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.
The members of this enterprising Society held their anniversary meeting at their room on Tuesday evening, January 3. Among those present we noticed John Maxwell, W. C. Langley, J. Hazlehurst, Esqrs., and other lovers of horticulture. Mere business matters were dispensed with, the evening being taken up with, the annual address of the president, John W. Degrauw, Esq., whose zealous labors in behalf of the Society over which he presides are worthy of the warmest commendation. The address was exceedingly appropriate, and listened to with marked attention, the speaker at its close being warmly applauded. We were much pleased with it, and copied several passages for our "Table." The following comparison between art and nature is well done:
"We do not assume that human structures cannot command admiration without the help of resemblances to natural objects, but we allude to the inferiority of human arts when compared to the works of nature. If we take a view of nature in all her phases, what is the cannon's roar to the wild thunder of the skies? What is the devastation of combined armies to the awful ruin of an earthquake, levelling cities in the dust and swallowing millions in the chasm? By redoubled efforts man may indeed clear the trees of a forest, but the tornado prostrates for miles in length the sturdy oaks, tearing them up from their entangled foundations. Nature, we know, stretches unbounded over all, mighty and infinite. We see the lofty elm rise from a shrub, to spread its giant arms in the air, and the broad meadow smile in its season, and dispense its perfume to the gale. What is the concert of united instruments to the simple melody of the lark, the mournful song of the nightingale, and the boding scream of the bird of darkness 7 Sublimity is the noblest feature in every picture; it compensates for deficiencies in many other respects.
It is this that touches off the scenes of nature with peculiar grandeur, and adds to the most insignificant part an unusual degree of beauty".
The Society, by force of its inherent vigor, has been successful in the material of its exhibitions to a high degree, but has not met with as much patronage and encouragement from the public as it had a right to expect The citizens of Brooklyn do not yet seem to realize what a beneficent instrumentality they have in their very midst; there are others quite as unhappily constituted, to whom the President thus addresses himself:
** It would appear to be almost incredible, that a Society that has done so much for the character of our city in the cause of horticulture, should not have been better sustained; and what has been done to any extent has been the work of a few individuals. In making this appeal to the citizens of Brooklyn, we do not come before them as the applicants for charity. Three dollars a year to have the privilege of visiting, with their families, nine exhibitions, at any time during day or evening, or as often as they please, is certainly but a very email compensation for the value received. Therefore we say to the citizens of Brooklyn, if you regard taste and refinement, if you love the beautiful and its happy influences, unite with us to sustain these most happy results, as well as to extend a science that has obtained the homago and devotion of the best men the nation has ever produced".
At the close of the address a resolution was passed that it should be printed; the Society then adjourned to the residence of J. Hazlehurst, Esq., one of the Vice-Presidents, where the rest of the evening was passed in social enjoyment. We shall recur to the address again.
At a subsequent meeting the Premium Committee reported a schedule of prizes, and the Society fixed the time for holding the April and September exhibitions: the first will be held on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of April; the last on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of September. The time for the June Exhibition was not determined upon. The list of prizes is a very liberal one, and ought to insure a good exhibition.
President, John W. Degrauw. Vice-Presidents, John Maxwell, Jas. Hazlehurst, W. C. Langley, J. S. T. Stranahan, Smith J. Eastman. Treasurer, John W. Degrauw. Corresponding Secretary, Jas. Hazlehurst. Recording Secretary, Edwin Scott. Executive Committee, Ira Smith, M. Brandigee, £. 6. Taylor. Finance Committee, Jas. Hazlehnrst, Walter Park, George Gamgee. Librarian, J. E. Kauch. Library Committee, J. S. T. Stranahan, A. A. Low, L. B. Wyman. Premium Committee, Geo. Gamgee, Thos. Templeton, Daniel Murphy, J. E. Rauch, Geo. Hamlyn. Fruit Committee, Geo. Gamgee, George Ingram, Jas. Weir. Plant* and Flower Committee, J. E. Ranch. J. Dailledouze, M. Murray. Vegetable Committee, George Hamlyn, M. Riddey, Henry Furtnan. Inspectors of Election, Henry Hudson, M. Povnter, Geo. Gamgee.