Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Darjeeling, India
JDH/1/10 f.252-255
Hooker, Sir William Jackson
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Indian Letters 1847-1851
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
16 page letter over 4 folios

No summary available.


willingly pay £40 a year salary to him -- We shall have so much more to do than Fitch can get through especially if you talk of a Flora Indica, at which Tom pricks his ears with a will. I am still strong for the "Icones" size & form of plates & no end of them, the text to be "running" of course. What £100 from the Indian Gov[ernmen]t do you refer to as swelling my £300 of this year to £400 -- I never heard of it before. I will try to send more drawings by next (March) mail but you must be patient with me, this arranging & packing my collections is fearful work broken in as my time constantly

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Dorjiling [Darjeeling] Jan[uar]y 30. 1850 *1 My dear father I had the gratification of receiving your long letter of Nov[ember]. 17. the other day & greatly delighted both Tom <Thomas Thomson> & I were with its gossip & information. My mothers letter was too a great solace & comfort & I hope that she was quite recovered before the anxiety about my late coercion arrived in England. I cannot thank you too much for your kind attention to my wants & wishes in sending me the telescope &c, which are now I doubt not on their way up here from Calcutta [Kolkata] under my good friends Thuillier's care. What to do about Tayler's drawing I am much at a loss to think. At first he wrote begging it (both through Falconer & myself) to be returned without delay -- then (mediante Hodgson) he sent it as a gift unluckily the latter news seems

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to have reached you too late & it is little Taylers own fault. He has not acknowledged its receipt to me & I shall write explaining it. I am very glad to hear that Fitch has so much improved it. His (Taylers) fault I used to think excessive rawness of coloring, but I did not see this finished & all told me he had avoided that error. Mr Campbell copied the picture of myself out of it & though much inferior in execution people do say that it is much the more like me of the two. I think the stream of water & Hodgsonia fruits in the foreground will improve it greatly though

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Hodgsonia fruit & Rhododendron flowers are sad anachronisms & unworthy of a Botanist seeing one is the child of May the other of September. I have got no Hodgsonia seeds this year I much regret to say but Campbell will get them next season & I will not fail to keep him up to it. You ask what specific name to give it ?-- Why not Roxburgh's of "heteroclita" ? which should not be altered without good cause shown. You see by my ovarian section that it is a true Telfairiae & not Cucurbit[aceae] proper. It has (fid Voight) been cultivated in HBC. Garden Calcutta & being abundant in Silhet there ought to be no difficulty in getting

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live plants to Kew. By last mail (this?) I sent you my Rhododendron drawings which will I hope give you satisfaction. I also sent a complete named set of good specimens to correspond -- & many boxes packets (7) of seeds. I do hope that the latter collections (of seeds) of nearly 1000 species of plants will redeem my character a little. By this mail 6 more boxes of ripe seeds, (many Rhododendrons) so to that I do not fear the growing a good lot now, the more especially if you think fit to distribute to such men as Paxton, Lindley's garden, Sion Syon *2 &c. Don't forget the [1 word crossed out, illeg.] message from Lord Dalhousie to the Queen nor Mr Bellenden Ker *3

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Thomson's Gard[ener]s'. Chronicle arrived yesterday & I was enchanted with Paxton's Victoria (not the excusable[?] wood cut). I am perfectly sure that if Jock Smith would drop his pseudoscience & take to practical science he might make a good hand of cultivation, but when I read from his pen such philosophy as that water freezes at lower temps at great elevations, I cannot but call out that the schoolmaster is adrift, & a little knowledge a dangerous thing however pray don't tell him this. To return to our Rhododendrons I have further completed & copied out all the descriptions ! with a catalogue raisonee of the Indian ones known to me. It took me 15 days hard work

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to do all properly which I did most grievously grudge & thought worse than my captivity & assure you it needed all the stimulus of seeing for the first time the Book itself, to keep me on to the weary hackneyed Rhododendrons. As to the said book, it is altogether above notice from the like of me -- the plate of R. argenteum likes me best & is I think not to be surpassed for drawing[,] perspective[,] colouring & portraiture by Baines' Banksia -- It is a far grander & better book than ever I expected after all its panegyrics & I am most heartily obliged to you for giving

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me the lions share of the honors which should be[sic] rights be as much your own as is the Victoria book. R. wallichii is certainly campanulatum. R. lancifolium is only a var[iety] of -- R. Roylei of cinnabarinum & the latter is far from typical of the general appearance of the plants. These are all my fault; except that I could not find out about cinnabarinum lilanum being campanulatum not having the excellent Bot. Reg. plate. Everyone is anxious to see the Rhodo[dendron]s. made a work of themselves & the plates now sent will fill 2 more numbers of 10 plates each

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if you think proper to do so. It appears to Thomson[,] Hodgson & myself a far better plan this than mixing off with the Hodgsonia & other plants. As to presentation copies, I do think you have done enough already & except to Lady D[alhousie], Campbell & Hodgson & Falconer I would not give one other away in India -- Peel, Colvile, Mc Lelland, & Jenkins should all buy the remaining numbers & they can all well afford it. In England too I would strongly advise you to curtail the list of donation copies -- the first number is a splendid gift & let people buy the remainder if they choose. The presentation system

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is perfect ruin to author & publisher, as we carried on with Fl. Ant. [Flora Antarctica] & Rhod. & I am clear for steeling my heart when I get back. As you will have plenty to do with the Rhod[odendron]. plates in the mean time I have delayed the mss [manuscript] for another introduction; for I am really & truly most terribly busy & in straits as my letter to my mother will explain to you. I send another small packet of seeds by this post through Mr Melville, so, that you should do well in the Himal way. Thomson has been helping me famously with my packing before he was ordered down to join the Sikkim detachment & now he is Botanizing hard at the

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Gt. Rungeet: he has recovered health & strength so wonderfully that we together walked up from Khursong [Kurseong] to Dorjiling [Darjeeling] 25 miles in 6 hours uphill 3000 ft too. Still he looks thin grey & very old, but has nothing the matter with his constitution he is a very nice companion as steady & industrious & agreeable as ever, very clever he always was & he is extremely amiable & generous too. No answer yet from Lord Dalhousie about Nepal or Sylhet & I fear that this Sikkim affair may derange all my plans, for either, by delaying too late. If it do I have no choice but to stay

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in Darjeeling for the hot weather or go home, by sea to England. I should prefer the latter taking Malacca & Ceylon [Sri Lanka] en route, for nothing shall induce me to go spend a hot season in the plains or valleys of India, & Assam is dangerous after March. Nor could you stand it. Cathcart has just sent me the Nov[ember] journal Annals of Kew, with Patchouli & Thibet [Tibet] &c. My journal reads very well, but why will mamma put in such poor small wit as the footnote at p.332 The so called Careya flower I corrected, it is Duabanga of Wall Lagaerstrom. Grandifl. [Lagerstroemia grandiflora] of Roxburgh to which some Sonneratia is I think too nearly allied.

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As to future Journals I thought you had a trip down the Gt. Rungeet to the Teesta, which I copied & sent you. I will now shortly send the E[ast]. Nepal journal just as it is for it is quite impossible for me to doctor & dress it. You are quite right to be careful of making any information too public. Already I find myself out by 1500 ft in the elevation of the part of Thibet I visited in July which averages 17000 ft rising to 20,000 & the public papers by mutilating have made a mess of the snow line by saying I found it at (instead of below) 16000 on the south, :-- but I no longer regard the Himalayah as a continuous

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snowy chain of Mts, but as the snowed spurs of far higher unsnowed land behind, which higher land is protected from the snow by the peaks on the spurs which run south from it. Thomson has independently arrived at the same conclusion. I had just finished for you an excellent large map of my wanderings but have thought it proper to give it to Gen[era]l Young who was all abroad as to how to dispose of the troops now marching into Sikkim. If a set of Griffiths plants is to be retained in Calcutta, I think that it will be a pity. From the little I saw, I should say there are no good materials for division of his Bhotan [Bhutan] & Mishmi collection, & the retention of a set in

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Calcutta, where there is no efficient museum nor curator of a Herbarium is just exposing them to ruin. Your proposal about Benthams dividing Gardners plants appears very good. Ask him to keep a first rate set for Thomson. Use your own discretion about showing Asa Gray my New Zealand & Tasmanian plants, he is quite welcome as far as I am concerned. I don't think Jonathans green fit is worth taking notice of. Really if that man Clark is a tolerable worker I do think you should engage him for Thomson & myself who will

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willingly pay £40 a year salary to him -- We shall have so much more to do than Fitch can get through especially if you talk of a Flora Indica, at which Tom pricks his ears with a will. I am still strong for the "Icones" size & form of plates & no end of them, the text to be "running" of course. What £100 from the Indian Gov[ernmen]t do you refer to as swelling my £300 of this year to £400 -- I never heard of it before. I will try to send more drawings by next (March) mail but you must be patient with me, this arranging & packing my collections is fearful work broken in as my time constantly

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is now by the arrangement for the campaign in Sikkim. Another Gard[eners'] Chron[icle]. came to day (Feby 2) with more praise of Kew museum. I am sorry to see that the Orchid house does not answer by reason of its necessary airiness[sic] with 2000 visitors a day. Lectures at Kew are still talked of. I hate the proposition, though if insisted on think it would add to the popularity, when the proper plan to follow would be that at the Royal Institution of visiting lecturers with a £10 fee. It would never do for you & me to have to lecture with our other duties. Ever your most affectionate son | Jos D Hooker [signature] ENDNOTES 1. An annotation written in another hand records that the letter was "(rec'd March 22d)" 2. Annotation in another hand 3. Annotated by the author with a line in the margin to highlight this sentence Please note that work on this transcript is ongoing. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document where possible.

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