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Document number: 02607
Date: 23 Feb 1833
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HOOKER William Jackson
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st May 2012

Feb. 23. 1833.

My dear Sir

The bulb you allude to,<1> in the New Orleans Collection,<2> is Allium Canadense (n. 351). I could only render my specimens fit for the Herbarium by immersing them in hot water. The Grass with a solitary curved spike is a very beautiful & very rare one, the Monocera aromatica of Elliott (Ctenium Americanum Spreng).<3> I have the list of the New Orleans plants ready for the press (& of the others nearly so) & I shall insert it in the Botanical Miscellany<4> with some remarks on the new or rare species. I am only waiting in the hope of finding a Bookseller for this work. You know perhaps that Murray<5> saved me from any very heavy loss on the 3 first volumes by being the publisher – but he only stipulated to go to the end of the third volume. I have now printed the 1st part of a New Series, but though I offer it for the bare cost of printing, I cannot find another publisher & I fear I must issue it at my own risk. The loss however to me, as a private individual, will I am sure be such that I shall not be able to carry it on beyond another volume. A Bookseller alone can make it answer. It is really hard that England cannot support a work of this kind, while Germany has her Botanische Zeitung &c, & France has her Annales des Sc. Nat.<6> & a host of others.

Mr Murray<7> I am sure would be glad of some seeds from Calabria & Sicily. He (not I) has the entire charge of the Botl Garden here. He by the bye has recd, for sale, several sets of Louisiana seeds from Drummond<8>, from 130–140 kinds. All are bespoken except one set. Would you care to have it? I think Mr Murray estimates them only at 3d or 4d at most the packet. If you will let me know by return of post I will wait till then: otherwise I shall offer them to some one else, for this is the time for sowing them.

Perhaps the least troublesome way for you to pay the £16.12.0 will be to do so into the hands of Barclays Tritton & Bevan, Lombard street, on my account with the Yarmouth bank, at your convenience. Only let me know when it is done, as I may not hear of it for twelvemonths to come.

I do most cordially agree with you that Lady Smith ought not to have published letters to her husband, of living correspondents, without asking leave.,<9> As far as I am concerned I regret what she has done extremely. Such letters were never intended to meet the public eye. And the Character both of the writer & the individual addressed, is rather deteriorated than raised by the publication of confidential letters. What an estimate should one form of the acquirements of Sir J. Banks<10> & Sir T. Cullum<11> & also of the Bishop of Carlisle,<12> were one to judge of them only from their letters in the work in question?

Most faithfully Yours
W. J. Hooker.

I hope you have observed a rare Sarracenia in the New Orleans Collection. It is the S. psittaceria of Michx,[sic]<13> which appears to have been known only to that author.


1. See Doc. No: 02603.

2. Brought back by Thomas Drummond (1793-1835), Scottish botanical collector; died in Cuba in early March 1835. [See Doc. No: 02567].

3. Ctenium Americanum Sprengel.

4. William Jackson Hooker, Botanical miscellany (London: J. Murray, 1830–1833).

5. John Murray (1808–1892), London publisher

6. Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

7. Stewart M Murray (1789-1858), first Curator of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. [See Doc. No: 00262].

8. See Doc. No: 02567.

9. Pleasance Reeve Smith, Lady Smith (1773–1877), widow of Sir James Edward Smith, MD (1759–1828), botanist. She edited Memoir and Correspondence of the late Sir James Edward Smith (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1832). Her edition included two letters written by WHFT; for his thoughts on this, see Doc. No: 02603. WHFT's original letters, from which she took extracts, are Doc. No: 01413 and Doc. No: 01422.

10. Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820), botanist, president of the Royal Society.

11. Sir Thomas Gery Cullum (1741–1831), antiquarian, member of the Linnean Society.

12. Samuel Goodenough (1743–1827), bishop of Carlisle 1808–1827 and a vice-president of the Linnean Society.

13. Andrι Michaux (1746–1802), French botanist.