To William Thiselton-Dyer   28 June 1887



I am aware, dear Mr Dyer, that many novelties occur among Mr Forbes Papuan plants, and I hope to work them out during the latter half of this year, when my “Key to the syst. of Vict. plants”1 will be out, and thus my time be free again for the New Guinea Flora. From Mr Carruthers you will have learnt, that the elaboration of the Dicotyledoneae is left to me (except Euphorbiaceae & Utriceae.) Mr Ridley takes the Monocotyledoneae and Mr Carruthers the ferns.2

As the R. Austr. geogr. Soc. voted for Forbes last tour on my proposition somewhat reluctantly £500 - -, it would be but just that the elaboration of his plants, as far as just indicated, should be left to me. I am too far from Europe, to make further arrangements; moreover such overwhelming material is from other tropic regions in England, to be worked out, that the Papuan Flora, as Sir Joseph Hooker conceded already some years ago, should be left to me, as I was first in the field.3 My strenght and eyesight may last me perhaps only yet a short time, but so long as it does, no one will, I feel sure, grudge me the New Guinea work

Regardfully your

Ferd von Mueller.


I believe, that I shall be able to congratulate you soon on some honors from Germany.4

If Mr Forbes, as I recently have recommended gets means from the special Commissioner Mr Douglas, for further travels in N. Guinea out of the £15 000 voted by N.S.W. Vict. & Queensl., then Mr Forbes will in honor be bound to render his collections accessible to the three colonies, which give him the means (and probably the only means) for continuing his researches. Any unfairness in this respect would likely be made not only a subject of discussions in the colonial press here, but also most likely in the three parliaments; which vote the fund for the High Commissioner.5






See M to W. Carruthers, 1 March 1886; M to H. Ridley, 12 January 1887.
See M to J. Hooker, 25 March 1873; J. Hooker to M, 17 January 1884.
Thiselton-Dyer was elected to the Academia Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolina Naturae Curiosorum in 1887 (List of members, [accessed 6 December 2014]).
See Todd (1894), pp. 248-53.

Please cite as “FVM-87-06-28,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 20 September 2021,