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The Joseph Dalton Hooker Collection

The Joseph Dalton Hooker Correspondence Project at Kew is making available online the personal and scientific correspondence of the botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911), Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Kew from 1865-1885. The project was conceived by staff of The University of Sussex and Kew's Library, Art and Archive department and began as a partnership between Kew and the University of Sussex's Centre for World Environmental History. It has been made possible by support from the Stevenson Family Charitable Trust. Letter summaries can be searched through Ɛpsilon, with links to images and transcriptions at the project site at Kew (https://www.kew.org/explore-our-collections/correspondence-collections/joseph-hooker-collections).

From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
-[1]-[1850]
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.246, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
unknown addressee
Date:
--[1850]
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.325, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

Watercolour sketch map of Sikkim by JDH, showing his route through the country to the Tibetan passes. The following are marked on the map and key: Thibet, Lachen Pass over Kongra Lama, Lachen Pass over Donkiah Mt Chomiomo, Cholamo lakes Mt Donkia 23175 ft. Mt Kanchan--Zhow, Tungu, Samdong, Lachong?, Tunkra Mt, Choongtam, Black Rock, Kankola Pass, Choombi river, Chola, Boundary of Sikkim, bridge on Lachoong where Kinchin [JDH's dog] was drowned Aug 15.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
unknown addressee
Date:
--[1850]
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.326, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

Hand drawn map of Sikkim by Joseph Hooker, with the following marked: Thibet, Cholamo Plains, Lachen Pass over Kongra--Lama, Lachoong Pass over Donkiah, High Table Land of Thibet, Chomiomo, Kanchin--jhow, Lakes, Chumalari, Tungu, Lachen, Samdong, Lachoong, Kinchin--junga [Kanchenjunga], Tunkra Mts, Lachen village, Lachong, Jongri, Pundeem, Choongtam, Nursing, Black Rock, Kankola Pass, Kunglo, Ratong, Tumlong Chola Residence of Rajah, Choombi River, Pemiongchi, Manom, Tendong, Tonglo, Darjeeling.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
unknown addressee
Date:
--[1850]
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.327, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH's rough sketch map of 2 Routes from Darjeeling to Tibetan Passes. Hand drawn map with the following marked on it: Walanchoong Pass, Kanglachema Pass, Darj[eeling]., Lachen Pass, Chumabii, High Table Land. Of Thibet [Tibet], Powhunni, Wallanchoong, Yangma, Lachen Pass, Lachoong Pass, Tambur, Yangma, Pass, Nango Mt., Jumnoo, Kamblachen, Kubroo,Kinchin--junga [Kanchenjunga], Lachen, Lelyp, Talloong, Choonjerma Pass, Yalloong, Jongri, Pundeem, Choongtam, Mywa Guola, Chorang, Rotong, Nursingh, Lachong, Tambur, Khabili, Singalelek, Rungbo, Pemiongchi, Kullait, Manom, Singtam Tumlong, Thibet., Hinwa, Jwa, Ruttoo, Gt Rungeet, Teesta, Sankyazung, Phulloott, Rumman, Tundong, Nangki, Tonglo, Little Rungeet, Route 1849, Poona, Mai, Goong, Darjeeling Teesta, Tumlong Residence of Rajah.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
3 January 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.247-249, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
30 January 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.252-255, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Lady Maria Hooker (nee Turner)
Date:
31 January 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.256-259, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
-2-1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.260-261, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
28 February 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.262-267, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

As a result of Rajah's tricks & climate JDH lost many parts of collections, now replacing. Thomas Thomson [TT] & Maxwell are surveying Rumman river. Lord Dalhousie has not settled TT & JDH's future route. Madden & J.M. Grant are leaving. JDH has sketch book for WJH, a Mrs Lydiard[?] insists on making a large coloured drawing for WJH. Discusses expenses for the FLORA ANTARCTICA. Sceptical of Mr Archer's plant, supposes it cannot be female Huon pine. Discusses leaving West Park for Aiton's house. Discusses instruments; telescope, azimuth compass, theodolite, barometer, actinometer, sextent watch, chemical box & mentions Thuillier's kindness. Parcels sent to Calcutta [Kolkata] containing seeds, items from Snows, Lhasa purses, Larch, Brunoniana, Khutrow cones, & whole specimens of R. nivale. Tchuka rhubarb & Rhododendron manuscript will go next mail. Falconer planted Webbiana seeds in Calcutta & the boxes go to England with JDH's 1848 dried collection & museum specimens. Vegetable bellows to follow & also 100 kinds of wood. Mentions bulky specimens, gunny cloth, lutea fibre, knife & cloth died red with munjeet from the Rajah, cloth died yellow with Symplocos, & fibres of Sterculia. Thinks Lushington & General made inconceivable mess of Sikkim affair & discuses this in detail. Hodgson delighted with 'Hodgsonia'. JDH sorry he cannot send drawings of anthers, has written to ask Cathcart. Discusses Wightia. Has recommended Thwaites to Wight. Royle[?] sent Tea pamphlet. Sends fragment of Cypress unlike Staunton's drawings. Thanks WJH for offer of money to travel in Nepaul [Nepal]. Mentions Bellender Ker [Kerr]. Thinks Greenough[?] very kind & will work on Geographical Society map. Discusses: the Donkiah [Dongkha La] pass, excellent coloured sketch of Thibet, Bhotia servant & profits for the Linnean Society. Has no acorns so far. Sends more Larch seeds by Secretary India House & has planted some.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
18 March 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.268-270, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH on his way to Calcutta [Kolkata] to ask Lord Dalhousie & Jung Bahadur together for permission to travel in Nepaul [Nepal]. Resting with cousin of Brian [Houghton] Hodgson's. Discusses Lobb & his collecting: Lobb has a Ward's case full of young Argenteum. Discusses Sikkim incident, Lushington & the General in detail. JDH has arranged & parcelled vast collections, some hundred men's loads. [Hugh] Falconer [HF] has informed JDH of the dispatch of some of his collections by the ship 'Queen' under Captain McLeod. The shipment incl. all of the 1848 collection & part of the 1847 collection incl. the leaf bellows, guns, wood cups & vast chest of museum articles. JDH has sent all his drawings of c.300 species & sketches, incl.fungi. Has drawn around 500 species & plants in total. Also sends a few dried plants chiefly Compositae from 17 to 19 ,000 feet. Tchuka rhubarb is amongst the drawings. Hopes WJH will publish Rhododendron series consecutively in 3 folios fascicules. Has descriptions ready for Apr Southampton mail. The Hodgsonia plate WJH sent is magnificent. If he goes to Nepal JDH hopes to send the desired anther drawing. Discusses telescope, actinometer & compass. Knows nothing of Boott & has not received his Ward's cases. Thomson is collecting Rhododendron dalhousiae, R. argenteum, R. punctatum[?], Orchideae & sundries. At JDH's request HF planted a few seeds of nearly all the Rhododendrons in Ward's cases for RBG Kew. Lord Hardinge writes craving Rhododendron & alpine seeds but JDH has none. Courtenay has left Lord Dalhousie. Also mentions Grey, G.G. [George Gardner], [Archibald] Campbell & Welby Jackson[?]. Discusses the reasons for & against going to Nepal incl. credit of being the greatest Himalayan traveller if he goes in by Sikkim & out by Kumaon. Would not go to Bhotan [Bhutan] without 500 men in front & behind him. Is overloaded with Sikkim politics.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Nathaniel Wallich
Date:
30 March 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.271-272, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

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.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
5 April 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.273, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH writes to present General Jung Bahadur Rahan [Rana] Prime Minister of Nepaul [Nepal], his brothers, & other members of the Nepaul mission. JDH is indebted to JB for his 1848 Nepal trip. JB is also a friend to [Brian Houghton] Hodgson, [Archibald] Campbell & [Charles] Thoresby. JDH asks that they are shown the Himalayan plants [at RBG Kew] & that WJH takes a drive with them from Kew Gardens to Richmond Hill. Captain Kavanagh accompanies the gentlemen & can make arrangements. JDH suggests Dr [Nathaniel] Wallich & Royle meet the party at the Gardens.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Charles Robert Darwin
Date:
6 April 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.274-276, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

Charles Darwin [CD] has not been absent from JDH's thoughts during the long break in their correspondence. He probably spoke too strongly about CD's species work & barnacles. speculates that CD was once prone to theoretical considerations about species & unaware of certain difficulties which JDH thought a more intimate acquaintance with species might clear up. Hence was pleased CD took up a difficult group like barnacles. CD's theories have progressed but JDH is not converted. He thought the transitions from one form to another in Sikkim would be more apparent. CD reasons rightly about JDH's Yangma valley; it is undoubtedly a vast moraine. He rejects the Himalayas as an independent chain of mountains & seeks the axis of the great mountain system between the Yarou river & the plains of India. He considers the glaciers of the Himalayan range unrivalled & is convinced they are receding. Explains that it is a double chain likes CD's Andes. [Thomas] Thomson [TT] & [Hugh] Falconer [HF] both regard the greatest Asiatic axis as a sub meridional one. The whole mountain system is incredibly complicated & he exceedingly doubt's Humboldt's system of six Mountain chains. Letter continues under date of 7 Apr. JDH now with HF at Honorable East India Company Botanic Gardens. HF had kept all his letters & overland parcels for five months due to insane procrastination but is now forgiven. HF's society is as ever delightful. HF no longer associates with the Asiatic Society. JDH received CD's Feb letter today & learned that the cold water system has done him much good but is not a cure, JDH sends congratulations on the Darwins' seventh child. JDH came to Calcutta [Kolkata] to persuade Jung Bahadur [JB] to let him travel in Nepal but JB cannot guarantee his safety while absent in England. JDH will therefore go instead to Sylhet then the Khassya [Khasia] Hills & Munnipore [Manipur] with [TT].

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
7 April 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.277-279, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH writes to his Father, William Jackson Hooker, about plans for the coming year & proposed trip to Nepal. Jung Bahadur [JB], Prime Minister of Nepal, & Thoresby will travel to England & bring letters. JDH plans to leave Calcutta [Kolkata] for Dorjiling [Darjeeling] on 9 Apr with [Thomas]Thomson & travel by water to Sylhet the Khassya & Munnepore. Comments on the work of Falconer & Griffiths in the Calcutta Botanic garden. Describes affect on resources from selling the garden's timber cheaply. Describes work to replace turpentine paths with leading walks as at RBG Kew, to replant the wilderness, & to construct a Palmetum, Pandanetum, & Arboretum. They are restoring Wallich’s summer house in the Nepal Garden. Falconer is getting on well with orchideae. Thoresby & General JB will advise on proposed trip to Nepal. Lord Dalhousie, Colvile & others encourage the trip, & advise JDH to seek permission from the Woods & Forests Department. JDH asks WJH to consult Prof. Henslow, Mr Phillipps & Frances Henslow on subject. He would not be able to leave Nepal until 18 Nov 1851. He would leave Ceylon [Sri Lanka], go to Bombay [Mumbai] & catch a steamer in Jan. Asks WJH to speak to Sir H. Willock, Royle & Wallich regarding Thomson’s furlough. Reminds WJH to thank Cecil Beadon for opium things. JDH criticises Bellenden Ker. Reports the Larch & Rhododendrons are successful but many died in the heat. His map of Calcutta is at the Surveyor General's & will then be sent to WJH. JDH's collections will be sent in Jan. He is angry not to be on the Athenaeum committee & will join the Oriental instead. Reports safe arrival of copies of RHODODENDRONS OF THE SIKKIM HIMALAYA & his Journal.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
20 April 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.280, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
27 April 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.281-282, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

On returning from Calcutta [Kolkata] JDH is arranging his journey to Sylhet with Thomas Thomson [TT], travelling from Dulalgunge [Dhaulgani], Titalyah, to the Ganges via Malda, Gour & Rampore. Then to Dacca [Dhaka] & up the Soorma to Pundua in the Khassya Hills which they will ascend from Pundua to Churra [Cherrapunji]. JDH will send 40 baskets of Orchideae to Calcutta. JDH is waiting for glazed cases to arrive to transport his collections of Rhododendron dalhousieae, punctatum & argenteum. Sent with Booth's things to the Garrows [Garos]. Discusses Lobb's character. JDH sent his father, William Jackspm Hooker, a packet of Larch seeds. His are growing well in open air, & discusses Jock Smith's technique. JDH can only collect Orchideae. JDH spent two days at Cathcart's, discusses Cathcart's collection of Dorjiling [Darjeeling] plants & his team of artists. JDH has a dried herbarium specimen of Plectocomia. He has enclosed a raceme & wishes the Benthams to look at it. JDH thinks it is Uriceous family. JDH has decided against Nepal, despite Lord Dalhousie asking him not to give it up. Telescope & Actinometer are safe. JDH expects to leave on Wednesday & arrive in Pundua in 20 days.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
29 May 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.283-287, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH describes his journey so far with Thomas Thomson [TT]. They have collected species of weeds, & fruiting branches of Calamus for RBG Kew. Discusses identification of plants with Martius & Griffiths descriptions. Lists species collected: C. rotang of Roxburgh, C. fasciculatus, rose of Bengal, R. involucrate. JDH sent 40 baskets of Orchideae & Rhododendron plants from Rampore to Bell in Calcutta [Kolkata]. Many plants died in Calcutta Gardens, including Jock Smith’s. JDH recommends a cool frame to grow them in England. JDH left larches at Darjeeling growing well, but sent all Rhododendron to Falconer. Comments on Thwaites’ new position [at the Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, Botanic Garden]. JDH suggests [George] Gardner neglected the gardens for the dried specimens. Discusses Thwaites’ plan for a collection of Cinghalese plants. Discusses Lord Torrington’s character. Describes sketches from Cathcart he is sending to Fitch in London: one of Kinchinjunga [Kanchenjunga] & the range around it from Major Crommelin, & a scene of a tree fern & Caryota with K[anchen]junga behind. Mentions the death of Mrs Turner. JDH expresses doubt about identification of R. thomsoni B. JDH hopes the dry specimens will allow Fitch to draw them. Discusses naming a plant after Strachey. Commends Dalzell's descriptions. Briefly mentions Cape Comorin [Kanyakumari] & Bombay [Mumbai]. JDH is disappointed African teak is not a Vitex. Discusses changes at Woods & Forests Department & Lord Seymour's appointment. Tells WJH of Mr Francis, an Assistant Surgeon in the East India Company, who claimed to know botany, this JDH found to be false. Cathcart began a drawing of Helen Campbell but failed to finish.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
21 June 1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.288-291, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

JDH describes journey from Dacca [Dakha] to Cherrapoonji [Cherrapunji], compares landscape & weather en route to that of the Ganges & Mahanuddy. Lists species collected: (Ceratopteris) Parkeria, Aeginetia (pedunculata), Euphrasia. JDH left the Soormah at Chattuk & visited Mr Harry Inglis. Describes mountains of Khassya. Collected in swamps & river banks in Pundiah. Received supplies from Falconer: brown paper, boxes, stopper bottles, spirits of wine. Travelled from Punduah to Terrya Ghat by elephant & boat to begin ascent to Churra. Compares scenery to Himalaya, Brazil & Sikkim hills. Lists plants: Areca Palm, Rubiaceae, Apocyn., Euphorbiaceae, Pandanua, Phyllanthus, Eurya, Antidesma, Bamboo, Vaccinium, Rubiaceae, Cleyera, Viburnum, Crotalaria, Camellia, Uvaria, Photinia, Olea, Vernonia, Callicarpa, Premnia, Helicia, Saurauja, Fig, Acacia stipularis, Symplocos, Sethia, Eriocaulon, Polygona, grasses, Cyperaceae, Hypercium, Habenaria, Murdannia, Burmannia, Cyanotus, Haloragis. Describes landscape including Tipperah, Khassya, Sylhet, & compares flooded land to Purneah in Darjeeling. Describes rainfall, native tombs, & compares land to England & Scotland. Explains housing arrangements, collectors & carriers employed, & expenses. Discusses problems of transporting tropical specimens, lists those collected: palms viz Calamus, Wallichia, Chamaerops, Areca, Caryota urens, Hodgsonia, Roxburghs. Comments on opening herbarium to public. Refers to Courtenay & giving Bellenden Ker Rhododendrons. Asks about seeds sent to WJH. Hopes Bentham & Wallich will write about Wight’s work on Icones in Calcutta [Kolkata] , Neilgherries [Nilgiris?] & Madras. Mentions Lobb’s dried specimens & behaviour. Mentions next journey via Surureen to Myrong. Requests Tassin’s map of Eastern Bengal from Wylds, Arrowsmith, or Mr Melville. JDH's Illustrations are all botanical he has had no time for geological drawings. Mentions Captain Cave’s watercolours. Requests volume of De Candolle.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
George Bentham
Date:
6 July 1850
Source of text:
JDH/2/3/2 f.44-46, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project
From:
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
To:
Sir William Jackson Hooker
Date:
11?-7-1850
Source of text:
JDH/1/10 f.292-293, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Summary:

No summary available.

Contributor:
Hooker Project