From Joseph Hooker1    9 October 1865

Buxton Derbyshire

Address Kew. Oct 9/65

My dear Mueller

The papers will have carried to you the intelligence of the death of your sincere friend my dear father;2 & very probably Bentham has told you of my severe illness,3 & has thus accounted for my not writing to you myself. Indeed I think B. promised to do so, but I forget a great deal of what happened in the early stages of my illness. I am now nearly recovered, having been sent to this high & healthy Watering place for the purpose, & I hope to commence my duties as Director next month.

My loss indeed has been & is a grevious one, my father having been for so many years more my daily companion than any other person. I shall never see his equal, for liberality of purse & Library & Herbarium, for genuine kindness, for utter absence of self love or self esteem, & for single minded devotion to Science: he thought nothing of himself in all these matters, & scrupulously avoided applause flattery & distinction — these attributes brought their own reward; — he lived & died more happily than any scientific man I know, & had not a single enemy or even detractor.

I do hope my dear Dr Mueller that our correspondence may continue. I have been for nearly 3 months forbidden to do any duty, & so do not pretend to answer any of your late letters to my father or myself till my return to Kew. The business ones, Mr Smith,4 my Garden "locum tenens" attends to, & he has informed me that you are pleased with a box of succulents that we sent you;5 for which I am very glad. We have to thank you I think for a packet of choice seeds.6

We are to have great changes in the details of management in the Garden, which, with my fathers affairs (hitherto untouched), my own 3 months arrears, & my new duties, will occupy me busily all the winter.

Ever my dear Dr Mueller

Very sincerely yrs

Jos D Hooker

MS black-edged. Annotation by M: 'Meteorite'.
W. Hooker died on 12 August 1865.
J. Hooker suffered a severe bout of rheumatic illness after sleeping on the floor under an open window beside his father's bed on the night of 9 August. He did not see his father again (Allan (1967) p. 209).
John Smith (1821-88), curator at Kew Gardens.
See M to W. Hooker, 25 May 1865.
M announced the sending of seeds in his letters to W. Hooker, 9 June 1865 and 20 August 1865.

Please cite as “FVM-65-10-09,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 16 October 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/vonmueller/letters/65-10-09