Discusses the negative testimonial provided him by James McNab.
Sends testimonial from J. H. Balfour.
Would be glad if offered the sort of colonial opportunity Hooker suggests.
I now beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21
In my own mind—and I cannot help saying it to you—I think he does
me an injustice: indeed I would very fainly return his note to him. I thought it better,
however, to send it first to you, that you might clearly know his opinion of me before
proceeding further in the following out of the suggestion of D
I also enclose the testimonial which Prof. Balfour has favoured me with. I will not trouble you with sending any others at present; but I may state that I have very satisfactory recomendations from clergymen & gentlemen of my own neighbourhood.
I need scarcely say that I should like very much to be enabled to follow out the
suggestion of D
I have wrote to a friend who has had to do with sending out gardeners to India as to cost of outfit & passage, & I will let you know the sum which he thinks would be necessary.
I will be glad to hear from you again soon: I can only feebly express my sincere thankfulness for the great kindness you are doing me, and the continued interest you take in my welfare
I have the honour to remain | Sir | Your obed
26th May, 1864.
Mr John Scott was connected with the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh for some years, and I have much pleasure in certifying that he was zealously devoted to the prosecution of botany. He was diligent and sober, and enjoyed excellent opportunities of becoming practically acquainted with plants, both as regards their structure and physiology and their cultivation. He made some valuable observations and experiments, the results of which were published in the ``Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal'' and in the Transactions of the Botanical Society.
J. H. Balfour, M.D., | Professor of Botany.
- f1 4513.f1The year is established by the date of the enclosure.
- f2 4513.f2Letter to John Scott, 21 May .
- f3 4513.f3In the letter to John Scott, 21 May , CD had suggested that Scott obtain references from his former superiors at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, John Hutton Balfour and James McNab.
- f4 4513.f4The letter to Scott from McNab has not been found.
- f5 4513.f5Scott had been offered a position in a Cinchona plantation in Darjeeling, India, in May 1863 (see Correspondence vol. 11, letters from John Scott, 22 May 1863 and 26 May , and letter from J. D. Hooker, [23--7 May 1863]). On the deterioration of Scott's working relationship with McNab, see ibid., letters from John Scott, 22 May 1863 and [3 June 1863].
- f6 4513.f6Joseph Dalton Hooker had suggested that Scott seek employment in India. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 19 May 1864.
- f7 4513.f7See enclosure.
- f8 4513.f8See letter to John Scott, 21 May  and n. 5. Scott had refused all CD's earlier offers of financial assistance (see letter from John Scott, 5 May  and n. 9). Scott had an aunt and a sister in Scotland; his parents had died when he was a child (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter from John Scott, 6 January 1863, Transactions of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] 14 (1883): 160, and J. W. Kennedy 1908, p. 66).
- f9 4513.f9Scott was foreman of the propagating department at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, from 1859 to 1864 (Freeman 1978). For Balfour's detailed assessment of Scott's character and abilities, see the enclosure to the letter from J. D. Hooker, 6 April 1864. Scott began a correspondence with CD on his observations and experiments at the end of 1862 (see Correspondence vols. 10 and 11).
- f10 4513.f10Scott's publications in these journals included Scott 1862a--d, Scott 1863a and b, and Scott 1864c. Balfour was one of the vice-presidents of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh (Medical directory 1863), and had chaired several of the meetings at which Scott's papers were presented.