itilci^bsciopiqal examii^tibn. They belong, geologically, to
Ifee 'Mioc^e TertilUTri formation of the United States,
A!ij4 in genetal charabtl&rs agree with the ihfksdrial earths
fj^tofthe BappahannoeK IKver, Va.
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After a preliminary examination, we find them to contain,
among others, the following fossil Diatomaceous Plants, viz :
Heliopelta Metii, Ehr.
Heliopelta Leeuwenhoekii, Ehr.
Heliopelta Euleri, Ehr.
Heliopelta Selligueii, Ehr.
Pyxidicula operculata, Ehr.
Pinnularia Coupcrii, Bailey.
Coscinodiscus gigas, Ehr.
Coscinodiscus oculus iridis, Ehr.
Gallionella sulcata, Ehr.
Actinocyclus undulatus, (Senarius, Ehr.)
Navicula Bombas, Ehr.
Navicula striatula, var.
Craspedodiscus elegans, Ehr.
Sceptroneis caducous, Ehr.
Podiscus Rogersi, Bailey.
The variety of earth from just above Nottingham is cleaner
<uid appears to have more specimens of Heliopelta than that
We agree with Doct. Johnstone in believing the Notting-
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
ham earth to be the same as Bermuda Tripoli ; at least ve
Are now certain of another locality of tlie Heliopelta, hereto-
fore*considei*ed so rare. A conununicatiou by Dr. Johnstone^
arguing this point, was read at a nieeting of the American
.Scientific Association recently in session at Newport.
In the year 1844, Prof. Bailey received from M. Toomey
Esq., of Petersburg, Ya., a fine specimen of infusorial earth,
labelled ^' Tripoli from Bermuda." Mr. Tuoiqey received
it from some mineralogicat correspondent, and bad no doubt
that it came fromthe Bermuda Islands, Collectors have sought
in vain for it at those islands, and Bermuda a^ its locality
has long since been ^ven up. The Heliopelta and its van-
eties are abundant in Bermuda Tripoli and have not yet
be0n noticed in any other earth, except the present Notting-
ham specimens. Prom this only specimen received by Prof.
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Bailey from Mr. Tuomey, specimens were sent to Prof. Ehren-
berg, the celebrated Gorman Naturalist, and by him distrib-
uted among the leading microscopists of the world.
The Nottingham specimens appear to be the same as the
infusorial earuis from the Rappahannock, with the exception,
principally, that the Actinocyclus and soma other forms in
the latter, are replaced by the beautiful Heliopelta in the
former, as in the Bermuda Tripoli. They are interesting to
Ihe geologist as showing the apparent resemblance of geo-
The statements of this communication were further com-
mented on by the chair.
John M. Ives, of Salem, offered some remarks upon the
various fruits now engaging the attention of the horticul- ^
The Chair exhibited a rose, from the center of which a
.green stem had been produced ; a phenomenon not very
i^re, but full of botanical interest, the rationale of which he
•explained to the meeting.
George D. Phippen, of Salem, after making some remarks
xm the plants collected during tiie day, read the following
The' Instinct op Plants.
Whether this term be inadmissible or not, it cannot be
•denied that plants do exhibit actual sensibility, though of a
low order, and that, in many cases, they^ have the power ef
<< making movements tending to determinate ends/'
The Creator has placed on the earth many races of sentient
beings of high order, and these with such a structure and
organization that their very existence here is made to depeud
upon the presence of another daas of m;anized Kfe, wholly
distinct in characters from the first, ^ms latter, feeding on
i&e fitore of mineral and gaseous mateml around, is ever
made to prepare, by assiimlation, the aliment of those higher
creatures known as animals. Thus these intermediate struc-
ESSBX INST. PBOGEED. VOL. ill. 6.
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tures, called plants, are made the grand elaboratoi^ of
organic matter for the whole creation ; and this first, though
lowest manifestation of life becomes in this view as grand ^s
any, perhaps, to be found m higher spheres.
Life, overwhelming in its mystery, is never deficient in>
self-sustaining power. It is a gift that none of its recipients
have the least power to value. Yet it is given with a differ-
ence. One well says, " animals have, breathed into them,
the breath of life ; while plants are breathed upon." But
both streams rise from one fountain, and are fanned by the
same mysterious wing.
Life is not mere organism; implying growth certainly
implies motion ; and while • the motion of animal life is fuU
of evidences of what we, too blindly perhaps, call instinct,
plants, confined and restricted, are not without something
of the same kind.
The vegetable economy is full of motion. Roots move
downward, seeking daikness and moisture, stems upward
for air and light. An Indian grass no larger than a quill,
climbs the highest trees to gain these two essentials. So of
roots. The author of the Studies of the Essex Flora says of
Bidens coiftnata^ " I have found vigorous plants growing in
the crevices of the bark of trees, three or four feet from the
ground, where the seed had been deposited by the water,
when the pond by which they stood was unusually full, and
a persevering root had in every case followed tlie retreating
water till it had fiiially reached the earth."
While most motions of plants are apparently mechanical,
others are as evidently spontaneous and voluntary. Some
may be explained by the principles of endosmose and the
peculiar laws that control the transmission of fluids. Setting
all these distinctions aside, however, we only stop now to con-
template the wisdom that has adapted each to the special
end in view.
By one of these spontaneous motions, everywhere to be
seen, the upper side of the leaf is always turned to the light.
This position is rigidly adhered to, even by a severe twisting
of the petiofe when the leaf has been designedly reversed, aiid
whole fields of clover will thus turn their leaves to, and with
tlte sun. Another of these movements has gained the namt
of " the sleep of plants," as it mostly occurs on the with*
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■drawal of the sun. Leguminous plants exhibit it most freely ;
-every one has noticed how the common Locust folds its
leaves at night, and so keeps them till they are relaxed by
the morning sun. The common Sensitive Mimosa takes on
with something of violence, when touched, the same state in
which it rests at night, yet this is hardly a state of repose or
relaxation, but quite the reverse, being a somewhat strained
or contracted condition. Composite flowers are slightly
-affected in the same way and close their heads at night and
'^during storms. Such as the Dandelion, Succory, &c.
" Oft as light clouds overpass the fummer glade,
Alarmed, she tremblee at the moving shade ;
And feels, alive through all her tender form,
The whispered murmurs of the gathering storm/'
Many flowers open in the morning and close at night ;
^but some reverse this rule, as the Ntght-bloomiriff Cereus.
^^ Bright as the blush of rinBg mom, she warms
The dull cold eye of midnight with lier charms/'
The Evening Primrose opens its petals with some violence
-at night, and as some say, with a flash of phosphorescent
Jight. The Pour o'clock, opening late in the day, continues
expanded all night, and droops in the morning, leaving its
place well supplied by the . Convolvulus or " Morning Glory."
Even the passing of a few clouds, or a slight shower, are
-enough to affect certain plants. Whole beds of tulips, pre-
viously drinking in the sunUght, to tinge their many colored
robes, shut hastily with the plash of the .first rain drops.
The AnoffoUiSy called the " Poor Man's Weather Glass'* is
more sensitive still, for, by repute, it anticipates these changes
so truly, that fine weather always follows its expansion.
Such movements are natural^ beneficial, and certainly,
evidences of life ; but whether they point to a real share of
sentient happiness and consequent disposition to avoid dan-
ger, is not easy to say. Something like faintness is now and
then seen among plants ; the Impatiens or Jewel-weed droops
50 quickly, on being plucked, that its very life seems to oX'
hale from the wound. We see no such exhalation ; neither
do we from the leaves of the forest, which send up clouds of
vapor like a perpetual incense; if such were visible, we
might gain more vivid ideas of vegetable life.
We notice also the means by which climbing plants ascend,
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and their consequent movements. The Grape, Pumpkin^
Passion-flower, Ac, move forward and upward by tendrils,,
seizing every support as animals do with their claws. The
Bignonia and Ivy have fibrous processes, thrust into every
crevice, carrying them up over surfaces of only the slightest
inequality. There are Cfaliums and Polygonums that climb
by the hooks and prickles of the stem. The Honeysuckle
and Convolvulus make one tendril of the whole stem and
ascend by this twining spirally, while the Dodder fastens and
lifts itself by suckers that rob the plant to which they cling.
" With sly approach she spreads her dangerous charms,
And ronnd her victim winds her wiry arms/*
The Clematis employs the long petioles of its leaves, which
have been compared to hands.
The Celastrus by its leaves and fine-drawn, spiral stems ;
the Tropeolum also by its leaves ; and these, like many
more, move upward thus in quest of light and air.
It is remarkable as well as inexplicable, that twining stems,
do not all turn in the same direction. The Morning Glory^
Bean, &c., invariably turn " against the sun," W. S. E., but
the Honeysuckle-, Hop and others are equally tenacious of
the opposite course, and turn always E. S. W.
The Sur dew of our bogs is a very peculiar plant. Its
leaves, glandular, and, as it were, jewelled all over, are sen-
sitive to the tread of insects, who are often caught in these
glutinous toils ; and its graceful mode of flowering, uncoil-
ing its raceme, to place the freshest flower at the highest
point, has called forth the words of Darwin : —
" As with sweet grace her snowy neck she bows,
A zone of diamonds trembles round her brows.
Bright shines the silyer halo as she turns,
And as she steps, the living lustre bums.
We see an instinctive purpose in the economy of the
Peanut, for it buds and flowers in the air like any other, and
then plunges its blossom into the earth, that the hot sun may
not scorch the ripening seed. Much the same end is served
by certain aquatic plants that only perfect their fruit under
water. Of these last the Valisneria^ growing at the bottom
of ponds, lifts its fertile flowers to the surface for impregna-
tion, and then, by a spiral coiling of the stem, draws down
the fruit to ripen beneath the surface.
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Plants under difficulties "mil sometimes make what seem
great exertions to ripen their seed and secure a progeny.
Many are very sensitive just at the time of impregnation of
the seed, the stamens and pistils making spontaneous move*
ments to accomplish that end. The stamens of the Kalmia
or Mountain Laurel, leap up toward the pistil with a jerk ;
and in the Barberry, this jerk is repeated as often as the fila-
ment is irritated. In the Saxifrage and Parnassia^ each
stamen in turn, bends down over the pistil, and in Genista
and the Lupine, five stamens alternate with the other five in -
these approaches ; while in NigeUa, the stamens being too
short to reach the pistil, it bends itself down and meets them.
Probably the closing of flowers at night or before rain is
intended to preserve the pollen from extraneous moisture.
Many of the Lilies and other bell-shaped flowers di*op their
blossoms for the like reason ; but all these plants lift up the
pod afterward.most rigidly to be ripened in the sun.
. The production of honey in flowers might be cited to illus-
trate tins point ; for by the agency of the insects that seek
it, the pollen is spread and scattered more perfectly among
the pistils. The Columbines and Apocynums afford good
examples of this ; those plants having catch-fly abilities are
of this class.
Such are some of the wonders of plant life, visible to all.
In microscopic research, a fresh nunc of manifestations ap-
pears, not belonging to the present purpose. Vitality cannot
be analyzed. It is the gift of Gk)d. In many respects its
nature, as shown in the fixed vegetable and in the moving
creature, is the same. Both have functions, and attributes,
commensurate with their welfare ;. but animals alone have
faculties, to* which plants in no sense approach.
Rev. S. Barden of Marblehead, exhibited specimens ot
Indian implements of stone, and made some very interesting
remarks thereon. He further spoke of his obligation to the
Institute for the benefits he had here obtained ; his strong
interest in mineralogy, and the deep pleasure he thence de-
rived, being all traceable to the Field Meetings, where they
were first excited.
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David Pulsifer, the distinguished antiquarian scholai;,
formerly of Ipswich, was prepared to entertain the meeting
with several articles, the result of his historical gleanings,
but lack of time preventing, he substituted a few animated
and pleasant remarks in the same vein, to the evident grati-
fication of all.
After passing a vote of thanks to the Town authorities, of
Ipswich, for the use of this Hall, to the several gentlemen
who have acted as guides, and to the citizens generally, for
their kindness and attentions during this visit of the Insti-
tute to their ancient town, hallowed by many associations,
more especially as the adopted home of Oakes, a name en-
deared in the early annals of our Society and one of the '
most distinguished botanists of New England.
TImrsday, December 26, 1860.
' Meeting, tliis evening, at the rooms, Plummer Hall,
Henry M. Brooks, one of the Vice Presidents, in 'the chair.
Becords of the preceding meeting read.
Donations received since the meeting in Ipswich, August
16., were announced : —
To the Library — from John L. Russell ; John H. Stone ;
' Samuel Colman of New York ; R. B. Kerr of New Orleans,
La. ; Samuel A. Green of Boston ; Philadelphia Academy
oi Natural Science ; St. Louis Academy of Science ; Connec-
,ticut Historical Society ; Nathaniel Paine of Worcester ;
Wisconsin Historical Society ; Pennsylvania Historical Soci-
ety; Philadelphia Board of Trade; Moravian Historical
Society at Nazareth Penn. ; Stephen A. Chase ; R. Manning
tChipmau, Walcottville, Conn. ; N. J. Lord ; Caleb Foote ;
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S. S. Mackenzie of Topsfield ; Canadian Institute, at To-
ronto, C. W. ; Isaac P. Foster ; New Jersey Historical
Society ; William P. Tucker of Brunswidc, Me. ; Vermont
Historical Society ; Nathaniel Ropes of Cincinnati, 0. ;
Daniel C. Gilman of New Haven, Conn. ; Henry F, Sliepard ;
Oliver ^Varner, Secretary of State ; William Brown ; Amer-
ican Geographical arid Statistical Society ; Mercantile Libra-
ry Association of New York ; Boston Society of Natural
History; Zoologischen Gesellschaft in Frankfort ; H. F. G.
Waters ; Jeremiah Spofford of Groveland ; JEl. S. L. Rich-
ardson of Chicago, 111. ; Town of Gloucester ; G. F. H.
Markoej Mrs. N. D. Cole; John B. Alley, M. C* Miss
Rebecca Miller of Temple, N. H. ; S. K. Whipple of Boston ;
Smithsonian Institution ; David Pulsifer of Boston,
To the Cabinet — from William Clough; Matthew A.
Stickney ; B. F. Stedmau of Milburn, Lake Co., 111. ; Au-
gustus Fowler of Danvers ; R. H. Wheatland ; Elliot F.
Smith of Keokuk, Iowa ; S. S. Mackenzie of Topsfield ; Miss
Ellen Brown ; Isaac 0. Guild of Lynn ; J. W. Standley ;
W. Mack ; Isaac Chandler ; G. F. H. Markoe ; James S.
Williams ; C. L. Pierson ; R. W. Bemis of Chicopee ; Mes-
srs. Phippen & Endicott ; W. Perkins ; R. Wheatland y
Thomas P. Gentlee of Manchester ; Charles H. Price ; Joha
Chamberlain ; W. G. Webb ; Charles Endicott ; Henry P.^
Ives ; Derby Pickman ; Charles A. Putnam ; J. Phillips j
Miss H. R. Lee ; Geoi^e Fabens ; Mrs. S. P. Fowler ; M.
Miles of Lansing, Mich. ; N. C- Locke ; George F. Reed ;
Daniel Currier ; E. S. L. Richardson of Chicago, 111. ; L.
Peirson Ward; F, W. Putnam; R. S. Rogers; Thomas
Fettyplace ; John W. Goodridge ; Smithsonian InstitutioA ;
W- B. Wyman of Marblehead ; Francis F. Wallis; John N.
Letters were read from Historical and Philosophical Soci-
ety of Ohio ; Maine Historical Society ; Trustees of New
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York State Library ; Chicago Historical Society ; New York
Mercantile Library Association ; Trustees of Boston Public
Library ; Corporation of Harvard College ; Peabody Insti-
tute, South Danvers ; Pennsylvania Historical Society ;
David Choate of Essex. ; N. J. Holden of Lynn ; .William
Agge ; Thomas H. Barnes ; J. F. Webb, jr. ; Adams Express
Co. ; S. P. Fowler of Danvers ; M. A. Stickney ; Joel Mun-
sell of Albany; F. S. Pease of Albany; S. P. Nichols of
Boston ; S. A. Green of Boston ; Wisconsin State Historical
Society ; R. C. Kerr of New Orleans, La. ; M. Miles of Lan-
sing; Mich. ; Smithsonian Institution.
A. C. Goodell read a very interesting paper, giving a suc-
cinct account of the literary and scientific labors of James
Tyiler, who emigrated from Scotland to Salem in 1795, and
died in the year 1804. Many of our older citizens will prob-
ably remember this eccentric and learned person, who resi-
ded in a small house on the Neck, a short distance from the
After remarks from Rev. Mr. Beaman and Mr. J. Batch-
elder, a vote was passed- thanking Mr. Goodell for his valua-
communication, with a request that he would prepare the
same for publication in tiie Historical Collections of the
Mowlay^ January 7, 1861.
Meeting this evening at 7.30 o'clock, Vice President,
Henry M. Brooks, in the chair.
Records of preceding meetings read.
Donations announced from the following :
To the Library — ^from Henry M. Brooks; George C.
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Chase ; S. A. Green of Boston ; Tennessee State Library ;
N. J. Lord ; H. F. Shepard ; Henry E. Jocelyn ; Mrs. If.
D. Cole ; C. Poote ; James B. Curwen.
To the Cabinets — from Charles H. BuflRim ; George Har
rington ; Samuel V. Shreve ; Mrs. N. D. Cole ; Henry B.
Letters were read from John C. Holmes of Lansing,
Mich. ; M. Miles of Lansing, Mich. ; S. A. Green, Librarian
of State Library of Tennessee ; C. B. Richardson of New
The following communication from S. S. Mackenzie, of
Topsfield, was read by the Secretary.
The Local Geology op Topsfield.
In speaking of this, the numerous hills, as being the most
prominent objects, deserve first to be noticed. The most
southerly of these, called, from the present owner, Pingree's
Hill, begins near Nichols' Brook, so called, and rising -grad-
iually, attains its highest elevation at what was formerly
known as Estey's Hill, from which it declines southeasterly
in the same easy slope, till it is lost in the Wenham meadows.
This might be called a series of hills, rather than one ; the
whole elevation consists of swells or ridges, like waves of the
ocean rolling in from the northeast ; and these ridges con-
tinue all the way from Ipswich River to the town of Danvers,
with a constant range from north-west to southeast. Pin-
gree's Hill, the highest ridge, is about 200 feet above the
river-bed, and not far from two miles long.
Next, on the northerly side of the river, and in the wes-
tern portion of the town, we have Lake's Hill. It is so
named on the County Map; but many prefer to call it
ixould's Hill. Indeed, families of both names have occupied
it nearly two centuries. For still another name, the older
inhabitants recognize it as " Billingsgate Hill.^* This is also
formed of swelling ridges, still ranging N. W. & S. E., with
a rather abrupt termiiiation at the northwesterly extremity.
Its whole length is about a mile, the noted Treadwell Farm
ESSEX INST. PROCEED. VOL. iii. 7.
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lying not far from one end. An old burial-place, now bare
of monuments, is found on the southern slope, and tradition
ascribes its occupancy to families of the name of Stanley.
Northerly from this lies Great, or Towne's Hill. On its:
southerly side the Topsfield Hotel once stood, on the site of
the present house of Daniel Perkins. The summit is north
of this point, and is called the highest point in town, though
in this respect there is little difference between this and
Pingree's Hill. Like the others, this has the wavy, ridgy
surface, and is somewhat abrupt at the northwesterly end.
From this, moving southeasterly, we reach Bradstreet's
Hill, which is a regular swell of land for more than half a
mile. On its eastern side, however, it. is broken by sharp
ridges along the river meadow.
Northeasterly from Bradstreet's Hill, across the meadows
and the river, rises Cumming's Hill, named from its former
exclusive owners, though now its possession is shared by
others. Tradition says that an ancient owner of this hill,
named Howlet, gave it entire to a boy named Cummings, as
a freedom present, and it is added, that the boy lived to the
age of a hundred and three years. The hill is of the same
genex*al form as Bradstreet's, but somewhat higher.
Lamson's, or Third Hill is found a little further to the
northeast. It has been known as " Thick Woods," but none
but apple trees are on it at present. Here we have the-
structure of the large hills again ; blunt and steep toward
the northwest, furrowed and ridged through its length, and
sinking gradually toward the southeast, where it continues
Recrossing the river and moving northerly, Paine's Hill is
reached, so called from a former owner, so says tradition.
The westerly side is rather abrupt, and the easterly and
northwesterly slopes are broken into knobs and ridges.
Easterly, from Lamson's Bridge and beside the Ipswich.
Road, is a small elevation called, from its form. Round Hill..
It was once planted with a single row of com (or beaus)
which ran round it spirally to the top. Since then, however,
part of the hill has been removed for the bene&t of the high-
way. A willow grows on the top, planted there by ono
Benj. Hobbs, sixty or seventy years since.
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Bear Hill may be meutioned. Tliis lies ueai* the Greorge-
^town Road, on the northerly side of the town. It has the
same general form as the rest, and seems only one of a series
-of hills that begin near the Meeting House, in Boxford, and
are known in some parts as the Perley Ridges.
This wavy or furrowed figure has procured for these hills
^many subordinate names, as the particular hillocks were
regarded. Thus, Pingree's Hill includes Dwinnell's, occu-
pied by the Danvers road, and Towne's, by that to Wenham,
while another height is known as Peabody's, and Rea's Hill
is a small ridge running into Danvers. Others might be
named, but all belong to one general elevation. So of that
undulation called Great Hill, which lies northeasterly from
Towne's Hill (on which the Hotel stood). It has no claim
to a separate consideration, forming, undoubtedly, with
Towne's, only one real elevation.
The soil of these hills and its fitness for agricultural and
other purposes, are next to be considered. In these respects
all seem much alike. Thcj soil is always loose, with sand
and gravel, a small amount of clay, and stones, large and
small, near the surface. On penetrating deeply, however,
the earth becomes more compact and very firm. Water,
enough for man and beast, has been obtained on all these
hills by means of wells. Of springs flowing out at the sur-
face, there is no lack, but wells have been dug to all depths,
-from ten to twenty-five feet, to obtain more convenient sup-
plies. The deepest well ever dug in the town was at the
Hotel. This was carried down to eighty-five or ninety feet ;
but the only water-vein that was found, occurred about
twenty feet from the surface, and yielded some twelve gallons
per day. As forty horses were to be kept at the place, this
supply was thought too limited, and the work went on, to
the above depth. But as the lower strata seemed even dryer
than the upper, the effort was abandoned and the well stoned,
up. It filled with water, however, and has never been dry
rince, but yielded abundantly. At one time, considering
that a bucket was never lowered in it further than forty or