To Charles Sturt1    25 September 1850

Adelaide, Rundle-street, 25th Sept. [1850]2


When I take the liberty to introduce myself through this letter to your Honor, it is that I may deprive you of the [...]3 of your valuable time, and for the same reason you will allow me, to enter at once into my communications.

Since three years already engaged in the botanical exploration and the minute description of the native plan[ts] of this country, I ardently desire, to investigate also the more distant inhabited parts of the colony for the accomplishment of my botanical work, a plan, which to carry out my limited means not permitted.

The essential advantages we can expect from this journey are general sketches of the vegetation, the enlargement of systematical botany, the distinction of doubtful species, the perfect description and the exact diagnostic according to continued observations in nature itself and the attributions to general phytogeography with reflexions upon the vegetation of other countrys. But besides this investigations of only scientific value I have in view, to observe also the medical, oeconomical or technical use and qualitys of the indigenous plants, hoping that a long study of chymestry and pharmacology will guide me.

If we can assume, that a most perfect work of this kind will excite here a vivid and successful stydy of phytology, I believe, to have at least to your Honor, as a favourer of natural history, sufficiently explained the motives of my proposed journey.

My plan will be to collect a sixfold set of all remarkable plants, of which 5 will be sold at the rate of 10£ each —; and I feel convinced, that those gentle-men, who may favour me with theire support, will allways obtain an acquivalent for it in England, if they not prefere, to use it for theire own instruction.

Therefore I beg your Honor, to assist me kindfully in my undertaking with that interest you used to pay to scientific explorations, or to point out by your excellent experience the better way to perform my enterprise.

It still remains to assure your Honor, that I am willing not only to show as a testimony of my ability my collections allready made and my botanical manuscripts, but also to wait upon your Honor at any suitable place and time, to explain if wanted more distinctly my intentions.

About my personal circumstances the Rev. Dr. H. Backhaus will be able to give any required information.4

I hope, that my inceremonial introduction may become excused by the reason alluded to and remain

your Honors most obedient and humble servant

Ferdinand Mueller, Phil. Doct. [...]5


To the honorable Capt. Sturt.6

MS envelope front: 'To the honorable | Capt. Ch. Sturt, | Colonial secretary F.R.G. & L.S. [ort.] | Adelaide'. Front post-marked GPO, South Australia, 25 September 1850.
editorial addition.
See footnotes M to H. Young, February 1851.
See also C. Sturt to M, 27 September 1850.

Please cite as “FVM-50-09-25,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 16 May 2022,