Asa Gray and Trumbull, 1883
Asa Gray and J. Hammond Trumbull, 1883. Review of DeCandolle's Origin of Cultivated Plants; with Annotations upon certain American Species. American Journal of Science, 3e série. Part 1. 25: 241-255. Part 2. 25: 370-379. Part 3. 26: 128-138. (haricot 26: 130-138)
Phaseolus vulgaris, Kidney Bean. Three weeks after his first landing in the new world Columbus saw, near Nuevitas in Cuba, fields planted with "faxones and fabas very different from those of Spain" and two days afterwards, following the nort coast of Cuba, he again found "land well cultivated with these fexoes and habas much unlike ours." "Faxones" or "fexoes" were -as Navarrete notes, Colec. i, 200, 208,- "the same as frejoles or judias," Spanish names for kidney beans, which the Portuguese call Feijaos. Oviedo (1525-35) speaks of
the "fésoles, as the Spaniards call them, of which there are many kinds in the [West] Indias." These fésoles, he says (lib. vii, c. 18) "are called by Pliny fagivoles : in Aragon we call them judias, and the seeds of those of Spain and of this country are properly the same." The natives of Hispaniola raise these fésoles, but they are much more abundant on the main land, especially in New Spain and Nicaragua. "I have, in the province of Nagrando in Nicaragua seen them gather a hundred hanegas (bushels, nearly), of these fésoles: and they also, in that country and other parts of that coast, have many other kinds of besides the common sort : some have yellow seeds, others spotted," etc. In another place (lib. xi, c.1), Oviedo, mentioning plants that had been brought from Spain to Hispaniola and other parts of America, "in the beginning," names "Fésoles, called in Aragon Judias, and in my country [Castile] Arvejas luengas : but "of these, there is no need of bringing more seed, for in this island and on the main many bushels are harvested every year, and in the province of Nicaragua they are indigenous (naturales de la misma tierra), and a great number of bushels are produced yearly of these and of other fésoles of other sorts and different colors," etc.
From this time (1535) onward, nearly every writer who mentioned plants cultivated by the Indians named, together or in close connection, maize, beans and pumpkins. Reference to several of these writers has been made in our notes on Cucurbita. Cabeça de Vaca found beans cultivated by the Indians of Florida in 1528, and again, near the exterme limit of his wanderings (in New Mexico or Sonora) in 1535. De Soto, at his landing in 1539, found "fields of maize, beans and pumpkins," near Tampa Bay ; and at Coligoa (west of the Mississippi) "beans and pumkins were in great plenty ; both were larger and better than those of Spain ;" and so, at other places, on his travel to the west and north.
Jacques Cartier, the discoverer of the St. Lawrence, on his first voyage, 1534, found that the Indians near the mouth of that river on the Bay of Gaspé had abundance of maize, and had "beans (febues) which they name Sahu," or (as spelled in the vocabulary printed with his Discours du Voyage) Sahe.* The Bref Recit of his second voyage, 1535-6, mentions the use of corn and beans by the Indians of the St. Lawrence- "bled & febues & poix, desquels ilz ont assez" (f. 24).
Father Sagard in his History of Canada and in the account of his journey to the country of the Hurons, 1625, mentions the
- The language spoken by these Indians was a dialect of the Huron-Iroquois group, and we trace the name sahe (as Cartier caught it) in the Mohawk osahe-ta "fésoles" of Bruyas (17th century) and the Onondaga ousahèta and hôsahèta "poix, fève" (Shea's Onondaga Dictionary).
cultivation and use of "fezolles" by the Indians. The Hurons used in their succotash (neintahouy) "a third or a quarter part of their fezoles, called ogaressa" (Grand Voyage, 83, 138).
Lescarbot, 1608, says that the Indians of Maine, like those of Virginia and Florida, plant their corn in hills, "and between the kernels of corn, they plant beans marked (féves riolées) with various colors, which are very delicate ; these, because they are not so high as the corn, grow very well among it" (Hist. Nouv. France, ed. 1612, p. 835 ; see also, p. 744).
The relation of the voyage of Captains Amidas and Barlow to Virginia, 1584, mentions pease, melons, etc., at Roanoke Island, but does not name beans ; but Harriot, who accompanied them on this voyage, includes both "Wickonzour, called by us Pease," and "Okindjier, called by us Beans," among the productions of that country. Capt. John Smith, who was in Virginia in 1607, and Strachey, who was there in 1610, describe (in nearly the same words) the Indian manner of planting corn and beans : "they plant also pease they call assentamens, which are the same they call in Italy fagioli : their beans are the same the Turks call garvances, but these they much esteem for dainties" (Smith's Gen. Hist., 28; Strachey, Trav. in Virginia, 117). Evidently, these names are confounded. Garvance was the French name of the Chick Pea (Cicer arietinum), the Spanish garbanzo ; and it is not probable that the "Turks" gave this name to any kind of beans ; while fagiuoli was the Italian equivalent of Latin phaseoli. Strachey's Virginian vocabulary gives assentamens (and otassentamens) for pease," and peccatoas, peketawes, for "beans."
It must be remembered that at the beginning of the 17th century, kidney beans -as well as vetchlings (Lathyrus)- were popularly regarded as a kind of pease, or "peason." Turner, in his Names of Herbes, 1548, says that "Phasiolus, otherwyse called Dolichos, may be called in English long peasen or faselles ; .... in French phaseoles" : and "Smilax hortensis, .... in French, as some wryte Phaseole.... may be called in English Kydney beane," etc., (Engl. Dial. Soc., ed. 1881, p. 62, 74). Lyte's Dodoens, 1578, follows Turner for the English names of Phaseolus, "Kidney beane and Sperage ; of some they are called Faselles, or Long Peason," etc. (p. 474): his "common Peason" and "middle Peason" are Ervilia (Ervum Ervilia L.?) and Pisum arvense L. ; while P. sativum is distinguished as "Great Peason, Garden Peason, and Branche Peason, because, as I thinke, they must be holpen or stayed up with branches" (id. 476).
So, on the continent, the Spanish names for "fésoles" was "arvejas luengas" (Oviedo) i.e. 'long vetches,' and the garden pea (P. sativum) was "un corto genero de Arvejas" (Calepin's
Diction., ed. 1616), a short kind of vetches. The confusion of names is frequent in writers of the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, in French, as well as English and Spanish : "Magno sane labore" -as Tragus found- "Phasioli, Orobi, et Pisa, necnon Cicer arietina, maxime agrestia, secernuntur," Stirp. Hist., 1552, p. 613.
Champlain uses poix and fêves, interchangeably, as names of the American Phaseoli. In Breton's Diction. Fr.-Caraïbe (1666) the Caril name, caláoüana, stands for "pois de Brésil" and "febue de Brésil" ; "pois rouges, dit Anglois, míbipi" ; and "Pois, mancónti" -this being, probably the (introduced) P. sativum.
Sagard (1624-5) says that the Hurons called the coarser part of their pounded maize -after the meal had been sifted from it- "Acointa, c'est à dire Pois (car ils lui donnent le mesme nom qu'à nos pois) ;" and in his Dictionnaire Huronne, he has "Pois, Acointa," "Fezolles, Ogaressa ;" whence we infer that French pease [P. sativum] were already cultivated by or known to the Hurons. The Abnakis of western Maine, in the 17th century, called pease, awennootsi-minar, i.e. "French (or foreign) seeds." Tanner, 1830, gives as the Chippeway name of the "Wild pea vine" [Phaseolus diversifolius?] Anishemin, i.e. 'Indian (or, native) seeds.' In nearly all North-American languages, the names for kidney-beans (Phaseoli) are of earlier formation than those for garden pease. The latter are usually formed on the former : e.g. Chahta, tobi, bean; tobi hullo, [wild] pea ; tobi hikint ŭni, garden pea (Byington) : Dakota, onmnicha, bean ; onmnicha hmiyanyan [i.e. 'round bean'], pea.
Without multiplying citations -we may assume that the "pease" and "poix" which early voyagers found cultivated by the American Indian were species of Phaseolus- not Pisum.
Five and twenty years before the settlement of Virginia, the Indians of Carolina and Florida had "fine citroüilles and very good beans" (Lescarbot, Nouv. France, 778). Lawson, 1700-1708, gives a more particular description of the southern beans cultivated by the Indians : "The Kidney-Beans," he says, "were here before the English came, being very plentiful in Indian corn-fields." "The Bushel bean," a spontaneous growth, very flat, white, and mottled with a purple figure, was trained on poles [P. multiflorus?] : "Indian Rounceval, or Miraculous Pulse, so called from their long pods and great increase ; they are very good, and so are the Bonavies, Calavancies [= Garvances?], Nanticokes, and abundance of other pulse, too tedious to mention, which we found the Indians possessed of when first we settled in America" (Voyage to Carolina, pp.76, 77).
In the northern States, we find little difficulty in establishing
the identity of Phaseolus vulgaris with the beans cultivated by the Indians at the first coming of Europeans. These were, from the first, distinguished, as "Indian beans," from the garden beans (Vicia Faba) introduced by the English. In 1609, Hudson, exploring the river which bears his name, saw at an Indian village -in the vicinity of Schodac and Castleton, Rensellaer county, N.Y.- "a great quantity of maize or Indian corn, and beans of the last year's growth" (Hudson's Journal, in De Laet, 1625, b. iii. ch. 10, and Juet's, in Ourchas: N.Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2 Ser., i. 300, 325).
1631-42. The Indians of New Netherland "make use of French beans of different colours, which they plant among their maize... The maize stalks serve, instead of the poles which we use in our Fatherland, for the beans to grow upon" (De Vries, Voyages, transl. in 2 N.Y. Hist. Soc., iii. 107).
1653. Van der Donck, in his "Description of the New Netherlands," distinguishes the beans cultivated by the Indians before the coming of the Dutch, and the Turkish beans which had been introduced: "Of Beans there are several kinds; but the large Windsor bean [Vicia Faba]... and the horse bean will not fill out their pods... The Turkish beans which our people have introduced there grow wonderfully... Before the arrival of the Netherlanders  the Indians raised beans of various kinds and colours, but generally too coarse to be eaten green or to be pickled, except the blue sort, which are abundant," etc. He then describes the Indian mode of planting beans with maize, ut supra (N.Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2 Ser., i. 188-9). This is the only reference we have found to the introduction of any species of Phaseolus, into North America. Van der Donck's book was written more than forty years after Hudson's coming, and the author first arrived in New Netherland in 1642. His statement as to the introduction by the Dutch of the best kind of "Turkish beans" for "snaps," salad, or pickling, is not to be accepted without reserve ; but the fact that turkish beans "grow wonderfully, fill out remarkably well, and are much cultivated," while the imported Windsor beans [Vicia Faba] and horse beans proved failures is to be noted.
Wood, who was in Massachussetts from 1629 to 1633, says that the Indians, "in winter-time have all manner of fowles, Indian beanes, and clams" (N.E. Prospect, pt. 2, ch. 6). Roger Williams, 1643, gives the Indian name of these beans, in the Narraganset dialect: Manusqussed-ash (plural) ; Cotton's Massachussetts vocabulary (1727-8) has (sing.) "Mônasquisset, an Indian bean ; "President Stiles, about 1760, heard the name in the Pequot dialect as Mushquissedes (MS. Vocab.) ; Zeisberger, 1776 and 1803, wrote in the Delaware, with dialectic modification, Malachxit ; and we can trace it in the modern Shyenne Mónisk 135 (Hayden's Vocab., 1862) and Monchka. In the Chippeway, the kidney-bean has received -probably from some local variety- a different name : Miskodissimin, i.e. 'red-dyed seed (or fruit) ;" and this name, modified as M'skochī-tha, was used by the Shawanoes of Ohio.
To return to New England, Josselyn, who was in this country, 1638-9, and again, 1663-71, in his catalogue of "plants proper to the country, names "Indian Beans, falsely called French beans :" "the herbalists call them kidney-beans, from their shape and effects... They are variegated much [in size and colour] ; besides your Bonivis and Calavances, and the kidney-bean that is proper to Roanoke : but these are brought into the country ; the others are natural to the climate" (N.E. Rarities, p. 56; Voyages, p. 73-4). Here is reference to at least two species of American beans, one "proper to New England," the other to Roanoke -perhaps P. multiflorus.
Besides the names already mentioned - Mônasquisset, with its variants- there is another, in northern Algonkin languages, for kidney-beans, which must have originally belonged to some high-twining variety. Eliot used it, in the plural, for "beans" in Samuel, xvii. 28, tuppŭhquam-ash - which literally signifies 'twiners ;' and Rasles (1691-1700) gave, in the Kennebec-Abnaki of Maine, for "faséole, a'teba'kwé- from the same root. A modern Abnaki vocabulary shows that this name is still in use -as "ad-ba-kwa."
As to the American origin of P. lunatus, the Lima bean and its varieties, there seems now to be no question. "It is evidently," says M. DeCandolle (p. 276), "a Brazilian species, dispersed by cultivation, and perhaps long ago naturalized, here and there, in tropical America."
But as to the origin of P. vulgaris he is not free from doubt. He finds "(1) that this species was not cultivated in ancient times in the East Indies, the southwest of Asia, or Egypt ; (2) that we are not absolutely certain that it was known in Europe before the discovery of America ; (3) that at that epoch the number of varieties suddenly increased in the gardens of Europe, and all authors began to speak of it ; (4) that the majority of species of this genus are found in South America; and (5) that weeds which apparently belong to this species have been found in Peruvian tombs [at Ancon] of a date somewhat uncertain, mixed with many other species, all of which are American" (p. 275).
The proof that P. vulgaris (and P. nanus), in varieties almost innumerable, were cultivated by the natives of America, before the coming of Europeans, seems to be conclusive. The resolution of M. de Candolle's doubts as to the American origin of the species must depend, chiefly, on the identification of the species known as Phaseolí (Phaselí, Fagiuolí, Fésoles, etc.), in
Europe, before the discovery of America. This identification may not be impossible, but the space at our disposal will not permit us to attempt it in this article, or even to re-examine the authorities on which M. de Candolle admits the probability "that the Dolichos of Theophrastus was our pole bean (haricot à rames), and the Fasiolos our cultivated bush bean (haricot nain"), p. 271. At present, we have only to offer one or two notes-
1. The distinction indicated by Galen (de Alimentis, lib. i, cc. 25, 28), between the Phasiolos (φασίολος), of Dioscorides and Phaselus (φάσηλος) -presumably the "vilis faselus" of Virgil- if well founded, seems to have been lost sight of in the middle ages. In Italy, the Greek and Latin names Phasiolos, Faseolus, Faselus, Fasillus, etc., passed into the modern Fagiuoli. Piero de' Crescenzi, of Bologna, whose treatise on agriculture was written near the beginning of the 14th century, in Latin, and translated into Italian about 1350, mentions among field plants, Faseoli (Fagiuoli), as well known; "some of them are red, some white... They are planted, conveniently, among panick, millet and chick pease; they are also planted in gardens, among cabbages and onions."* It is not certain that the red and the white were of the same species, or genus, or that either was a species of Phaseolus L. In the first half of the 16th century the white Phaseoli were the more common and less esteemed. The young and tender pods were eaten, with the included seeds, in salads, or boiled with other vegetables.
Two other early figures show that the Faseoli were not so "well known" to the herbalists of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century as to Crescenzi in the 14th. One (fig. 2) is from a Venice edition of the Hortus Sanitatis, 1511; the other (fig. 3) from the Tacuini Sanitatis of "Elluchasem Elimithar," Strasburg, 1531, p. 49. They are equally unlike the modern Phaseolus, the earlier figure in Crescenzi, and each other. Fig.
- De Agricultura, lib. iii, c, 10 (Italian, Ed. Venice, 1504). The Latin text was first printed at Strasburg, in 1471, and with figures, 1486 ; the Italian version was printed at Florence, 1478. The figure (fig. 1) of Faseolus in the earliest (Latin) edition we have seen, without date, but probably of Louvain, about 1480, has little resemblance to the Phaseolus of modern botany.
M. de Candolle remarks (p. 272) that "authors of the 15th century say nothing of Faseolus, or any analogous name," and that "this is the case with P. Crescenzi," -referring to a French translation of Crescenzi, printed in 1539, which we have not seen.
3 may have originally been intended for a Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) the Virga pastoris of the herbalists. Calepin's Dictionary (ed. 1616) says, s.v. Faseolus, that the name Fasilli is now given by the common people, to "a species of Cicercula."
This "vulgaris Phaseolus" of Matthioli* and other Italian botanists of the period, is figured and described in the later editions of his commentary on Dioscorides,** as having an erect stem, ternate leaves, white flowers, kidney-shaped seeds, white, "except the umbilicus, which grows black." It may be worth noting that "a black spot in the place of the cotyledon" was a characteristic of the Faseoli described by Albertus Magnus (13th cent.), which appears to M. de Candolle "to be the dwarf Haricot (P. nanus) of our epoch." This black spot is more strongly suggestive of Dolichos than of any known variety of P. vulgaris: e.g., Dolichos unguiculatus L. (French, D. Mongette, Banette, Haricot cornille) -not mentioned by M. de Candolle, but much cultivated in Italy, and of which there are a great number of varieties- which has seeds "marked by a prominent black spot, about the umbilicus."***
2. M. de Candolle (p. 272), with a reference to Delile and to Piddington's Index, remarks that though "no Hebrew name corresponding to the Dolichos or Phaseolus of the botanists" is known, yet "a name less ancient, because it is Arabic, namely Loubia, is found in Egypt for the Dolichos Lubia; and in
- "Vulgares Phaseoli, quibus passim in cibis vescimur, dum satis in campis virent, non repant," etc., Matth. Apologia adv. Amathum, 1559, p. 33; "Vulgaris usus Phaseolus." Ibid. 31.
- Ed. C. Bauhin, 1598, p. 341. In the earlier edition (Venice, 1559, p. 264), Phaseolus is figured as a low, bushy and spreading, but not twining plant.
- Several other species of Dolichos (e.g. D. sesquipedalis L., Ital. Fagiuolo Sparagio, Engl. Asparagus bean) are similarly marked. Vilmorin-Andrieux et Cie, Les Plantes Potagères, 1883, p. 280. Other names for this species are: "Germ. Ostindische Riesel-Spargel Bohne, Nagelische Fasel; Ital. Fagiuolo dell'occhio; Span. Garrubia, Moncheta, Judia de Careta."
Hindustani, under the form Loba, for Phaseolus vulgaris." This name seems to be clearly referable to the Greek. It has not been traced earlier than to Jahia ebn Serapion -an Arabian physician of the 9th or 10th century- whose work "de Simplicibus" compiled chiefly from Dioscorides and Galen, was translated into Latin in the 15th century.* In a chapter (lxxxi) on "Lubia, i.e. Faseoli," he quotes from Dioscorides, the description of Smilax hortensis (κηπαία σμίλαξ) "whose seeds some call Lobia" ; and it is evident that the name Lubia (as it was translitterated from the Arabic text by the translator) was transferred to the Arabic from the Greek of Dioscorides. It is probable, to say the least, that it has been rightly appropriated to Dolichos Lubia Forskal (De Candolle, 278), rather than to any species of Phaseolus.
- Milan, 1473, and Venice, 1479; but better known to botanists of the 16th century in the Strasburg edition of 1531, edited by Otho Brunfels.
(fin du texte sur le haricot / end of text about bean)