Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom
Asa Gray Correspondence 2
Gray, Asa
Archives of the Gray Herbarium
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Harvard Asa Gray Correspondence
2016 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Original MS
7 page letter over 2 folios

JDH informs Asa Gray that he has returned from a trip to the Auvergne, Cantal, Mont Dore & Ardeche country taken with [Thomas Henry] Huxley, who is now at Baden Baden, Switzerland. Mentions professor Cresson[?] is working under Sir W. Thomson & has sent JDH Aster seeds. [Daniel] Oliver is in Jersey. [George] Bentham is working on Mimosaceae for FLORA BRAZILIENSIS. JDH shook off a minor attack of bronchitis whilst on tour in the Eifel with [John] Lubbock & [Mountstuart Elphinstone] Grant-Duff. Thanks Gray for his congratulations on JDH gaining the Presidency of the Royal Society though admits he feels 'oppressed' with the prospects. Mentions Gray getting [William Starling] Sullivant's collection of mosses, RBG Kew has received Hunt's mosses as a gift. JDH expresses low opinion of [William] Carruthers & his conduct in answer to a bill in chancery. Reports on the current whereabouts of his family: Frances, Brian & Reginald at Eastbourne, William with JDH at Kew & Harriet in Gloucestershire. JDH describes & highly compliments a botany course designed by Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer to be run at the school in South Kensington. Thanks Gray for putting a notice of [his wife France Hooker's English translation of] Decaisne & Le Maout's work [TRAITÉ GÉNÉRAL DE BOTANIQUE DESCRIPTIVE ET ANALYTIQUE] in Silliman's Journal [AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE]. JDH cannot recall where he got notice of Sarracenia rubra, alias purpurea. [John Gilbert] Baker has sent all the notes of [Auguste Boniface] Ghiesbreght. JDH has sent Gray Ferns by 'young Ross'. JDH intends to make a cold fernery & asks Gray for roots. Comments on the release of further 'Survey Botanical Reports' & Sullivant's supplements. Notes that the South Kensington Museum is to be put under the British Museum trustees, a symptom of Gladstone's 'mad' government, under which he expects RBG Kew has had 'a lucky escape'.


just sent me some Aster seeds. -- Oliver*2 is at Jersey. -- Bentham*3 here working at Mimos[ac]eae for Flor[a] Brazil[iensis]. My Bronchitis was no great attack, but at my age! The grasshopper becomes a burthen. I shook it off on my little tour in the Eifel with [John] Lubbock & Grant Duff*4 -- but I shall catch it again next spring without a doubt.
Thanks a thousand my dear friend on your congratulations on P[resident] R[oyal] S[ociety]. I shall do my duty with my might -- but I do feel

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Aug[ust] 8/[18]73
Dear Gray*1a
I have just returned from a very pleasant trip into the Auvergne, Cantal, Mont Dore & Ardeche country with Huxley*1 who I left at Baden Baden last week very much improved in health -- he is a capital companion & we were as jolly as Middys all the cruise & as idle: though we did toil a bit at the wonderful Geology.
Prof Cresson[?] is here under Sir W. Thomson; he has

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just sent me some Aster seeds. -- Oliver*2 is at Jersey. -- Bentham*3 here working at Mimos[ac]eae for Flor[a] Brazil[iensis]. My Bronchitis was no great attack, but at my age! The grasshopper becomes a burthen. I shook it off on my little tour in the Eifel with [John] Lubbock & Grant Duff*4 -- but I shall catch it again next spring without a doubt.
Thanks a thousand my dear friend on your congratulations on P[resident] R[oyal] S[ociety]. I shall do my duty with my might -- but I do feel

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grievously oppressed with the prospects. Thank Goodness such lions retire on approach with me. How glad I am that you have [William Starling] Su[l]livants mosses. -- We have just got all Hunts as a gift, the finest British collection extant.
I have seen Carruthers*5 answer to the bill in chancery -- he really should be ashamed of himself having positively no defence; & his pretentions of having documents[?] to prove etc. is absolutely false. I fear he is a bad fellow & am very sorry about it -- It is such a sad thing for Botany.
I note your request for Ferns by Ross.

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Wife & 2 boys at Eastbourne. -- I & Willy*6 alone here – Harriett's*7 visiting in Gloucestershire.
Dyer*8 has got through a splendid Bot[any] course to the school trustees at S[outh] Kensington. An hour's lecture in the morning is followed by each student spending 6 hours with plants, pen, ink, paper, pencil, color box, microscopes and dissecting instruments, no books -- on the subject of the lecture: & in 6 weeks they have seen drawn & dissected, pollen-tubes, embryo sacs, Fern impregnation, a Fungus, Marchantia in all stages. Chara, Penicillaria[?], -- besides general Morphology -- & anatomy all thoroughly. It will if continued be the greatest move in Botany teaching ever inchoated[?]

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to the different orders etc. [John Gilbert?] Baker's help in nomenclature has been an enormous aid to the Establishment.
You are very benign & good to have noticed D[ecais]ne & [Emmanuel le] Maout*8a so nicely in Notice[?] & Silliman*8b. I can't for the life of me remember where I got the notice of Sarracernia[sic Sarracenia] rubra (alias purpurea).
Baker has sent all the notes of [Auguste Boniface] Ghiesbreght that he has or will have to send.
I hope that the Ferns by

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young Ross will please you.
I am going to make a cold Fernery this Autumn, & shall be glad of any of your Fern roots common & rare I particularly want American specimen roots of the European species.
I see that more Survey Botanical Reports geology[?] are coming out to torment us in geological & books -- it is really too bad.

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I am heartily glad to hear of Sullivant's supplements. -- Huxley writes in good health & spirits from Switzerland. The S[outh] Kensington Museum*9 is to be put under the B[ritish] M[useum] trustees!!. Really this Gladstonian Gov[ernmen]t is simply mad. & I suspect that Kew had a very narrow escape indeed.
Ev[er] y[our]s affect[ionately] | JD Hooker [signature]


1a. Asa Gray (1810--1888). Considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. He was instrumental in unifying the taxonomic knowledge of the plants of North America. Gray, Hooker and Darwin were lifelong friends and colleagues. Hooker and Gray conducted research for Darwin.
1. Thomas Henry Huxley (1825--1895). English biologist (comparative anatomist).  His vigorous public support for Charles Darwin's evolutionary naturalism earned him the nickname "Darwin's Bulldog." His organisational efforts, public lectures and writing helped elevate the place of science in modern society
2. Daniel Oliver (1830-1916). Botanist. He made botanical studies in northern Britain and in Ireland, becoming a fellow of the Edinburgh Botanical Society In 1851 and of the Linnaean Society in 1853. In 1858 at the invitation of Sir William Hooker he began work as an assistant in the Herbarium. In 1859, he initiated lectures in Botany for Kew's trainee gardeners which led to his appointment as Professor of Botany at University College London in 1861, a post he held until 1888. From 1864 to 1890 he was also Keeper of the Herbarium and Library at Kew. He was elected member of the Royal Society in 1863 and published a number of works including Lessons in Elementary Botany,1864 and Flora of Tropical Africa 1868--1877. From 1890 until 1895 he held the editorship of Icones Plantarum.
3. George Bentham, (1800--1884). Nephew and heir to Jeremy Bentham for whom he also acted a secretary. After his uncle's death he devoted himself to botany, especially plant classification. At the invitation of Sir William Hooker he began work at Kew where he remained for 27 years He collaborated with Joseph Hooker on the Genera Plantarum (3 vols 1862--1883) an influential work on plant taxonomy which is the foundation of many modern systems of classification. He donated his herbarium of more than 100,000 specimens to Kew. His Handbook of British Flora remained a standard work into the 20th century.
4. Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829--1906). Scottish politician, author and administrator. He served as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for India from 1868 to 1874, Under Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1880 to 1881 and the Governor of Madras from 1881 to 1886. During the last appointment he took great interest in the gardens of Government Houses in Madras [Chennai] & Ootacamund [Udagamandalam]. Letters from Grant Duff to RBG Kew can be found in our online collection of Directors’ Correspondence hosted at http://plants.jstor.org/
5. William Carruthers (1830--1922). Assistant in and then Keeper of the Department of Botany at the British Museum from 1859 until his retirement in 1895. His tenure of office was marked by a great development of the department. The removal of the natural history collections to the new Natural History Museum in the Cromwell Road in 1881 afforded a unique opportunity for improvement and expansion.
6. William Henslow Hooker (1853--1942). Eldest child of Joseph and Frances Hooker; Willy was sent to New Zealand for his health and lived with James and Georgiana Hector 1869--70; employed by India Office 1877; visited Iceland 1899; married Sarah Ann Smith (1863--1952) in 1914.
7. Harriet Anne Thiselton-Dyer née Hooker (1854--1945). Oldest child of Joseph Hooker and his first wife Frances Henslow. Harriet was a Botanical illustrator and wife of William Turner Thiselton--Dyer. Her husband was Assistant Director of RBG Kew (1875--1885) and later Director (1885--1905), succeeding her father.
8. Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer (1843--1928). British botanist and third Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1885--1905).  He succeeded Joseph Hooker in the role after serving as his Assistant Director for ten years. He previously held professorships at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Royal College of Science for Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society.  He married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in 1877.
8a. An English edition of Decaisne and Le Maout's work: Traité Général de Botanique Descriptive et Analytique (1868), was published by Longmans Green & Co., London in 1873, under the title A General System of Botany Descriptive and Analytical. The translation from the original French was done by Joseph Hooker's wife Frances Harriet Hooker.
8b. 'Silliman' or 'Silliman's Journal' was a name often used to refer to the American Journal of Science, founded in 1818 by Benjamin Silliman. It is the longest running scientific journal in the United States of America and its focus has always been on the natural sciences. Silliman was the first editor, succeeded by his son in law James Dwight Dana and then his son Edward Salisbury Dana. Associate editors included botanist Asa Gray and zoologist Louis Agassiz.
9. The former name of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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