From Joseph Hooker   19 September 1864

Kew Sept. 19th/64.

My dear Mueller

I send by this mail the dissecting instruments I am sorry that they were delayed so long, but I have not been in the City where they are procured for some months. I find the triangular pointed needles the best of all for common dissection. They are easily sharpened upon a hone. A copy of the New Zealand Handbook1 accompanies the instruments, please accept it.

Capt King somewhere accounts for the absence of Canoes amongst the N.W. Australians by the absence of timber. — Is this dearth of timber so complete, or is the absence of Canoes a reality?2

Can you procure me any of the stone implements rough or polished, loose or mounted for use, such as are still used by the natives — & have you ever seen them in actual use & for what exact purpose. 3

Bentham has gone to the country having all but seen vol II. through the press.4 — We are still laboring at Genera Plantarum5 & most up hill work it is. We shall have to print the second part before being repaid half our outlay on the first:— but the heavy expence is the least part of the difficulty of producing the work.

We are all well & enjoying a summer of Australian drought.

My kindest regards to Lieutt Smith6 when you see him, & tell him that I met "old Cormack"7 today who is absolutely unchanged physically or mentally & looks as if he could live to 100. Also that old Wood is gone to his Paradise of Houris?, & that Davis8 has a post in the Hydrographer's Office (got through Lyall's influence with Richards9) lastly that Lyall will probably get Woolwich yard.10 Lastly that I think of him whenever I see my big Penguin, which is daily.11

With usual regards

Most ty yrs


J. Hooker (1864-7), vol. 1. A copy of this work is in the Library, Royal Botanic Gerdens Melbourne, inscribed: 'Dr Müller | with the authors | kind regards.'
On many pages King (1826) mentions bark canoes, and occassionally narow dugout canoes, being used on the north-west coast of Australia. However, in vol. 2, pp. 94-104, he includes a long quote from Dampier that includes the observation of a ‘drove of these men [natives] swimming from one island to another; for they have no boats, canoes or bark logs’ (p. 101).
See J. Hooker to M, 17 February 1865; the information was requested on behalf of John Lubbock.
Bentham (1862-78), vol. 2 of which was published on 5 October 1864 (see TL2 ).
Bentham & Hooker (1862-83). Vol. 1, pt 2 was published on 19 October 1865 (TL2).
Alexander John Smith, a companion of Hooker's on J. C. Ross's Antarctic expedition, 1839-43, see M to J. Hooker, 25 June 1864 (in this edition as 64-06-25a).
Robert McCormick (1800-90), surgeon on Erebus during the Antractic expedition?
Hooker is probably referring to other fellow officers on the Antarctic voyage, James F. L. Wood who was a lieutenant on Erebus and John E. Davis, Second Master on Terror.
George Henry Richards (1820-96), Hydrographer to the Royal Navy from January 1864. Richards and the naval surgeon David Lyall (1817-1895), who served on Terror during the Antarctic expedition, were both on Assistance in 1852 during the search for Sir John Franklin in the Arctic.
Lyall returned from service on the commission drawing the boundary between British Columbia and the United States and was nominally on the staff of HMS Fisgard at Woolwich while working up his botanical collections at Kew (see Lyall 1863). He was then appointed as Surgeon to Pembroke Dockyard; he was not appointed back to Woolwich Dockyard.
Did Hooker have a stuffed penguin as a souvenir of his time in the Antarctic?

Please cite as “FVM-64-09-19,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 27 October 2021,