COVER

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Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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p. ix

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xiii-xxvi

Thomas Affleck was born in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1812, immigrated to America in 1832, and died in Brenham, Texas, in 1868. He was largely selftaught, and his interests encompassed a broad spectrum of the physical and natural sciences. While his talents as a journalist, entrepreneur, and “friend” to all brought him recognition during his lifetime and facilitated his efforts to improve regional agricultural...

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EDITORIAL NOTE

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p. xxvii

Given here are the works of four hands: first are biographical essays, the academic works of two scholars from 1942 and 1957; and second are representative examples of Affleck’s writings from various nineteenth-century agricultural newspapers and books. Finally, my introductions and annotations are intended to provide the twenty-first-century reader with the historical context in...

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I. A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THOMAS AFFLECK

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pp. 1-4

The major biographical narrative of Thomas Affleck’s life comes from works of Robert Webb Williams Jr. (1923–93) and Fred Carrington Cole (1912–86), and it is from their academic scholarship that the following selections come.1 Their academic investigations of Affleck, completed between 1936 and 1954, supply detailed information about three phases of Affleck’s life and provide us with perspectives...

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1. “Thomas Affleck: Missionary to the Planter, the Farmer, and the Gardener”

Robert W. Williams Jr.

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pp. 5-18

Twenty years before the creation of the United States Department of Agriculture and three decades before the establishment of the first agricultural experiment station, Thomas Affleck of Washington, Mississippi, assembled, collected, and presented to the farming public what was [sic] among the best and most advanced practices of his day. The letters and published works of this much-neglected figure...

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2. Excerpts from “The Texas Career of Thomas Affleck”

Fred Carrington Cole

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pp. 19-30

. . . A vast number of southern people were quite unaware of the value of fruits and vegetables or of the satisfaction to be derived from planned floriculture; nor did they know that the soil and climate of the South possessed many advantages for the cultivation of certain types of fruits and vegetables superior to those of any other section. There were some horticultural treatises available...

II. SELECTED WRITINGS, 1840–1869

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3. From Western Farmer and Gardener

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pp. 33-107

American agricultural newspapers and journals were published first in the New England states, but as people moved west, so did newspapers and journals. One of the first and most influential was the Western Farmer and Gardener, published first in Cincinnati from 1839 to 1845, when it ceased publication because of the failing health...

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4. From American Agriculturist and Southern Agriculturist

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pp. 108-125

One of the leading agricultural papers of the mid-nineteenth century was the American Agriculturist, started in 1842 in New York City under the editorial direction of brothers A. B. and R. L. Allen. From the outset, the editors envisioned this publication as national in scope, offering to present information to planters, farmers, stock-breeders, and horticulturists across the nation. The Allens, together...

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5. Affleck’s Contribution to a National Discussion of Agriculture: Agriculture in the State of Mississippi

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pp. 126-156

The following article, from 1849, was addressed to Commissioner of Patents Thomas Ewbank in response to his request for an account of the state of agriculture in Mississippi, and it appeared in the Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1849 (Washington, D.C., 1850). Over 11,000 words long, it is one of the longest and most detailed examples of Affleck’s published works. Here we...

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6. Affleck in New Orleans: Daily Picayune Articles

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pp. 157-167

Upon moving to the Natchez area, Affleck must have soon realized that New Orleans was the commercial center of the region, and that success in his new nursery enterprise and continued visibility as a journalist depended on the connections he could make there with clients and leaders in businesses related to plants and publications. His surviving commercial records document lengthy correspondence...

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7. On Roses

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pp. 168-198

From ancient times to the present, no garden flower has attracted as much attention or has remained as popular as the rose. Joseph Beck, a prominent nineteenth-century nurseryman, wrote, “It is a flower beloved by everyone, not only in the present age, but has been in all ages past, and will no doubt continue to be the most prominent and desirable flower as long as the world stands. It may, with...

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8. The Health and Management of Enslaved Plantation Workers

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pp. 199-207

This article is from a medical journal published in New Orleans that was intended for distribution in ten southern states and California. Like other accounts from the past, it must be read with an understanding of the circumstance in which it appeared. The Southern Medical Reports aimed to publish articles related to medical issues of the day, among them discussions of the racial differences between...

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9. On Ornamental Trees and Shrubs

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pp. 208-218

Affleck, unlike his contemporary A. J. Downing, is not known today as one who wrote about design or gave design advice to his readers. However, like Downing, he did have a sense of how plants might fit in the landscape and how they could be used for decorative or functional effects. From that perspective, one of Affleck’s most interesting articles is the following from the Natchez Courier on the value...

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10. Letters from Texas

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pp. 219-234

As a correspondent to the Houston Telegraph, Affleck regularly contributed articles on seasonal planting, eliminating pests, and other subjects of general interest to farmers and domestic gardeners in Texas. The first letter (October 6, 1858) given here is addressed to fellow horticulturist and journalist Edward Hopkins Cushing (1829–79), or “Friend Cushing,” owner and editor of the Houston Telegraph...

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11. From Hedging and Hedging Plants, in the Southern States (1869)

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pp. 235-244

Affleck envisioned a series of books of a horticultural nature intended for the southern audience, but only one appeared, and it was published posthumously. Its subject—hedges and plants that might be used for hedges—was one he thought was pertinent to landowners in the South and a subject about which he had written earlier. Included here...

CHRONOLOGY: Thomas Affleck’s Life and Related People and Events

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pp. 245-250

A NOTE ON THE THOMAS AFFLECK PAPERS

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pp. 251-252

INDEX

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pp. 253-262