Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Darjeeling, India
JDH/1/10 f.281-282
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
8 page letter over 2 folios

On returning from Calcutta [Kolkata] JDH is arranging his journey to Sylhet with Thomas Thomson [TT], travelling from Dulalgunge [Dhaulgani], Titalyah, to the Ganges via Malda, Gour & Rampore. Then to Dacca [Dhaka] & up the Soorma to Pundua in the Khassya Hills which they will ascend from Pundua to Churra [Cherrapunji]. JDH will send 40 baskets of Orchideae to Calcutta. JDH is waiting for glazed cases to arrive to transport his collections of Rhododendron dalhousieae, punctatum & argenteum. Sent with Booth's things to the Garrows [Garos]. Discusses Lobb's character. JDH sent his father, William Jackspm Hooker, a packet of Larch seeds. His are growing well in open air, & discusses Jock Smith's technique. JDH can only collect Orchideae. JDH spent two days at Cathcart's, discusses Cathcart's collection of Dorjiling [Darjeeling] plants & his team of artists. JDH has a dried herbarium specimen of Plectocomia. He has enclosed a raceme & wishes the Benthams to look at it. JDH thinks it is Uriceous family. JDH has decided against Nepal, despite Lord Dalhousie asking him not to give it up. Telescope & Actinometer are safe. JDH expects to leave on Wednesday & arrive in Pundua in 20 days.


is botanically much the best country for Thomson & myself, certainly much the easiest.
I expect to leave this on Wednesday morning & to arrive at Pundua in about 20 days.
Ever your most aff[ectionate] son | Jos. D. Hooker [signature]

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Apr 27 [18]50 *1
My Dear Father
I returned from Calcutta thither on the 25th & have been ever since arranging for Tom & my passage to Sylhet. We take boat from below Titalyah, from a place called Dulalgunge [Dhaulganj] on the Mahanuddy [Mahanadi], & drop down to the Ganges by via Malda, Gour & to Rampore. There we go to Dacca [Dhaka] & so up the Soorma to Pundua at the foot of the Khassya hills, which we ascend at once from Pundua to Churra[Cherrapunji]. We shall probably stay but a few days at Churra preparing to go back to Nunklow which is behind much of the rains.
We have been extremely busy collecting baskets of Orchideae &c which I send down to Calcutta [Kolkata]

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there will be about 40 very large baskets full of very fine things indeed. I have already sent as many mens load to Punkabaree & provided carts to take them thence to Dulalgunge. --
My glazed cases have never yet reached the foot of the hills, which is most provoking as I have an immense collection of Rhodod[endron]. dalhousieae, punctatum, & argenteum all ready for them. Where they are all stuck I know not, but the difficulty of getting things along these roads is always terrible. I take three loads of these roots down besides hoping to pick up the cases. They were sent up

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with Booth's things who went to the Garrows [Garos] instead of this & never ever sent me notice of my boxes.
Your little overland arrived by last mail & I received it in Calcutta, most gratefully. The Prodr. Fl. Nep. *2 I sent at once for Booth. The latter is said to be coming now straight to Dorjiling [Darjeeling].
Lobb has left this, he was a most steady industrious man, but made no sort of a companion either to Tom or myself, or to us in company -- he is so conceited & pragmatical & prosy. He had a wonderful eye & all his arrangements seemed perfect for roots & plants -- his plan of small glazed cases is admirable & I hope

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he will introduce the live Rhododendrons.
I sent you another packet of Larch the other day -- mine are growing beautifully in the open air but I suppose Jock Smith puts all my Alpines into a stove of 80˚. Enclosed are a few more seeds[.] I can collect nothing now of any consequence here but Orchideae & such like.
I spent 2 days at Cathcarts, last week his collection of drawings of Dorj[iling] plants amounts now to near 200 & he has 5 artists at work who will continue at it all summer. Their wages are on an average £4 a month & I do not think that the whole five turn out one plant a day. They are however extremely

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well done & colored too.
Except the Plectocomia in young fruit, of which I have dried herbarium specimens & others, & the enclosed, I have found no remarkable novelty; nor has Tom, who has been working during my absence. The latter I enclose a raceme of & would be obliged by Benthams looking at it :-- it puzzles Tom & myself dreadfully. I take it for Urticeous fm [family?] Tom won't have it so.
My first Sikkim years collections are doubtless home by this time & will I hope give satisfaction. They are but small in comparison to those now en route.
I have thought no more about Nepal. It appears to me extremely unlikely that you[?] will approve & there are so many reasons

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for my not wishing it except it should be your opinion that it were advisable to do it & this as I say I can hardly think likely. Lord Dalhousie begged me the last thing not to give it up, which however I did on many grounds & as far as I am concerned definitely. He even offered me a companion, which I refused; saying that I would not choose any one I knew less of than Thomson.
The Actinometer and Telescope are all safe & in beautiful order. I have made some fine observations with them already. I wish they were going to Nepal with me instead of the Khassia though I really believe that the latter

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is botanically much the best country for Thomson & myself, certainly much the easiest.
I expect to leave this on Wednesday morning & to arrive at Pundua in about 20 days.
Ever your most aff[ectionate] son | Jos. D. Hooker [signature]

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Darjeeling 6000 ft.
Small dioeceous tree. Leafless in winter [one word crossed out, illeg.], straggling, 5 -- 13[?] ft high. Branches from base, stems & branches strict[?] spongy with large pith, covered with cinereous bark. Leaves & flowers produced as in the mulberry along the [1 word illeg.]. Male fl[ower]. [1 word illeg.] racemes, -- ♀ unknown. Leaves deltoid, ovate, irregularly toothed, petioles simplex in caul[?]. Pubescence slight, stipules 0.
No taste or glands or dots. Stamens I think opposite the spinanth. pieces. I have seen traces of a pistillum in the ♂ fl[ower]. which are quite Urticaceous [two small sketches appear here with one larger one depicting several leaves attached to a branch and a further small sketch which appears to be of a curled leaf, labelled vernation involute] *3
Vernation involute


1. An annotation written in another hand records that the letter was "rec'd June 16."
2. Prodromus Florae Nepalensis, Don, D. (1825).
3. An annotation written in another hand records the sketched plant as "Dobinea vulgaris".

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