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Record number: WCP5545

Sent by:
W. H. Campbell
Sent to:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
23 September 1869

Sent by W. H. Campbell, Demerara, [Guyana] to Joseph Dalton Hooker [none given] on 23 September 1869.

Record created:
02 June 2014 by Benny, Ruth


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LETTER (WCP5545.6303)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Finding number:
DC 204 folio 241
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the W. H. Campbell Literary Estate.
Record scrutiny:
02/06/2014 - Benny, Ruth;

Physical description

Transcription information





23. Sept[ember] 1869

My Dear Hooker

I have to thank you for your two most kind letters of July 8, and Aug[ust]: 16th

I am glad to find that you have got back safely from your Russian Tour, and that you enjoyed your holiday. It was certainly a shabby proceeding of "Bob Lowe"1 to refuse to reimburse your travelling expenses, and I sincerely hope that such cheese-paring and [[2]] parsimony, where science is concerned, may soon be put an end to. -- The [illeg.] well abated[?] Tory Administration was much more liberal in that respect. I am afraid from what you say that we are not likely to get more help from the Home Gov[ernmen]t. on the prosecution of our Geological Survey, than which no more important inquiry, so far as the Colony is concerned, has been undertaken in my day. -- Mr Sawkins2 left for the interior about the beginning of this month [[3]] intending to proceed by the Essequibo to Pirara, and the high lands in that direction, -- and to be absent from four to six months.-- He begged me to say to you that he hopes to be in England in the Spring, when he will be happy to show you his sketches of Roraima &c. and will probably read some account of his Travels at the Geographical Soc[iet]y -- He has also promised to look out for anything of Botanical interest so far as his [?] [[4]] and means will avail. --

I am at a loss to know what grass you allude to as having been introduced into this Colony by Mr Parker3 some 40 years ago. -- It may be what we call Para Grass introduced by him or Mr Tinne4 from Surinam more than 20 years ago. -- It has now spread over the whole Colony and is used to a considerable extent as green food for Horses and Cattle. -- It spreads so rapidly that it is considered a nuisance in the neighbourhood [[5]] of Cane cultivation and Gardens. It is I think Panicum but I cannot say whether it is P. Spectabile or not. -- A grass very highly esteemed here is called Bahama grass, and is I believe Cynodon Dactylon. -- It forms a dense turf, and if encouraged kills or keeps under all the coarser grasses. -- It is much esteemed as fodder for Horses, but from being short and difficult to cut not so much used as Para grass. --

Captain Kerr5 has sent another contribution which I [[6]] am forwarding by this Steamer. -- He gives it the extraordinary name of the "Asthepoker Plum" being I suppose a phonetic attempt at the Indian name. -- I think it must be the same as what has been called in some of our Lists of Woods "Assepaca", but that is only a guess too. --

Our Attorney General, Mr John Lucie Smith6, who was introduced to you when last in England, is going as Chief Justice to Jamaica. He proposes [[7]] to call on you on his arrival in England, to which he proceeds by this Mail, and he will keep his eye on Kerr’s Plants when on board the Steamer. -- We shall miss him very much here, for he is a very talented man, and his place cannot easily be filled. --

Many thanks for your address to the B. Association, and Paper on Island Floras. -- I see you are deeply dipped in Darwinism, and gave an [[8]] awful hit at the writer in the Athenaeum and other benighted individuals who like myself find it a hard nut to crack. Perhaps if, like you, I had studied the subject, with the aid of Wallace and Darwin, I might have become a convert. In the meantime I am an unbeliever. -- The want of access to books on the subject is a great drawback. --

I am doing what I can to get a few folks to take an interest in the Manilla Tobacco Seed so kindly lent me. --

Yours very sincerely | W. H. Campbell7 [signature]

J. D. Hooker Esq


1. Lowe, Robert (1st Viscount Sherbrooke) (1811-1892). Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1868-1873.

2. Sawkins, James Gay (1806-1878). British geologist and artist.

3. Parker, Charles Stewart (1800-1868). Scottish-born merchant.

4. Tinne, John Abraham (1808-1884). Merchant, born in Demerara

5. Kerr, Claude (1826-1871). Captain 3rd West India Regiment. Superintendant of His Majesty's Penal Settlement from 1862 to 1871.

6. Lucie-Smith, John (1827-1883). Chief Justice of Jamaica.

7. Campbell, William Hunter (1814-1883).British botanist.

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