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Record number: WCP5551

Sent by:
William George Freeman
Sent to:
Arthur William Hill
24 February 1909

Sent by William George Freeman, Imperial Institute, London, S.W. to Arthur William Hill Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on 24 February 1909.

Record created:
05 June 2014 by Benny, Ruth


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Record contains:

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LETTER (WCP5551.6309)

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

Held by:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Finding number:
DC 217 folio 41
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the William George Freeman Literary Estate.
Record scrutiny:
05/06/2014 - Benny, Ruth;

Physical description

Transcription information






Feb[ruary]. 24. 1909.

Dear Hill2,

One of the men on the I[mperial]. I[nstitute].3 staff is resigning to go as scientific member on a expedition which proposes to proceed up the Paraguay River to the State of Matto Grosso4 in Brazil & exploit the high plateau lands there. He is now chiefly interested in mineralogical chemistry, but wishes also to acquire before he leaves any information on the fauna & flora of the region.


You have been somewhere near this country I think, & if you would be so good as to suggest any books or papers worth his while consulting we should both be much indebted to you. He is already familiar with the works of Wallace, Spruce6 & Bates7 in the Amazon, but would like some works dealing more with the higher lands.

With kindest regards | Yours very sincerely | W. G. Freeman8. [signature]



1. "H.[?] 441/09" written in ink in top RH corner of page. "Ans[were]d. 27. ii. 09" (underlined) written in ink across top LH corner of page.

2. Hill, Arthur William (1875-1941). Botanist and explorer. An expedition to the Andes in Bolivia and Peru in 1903, initiated a lifelong interest in cushion plants. In 1907 he joined the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as Assistant Director under Sir David Prain and started contributing to the flora of Africa and India. In 1922 he succeeded Prain as Director.

3. The Imperial Institute was envisaged as a permanent Empire museum or exhibition in London. The foundation stone was laid in Kensington, S. W. by the Queen in July 1887 and the building officially opened in May 1893. The Institute provided information about trade, and exhibition galleries were used to promote trade and research. (The Institute was renamed the Commonwealth Institute in 1958 and moved to Holland Park in 1962).

4. The third largest state of Brazil, in the West of the country, presents three different ecosystems: Cerrado (tropical savannah), Pantanal (wetland) and Amazon Rainforest. The proposed expedition was likely to have been to the Chapada dos Guimarães region, an environment of eroded sandstone mountains.

5. "41" is stamped vertically in the margin in the top LH corner of the page.

6. Spruce, Richard (1817-1893). English botanist and explorer. In 1849 he followed ARW and Henry Walter Bates to the Amazon Basin, collecting more than 30,000 plant specimens there and in the Andes during the next 14 years.

7. Bates, Henry Walter (1825-1892). English naturalist and explorer, most famous for his expedition to the rainforests of the Amazon with ARW, starting in 1848. By his return in 1859, he had sent back over 14,712 species (mostly of insects) of which 8,000 were new to science.

8. Freeman, William George (1874-?). Superintendent, Colonial Economic Collections, Imperial Institute, London.

9. On this otherwise blank page, the following references are written in ink, in a different hand to the author, presumably the recipient Arthur Hill’s:

Moore, Spencer L M (29, Angles Road, Streatham, S. W.)

The Phanerogamic Botany of the Matto Grosso Expedition, 1891-92. (Trans. Linn. Soc. Ser. 2, iv. pp. 265-516, tt. 21-39, Map.)

Liais, E. Climats Geologie, Faune et Géographie botanique du Brésil. Paris, 1872. 1 vol. large 8vo.

Saint-Hilaire, A. de. Aperçu d’un voyage dans l’intérieur du Brésil, la province bisplatine et les missions dites du Paraguay. Paris, 1823. 4to. 73 pp.

Burton, Capt.

The Highlands of Brazil and the Gold and Diamond Mines. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1869.

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