value.

The following I class as perfectly hardy, exposed to the open air, tied to a trellis, and not protected in any manner. They are three years old, and grew last year strong, healthy wood, which was pruned down to four feet last fall, and intended for fruiting in 1861;


Clinton - wood of last year's growth, 15 feet, very strong, ripe early. Now green and healthy to the ends.

Hartford Prolific

Hartford Prolific - growth 10 feet, strong, ripe wood. Uninjured.


Concord - growth 15 to 18 feet, strong, vigorous, ripe wood. Uninjured.


Perkins - growth 20 feet, robust, extra large ripe wood. Uninjured.

Early Northern Muscadine

Early Northern Muscadine - growth 16 feet, strong and vigorous. Uninjured.