From Charles Stuart1    20 July 1851

Hobart Town July 20th 1851.


after so long a silence I scarcely know how to address you to excuse myself, but the truth must be told, I have had nothing but misfortunes of late, which have quite unnerved me, I was for a long time ill & which plunged me into poverty, and when able to work could get no employment worth speaking of, add to which I of course was in debt so that staying in Launceston only made things worse, I therefore took a start into the country to seek employment so that as no one knew exactly where I was, your letter did not come to hand untill a short time back at which time I had obtained employment in Hobart Town, and being desperate had made an engagement for 12 months at a place not at all suitable to me, but was obliged to it; as to any thing in the plant way, I fear without a very considirable alteration in my affairs I must for the present give up all thoughts of it as I have nothing but hard work to do, and no opportunity of even hearing the name of a plant mentioned, but if I possibly can I will in the summer season try and collect a little as there are many plants here which are not amongst those which I have sent you formerly,

before I proceed any farther let me return you my thanks for your kind offer contained in your last letter with respect to collecting in South Australia, which I should have been very glad to have embraced, but sorry am I to say that my circumstances are such that I could not, as when I received yours I had not a shilling in the world, it is therefore my wish to remain unnoticed untill I shall have recovered myself a little but this, as wages are so very low here, will take some time, you will no doubt think it very strange that I make no remark about plants particularly those mentioned in your last, but the truth is that I have not possession of my specimens, letters, Books &c as from the before mentioned cause I have had to leave them at Launceston untill I can raise money to pay what I owe, which altho' not much to some, is a large sum to me, altho only about 5 pounds it will take me three months to earn it, so that I fear that for the present our correspondence must cease, which gives me much grief to think, nevertheless I should like to hear once more from you, I am a perfect stranger here & have not seen any one in the Botanical line here so that I sometimes think I will give up all thoughts of ever doing any thing in that way any more, but time will tell, I have been here now about a month, I am sure than my neglect of writing to you under any circumstances must give you but a poor opinion of me but I have been so unsettled that I have not had spirits for any thing — this is the only excuse I can offer, I hope that you however will not take it as such an offence, as not to write at least once more to me, altho I much fear that I shall not be able to communicate any thing to you worthy of acceptance — I am in fact perfectly cast down, & as I am not one of those who choose to make my circumstances known I can hope for no assistance I have written more fully to you on this subject than any one —

I shall not be surprised if I do not hear from you but I still hope I shall, so I will now conclude this melancholy letter with wishes for your welfare & thanks for your past attention to me & believe me still Yours with every respect

Chas Stuart


Please direct to me to the care of

A MacNaugten Esqr2

Hobart Town

MS envelope front: 'Dr F. Müller | care of | Messrs Büttner & Heuzenroeder | Chemists & Druggists | Adelaide | South Australia'. Front post-marked General Post Office, Hobart, 25 July 1851, and GPO, South Australia, 16 August 1851.
Alexander McNaughtan.

Please cite as “FVM-51-07-20,” 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 24 March 2023,