John Carey and John Torrey correspondence, 1835-1854
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John Carey and John Torrey correspondence, 1835-1854

Related Titles

Related/Analytical: New York Botanical Garden Archives.

Series: John Torrey papers ; series 1, correspondence.


Carey, John, 1797-1880

Carey, John, Jr.




Archival material

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Correspondence from John Carey to John Torrey, dated 1835-1854. An intimate correspondence spanning almost 20 years of friendship, Carey's letters to Torrey are candid and emotional-- sometimes buoyant and playful, other times somber. From New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts he documents his hard work on botanical subjects ("...there is no such thing in nature as a strict lineal series of affinities"), particularly his contributions to Asa Gray's "Manual" in the area of Carex and Salix, and the traffic in specimens that flows between the botanists. He provides frequent news of their mutual acquaintances in the sciences, and nearly always sends warm greetings to Torrey's wife and daughters, and later his young son Herbert, who Carey calls "Herby." As a widower living alone, Carey eagerly anticipates his meetings and visits with Torrey and his family; there is much discussion about a planned oyster dinner in 1849. Carey pragmatically councils Torrey to pursue a well-paid professorship in Philadelphia, even though it would require "the necessary divorce from your early love (Flora)." Likewise he takes the reins of his brother Samuel's business when Sam is too ill to work. By fall of 1849 Carey is in dark spirits; he writes that he cannot bear to visit Torrey's happy home again because it makes his own loneliness too painful. 1849 also brings bouts of illness and the sale of the estate of their friend William Oakes, who drowned the previous year, and marks the beginning of a period of great personal sorrow for Carey-- the loss of his mother, two of his sons, two newborn grandchildren, and his herbarium-- mostly unmentioned in this collection, culminating in Carey's return to his native England in 1852. He writes that he finds himself more at ease in London than he was in New York-- "I, personally am better fitted for a liegeman of the British Crown, than for one of Uncle Sam's Free and enlightened Citizens"-- and because he has started work in a brokerage house,

In English.


Amaranthaceae , Artemisia , Barratt, Joseph, 1796-1882 , Boott, Francis, 1792-1863 , Botanical specimens , Bromeliaceae , Bromfield, William Arnold, 1801-1851 , Carex , Carex douglasii , Carey, John, 1797-1880 , Carey, Samuel Thomas, 1800-1857 , Chapman, A. W. (Alvan Wentworth), 1809-1899 , Compositae , Correspondence , Cyperaceae , Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867 , Engelmann, George, 1809-1884 , Flora of the state of New-York , Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890 , Gambel, William, 1823-1849 , Geranium , Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 , Greene, B. D. (Benjamin Daniel), 1793-1862 , Habenaria , Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 , Holton, Isaac F. (Isaac Farwell) , Hume, Joseph Burnley , Juncus stygius , Knieskern, Peter D., 1798-1871 , Manual of the botany of the northern United States , Nicollet, J. N. (Joseph Nicolas), 1786-1843 , Oakes, William, 1799-1848 , Orchidaceae , Parry, C. C. (Charles Christopher), 1823-1890 , Poa , Polygala , Populus , Potamogeton , Prestele, Joseph, 1796-1867 , Prinos , Report of the exploring expedition to the Rocky Mo , Salix , Salix myricoides , Sartwell, H. P. (Henry Parker), 1792-1867 , Schweinitz, Lewis David von, 1780-1834 , Smithsonian Institution , Stipa , Torrey, John, 1796-1873 , Tuckerman, Edward, 1817-1886 , Umbelliferae

BHL Collections

John Torrey Papers

New York Botanical Garden




OCLC: 981912662


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