Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Darjeeling, India
JDH/1/10 f.256-259
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
12 page letter over 4 folios

I will write by the next Marseilles mail so that you may be assured of nothing being wrong.
Ever your most affect[ionat]e son I Jos D Hooker [signature]

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Dorjiling [Darjeeling]
Jan[uar]y 31. 1850 *1 Dearest Mother
I cannot tell you what a comfort your long letter of Nov 16 was to me, the hand is so strong in comparison to the shaky wee addendum to my Fathers which came by the October mail. What a comfort it is that Bessy has been so remarkably well & continues so & your report of her growing fat: is quite startling.
No chance I fear now of poor Franklin & his companions & I have about given up hope, all depends upon how long they can hold out & I hope gov[ermen]t will not give up till something decisive is done.
The Campbell's have named their new child (born when C[ampbell]. & I were

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Tumloong) "Josephine" it is a very small thing, but far nicer to look at. then the general run of small humans, being nearly white, slender & firm, was born with hair on, & has a mouth nose & blue eyes to match. All of which particulars I have carefully collected for your particular identifications & hope you will like it when you see it, which cannot be judged of at present, as I do not trace any definable? likeness to any thing but to all other creations of its age it being no more like its father than it is you nor its mother than me. -- I have asked Miss Colvile to buy me a silver mug for it in Calcutta [Kolkata], with the presentation of which my

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interest will probably terminate till it be old enough to talk & write to me.
I fear that my plans may be very much destroyed by this Sikkim campaign. At Before the time of the general & staff, coming up here I was asked repeatedly whether I would go into Sikkim with the troops, I always say I did not wish to nor want to, but that if the general shewed[sic] good came from desiring it I would think upon it. Volunteer I could not & would not, being in another service & receiving pay from my own govt for my different work. Tom & I both went away from the station when the Gen[era]l. was coming but he had

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arrived a day before he wanted me & sent the most urgent messages through Campbell -- I therefore returned, about 10 days ago & found the old gentleman Col. Young, all in the clouds, as to carrying out his only orders of occupying Sikkim with a military force. Meanwhile 1400 men Sepas & Europeans had come up with head quarters of one Reg, Guns a whole staff of officers & nothing but the "horrid din of arms" was to be heard, -- Genl. Young is a very nice old gentleman & greatly obliged to me for my counsel[,] maps & information, which settles him to march as soon as possible & take the Rungeet bridge. Both

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he & Mr Lushington (the special Commissioner) begged me to conduct the troops which I refused except they sent me a written request specifying the urgency of the occasion[?], which I should forward to H[er] M[ajesty's] Woods &c & meanwhile take upon me the responsibility of acting with heart & good will under the Gov[ernmen]t order. I objected on Thomson's account who had come so far to see me, & he was immediately put into order for medical duty, in the detachment (advance guard) with myself. This is a capital arrangement, for it gives him time of service in India instead of leave which he is now upon & every hour taken off the time he will have to spend in India on his return after furlough is so much added to his life

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I went down with the troops the other day & took possession of the bridge over the Gt Rungeet & camped some 500 men in Sikkim. As no further advance was to be made at once I returned to my plants at Dorjiling, but expect to be summoned down very soon again now. No opposition of any kind was made to us & I doubt if there will be any so you need be under no alarm on my account -- under any circumstances it appeared to me so clearly my duty to undertake this service that I did so without hesitation & have no fear for the result. Except Campbell & myself no one knows any thing of the county & hence

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the marching of troops without good guidance would be most unadvisable. Campbell is so much the aggrieved party that he could not with propriety go to attack the Rajah's county. I on the other hand have no ill will (nor has C[ampbell]. for that matter) the people I know are friendly to & fully trust me, they would far rather make overtures to me than to soldiers with guns in their hand & with the heartiest desire & determination to bring things to a peaceful issue if possible I do hope my presence may be useful
The orders at present are to march to Tumloong & occupy the capital, for the Rajah refuses to give himself up or to offer any adequate concessions for his conduct.

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Many of the people I know from private sources are all ready & willing to come over to Dorjiling & only want our assurance that they will not be molested, to grant a peaceful march to our soldiers -- This they now have & appreciate. The Dewan has only 30 men to oppose with & all they will not help him, The Rajah has no army nor is he trying to raise one -- so that he will probably flee at our approach
What the govt. intend to get ultimately I have no idea at all, & it is no affair of mine. -- They told the Rajah that if he did not come into Dorj[iling]. & bring with him all the culprits, his county should be invaded & occupied -- such being the case I suppose go we must. It is said

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that the R[ajah]. has sought succour from Thibet [Tibet], but that the answer is that he has got his deserts.
At present these there are, or at least I left, at the Rungeet, Thomson in medical charge, Don a Capt[ain] in the same reg[imen]t with H. Lyell as commandant, Byng ( Lord Torrington's brother) in command of sappers, & a young artillery officer of the name of Maxwell. Don is a fine good natured old soldier who I knew at Bhaugulpore -- Byng, very good natured & amiable, [sentence crossed out, illeg.] eternally getting into scrapes by his judging others & prattling aloud of the de--merits of people & things of which & of whom, he has not the intellect education or means of judging any more than a cat.

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Maxwell of the artillery is a most agreeable gentlemanly young man, full of zeal for his profession, very well educated & informed, & altogether promises to be a companion of no ordinary stamp.
The main body will consist of Col. Innes, a very fine officer of much experience & of great bulk, not fat but huge in all his proportions thorough Scotch & very much reminding me in manner & look of Sir I.[?] Richardson he is an old friend of Thomsons as was is the General (Young) -- A Mr Harry Smith, nephew of Sir H. & Capt Hawkes of H[er] M[ajesty's] 80th are the only other officers I have seen much of & they appear gentlemanly quiet men.
Tchebu Lama has sent in word that there is no thought of

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opposing our advance, but that the Rajah will again seek succor[sic] from China in summer -- If properly managed the whole country might be occupied & the people in peace under John Company *2 long before that, let the poor imbecile Rajah do what he will. He was promised pardon if he would come in to Dorjiling. I have written to Lord D[alhousie]. who is now at sea en route for Calcutta. I also write to Mr Philipps by this mail sending him a copy of the requisition for my services & of my reasons for accepting responding to the call.
Best love to Bessy -- I owe her a long letter now, which shall be repaid I hope ere long. We have two inches of snow here.

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I will write by the next Marseilles mail so that you may be assured of nothing being wrong.
Ever your most affect[ionat]e son I Jos D Hooker [signature]


1. An annotation written in another hand records that the letter was: "(recd. March 23d)"
2. A colloquial name applied to the Honourable East India Company.

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