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.
Dear Sir - The American Pomological Congress met at Cincinnati in the month of October last, and I am aware that much disappointment has already been expressed at the non-appearance of its proceedings. It is an old proverb "that large bodies move slow;" but patience, gentlemen - and these proceedings will yet come to light. But is it not very desirable, that for the future we "turn over a new leaf"' in this matter, and hereafter take the publishing of the proceedings into our own hands?
The facts were these. The Cincinnati Horticultural Society had procured a room for the use of the Pomological Congress. Here our preliminary meetings were held. Dr. Brinckle of Philadelphia, was unanimously elected president. The middle and western states were well represented, but no delegates from any of the eastern states appeared. Soon after the President took the chair, a resolution was offered that the future meetings of the Congress be held on the show-grounds, in connection with the Ohio State Agricultural Society. It was also stated that a tent had been provided for our use, and that the Ohio State Board of Agriculture would be at the expense of publishing our proceedings. This called forth a most animated debate. The show-grounds were about three miles from the city, and, of course, we could hold no evening sessions. Yet the promise of our proceedings being published without expense to the Congress, seemed to carry us by the turning point, and the resolution was adopted by a small majority. Three sessions were held on the ground; but the noise and confusion incident to the place, prevented as much being accomplished as would have been, had the meeting been held in the city.
A stenographer was present, who took notes of our whole proceedings, debates, etc, and no doubt, in the course of a few months, the proceedings will be published.
Now, it is not my object in this communication, to find fault with any man, or any set of men, in regard to this matter; but I ask, would it not be far better for the American Pomological Congress to attend to their own matters, and at all times to stand disconnected from that of any other society whatever? There is, perhaps, no objection to holding our meetings at the same time and place of the meetings of any other societies; and, as horticulturists, let us do all we can for the furtherance of agricultural and other kindred pers by installments. This would be a good more, and there is little doubt but it would add to their subscription list.
While at Cincinnati, we had the pleasure of examining many varieties of fruits, which, comparatively, are but little known in the more northern states. Prominent among these, are the Cooper Apple and the Rome Beauty. Both of these apples are of the largest size, and there esteemed as fine autumn fruits; productive, and very valuable. Of the last named variety, one individual exhibited a barrel. They were of mammoth size, rivaling all others. A long debate arose upon the Cooper Apple, and some of our good friends pronounced it "second rate," "coarse and spongy." This called forth the grit of the good "Buckeyes," and they carried it up to the mark most manfully. Finally, it passed as "a fruit of fair promise."There is not a question but that these are very valuable varieties for the south part of Ohio. They are there cultivated largely for market purposes. The Cooper is a late autumn apple, and probably, farther north, will prove to be a winter fruit, as we were informed that there, the Rhode-Island Greening and Cooper ripened about the same time.
Pryor's Red Apple is esteemed very highly; and that worthy old pioneer horticulturist, James Allen, Esq., of Louisville, Kentucky, assures me, in some notes on western fruits, "that the Pryor Red has no superior, and but few equals." Have any of our eastern friends fruited this variety?
Rawle's Jennet, and Kaighn's Spitzenburgh, were also found there in numerous collections, and also highly valued. All these are winter varieties. The last named variety very much resembles the Pownal Spitzenburgh.
The Belmont - of this variety there were numerous specimens, mostly from the more northern parts of the state. It is one of the most beautiful apples in the world. In flavor it may be classed as "very good." I would remark, by the way, that some beautiful specimens of the Belmont, and of many other choice fruits, were exhibited by Mr. Kelly, of Kelly's Island, in Lake Erie. These attracted great attention. More beautiful specimens of fruit I never saw. So bright, clear, and free from all spots or blemish. Are the islands in our lakes and rivers, any better adapted to growing fruits than other places?
Putnam Russet. It is now pretty generally conceded that this, and the Boston or Rox-bury Russet, are one and the same fruit. Mr. Putnam of Ohio, a descendant of the old orthodox stock, (wolf-killing memory,) was also a member of the fruit committee, and gave us the genealogy of the Putnam Russet - and says Roxbury was its native place. This fruit was exhibited in numerous collections, generally marked "Putnam Russet." Many of the apples were very large, and grown out of the usual form - no doubt true to name, but with a little extra touch of the Buckeye, growing rampant and large.
Surprise, Yellow Injestrie, and Pennock, were found in many collections. The two first named we had proposed to add to the list of "rejected apples." On inquiry, however, we learned that many esteemed them very highly, and that any such move would meet with the most decided opposition. The specimens of Yellow Injestrie were truly beautiful.
It is really worth taking a tour to Cincinnati, to look into the fine vineyards there. Our old friend, N. Longworth, Esq., has about ninety acres devoted to the culture of the vine. And we were informed from reliable authority, that within a few miles of Cincinnati, there are near one thousand acres of land devoted to the growing of the grape. The Catawba seems to be almost the only grape successfully cultivated in the open air. In is a clay loam, perhaps somewhat mixed with marl, seems to be admirably adapted to the growth of the grape. The Catawba is much more palatable than the Isabella, and for wine is far superior. Large quantities of wine are made from these vineyards. Wines of various brands - I had almost said "foreign and domestic," Champaign, etc - at all events, numerous brands, some of them in imitation of foreign wines.
The iron green-house of Mr. Bison, (iron instead of wood,) is a most admirable structure. Had that old incog., "Jeffries," been there, he must have admired it, and repented of his strictures on this beautiful edifice. Here were exhibited to us some of the most beautiful specimens of the Black Hamburgh grape I ever saw - very large bunches, and of "most delicious flavor," as we ail could well attest without the aid of proxy.
While at Cincinnati, we must needs wend our way up to Mount Adams - there to spend an hour in star-gazing through the monster telescope, the largest but one on the continent of America. On the whole, we were well pleased with our visit at Cincinnati. We had the pleasure of visiting many fine gardens, green-houses, vineyards, &c; and also of becoming much better acquainted with many of our western horticultural friends; and their kind attention to strangers from abroad, contributed not a little to the pleasure of our visit to the Queen City of the West. B. Hodge.
Buffalo Nursery, Feb., 1831
Foreign and Miscellaneous Notices.