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Jepson Field Book Transcriptions · Jepson Herbarium

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Gray Herbarium. 1896.

- Eriogonum truncatum. "Dry hillsides at Marsh's Ranch, e. of Mt. Diablo. May 29" -- Single type sheet in Gray Herbarium.
- Robinson B.L. [?] told me that Asa Gray destroyed all his letters, -- by which he meant all letters from American correspondents. What a loss! Gray evidently preserved letters from Hooker and other English botanists. This is an instance of Gray's somewhat narrow attitude in certain respects. He was tainted a little with snobbishness. -- Feb. 18, 1918. Not a little, a good deal.
- Robinson, B.S., said that Asa Gray was bored by the persons in California who planned field trips for him. Gray went away for a rest and for change, and did not wish to be tired by such parties. So said Robinson.
I add to this. Gray was not a field man or collector. As curious
as it may seem he had no interest in field work. Fernald tells me many years after the above that Gray did not know the New England flora in the field or really much at all in any [?] way. Certainly he did little or no botanizing on his three trips to California. Doubtless he did more when he came with Hooker because J.D. Hooker was a field man. There are very few plants in the Gray Herbarium collected by Gray. It was perhaps the grand manner that kept Gray from being a collector. He liked to be lord at Cambridge and direct the collectors what to do. Moreover they were to be just collectors and send everything to him, leaving to him the publication of all new species. Moreover Gray was bored at the thought of going into the field with persons who expected him to name every plant at sight. He could name very few! He did not know them as living things. In fact he said to one person: If you will dry it, I will tell you its name. He did not wish to expose his ignorance.
But above all was the grand manner. See his letters where (cont. 69)
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