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Letter 5352

Darwin, C. R. to Scott, John

[after 8 Jan 1868]

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    Supports relocating the Calcutta Botanic Garden to a site near the Himalayas.


Dear Sir—

As you have asked my opinion, on the advantages of removing the C.B.G. to some other site, I have no hesitation in expressing a clear answer that numerous & great benefits wd be conferred on science by this step— I have always understood that the present Gardens stand at an extremely low level; & are therefore obviously unfitted for the culture of many plants as the conditions of life cannot fail to be of a [illeg] nature  I conceive the chief advantage of a B.G. is to favor the importation & naturalisation of plants. plants foreign to the country where the Garden is established & the exportation of indigenous plants cultivated in the garden to other countries; with this aim as well as for the general scientific & experiment wd be an immense advantage if the Garden were situated near the Himalaya, so that plants requiring different climate, soil & [nutrients] could be observed cultivated & propagated.

As the garden has now been so [relatively cleared] away seems particularly favourable opportunity for any change., which may be delivered

I beg leave to remain | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | C. D.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 5352.f1
    The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Scott, 8 January [1868].
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    f2 5352.f2
    The reference is to the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. See letter from John Scott, 8 January [1868].
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    f3 5352.f3
    Thomas Anderson and John Scott's efforts to relocate the garden were unsuccessful (see McCracken 1997, pp. 100--1).
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