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Document number: 3911
Date: 31 Jul 1839
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MCCORMICK Robert
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA39-063
Last updated: 5th April 2010

Her Majesty’s Ship Erebus
July 31. 1839.

Dear Sir

Since you so kindly offered to give Mr Hooker <1> and myself instructions in Photogenic Drawing; I now feel great pleasure in being able to acquaint you, that we shall be most happy to avail ourselves of your friendly aid, in an art which promises to be of incalculable value in delineating the various objects of Natural History, which we may meet with during our voyage to the Antarctic Regions; more particularly in obtaining faithful representations of those evanescent forms, inhabiting the Ocean, which this expeditious and beautiful process is so well fitted to preserve

H. F. Talbot Esq

I had hoped to have seen you on my way through Town, returning from Devonshire, to rejoin my ship; had not my leave of Absence expired; and the duty of the ship required my immediate presence on board.

The Surgeon of the Terror<2> will return from his leave on Monday next; (Augt 5th) when Capt. Ross <3> has given permission to Mr Hooker & myself to be absent from the Erebus at the same time. As we expect to be ready for sea before the middle of the month any arrangement that may be convenient to yourself, in the intermediate time; we shall have great pleasure in adopting; and any suggestions you may feel disposed to honor me with on any subject connected with the Expedition, in which you may take an interest; will afford me the highest gratification in attending to, as far my humble abilities will permit me

I am My dear Sir Very sincerely & gratefully yours,
R. McCormick

H. F. Talbot Esqr
Sackville Street


1. Probably Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911), botanist, traveller; succeeded his father as director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [See Doc. No: 05361].

2. John Robertson - McCormick was surgeon of the companion ship, the Erebus.

3. Sir James Clark Ross (1800–1862), polar explorer.