Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
JHC89
Tumlong, Sikkim Durbar, Rajah's Residence, India
JDH/1/10 f.223
Hooker, Sir William Jackson
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
12-11-1849
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Indian Letters 1847-1851
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
English
Original MS
4 page letter over 1 folio
 

JDH writes to WJH, informing him that he & [Archibald] Campbell [AC] are prisoners of the Sikkim Rajah, but JDH does not fear for their safety. He describes their imprisonment & speculates as to the reasons for it. JDH has been copying out AC’s dispatches to Government & sends a copy of his journal for [Brian Houghton] Hodgson to forward to WJH. His friend Meepo remains loyal & will hopefully get this to Darjeeling so the military can bring about their release. JDH reassures WJH about his situation, & asks him to write to France Henslow & Aunt Palgrave. He has letters for Bentham, Berkeley & Darwin. He sympathises with AC’s wife. JDH asks if his Meconopsis have grown. He adds that Thomson will be at Darjeeling on the 20th.

Transcript

better off & have so very many friends amongst these poor people (to an evil faction amongst whose rulers this is attributable) that I hope & believe I can be useful. My Travels are in no way the cause of this outrage, nor can I extort from my custodians a pretext for my imprisonment, I know them full well to be, the fear of two tall Englishmen, & the aforesaid desire of gaining information. I am altogether prohibited from approaching or communicating with Campbell, but we keep up a capital correspondence! My hand is so fatigued with writing, copying his despatches to Govt. for I dare not send the originals by this opportunity, & sending a copy of my journal for Hodgson to forward to you, that I can write no more -- the said

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Tumloong alias Sikkim Durbar Rajah's Residence I am in my tent 12 Nov[ember] [18]49.*1 My dear Father I hope that you may not have had causeless alarm from evil reports of my safety having gone to England, & write this in a sort of forlorn hope that it may reach your hands as soon as any other news of me, & thus set your mind at ease. I am a prisoner under the Sikkim Rajah, along with Campbell, but my bonds are not very heavy & I am under no apprehensions whatever on my own or Campbell's account. He was seized & very roughly used, on political grounds, & I, in the hope of extracting information from me by intimidation & otherwise, as to what course these stupid people should pursue. In this I am happy to say they have utterly failed & I think they are so nonplussed that they will not detain us much longer. Campbell is very strictly guarded, I am much

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better off & have so very many friends amongst these poor people (to an evil faction amongst whose rulers this is attributable) that I hope & believe I can be useful. My Travels are in no way the cause of this outrage, nor can I extort from my custodians a pretext for my imprisonment, I know them full well to be, the fear of two tall Englishmen, & the aforesaid desire of gaining information. I am altogether prohibited from approaching or communicating with Campbell, but we keep up a capital correspondence! My hand is so fatigued with writing, copying his despatches to Govt. for I dare not send the originals by this opportunity, & sending a copy of my journal for Hodgson to forward to you, that I can write no more -- the said

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journal H[odgson]. will send you a copy of at once. I also so very much doubt this reaching you that I do not care to write much hereby. I have made you a fine collection of seeds & am in excellent health & spirits too. The weather is wretched, fog rain, but this place is low (about 6000ft) & the climate delicious at this season. My old friend Meepo sticks well to me, & will I hope get this on to Darjeeling where a demonstration from the military will affect our release at once -- the Rajah has not 50 stand of arms, nor 50 men to handle them. I have now to beg & implore you not to make a stir about this -- I have never deceived you nor my mother, & intreat[sic] you to remark that all I say on the score of my position not exciting any apprehension of my safety, is strictly true, & to make it otherwise is mere romancing. I am allowed the

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free use of all my instruments plants & books & am busy & well occupied all day long. Pray write to Frances Henslow & Aunt Palgrave & do not allow my Mother to harbor dismal thoughts of any description -- I have heaps of letters written & writing, Bentham, Berkeley, Darwin &c but send only this by this chance. Campbell's situation is distressing for Mrs C[ampbell]'s confinement is expected early in December & she has usually been confined a month earlier than that. Best love to Bessy who I hope enjoyed her visit to Scotland. Have any of my Meconopsis grown? I have ripe seeds of another, quite new, yellow flowered & very beautiful. Thomson is to be at Darjeeling on the 20th. No news about Nepal I have written you heaps of letters of late & have several sheets still to send. Ever your most aff[ectionate] Son | Jos D Hooker [signature] ENDNOTES 1. A note written in another hand records that the letter was: "recd. Jan[uar]y 27. 1850". 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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