From James Chalmers1    29 August 1878

Stacey Island

New Guinea 29 Aug. 1878

Baron Von Mueller



My dear Sir,

I send by way of Cooktown another parcel of plants, my third. Since collecting them we have had nothing but rains, hence many if not all are destroyed. They are from Amazon Bay, Stacey Island, Port Dudfield, country around Catamaran Bay, Discovery Bay and a few from Mount Bohoboho 3360 feet high near to Milne Bay. We have just crossed the Peninsula & since returning home have had no opportunity of drying. Should you find a new one would you kindly name it after Miss Johnson a young lady in Sydney who has materially assisted us in our late trip?2

You will I have no doubt see Mr Chester's report of our late trip, I am sending my report home. 3

We leave for home about the beginning of next year. I am in hopes of making one or two more tours & have one good one before me & if time permits I hope to accomplish4

I write hurriedly. With kind regards

Believe me

Yours respectfully

James Chalmers


P.S. Should you name one after Miss Johnson would you send her a description of it.

Revd Johnson

226 Albion Street

Surrey Hills


MS annotation by M: 'Answ 8/10/78'. Letter not found.
Dendrobium johnsoniae. See B82.05.06, p. 95: 'Had it not been my particular desire to accede to a wish of the enterprising discoverer of this magnificent orchid, that it should be named after the "daughter of the Rev. Mr. Johnson of Surrey-Hills, New South Wales, a young lady, who materially had assisted the New Guinea Mission," I should have hesitated to describe this plant for publication, no leaves being transmitted with the flowers.'
A report by Henry Chester, 'Judicial Commissioner', to the Queensland Colonial Secretary, dated 20 July 1878, was printed in the Brisbane courier 12 August 1878, p. 3; an extract was published in the Argus (Melbourne) 17 August 1878, p. 5. The report included a description of the country traversed with Chalmers. A further report by Chester, dated 27 August 1878 was published in the Brisbane courier , 23 September 1878, p. 5, extracts of which were published in the Argus (Melbourne) 28 September 1878, p. 9. The report sent by Chalmers was published in the Australian town and country journal (Sydney), 14 September 1878, pp 11-12.
See also J. Chalmers to M, 10 November 1881.
Miss Johnson superimposed over address.

Please cite as “FVM-78-08-29,” 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 23 February 2024,