Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
JHC98
Judge Cathcart's, Leebong, India
JDH/1/10 f.260-261
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
English
Original MS
8 page letter over 2 folios
 

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Transcript

ourselves his brain is a little turned. Now the Rajah avows that the passes are & always should have been free to us, that Thibet was his bugbear to us illegitimately in that neither he nor the Chinese have taken offence at Campbells or my proceedings, & that his own violence was first to coerce Campbell into political measures, & latterly by maltreating me & my party to deter other Europeans from entering the county & Lepchas from assisting them. All I can say is that precarious as my position was for one month I all along thought it better than Borneo. Cathcart desires his best compliments his collection of drawings is invaluable, admirable, all are for my use! -- Ever your most affectionate son Jos D. Hooker [signature] *2 Enquire if you please, who a Mr Middleship is, who professes to have property in Richmond lane, next to Lady Shaftesburys, -- Do ask as he is very much suspected & the people here do not know what to make of him ENDNOTES 1. Annotated in different hand "recd Apl. 1.st" 2. Text from here until the end of the paragraph is written vertically in the left hand margin and across the text on page 1. 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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Lebong (Judge Cathcart) February -- /[18]50 *1 My dear Father You will be rejoiced to hear that the advance into Sikkim has been postponed sine die & I of course free of the plague & detention. Thomson is still attached to the force, which is an excellent arrangement pending the settlement of our plans, as his pay & time goes on. I had two days ago the most kind & flattering letter from Lord Dalhousie & another from Courtenay. Lord D[alhousie] says that he has such full reliance in my prudence & that he will not believe me at all to blame & that he sees no obstacle to the Nepal Expedition, he writes from Bombay [Mumbai]

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but the affair cannot be settled till he returns to Calcutta [Kolkata] in the beginning of March. Then he will meet the Nepal Embassy (to England) & all will be easily settled. I hope. The reports about Thibetan [Tibetan] interference with Sikkim are now definitely settled negatived, as I said the Rajah has no alliance of any kind with Thibet & except as a renter of two properties in that county no relations with it[.] Being himself Thibetan by birth education & he has always adopted the policy of the Chinese as to exclusion of foreigners, in spite of his Treaty with us which binds him to us alone & in the face of which the Chinese would

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not be foolish as to interfere covertly or otherwise. What Mr Lushington & the General have been about I cannot say, being far too busy to attend. They have got a wigging from Gov[ernmen]t. for proposing or rather, threatening to march into Tumloong, if the Rajah did not deliver himself up. which he has not done. Lushington is or rather was a judicial not a political officer & appears profoundly ignorant of how to go to work is giving offence to the military & I fear making a mess of it: but really I speak only from hear say & have had no time to investigate the matter. All I know (or care to know) is that we do not march to Tumloong. Thomson's party who

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marched across the river were released two days ago -- I went down & came up with Tom thus far (Lebong) last night -- botanizing upwards. We have had good success in botanizing considering the explored nature of the county -- viz -- a new Calamus, very pretty & the male flower of the Cycas -- two most magnificent cones, worth five guineas a--piece superb things really. The species is I believe pectinata -- we looked three days in vain for the female & indeed the trees are so few that it is not likely to be found, I also got more another large trunk trichotomous & better whole specimens of some of the Palms, a new road

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being just cut through the heart of the jungle in the lowest valley, wherein areca Caryota, three or four Calami & Wallichia grow. No sight signs of Chamaerops whatever in Sikkim. Up to three days ago I was packing my collections at Dorjiling incessantly, they are very numerous & good but terribly bulky & unwieldy. Palms, woods Bamboos Tree--ferns & Cycas will cost a lot of money to get down to Calcutta, whither I am despatching all as soon as possible. I stay here (with Tom[?]) for a few days to complete my collections of Palms & woods &c. I had a long letter from Madden yesterday, now at Calcutta en route for England in March, with a

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small collection of plants for you. he appears an extremely nice fellow from all I hear & read. very clever but like all Indians knocked about in constitution a good deal. He hints privately to me that a private application on your part might secure Strachey's collections (lately made in Thibet) for Kew. Hodgson is quite well, but. I am sorry to say very cranky & has been so ever after my unlucky capture, you know that the poor fellow took a most strange & unnatural view of the case, distracted by affection for Campbell & myself. & with

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an always exciteable[sic] brain & extravagantly personality temperament. He conjured up all sorts of phantasms to amount for the affair, accepted every Bhothea lie for truth & without waiting for our report bewildered both gov[ernmen]ts, sued for us as if we were malefactors, & made such an uproar as has brought him the most tremendous denunciations from gov[ernmen]t. The poor fellow Byng, who has not one idea to cap another with; he misled & utterly confounded. You I doubt not he frightened out of all measure of need, & altogether he has made so thorough a mess as a politician man of sense or friend to any, partly that he feels terribly depressed but is far too proud to confess that, or his errors. Between

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ourselves his brain is a little turned. Now the Rajah avows that the passes are & always should have been free to us, that Thibet was his bugbear to us illegitimately in that neither he nor the Chinese have taken offence at Campbells or my proceedings, & that his own violence was first to coerce Campbell into political measures, & latterly by maltreating me & my party to deter other Europeans from entering the county & Lepchas from assisting them. All I can say is that precarious as my position was for one month I all along thought it better than Borneo. Cathcart desires his best compliments his collection of drawings is invaluable, admirable, all are for my use! -- Ever your most affectionate son Jos D. Hooker [signature] *2 Enquire if you please, who a Mr Middleship is, who professes to have property in Richmond lane, next to Lady Shaftesburys, -- Do ask as he is very much suspected & the people here do not know what to make of him ENDNOTES 1. Annotated in different hand "recd Apl. 1.st" 2. Text from here until the end of the paragraph is written vertically in the left hand margin and across the text on page 1. 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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