Collection No. 44: William Coxe, Manuscript + Atlas of Apples

Collection Number: 44

Collection Name: Coxe, William, Manuscript
Earliest Date: 1810
Latest Date: 1831
Linear Feet: 0.5
Collection Description: The William Coxe Manuscript is a two-volume, undated manuscript on pomology. The first manuscript volume contains 832 pages of text and sketches of fruits which William Coxe used to write A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees in America, published in 1817. This volume includes notes with dates ranging from 1810-1828. The notes were intended for use in a second edition of A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees in America, which was never published due to Coxe’s death. The second manuscript volume consists of an atlas of life-size, watercolor plates of fruit on Bristol-board, painted by Coxe’s daughters. The watercolor plates are cut out from the Bristol-board and fastened to the leaves of the book, then each name is handwritten in pen above the illustration.

Historical or Biographical Sketch: William Coxe (1762-1831), a pomologist, was one of the foremost fruit growers in America who experimented with new varieties of fruits at his home in Burlington, New Jersey. He collected specimens from the United States and abroad. A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees in America is a classic of American pomological literature. It is considered by many specialists as the illustrative evidence of fruit culture during the colonial and revolutionary period of the new American nation. William A. Taylor, assistant pomologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, read an 1857 article in Country Gentleman about the manuscript. Through the use of Library of Congress geneological materials, Taylor was able to contact Coxe’s family members and locate the manuscripts. The grandchildren of Elizabeth (Coxe) McMurtrie, one of Coxe’s daughters, donated the manuscripts to Secretary of Agriculture D. F. Houston in 1915.

ProcessedNo, contact Special Collections.
Formats: Agricultural Art and Memorabilia
Digitization Status: Portion of collection digitized


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