Series X. Manuscripts

Scope and Content Note

This series is made up of several separate collections of agriculture-related materials from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries, gathered by USDA historians from a variety of sources. The creators of these materials were farmers, gardeners, scientists, USDA officials, business people and others, and the materials include diaries, letters, receipts, articles, publications, clippings, scrapbooks, pamphlets, record books, ledgers, broadsides, and certificates. The subject matter covers the daily activities, accounts, and records of farming, horticulture, livestock breeding, and other agricultural enterprises.

Collections of note in this series include letters to Humphry Marshall, a botanist and plant dealer who lived near Philadelphia in the late 18th century; approximately 50 years of pocket diaries of Charles Ballard, a Pennsylvania farmer; transcriptions of more than 30 years of diaries of the Loomis family, farmers in Michigan; and articles, booklets, letters and other material relating to Solomon Hoxie, a breeder and promoter of Holstein-Friesian cattle in the United States.

Most of the material is in English and of American origin, although there are a few British, French, and Dutch items.

Items in Series X. Manuscripts

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Banks to M. Marshall, 1792

Sir Joseph Banks to Moses Marshall, 1792 [?]. The date supplied in pencil, apparently by the manuscript dealer, is supported by the "Post Paid" stamp on the outer leaf of the letter. This letter is not printed in Darlington.
Banks to Marshall, August 28, 1793

Sir Joseph Banks to [Moses] Marshall, August 28, 1793, introducing a German friend, the Baron Itzenplitz, saying that "he may have it in his Power to recommend you to much business in Germany." The letter is addressed on the outer leaf simply to "Mr.…
Banks to Marshall, February 6, 1788

Sir Joseph Banks to Humphry Marshall, February 6, 1788. The letter is in two pieces, the top being torn off with the back leaf missing.
Broadside "Siberian Barley," n.d.

Broadside, "Some Account of the Naked or Siberian Barley," undated. The dimensions of this document are approximately 8-1/4 inches by 13-1/4 inches (21.1 cm by 33.7 cm).Series X, Manuscripts, Box 10/4, file "Humphry Marshall Papers" USDA History…
Darlington's Memorials, Title page

Title page for William Darlington's double biography Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall, 1849.
Darlington's Memorials, Marshall's home

Illustration of Humphry Marshall's home in Bradford Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, used in Darlington's book.

The full caption to this illustration of Marshall's home notes that it was "Built with his own hands, A.D. 1773."   The…
Marshall letter, July 20, 1787

William Vaughan to Humphry Marshall, July 20, 1787. William was brother of Samuel Vaughan. In this letter, he thanks Marshall for an order of seeds and plants his brother procured for him through Marshall; he also suggests ways of labeling and…
Vaughan, list of trees, ca. 1785

List of trees "Planted in the State-house square," from Samuel Vaughan , ca. 1785.
Vaughan to Marshall, April 13, 1785

Samuel Vaughan to Humphry Marshall, April 13, 1785. Vaughan, writing from Philadelphia, says "I want to send to England a box of plants & seeds as complete as may be. I am uncertain whether the present advanced season would admit of sending them, but…
Vaughan to Marshall, May 22, 1786

Samuel Vaughan to Humphry Marshall, May 22, 1786. Vaughan refer to the meteorological research of a professor of "Cambridge College, Massachusetts," and asks if Marshall would be able to assist in this project by making observations on "the times…
Banks to Marshall, April 3, 1790

Sir Joseph Banks to Humphry Marshall, April 3, 1790. Page 563 of Darlington's Memorials provides a transcription of the body of the letter, however, the list of plants on page 3 is not included in the printed text.
Banks to Marshall, April 5, 1786

Sir Joseph Banks to Humphry Marshall, April 5, 1786, discussing the root of ginseng. The transcription begins on the bottom of page 559 and continues on page 560 of Darlington's Memorials. Marshall's reply to Banks of November 14, 1786 (not included…
Banks to Marshall, May 6, 1789

Sir Joseph Banks to Humphry Marshall, May 6, 1789. Banks reports that the last box of plants was received safely and notes "I have no doubt that as the spring advances we shall find in it several Plants which will enrich our Botanical Knowledge." He…
Dr. Thomas Parke to Humphry Marshall, October 9, 1792.

Dr. Thomas Parke to Humphry Marshall, October 9, 1792, in which he states that he has obtained a shipment from John Bartram and includes a receipt and container list. This John Bartram (1743-1812) was the son of botanist and explorer John Bartram…

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