To the Board of Control of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station:
GENTLEMEN.—It gives me peculiar pleasure to transmit to you for publication a manuscript prepared from notes by Dr. E. Lewis Sturtevant, the distinguished first Director of this Station, the publication to be known as "Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants."
Dr. Sturtevant was one of that group of men who early espoused the cause of agricultural science in the United States, a field in which he became distinguished, his studies in economic botany being one of his notable achievements. When he retired in 1887 as Director of this Station, he left behind him a voluminous manuscript consisting of a compilation of existing knowledge on the edible food plants of the world, a piece of work involving a laborious and extended research in botanical literature. For twenty years this manuscript remained untouched, when Dr. U. P. Hedrick undertook its editing, a difficult and arduous task, well performed, in order that so valuable a collection of knowledge might become available to botanists and to students of food economics.
It is especially appropriate that such a volume should be issued at this time. Food problems are becoming more and more acute as the demand for food increasingly overshadows the supply. Primitive peoples depended upon food resources which are now neglected. Other sources of possible human nutrition have doubtless remained untouched, and the time may come when a comprehensive utilization of food plants will be essential to human sustenance. It is believed, therefore, that the information so ably brought together by Dr. Sturtevant cannot fail to become increasingly useful.
W. H. JORDAN
New York Agricultural Experiment Station
June 1, 1919.