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.
When the loss the country had sustained by the untimely death of the talented and distinguished gentleman who first established the Horticulturist was still fresh in the memories of his numerous friends and admirers throughout the United States, it was proposed to erect a monument, to perpetuate his memory, worthy of the name and fame of a man who had done so much for his age and generation, in improving the taste of his countrymen by teaching and showing to them the great beauties of landscape gardening, in developing and bringing out in bold relief the natural beauties of the scenery with which our extended and varied country abounds.
To Downing, more than to any other or all other men, are we indebted for the tasty and improved styles of architecture displayed in the numerous villa residences to be found in the suburbs of all our flourishing towns and cities throughout the length and breadth of the land. What was done for Britain by J. C. Loudon was commenced and carried into successful operation in this country by A. J. Downing, whose memory ought to be revered, not only by every horticulturist, pomologist, or any other admirer of Nature's gifts, but by every philanthropist throughout the whole land.
Scarcely a citizen in the Union, inhabiting a country or suburban residence built within the last ten or fifteen years, but owes a debt of gratitude to the memory of the man through whose talent and exertions he enjoys much solid and substantial comfort, either in the conveniences, or in the beauty of the style of his residence, or in the ornamental adornment and scenery surrounding the same.
The reasons why the contemplated monument was not erected I am not acquainted with, but the subject has recently been brought fresh to my attention by the action of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, which some time since received a communication from the directors of the Spring Grove Cemetery Company to the effect, that the company would deed a lot in the cemetery to the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, on condition that the said society erect thereon a monument that would be a durable and lasting ornament to the grounds; the lot to be selected by a joint committee of the company and the society.
Here, it appears to me, is a most appropriate opportunity for the many friends and admirers of the lamented Downing to unite with the Cincinnati Horticultural Society in erecting a monument worthy the cause and the object.
It further appears to me that this is a most appropriate time to carry such a measure into practical operation. The United States Agricultural Association hold their next annual exhibition near Cincinnati; it is expected that the horticultural department will be a prominent feature in the exhibition; it will certainly bring together a very large number of persons who entertain the strongest respect for the memory of our national benefactor, for in such a light do I consider A. J. Downing to stand before his countrymen. But a mere pittance from each individual of the many thousands who are enjoying the benefits of his superior taste and judgment would erect a monument eminently worthy of the object, and stand as a mark to after ages of the appreciative respect in which his memory is held by his contemporaries. That the place in which it is proposed to erect the same is worthy the object, I would invite you, Mr. Editor, and any of your readers to judge; and I hope that no strauger who attends the United States Fair at Cincinnati will fail to visit the Spring Grove Cemetery. Every gentleman of taste - especially of kindred taste - will quickly discover that the talented superintendent, Mr. A. Stranch, is not only a gentleman of enlarged views, but a perfect enthusiast in his profession of landscape gardening.
It would sound too much like egotistic flattery to say a tithe of what we think of him; suffice it that we appreciate his abilities.
Should you consider the foregoing thoughts and suggestions of sufficient moment or interest to merit a place in the Horticulturist, you would confer a favor by publishing the same in your September number, and if the project meets with sufficient encouragement it might assume form and shape during the time of the fair so as to be carried to completion.
[We received the above after our September number had gone to press; but in view of its importance we now -print it just as it was written. For the " United States Agricultural Association" the reader can substitute the name of his local society, and the subject will then have a wider application. It is certainly due to the genius and labors of Downing that some fitting monument should be erected to his memory. Several movements have been made with this object in view, and, with the exception of the vase at Washington, they have all failed; failed, in our opinion, from want of concerted action; and we fear that Mr. Heaver's will fail for the same reason, notwithstanding all his warmth and love of the subject A general committee of five men of the right stamp, with power to appoint local committees, collect funds, locate the monument, etc, would doubtless carry the project to a successful issue. We shall very heartily cooperate with any movement having this object in view. - Ed].