[This letter was sold by Maggs, London, in 2007 and is now in a private collection]
Committee of the Royal Society
2 July 1839
My Dear Sir
The Bearer is Mr. McCormick Surgeon & Naturalist to the Antarctic Expedition - who is very anxious to receive instructions as to the best mode of applying Phogenic [sic] Apparatus, for Drawings of Coasts Plants &c on the approaching Expedition.
I have ventured to assure this Committee that you will readily allow Mr McCormick to call on you - and & give him instructions in the Art which you have so materially advanced - & of which he hopes to make material advantage during the Voyage <1>
Believe me Truly your
W H F Talbot Esq
1. Many in Britain's scientific community, including Sir John Herschel, were actively involved in preparing for the Ross Expedition. Talbot was asked to join the Royal Society's Committee of Botany in June, but it was up to Buckland to suggest the use of photography. The sailing was even delayed in order to accomodate Daguerre's August 1839 disclosure of the details of his process. See Larry J Schaaf, Out of the Shadows: Herschel, Talbot & the Invention of Photography (London: Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 79-80.