To [H. Brook]1    6 July 1882

From the works received through last requisition I have now forwarded on behalf of the Government to Mr Evan Thomas by post a copy of the "native plants of Victoria"2 and of "bot. teaching",3 to which I have added a copy of my English enlarged Edition of Wittsteins "Chemistry of plants"4 from my private Library. As a commencement of supporting Mr Thomas's laudable views, this seems sufficient, as such a movement as his, could be further aided should the honorable the Chief Secretary approve of it, when we learn, how this system of evoking research turns out to be working.

Ferd. von Mueller.



MS is a file note in response to a request for reference works. On 21 June 1882 Evan Thomas of Clunes, Vic., wrote to T. Cooper, MLA: 'I enclose a memo from Baron Von Mueller [memo not found], which you can return to me again, it is in reference to a Communication I had with him on the following matter[.] I proposed to obtain subscriptions for prizes to be given to Schollars of out local Schools for the best collections of Botanical specimens found in the district, and requested Dr Mueller to kindly assist me in my proposed efforts to instruct the Scholars in a pleasant way of teaching them industry, perseverance & knowledge — and would undoubtedly be the means of bringing fresh discoveries to our National collections — I asked the Baron wether he could supply me with works of reference, so as to enable me to furnish those who like to go in for the Subject with all the available and reliable information I could impart — my time & trouble would only be a labour of love, to assist them in any way I can — So I want you to kindly act upon the enclosed suggestion and obtain for me the necessary [Works] … P.S. I have written to Professor McCoy of the National Museum to assist me with material Works to enable me to instruct them in Entomology[.] I have not had a reply from him as yet. You can kindly use your influence in this direction for me also.'

Thomas's letter was registered in the Chief Secretary's Office on 28 June when a note was made in an unknown hand: 'I think a recent reqn of the G. Botanist was to enable requests like this to be complied with?' A week later, on 5 July, H. Brook, on behalf of the Under Secretary, T. Wilson, minuted on the file: 'Will the Government Botanist be so good as to report if the within request can be complied with'. M's minute was written in response to this note.

Wittstein (1878).

Please cite as “FVM-82-07-06,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 17 September 2021,