Deerfield, September lst 1817.
I received the box of minerals I requested you to name and feel very grateful to you for bestowing so much labor on them and also for the very valuable and unexpected addition you made to them from your own cabinet. I venture to send a few more specimens for your inspection but fear I am troubling you too much. If it is not perfectly agreeable and convenient I beg you would not trouble yourself to attend to them.
I send some slaty greenstone as you requested. I should say that one third of the greenstone in this vicinity is similar to this although the laminae are not generally so thin. This slate generally has rent the columnar greenstone and then succeeds the amygdaloid -- at least I have noticed this succession in several instances. I also send a specimen of nearly all the varieties of rock I find on this range, which I beg you to keep or throw away as you please. Any other specimens in the boxes you wish for you are requested to keep and only send back as
In 1817, Edward Hitchcock gathered the courage to approach Benjamin Silliman with a request to identify a box of minerals that accompanied the letter. In this letter, his second, Hitchcock thanks Silliman for taking the time to help him out. Silliman had returned the minerals along with the gift of a piece of "verd antique marble," so Hitchcock felt encouraged to send more samples of local rock, including the "Chabasie" (chabazite) Silliman had asked for, and a description of greenstone. It was the beginning of a lifelong personal and professional friendship.