From Robert R. Livingston
New York 9th March 1795.
I should not thus long have delayed to acknowledge your favor of the 16th Feby & to return my thanks for your obliging communication of Mr Maunsels treatise had I not found it necessary in order to enable the Society to avail themselves of your permission to make such extracts from it as they might think useful—this they have done.1 The merrit of the discovery will I think depend rather upon the2 proof that more potatoes may be raised upon the same ground in this than in the common mode than upon (what he seems to estimate most) the saving made in the seed, for the potatoe after it has sent forth shoots is of very little value As you propose try Maunsels meathod of culture I should deem it a particular honor to learn from you at your leiasure the result of your experiments. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & the most perfect essteem Dear Sir Your Most Obt hum: Servt
Robt R. Livingston
ALS, DLC:GW; ADfs, NHi: Robert R. Livingston Papers.
1. Upon receipt of the pamphlet, the New York agricultural society delegated Simeon DeWitt to prepare an abstract from it. After he reported an extract containing “the substance of what I deemed the most material parts of the pamphlet,” the society resolved on 9 March “That the said abstract be published for the Information of our fellow citizens; and that it be recommended to them to make experiments on the culture of potatoes according to this new mode, and forward the results thereof to this society.” The extract and resolution were printed in American Minerva, and the New-York (Evening) Advertiser, 12 March.
2. From this point until the closing, the draft reads: “truth of the assertion that more & better potatoes may be raised on the same ground from the shoots than from the scullins rather than on any saving made in the seed for the potatoe after it has sent forth shoots of any length is of very little value—I shall endeavour to make some experiments if I leave town in season myself upon this mode of culture and you have the same intention I should essteem it a particular favor to learn hereafter the success of your experiments.”