previous next

Weeping-willow, the

After the South Sea bubble in England had collapsed, one of the speculators who had been ruined went to Smyrna to mend his fortunes. He was a friend of Pope, the poet, and sent him a box of figs. In the box Pope found the twig of a tree. He had just established his villa at Twickenham. He planted the twig (fortunately) by the shore of the Thames, not knowing of what tree it was. It grew, and was a weeping-willow, such as the captive Jews wept under on the banks of the rivers of Babylon. That twig was planted in 1722. In 1775 one of the young British officers who came to Boston with the British army brought a twig from Pope's then huge willow, expecting, when the “rebellion” should be crushed, in a few weeks, to settle in America on some confiscated lands of the “rebels,” where he would plant his willow. John Parke Custis, son of Mrs. Washington, and aide to General Washington, at Cambridge, going on errands to the British camp, under a flag of truce, became acquainted with the owner of the willow twig (which was wrapped in oiled

Pohick Church.

[302] silk). The disappointed subaltern gave the twig to Custis, who planted it near his home on his estate at Abingdon, Va., where it became the progenitor of all the weeping-willows in America.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (2)
Twickenham (United Kingdom) (1)
England (United Kingdom) (1)
Abingdon, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George Washington (2)
John Pope (2)
John Parke Custis (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1775 AD (1)
1722 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: