To John MacPherson1    21 March 1876

Melbourne, 21/3/76.

The honorable John Macpherson, M.L.A.,

Chief Secretary.



I have the honor of submitting to you herewith 12 proof xylograms for the intended "School-Flora" of Victoria, and if they meet with your approval I would respectfully suggest, that instructions may be given to the Gov. Wood-engraver at the Gov. Printing Office to proceed with these illustrations, and that then also the necessary instructions may be issued to the Gov. printer to provide for the letter-press. The whole work will be pressed into as narrow limits and be written in as easy a style, as the requirements of educational establishments demand, within due boundaries of clearness and completion.2

I have the honor to be,

Sir, your obedient

Ferd. von Mueller. 3

See also M to J. Francis, 23 October 1873.
M's projected Victorian school-flora was aborted before it could be printed; see Lucas, Maroske & Brown-May (2006).

On 23 March 1876 MacPherson asked: 'Will the Hon the Treasr. be good enough to instruct the Wood Engraver [F. Grosse] at the Govt. Printing Office to proceed with this work & the Govt. Printer the letter press for the same'. However, the next day the Treasurer, J. McCulloch, ordered, 'Ascertain what will be the probable cost', and the matter was deferred until MacPherson could bring the matter before Cabinet.

On 29 May 1876, MacPherson instructed that the file be forwarded 'again' to the Treasurer. The Acting Under Treasurer,R. Gudemann, replied on 2 June: 'I have made enqy about the wood engraver. Mr Ferres can make his services available for this purpose'. On 14 June MacPherson minuted: 'The Hon The Treasurer will allow the wood engraver to proceed with this work when not engaged in other work'. This information was forwarded to M who replied on 3 August: 'All arrangements for the School Flora are now completed and a portion of the manuscript is ready; but I learn that the Govt. Printer needs still formal authority to go on with the work.' Two days later the Under Secretary, W. Odgers, asked the Acting Under Treasurer to 'be so good as to give the necessary instructing to Gov. Printer'. He replied on 8 August: 'The Government Printer has been instructed that the Treasurer desires the work the "School Flora" of Victoria to be printed at the Government Printing Office & the engravings to be executed there by the Wood engraver', adding: 'May I request Mr. Odgers to be so good as direct requisition with full particulars to be forwarded for approval'. Odgers replied on 11 August: 'This is scarcely necessary or practicable a general instruction to the Printer to go on with the work as supplied by Gov. Botanist will suffice'. The Acting Under Treasurer replied the next day to say that the 'Government Printer has been so instructed'.

On 2 March 1878, the Government Printer, J. Ferres, suggested that, in view of the demand for copies of the work, a new edition of 1,000 copies should be printed. However, on 2 April he withdrew the request as the Education Department did not require as many copies as expected (see 78/R1852, unit 789, VPRS 1207 inward correspondence to Treasurer).

Please cite as “FVM-76-03-21,” 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 17 August 2022,