Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Government House, Calcutta [Kolkata], India
JDH/1/10 f.271-272
Wallich, Nathaniel
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Indian Letters 1847-1851
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Contemporary MS copy
4 page letter over 2 folios

JDH has Nathaniel Wallich's [NW's] letter of 2 Feb recd via Dr Cantor. Came to Calcutta [Kolkata] to persuade Jung Bahadur [JB] to grant permission for Nepaul [Nepal] expedition. Thanks NW for friendly anxiety during his imprisonment. Highly gratified by Mr Grove's letter as Secretary to the Philosophical Club. All Calcutta is talking about the Sikkim fracas, JDH has been questioned by Lord Dalhousie, Sir H. Elliott, Halliday & Grey. Has endeavoured to place conduct of Mr L. [Lushington] & General in as favourable light as possible. [Charles] Thoresby, Political Resident to the Court of the Rajah of Nepal, arrives today. The huge bubble of Chinese jealousy & interference has blown away. JDH describes his visit to JB this morning. JB proposed JDH join an expedition to 'lick the Chinese' & make the 'Tsamper Yarroo', or Brahmuputra, the boundary of British & Ghurka power. JDH could see the 'barbarian' would like nothing better than another plunder of Shigatzi [Shigatse] & Teshoo Loombo. Thanks NW for account of the honours recently paid to Brown. Von Martius' letter is beautiful. NW's Amherstia now flowering at Sir Lawrence Peel's & at the botanic gardens. JDH has not yet seen [Hugh] Falconer. Lady Dalhousie left yesterday for Simlah [Shimla] via the Trunk Road. Lord Dalhousie brought JDH two polished tables made of various woods, from Malacca, & insisted they must not go to the museum. Only the Governor General & Aides de Camp, Metcalfe & Bowie, are at Government House. JDH has given up buggy driving & taken up a palkee gharry [palanquin]. Asks NW to give regards to Madden & Grant. Does not know Strachey. Left Thomas [Thomson,] at Darjeeling to await news of Nepal negotiations. Sends regards to Mrs NW & family & Dr Boott.


at Darjeeling to await the issue of my negotiations about Nepaul Give my best regards to Mrs. W., & all your family, & to Dr. Boott.
Affectionately yours' | (signed) Joseph D. Hooker:

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Government House Calcutta
March 30 1850 (recd. May 25.)
To Dr. Wallich
My dear friend
Through your nephew, Dr. Cantor, I have received your long & kind letter of Feb[rua]y 2d. It reached me at this place, whither I have come, in what will prove, I fear, the vain hope of talking over Jung Bahadur into giving me free consent to travel in Nepaul [Nepal]. Many many thanks for all your friendly anxiety on my behalf during my imprisonment. I am much indebted, also, to the many persons whose enquiries & messages you convey, & I doubt not to numerous others, who are not named.
The letter from Mr. Groves written in his capacity of Secretary to the Philosophical Club, gratified me highly. To receive such a proof of interest, from such a body & couched in such language, is a better reward than distinctions & honors, & infinitely more welcome to my feelings.
All Calcutta is talking about the Sikkim fracas, & I have been questioned by Lord Dalhousie, Sir H.y Elliott, Halliday & Grey, who all concur in deeming the upshot very far from honorable to our nation & Government. I have endeavoured[sic] to place the conduct of Mr.L[ushington]., & the General, in as favorable a light as truth will bear; for both are kind friends of mine, though by no means competent men to manage such a difficult business. I dare say you have flung Indian Politics to the dogs, & I heartily wish I could do so too; but these affairs have stuck to my coat--skirts like burs, & I cannot shake myself free from them. Unfortunately, the Nepaul business is trammelled with

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state considerations & has resolved itself into the question whether Jung Bahadur's Embassy to England is a proof of the stability of his sway, or the reverse. He receives all Lord D[alhousie].'s intimated desires in my favor, all Elliot's advances & all Campbell's, Hodgson's & my expressed wishes, with evident reluctance. I always suspected that he was not safe & that the mission to our Queen is a dernier ressort. Lord D[alhousie]. thought otherwise, till I had an opportunity of stating my views,-- to which his Lordship now inclines. Thorsby (long our Political Resident at the Court of the Rajah of Nepaul) has reached Calcutta today & may know something. If he considers the fears I entertain to be well-- grounded, I shall instantly withdraw my application; for I should not like to be forced upon the Durbar, & then quoted by Jung Bahadur as the cause of all his woes, in case the family of Martubar Singh, or any of the opposite faction, should take up as a grievance that an Englishman was allowed by Jung Bahadur to find out the way to conquer Nepaul. As to the huge bubble of chinese jealousy & interference, I need hardly tell you it has all blow away. The only objection to my Nepaul Expedition is the one I have now mentioned,-- so far as I can discover.-- I do hope you may be able to see Jung Bahadur & his Suite at the Gardens of Kew,--- & if I am refused Nepaul travelling-- leave don't you fail to rap him over the knuckles! He is a lively, well--informed & agreeable young man; but he looks sadly dissipated & his house this morning (I called at 6.a.m.) presented the aspect of very bad goings--on, the previous night. He seemed really anxious that I should visit his country, but not by any new route. We laughed & talked for 2 hours; & he coolly proposed me to join an expedition to lick the chinese, & make the Tsamper Yarroo (the Brahmuputra?) the boundary of British & Ghorka [Gurkha] power

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I took care he should not entrap me into the smallest committal of myself,-- my opinion & views;-- but plainly could I see that the Barbarian would like nothing better than another plunder of Shigatzi & Teshoo Loombo.
I am much obliged to you for the account of the honors recently paid to Mr. Brown, & which I do not consider by any means too high. The letter of Von Martius is beautiful & must please Brown very much. Pray offer him my affectionate regards & good wishes for a reduplication of these & all other distinctions.
Your Amhustia is now in bloom, both at Sir Lawrence Peel's & the Botanic Gardens. I have not yet seen Dr. Falconer: he is at College today. Lady Dalhousie set off yesterday for Simlah [Shimla], in a sort of Palkee-- Garry, which is to travel along the great Trunk-- Road. The heat will be tremendous & I rather anticipate some disaster. She kindly brought me from Malacca a beautiful present, of 2 tables, made of various woods, exquisitely polished, & insisted on my promising that I would not give them to the Museum at Kew.
We have now only the Governor General & his 2 Aides--de Camp at Government House. They are Metcalfe & Bowie,-- pleasant fellows. The Calcutta Season is over,-- rightly glad I am to say so; & I look for a few days of peace,-- I mean for this part of the world,-- though you may well ask what that means at any time of the year in Calcutta! I have given up my Buggy Driving, in sheer disgust at having to ask my way every 10 yards, & I have taken a stout Chuprapee & Palkee Garry,-- to my vast comfort.
Madden & Grant you have probably seen, ere now:-- pray give them my kind regards. I do not know Strachey. I left Thomson

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at Darjeeling to await the issue of my negotiations about Nepaul Give my best regards to Mrs. W., & all your family, & to Dr. Boott.
Affectionately yours' | (signed) Joseph D. Hooker:


1. This letter is a copy, written in a hand not that of the original author: JDH. The copy was probably made by JDH's mother or sister.
2. The city formerly known as Calcutta is now called Kolkata.

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