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.
Messrs. Woodward, of the Horticulturist, have put out a neat volume of 136 pages (price $1 00), called the Record of Horticulture. The editor is Mr. A. S. Fuller, who gives his notes on horticultural progress, reviews hooks, and contributes several valuable articles. The hook is strongly individual, and as Mr. Fuller is a known enemy to all shams, many authors and pretenders of various kinds will feel that their toes are trodden upon. Mr. Fuller is a genuine horticultural iconoclast, and we are glad that we have at least one horticulturist who has the courage to strip off the borrowed plumes from overrated writers and over-praised fruits. He may not always he right, hut he evidently means to be, and for that we honor him, and always welcome any contribution from his pen, as we are sure that it will be practical and vigorous. One of the most useful portions of this Record is the chapter on the propagation of Bulbs. Mr. Rand's work on Balbs is singularly deficient in directions to the novice on the subject of propagation, and this Record is an almost indispensable supplement to that work. . . . The Independent of May 2d contains a most remarkable article on this Record. We do not call it criticism, out of respect to critics. The Independent has the reputation of being a religious paper.
We occasionally read its Farmer's column - upon the principle that the deacon always read the theater bills, that he might keep posted as to what the devil was doing. After we have read the Farmer's column, we are satisfied - just as Mrs. Squeers' boy didn't want any breakfast after their brimstone and molasses - and have no desire to see what the rest of the paper may contain. The Independent's notice of the Record of Horticulture is too long, or we would reproduce it, in order that our readers might see what stuff a "religious" paper can publish, and the number of direct and inferential - what-yon-may-call-'ems, that can be put into a column. Half of the article is devoted to showing that this is not a fit book for a farmer, and gives the Independence views on farmers' books in general. Now, Mr. Fuller did not write this book for formers, but for horticulturists. If he did write a book for farmers, it would not be of that character that would have to lie over a year before he could find a publisher so regardless of the good of the community as to publish it.
The Independent says: "Well, what do we find within these pretty covers, costing $1 60 of the farmer's hard-earned money?" The price " $1 50" is within one third of the truth, which is pretty good for the Independent. Farther along in the article we get a clue to "what's the matter." Mr. Fuller, in his Record, gives a justly severe castigation to the "Reviser" of uBridgeman's Gardener's Assistant." The Independent says: "As he has made some false statements in which our integrity is assailed, it is proper to explain the matter in this place." We, for the first time, learn that that book was revised by the Independent. We supposed it was done by a chap who took it as a job. Was it done by Mr. Henry C. Bowen, the "responsible man," by Theodore Tilton, or some subordinate? No clue is given in the article - the editorial "our" leaving us quite in the dark. We read: "The publisher of 'Bridgeman's Gardener* brought the wood cuts, ready made, to the reviser, before he commenced his task; a portion of the illustrations were purchased by the publisher of other publishers. The reviser had nothing to do with the illustrations, only to insert them in their proper places." Now, here is a direct statement, which must be either true or false.
The publishers, Messrs. William Wood & Co., say that they know nothing of the source of at least twenty of the illustrations of of "Bridgeman's Gardener." We believe Messrs. Wood tell the truth, but then the Independent is a " religious" newspaper, and what does it tell? Certain cuts which appear in Bridgeman's book were originally drawn and engraved for the Agriculturist. We never sold, gave away, or loaned them to Messrs. Wood, who knew nothing of them until they saw them in the book, and these, certainly, were not the illustrations "purchased by the publisher of other publishers." We do not know how these cuts transferred themselves from the engraving-room of the Agriculturist to the pages of Bridgeman's book. The Independent calls it "purchasing;" other people have a different name for it. Mr. Fuller's statements in regard to this book are none too severe, except in the fact that they are true; but this case would show that the way to get abuse from the Independent is to tell the truth. The Independent may be gratified to learn that the publishers of " Bridgeman's Gardener's Assistant," finding that its revision of that originally excellent and useful work has been quite as severely criticised by the horticultural and agricultural press, as it has been by Mr. Fuller, in his Record of Horticulture, have concluded to have the work done over again.
The Independent calls Mr. Fuller's book a book of " slanders." We have no name to apply to the paper that can so unfairly treat a valuable contribution to our horticultural literature. But then, what does the Independent know about horticulture ! - American Agriculturist.
The Horticulturist - Vol. XXII..................August, 1867...................No. CCLIV