“Northern Tree Peddlar and Perhaps Abolitionist” Decried by Nashville Nursery

“Northern Tree Peddlar and Perhaps Abolitionist” Decried by Nashville Nursery 

L.C. Lishy’s Abridged Catalogue of Choice and Select Fruits, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs… for sale at the Nashville Nursery and Fruit Gardens… [Nashville?, ca. 1858-1862].

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An unrecorded and undated Tennessee circular, this catalog of fruits, trees and shrubs available for sale may initially appear to be of limited interest. Yet in it L.C. Lishy presents an impassioned sales pitch that channels the rising tensions between the north and south in the lead up to the Civil War by introducing a fascinating social character -- if you will, a cultural Johnny Appleseed.

“Our trees and plants are home grown, and the varieties of Fruits, such, as have been well tested and suited to Tennessee and the South.  … We sell most where we are best known, and have driven out of this neighborhood, at least, all Northern “Tree Peddlars.”  … If we cannot convince those who wish to purchase trees and plants that it is in their interest to deal with one of their own citizens, rather than with some Northern tree peddlar and perhaps abolitionist, who has neither character to make nor to loose, we are willing to quit, and engage at something else.”

Adopted by Cheryl Needle

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