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.
One of the finest strawberries, if not the very finest, we have ever seen and tasted, comes from Samuel Feast & Sons, of Baltimore. It is the berry that took so many premiums in the hands of the late Dr. Edmondson, who would never part with a plant. Messrs. Feast have the control of the whole stock, and we advise cultivators to look after it at once. These strawberries are entirely different from any other we know; the vines are very strong; leaves, dark and glossy; many of the berries have a footstalk from five to six inches long; fruit, very large, often flattened, solid, and firm, bearing transportation remarkably well. The interior is perfectly beautiful, cutting almost as solidly as a pear, without any toughness; well colored and luscious, requiring less sugar than most. We pronounce them invaluable.
Harrisburg, Pa., June 16,1857. Dear Sir: I send you by express a plant in bearing, and a cluster (separate) of the Scarlet Magnate Strawberry. I have selected about average specimens; might hare selected some larger, but very few smaller that were ripe. None of them are fully ripe yet, owing perhaps, to the soil being too rich. My plants have been grown entirely too closely - so closely, as to crowd each other. Though several hundreds were removed, they still stand as stated. They have also been rather neglected, in other respects. Bat for these circum-stances, I think the berries would have been much larger.
Mr. Gross, of Harrisbnrg, obtained a few plants from me, late in the spring. Last week, he took from them about a dozen berries, measuring from three and one-half to four inches in circumference.
Altogether, I consider the Magnate a very desirable berry. I have it growing side by side with Hovey, British Queen, Alice Maude, Scott's Seedling, Longworth's Prolific, and McAvoy's Superior, and taking into consideration all desirable qualities, I greatly prefer it to any and all of them. It has even equalled Hovey with me, in size, besides being. I think, better flavored, a much, better bearer, and uniform in size. In fact, it appears as if there will be no small berries. Respectfully yours, H. A. Mish.