From Joseph Hooker   14 May 1860

Kew May 14/60

My dear Dr Mueller

Harvey has I believe already written to you1 about my disappointment at your not having come off with the first batch of men selected for election by the Council of the Rl. Society.2 I am very much annoyed about it I do assure you, as I think your merits ought to have been recognized, & not put off into another year.3 I have however had no voice whatever in the matter, nor been directly or indirectly consulted by any one regarding any candidate at all. I hope that you will be successful next year, & all I can do is to repeat my promise that I will lose no opportunity of advancing your claim — I had done so already as strongly as I could, short of canvassing. I hope you will not be much disappointed. I shall keep your cheque against next year, or pay it over to Pamplin, whichever you please. Your chances of next year are naturally very much increased by the failure this — of which I shall not fail to make every advantage. — I cannot canvass, but I can kick up a row, when I think that a good man has been passed over without the best cause shown.

Nothing has yet been done about the Colonial Floras,4 though we expect that the Govt will begin at once with that of Hong Kong.5 With regard to delaying the commencement of the Australian Flora, the difficulty is this, that except it is begun when there are men to do it, it runs a chance of not being done at all — Bentham calculates that it will take at least 8 years to do, & I think it will probably be 106 — There is a terrible deficiency of workers & I see no prospect of any coming forward, but Mr Oliver, a capital rising man, who we have made Librarian here, by way of securing his services. meanwhile the collections go on accumulating & with them the difficulty of starting as time flies on — We are using every endeavour to get the Govt to take steps — Meanwhile we are delighted to see the Flora of Victoria7 going on

Many thanks for the [promise] of plants from your Normal Herbm — I shall keep you in mind in all our distributions here.

More Papyrus shall be sent by the first opportunity.8

My father is remarkably well.

Most sincerely yr

Jos D Hooker

 

Papyrus

Letter not found.
Royal Society of London. M was elected a Fellow a year later.
C. Darwin wrote to J. Hooker on 15 May 1860 (Darwin Correspondence, vol. 8, p. 210): ‘I most entirely agree to what you say about Müller, I was disgusted. One ought not to judge without hearing all that can be said about Candidates.— But I was disgusted at the list; & fancied I saw the effects of a great Surgeon-President.— Spence Bate & Sir E. Tennent ought to have been elected long before R. Palmer & Baring M.P.. It seems to me monstrous.’ Before the 1861 election Darwin added his signature to M's ‘Certifcate of a candidate for election’ (Royal Society, Archives, EC/1861/08).
See W. Hooker (1863) for the blueprint to prepare a series of colonial floras at Kew.
Bentham (1861b).
It took fifteen years. See Bentham (1863-78).
B62.03.03.
See M to J. Hooker, 17 March 1860, in regard to both the promise of plants from M's Normal Herbarium and Papyrus.

Please cite as “FVM-60-05-14,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 26 October 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/vonmueller/letters/60-05-14