Expedition Volume 62 No. 3, Fall 2020

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FALL 2020 | VOL. 62, NO. 3



We’re here for you. In difficult times, we look to millennia of human stories for inspiration— and we invite you to share those stories with us. Join us online for a rich array of virtual programs that bring the Penn Museum into your home, with something for everyone. For our members, sustain your access through special opportunities. When we can safely welcome you back, we look forward to having you in our galleries once more. And whether you’re near or far, we’ll still be online, continuing to connect with you.

We’ll see you soon. 2

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12 An Introduction to the


Garden History of Philadelphia By Chantel White Lucky Find: Seed Packets Shed Light A on Philadelphia’s Horticultural History By Robert McCracken Peck

28 Reconstructing a Historic Landscape: Geophysical Prospection at The Woodlands

By Jason Herrmann, Kacie Alaga, and Katie Breyer

38 Late 18th- to Early 19th-Century

Flowerpots at The Woodlands y Marie-Claude Boileau, Justin Lynch, and Yuyang Wang B

46 Unearthing the Roots of the Past: Archaeology at Historic Bartram’s Garden


By Alexandria Mitchem


From the Editor


From the Co-Interim Directors


At the Museum


Virtual Museum


Favorite Object

The Garden of Francis D. Pastorius


Working Remotely

By Miranda E. Mote


Member News


Museum News


Looking Back

A Botanical Discovery at Bartram’s Garden: Evidence for Preserved Plant Material y Elizabeth Coulter, Bevan Pearson, Juliet Stein, B and Chantel White

68 The Art of Gardening in a Pennsylvania Woods:



78 Public Gardens and Climate Change: A View from the Morris Arboretum

By Anthony S. Aiello, Timothy A. Block, and C. Skema

80 Changes in a Penn Campus Oasis: A View from Kaskey Park By Kathryn Butler Reber

82 Seeds of Change: A View from Philly’s Rivers By Karen M’Closkey

ON THE COVER: Detail of Christian Inger and D. Hensel, Philadelphia: Chromatic View (Philadelphia: D. Hense, 1876). Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/79695384/.

PENN MUSEUM 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6324 Tel: 215.898.4000 | www.penn.museum Hours Please check our website at www.penn.museum/plan-your-visit for current hours and information. Admission Penn Museum members: Free; PennCard holders (Penn faculty, staff, and students): Free; Active US military personnel with ID: Free; K-12 teachers with school ID: Free Adults: $18.00; Seniors $16.00; Children (6-17) and students with ID: $13.00; Children 5 and under: Free. Save $2 by booking tickets online.

Guidelines for Visiting The Museum prioritizes a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Learn more about our guidelines for visiting, including booking timed tickets and maintaining social distancing, at www.penn.museum/plan-your-visit. Museum Library Call 215.898.4021 for information.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020




e are fortunate to have many public gardens in the Philadelphia region that are wonderful places to visit in all seasons. During these uncertain times, gardens serve as a peaceful respite from the concerns of everyday life. This expanded issue of Expedition focuses on local gardens and the archaeological research that provides The Editor at Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania. a better understanding of the 17ththrough 19th-century history of these special places. Many thanks to Dr. Chantel White, CAAM Teaching Specialist for Archaeobotany and Guest Editor, who worked closely with me to determine the content and complete the production of this issue. We hope you will visit the gardens described here and see for yourself the extant evidence of early gardens in our area. The best way to read this issue is to start with Chantel’s introductory article, which describes the history of gardens in Philadelphia and includes a brief description of the articles that follow.

GOODBYE FOR NOW After more than 11 years, I will end my tenure as Editor of Expedition with this issue. I will continue with the Museum as a Consulting Scholar and as co-curator of the 2021 exhibition The Stories We Wear. My immediate plans are to finish a book on Minoan jewelry, the subject of my 2008 Penn dissertation, and to return to the field to excavate and conduct research. When the pandemic ends, I hope to find myself at work on a project in Greece or Turkey or perhaps a place I have never been.

PARTING THOUGHTS I am fortunate to have been affiliated with the Penn Museum, an internationally recognized museum with a world-class collection. One hundred years from now, the Penn Museum will still be part of Philadelphia’s cultural landscape, and visitors not yet born will walk the galleries and remark on the timeless beauty of the Ram in the Thicket or Queen Puabi’s jewelry. We owe it to our Museum’s founders and those cultures we represent to maintain and interpret the collection in our care, and to bring our message to a wide audience. I am honored to have been part of that tradition.



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Jane Hickman, Ph.D. GUEST EDITOR


Remy Perez


Page Selinsky, Ph.D. PUBLISHER

Amanda Mitchell-Boyask ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Alyssa Connell Haslam, Ph.D. ________________________________ PHOTOGRAPHY

Francine Sarin Jennifer Chiappardi Kristen Hopf Julianna Whalen (unless noted otherwise) CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Jessica Bicknell Marie-Claude Boileau, Ph.D. Jill DiSanto Kris Forrest Kate Fox Therese Marmion Ellen Owens Alessandro Pezzati Tena Thomason Stephen J. Tinney, Ph.D. Jo Tiongson-Perez Julianna Whalen INSTITUTIONAL OUTREACH MANAGER

Darragh Nolan


Simon Martin, Ph.D. Janet Monge, Ph.D. Lauren Ristvet, Ph.D. C. Brian Rose, Ph.D. Stephen J. Tinney, Ph.D. Jennifer Houser Wegner, Ph.D. © The Penn Museum 2020 Expedition ® (ISSN 0014-4738) is published three times a year by the Penn Museum. Editorial inquiries should be addressed to expedition@pennmuseum.org. Inquiries regarding delivery of Expedition should be directed to membership@pennmuseum.org. Unless otherwise noted, all images are courtesy of the Penn Museum.


Dear Friends, Our gardens are part of the Penn Museum experience. All year, the Warden Garden and Stoner Courtyard invite us to pause and admire the fountains and koi pond, to take a lunch break in the shade, to enjoy a moment of calm and greenery. Gardens, as this issue explores, are integral not only to the Museum and Penn’s campus but also to the city of Philadelphia—and have been for centuries. Our thanks to Expedition Editor Jane Hickman, Ph.D., and guest editor Chantel White, Ph.D., for this colorful and informative special issue that makes us reconsider the green spaces in our own neighborhoods. This issue also provides a window into the wonderful research going on in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Material (CAAM) by staff as well as current and former Penn students, and in our fellow Philadelphia institutions represented here. Over the last several months, despite restrictions and unexpected hurdles from COVID-19, Museum research has not slowed—it has adapted, as we all have. For instance, earlier this summer, Dr. C. Brian Rose and a small team (see page 95) were able to have a shortened but fruitful season—complete with masks—at Gordion, Turkey. We are also continuing to move forward in the search for our next Williams Director. Previous Director Julian Siggers, Ph.D., ended his eight years at the Museum on September 3, moving to Chicago as President and CEO of the Field Museum. As “At the Museum” in this issue shows, these were eight tremendously productive years culminating in our transformed Museum, and we are grateful to Julian for his leadership and vision, as we are to Jane Hickman for her stewardship of this magazine for so many years. While we have said a fond farewell to Jane and to Julian, we have said hello to many of you online and in person, as you’ve joined us for virtual events and in the reopened galleries. As members, you are the very foundation of our Museum, and we are grateful for your continued support. Sincerely,









EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020


left: Julian in 2014 with DK’s History of the World in 1,000 Objects, featuring the Museum’s bull-headed lyre. right: Julian and Marianne Lovink at the Museum’s first Golden Gala in 2016.

OVER THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, WILLIAMS DIRECTOR JULIAN SIGGERS LED THE WAY IN TRANSFORMING OUR PENN MUSEUM. Re-imagining how visitors experience our building and our galleries led to the most extensive renovation of the Museum in a century, including moving the massive Sphinx of Ramses II. New K–12 programs invited students to engage with the ancient world, at the same time that Penn researchers were continuing more than a century of groundbreaking discoveries. Conservators preserved artifacts in newly state-of-the-art spaces, including a public lab. Numerous special exhibitions expanded the range of collections on display. Penn students from across departments, through the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) and many Academic Engagement programs, felt at home in the Museum. Visitors found new ways to engage with our research and the collections we care for, with a wide range of public programs both in-person and, more recently, virtual. We have said farewell to Julian, now President & CEO of the Field Museum in Chicago, and his wife Marianne, with gratitude and best wishes. And we know that Julian’s exemplary commitment to making this a place where everyone is welcome to engage with our shared human story will resonate, as these pages show, in every aspect of the Penn Museum for decades to come.


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ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT A 2013 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation— the first major institutional grant of many in Julian’s tenure—sparked a blossoming of the Museum’s Academic Engagement Program. The program has transformed opportunities for Penn students to have a relationship with the Museum, with a multitude of faculty now bringing classes to the Museum, and offerings that include intensive classes, work-study opportunities, summer fieldwork support, senior capstone programs, social programming, and student-led docent tours. 2014 saw the opening of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials, offering the facilities, materials, equipment, and expert personnel to teach and mentor Penn students in a range of scientific techniques crucial to archaeologists and other scholars as they seek to interpret the past in an interdisciplinary context which links the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. The Academic Engagement Program and CAAM, together with our vast collections, and opportunities to work with Penn’s faculty in numerous field projects, have made Penn the preeminent institution for object-based learning and the study of archaeology.

above: Students study ceramic thin-sections with CAAM Director and Teaching Specialist for Ceramics Marie-Claude Boileau. below: Among the offerings of the Academic Engagement Program, led by Director Anne Tiballi, is an annual curatorial internship program in which three undergraduates curate a small exhibition from start to finish. Student curators of Memory Keepers (2019) are seen here with Research Liaison Sarah Linn and Associate Curator Phil Jones.

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RESEARCH Over the last eight years, Penn archaeological and anthropological fieldwork and research has flourished. Across the world, from long-running excavations at Gordion, Turkey, and Abydos, Egypt, to new excavations at Smith Creek, Mississippi, and Tel Yaqush, Israel, to returning to sites at Lagash and Ur, Iraq, Penn archaeologists have added to our understanding of our shared human story. Their research findings are incorporated directly into the Museum, whether in signature galleries or in special exhibitions, to invite visitors to share in that process. top: In 2016, the team at Abydos, Egypt, discovered a large cache of clay jars, shown here with Off-site Collections Manager Kevin Cahail. middle: Julian and Marianne (standing) look over plans with project director and Ferry Curator-in-Charge C. Brian Rose during a visit to the excavations at Gordion, Turkey, in 2014. bottom: Opened in 2017, Moundbuilders told the story of the 5,000-yearold practice of mound construction in Native North America, highlighting Weingarten Assistant Curator Meg Kassabaum’s ongoing work in the southeastern U.S.


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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT Under Julian’s leadership, the Museum renewed and expanded its commitment to engaging visitors of all ages through a wide range of public programs, new K–12 programs, and special exhibitions on a range of topics. Landmark exhibitions reached new audiences, while programs invited everyone from schoolchildren to scholars to form their own connections to the Museum’s collections and research.

top left and right: Special exhibitions like Beneath the Surface (2015), highlighting ancient Coclé artifacts from Panama, and The Golden Age of King Midas (2016), featuring more than 100 objects on loan from Turkey, reached new audiences. bottom left: Starting in 2014, the Museum has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to connect middle-school students with ancient cultures through a free outreach and field trip program, Unpacking the Past, lead-funded by the Annenberg Foundation. Ellen Owens, Merle-Smith Director of Learning and Public Engagement, leads a group of students in the Middle East Galleries as part of a module on ancient Mesopotamia; other topics include ancient Egypt, China, and Rome. bottom right: The Museum’s innovative and popular Global Guides program started in 2018 with a grant from the Barra Foundation, offering gallery tours led by immigrants and refugees. Yaroub Al-Obaidi, born in Iraq, gives tours of the Middle East Galleries.

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COLLECTIONS STEWARDSHIP The Artifact Lab opened in 2012—Julian’s first autumn as Williams Director—offering the public a chance to watch conservation in action and, twice each day, interact directly with conservators at “open window” sessions. Collections care was a major focus of his leadership. On his watch, thousands of objects were treated and/or safely rehoused for gallery and exhibition projects or just for careful stewardship; a state-of-the-art suite of conservation labs was opened, and conservation teaching was integrated into the curriculum of the new Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials. top: In the Artifact Lab and the conservation labs, conservators care for the objects the Museum is privileged to steward. middle: Julian joins conservators Tessa de Alarcon and Jessica Byler to see a duck frieze conserved in 2018 for display in the Middle East Galleries. bottom: Large-scale projects like the stabilization and removal for conservation of the massive Buddhist murals in 2017 ensure that these artifacts will be preserved for generations.


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BUILDING TRANSFORMATION Julian’s vision for a new Penn Museum, with reimagined galleries and fully accessible public spaces, led the way to the Building Transformation project—a true transformation in every sense of the word. Renovations to the historic building have been accompanied by changes in approaching gallery design and programming to invite visitors of all ages and backgrounds into a conversation.

Construction began in 2017, with a first phase including renovations across the Museum’s Main Level and in its Harrison Auditorium. Two years later, in November 2019, Julian welcomed visitors to the new Penn Museum. He has laid the groundwork for even more transformations, including new Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries, to come.

top: In November 2017, the “groundbreaking ceremony” for the Museum’s Building Transformation took place in the Harrison Auditorium, featuring remarks from Penn leadership and the symbolic removal of chairs to kick off the first phase of construction. bottom: The Middle East Galleries—the Museum’s first new signature galleries in almost two decades, showcasing objects primarily excavated by Penn archaeologists—opened in April 2018.

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top: In July 2019, the Museum made a monumental move: the Sphinx of Ramses II was transported from the lower Egyptian gallery, across the inner courtyard, and into the new gallery space created by covering over a large staircase. bottom: The great Sphinx now anchors the visitor experience inside the Main Entrance, with a welcome wall and a land acknowledgment leading the way to the light-filled Sphinx Gallery.


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The Museum revealed an entirely reimagined Main Level in November 2019, featuring the new Sphinx Gallery (left page), a beautifully renovated Harrison Auditorium, and the dynamic and engaging Mexico and Central America Gallery and Africa Galleries, where visitors connect as never before with these artifacts and the cultures that created and used them.

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An Introduction to the Garden History of Philadelphia BY CHANTEL WHITE, GUEST EDITOR

The Woodlands in West Philadelphia once contained a renowned greenhouse and collection of plant species from around the world. Photo by Chantel White.

ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS offered by gardens is the enduring way they connect the living world to the past. Gardens reflect a complex interwoven history between people and plants that stretches back for millennia. It might surprise a modern-day gardener to learn how many years of botanical knowledge are contained within a single potato (at least 8,000 years) or how long ago the enormous palace gardens of Egypt were created (nearly 4,000 years ago). From gardening tools to manuring mixes, every gardener draws from a wealth of practical experience provided by the gardeners who have come before them. 12

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The city of Philadelphia, founded nearly 350 years ago, has its own important garden history. Many early scholars from Philadelphia were plant explorers, collectors, and scientists who contributed to the development of North American botany as an academic discipline. While today’s researchers often rely on historical documents such as personal letters and newspapers to learn about the past, these sources are sometimes incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Archaeology provides a valuable means of “groundtruthing” written sources by searching for the physical remnants of past gardens through both survey and excavation. Even more importantly, these studies can reveal new details that were left out of written documents, such as the day-to-day tasks of past gardeners or the intricate layout of a garden’s features. Through archaeology, gardens can be recognized by their artifact types (gardening tools and pots), by changes in soil color and composition (planting beds), and even in the preserved traces of plants (seeds, roots, and microscopic plant cells).

top: A garden excavation reveals subtle changes in soil color and a fragmented flowerpot. Photo by Ally Mitchem. bottom: An excerpt from Francis Pastorius’ Bee Hive manuscript, begun in 1696. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Ms. Codex 726.

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This special issue of Expedition offers a series of articles that explore Philadelphia’s gardening past during the 17th through 19th centuries. These archaeological case studies highlight the gardens of three prominent figures in Philadelphia’s botanical history: Francis Daniel Pastorius (1651–1720), the founder of Germantown; John Bartram (1699–1777), one of North America’s first botanists; and William Hamilton (1745–1813), a wealthy plant collector who built one of the largest greenhouses in the early U.S. While these individuals are often viewed today as botanical innovators, each one acquired a substantial amount of knowledge through his correspondence with contemporaries and by studying published texts. In the cases of Pastorius and Bartram, their writings also record first-hand experiences with Indigenous people and careful observations of their gardening and cooking techniques.

THE EARLIEST GARDENS OF PHILADELPHIA The region that is known today as southeastern Pennsylvania has an Indigenous history of foraging and gardening that stretches back thousands of years. The preserved seeds of plant species that were cultivated by local Native American communities have been found during archaeological excavations and include maize, squash, beans, tobacco, and pitseed goosefoot. Eighteenth-century records of the Lenape Munsee dialecti reveal a complex vocabulary for the preparation of garden soils and care of crops such as maize, in addition to various processing and cooking techniques. The clearing of forest vegetation required labor-intensive activities, yet Lenape summer gardens were not permanent installations on the landscape. Former gardens along riverways were often returned to forest as new areas were cultivated. In an area between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, William Penn (1644–1718) founded the city of Philadelphia in 1682 with a projected plan for a gridded town. City blocks were laid out between the two rivers— the expansive city plan we still see today—although Philadelphia initially consisted of a few dugout dwellings and cabins along the Delaware River. Green spaces, such as park squares, were arranged as integral components 14

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left: A handheld “husking peg” is used to quickly loosen maize husks and harvest the cobs. Nantikoke culture, 20th century. 10 cm. 70-9-265. right: This Lenape “mush paddle” is used to stir maize-based dishes while cooking. Made by Josiah Montour, ca. 1900–1925. 35 cm. 70-9-488.

of the city’s layout. Many of these park squares are still in existence today (for example, Rittenhouse Square was noted as “Southwest Square” on the original 1683 map of Philadelphia). Early European settlers valued their agricultural fields, orchards, and kitchen gardens far beyond Penn’s idyllic vision of a “greene Country Towne.” These gardens were essential for their year-to-year survival. Many settlers planted familiar European crops such as wheat, barley, buckwheat, and rye, and planted kitchen gardens that contained vegetables including turnips, parsnips, and carrots. Indigenous crops grown by the local Lenape/ Delaware also became important staples for Philadelphia residents of European descent. One hundred years after the founding of the city, botanist William Bartram (1739–1823, son of John Bartram) documented a diverse assemblage of crops cultivated in the Pennsylvania regionii that included several varieties of maize, beans, squash, and potatoes. In 1785, he also wrote about sorghum and millet, noting that the two crops were brought to the U.S. by enslaved people arriving from West Africa and the West

William Penn’s original map of Philadelphia, A Portraiture of the City of Philadelphia, created by William Holme in 1683. Park squares are visible in yellow. The top left park is known today as Logan Square; the top right park is Franklin Square; the bottom right park is Washington Square; and the bottom left park is Rittenhouse Square. These parks also served as burial grounds over the centuries for epidemics and during times of war. Public domain.

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THE GARDEN HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA Indies. The arrival of the first slave ship in Philadelphia occurred less than two years after the city’s founding,iii and enslaved Africans continued to be purchased by European settlers for the purposes of clearing land and agricultural labor. Many of today’s crop species are deeply connected to the histories of African communities who were enslaved and marginalized in the U.S., and food historians have increasingly been bringing these important stories to light.iv

PHILADELPHIA’S SCIENTIFIC GARDENS Some of the earliest scientific botanical gardens and greenhouses in North America were constructed in Philadelphia. Widely regarded as a hub of scientific activity, the city was home to botanists, scholars, businessmen, and skilled gardeners who all made their livelihood from the study or sale of plants. One of the earliest garden scholars in the region was Francis Pastorius, a colleague of William Penn who settled Germantown in 1683. Pastorius wrote extensively about his observations in the garden through a unique lens that was both spiritual and scientific. Although his gardens no longer exist today, they are well-illustrated through his poetry, artwork, and practical recommendations on seasonal gardening activities. right: A plate of botanical illustrations by William Bartram that was included in Benjamin Smith Barton’s Elements of Botany textbook, 1827 edition. Public domain. below: The French hydrangea, with its flowers ranging in color from pink to blue to purple, was just one of many hydrangea species sold by the Bartram family. Photo by Chantel White.


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In the early 18th century, a self-taught naturalist named John Bartram began to build a gardening legacy along the Schuylkill River. He conducted plant collection trips throughout the eastern U.S. and returned to grow many of these specimens in his Philadelphia garden. With the support of English businessman and friend Peter Collinson, Bartram engaged in a wide-reaching exchange of botanical knowledge and plant specimens with European scholars. His son William Bartram also carried out several plant collection trips in the south, writing about his travels and perfecting his artistic skills.v In 1803, William Bartram provided botanical illustrations for the first-ever American textbook on botany, Elements of Botany, written by University of Pennsylvania professor Benjamin Smith Barton. Just north of Bartram’s Garden, a 500-acre estate in West Philadelphia boasted an elaborate greenhouse and a huge collection of rare and exotic plant species. Although the property has been greatly reduced over time (and a good deal of it is now the University of Pennsylvania’s campus), a portion of William Hamilton’s Woodlands estate was saved from development by the creation of a cemetery in the 1850s. His 18th-century mansion and stables still stand, and archaeologists have uncovered remnants of a sunken pathway and possible portion of his greenhouse built in 1792. William Hamilton’s family wealth allowed him to indulge in his passion for procuring exotic plants, and his gardens were so impressive that President Thomas Jefferson and other notable garden enthusiasts routinely visited. Hamilton may have possessed an exacting vision for his garden landscape, but the daily care of his plants was performed by skilled gardeners including George Hilton, a Black indentured servant who later continued on as a paid laborer. Hamilton’s letters indicate that Hilton was responsible for key tasks that included the maintenance of hot-bed exotic species and saving seeds from many rare plants. In all three case studies discussed in this issue of Expedition, gardening activities were carried out by a multitude of people that extended beyond Pastorius, Bartram, and Hamilton. Some relied on the skill and labor of family members, some on paid servants, and some on enslaved and indentured individuals. It is important to recognize that the impressive reputations of these gardens and numerous others that once existed

top: In a letter to his secretary, Hamilton indicated that jonquils (similar to daffodils) should be moved from his childhood home at Bush Hill to his gardens at The Woodlands. Photo by Chantel White. bottom: Double azaleas (with two sets of petals) are first mentioned by William Hamilton in a letter from 1789. The modern Woodlands Cemetery contains many beautiful specimens. Photo by Chantel White.

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THE GARDEN HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA in Philadelphia were created through the efforts of many uncredited individuals.

IN THIS ISSUE In this issue, we begin on The Woodlands estate of William Hamilton—not in his gardens, but in his Mansion’s attic. Author Robert Peck writes about a chance discovery of preserved paper packets containing seeds that date to the late 18th to early 19th centuries, many of which were documented by Hamilton’s own hand. We then move to Hamilton’s garden landscape for an archaeological survey conducted by Jason Herrmann and his coauthors as they search for the location of Hamilton’s celebrated greenhouse. A third article by Marie-Claude Boileau examines a selection of historical flowerpots that were unearthed during preliminary archaeological excavations at The Woodlands and were likely associated with the greenhouse complex. The next two articles focus on the gardens of the Bartram family and their multi-generational seed shipping business. Alexandria Mitchem provides a

summary of the extensive archaeological work that has occurred on the Bartram property, paying special attention to the discoveries of the greenhouses and planting beds excavated by University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Schuyler and historian Joel Fry. Elizabeth Coulter and her coauthors describe another attic find (this time, in the Bartram family house), where historical seeds and nuts are revealing details about the family’s kitchen garden and seed shipment business. The final article of the series, authored by Miranda Mote, provides a glimpse into the fascinating garden world of Francis Pastorius through both his writings and his handmade “nature prints.” We are honored to include three editorials written by Penn botanists, gardeners, and professors who describe how climate change is currently impacting gardens and green spaces across Philadelphia. When one is quietly enjoying a garden landscape, it can seem as if time is standing still. Yet we must recognize that as deeply as gardens connect us to the past, they are also critically linked to our futures.

One of the most invasive plant species in Philadelphia is the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) introduced by William Hamilton nearly 240 years ago from China. Public domain.


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above: A rare hybrid pitcher plant is successfully being grown at Bartram's Garden. Photo by Chantel White. left: A map of the Philadelphia region showing the location of the historical gardens mentioned in this issue’s articles and editorials.

Chantel White, Ph.D., is Guest Editor of this special issue of Expedition and Teaching Specialist for Archaeobotany in the Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials



(CAAM). Since she began teaching at the Penn Museum in 2015, the gardens of Philadelphia have captivated her interest and led to an appreciation of the many ways in which Penn scholars have investigated these historic green spaces. endnotes:


Philadelphia lies further to the south within the Lenape area where



a related Unami dialect was spoken. Terms used for describing maize cultivation and cooking can be found in Zeisberger’s Indian Dictionary (1887 edition) and in subsequent commentary by August Mahr (Ethnohistory 2[3], 1955). William Bartram, 1785, “Catalogue of Articles of Agriculture


particular in the State of Pennsylvania, with remarks of the manner of culture practised there their use to the inhabitants &c. &c — at KASKEY PARK (BIOPOND)

the request of the Honble. B. D. Marboise Junr., Consul of France.”


Transcription by Nancy Wygant and Joel T. Fry of Bartram’s Garden.


The ship Isabella arrived in the port of Philadelphia in 1684



carrying approximately 150 enslaved Africans. Interested readers should check out Jessica Harris’ High on


the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America (2012), Bloomsbury Press, and Kelly Fanto Deetz’s Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine (2017), University Press of Kentucky.



William Bartram described his journey through the south in his


popular scientific work first published in 1792, abbreviated Travels.

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William Russell Birch (1755-1834). "Woodlands, the Seat of Mr. Wm. Hamilton, Pennsylvania," from Country Seats of the United States, 1808. https://www.woodlandsphila.org/hamiltons-landscape.

BECAUSE OF the ephemeral nature of gardens and the plants they contain, the history of horticulture is generally studied through the lens of botanical treatises, commercial catalogs, personal diaries, paintings, photographs, and surviving correspondence. Libraries are the places garden historians most often turn to for the information they seek. Archaeological research is less frequently attempted because it is expensive, time-consuming, and more challenging to undertake. Nevertheless, it can be an invaluable means of understanding how gardeners have assisted one another in cultivating “God’s creations” through time. 20

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William Hamilton and Ann Hamilton Lyle portrait, oil painting by Benjamin West (1730–1813). Mrs. Lyle was William Hamilton’s niece. Art and artifact collection [Collection #3137], Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Reproduced with permission from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The serendipitous discovery of several hundred seed packets, dating from the late 18th to the early 19th century, has demonstrated the applicability of archaeology to this kind of study by providing a rare glimpse at the day-to-day workings of horticulture in North America during one of its most significant and active periods. The seeds were found in the attic of The Woodlands, William Hamilton’s large country estate located on the western edge of William Penn’s city of Philadelphia. Today the mansion and its remaining grounds are within The Woodlands Cemetery, just blocks beyond the University of Pennsylvania campus. Annotations on the paper wrappings containing each set of seeds provide previously undocumented information about the botanical activities of Hamilton (1745–1813), one of North America’s best-connected and most influential horticulturists.

When William Hamilton turned 21 in 1766, he inherited his grandfather’s estate. He had a deep love of horticulture, which his family’s wealth enabled him to pursue with gusto. He recruited several professional gardeners and, with their assistance, helped to make Philadelphia a major center of botanical activity in the late 18th century. Initially, he shared his botanical knowledge and enthusiasm for exchanging both useful and decorative plants with such notable figures as William Bartram (1739–1823), Benjamin Smith Barton (1766–1815), and André Michaux (1746–1802). Later he helped Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) and the American Philosophical Society propagate the plants that were collected as seeds and cuttings by Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809) and William Clark (1770–1838) during their pioneering cross-country expedition of 1803–1806.

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PHILADELPHIA’S HORTICULTURAL HISTORY Today, thanks to the packets found in The Woodlands’ attic, we know more about the full extent of Hamilton’s horticultural network than we had ever been able to determine through the written record alone. The historic seed packets were discovered in 1992 by Timothy Preston Long, a registered architect with the National Park Service. He was conducting a structural survey of The Woodlands Mansion at the time. “I came upon them quite unexpectedly,” recalls Long, “under piles of dust, lying between two levels of joists on the back side of the plaster and lath ceiling of an unfinished section of the building’s attic.” The packets were scattered and not always intact. They presumably fell out of stored possessions of Hamilton’s after his death.


The Woodlands from the Bridge at Grays Ferry. Drawn by James Peller Malcolm, 1792. The Dietrich American Foundation. Courtesy of The Woodlands Trust for Historical Preservation.

When Hamilton inherited The Woodlands it was already an estate of over 300 acres on the Schuylkill River, above Grays Ferry. He would double its size during his

lifetime. The land was acquired in 1735 by his grandfather Andrew Hamilton (1676–1741), William Penn’s famed lawyer. Andrew willed the property to his youngest son, also named Andrew (1713–1747), the father of William. Soon after taking control of the property, William built a Georgian-style mansion with a grand, two-storied portico overlooking the Schuylkill and began to develop the gardens. After the American Revolution, the German botanist and surgeon Johann David Schöpf noted the remarkable appearance of The Woodlands in a book he wrote on his American travels from 1783 to 1784. “The taste for gardening is, at Philadelphia as well as throughout America, still in its infancy,” he observed. “There are not yet to be found many orderly and interesting gardens. Mr. Hamilton’s near the city is the only one deserving special mention.” Hamilton achieved his reputation as one of America’s leading horticulturists by applying his inherited wealth to his own serious study of botany and landscape architecture over the 46 years that he lived at The Woodlands. During an extensive tour of England from 1784 to 1785, he visited gardens designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown, William Shenstone, and other proponents of the “English style.” When he returned to Philadelphia, Hamilton doubled the size of his dwelling after his brother’s death to add rooms for his mother and nieces and nephews. He created a 16-room English-style manor house with a kitchen and service rooms in the basement and a separate

“Evolvulus from the Island of Princes; Mr. Thouin, W 1802.” This largely complete packet is in William Hamilton’s handwriting. The “W” probably indicates the seed was collected at The Woodlands in 1802. The packet contains seeds from an unidentified species of Evolvulus or dwarf morning-glory.


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combined stable, carriage house, and office. The rebuilt Woodlands Mansion became one of the greatest domestic American architectural achievements of the 18th century, recognized as a leading example of English taste and presaging architectural trends in the following century. As he was improving the residence, Hamilton also redesigned and embellished the grounds in the so-called “English manner” with “invisible” subterranean passages for staff between buildings. For the landscape, he relied, in large measure, on the exchange of novel plant material to provide horticultural interest and distinction to his property. At the same time, an existing greenhouse was expanded extensively. Archaeological explorations of this site, initiated in the first decade of the 21st century, have helped verify the greenhouse location and explain some of Hamilton’s water storage systems. By the turn of the 19th century, Hamilton’s land holdings reached 600 acres and his residential estate was universally recognized as one of the most aesthetically and botanically sophisticated properties in North America. After a visit to The Woodlands in July 1806,

“Erucago monspeliensis Cavs.; Bunias erucago Linn.” This seed packet is labeled in the “X”-writer hand and shows the characteristic crossed “r.” Bunias erucago, crested wartycabbage or corn rocket, is an edible green.

Thomas Jefferson observed that the property was “the only rival which I have known in America to what may be seen in England.” This was high praise indeed from a man steeped in the world of gardens and international horticulture. Hamilton, a graduate of the College of Philadelphia, the predecessor of the University of Pennsylvania, complemented and reinforced his firsthand experiences with an important library of gardening and botanical books. By 1784, his personal library was known to have held at least 60 important botanical works dating from 1530 to 1770. Unfortunately, his library was sold or otherwise dispersed by the family after his death, so we do not know the full extent of its contents. A few of his books are now owned by the Library Company of Philadelphia.

“Silene baccifera H R M; Cucubalus bacciferus Linn.” An example of the “H R M” authority in the “X”-writer hand. Silene baccifera is now the accepted binomial for this species.

SUPPLYING MOUNT VERNON WITH PLANTS A voracious plant collector, Hamilton was also a supplier of plants to other botanical enthusiasts on a scale that at times appears to have been almost commercial. He

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Leaves and ripening seed pods of tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima).

supplied George Washington with hundreds of plants for Mount Vernon, and he regularly exchanged specimens with such notable botanists as Henry Muhlenberg, William Bartram, Thomas Jefferson, Humphrey Marshall, David Hosack, and André Michaux. His garden served as an open classroom for Benjamin Smith Barton (1766–1815) and students from Penn, where Barton served as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica. Among other important plants, Hamilton is credited with introducing to North America the ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba), the Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’), the Norway maple (Acer platanoides), and the Chinese tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which has recently become the favorite host tree for the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). The horticultural knowledge of Hamilton and his two closest associates, the Scottish plant collector John Lyon (1765–1818) and the German botanist Frederick Pursh (1774–1820), both of whom were employed by Hamilton to serve as gardeners, made The Woodlands a logical place for the American Philosophical Society (APS) to turn for assistance when experimenting with plants of unusual scientific interest or believed to have valuable potential for public improvement. In 1794, the APS entrusted Hamilton with a shipment of plants


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The unique, fan-shaped leaves of the ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba).

“large verrucose Guava, No. 2 10 Mar. 1802”. The collection includes two packets from numbered cultivars of guava or Psidium guajava. This variety must have had warty, or “verrucose,” fruit.

sent by the East India Company’s Scottish botanist and surgeon William Roxburgh (1751–1815). Later, between 1805 and 1807, Thomas Jefferson and the APS gave Hamilton shipments of seeds and cuttings made by Lewis and Clark. One of the best-known plants from that expedition to be propagated at The Woodlands was the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera). Pursh, after leaving his employ with Hamilton and moving to England, published the first descriptions of the plants discovered by Lewis and Clark in his landmark book Flora Americae Septentrionalis (1814). In 1809, Joseph Dennie (1768–1812), the editor of Port Folio, then the most important political and literary journal in the United States, wrote that Hamilton’s greenhouse and garden contained “nearly ten thousand plants, out of which number may be reckoned between five and six thousand different species, procured at much trouble and

“Hydrangea quercifolia, [Bar]tram’s travels.” This packet represents very early evidence for garden cultivation of William Bartram’s discovery of oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia. Bartram named and illustrated the plant in his Travels, Philadelphia: 1791. William Hamilton’s presentation copy of Travels with extra illustrations is preserved at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

expense, from many remote parts of the globe, from South America, the Cape of Good Hope, the Brazils, Botany Bay, Japan, the East and West Indies, &c. &c. This collection,” he continued, “for the beauty and rich variety of its exotics surpasses any thing of this kind on this continent.”

HAMILTON’S SEED PACKETS “Hydrangea mutabilis; a most beau[tifu]l flowerd Shrub fro[m Chin]a.” Although a large portion of the label is gnawed away, it is possible to reconstruct what is missing. When he saw it at The Woodlands in July 1800, William Bartram described the blue hydrangea, Hydrangea mutabilis (now H. macrophylla), as “the most beautifull Hydrangia from china,” in a letter to Benjamin Smith Barton.

While most of the living plants that once flourished in Hamilton’s greenhouses and on his property have since been lost, the seed packets found in his house dating from the time of his greatest horticultural activity give us a rare window into Hamilton’s gardening practices and, by extension, those of his contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic. The packets are of varying sizes, but most are small and hexagonal (rectangular with pointed ends),

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made of a single piece of folded, white, hand-made paper measuring approximately 4 x 8 cm when folded. Each has a genus and species name written in ink, often in Hamilton’s own hand. Some cite references (i.e., nomenclatural authority for the scientific names given), but some names refer to the people from whom Hamilton obtained the seeds. Names of individuals include “Michx” or “Michaux” (André Michaux, the French botanist and collector who worked in North America from 1785–1800); “Thouin” (Andre Thouin [1747–1824], the long-time head of the Jardin du Roi or Jardin des Plantes in Paris); “Jacq.” (Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin [1727–1817], scientist from the Netherlands); “Ortega” (Casimiro Gómez de Ortega [1740–1818], Spanish physician and botanist); “Lamarck” (Jean-Baptiste Antoine Pierre Monet, chevalier de Lamarck [1744–1829], French naturalist); “Cav.” or “Cavs.” (Antonio Jose Cavanilles [1745–1804], a Spanish taxonomic botanist active in Paris); and “Bartram” (William Bartram [1739–1823], artist, author, and son of John Bartram [1699–1777]. Both Bartrams were renowned American naturalists whose former home and botanical garden lies just down the Schuylkill from The Woodlands). A few of the packets have place names (“Mexico,” “Cape of Good Hope,” etc.) and some bear dates (1791, 1802, 1803). In 2005, The Woodlands’ seed packets were placed on permanent loan to the Botany Department of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (now part of Drexel University) for storage in their herbarium. Some additional packets and packet fragments discovered later in the same attic area were also deposited in the Academy’s herbarium in 2007. There they are kept with the Academy’s 1.5 million pressed plant specimens from around the world. Interestingly, more than 100 seed packets collected and packaged in a very similar way by Hamilton’s friend André Michaux between 1785 and 1787 reside in the Academy’s herbarium. Michaux sent them to the APS and they were later deposited at the Academy. A similar set of seed packets from the early 19th century is in the collection at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. The contents of some of these have been found to be viable more than 200 years after they were collected. Whether or not an attempt should be made to germinate some of The Woodlands’ seeds is still under discussion.


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“Eschinom: inundata; with articulated pods; viscid[ula ...]s Mic[haux]; by George from Jersey 1803.” In this case Hamilton indicated the collector, probably George Hilton, his long-time gardener, and a location, probably southern New Jersey. Aeschynomene virginica, sensitive jointvetch, was once found on the lower Schuylkill in Philadelphia. It is still preserved in fresh-water tidal marshes in southern New Jersey.

author’s note:

An inventory of The Woodlands’ packets has been prepared by Joel T. Fry, curator at Bartram’s Garden, in association with the Botany Department of the Academy of Natural Sciences. For further information on the seed packets, please contact the Botany Department of the Academy of Natural Sciences. Robert McCracken Peck is Senior Fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. His most recent book is Specimens of Hair: The Curious Collection of Peter A. Browne (Blast Books, 2018, with photographs by Rosamond Purcell).

How to Germinate 200-year-old Seeds According to information on the Kew Gardens website, in 2018 scientists at Kew tried to germinate seeds that were over 200 years old and had been found in a leather wallet, with notes indicating that they had come from the Cape Region of South Africa. Germination tests included treating the seeds with liquid smoke to replicate the wildfires which enable seed germination in several species from the region. They had initial success with three species, labelled as: “Liparia villosa,” “Protea conocarpa,” and an “unknown Mimosa.” Using the International Plant Names Index, scientists traced their likely modern botanical names to identify the plants. They found that “Protea conocarpa” was in fact a Leucospermum. Out of eight Leucospermum seeds, only one germinated—the one that survives today. Once germinated, the plants were grown in pots. Only the “unknown Mimosa” (an Acacia), and the Leucospermum survived to maturity. Scientists were then able to identify it as a Leucospermum conocarpodendron subsp. conocarpodendron. Since then, the plant has grown significantly and is still flourishing.

Arabella Elizabeth Roupell (1817–1914) created this early etching of Leucospermum conocarpodendron (left) and two Protea species. Leucospermum seeds were germinated after 200 years by Kew Gardens. Photo from Wikipedia. Public domain.

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Looking northeast from The Woodlands Cemetery toward downtown Philadelphia, across the Schuylkill River. The 18th-century Woodlands Mansion is visible in the lower left-hand corner of the image. Drone photo by Jason Herrmann.

THE COUNTRY ESTATE of native Philadelphian William Hamilton (1745–1813), known as The Woodlands, included much of the land now occupied by Penn’s campus. This estate was notable in the Early Republic United States not only for the mansion at the symbolic center of the estate, but also for the cultivated landscape and botanical gardens designed by Hamilton to resemble English country estates. While some elements of Hamilton’s estate were used to structure the environment we encounter today, most of the historic landscape has been lost to urban expansion and development, and the core of the gardens was overwritten by the establishment of The Woodlands Cemetery in the mid-19th century. 28

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Watercolor of The Woodlands Mansion as viewed from the Gray’s Ferry Bridge by JP Malcolm, ca. 1792. This is the only potential depiction of the greenhouse while it was in use, thought to be the building at the far left. Courtesy of The Dietrich American Foundation.

Students in the Penn courses Introduction to Digital Archaeology (Fall 2019) and Geophysical Prospection for Archaeology (Spring 2020) used digital methods to reconstruct the historic landscape at The Woodlands. They investigated the potential location of Hamilton’s greenhouse, which held his botanical collection and was home to what was at the time the largest collection of exotic plant species in North America. While our work has only just begun, our initial findings revealed some hints of the broader organization of the built landscape at Hamilton’s Woodlands and helped to inform strategies for longer-term investigations of the historic landscape.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GREENHOUSE AND PROPERTY Born to a prominent Philadelphia family, Hamilton inherited 300 acres beyond the western border of the city upon his 21st birthday. It was here that Hamilton built his home, a classical villa with a two-story columned portico on its south face, overlooking a bend in the Schuylkill River.

(For more on the history of The Woodlands, see Robert Peck’s article in this issue.) Struck by the picturesque principles of British landscape design and neoclassical architecture that he observed during a trip to England following the Revolutionary War, Hamilton returned to his home at The Woodlands determined to create his own version of an ideal English country estate. His campaign to remodel The Woodlands started with the addition of two wings to the original classical villa. Construction continued until 1789, and the resulting structure served as a precursor to the architectural trends of the Federal style that would go on to dominate in North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hamilton turned his attention to the surrounding grounds when the remodel of the Mansion was complete. One of the foremost objectives of British landscape design was to ensure the natural integration of the house with the surrounding grounds, and Hamilton dedicated the rest of his life to developing and achieving this goal. An eager botanist and plant collector, Hamilton imported plants and trees from across to the world to become part

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of his gardens. This interest spurred him to design and construct one of the first large greenhouses in the United States, where he amassed one of the most extensive collections of rare plants in the country, estimated by some to include 10,000 individual plants. The greenhouse, modeled on contemporary English greenhouses, measured 140 feet in length and was 1.5 stories tall. An internal cistern ensured that tropical aquatic plants could be supported within. After his death, Hamilton’s estate was divided into parcels and sold off by his beneficiaries. The part of the estate that held the Mansion and the greenhouse was sold to The Woodlands Cemetery Company of Philadelphia in 1840. The landscape cultivated by Hamilton was lost as the grounds were remodeled by the Cemetery Company. The greenhouse was demolished

in 1854 to make room for the construction of a Carriage Shed, and the memory and location of this important structure was lost in the decades following its demolition.

MAGNETIC PROSPECTION Students carried out geophysical surveys on the north and the south side of the original greenhouse site with the intention of mapping parts of the greenhouse foundation that may have extended beyond the Carriage Shed, as well as any other landscape features that connected the greenhouse to other parts of the built environment on the Hamilton estate. Our approach was different from that taken by the previous investigators, who, guided by historic accounts and documents, used targeted investigations to verify and sample features where they are likely

Detailed descriptions of the greenhouse itself are scant, and plans that date to the time of its use have yet to be found. In this drawing, created in 1846 to map the plan of the Cemetery, the greenhouse consisted of a long, narrow, rectangular building located between the Mansion and the carriage house to the north. The greenhouse appears to have run on a southwest-northeast axis, placing it parallel to the face of the Mansion.


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A student uses a magnetic gradiometer to survey the South Survey area between the Carriage Shed and the Mansion.

to be preserved. In contrast, we sought to create a continuous map of the landscape surrounding the Mansion through geophysical prospection, which relies on mapping variations in the physical properties of buried materials to “see� underground without digging. Such a map provides several advantages to traditional excavation. First, we were able to map changes in the soils and archaeological deposits near the subsurface very quickly compared to excavation. Another advantage is that we could see the spatial relationships between the features we detected and gain a degree of context that could otherwise be achieved only through extensive excavation that would be expensive in terms of time and labor. This broader picture can also be used to reevaluate findings and interpretations from earlier investigations. We used a magnetic gradiometer to survey the grounds surrounding the location of the greenhouse; this is a sensor that measures local variation in magnetic fields across an area. Past human activities left traces through unintentionally distributing magnetically enhanced

materials across the landscape. The most common source of magnetic materials in urban environments is pieces of ferrous metal, primarily litter, but we frequently find architectural installations and conduits for utilities. Ironrich rocks used in construction are also detectable; in our case, curbstones and foundation stones contributed to the map of magnetism surrounding the greenhouse. Firing enhances the magnetism of naturally occurring iron in soils, so places where kilns, hearths, and fireplaces were located will feature a more intense magnetic signature, as do the bricks and ceramic products from these ovens. That means architectural and landscape elements built from brick can be mapped with magnetometry. Finally, traces of naturally occurring iron compounds in topsoil or organic-rich deposits are also detectable through magnetic survey, even when not fired. Earth-moving activities, such as clearing the ground of topsoil, digging a trench or pit, mounding soil, or cutting through topsoil layers in the creation of a path or route, are all things that can be seen in maps of magnetic intensity.

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Magnetic survey areas at The Woodlands Cemetery surround the predicted location of the greenhouse.


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Survey with the magnetic gradiometer in the South Survey Area. Remains of the Carriage Shed are visible in the background.

One limitation of data from the magnetic gradiometer is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the depth of features, as one can do with ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Therefore, features from different episodes of the development of the landscape surrounding the Hamilton greenhouse, including magnetic influence from above ground features, are conflated into a two-dimensional plan map of magnetic intensity. The maps of magnetic intensity that we produced are a record of the complex history of the landscape surrounding Hamilton Mansion, but it is up to us to use what we know about the landscape to interpret the results.

THE RESULTS OF OUR WORK The first area that was surveyed lies south of where the greenhouse stood, and where most of the previous investigations were carried out. The magnetic gradiometry results are dominated by evidence of the magnetic signature of modern installations, namely two utility poles positioned on the bottom right of the map. These include steel support cables whose magnetic field is strong enough to mask out an area almost 10 m in

diameter. There is also a buried utility line, documented in prior excavations, that has a very strong magnetic field and can be seen leading almost directly southward from the utility poles. Other evidence of modern interference is the speckling across the survey area. Each one of these points likely represents the position of a small amount of ferrous metal litter: bits of nails, fasteners, or staples are most common. A cluster of these anomalies was concentrated surrounding the area where a possible corner of the greenhouse foundation was exposed through excavation. Some subtle features in the magnetic map in this section of the survey could represent parts of the landscape as it existed when Hamilton was in residence at The Woodlands. First is a sign of the submerged brick path, documented through excavation, that led from the Hamilton Mansion cryptoporticus, or covered gallery, toward the greenhouse. Also apparent are two square anomalies that are aligned with each other near the center of the survey area. These are located in an area where we know soil was mounded to create level ground for the road to the Mansion after the grounds were being converted to a cemetery, and it remains possible that

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Map of magnetic intensity in the North Survey Area.

Map of magnetic intensity in the South Survey Area. Magnetic intensity is recorded in nanoteslas (nT).


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these features are associated with this later construction. However, it seems unlikely that the deposition of soil for grading would have been so systematic, and even more unlikely that the mounding of soil would have been so regular and on the same orientation as the Mansion facade, rather than following the natural slope or the contour of the road. A more likely interpretation is that these anomalies are evidence for the piles of soil that were temporarily placed around trenches during archaeological excavation. An alternative interpretation is that these squares represent the position of planting beds, a known part of Hamilton’s garden landscape at The Woodlands. The map of magnetic intensity for the survey north of the location of the greenhouse and Stables also exhibits features that are interesting in terms of their spatial relationship to what we know about the 18thcentury landscape. First, we can see the evidence for the magnetic field that surrounds the headstones along the northern border of the survey area. These headstones are fixed to their bases with iron rods, causing strong magnetic anomalies along the northern edge. There are also clusters of magnetic highs—one toward the

Survey with the magnetic gradiometer in the North Survey Area, north of the Stables with headstones in the background.

Survey with the magnetic gradiometer in the North Survey Area.

middle and one in the southwest—that would be difficult to interpret as anything other than buried detritus, probably a mix of ferrous metal rubbish and fragments of brick and stone. At the southern edge, we see the influence of additional hardware in the picnic tables used by stewards and visitors to the cemetery. An interesting element is a line that cuts from west to east across the survey area. This subtle line likely represents a relict boundary separating one activity area from another that is preserved in the soil. Perhaps it is the edge of a field plot, where plowing was different on one side from the other, or the edge of a cleared area that existed sometime in the past. A second, more tenuous boundary lies approximately 10 m to the south; further investigations are necessary to secure this interpretation. Like the square features in the southern survey area,

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Interpretation of the magnetic gradiometry results with predicted position of the greenhouse structure.


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these boundaries are oriented roughly parallel to the Hamilton Mansion facade. But what does this tell us about the greenhouse itself? While not direct evidence for the placement of the greenhouse, the east-west linear feature in the magnetic gradiometry data does match the synchronized orientation of these disparate features and reveals an overarching structure to the landscape, one that likely guided the placement of the greenhouse itself. More investigations by the Center for Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) in collaboration

with The Woodlands staff are planned to verify the existence of a broader organization of Hamilton’s gardens and buildings and to find more evidence from the greenhouse. These investigations will involve student training as we apply complementary geophysical techniques to the landscape on and around the greenhouse. Initial results from an earth resistance survey, a geophysical method that is primarily sensitive to variation in soil moisture, has proved to be a promising source of new data for revealing the landscape that is William Hamilton’s legacy.

Jason T. Herrmann, Ph.D., is the Kowalski Family Teaching Specialist for Digital Archaeology in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) at the Penn Museum and a lecturer in Penn’s Department of Anthropology. Kacie Alaga is an M.A. student in the AAMW program who studies ways in which imperial Roman conquest in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa are manifested in the built environment. Katie Breyer is a graduate student at Bryn Mawr College; she is interested in spatial and landscape archaeology, urban development, and mortuary practices in the Roman world. Special thanks go to the staff of The Woodlands, Jessica Baumert, Emma Max, and Robin Rick; Fall 2019 Introduction to Digital Archaeology students Shaashi Ahlawat and Taré Floyd; and to students in the Spring 2020 course Geophysical Prospection for Archaeology: Joseph Bacci, Chelsea Cohen, RJ Hakes, and Autumn Melby.

for further reading Aspinall, A., and J. A. Pocock. 1995. “Geophysical Prospection in Garden Archaeology: An Appraisal and Critique Based on Case Studies.” Archaeological Prospection 2 (2): 61–84. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-0763(199506)2:2<61::AIDARP6140020203>3.0.CO;2-C. Chesney, S. 2014. “The Root of the Matter: Searching for William Hamilton’s Greenhouse at the Woodlands Estate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.” In Historical Archaeology of the Delaware Valley, 1600-1850, edited by Richard F. Veit and David Gerald Orr, 1st ed., 273–96. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Cole, M.A., A.E.U. David, N.T. Linford, P.K. Linford, and A.W. Payne. 1997. “Non-Destructive Techniques in English Gardens: Geophysical Prospecting.” The Journal of Garden History 17 (1): 26–39. https://doi.org/10.1080/01445170.1997.10412532. Kvamme, K.L. 2003. “Geophysical Surveys as Landscape Archaeology.” American Antiquity, 435–457. https://doi. org/10.2307/3557103. Ralph, E.K. 1965. “The Electronic Detective and the Case of the Missing City.” Expedition 7 (2): 4–8. Web. 03 Mar 2020. Ralph, E.K. 1969. “Archaeological Prospecting.” Expedition 11 (2): 14–21. Web. 03 Mar 2020.

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Late 18th- to Early 19th-Century Flowerpots at The Woodlands BY MARIE-CLAUDE BOILEAU, JUSTIN LYNCH, AND YUYANG WANG

Rubens Peale with a Geranium, 1801. Oil on canvas by American artist Rembrandt Peale, who is buried at The Woodlands. National Gallery of Art, 1985.59.1.

FLOWERPOTS—earthenware pots that are built to contain plants, not to be confused with ornamental urns—have a long history that dates to the Romans, if not earlier. However, they were not produced in great quantities until the early 18th century and only mass-produced from the second half of 19th century onwards. As utilitarian objects made specifically for horticultural use, they are found in the archaeological record in connection with historical gardens, nurseries, and greenhouses. Despite their ubiquity at historical garden sites, their production remains surprisingly unexplored. 38

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FIT FOR PURPOSE Flowerpots are easily recognizable by their straightsided walls, draining hole at the center of the base, and undecorated exterior. Most were left unglazed as they are today to maintain porosity, allowing for proper water evaporation and oxygenation of the plant roots. Low-cost containers that can be stacked for storing when unused, flowerpots allow plants to be easily moved indoors and outdoors. They are designed to fit the various root systems of plants and manufactured in sizes reflecting each stage of plant development: shallow seed pans for starting seeds, tiny thumb pots or thimbles for seedlings and propagation, mid-sized pots for re-potting, tall “long Toms” for deep-rooted plants or bulbs, and saucers or trays for collecting drained water. Some flowerpots, for example those with a double rim, could accommodate a glass bell that was placed over the plant to protect it from the elements. These “garden utensils,” as Loudon calls them in his 1822 Encyclopaedia of Gardening i, were standardized and graded for easy re-potting of plants into incrementally larger pots during the growing cycle. Recent archaeological excavations at The Woodlands, Philadelphia—the estate and home of William Hamilton from 1767 to 1813—have yielded a number of garden-related artifacts. The flowerpots found during excavation offered an opportunity to study a group of artifacts commonly thought to have been produced in the Philadelphia area, but which had not yet been analyzed scientifically. One of the aims of this preliminary study was to characterize the differences in raw materials and firing technology between The Woodlands’ flowerpots, glazed redware, and bricks. Ultimately, we were interested in distinguishing the products of different local or regional potteries based on the mineralogy and technology of the flowerpots.

THE POTTERY TRADE IN PHILADELPHIA With abundant iron-rich clay deposits available locally, the result of extensive post-glacial deposition in the area by the Delaware River, Philadelphia has a long history of ceramic production and brickmaking. The production of red earthenware in the area dates to the city’s earliest years as an English settlement in the 17th century. The clay deposits were also exploited by local brickworks,

Vintage Richard Sankey and Son Ltd flowerpot in use today. Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Boileau.

and, by 1794, there were 14 brick kilns in Old City, attesting to the quality and abundance of clay deposits for brickmaking ii. By the mid-18th century, Philadelphia’s rapid population growth and demand for earthenware and stoneware saw an increase in potters operating in the city. The late 18th- to early 19th-century potteries or “pot-houses,” as they were referred to in historical documents, were equipped with a potter’s wheel, clay mills, glaze mills, and an assortment of potter’s tools. While clay was listed in inventories, there is no information on the sources of clay used by potters; we may assume, given the abundant local deposits, that both brickmakers and potters—who shared close ties and witnessed each other’s wills and deeds—may have shared the same sources of clayiii. Clay for pottery would have required additional steps of refinement. In the first half of the 19th century, the organization

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The greenhouse at the Elgin Botanic Garden in New York City, now the site of Rockefeller Center. Artist unknown, painting dated to ca. 1810. From the Archives of The New York Botanical Garden, gift of Rebecca Harvey.

of redware production shifted from family workshops to larger factories. By 1850, this change was linked to the process of industrialization when mold-made ceramics using mechanized processes resulted in the proliferation of utilitarian productsiv.

WILLIAM HAMILTON’S GREENHOUSE William Hamilton inherited The Woodlands property in 1766 and made it his permanent home. At the time, The Woodlands was a large estate located in a rural setting to the west of Philadelphia along the western bank of the Schuylkill River. Hamilton was interested in English-style landscape gardening and became a well-known botanist and collector of rare and exotic plants during his life. Hamilton’s 1813 obituary summarizes well his passion: “The study of botany was the principal amusement of his life.” Not surprisingly, one of the auxiliary structures at The Woodlands built by Hamilton was a large greenhouse


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whose construction began in 1792. According to historical documents, the greenhouse was 140 feet long with a two-story core flanked by one-story hothouses. It held Hamilton’s extensive collection of 6,000 to 10,000 plantsv. The greenhouse is no longer standing, but it could have looked similar to the greenhouse complex that was constructed at the Elgin Botanic Gardens in New York. (For more on Hamilton’s greenhouse, see Herrmann’s article in this issue.) The Elgin complex was built in 1803 after plans of Hamilton’s Greenhouse. Sources from the period, including personal letters and visitors’ accounts, state that The Woodlands greenhouse was often considered equal to those in Europevi. Seed packets found between joists in the attic of the Mansion give an interesting glimpse of the type of plants Hamilton was growing on his estate. (For more on the seed packets, see Peck’s article in this issue.) Hamilton’s

extensive botanical collection would have required a considerable number of horticultural containers, some of which have been recently found in the limited excavations near the probable location of the greenhouse complex. In his letters to his private secretary, Benjamin H. Smith, William Hamilton mentions several plant species that were kept in flowerpots inside The Woodlands Greenhouse, particularly during severe weather: magnolias, bayberry, and roses, which he potted himself. He even instructed his gardener to mark certain flowerpots filled with exotic plants so that he could easily identify them when he returned from his lengthy travels. William Hamilton was a contemporary and neighbor of William Bartram. Both men shared a passion for botany. Excavations of the historical greenhouses at Bartram’s Garden, about a mile further south along the Schuylkill, have yielded thousands of fragments of hand-thrown redware

flowerpots dating to the first half of the 19th centuryvii. It is possible that both Hamilton and Bartram obtained at least some of their pots from the same local potters.

THE WOODLANDS FLOWERPOTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE We assume that a range of pots was on hand in Hamilton’s greenhouse. The excavations found handthrown flowerpots of various dimensions. The presence of very small starter pots for sprouting seeds found in the excavations and in the attic of The Woodlands Mansion show that plants were not only maintained but that propagation activities were taking place. The Woodlands ceramic fragments selected for petrographic analysis were taken from very small seed pots and medium-sized flowerpots. Additionally, a glazed redware pot and two bricks from the greenhouse

What is Ceramic Petrography?

Flowerpot fragments found at The Woodlands. Photo by Marie-Claude Boileau, courtesy of The Woodlands Trust for Historical Preservation.

Ceramic petrography is an analytical technique that uses polarized light microscopy to examine the mineralogical composition and microstructure of ceramic thin sections (cross-sections of flowerpots). It is like “fingerprinting” ceramic objects, i.e., identifying where they were made by matching the mineralogy of the clay paste to specific geological areas around the world. Ceramic petrography also provides invaluable technological data on manufacturing processes and firing practices.

Hydrangea seed packet labeled by Hamilton. Photo courtesy of The Woodlands Trust for Historical Preservation.

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above: Fragments of small pots used for starting seeds were found between the joists of the attic. Photo courtesy of The Woodlands Trust for Historical Preservation. below, top: One of the unglazed and undecorated earthenware flowerpots sampled for analysis. Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Boileau. below, bottom: Cross-section showing inclusions and porosity at 100x magnification. Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Boileau.

excavation were sampled. For comparative purposes only, we also characterized a modern, mold-made flowerpot and a vintage flowerpot produced by Richard Sankey and Son Ltd, a well-known English flowerpot manufacturer which produced up to 60,000 pots a day in the early 20th century. Our analyses showed that The Woodlands flowerpots and glazed redware samples are made of clay paste that is orangey red, porous, and contains inclusions that can only be seen at higher magnifications. Ridges and grooves on the inner surface of the walls attest to the use of a pottery wheel in their production, while the outer surface is smoothed with no other treatment. After we prepared the samples as ceramic thin sections in the lab, they were observed using a polarizing light microscope. At the microscopic scale, the similarity between samples continues. The ceramic thin sections are characterized by abundant inclusions of fine sand-sized to silt-sized quartz, plagioclase feldspars, polycrystalline quartz, muscovite, and biotite set in


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a red to orangey-brown, iron-rich clay groundmass. The mineralogy is so fine-grained that it is not very diagnostic for sourcing, but it does reflect the geological landscape in and around Philadelphia. The metamorphic rocks of the Wissahickon Geological Formation include quartzite and schists whose mineral composition falls in the same suite of minerals found in The Woodlands flowerpot thin sections. Petrography has also highlighted some slight differences in the optical activity of the clay groundmass, especially between the flowerpots and the glazed redware pot: the latter is better fired as evidenced by the partially vitrified groundmass. This is not surprising as glazed ware is often twice fired in a kiln for a better fit between ceramic body and glaze. The flowerpots were homogeneously fired in an oxygen-rich firing atmosphere at temperatures lower than 1000oC. This firing practice fits with what we know of 18th-century flowerpots, which were fired no higher than 980oCviii. The larger flowerpot sampled has a slight gray core, suggesting a short firing. Pores and elongated inclusions are oriented obliquely to the pot’s wall, attesting to the use of a fast wheel for the forming of the pot. The two brick fragments used similar iron-rich clays but show different processes in clay preparation and firing temperatures. They are characterized by

Petrographic analysis relies on samples prepared as thin sections, which are glass slides with a 30-microns-thick layer of ceramic. Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Boileau.

Microphotographs of the petrofabric of (a) flowerpot, (b) glazed redware, and (c) brick. Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Boileau.

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1861 sketch of a flowerpot manufacturer located on the north side of Philadelphia’s Market Street between 17th and 18th Streets. Credit: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, DMMC 8.

abundant, fine sand-sized, angular, monocrystalline quartz set in a dark red optically inactive groundmass. These bricks were fired at higher temperatures (above 1000oC), which vitrified the clay groundmass and thermally decomposed (i.e., melted) the silt-size mica minerals.

GETTING TO THE “ROOT OF THE MATTER” Where did Hamilton obtain his flowerpots? At this early point in the project, we cannot be sure. In the late 18th and early 19th century, more than a dozen potters were active in Philadelphia, selling their utilitarian wares, including flowerpots, to local customers. Their products were mostly unadorned, unsigned and standardized, creating a homogenous group of redware pots very similar to others manufactured on the eastern coast of the United States and in England.


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Research on flowerpots from other colonial cities, for example at Colonial Williamsburg and Québec City, show the use of local, regional, and imported flowerpotsix. Did Hamilton commission flowerpots from a specific Philadelphia-based potter, or did he acquire flowerpots from different potteries in and around the city? One could also ask if some of his plants arrived in earthenware containers, or if he acquired imported pots, increasing the diversity of the potting traditions found at the greenhouse. To really get to the root of the matter will require further excavations to reveal the site of Hamilton’s Greenhouse, in conjunction with a comprehensive analytical program for the study of flowerpots from The Woodlands and other contemporaneous greenhouses, such as Bartram’s Garden. The results will enable us to explore more deeply the configuration of horticultural activities in early 19thcentury Philadelphia.


We would like to thank The Woodlands and Jessica Baumert, Executive Director of The Woodlands, for permission to take samples. Marie-Claude Boileau, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials and Teaching Specialist for Ceramics. Justin Lynch and Yuyang Wang were M.A. students at Penn when they worked on this material. Justin is currently with AECOM in Atlanta as an Architectural Historian. Yuyang is a Ph.D. candidate in Archaeology at Stanford University.

endnotes: i

Loudon, J.C. An encyclopaedia of gardening: comprising the theory and practice of horticulture, floriculture, arboriculture and landscape-gardening including all the latest improvements. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1822.


Gillingham, H.E. “Some early brickmakers of Philadelphia.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1929 (53[1]): 1–27. Bower, B.A. “The pottery-making trade in colonial Philadelphia: the growth of an early urban industry.” In Domestic pottery of the


northeastern United States 1625–1850, edited by S. Peabody Turnbaugh, pp. 265–284. Orlando: Academic Press Inc, 1985. iv

Myers, S.H. “Handcraft to industry: Philadelphia ceramics in the first half of the Nineteenth century.” Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology, 1980 (43): 1–117.

Chesney, S. “The root of the matter: Searching for Willian Hamilton’s greenhouse at The Woodlands estate, Philadelphia,


Pennsylvania.” In Historical Archaeology of the Delaware Valley, 1600–1850, edited by R. Veit and D. Orr, pp. 273–296. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2014. Stetson, S.P. “William Hamilton and his Woodlands”. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1949 (73[1]): 26–33. vi

Jacobs, J.A. “William Hamilton at the Woodlands: A construction of refinement in Philadelphia.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 2006 (130[2]): 181–209.


Fry, J.T. “Archaeological research at historic Bartram’s Garden.” Bartram Broadside, Summer: 1–14. Philadelphia: The John Bartram Association, 1998.


Buxton, B.W. “The making of a flowerpot.” In The art of the potter, edited by D. Stradling and J.G. Stradling, pp. 148–149. New York: Main Street/Universe Books, 1977.


Duguay, G. “Utensils for the growing of plants.” In Under the boardwalk in Québec City, edited by P. Beaudet, pp. 109–121. Montréal: Guernica Editions Inc., 1990.

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The Bartram family home, built in 1731, and its associated Ann Bartram Carr garden viewed from above. Drone image by Jason Herrmann.

ESTABLISHED around 1728, Bartram’s Garden is the oldest surviving botanical garden in the United States. John Bartram (1699–1777) was a Quaker farmer who became a self-trained botanist and naturalist. He and his son William (1739–1823) undertook numerous natural collection journeys along the east coast of the American colonies and later the United States of America. Three generations of the Bartram family cultivated these native North American plants in their Philadelphia home. Through contacts with merchants in London, the Bartrams ran a profitable seed and plant clipping business, as plant species grown in their garden were considered “exotic and desirable” by European landscapers, collectors, and scientists. They went on to sell plant clippings, including hybrid flowers, to Americans and eventually opened their garden for public visitation. 46

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The Bartram House and other buildings are located on a natural terrace 40 to 50 feet above the Schuylkill River. The gardens extend down to the river’s edge. After the American Revolution and John Bartram’s death, his sons John Bartram Jr. (1743–1812) and William Bartram continued the international trade in plants and expanded the garden and nursery business. After 1812, Anne Bartram Carr (1779–1858), daughter of John Jr., and her husband Robert Carr (1788–1866) ran the garden. They continued to expand commercial interests in cuttings from North America for both an international and domestic audience. Over time the family added onto the buildings and gardens on the property. In 1850, following financial hardships, the Carrs sold the farm and garden to Andrew Eastwick (1811–1879), who used it as a private park for the estate he built on an adjoining property. The Bartram property was then bought by the city of Philadelphia in 1891, and the John Bartram Association was founded in 1893. The park is now jointly managed by the Association and by the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation as a museum, archive, and botanical garden. Several trees dating to the Bartrams’ original occupation of the site are still growing there, including gingko (Gingko biloba) and yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea) trees. The garden’s famous franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) is a descendent of the ones planted by William Bartram in the 1760s. Today, many people are interested in the historic layout and contents of Bartram’s Garden. Historians, archaeologists, botanists, and garden enthusiasts all conduct research in the gardens and are attracted to programming offered by the John Bartram Association. Understanding the various forms of the past gardens helps us to learn more about the way in which the natural landscape was used and improved for gardening activities, and how the Bartrams’ use of greenhouses and other technologies expanded their botanical repertoire even further.

RECONSTRUCTING THE GARDEN How do we know what Bartram’s Garden looked like in the 1700s and 1800s? One major source of evidence is archival documents. John Bartram designed his garden to reflect what was known as a wilderness garden. This format bewildered those used to a more formal,

1758 “draught” or draft of the Bartram home and garden drawn by William Bartram. Image courtesy of Joel Fry, Bartram’s Garden.

European-style garden. Correspondence between the Bartrams and their colleagues and patrons reveal evidence about the layout and function of the garden. Joel T. Fry, the current curator at Bartram’s Garden, has attempted to identify the modern scientific names of the plants grown by the Bartrams that were listed in five known bills of sale and broadsides (seed catalogs) ranging from the mid-18th century through the early 19th century. While a start, this can be completed with only limited accuracy as use of the Linnaean taxonomic system had just begun. Many names in these records were colloquial or from different systems of botanical nomenclature and are not easily matched to plant names today. There are two particularly helpful drawings of Bartram’s Garden. One is a 1758 drawing by William

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Bartram, which shows the house and the garden as it extends towards the river, overlaid by a grid of paths. The other was done by William Middleton Bartram (1838–1916), a descendant who lived in the vicinity of the garden. His depiction dates to somewhere around 1850. These sources of evidence provide valuable information about the layout of the garden at these times, including the location of buildings (sometimes labeled with their function) and pathways. However, to uncover aspects of the garden that were only partially represented in

Archaeological Definitions ASSOCIATED ARTIFACTS: These are artifacts that archaeologists are sure were part of a single depositional event. These objects can be used to date the surrounding sediments. FEATURES: Non-movable remains of past human activities, often indicated by different soil colors and textures. TEST PITS: Small excavation units, often employed to figure out what kinds of features and artifacts are in an area before opening up a larger and more extensive excavation. RESISTIVITY TESTING: Archaeologists use Soil Resistivity Testing to learn about sediment without excavation. By passing a small electrical current through the ground, they can determine pockets of different sediment, as its compactness and moisture content affect the current’s flow.


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historical writings, or perhaps were not mentioned at all, archaeologists have also conducted excavations on the property.


Some of the most extensive archaeological information we have about the garden itself was found by archaeologists who were searching for other information around the property. William Bartram’s 1758 drawing includes a small, stand-alone building labeled “my Studey [sic].” Historians have long debated whether any of the known buildings may have already been present on the property when it was purchased by John Bartram. The architectural style of this small detached study suggests it was likely built by earlier Swedish settlers and then served several later purposes for the Bartram family, eventually being repurposed as a study after the expansion of the main kitchen. At some point, this small building was destroyed or deconstructed, requiring archaeological excavation to learn more about its end. In 1980, a field school led by Penn anthropologist Dr. Robert Schuyler attempted to locate this building. Initially, they dug four separate excavation units but only found ambiguous traces of a structure. These same excavation units led to the discovery of extensive and rich traces of a past garden. After clearing away recent soil, the team uncovered various garden features hidden below. These features, such as planting beds and garden paths, were dated using associated artifacts and allowed the archaeologists to envision the historic garden in more detail. The archaeological information also helped them to imagine the daily work that would have been needed for the garden’s construction and upkeep. The garden beds were deeply cultivated, up to four inches in some places, and the soil around them suggests that the area was carefully managed to provide level spots for planting. When these excavations took place in the 1980s, the paths through the garden were curved, not straight as they were depicted in the 1758 map. Archaeologists discovered traces of the original straight paths, and the John Bartram Association re-laid the modern pathways to reflect their original design, which visitors can walk today.

top: The side of the Bartram home that faces the Schuylkill River. On the left side of the image is the area where archaeologists looked for a study and found evidence of planting beds. The beds are recreated in the modern landscape. bottom: A modern photo of the Bartram home and garden showing the paths. The groundskeepers reconstructed them to be straight, in keeping with evidence from the 1758 drawing and archaeological findings. Photos by Chantel White.

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The pond at Bartram’s Garden as it is reconstructed today. Photo by Chantel White.


In 1983 and 1984, the John Bartram Association developed a master plan for the landscape, which sparked an interest in the property’s historic pond. The pond, known from early drawings of Bartram’s Garden, was no longer visible. The goal of these investigations was to uncover its original location and restore it. Using resistivity testing, archaeologists located what they believed was the saturated clay base of the pond. Years later, in 1996, archaeologists revisited this area and found layers of sediment and artifacts, including traces of the 18th-century pond bank. The following year, more digging exposed the outline of the rest of the pond.


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Since the natural sediment beneath it would not have kept the water from draining out, the pond must have been partially manmade and shored up using watertight materials. Archaeologists and historians also believe there was once an underground connection between the pond and the spring house on the property, but they have not yet been able to locate it. In 1982, the brick pavement around the house collapsed, revealing a historic well. The well was likely constructed in the mid-18th century as indicated by associated artifacts including bricks. It was demolished during renovations to the property in the 1950s. While only a few artifacts have been recovered from the base of

the well, deeper excavations may reveal more material dating to the early Bartram family. These excavations show that even a garden containing natural-looking features and a wilderness-type design required extensive effort and upkeep to maintain its appearance.

CHANGING TECHNOLOGIES The Bartram family is also remembered for advancing the technologies used to grow both local and exotic plants on their property, beginning with a single early greenhouse in the 1760s and expanding to several hothouse and greenhouse buildings in the early to mid-1800s.


John Bartram constructed his first greenhouse around 1760. At the time, it was one of only six in the Philadelphia area. It was one room in a complex of rooms that became known as the “Seed House.”

Dr. Schuyler and Matthew Parrington led an investigation of this structure in conjunction with a 1979 Historic Landmarks Survey. Despite the fact that the building is called the Seed House, there is no archaeological or historical evidence indicating that the Bartrams used it to store seeds. Each of the four rooms in the complex, which were added independently, served a different purpose to facilitate the garden business. The greenhouse (Room 1) is not the oldest room in the seedhouse complex. Room 2 is likely slightly older and was constructed as a small storage shed around 1759. Both rooms contain archaeological information about the functioning of John Bartram’s early greenhouse. Room 2 contained large quantities of flat glass, and archaeologists have dated this glass to the 18th century. Wistarburg Glass Works, a famous glassmaking facility founded in Salem County, New Jersey, in 1739, could well have provided the glass for John Bartram’s original

2008 Seed House Archaeological Plan, showing the four rooms of the complex. Image courtesy of Joel Fry, Bartram’s Garden.

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The interior of John Bartram’s 1760 greenhouse still retains many original features. On the right, a large square hole indicates where the Pennsylvania Fireplace once stood. To the left, two small holes in the wall likely served as flue ventilation from the fireplace. The flues would have circulated warm air underneath the wooden planks upon which plants were placed. The plants also had access to the single wall of glass in the greenhouse, now covered over with wooden boards. Image modified from HALS PA-1-B-16. Public domain.

greenhouse. Unlike later greenhouses made entirely of glass, this early greenhouse would have had three stone walls and a full roof, and only one south-facing wall would have contained panes of glass. It is possible that John Bartram stored the glass for his greenhouse (Room 1) in his storage room (Room 2). This original greenhouse eventually fell out of use and is not listed in an 1837 inventory of glass greenhouses at Bartram’s Garden. However, clues in the stone foundation of Room 1 helped archaeologists correctly identify it as the former greenhouse. In the foundation of the room is a rectangular opening where a “Pennsylvania Fireplace” was once installed to provide heat during the cold winter months, and additional openings suggest a careful arrangement of flues to move the hot air around 52

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the base of the room, beneath what would have been a raised platform that held the greenhouse plants.


As the Bartrams’ business expanded and horticultural technologies developed, their greenhouse needs also expanded. In 1980, archaeologists were digging test pits on the property near the Coach House, when they found at least two additional structures. This area is full of traces of activity from the first half of the 19th century, when Ann Bartram Carr and her husband ran a largescale commercial nursery. Archaeologists believe that they uncovered the “Greenhouse and Orange House,” which were built by William Bartram and John Bartram Jr. in 1800.

2008 plans of the nursery and barnyard archaeological excavations, indicating locations of units near the Coach House. Image courtesy of Joel Fry, Bartram’s Garden.

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The Pennsylvania Fireplace The Pennsylvania Fireplace is a style of metal-lined stove intended to produce more heat, less smoke, and better air circulation than a traditional 16th-century open fireplace. They are sometimes called Franklin Stoves, as Benjamin Franklin published a design for one in 1744. This original design was improved upon throughout time, particularly as scientific understanding of thermodynamics developed. John Bartram and Benjamin Franklin were two of the founders of the Philosophical Society, now the American Philosophical Society, in Philadelphia in 1743. Franklin was familiar with Bartram’s botanical interests and his natural history work. It makes sense that Bartram would have known about Pennsylvania Fireplaces and might have been gifted one by Franklin to heat his greenhouse. The motifs on the Pennsylvania Fireplace found at Bartram’s Garden indicate that the front plate was produced between 1760 and 1766, when the first greenhouse was in use.

Benjamin Franklin’s original design for the Pennsylvania Fireplace, from his 1744 “An Account of the New Invented Pennsylvania Fireplaces.” Public domain.


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a large sun and was discovered to be the front piece of a Pennsylvania Fireplace. This artifact, from a metal-lined stove also called a Franklin Stove, can be dated to ca. 1760 due to the decorative floral motifs, indicating it was likely the one used by John Bartram in his original greenhouse. While it is unclear why it was moved to this building, it is apparent that John Bartram’s legacy continued to live on in the later greenhouses.

THE ROOTS OF THE PAST Front plate of the Pennsylvania Fireplace that was in John Bartram’s original 1760 greenhouse. Photo courtesy of Joel Fry and the John Bartram Association.

They also discovered remnants of a building known as the “New Holland and Stonehouse,” which was built by Robert Carr in 1817. This heated greenhouse contained many artifacts including hundreds of ceramic flowerpot fragments (for an analysis of flowerpots from The Woodlands, see Boileau’s article in this issue), a reminder that the Bartrams also grew their plants and seedlings within these vessels. This building also yielded an exciting find that harkened back to the first greenhouse on the property. As part of its flooring, a unique cast iron plate was laid out horizontally. It contained a depiction of

Archaeological investigations have added to the scholarship and information about Bartram’s Garden, and they allow for a better understanding of how the gardens have changed through time. This helps historians draw connections between changes in the Bartram family business and the larger picture of early American history, particularly changing horticultural technologies and the growing trans-Atlantic botanical trade. Visitors to the Garden today enjoy historically accurate depictions of the estate, thanks to the work of professional gardeners, scholars, students, and volunteers. When the buildings or grounds are in need of restoration that could potentially damage artifacts and disturb the garden soils, archaeologists recover and preserve this crucial information before any further work is carried out.


I am thankful to the scholars whose work I detail here. My communications with Joel T. Fry and Dr. Robert Schuyler, in particular, were crucial to the writing of this piece. Alexandria Mitchem is a Penn alumna (C16) and current Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. She is an archaeologist studying botanical science, business, and politics in the Early Republic period. for further reading Fry, J.T. “Archaeological Research at Historic Bartram’s Garden.” Bartram’s Broadside, Summer 1998. Jacobs, J.A. “Historic American Landscape Survey: John Bartram House and Garden, Greenhouse (Seed House).” Historic American Landscape Survey no. PA 1-B History Report. National Parks Service: United States Department of the Interior, Summer 2001.

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The stone facade of the Bartram family home faces east and once greeted visitors as they approached from the Schuylkill River. Photo by Chantel White.

TODAY, visitors to Bartram’s Garden, located along the Schuylkill River in southwest Philadelphia, are greeted by a green terraced landscape that has been shaped by centuries of gardening activities. It is the oldest surviving botanical garden in the United States and contains several gardens for people to enjoy. A reconstructed kitchen garden showcases historical vegetables and herbs. A medicinal garden presents a collection of species with healing properties, and a beautiful flower garden displays 19th-century varieties of peonies and roses. Each plant tells a fascinating story of Philadelphia’s botanical heritage. 56

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The Ann Bartram Carr Garden showcases 19th-century flower varieties just as it did when Ann and her husband Colonel Robert Carr operated the plant nursery business here in the early 1800s. The pathway leads to the rear entrance of the Bartram home. Photo by Chantel White.

From circa 1733 to 1850, four generations of the Bartram family operated a successful international seed shipping and gardening business. Connections forged around the world allowed the Bartram family to offer an unparalleled selection of plants. Founder John Bartram (1699–1777) cemented the family’s reputation when he received a prestigious appointment in the mid-1700s from King George III to become “Botanist to the King.” Carl Linnaeus, the famed taxonomist, regarded Bartram as a great natural botanist with an innate ability to observe the natural world. Accompanied by his son William, John conducted several botanical exploration trips in the mid- to late 1700s throughout the southeastern U.S. and beyond. When they returned to Philadelphia with their collected plant specimens, they began to cultivate many of them on the family’s garden property along the river. Bartram’s thriving horticultural business passed into the hands of his sons, William and John Jr., followed by granddaughter Ann Bartram Carr and her family. The

Carrs developed an expansive commercial nursery that contained thousands of North American species, and they showcased a great diversity of camellias, dahlias, and other colorful blooms.

SEARCHING FOR PLANT EVIDENCE While there are rich written records documenting the Bartram family’s botanical endeavors, archaeological evidence of their plants has been more elusive. Herbarium collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences, West Chester University, and other locations contain some examples of botanical material collected by the Bartrams. Unfortunately, archaeological excavations of their greenhouses and garden beds have not yielded any plant material preserved in the garden soils. This is not surprising given that most seeds would have fallen prey to insects, worms, and decay over time. However, it is not impossible for botanical material to survive in buried archaeological contexts. The study of plant remains from archaeological sites, known as

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A BOTANICAL DISCOVERY AT BARTRAM’S GARDEN archaeobotany, is based upon the careful extraction of botanical evidence from the unlikeliest of places. At Bartram’s Garden, a treasure trove of preserved seeds and nutshells was discovered inside the home’s third-floor attic space. We are indebted to industrious rats, squirrels, and mice who stole this material from the gardens and from the Bartrams’ kitchen. The hoarded seeds and other nesting items from the rodents were protected beneath the floorboards of the attic for nearly 200 years. The archaeobotanical analysis and identification of this material has provided a curious new avenue for investigating Bartram’s Garden and the wealth of plant species that were cultivated on the property.

PEERING BENEATH THE FLOORBOARDS After John Bartram purchased the land that was to become Bartram’s Garden in 1728, he utilized his masonry skills to construct a simple two-room house

A rare yellow pitcher plant has captured an invasive spotted lanternfly in the garden. Photo by Chantel White.

The winding staircase leads up to the attic on the third floor of the house. Image modified from HALS No. PA−1-A-60 (public domain).


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built from local stone. It was home to John and his second wife, Ann, as well as a total of eight children. He subsequently (and unsurprisingly) enlarged the house multiple times for his growing family, and renovations included a two-story columned portico, a new kitchen addition, and a third-floor attic space. It is unclear what purpose the attic may have served over the years, but it could have functioned as sleeping rooms or additional household storage. William Hamilton at the nearby Woodlands estate, just a mile north on the Schuylkill River, used his attic space for storing seeds during the wintertime (see Peck’s article, this issue). Unfortunately, no similar evidence for seed storage has been found in the Bartrams’ attic. Instead, the Bartram family may have conducted their seed-saving activities outside the house in their nearby “Seed House” and later greenhouses. The entirety of the botanical material found in the Bartrams’ attic was apparently brought into the space by busy rodents. These rats, squirrels, and mice benefited from both the proximity of the kitchen as well as the gardens just outside. Preliminary observations indicate that much of the botanical material displays evidence of rats: gnaw marks are present on many of the nutshell fragments, and rodent droppings are plentiful. This large cache of hoarded material was discovered in 1977, when architects studying the house’s unique construction removed floorboards from the northeast attic room. Beneath the floor planks lay enough preserved seeds, nuts, fruits, corn cobs, and bits of cloth, paper, debris, and tiny rodent bones to fill two large boxes. The architects carefully gathered all this material and set it aside for future analysis.

METHODS OF ANALYSIS In the CAAM archaeobotany lab at the Penn Museum, analysis of the attic material began by identifying the larger specimens such as corn cobs and nutshell fragments with a low-power reflected-light microscope. We carefully noted (1) each of the plant species that were present in the assemblage, (2) which part of the plants had been preserved (e.g., seed capsules, nutshells, cobs, etc.), and (3) what types of rodent evidence, such as gnawing, were present. The identification of a particular plant species is difficult when only a fragmented seed or perhaps

CAAM students Bevan Pearson and Liz Coulter show historian Joel Fry some of the analyzed seeds. Photo by Tom Stanley.

just a portion of a fruit pod is present. The rodents unfortunately did not collect whole plants. They pilfered nutritious seeds and other edible plant parts and brought only these items back to their nests. They then caused further damage when they chewed on the seeds to extract the nourishing kernels inside and gnawed at the nutshells to sharpen their ever-growing teeth. The preserved seeds and nutshells from the attic were identified as precisely as possible using modern botanical specimens housed in the CAAM reference collection, as well as books and online resources. However, we routinely erred on the side of caution. Due to the specimens’ fragmentary nature, many were identified only to the level of family or genus, rather

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Grateful for Rats? The scientific study of rodent nests is quite an undertaking. Given the curious nature of rodents, particularly scavenging rats, their large hoards often contain a great diversity of organic materials that can be examined and identified. However, anyone working with rodent debris will need to overcome the “ick!” factor. Because of the perceived association between rodents and uncleanliness, it is very likely that their nests are under-appreciated as sources of archaeological information. In historical buildings, the dry, stable conditions underneath floorboards and behind plaster walls can help to preserve nest contents for hundreds of years. Much of this fragile material would not have survived in typical archaeological conditions buried beneath the soil. Historical rodent nests, therefore, can offer an exciting source of botanical evidence if their contents are properly collected and scientifically studied in the lab. We might take a note of open-mindedness from Bartram’s Garden founder John Bartram, who, in 1740, wrote, “whether great or small ugly or handsom sweet or stinking… every thing in the universe in their own nature appears beautiful to me.”

A litter of mice have been born in a nest made from paper fragments, grass clippings, and wood chips. Creative Commons license, photo by Seweryn Olkowicz.

Rats will gather pieces of cloth and paper to line their nests, and they will also hoard foods that include seeds and nuts. Image courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images.


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From the top left: a black walnut, a hickory nut, and a magnolia pod. The top two specimens display evidence of rodent gnawing.

than to the more refined level of species. As this material is further examined in the future, it is very likely that additional botanical identifications will be possible.

FROM A FORESTED GARDEN In our analysis of over 200 botanical items, at least 24 different plant species are represented in the attic nests. The most numerous are shell fragments from black walnut (Juglans nigra). Based on 18th-century shipping correspondence, black walnuts were present in the very first seed boxes that John Bartram sent abroad in 1735. Black walnut was also listed on the Bartram family’s 1783 catalog of seeds for sale, indicating that the nuts were either collected in the wild, since the trees grew naturally around the Philadelphia region, or they were purposefully grown on the property. The presence of longstanding black walnut trees on a 1907 map of Bartram’s Garden suggests that the trees were likely part of the garden.

The second and third most abundant botanical items in the attic are the shell fragments of acorns (Quercus spp.) and hickory (Carya spp.) nuts. Both oak and hickory were also part of Bartram’s earliest seed boxes. By 1783, the list of plants being sold by the Bartram family had expanded to include at least 18 different species of oak and at least six species of hickory. Perhaps one of the most enigmatic trees associated with the family is the Bartram’s Oak (Quercus x heterophylla), a rare natural hybrid between the red and willow oak, and one that John Bartram first introduced to horticulture. A large Bartram’s Oak grew next to the house until the mid-19th century. A number of small, elaborate seed pods from magnolia trees were also discovered in the attic nests. They likely belong to a species once known as swamp laurel, more delicately known today as the sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). This species likewise received an early start at Bartram’s Garden and was

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Purple coneflowers grow in the wilderness garden at Bartram’s Garden. Photo by Chantel White.

present in the first seed boxes Bartram shipped to England. In just over a decade, the demand for the sweetbay magnolia had increased so much that Bartram’s colleague Peter Collinson reported it to be one of the most expensive imported trees to England. Additional tree and shrub evidence identified in the attic assemblage includes witch hazel seeds, chestnut fragments, sycamore and sweetgum balls, Kentucky coffee tree pods, and small conifer cones of hemlock and pine. Historical documents, including the seed catalogs, have confirmed that all these species were part of the Bartram plant business by at least 1810.


Joel Fry, the historian and curator at Bartram’s Garden, has raised a fascinating question: would John Bartram recognize his garden today? The answer is complex. There are at least two historical maps of Bartram’s Garden, one drawn in 1758 by John’s young son William (see p. 47 in this issue), and one drawn much later by a


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The purple passion flower, native to this region, was found growing near the Schuylkill River in Bartram’s Garden. Photo by Chantel White.

great-great-grandson that depicts the garden ca. 1850. The earlier map provides some planting bed designations (e.g., “common flower garden” and “a new flower garden”), and both maps clearly show the arrangement of features such as pathways, terraces, and ponds. When Reverend Manasseh Cutler visited the gardens in 1787, he was impressed with the Bartrams’ nurturing of the natural landscape to create microenvironments in which plants could thrive. However, he also remarked that “everything is very badly arranged, for [the plants] are neither placed ornamentally nor botanically, but seem to be jumbled together in heaps.” What Reverend Cutler viewed as disorganization, others viewed as a wilderness aesthetic. Like Cutler, Dr. Andrew Garden noted the use of every nook and feature in the garden, but he saw it a labor of love in which Bartram “nurses up his idol flowers and cultivates his darling production.” In the wilderness garden currently on view at Bartram’s Garden, lead gardener Mandy Katz and her

team have cleared a winding forest path and surrounded it with dense concentrations of native North American wildflowers and trees. The vegetation is arranged in a natural style without planting beds or stringent organization. Visitors can experience the thrill of walking through a Bartram-inspired wilderness garden and can imagine the landscape he would have doted upon centuries ago.

STRAIGHT FROM THE KITCHEN (GARDEN) As archaeobotanical work continues, it has become clear that many of the seeds hoarded by the rodents are actually food plants originating from the kitchen garden. Unlike many of today’s home gardens, the Bartrams’ extensive kitchen garden would have been essential to their survival and their main source of vegetables, fruits, and herbs throughout the year. The rodents in the attic likely collected these food items from the kitchen and pantry within the house, but they may have also foraged

A reconstructed kitchen garden near the Bartram home contains a great variety of vegetables and herbs. Photo by Chantel White.

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A BOTANICAL DISCOVERY AT BARTRAM’S GARDEN outdoors amongst the beds of garden plants. William Bartram’s 1758 garden map indicates that the property, which slopes down to the river, once contained both an upper and lower kitchen garden. The upper garden was located quite near the house and well within the range of foraging rats and squirrels. In the nest assemblages, the most abundant evidence for kitchen garden plants are the fragmented seeds and pods of beans. Amazingly, the original colors of the beans have survived, indicating the presence of both whitecoated beans and dark red-coated beans. Based on William Bartram’s agricultural writings from the late 1700s, three species are probable candidates for the white beans: a hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus ‘bonavist’), a cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) known to Bartram as “Suriname pea,” and the Carolina lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). The dark red-colored beans, of which we have found many, are probably common kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Bartram even noted how he enjoyed his beans prepared— cooked in soups, boiled and buttered, or served with bacon. Fruit pits from peaches, cherries, and plums have revealed a sweet tooth for the attic rodents as well as the Bartram family. While peach trees were not intensively managed, those that sprung up in the garden provided an excellent fruit. William Bartram confirmed that “fiew peaches excell it in taste & fragrantry.” The presence of several fragments of peanut shells and Brazil nutshells in the attic were a surprise. Both may represent non-local snack foods, unless perhaps the Bartrams were growing a particularly hardy type of peanut in their garden. The tiger-striped coats of buckwheat seeds (Fagopyrum esculentum) were also very plentiful amongst the attic material. In describing the preparations of buckwheat, William Bartram asserted that buttered buckwheat pancakes in the morning were a “common meel for all ranks of People” and that the crop was widely cultivated across the Pennsylvania region.

From the top left: a red kidney bean, a white bean, and two buckwheat seeds. The original color is visible on all of the seeds.


Six corn cobs (Zea mays) were clearly visible in the material collected from the attic nests. Sadly, all the kernels had long ago been consumed by hungry rodents, and so a specialist with extensive knowledge of maize was needed for further identifications.


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A peach pit and a peanut shell are readily identifiable, even today.

How Old Are These Seeds? A rodent nest is a palimpsest of scavenged materials. Its archaeological importance depends on the careful dating of its contents. Radiocarbon dating was selected as our first method for determining the age of the Bartrams’ attic nests. A well-preserved Brazil nutshell and a magnolia pod were chosen. The two specimens were dated in a radiocarbon lab, but the results were disappointing. Within a standard 95% confidence interval (2σ), it was determined that the Brazil nut and the magnolia pod could date to nearly any time between 1725 and 1950! These imprecise dates are due to fluctuations in the atmospheric concentration of 14C isotopes in recent centuries. The Brazil nut is still helpful toward securing a date. We were able to identify the earliest known record of a Brazil nut entering the U.S. in an advertisement from the Philadelphia Packet dated to April 28, 1785. It made mention of spoiled Brazil nuts for sale, a full 25 years before Brazil nuts had been commonly thought to have entered the U.S.

Newspaper fragments offer some clues about the date of the rodent nests. The tiny illustration of a plant is likely from a garden advertisement or botanical book kept by the Bartram family.

After this date, Brazil nuts became an increasingly popular snack, and, by the 1850s, newspaper ads suggest that Brazil nuts were widely available in Philadelphia. We can conclude the earliest date for the rodent nests is around 1785, but could the contents actually be more recent? Some small newspaper fragments collected in the nests contained visible lettering that allowed us to carry out a typographical analysis. With the expertise of Mitch Fraas at Penn’s Kislak Center, two distinct typefaces were identified: Caslon and a heavy Roman fat-face. Given our current evidence, two date ranges for the nests are now plausible. The earlier date is during the late 1700s/early 1800s, when both typefaces overlapped in use. Another possibility is post-1858 when Caslon again became popular and was used alongside fat-face types. The presence of Lenape puhwèm corn in the nests, as well as other kitchen garden plants mentioned in the writing of William Bartram, is telling. The Bartram family vacated the property in 1850, so these same garden plants may no longer have been available to scavenging rodents after that date. It seems feasible that the rodent nests may date to the late 1700s or the first two decades of the 1800s. However, because the nests could represent an accumulation over many years, perhaps even decades if generations of rats used the same attic area, additional study is necessary to locate any recent, intrusive material.

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Maize expert Stephen Smith compares a small, unique corn cob to the long thin cobs of puhwèm.

Stephen Smith, curator of the Roughwood Seed Collection and The Roughwood Table, inspected the cobs and provided important details of their Native American heritage. He noted that one small cob was similar to a form of “pod corn,” known for a mutation that causes the kernels to be covered by unique leaf-like husks. Another cob was identified as a type of sweetcorn with a zigzag kernel arrangement, and, upon closer inspection, the cob revealed traces of a red-purple kernel color. Smith immediately recognized two very long and thin cobs as a variety of white flour corn known as puhwèm to members of the Lenape/Delaware Tribe. Heirloom varieties of this corn plant, which can grow up to ten feet tall, are still cultivated today by Delaware people in Oklahoma. Its use is closely linked with


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historical cooking traditions, thanks to preservation efforts by Lenape steward Nora Thompson Dean. In one of the traditional preparations of puhwèm, the kernels are ground into flour and used to make corn bread. In 1785, William Bartram likely referred to puhwèm growing in Pennsylvania as “hamony corn” (hominy corn) and provided details about its preparation into bread and puddings. Given his personal preference for mixing the ground corn with eggs, milk, and sugar, it is very likely that puhwèm was well-known locally and was grown in the family’s kitchen garden. His father John described how women from the Onondaga Nation in central New York prepared hominy by roasting kernels in hot ashes, but it is unknown whether the Bartram family may have used a similar alkali preparation for hominy. One important aspect of our future research

will be to carefully examine each of the Native American crops found in the Bartrams’ attic assemblage and to work toward reconstructing these botanical and culinary histories.

AN ENDURING LEGACY Using the microscopic lens of archaeobotany, the Bartram family’s attic is just beginning to unlock its secrets. But on the days when one tires of the laboratory, an afternoon spent in the verdant landscape of Bartram’s Garden is key to reconnecting with the botanical history of this project. Visitors can still marvel at Bartram’s tall gingko tree which, at 235 years old, is widely recognized as the oldest gingko in North America. And the demure franklinia, with its white blooms and green whirls of leaves, is an exact clone of the one collected by John and William Bartram in 1765. The legacy of Bartram’s Garden lives on, in both the botany and the archaeology of this place. Even in the most surprising of places, the discoveries continue.

The flowers of the franklinia at Bartram’s Garden are just preparing to bloom. Photo by Chantel White.


This research project has been a profoundly interdisciplinary endeavor, and we are indebted to several scholars who have kindly provided their expertise, including Joel Fry, Mandy Katz, Mitch Fraas, and Stephen Smith. Elizabeth Coulter (’18 Biology) and Bevan Pearson (’18 Earth Sciences) are former undergraduate students at Penn. Juliet Stein (’19) received her MLA from Penn. Chantel White, Ph.D., is the Teaching Specialist for Archaeobotany at the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials. For further inquiries about this project, please contact Chantel White at chantelw@upenn.edu. for further reading Bartram, W. 1998. The Travels of William Bartram. Naturalist Edition edited by Francis Harper. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. Fry, J. 2004. “John Bartram and His Garden: Would John Bartram Recognize His Garden Today?” In N. E. Hoffman and J. C. Van Horne (eds.), America’s Curious Botanist: A Tercentennial Reappraisal of John Bartram 1699–1777. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, pp. 155–183. Wulf, A. 2010. The Brother Gardeners: A Generation of Gentlemen Naturalists and the Birth of an Obsession. New York: Vintage (Knopf Doubleday).

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The Art of Gardening in a Pennsylvania Woods THE GARDEN OF FRANCIS D. PASTORIUS BY MIRANDA E. MOTE

Conjectural site plan of Francis D. Pastorius and Enneke Klostermanns’ town and side lots, drawn at 1”=200’-0”. Shown are (C) house and hot beds for winter crops, (D) garden, (E) orchard, (F) outbuilding and yard for animals, (G) woods, and (H) vineyard and apiary. All of these parts of his garden would have been enclosed within fences or hedges. Plan and leaf prints created by Miranda Mote.

SEVERAL CITY BLOCKS separate what is today 6019 Germantown Avenue and the green space of the Awbury Arboretum. At one point, however, these nearly 40 acres in Germantown were home to the late 17th- and early 18thcentury estate of scholar and lawyer Francis D. Pastorius, whose elaborate and carefully tended garden included more than 200 types of plants; different beds for medicinal herbs, vegetables, and ornamental flowers; a vineyard and an orchard; woods and fields; and beehives. The house and much of the surrounding garden have been gone for more than a century, but we can reconstruct Pastorius’ beloved garden through his garden journal, poems, letters, and nature prints. 68

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This map is from Hopkins’ Atlas of Germantown (1871) and shows A: the location of Francis D. Pastorius and Ennecke Klostermanns’ house, built after 1689 and demolished in 1872; B: the original site of Daniel Pastorius’ (Francis’ grandson) house, built ca. 1796 (now 25 High Street); C: Daniel Pastorius’ Tavern, built ca. 1748; and D: Wyck House, originally built by Swiss-German Hans Milan ca. 1690.


Francis Daniel Pastorius, head-and-shoulders portrait, left profile, bas-relief, founder of Germantown, PA, ca. 1897. Photograph from the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/89709903/.

Early settler Francis Daniel Pastorius (1651–1719) emigrated from Frankfurt, Germany, to found Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1683 with a group of Dutch and German colonists. In addition to serving as a lawyer, judge, and politician, Pastorius taught young children in Philadelphia and Germantown’s first schools for many years and co-authored the 1688 Germantown protest against slavery, “we are against the traffik of men-body.” He was a scholar of unusual tenacity and well-read in many subjects including theology, natural sciences, history, politics and law, poetry and literature, and was fluent in seven languages: German, Dutch, Latin, Greek, Italian, French, and English. He attended several universities in Europe and graduated from the University of Altdorf in 1675 (20 km south of Nürnberg, Germany). Altdorf was a small university, but it had the second-largest botanical garden in continental Europe. Altdorf’s garden was a place of scientific study and a

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“Pastorius House,” date unknown. Negative, Glass-plate. Image 20126284, Germantown Historical Society. This photograph is also found in the GHS Scrapbook Collection, “Pictorial Germantown Road and the Vicinity & Some of its Inhabitants. Compiled by George Clarence Johnson. Volume I. East Side” dated between 1851 and 1872. It shows the Daniel Pastorius house on the right at the corner of High Street and Germantown Ave. The house to the far left may be the original Francis D. Pastorius house built ca. 1689 as its location is similar to that in the Hopkins’ Atlas of Germantown.

grand, beautiful space with poetry inscribed on its main gate and path names like “Philosophical Way” and “Poet’s Grove.” Its lasting impression is apparent in Pastorius’ description of this garden in his Beehive notebook written some 20 years later. After graduating from Altdorf, he practiced law in Windsheim and Frankfurt and was profoundly influenced by a radical religious movement called Pietism. The Pietists advocated for radical reform of the Lutheran church and rejected any institutionalization of religion because, in their minds, Christian faith was a personal relationship with God. This personal relationship with God was realized through piety, living a life of charity and love towards all people, and a mystical relationship with nature. Pastorius believed the study of plants and


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gardening was pious work and his plants, as the creation of God, were sacred. Pastorius recorded observations about the natural world and wrote poems about his garden, plants, and bees in letters, journals, and hand-made books for his family and neighbors. Several of these manuscripts survive and have been preserved for study at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The German Society of Pennsylvania, and the Kislak Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Nothing of his garden or house survives in Germantown, as the house that he and his wife (Ennecke Klostermanns) built around 1689 was demolished in 1872 and, over time, the land where he built his garden was subdivided and sold out of the family. The last record of their house’s footprint can be found in an atlas of Philadelphia County

published in 1871. Their house was either stone or logframed and was set back about 40 feet from the street with a fenced garden in front, outbuildings for animals, and a fenced garden, orchard, and vineyard behind the house. A detailed reconstruction of his garden must rely almost entirely on his elaborate accounts of his garden and plants that he wrote in his notebooks.

PASTORIUS’ GARDEN (CA. 1683–1719) A 1714 survey documents the extent of Pastorius’ 39.5acre Germantown lot that was situated on what is now 6019 Germantown Avenue and extended northwest almost 235 feet and northeast 8,068 feet, which is now part of the Awbury Arboretum. (A record of this survey can be found at The Germantown Historical Society.) Most of the garden was fenced behind the house. Beyond the garden was densely wooded land. He described his large garden as having many distinct parts: a medicinal herb garden, a kitchen garden, an ornamental garden, an orchard, a vineyard, fields, and woods, although he did inter-plant turnips in his orchard and herbs in his rose beds. In addition to fertilizing with manure and marl, he often inter-planted to improve a plant’s scent, color, or fecundity.

In his medicinal herb garden, he grew most of the 159 herbs mentioned in his medicinal notebook. In his garden journal, he cataloged a list of over 220 culinary and ornamental vegetables, herbs, roses, perennial and annual flowers, shrubs, and trees that he cultivated. Additionally, in his garden journal, he recorded details about his beehives and the plants in his garden favored by the bees. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) had only recently been introduced to North America, in 1620 and 1622, by English settlers in Massachusetts and Virginia. Pastorius’ notes about beekeeping are one of the earliest first-hand accounts of apiculture in Pennsylvania. In addition to his lists of plants, Pastorius described parts of his garden and its arrangement in his Beehive (a large encyclopedic notebook) and Garden Recreations poems. From these and his garden journal, we know that his garden and orchard were fenced, that he had at least two or three apiaries and outbuildings to store seeds and tools. We know that his plants were organized into different kinds of garden beds, including a nursery bed as well as beds for ornamental flowers like tulips, daffodils, a kind of exotic tuberose, and several kinds of roses. He also kept garden beds of medicinal herbs and vegetables, with many kinds of lettuce, asparagus, and root vegetables.

Historical reconstruction of Pastorius’ plant printing methods. Top, Mulberry (Morus nigra); Center, Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium); Bottom, Rose (Rosa). Printed by the author at the Common Press, University of Pennsylvania, with plants from the historic collection of plants at Bartram’s Garden. Pastorius grew these same species in his own garden.

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A Selection of Medicinal Plants Listed in Pastorius’ Artzney und Kunst (Physic and Art), circa 1686 The notebook Artzney und Kunst lists 159 plants by their German common names. Where possible, I have identified the plant by other common names in brackets as well as its binomial name. The common names are spelled as Pastorius wrote them. Identification of these plants was advised by Meredith Hacking, Chantel White, David Hewitt, and Sonja Dümpelmann. Below are some common and unusual plants from this list.




[Citrus fruit] Citrus

Zea mays

[Asparagus] Asparagus officinalis

MERZEN VEILCHEN CÚCÚMERN [die Gurke, cucumbers] Cucumis

[type of Violet] Viola

NEßELN CŸPRUßKRAÚT [Zypresen Kraut, Lavender Cotton] Santolina chamaecyparissus

[Nettle] Urtica dioica

POMERANTZEN ERDBEER [Strawberry] Fragaria

[Bitter Orange] Citrus aurantium

QUITTEN FUNF FINGER D GRASS & FÜNFF FINGERKRAUT [Kriechendes Fingerkraut, Creeping Cinquefoil] Potentilla reptans

HOLLÚNDER [Elderberry] Sambucus nigra or canadensis

HOPFEN [Hops] Humulus lupulus

[Quince] Cydonia oblonga

ROIß [Reis, Wild Rice] Zizania aquatica

ROSEN [Rose] Rosa

SEVENBAÚM [Savin Juniper] Juniperus sabina


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TABAC [Tobacco] Nicotiana

WACHOLDER BEER [Juniper berry] Juniperus

WEISSE KÜB[ILL] [Hellebore] Helleborus

WEIßE LILIEN [White Lily] Lilium candidum

WERMÜTH [Wormwood] Artemisia absinthium

WILDEN SAFFRAN [Saffron] Crocus

Pastorius described benches in his garden for sitting and napping and a well-placed sundial with a poem inscribed on it. Some of his plants were exotic, which required that he remove them from his garden, re-pot them, and store them inside his house throughout the winter. He described how and when he did all of this work in his garden journal. But he also read, wrote, and napped in his garden. For him, the garden was a place of work and pleasure.

PASTORIUS’ NATURE PRINTS Nature prints are a particular genre of botanical illustration that has been practiced since antiquity. Medieval and early modern physicians and natural scientists made prints of plants in their notebooks and herbals in addition to collecting and pressing plants in herbariums so that they could accurately record the plants’ form and structure, identify species, and share their observations with other scientists. “Nature printing” as a scientific practice was explicitly connected with

the development of modern botany as an independent discipline and early modern medicine in Europe. In the Renaissance, nature printing was also practiced as an art form and a recreational activity. Even though only a few of Pastorius’ plant prints survive, I know from his letters that he printed plants often and generously shared his art with friends and family. Surviving examples of Pastorius’ nature prints can be found in his Letter Book, Artzney und Kunst (Physic and Art), Ship-mate-ship, on the cover of his own Pennsylvania law book, and inside a book that he owned that has survived at The Library Company of Philadelphia. I have studied all of his extant nature prints and have concluded that his methods were skillful but simple. He used inks and paints that he made himself, and his prints depicted the leaves of fresh plants harvested from his garden or nearby. He pressed them lightly overnight in a book before printing them. All the surviving prints are printed with an ink composed of a light mixture of carbon or ground charcoal and linseed oil. The oil was likely made from pressed flax seeds grown in Germantown at this time. Like his homemade inks, he would have made batches of this linseed oil/charcoal mixture in advance and stored it in an air-tight jar. After his prints dried, he sometimes colored them with green and scarlet red inks. The prints on the cover of his Artzney und Kunst have been painted with these inks. In the last pages of his Artzney und Kunst are his recipes for ink, printer’s ink, and paint, including green, blue, and vermilion inks. Although his methods were simple, he was adept at applying the mixture of linseed oil and ground charcoal on small and delicate plant leaves and blossoms. The prints are well made and for the most part clear of bubbles and smudges. To compose and print plants as he did, he would have used tools such as tweezers, scissors or a sharp knife, small paint brushes or feathers, some kind of burnisher or roller to apply even pressure, thin cloths, extra paper, and a very patient, steady hand. He may have created these prints at the same desk where he wrote. The two leaf impressions on the title page of his Artzney und Kunst appear to be of sage (Salvia officinalis) and a leaf from a woody plant from the Prunus genus, a Artzney und Kunst title page, decorated with two painted nature prints by Pastorius, dated 1696. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, collection 0475. Left, sage leaf, and right, leaf of woody plant from the Prunus genus.

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Front cover of Ship-mate-ship poetry book decorated with several nature prints by Pastorius. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, collection 0475, dated 1716–19. Top to bottom: leaf of sage, leaves of caraway (Carum carvi), the underside of a leaf of a woody plant from Prunus genus, blossoms and seeds of caraway, and toothed leaves of arrowhead (Viburnum dentatum).

plum or peach tree. This notebook is a small, pocketsized book of about 200 pages and includes chapters about maladies common to people and domestic animals in Pennsylvania, their respective treatments and cures, and a catalog of over 150 medicinal plants, some indigenous to North America and others from Europe. Pastorius ornamented the cover with plant prints so as to celebrate the importance of medicinal knowledge to spiritual and physical health. He also decorated the front and back covers of a volume of his own religious poems, his Ship-mate-ship, which he wrote between 1716 and 1719. Pastorius dedicated this book to Hanna Hill and Mary Norris, daughters of a friend. He traveled with them to Philadelphia on the ship America from Deal, England, in 1683. The poems were written to commemorate their journey, longstanding friendship, and to celebrate 74

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the importance of gardening in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The poems read like Biblical histories of gardening. Every aspect of this book was carefully composed, including the content and penmanship of the poems inside. The plant impressions on the front cover were carefully arranged along the binding, all oriented towards the open edge of the book. The plants on this cover were either grown in his garden or collected in his woods nearby. Pastorius listed caraway, sage, and several varieties of peaches, plums, and quinces in the “Seed Report” of his garden journal and his Artzney und Kunst. The plant impressions on the back cover were also carefully composed, but he playfully arranged smaller specimens around larger leaves. Some of these plants are the same as on the front cover, but there is also what appears to be parsley (Petroselinum crispum or sativum),

Back cover detail of Ship-mate-ship poetry book decorated with several nature prints by Pastorius, 1716–1719. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, collection 0475.

caraway again, and possibly the leaves of inkberry (Ilex globra). Inkberry is native to eastern coastal North America and was used by Native Americans to make a black tea. It is also favored by bees, and honey made from the nectar of these plants is particularly flavorful. Pastorius corresponded and shared books with a Philadelphia man named Lloyd Zachary and taught him Latin and French for several years. Zachary would later become a medical doctor who helped found the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital. There is one letter to Zachary in Pastorius’ Letter Book that includes instructions for nature printing, writing with figures of plants, and actual prints of plants. He begins the letter with a poetic description of printing plants as part of a botanical alphabet and imprints of what appear to be leaves from a peach tree and from wormwood: “The stamps in ev’ry garden grow, ….If thou desire to learn this Art.”

Zachary replied to this letter on October 25 with a beautiful, folded assemblage of pressed plants and plant prints. Pastorius then replied to Zachary enthusiastically on October 29: “I unbreathed the mysterious Gordian knot and let them glance upon the green, red, yellowish & purple Sage-Rose & other fine leaves in the margent. Oh what a staring, gaping & gazing! …than upon the circumference & counterfeited shadows.” This folded package made by Zachary was an artful composition with a poem by Ovid written in Latin, surrounded by green, red, yellowish, and purple prints from a “Sagerose.” The “counterfeited shadows” were nature prints— to be counterfeited was to be printed. Through all of Pastorius’ allegories, philosophizing, and imaginative ideas about plants, it is clear that he gardened for pleasure and recreation, to connect with what he believed to be the divine dimensions of nature

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This letter from Pastorius to Lloyd Zachary was written between spring and October of 1718. Large parts of the letter are difficult to read as this part of his letter book is damaged, so I have only included an excerpt here. Source: Francis Daniel Pastorius, Francis Daniel Pastorius Papers 1683–1719, Vol. 5, Collection No. 0475, Pennsylvania Historical Society.

As hereby I do hint. The stamps in ev’ry garden grow, In Orchards, Meadows, Fields; Some with Industrious hands then Sow, And some dame Nature yields. If thou desire to learn this Art, Take with thee three or four [plants], And then the ... will impart In less than half an hour. 76

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Letter written by Pastorius to Lloyd Zachary, dated 1718, instructing him on how to write a botanical alphabet and print plants from a garden. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, collection 0475.

abundant in plants. But he also wanted to make a comfortable, healthy, beautiful place in his world. Pastorius did not compartmentalize spiritual health from physical health. His spiritual being derived from his physical being—both were balanced, maintained, and venerated in his daily life. Gardening was his way of living a healthy Christian life. It is common to assume that early American gardens, especially those of people of moderate wealth and means, were mostly utilitarian and that garden art could only be found in wealthy Philadelphia estates like Isaac Norris’ Fairhill or James Logan’s Stenton. Pastorius was not wealthy like Norris or Logan, nor poor, but he believed his garden to be a form of art. He wrote about and printed the images of his leaves and blossoms, and designed, built, and cultivated a large garden, orchard, and vineyard that was productive and beautiful on his own terms.


This project is built upon the scholarship of other historians, including James Duffin, Patrick Erben, Bethany Wiggin, Peter Stallybrass, and Christoph Schweitzer. It is part of my dissertation Reading and Writing a Garden, Materials of a Garden Made in Germantown, Pennsylvania (1683–1719), supervised by John Dixon Hunt, Professor Emeritus, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania; and advised by David Leatherbarrow, Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; Michael Lewis, Faison-Pierson-Stoddard Professor of Art History, Williams College; and Bethany Wiggin, Associate Professor of German, University of Pennsylvania. Also important to my study has been the continued advice of Dr. Chantel White, Teaching Specialist for Archaeobotany, Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), who advised on the identification of plant species from Pastorius’ prints and common names. Pastorius’ Letter Book, Artzney und Kunst, Monthly Monitor, and Ship-mate-ship are all held in the archives of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. His Garden Recreations can be found at The German Society of Pennsylvania. His Beehive is held at the Kislak Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Last but not least, special thanks to Mandy Katz and Joel Fry for advising me in harvesting and identifying plants at Bartram’s Garden. Miranda Mote is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and historian of North American landscapes. She writes histories of gardens and farms as they are informed by religion and belief. for further reading Cave, R. Impressions of Nature : A History of Nature Printing. London and New York: British Library and Mark Batty Publisher, 2010. Duffin, J.M., ed. Acta Germanopolis, Records of the Corporation of Germantown Pennsylvania 1691–1707. Philadelphia: Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, 2008. Erben, P., A.L. Brophy, and M.M. Lambert, eds. The Francis Daniel Pastorius Reader, Writings by an Early American Polymath. Max Kade Research Institute Series. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019. Gerbner, Katharine. “‘We Are Against the Traffik of Men-Body’: The Germantown Quaker Protest of 1688 and the Origins of American Abolitionism.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 74, no. 2 (Spring 2007): 149–172. Hopkins, G.M. Atlas of Germantown, 22nd Ward, 1871, Plate 8 (excerpt). Philadelphia: G.M. Hopkins, C.E. Publisher, 1871, Free Library of Philadelphia, Retrieved from https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/46258. Pastorius, F.D., 1651–1719, and Christoph E. Schweitzer. Deliciae Hortenses, or Garden-Recreations; and Voluptates Apianae. Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture v. 2. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1982.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



Public Gardens and Climate Change A VIEW FROM THE MORRIS ARBORETUM by Anthony S. Aiello, Timothy A. Block, and C. Skema


Cryptogramma stelleri, or slender rock brake, in situ.


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eople must be convinced that if we want to continue to exist as a species, it is imperative that we learn how to live in harmony with our environment. Currently, the industrialized world is out of cycle with the natural cycles of our planet and climate change is the gravest consequence of the way we live. Public gardens play a vital role in observing, documenting, and measuring the impacts of climate change on plants. We use scientific methods and all our combined expertise and resources to demonstrate these impacts to the public. Two of our projects at the Morris Arboretum exemplify these types of activities. In one, we focus on Cryptogramma stelleri (slender rock brake), a native fern that prefers cool, moist, rocky habitats and is susceptible to changes in these environments. It grows in northern North America and Eurasia but is known in Pennsylvania from only a few scattered populations in the northern and western parts of the state. Our recent work in locating Pennsylvania populations of this species provides baseline information to track changes in slender rock brake distribution as global temperatures rise. In another project, we are trialing Quercus virginiana (live oak) trees grown from seed collected at the northern natural limit of its range, to evaluate whether they can be grown reliably in the Delaware Valley. So far, several of these trees are thriving. Yet we wonder, will having a dozen or more live oaks at the Arboretum have any impact on the natural live oak populations threatened by sea-level rise? It is not likely, except in the extreme case of all of the native live oak populations going extinct. But what this trial can demonstrate is that we are living in a warmer climate—species that one generation ago were thought of as being suited to more southern regions can now be grown in our region. Public gardens can and will continue to use their plant expertise to conduct conservation research and restoration projects for rare/endangered plant species and habitats, of which we will see a greater number in

Natural Quercus virginiana, or live oak, populations are threatened by sea-level rise. Environments like this need to be preserved.

coming years as habitats continue to shrink and become fractured by humans. We must adhere to the best standards for maximizing genetic diversity in collection and propagation practices in this work, as maximal genetic diversity in populations is the best, and perhaps only, way to survive the increasingly dynamic nature of native habitats, due to climate change and land disturbance. Public gardens alone can do little to stem the impacts wrought by climate change from a footprint perspective. Even if these gardens do the most they can to sustain plant diversity on their patch of Earth, the combined land area of all public gardens is insufficient to create anything other than an ecologically fragmented patchwork of habitats across the globe. Although the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide by plants is an important piece of the effort to mitigate global climate change in the short term, the small total area of vegetation represented by public gardens contributes little to this process. The urgent need is the preservation of vast, uninterrupted areas of vegetation around the world on a scale that would require international collaborations. Demonstrating and documenting the problems plants face due to climate change and making last-ditch efforts to conserve those plant species that are about to disappear are necessary tasks—however, they do not provide solutions for positive, lasting change. To realize a better future, what we can and must do is educate the public (and ourselves)! Gardens should demonstrate in practice how people can tread more lightly on this planet, e.g., reduce fossil fuel usage, eliminate unnecessary

Live oak trees are being evaluated to see if they can grow in the Delaware Valley.

disposables, change patterns of land use (including gardening for biodiversity), and conserve resources. We need to help our visitors increase their scientific literacy so that they can clearly see the environmental problems we face and intelligently evaluate proposed solutions to our global woes. We should inspire our visitors to see that what they do on a daily basis makes a difference in sum total, and that only we can spark a change in politics to mobilize our government around prioritizing our future existence on this planet. The authors are associated with the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Anthony S. Aiello is the Gayle E. Maloney Director of Horticulture and Curator. Timothy A. Block, Ph.D., is John J. Willaman Director of Botany, and Cynthia Skema, Ph.D., is Botanical Scientist.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



Changes in a Penn Campus Oasis A VIEW FROM KASKEY PARK by Kathryn Butler Reber

Azaleas in bloom and newly emerged leaves glow on a spring morning at Kaskey Park. Photo courtesy of Kaskey Park.


Department of Biology trial beds in front of the old vivarium brought plants within easy reach for study. Early 1900s. Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Archives.


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ames G. Kaskey Memorial Park is a small garden on the southwest end of Penn’s campus that was set aside in 1894 as a botanic garden for the Department of Biology. It was originally developed with trial beds where students and faculty could readily cultivate plants required for their studies. The original BioPond (long the informal name of the Park) and a secondary lotus pond were dug early on to showcase aquatic plants. Over 125 years later, the lotus pond and trial beds are gone, and the 5 acres have been whittled down to 3.5 acres because of campus development. The gardens were transformed from a sunny, more formal space into the hidden garden oasis we enjoy today. We are still part of the Department of Biology, supporting research and coursework as we can, but the primary use is as a refuge for our community. Visitors come to gather with friends

in the shade of our mature trees, sit by the BioPond to eat lunch, or clear their heads on a walk through the naturalistic gardens. Climate change is likely to push additional transformation. The garden style will probably remain the same, but our plant collections and management strategies will need to shift. To be perfectly honest, we don’t view all of it with trepidation. Gardeners here began adjusting the collections decades ago to take advantage of changes to our microclimate. We are surrounded by buildings within an urban heat island, and that gives us opportunities to push the limits and try new plants that are unusual to our area. Our stand of Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) was planted in the 1960s, long before breeders were actively selecting varieties for cold hardiness. We show off our Quercus virginiana (live oak) that has survived three winters so far without additional protection, as well as our new, rare, Xanthocyparis vietnamensis (Vietnamese golden cypress), which was planted last year and is not typically considered hardy to this area. These are exciting additions for us, and we will continue to introduce species that we feel will thrive in new conditions. At the same time, we know that climate change comes with risks to our older specimens. We worry about the stress of a longer growing season and that some species may not get the cold period that they need to thrive. We are concerned about increased pest pressure as milder winters allow insects and diseases to be active over a longer portion of the year and new pests from warmer climates become entrenched. As our area sees more moisture and fewer freezes, fungal diseases are especially likely to increase. It already seems difficult to keep large-leafed rhododendrons alive or establish new ones due to fungal issues. The particularly wet seasons in the past few years have exacerbated problems in our elms, beech, and sassafras. At Kaskey Park, with all our resources, we will likely be able to mitigate many of the issues that come with changing climate. But beyond our garden, the implications of climate change on our wild ecosystems are far more concerning. Kathryn Butler Reber is Greenhouse and Garden Manager at the James G. Kaskey Memorial Park, home of the BioPond, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania.

above: The BioPond in the 1950s with a carpet of water lilies. Still thriving today at the north end of the pond, the Ulmus americana (American Elm) with its gracefully arching habit then stood near the entrance to the old greenhouse complex. Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Archives. below: Mature shade trees block views to surrounding buildings, giving visitors the illusion of stepping out of the city. Careful monitoring and planning will be essential to maintaining this canopy as climate changes. Photo courtesy of Kaskey Park.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



Seeds of Change A VIEW FROM PHILLY’S RIVERS by Karen M’Closkey


lants are on the move. Of course, they always have been—whether dispersed as seeds in the droppings of birds or lodged in the fur of earthbound animals; or as tiny grains of pollen blown by the wind or transported on the bodies of insects; or as specimens packed in crates and shipped to distant lands, often escaping the confines that their human caretakers fashioned for them. At larger spatial and temporal scales, entire species’ ranges shift along with the changing climate, taking root in new locations and altering the dynamics of their new habitat. Evolution is movement. Recent studies suggest that half of all species’ natural ranges are shifting due to climate change—and, if we look over a long enough timeframe, that number will reach 100 percent, at least for those species that do not go extinct. With this long view in mind, it may appear that we should not concern ourselves with how human-accelerated climate change is affecting plant migration, since plants move

Satellite images showing a patchwork of land use patterns across the United States. An array of “The Jefferson Grid” aerials provided by @jefferson.grid, used with permission via Images © Google (2019).


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Cattail seed head fluff. “Cattails” by fishhawk. Used with permission from Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/.

with or without us. Some of that movement is counter to the expectation that plants will shift to higher elevations as the planet warms. A 2014 article in Science indicates that some plants are moving westward, some are moving downhill, and plants of different species within a region sometimes move together in the same direction. Plants, and the life that they support, are finding ways to survive, as they always have. So, what’s the problem? The question is whether there is enough room for movement, especially given that people move along with everything else and, in a rapidly changing climate, will do so increasingly and in unforeseen ways. And with people come the patchwork patterns of settlement from small to large—fences, houses, roads, cities, farms—that are barriers to plant movement and leave little ground for adaptation. Ecologist Steven Handel describes the developed world as “a maze with many dead ends and culs-de-sac for species on the move.” Even densely built up areas like Philadelphia are habitats, and every tiny plot can play a supporting role in designing for movement. When it comes to designing for movement, what might appear to be

a simple fix can actually be quite challenging, and we need to change how we think about design and our co-evolution with plants. In the next 30 years, tidal floods within the city of Philadelphia are anticipated to grow in frequency from 19 per year to over 200 per year, yet many properties along the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers are slated for further development: areas such as the burgeoning Navy Yard, the Philadelphia International Airport, and, until recently, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast. These properties, along with some of the city’s most economically and climatologically vulnerable residents, are situated in the lowest-lying areas—areas that used to be natural wetlands. Remnant patches of native plants still exist but will have nowhere to go as waters rise and drown them. The conservation of existing wetlands and other undeveloped areas is critical. Building back vast areas in less-populated coastal zones is possible, and scientists already study wetland migration to see how plants shift their ranges upward depending on slope angles and water depths. However, there is little precedent for dealing with areas that are already built up and will be increasingly flooded in the future. Along Philadelphia’s rivers, restoration to a previous condition is not physically possible, nor is it ideologically desirable as it presumes a static view of the landscape. With the expectation of rising temperatures and rising waters, we have the opportunity to reimagine the hardened zone between “city” and “river” as test plots for adaptation. When it comes to plants, and all the life that plants support, we don’t know exactly what form that change will take, but we know we need to make room for this movement. It is a collective design project no less ambitious than the creation of Philadelphia’s public parks and squares of centuries past.

Seedlings representing the 15 species planted (from 2009–12) as part of the Assisted Migration Adaptation Trail (AMAT). AMAT comprises 48 reforestation sites in British Columbia and neighboring United States and will be monitored for growth and health with respect to local climate in order to determine which species will best adapt to future climate. Photo courtesy of Ward Strong.



Karen M’Closkey is an Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture at Penn’s Weitzman School of Design and co-founder of PEG, an award-winning design and research practice in Philadelphia. for further reading

Balmer, J. “Plants Have Unexpected Response to Climate Change.” Science, August 8, 2014. https://www.sciencemag. org/news/2014/08/plants-have-unexpected-responseclimate-change


Some of the low-lying areas in Philadelphia that will be increasingly prone to flooding from more intense and frequent storms and sea-level rise. Image courtesy of Leslie Zhang.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



School and Family Programs Thrive Online SCHOOL IS BACK in session, and for many students from pre-K to college, this means a continuation of learning remotely. This spring, as schools and universities paused in-person learning, the Museum’s Learning and Public Engagement Team sprang into action. Our awardwinning Interactive Virtual Learning program had served a growing number of schools over the past eight years, and this was its moment to blossom. Outreach Programs Manager Allyson Mitchell assisted our team in shifting onsite teaching into the virtual realm. From March through August, the Museum proudly served more than 12,000 students through engaging virtual programs, reaching remote Indigenous schools in Canada, households across the United States, participants in the Philippines, and more. We have now converted our K–12, homeschool, and family programs to be hosted through online platforms that bring the joy and energy of classroom teaching into homes across the nation and across the world. Our popular CultureFest! series is moving online as monthlong digital festivals, which kicked off with Día de los Muertos. These programs are Pay-What-You-Wish and offer special sponsorships and discounts to allow for as wide an audience as possible. Join our Unpacking the Past team for At-Home Anthro LIVE, a free hands-on lesson every Tuesday

Middle East Galleries Global Guide Yaroub Al-Obaidi teaches about his life’s journeys.

at 1:00 pm, or for World Wonders After School on Wednesdays at 4:00 pm, or bring the little ones to Museum Playdates on Fridays at 10:00 am. (Check the Calendar for these events and more!) We invite teachers to join free monthly professional development events and work with us to schedule virtual cultural, science, or history-based programs for their students. In fact, teachers and professors of all age levels—from K–12 through college—can book virtual interactive tours and access short videos, such as our Digital Daily Digs, to assist with their teaching. We are thrilled to offer this incredible variety of learning options, all made possible through the power of technology.

Ancient Alcohol Tour Goes Virtual OUR POPULAR TOUR exploring bygone brews has returned, this time in the virtual realm! In partnership with Philly Loves Beer, we hosted two virtual renditions of “Ancient Alcohol After Hours.” More than 400 “visitors” toasted their way through a curated six-pack and learned about ancient beer and wine through amazing artifacts. Penn graduate students and Ph.D.s led the interactive experiences, with cameos from various brewing experts including Jason Perkins, Brewmaster at Allagash Brewing Company, and Dr. Matthew Farber, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Brewing Science Program at the University of the Sciences. A similar experience in October brought our 84

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Dr. Olivia Hayden compares the ancient vessels of Greece to their contemporary counterparts.

popular “Monsters, Myths, and Legends” tour to life— the ultimate in virtual Halloween events!

Calling All Anthro-Curious Adults OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, many adults have felt the need to stimulate our minds, explore our natural curiosities, and meet new people other than the ones in our homes and Zoom meetings. Our Living Room Lecture Series has provided casual opportunities to interact with curators, creators, and contributors to the Museum’s exhibitions and publications. Set on Thursdays at 5:30 on Facebook Live, Living Room Lectures invite the audience to enjoy a virtual happy hour with and ask questions of a specialist. In the same vein, the Museum Insider program (3rd Tuesdays at 10:00 am) gives a little glimpse into the everyday work and career paths of museum personnel from the Penn Museum and beyond. The Between the Lines Book Club allows adults to read and reflect together on culturally-themed books, with the help of moderators to unpack meanings and themes. The first summer session focused on three books with African themes, while the fall books concentrate on Mexico and Central America. Our new Deep Dig adult courses offer a dive into the specialty topics of our curators and scholars, giving audiences the opportunity to have a Penn professor for four in-depth classes on a single topic. This fall, we have explored Indigenous moundbuilding with Dr. Meg Kassabaum and weaving of the American Southwest with Dr. Lucy Fowler Williams; next up is an exploration of Greek vases with Dr. Ann Brownlee. And finally, our

During a Living Room Lecture happy hour, Dr. Chantel White offered fascinating insights on ancient seeds and what they can tell us about people of the past.

signature lecture series has returned on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm with a colossal theme: Great Monuments. The 2020–2021 series is fully virtual and offers a mix of ancient and contemporary topics. The series kicked off on October 7 and spotlighted the Philadelphia-based project The Monument Lab, with Artistic Director and Senior Curator Dr. Paul Farber. The Penn Museum looks forward to these opportunities that continue to bring our audiences together online.

The Penn Museum…in Mumbai Classrooms! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, our Interactive Virtual Programs beamed into classrooms across India. The Museum partnered with STEAM Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to public science education primarily in Mumbai and Kerala. The program focused on the science of sound, explored through lukumbi drums from the Museum’s Africa Galleries. This was STEAM Academy’s first collaboration outside of India. An incredible 629 virtual visitors connected from all over India to learn more about how these drums emit their tones and communicate messages to listeners. Both the Museum and STEAM Academy were pleased

with the partnership and will seek future opportunities together! From the organizer, Sunav Nambiar: “The turnout exceeded our expectation…I am delighted to say that almost immediately after the program we received positive feedback from multiple institutions, including the prestigious Bombay Science Teachers association… teacher training institutions, and multiple school teachers. The students have particularly mentioned that Kevin’s session provided an insightful dimension to their understanding of the African drum and its Indian connection…We look forward to more such engagements in the future.”

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



A Miao Baby Carrier from China BY YUPENG WU

THIS EMBROIDERED MIAO BABY CARRIER is typical of those made in Zhijin (织金), a county in Guizhou province in southwest China. Two identical panels of circular medallions with silk embroidery on cotton cloth garnish the upper half of the textile. In the center, the four-petaled tongzi hua (桐子花), a flower native to the mountains in Guizhou, symbolizes prosperity and fertility. The pattern is filled with chanxiu (缠绣) stitches, a challenging technique that distinguishes the Zhijin-style embroidery from other Miao ones. The Miao are an ethnic group that live primarily in southwest China today. The group is recognized by the Chinese government as one of 55 minority ethnic groups. Some sub-groups of the Miao (for example, the Hmong) migrated to Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Burma, and Vietnam. The Miao have no written script and have used textile traditions to record their history and beliefs. Using the rich vocabulary of iconographies inspired by origin stories and folklore, Miao women create textiles for daily use as well as special occasions like wedding celebrations.

The four-petaled tongzi hua pattern is filled with chanxiu (缠绣) stitches, a challenging technique that distinguishes the Zhijin-style embroidery. Detail of 98-22-11.


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This Miao baby carrier was made by a young woman before her marriage. The four corners of the textile are fastened together to hold the baby. 98-22-11.

From the age of five or six, Miao girls begin to learn needlework; this continues through their teens. They make their own wedding dresses, baby carriers, and baby clothes. The mastery of embroidery skills is highly valued as an ideal of feminine accomplishment in Miao society. Woven and embroidered by Miao women prior to marriage, baby carriers—also known as beishan (背扇) or beidai (背带)—are a way women advertise their skills as a prospective mother and express love for their future children. Mothers usually adorn the textiles with auspicious symbols like the butterfly mother (from Miao folklore) and fish to keep the babies safe, healthy, and happy. When I first came across this textile in Museum storage, I was struck by its intricate aesthetic quality. My knowledge of textiles by minority groups in China was limited, so this piece sparked my interest in learning more about the Miao people and their textile tradition.

After conducting library research and searching for similar pieces in other collections around the world, I started to question the existing provenience information of the piece in the Collections database. The database indicated that the textile was from the Dong people in China. However, based on other textiles I had seen, I thought it might be from the Miao people in Guizhou, not the Dong, even though the two groups are often associated with each other. I finally made a breakthrough after looking at the stitches on the textile under a microscope. I found a stitch called chanxiu (缠绣) that is used to fill the design of the four-petaled tongzi hua floral pattern. Miao women wrap fine, shiny threads like silk around ramie fiber or horsehair to create a richly textured floss. These wrapped threads are secured using couching stitches, which entails fastening the threads in place using a separate floss in smaller stitches (in the same or a different color). It is fascinating how details that appear insignificant can tell us so much about an object and the people who made it. Historically, the Miao have been silenced and suppressed. One of the reasons why I am drawn to this piece is that it shows how minority groups and their cultural heritage are often underrepresented. During my 12 years of education in China, I was taught the history and the culture of the Han, but I never learned about the brilliant creations of the Miao from southwest China. Last summer, during my internship at the Museum, many interns and Museum staff were discussing the idea of decolonizing museums. One way to approach this is to deconstruct the imagined homogeneity of cultures. Museums have a responsibility not to conflate cultures into static entities but to reflect the diversity within each people and culture—for example, by giving attention to the material culture of those who have been historically silenced. Minority art needs representation, as do the people who make these objects. By turning our attention to specific pieces made by lesser-known groups, we gain insights into the stories and the people behind them. This allows us to learn and appreciate the diversity of human creation and existence. Yupeng Wu is a student at Bryn Mawr College. She worked as a summer intern in 2019 with Lyons Keeper of Collections Steve

A Miao woman uses a handmade textile to carry a child on her back. Photo from Alamy.

for further reading

Corrigan, G. Miao Textiles from China. British Museum Press, 2001. Lin, Y., F. Zhang, and T.M. Reilly. Richly Woven Traditions: Costumes of the Miao of Southwest China and Beyond. Exhibition, October 24, 1987–January 3, 1988, China House Gallery, China Institute in America, 1987. Schein, L. Minority Rules: The Miao and the Feminine in China’s Cultural Politics. Duke University Press, 2012. doi.org/10.1215/9780822397311. Tapp, N. The Hmong of China: Context, Agency, and the Imaginary. Brill, 2003. Torimaru, T. One Needle, One Thread: Miao (Hmong) Embroidery and Fabric Piecework from Guizhou, China. University of Hawai’i Art Gallery, Department of Art and Art History, 2008.

Lang in the Asian Section.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



Summer Internships—Virtually BY KHAYLA SAUNDERS

“HI, MY NAME IS ____, I am from ____, I attend Delaware/Georgia/Tuskegee/Syracuse/Penn, and I want to be an anthropologist/foreign policy analyst/ curator/museum outreach coordinator/conservator,” repeated around the Zoom boxes over and over as we all sat our desks. The desk essentials? Coffee, refreshers, pens, notebooks, and some furry friends! The Penn Museum Summer 2020 Interns worked with several departments, including the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, Learning and Public Engagement, the American Section, and Development. The 12 interns did some fantastic programming and research to advance the Museum. Twice a week, we met virtually and participated in programming led by Stephanie Mach, Academic Engagement Coordinator. Over eight weeks, we learned about exhibitions, programming, and cultural property laws, and discussed pressing issues within the museum world, along with completing work for

Summer intern Sarah Reichard (now a Penn junior) worked with with Dr. Anne Tiballi, researching Andean collections excavated at Pachacamac.


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Likiya Holiday is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University with a B.A. in Anthropology. She worked with Dr. Lucy Fowler Williams on a collections and curatorial research project focused on Navajo material culture.

our departments. Some of the amazing projects done by the interns included an introduction to the Navajo first laugh ceremony, preliminary work for exhibitions, research on the illicit trafficking of objects, grant funding for future projects, and drafting sections of the 2019–2020 Annual Report, which I worked on.

area because when a group of researchers tried going into the field, they kept getting attacked by iguanas”! This virtual internship will surely be one to remember. Thankfully, the staff at the Museum have all been trying to make this experience as fun and interpersonal as possible. A few Zooms were simply

THIS VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP WILL SURELY BE ONE TO REMEMBER. We have all have been inspired to enter the museum world for many reasons—previous internships, high school engagement programs, or childhood interests. The Penn Museum brought us together this summer via Zoom to engage with one another. Most of us ran around a couple of minutes before meetings trying to detach ourselves from our favorite pair of sweats to slip into something a little classier. In those meetings, we often learned some fun and quirky things. For example, intern Anna S. recalls, “During one of the Zooms with the supervisor for my department, we were talking about research on heritage looting, and my supervisor told us that the fieldwork is limited in that

meant for a coffee break to catch up to get to know one another. Hopefully, we will be able to gather in the Museum to visit for the first time or just to see some of the newly renovated galleries. One of the most anticipated visits for the interns is the Africa Galleries: the colors and curation look exquisite in pictures, and after talking about the renovations with the designers, many of us are eager to get in there! Khayla Saunders worked as a Penn Museum Summer Intern with the Development department in June and July. She is a senior at Tuskegee University, majoring in visual arts and minoring in history.

Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020



Summer Member Events Williams Director Julian Siggers held his last events with members virtually. On June 26, he welcomed members “to his home” to share stories from his life and career as an archaeologist and museum leader, and to reflect on the role of museums today. On July 22, he took members on a virtual tour of his favorite objects in the Penn Museum collection. left: Julian Siggers at home with his dog, Daisy.

Museum Reopens Members were the first to visit the Museum again after our reopening in July and were greeted by new sanitizing stations and social distancing protocols to ensure a safe visit. Our galleries and staff were delighted to see them! right: Masked visitors practice proper COVID safety measures and utilize styluses on interactives in the Middle East Galleries.

New: Deep Dig Monthly Members’ Preview! Members now get a free, monthly preview of each fourpart course in our popular Deep Dig series. Whether you’re enrolled in the course or not, all members get a taste of these exciting programs—including exclusive content you won’t see in the rest of class, specially selected by the instructor. Check monthly calendar listings at www.penn.museum/calendar. And don’t forget: members get $50 off registration for Deep Dig courses! Don’t miss your chance to learn from Penn experts on a fascinating range of topics. Neck amphora of Herakles in combat with two Amazons. PM MS5467. Dr. Ann Blair Brownlee, Associate Curator in the Mediterranean Section and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Penn’s History of Art Department, hosted a special members’ preview on October 20 of her November Deep Dig class on Understanding Greek Vases.


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Meet Our Members LEAH SMITH

Leah Smith, pictured at Glencairn Museum, grew up visiting museums and developed a love for Egyptian art. MY MOTHER was an artist and a teacher. Growing up in Chicago, part of my childhood was going to museums. One of my favorite memories was going to the King Tut exhibition when it came to the Field Museum in 1979. Ever since seeing that, I’ve been very interested in Egyptian art. That opened my eyes to look at art not just as painting on the walls or sculpture, but as everyday objects or important objects that people used in either rituals or in their everyday lives. Penn’s collection is right in line with that. I’ve known about the Penn Museum since my son was in 4th grade, about 14 years ago. We visited as part of a school field trip and I was really impressed with the Egyptian collection. I wasn’t a museum professional at the time, and I was just wowed by the collection and surprised that I hadn’t known about it before. I became a member just last year to support the Museum, and then I upgraded my membership to attend The Stories We Wear preview event because it sounded amazing! At Glencairn Museum I’m a museum educator. Though Glencairn is smaller than the Penn Museum, we have parallel collections. Glencairn has Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Asian, Native American, ancient Near Eastern, and Islamic pieces; we’re a museum of religious history. Our education team went to the Penn Museum to take a couple of the after-hours programs. One was about monsters, which was really good—looking at a variety of objects in the collection and learning about the roles of mythical and dangerous creatures in history. We did another on the history of libations, and really enjoyed that too—the programs were educational but presented in a fun way. It was exciting to visit during members’ reopening week—I put that high on my list of the things to do

when the Museum’s reopening announcement was made. My son and I came and found a very welcoming, non-intimidating environment. When you walked in the door, there were stations where you could wash your hands, and the visitor services agent was so friendly and happy to see us. They gave us each our own stylus, so we could still safely interact with all the wonderful interactives that are in the new galleries. We were asked a series of questions, a sort of health check that was very non-invasive, and we were happy to do it. I felt like the Penn Museum had taken the steps to make sure our visit was safe. With fewer people around, I felt like I had a more private experience, and took a slower pace—it allowed me to take my time with objects I haven’t noticed as much before. I loved it and look forward to going back.

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The Pennsylvania Declaration at 50 BY BRIAN I. DANIELS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE LOOTING is an ancient problem, but one that intensified after World War II as museums and collectors sought to build significant antiquities collections. Countries witnessing the pillage of their archaeological heritage and its subsequent display in Western museums began to raise public alarm. Some archaeologists joined them in protest. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the culmination of their efforts: the landmark Pennsylvania Declaration and the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Recognizing that looting for the illicit trade damages the archaeological record, in 1970, the Penn Museum declared that it would no longer purchase art or antiquities without evidence of their legal export. After shepherding through this policy change, then-Director Froelich Rainey joined the U.S. delegation negotiating the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. This international law intended to curtail the illicit trade that Rainey and the Penn Museum had already rejected as a source in the institution’s own collections policy. The Penn Museum was not the first institution in the country to state that it would not acquire looted archaeological objects—the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles had done so in 1937, and the American Association of Museums had discouraged museums from this type of acquisition as early as 1925. Despite these early efforts, by the 1960s, museums still purchased or received donations of looted archaeological materials with regularity, often viewing their acts as examples of heroic preservation. However, these acquisitions only encouraged a thriving antiquities market, which, in turn, fueled more looting. When the Penn Museum declared that it would no longer acquire looted material, it provoked a scandal among American museums and many archaeologists. Brutal headlines made the institution a subject of derision and ridicule, insinuating that the Pennsylvania Declaration, if followed by others, would mark the end of archaeological research and the very purpose of a museum. Nonetheless, the Penn Museum stood by its decision and, in 1978, 92

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Dr. Froelich G. Rainey, Director of the Penn Museum from 1947 to 1977, worked to ensure the adoption of the Pennsylvania Declaration. PM image 102240.

strengthened it, declaring that the institution reserved the right to refuse a loan that violated the tenets of the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Today, the intersection of the illicit antiquities trade, criminal networks, and archaeological site looting is much better understood than it was in 1970, and the Pennsylvania Declaration has come to be viewed among museum professionals as the gold standard for ethical museum practice. In retrospect, the year 1970 also marked an important beginning: the first stirrings of a wholesale reevaluation of museum acquisitions. In the years since, museums have started to repatriate antiquities acquired illegally, unethically, or without consent to traditional communities and to countries around the world. Some of these efforts— especially regarding Native American ancestors and sacred objects—are required by law, but other repatriations are undertaken because they are now understood as correcting an historical injustice. The legacy of the Pennsylvania Declaration, as well as the 1970 UNESCO Convention, has been to start this important conversation. Brian I. Daniels, Ph.D., is Director of Research and Programs, Penn Cultural Heritage Center.

Preparing to welcome international students, Jo Klein with Williams Director Julian Siggers in 2013.

Remembering Jo Klein THE PENN MUSEUM COMMUNITY was saddened to learn of the passing of longtime volunteer and friend Josephine Klein, of Gladwyne, PA, in June 2020, just a month shy of her 100th birthday. An ardent and generous supporter of arts organizations throughout the Philadelphia region, Jo leaves a special legacy at the Penn Museum in what was closest to her heart: fostering understanding and friendship among people from cultures around the world. In the late 1960s Jo worked with the Museum’s Education Department to establish the International Classroom program, engaging international residents in the Philadelphia region to share perspectives, traditions, and values from their countries of origin

with students and community groups through talks and workshops. A fall Festival of International Students, founded in 1969 as the International Student Festival, was an annual program highlight, bringing together over a thousand international students from regional universities and colleges. Jo herself was a legend at these gatherings: for more than 45 years she arrived with a whole carload of cookies, served food, and welcomed students. In addition to supporting the International Classroom program financially, Jo generously underwrote the creation of a dedicated K–12 classroom in 2011. Her legacy lives on in the thousands of participants in the Museum’s Global Classroom programs each year.

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Celebrating a Milestone Birthday, COVID-19 Style ON JUNE 19, we wished a very happy 90th birthday to Charles K. Williams II, Ph.D., GR78, HON97, the Museum’s longstanding benefactor, Overseer, and dear friend. While the pandemic prevented a large in-person celebration, Museum staff and University colleagues across the fields touched by Charles’ generosity came together virtually in a video symposium attesting to the deep and lasting impact of his nearly 50 years of philanthropy at Penn. Seven researchers spoke to how Charles’ support made possible their fieldwork at Abydos and Gordion, the study of Greco-Roman architecture at Penn, and the Roman Peasant Project, along with the importance of Penn’s Center for Ancient Studies and Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM)—both established through his endowment gifts.

Charles Williams in the Conservation Lab in CAAM.


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Recent Grants THE PENN MUSEUM is grateful to have recently been awarded two wonderful grants from the Giorgi Family Foundation, for its upcoming Eastern Mediterranean Gallery and K-12 programs; a highly competitive $215,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide emergency funding to address challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a three-year $200,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) will support our popular and impactful Global Guides program. We offer deepest thanks to these institutional funders, and also acknowledge with thanks the following additional lead funders whose support in the last fiscal year enables us to steward our extraordinary collection and share it with visitors of all ages: the Annenberg Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, the IMLS, the Hagop Kevorkian Fund, and the Louis J. Kolb Foundation.

Tiongson-Perez Joins Museum as Marketing Director WITH 15 YEARS of experience building brands and award-winning campaigns across corporate and cultural sectors, Jo Tiongson-Perez was named Director of Marketing and Communications at the Penn Museum after serving as Director of Marketing and Social Media at the Barnes Foundation. In her role at the Barnes, she built the institution’s marketing team and infrastructure and has led strategy, content, and analytics of its integrated marketing communications plan for the past seven years. Ad campaigns she has led have won gold and silver in the American ADDY awards and brought home Media and Technology MUSE awards from the American Alliance of Museums. As an education advocate drawn to social impact, Jo also serves on the Board of the Independence

Charter School, a high-performing K-8 public school in Philadelphia fostering equity and excellence through global citizenship, bilingual education, rigorous academics, and the arts. She volunteers on the communications committee of Vision 2020, a Drexel University coalition working towards women’s economic, political, and social equality. Jo holds a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific and became the first Barnes employee to complete the Barnes-de Mazia art education certificate program. In recent years, Jo has spoken at museum and marketing conferences on the topics of social media, audience engagement, and women in leadership. “I am thrilled to join another world-renowned cultural institution transforming itself as a living hub for connecting cultures and people from all walks of life. During this time of uncertainty and unrest, powerful stories that underscore our shared humanity are waiting to be unpacked—I’m grateful to go on this journey as we navigate our place in the arc of human history and beyond.”

A 2020 Field Season

Earlier this summer, Dr. C. Brian Rose and a small team were able to have a shortened but fruitful season—complete with masks—at Gordion, Turkey.

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Sara Yorke Stevenson: Suffragist, Egyptologist, and Pioneer 2020 marks the centenary of women’s suffrage. As we celebrate this milestone, we can also commemorate the achievements of Sara Yorke Stevenson (1847–1921), who led the way both in the early years of the Penn Museum and in the fight for women’s rights. Stevenson’s role as one of the Museum’s founders is well established. She was appointed as the first Curator of the Egyptian and Mediterranean Sections in 1890. In 1894, she became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Penn; a year later, she was one of the first two women admitted to the American Philosophical Society. Stevenson also served as president and secretary of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, published books and articles on Egyptology and the material culture of the Near East, and was the first woman to lecture at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. She also contributed financially to the construction of the Museum and to the acquisition of its early collections. Later, she served as the Museum’s Secretary and then as its fifth—and only female— President from 1904 to 1905. At the same time that Stevenson was working to build the Museum and its collections, she was actively working for suffrage and women’s rights beyond the museum field. She served on the Women’s Centennial Committee for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876, helping to create an exhibition known as the “Women’s Building” that for the first time showcased women’s achievements in an international exposition. Stevenson was the first female member of the Jury of Awards for Ethnology at the World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago World’s Fair) in 1893. She founded and was the first president of the Equal Franchise Society; served as co-founder and president of the Civic Club of Philadelphia, formed by women advocating for civic reform; and was president of the Acorn Club, America’s first women’s club, for 25 years. 96

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This portrait of Sara Yorke Stevenson, painted by Leopold Seyffert in 1917 for her 70th birthday, hangs in the Museum’s Archives. PM image 151005.

Stevenson died on November 14, 1921, having witnessed only a year of women’s suffrage. As we commemorate the centenary this year, we recognize the continued impact of Stevenson and the many women like her, whose legacy of “firsts” paved the way for a century of achievements, with more to come. See Expedition 62.2 (p. 6) for more on women of the Penn Museum and the Wikithon for Women’s History Month in March 2020.


The Penn Museum is building transformation not only through the renovation and reinstallation of 44,000 square feet of gallery space, but also through a fundamental philosophical transformation. We seek to address the lack of diversity on our staff by reducing the structural barriers to entry to museum careers in order to better represent and serve our communities.

PARTNER WITH US To begin addressing inequality in the museum field, the Penn Museum is replacing unpaid internships with a fully paid internship program. Students from diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to gain important knowledge and skills, enhancing their future career options.

Help offer undergraduate students a summer spent learning in our Museum: • $10,800 provides a student from outside Philadelphia with a summer stipend and housing allowance. • $5,400 provides a local student with a summer stipend. Gifts of any size will enable us to offer training in a museum world that students of any economic background will have the opportunity to access.

SUPPORT SUMMER INTERNSHIPS AT www.penn.museum/supportinterns. Thank you for your partnership in transforming our Penn Museum into a museum for all. Philadelphia’s Garden History | Fall 2020




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