Jeremy Bentham

Catherine Fuller (ed.), The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 11: January 1822 to June 1824

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Editor’s Note2840To James Sibbald9 January 1822 (Aet 73)

Norway is a country that, by various ties, has of late taken possession of my sympathy. On reading your letter, considering the climate of Labrador, and the facilities which, according to your account, the plant has of enduring severe frost, it has occurred to me that if Norway could be put in possession of it, the plant might, to that cold and poor country, be a most important blessing.2 It might be—but it belongs much rather to you than to me, to say whether it might or might not be to Norway, what the potato is to Ireland.

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Editor’s Note
2840. 1 Bowring, x. 532–3. Bowring introduced this letter as follows: 'Bentham's services to humanity, in distributing the seeds of useful and beautiful plants, have already been mentioned. He took some pains to get the Mangel root introduced into Norway.' At the end of the letter Bowring added: It was an invariable injunction laid on his travelling friends to send home the seeds of all esculent vegetables which fell in their way; and he was never happier than when planning the best means for their distribution.' James Sibbald of Buck Grove, near Paisley, had written on 21 May 1821 to the Monthly Magazine about the trottel root: see Monthly Magazine; or, British Register, vol lii (1 September 1821), 194,
Editor’s Note
2 According to Sibbald's letter, he had been given two trottel plants from Labrador which he had successfully grown in Paisley, and had found the leaves and roots to be edible even in winter. Sibbald described the plant as having the properties of a potato, the shape of a Windsor bean, and when boiled the appearance of a carrot.
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