To Joseph Hooker   16 January 1860

Melb. bot. & zool. Garden,

16. Jan 60.

My dear Dr Hooker

It was long since I experienced so much delight as your kind notes on the Indian-Australian gave me and I am under the greatest obligation for your generous & disinterested aid offered on this occasion again. I shall be able to add to the list.1

Never, my dear Dr, would I wish you to persuade a single member of the R. S. to vote for my election If the membership is a true honor, it must be conferred on merit alone & not by favor, & I fear much, that what little in my humble sphere I was able to do here for the advancement of science is but a very poor claim indeed for so great an honor. My reason for entering the R. S. is chiefly, that I feel persuaded the phil Institute (now by Her Majesty’s gracious consent elevated to the R. S. of Victoria) would feel such an honor paid to their temporary president as one conferred to the society itself.2 I beg to enclose a draft for £65 - - to defray all expenses should I be honored through your kindness with the election; otherwise I relinquish seeking for it an other year when I shall not longer be in office. I feel the duties of a President in a young society in an unconsolidated colony are so extremely onerous, that I cannot longer hold it without either ruining my health or neglecting the Societys interests. But I may have a little more leisure after a few years & my colleges3 may call me th[en] perhaps again to the chair.4

I am putting now Mr Oldfields plants in order for distribution & will soon send you the best set I have to spare. You will also receive splendid collections from N. S. Wales formed by Dr Beckler on my request, 5 & I hope soon something as the Result of the Camel expedition we are about to organize.6

The Capparis from Dirk Hartogs Island sent in good Specimens by Mr Clifton7 to me & gathered abundently by Mr Oldfield on the Murchison is very different from that Capparis spinosa which we cultivate. I thought of recognizing in it C. nummularia of DC., because Baudin's expedition touched at these places & could not have failed to secure it.8 I have fully described it in the Fragmenta, of which I have the gratification of sending you the finishing sheets & plates of the 1. volume9

Mr Oldfield sends his regards & says that he had not received any number of the Flor. Tasm you were so kind to forward to him & that he would be glad to get any spare copy, if you could conveniently remit it.10 Many thanks for your advise in putting the herbarium in the most advantageous order;11 this advise comes well as I have in my new museum12 to rearrange the whole

I intend to proceed to Cape Howe in a few weeks.

My annual report is written but not yet printed.13

No XI. of the Fragmenta will appear yet this month.14

Give, my very dear Doctor, your venerable father my most affectionate regards[,] & maintain a friendly feeling as usual towards your very humble & grateful

Ferd. Mueller


Should I fail to become a F R S.,15 pray hand the balance of draft to Mr Pamplin for the purchase of books.


Capparis nummularia

Capparis spinosa

Joseph Hooker's list had been sent to M as proof sheets (J. Hooker to M, 26 December 1859), and was published in the Introductory Essay to J. Hooker (1855-60), vol. 1, pp. xlii-xlix.
See M to J. Hooker, 15 October 1859.
M did not again serve as President.
See M to W. Nicholson, 5 January 1860 in which M reports receipt of specimens collected by Augustus OIdfield in WA and Hermann Beckler in northern NSW.
Burke & Wills Exploring Expedition, 1860-1.
George Clifton.
For Nicholas Baudin's explorations on the West Australian coast see Horner (1987), and Baudin (1974).
B59.06.01, p. 143.
J. Hooker (1855-60). Oldfield had previously collected in Tasmania, and 'his name will be repeatedly found in the Tasmanian Flora, both as a zealous collector and as a careful and acute observer'. See J. Hooker (1860) p. cxxvii.
Letter not found.
The building was completed in February 1860, see M to W. Nicholson, 29 February 1860.
Fragmenta No. 11 (B60.02.02) was not issued until February.
M was not successful in the 1860 election of new Fellows of the Royal Society of London, but was elected in 1861.

Please cite as “FVM-60-01-16,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 27 November 2021,