Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Yeumtong [Yumthang], Upper Lachoong [Lachung] Valley, Sikkim, India
JDH/1/10 f.204-206
Hooker (nee Turner), Lady Maria
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
11 page letter over 3 folios

JDH has received the books from his mother [Maria Sarah Hooker] & is delighted with the KEW ANNALS. His SOANE JOURNAL reads well. [Brian Houghton] Hodgson gave him the information about Jains. He is finding Turner’s TIBET interesting & will forward a copy from [Archibald] Campbell [AC]. The purses from Bessy [Elizabeth Hooker] et cetera are ready to be sent to their destinations; he sends his thanks to her & his grandmother & also Tom Brigbach, for the razors. JDH discusses a disagreement with the Choongtam Lama involving a Lepcha who he had employed as a hunter with the backing of the Singtam Soubah. He reported it to AC but expects no redress. JDH writes of the opposition he has faced from the Sikkim Rajah & the lack of support from AC, who has many political shortcomings. He sent seeds to [Hugh] Falconer yesterday & is pleased with Reeves’s subscription list for the RHODODENDRONS [OF THE SIKKIM-HIMALAYA]. He has called one Rhododendron 'Hodgsonia'. JDH has received a letter from Edgeworth who holds a Commissionership in the Punjab. Tayler is sending his portrait of JDH home; Fitch should copy it although Tayler will be angry. JDH asks his mother to send him a 'scribbling diary' & 'Nautical Almanac'. He details the money he has drawn. Thomson writes in good health. JDH writes of his collections & asks if they are growing at RBG Kew. He is sending many more pines & Rhododendrons for Kew via Darjeeling. He discusses Madden’s paper & the phenomenon of plants flowering earlier at higher elevations & requests an actinometer to measure solar radiation.


the values of the power that so anomalously influences the same plant.
I doubt Barometric pressure having any thing to do with the limiting of species to elevations. Our seasons here are wholly different from those in the N.W.; but these are very complicated questions, depending on the distribution of both light, heat, & humidity.

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Yeumtong Upper Lachoong valley
Sept 2/[18]49.
My dearest Mother
I have this day had the pleasure of receiving the long looked for box of books from England[.] They arrived some months ago, at Darjeeling, but Campbell did not suppose I would care to have them. The coolies who brought them & food have been 26 days on the road & eaten an immense lot of my food, of course. I have been discovering the Kew Annals with especial delight: it is a capital work, the like not seen since the old Annals of Botany & I hope my father will carry it on with equal spirit & cater for Economic botany for every number. If I had but time, I would draw him up a paper on the edibles of Sikkim; but I am really excessively busy, & my plants alone keep me hard at work;-- besides the Annals have no lack of me service, as it is. My Soane journal reads very well, much better than the parts not meant for publication, which are miserably ill done; & where the startling repetition

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of noble, gay & other grand words is just like me. You have forgotten after all my allusion to Hodgson who gave me the curious information about Jains, of which I knew as little [as] you did. The two copies of Turner's Thibet [Tibet] are come most fortunately for me as I retain Hodgson's copy & send Campbell his - I have been discovering it; it is an excellent work & my route comes into his map. He is however full 15 miles out in Long & Lat: so tell my Father to be careful in consulting it. The Purses from Bessy &c are enclosed & sent to their destinations, or rather will go tomorrow, with this. Thank her very much,-- & my Grandmother, for the beautiful piece she sends myself. Also, the wax for rubbing brasses,-- but not the paper, which is a terrible pity, as the composition is useless without it, & I wanted to take some inscriptions at Lachoong -- Tom Brighbach has most kindly sent me a capital pair of razors a great boon in India where these things spoil so rapidly -- I intend to

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use them first of any, some two or more months hence, when returning to Darjeeling I shall remove a most patriarchal beard, a foot long, & huge moustaches to match. I would as soon think of rougeing as shaving here; & the beardless Bhotheas have a great respect fro[sic] such things in others.
I am getting on pretty badly with the authorities & have just had another much unwarranted piece of insolence to report to Campbell. A poor Lepcha came to my camp & offered his services as hunter. I wanted one, to help Hodgson's good--for--nothing shooters & stuffers, but would not take him, without some warrant -- He hovered about the camp & next day the said shooters & coolies came & begged me to take him, offering themselves to pay & feed him. I refused, on the same grounds, adding that if the Singtam Soubah, (my guide, & Soubah of all this district) or Meepo, or the Choongtam Lama, would answer for the man, I would take him pay & feed him myself. The S[ingtam]. Soubah came

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forward voluntarily & I at once engaged the man.-- he was active & useful bringing in wild sheep & deer, whilst we are at Choongtam, where I left him with Hodgson's shooter to follow me. the poor fellow was laid up with an abscess on the ankle from which I took nearly ½ a pint of matter. -- I was no sooner gone, than the Choongtam Lama seized & twice, flogged him, threatening him with loss of house & property if he dared to follow me -- this affair was known to the Singtam Soubah & all my people who were bound by the S[ingtam]. S[oubah. not to tell me of it. This wanton outrage upon a paid Serv[an]t: of mine, & the attempt to tamper with my camp I need not say vexed me much; all I can do is to repeat it to Campbell who with all his kindness is so utterly wanting in primness & I very believe afraid of that bare legged buffoon the Sikkim Rajah that I expect no redress from that quarter. The Sikkim Rajah

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has done every thing in his power short of violence to harass & oppose me, & his standing order is that I am not to be treated as a Sahib. The insults to which this exposes me & the degree of patience & resolution required I may talk of to my Parents who know how short of temper I am in trifles. To my face I am told by a ragged rabble that if I were a gentleman the S[ikkim].R[ajah]. would give different instructions to his people -- I assure you at times I cannot get a particle of rice or milk or eggs in villages with plenty, & my coolies are denied the purchase of food along every road in Sikkim. Campbell knows all this & neither takes steps to coerce the Rajah nor even reports it to Lord D[alhousie]. who would do so at once -- so I stand in the place of a fool who takes notice of & reports contempt & insults of which no account whatever is made at head q[uarte]rs. I do assure you I be awake by the hour combatting the wiles of this durbar & in anxiety, the greater from meeting no support from Campbell, on the other hand, Campbell is all I have previously said of him,-- affectionate & liberal, unremitting in his solicitude for my success & leaving no stone unturned to

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make me personally comfortable & happy, of that easy disposition that no trouble can ruffle & long accustomed to be snubbed by the Rajah, he cannot feel for the wrongs a prouder spirit must[?] succumb to -- These are the reasons why I beg, nay insist, that no allusion be made to particulars of my difficulties & abstractions -- I have told C[ampbell]. my mind; that he should not stroke me & the Rajah on the back together, that I in toto condemn a policy that leaves an Englishman to be for 5 months exposed to the insults of a petty dependant without an effort for his relief. that Lord Dalhousie's letter is treated with defiance his, (Campbell's), name with ridicule & myself with insolence & obstruction, all of which I affirm might easily have been counter acted had any moderate degree of resolution been shown by him. Having said so I hold my tongue & for ever, as to the nature &c of my obstructions; I love Campbell too dearly to ruin his already broken character as a political officer, & he shall

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never have to say of me, as he does of others, that "they praise him & Darjeeling, when "there, & abuse all, ere they reach the Ganges.
Hodgson, the antagonistipodes of Campbell in spirit & disposition, as haughty, proud & ambitious as C[ampbell]. is meek, unassuming & contented,-- does all he can to set matters right; but C[ampbell]. hums & haws & shilly shallys, till I burst through restraint. I have never been angry but once, since leaving coming to Darjeeling, & need not say I am put to with Campbell,- but say say say I will & have;--all of which he, poor soul attributes to my "irrepressible ambition" "unparalleled success" &c &c -- & fearing I am going crazy, is himself in a fever of apprehension about me, & at the same time dead to the calls of Justice.-- Henceforth I am silent, & shall bore nor him nor you with my troubles.
I sent another small packet of seeds to Falconer yesterday, & forward a third with this, I do hope that some will grow.-- What a splendid subscription list Reeves has for the Rhododendrons,- quite a little Debrett. I am writing out the descriptions of those now on hand. I call one "Hodgsoni", a most

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superb fellow species, -- he refused having one of the last batch, on grounds I never dream't of,-- "he did not like appearing "to cater for the shadow of a return for "his hospitality". As Rhod[odendron]. Hodgsonia will come first, I have prepared a dog Latin poem for H[odgson]., which my F.[Father?] will kindly get put square by my Grandfather.
I have just received a long letter from Edgeworth,-- poor fellow, he has lost only brother, 2 sisters, & only child, within the year! -- he holds one of the 3 Commissionerships in the Punjaub [Punjab]; but his wife is not allowed to join him;-- he writes as warmly & kindly & heartily as he is in manners cold stiff & enigmatical,-- full of pleasant reminiscences of Kew, &c. Tayler sends my portrait home, but begs it be returned at once;-- I take for granted you will get Fitch to copy it, at which the little man will be wroth; except you have leave; or, if you do, keep it entirely to yourselves & remember "walls have "ears" & India is one great Dionysius' Ear. Taylor's pride of his pictures is

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truly ridiculous; but it is an Artists foible; & he is a most gentlemanly, amiable & attractive little fellow.
Lest I forget it, please send me a Scribbling Diary for 1850; & a "Nautical Almanac" price 5/-- to be had every where but where you will apply! Reeve will get one.
Don't forget to tell me what money I have in the bank,-- what I have drawn is 1) £500 which my father sent out to Calcutta in Jan[uar]y 48 2) £300 since upon him, in March or April 1849.-- I believe I have still this £300 in Calcutta *1 untouched. I will send a power of attorney as soon as I can get witnesses or what is required i.e. return to Dorjiling [Darjeeling],.
No time to write to my Father by this opportunity: tell him my collections are getting on well-- in spite of my friends, the Bhotteas. I am waiting for fine weather to go Northwards. Thomson writes in good

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health & spirits. I am all well & hearty, don't think I am in the least down--hearted about these trifles. I am sending immense lots of Pines, Rhododendrons, &c to Dorjiling to fill the Ward's cases for Kew. Best love to all, Ever your most aff[ectionate]. Son Jos D Hooker [signature]
Are any of my things growing at Kew?
The Polka jacket will be most acceptable, & slippers.
I have repeatedly remarked the circumstance to which my F. alludes in Madden's paper, of plants flowering & seeding much earlier at the higher passes, than at lower elevations,, & can explain it very easily:, it is a general phenomenon, & not partial, or confined to English plants. I want Actinometers to measure the force of solar radiation & thus state numerically

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the values of the power that so anomalously influences the same plant.
I doubt Barometric pressure having any thing to do with the limiting of species to elevations. Our seasons here are wholly different from those in the N.W.; but these are very complicated questions, depending on the distribution of both light, heat, & humidity.


1. The city formerly called Calcutta is now known as Kolkata.

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