To the subscribers of the unio-itineraria <1>
The Unio-itineraria, supported by the liberal Patronage of H.M. the King of Wurtenberg, <2> having arranged the plan of a voyage to Egypt and Arabia, for the purpose of collecting objects of Botany and natural history, we fixed upon Dr Wiest and Mr Schimper <3> as persons, well qualified for the task. They accordingly set out for their destination in the month of September 1834, and spent the winter months at Cairo, in the surrounding country of which they collected what was interesting to Science, but Dr Wiest being taken ill with the plague, his life fell a sacrifice to it. Mr Schimper, who had formerly collected for the Unico-itineraria at Algiers, was however more fortunate; for in the earlier part of March he proceeded, fully equipped with the necessary materials for collecting, by the road of Suez into Arabia petraea, <4> stopt for a short time at El Tor on the shores of the red Sea and afterwards fixed his quarters at the convent of St. Catharine on mount Sinai, where he spent his time in collecting on the surroundig [sic] mountains and Valleys from the latter part of March, till the end of Summer, and the produce of his acquisitions consists of about 30,000 Specimens of dried plants, together with a variety of Seeds. Most of these objects had partly reached Cairo and partly Alexandria, while Mr S. continued collecting at Mount Sinai, and five Packages of what has been collected, have since then arrived in safety at the Port of Trieste. - As far as can be judged at present, this voyage is likely to yield many valuable contributions towards the extension of natural Science, particularly towards that of Botany, in consequence of many of the plants being either new or little known.
But as the costs of the undertaking are not yet covered and as Mr S. is desirous to extend his collection by going farther into Upper Egypt or Syria, we hereby invite not only our present subscribers, if possible to double their subscriptions, if they wish to obtain a full share of this valuable and rare collection, consisting for the greater part of Arabian and a smaller part only of Egyptian plants; but we also beg to acquaint those, who have hitherto taken no part in the Subscriptions: that there are single shares at 60/ or double shares at 120/. still remaining open (those who wish to receive the Specimens to the number of about 45, which were collected in the Island of Cephalonia, <5> where the collectors were detained by Ship wreck, will have to add, 10/ more to the amount of their subscription) and we can promise, that a single share will produce at least 200 Species. - We at the same time beg to state;
that that Specimens collected in the georgian Caucasus, put up in Fasiculi and ticketted [sic] lie ready for distribution, at the subscription price of 48/ for 200, or at 40/ for 170. Species but to those, who have formerly subscribed to similar plants, we beg to observe that a fresh supply from the same quarter has partly arrived and is partly on the road, the subscription for which is to be 30/ about hundred Species, their higher price being occasioned by their greater scarcity, as well, as by the greater distance, at which they were collected. Subscriptions are also open for single hundeds [sic] of Specimens from Chili at 30/ pr 100 besides others from the States of Ohio and Pensylvania at the rate of 22/ pr 100.
Ch. F. Hochstetter, Professor
Dr E. Steudel
1. This salutation, the signatures, place and date of the letter addressed in ink, the remainder of the letter is lithographed.
2. William I (1781-1864), King of Württemberg (1816-1864).
3. Wilhelm Georg Schimper (1804-1878), German botanist. His travels included the south of France in 1839, Algeria from 1832-1833 and Arabia, Egypt and Ethiopia in the years from 1834 to 1878.
4. One of the three divisions of the country west and south of Mesopotamia; in the region of modern day Jordan.